Patterico's Pontifications

2/28/2009

Ron Paul Comes Out Ahead of Sarah Palin in CPAC Straw Poll (UPDATE: Politico Now Says They Tied)

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:40 pm

Of course, Romney won first place. But that’s not as surprising as third and fourth place:

Romney took 20 percent of the vote, followed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal with 14 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 13 percent, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with 10 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 10 percent and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 7 percent.

I didn’t see that coming

UPDATE: Now Politico is saying Paul and Palin tied:

Romney took 20 percent of the vote, followed by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal with 14 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 13 percent, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with 13 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 10 percent and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 7 percent.

There is no indication that they changed the post. Oh well . . . aren’t the Politico folks from Big Media? Well, there you go — that means their standards are higher (i.e. they make corrections without telling you).

Here is the proof that I correctly quoted what they initially said.

132 Responses to “Ron Paul Comes Out Ahead of Sarah Palin in CPAC Straw Poll (UPDATE: Politico Now Says They Tied)”

  1. I think Paul’s loony foreign policy ideas have a taken a backseat to his somewhat-smart domestic/fiscal policy ideas, given the status of the constant bailouts and spending bills.

    And the Huckster can take a long walk off a short pier.

    Timothy Watson (92eba3)

  2. Palin refused CPAC’s invitation to speak. Also, CPAC harbors the fringe of the conservative movement – like those morons who laughed/cheered at very inappropriate times.

    Ed (52bb9a)

  3. Why is this so surprising? Party activists have a much higher loon quotient than their party base.

    Consider Kucinich’s strength in 2007, where he got 41% in a Progressive Democrats Convention straw poll, and Edwards was second with 26%.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  4. I hope that this continues to tilt towards the economics wing of the party and away from the Bible-thumpers. We can win in 2010 and 2012, but only if we focus on economic conservatism. Obama is starting to scare people.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  5. Escuse me? When did Gov. Palin become a “Bible Thumper”?
    Does she regularly appear in churches throughout the land to preach from the pulpit?
    I would venture that Bill Clinton has proclaimed from more pulpits than Sarah Palin has seen – does that make him a “thumper”?
    I thought that she was acclaimed for her economic conservatism as demonstrated in her management of the Alaskan Statehouse?
    Bigotry is a very ugly emotion.

    AD - RtR/OS (5e419c)

  6. Did McCain ever win a CPAC straw poll prior to his primary victory?

    Andrew (96ab30)

  7. Interesting, since Redstate is reporting different numbers. Jindal 14%, Palin 13%, Ron Paul 13%. Romney the favorite of conservatives? If Romney is the hand’s down favorite at CPAC, maybe something is wrong with CPAC. If Ron Paul comes in second at CPAC, then something is absolutely wrong with CPAC.

    And to those of you that think that Romney or Ron Paul somehow represents the hope of the Republican Party, you should have gone to CPAC. You would fit right in.

    Scott Hanshaw (c91a22)

  8. Did McCain ever win a CPAC straw poll prior to his primary victory?

    McCain didn’t even win the AARP straw poll.

    Official Internet Data Office (c29d16)

  9. I would also have to agree with Randy Barnet’s sentiments on the VC regarding Jindae, please don’t put up someone the MSM can portray as supporting any sort of creationism.

    Soronel Haetir (a3f11b)

  10. Not sure Ron Paul’s the right guy to lead the GOP out of its morass, but I do know it’s great for Democrats to have him in the mix.

    I laughed out loud, in celebration, when in the GOP debates, Paul kept shooting down Romney’s attempts to portray himself and the party’s mainstream as libertarian. Like clay pigeons. Blammo. Every time.

    The GOP does have to do some hard thinking about how to win back libertarian-oriented swing voters. The Christian right was always a big turn-off for these voters, but, for decades, they were willing to tolerate the homophobia and weirdness because they had faith that the GOP would keep their taxes down.

    Bush screwed that particular pooch, and the GOP won’t be a majority party until it figures out how to unscrew it.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  11. Poncey sure talks about screwing a lot, doesn’t he?

    Dmac (49b16c)

  12. …and now he’s moved on to animals.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  13. Thanks Dmac! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  14. Hax goes full retard early.

    Never a recommended strategy.

    daleyrocks (ae34ca)

  15. Are we really going to let this happen to another thread?

    Leviticus (c729f2)

  16. The terminology of the left is beyond the pale.

    If you disagree with homosexuality you must suffer from an irrational fear of homosexuals thus you are labeled a homophobe.

    Disagree with Islam = Islamophobe.

    Disagree with the President = racist.

    ML (14488c)

  17. I doubt any lefties care why you “disagree” with homosexuality. I know I don’t.

    The point is that it’s none of your concern who I choose to have sex with. And it’s certainly not the government’s concern.

    It hardly matters whether your anti-homosexual attitude is driven by irrational fear or some other kind of impulse. If you feel like talking about exactly why you feel it’s necessary to “disagree” with other people’s sexual preferences, that’s fine. But don’t pretend your motives matter much, relative to your conclusions.

    As for Islam, I have no truck with it myself. It’s yet another enemy of rationalism, and, like almost all religions, it has over many, many years, given comfort to bigots, slavers and other miscreants.

    What separates me from Islamophobes is that I don’t see the religion itself as any kind of threat, since the vast majority of its followers live peaceful, productive lives with no intention whatsoever of threatening anyone.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  18. I actually agree with several of the troll’s remarks in #10. Unfortunately, his emotional lability took over he wrote this:

    The GOP does have to do some hard thinking about how to win back libertarian-oriented swing voters. The Christian right was always a big turn-off for these voters, but, for decades, they were willing to tolerate the homophobia and weirdness because they had faith that the GOP would keep their taxes down.

    Bush screwed that particular pooch,

    Ron Paul may look very attractive after Obama has his way with the 401ks of the country.

    Paul’s problem was always his looney foreign policy ideas but Iraq is won and Afghanistan is unwinnable. It’s ironic that Obama dismissed the winnable war and lashed himself to the mast of the loser. Pakistan cannot survive short of Musharaf seizing power and clamping down hard. Even then, it may not be salvageable.

    Paul will look very good when everyone in the country is reading “Atlas Shrugged.” Obama has completely misjudged the country. We are not Britain where all the men with balls died in WWI and WWII. Ditto for Germany and France. The gun sales show that, if nothing else.

    The metrosexual lefties think we will lay down and let them wreck the country. I don’t see it. I remember well the late 70s when people were stocking dried food and ammo. This is far worse.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  19. “Everyone in the country is reading “Atlas Shrugged.”

    Most Americans are smart enough to see through Rand’s ham-fisted fables. But her books are well worth reading to gain insight into the intellectual weakness of the right-wing mentality.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  20. The master has spoken!

    AD - RtR/OS (5e419c)

  21. Hey Everyone,

    I’m a registered Republican too, who voted for Bush a couple times.

    I’ve seen Ron Paul’s foreign policy labeled looney a couple time here. I’d like to hear what’s so looney about it.

    I think he cares for the country and thinks that we are wasting a lot of money in about 143 countries.

    Please respond specifically instead of name calling.

    Thx, Jake

    Jake (b911b4)

  22. “Most Americans are smart enough to see through Rand’s ham-fisted fables. But her books are well worth reading to gain insight into the intellectual weakness of the right-wing mentality.”

    - Hax Vobiscum

    Yes, that’s obviously the only logical conclusion one might draw from that observation: people are buying Rand’s books – to see how stupid her ideas are! Makes perfect sense…

    … Although you’d think that if they already realized that conservative ideas were stupid, they wouldn’t be willing to pay money for her particular “ham-fisted” articulation of them – the economy being in shambles and all. Yeah.

    I think Rand’s ideas are dolled-up Social Darwinism myself, and find them repulsive, but that doesn’t mean that either one of us gets to infer the motivations (ethereal things, dontcha know) of a large segment of the country in order to “verify” our own particular ideological perspective.

    Leviticus (d7716a)

  23. Careful, Leviticus. You’re gonna be a weak minded wingnut in no time. Or so you’ll be told by a guy who couldn’t find a fact tattooed on his ass with both hands, a flashlight, a mirror and a map.

    Pablo (99243e)

  24. If Sarah Palin showed up, she would have done far better. Romney showed up. Palin is probably correct to skip this year. She will need to show up in years to come if she is serious about this.

    Joe (17aeff)

  25. Infer is exactly the right word, Leviticus.

    I didn’t imply motivations, you inferred them from what I wrote.

    I read “Atlas Shrugged” decades ago because my girlfriend insisted. I found it tedious and maudlin, but a page-turner, at least. I also knew it as a seminal demonstration of the intellectual shortcuts grooved into the minds of greedists — a group that’s a distinct subset of free marketeers.

    It’s one of those books one should read whether or not one thinks there’s any merit to its thesis, just because it has become an essential part of the culture.

    NPR had a cute Talk of the Nation that partly focused on the book a while back. The premise was that there are some books that become “relationship breakers or makers.

    “Shrugged” was the number one choice as a relationship breaker, since it tends to highlight essential divisions between the kind of people who like the book and those who don’t.

    That certainly fit my experience. If I had been a bit more perceptive about what Rand was trying to say, I would have known straightaway that the girl was not for me.

    NPR’s “The Business” had a great segment as well on why “Shrugged” has never been made into a movie. Apparently, every director in Hollywood was afraid Rand would do what she did to “The Fountainhead” film, which was to insist that preachiness overwhelm the film, at the cost of storytelling and cinematic values.
    There was also the fact that Rand had wanted Farah Fawcett as Dagney, or a similar sex-pot type, whereas the screen writer/director who had bought the rights thought that would kill it.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  26. A tedious page turner, huh? Lemme guess, you’re a book reviewer, right?

    Pablo (99243e)

  27. “I didn’t imply motivations, you inferred them from what I wrote.”

    - Hax Vobiscum

    How is “most Americans are smart enough to see through Rand’s ham-fisted fables but her books are well worth reading to gain insight into the intellectual weakness of the right-wing mentality” not an implication of motivations?

    Leviticus (d7716a)

  28. #21 Jake:

    Hey Everyone,

    I think “Everyone” is in the bigger conference room down the hall. But, hey yourself!

    I’m a registered Republican too, who voted for Bush a couple times.

    Also a committed, Conservative Christian also, I take it?

    I’ve seen Ron Paul’s foreign policy labeled looney a couple time here. I’d like to hear what’s so looney about it.

    Are you haven’t seen it described as “loony” instead of looney? Pretty sure that loony is the more common usage for that sort of thing.

    I think he cares for the country and thinks that we are wasting a lot of money in about 143 countries.

    Oh, I suppose that’s probably true. Unfortunately, modern weapons systems make the kind of isolationism that Paul advocates impractical, and, get right down to it, dangerously loony.

    Oops, sorry. But seriously, while we could certainly get a better return on our dollars used for “foreign aid,” isolationism as foreign policy is unworkable when there is a significant portion of the world’s population that would like to see the dissolution of our country and significant harm come to our friends and allies.

    And in a global economy, it really does make sense to engage politically those we trade with as well…which would be the Everyone that you started with…but hey!

    Please respond specifically instead of name calling.
    Thx, Jake

    Okay, I won’t call you by name but I fail to see how to helps any. But you’re welcome.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  29. Sale on alsoes down at Staples, get ‘em while they’re hot!

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  30. Nice catch Pablo. That was pretty moronic on my part. A little too graspy, perhaps.
    Truth is probably more that I was turning those pages as a way to keep the girl around…

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  31. PALIN TIED RON PAUL

    GET YOUR FACTS

    Steptoe (01c202)

  32. Lev asks: “How is “most Americans are smart enough to see through Rand’s ham-fisted fables but her books are well worth reading to gain insight into the intellectual weakness of the right-wing mentality” not an implication of motivations?”

    Because it implies nothing about why people would read the book. It only addresses the book’s likely effect on people.

    i.e., I’m not saying, or implying, that people are going to run out and buy a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” because they really want to know how greedists think.

    My guess is that people are intrigued by the plot and are open minded enough to give it a read just to see what all the fuss is about.

    I will imply something about YOUR motivations though. I think you inferred a meaning that wasn’t there because your sense is that most Americans take a side in the wingnut wars, when actually few do.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  33. Truth is probably more that I was turning those pages as a way to keep the girl around…

    Comment by Hax Vobiscum

    Too bad it didn’t work and was a boy, besides.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Mike K (2cf494)

  34. “I read “Atlas Shrugged” decades ago because my girlfriend insisted [Hax Vobiscum Motivation #1] … I also knew it as a seminal demonstration of the intellectual shortcuts grooved into the minds of greedists. [Hax Vobiscum Motivation #2]”

    - Hax Vobiscum

    “I’m not saying, or implying, that people are going to run out and buy a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” because they really want to know how greedists think.”

    - Hax Vobiscum

    You can at least see how it might appear (to an empiricist, for instance) that you’re implying that people are going to “run out and buy a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” just because they want to know how greedists think.” After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander – as much as I hate to use that expression.

    Unless your initial anecdote had no rhetorical or illustrative purpose, that is.

    Leviticus (5fb812)

  35. Leviticus – It argues with the charicatures in its head, not actual positions held by anyone here.

    JD (e91ae1)

  36. It’s (kinda) like Bertrand Russell’s argument for the existence of the minds of others: we observe actions similar to our own and infer similar motivations (agency) behind them.

    Leviticus (5fb812)

  37. Greedists = A term redistributionsts employ to describe those so appallingly selfish that they don’t support giving money to the redistributionists’ schemes.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  38. Lev: you weren’t commenting on my anecdote. Your inference was from my initial comment suggesting that most Americans are too smart to swallow Rand’s heavy-handed dogma.

    But, yes, my later anecdote suggests that I approached the book as a way to learn about greedism. That’s not accurate. I didn’t write it carefully enough.

    What I meant was: I also came to know the book as a seminal demonstration of the intellectual shortcuts grooved into the minds of greedists.

    I had read the Fountainhead years earlier in high school, but didn’t at the time interpret it as any kind of manifesto. I believe I plowed through it for a book report or some other assignment and only remember the outlines of the story.

    Anyway, I certainly did imply in my anecdote that I picked up the book to find out about greedism — which, I agree, is a little silly. What I meant was that’s why I don’t think reading the book was a waste of my time and I also why I don’t think making the book required reading would bring a shift in mainstream American thinking.

    Hax Vobiscum (23258e)

  39. I mean, you have a (technical) point, Hax – you didn’t (explicitly) imply “motivations” for others’ buying a copy of “Atlas Shrugged”. But I think that’s kinda splitting hairs, given the tone and content of your comments on this thread. Would you prefer that I rephrase my objection to something along the lines of “you don’t get to infer the [relative intelligence] of a large segment of the country in order to verify your own ideological perspective” (which you did when you inferred that anyone who took “Atlas Shrugged” seriously was a mental midget)? Done. Let’s argue that point, then.

    Leviticus (5fb812)

  40. Really, is it any wonder that Ron Paul did well in the polls? Does no one recall the outrageous numbers he got in the online polls? The Paulbots could teach Mayor Daley a few things about rigging elections.

    David

    David (c6fe09)

  41. Let’s argue that point, then.

    If only it were that easy, my friend…

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  42. Leviticus,

    May I get you some ginseng tea or energy-drink of your choice? Nailing Jello® to a wall can be exhausting. In any event, good luck. ;)

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  43. PALIN TIED RON PAUL

    GET YOUR FACTS

    Thanks for your all-caps update! I made the mistake of believing Politico the first time. They have now updated their post — without admitting that they erred the first time around.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  44. Those of us who watched the straw poll announcement live can confirm that Gov Palin was announced as tied third with Ron Paul. Neither Palin or Jindall attended CPAC this year, Romney and Paul did – and that will have encouraged their supporters to attend also. Fewer than 20% who attended bothered to vote in the straw poll,and 80% of those who did bother to vote didn’t choose Romney. From a source who actually went to the conference, I am led to believe that those who wanted to vote could so more than once. Polite conclusion: the CPAC straw poll is a less than reliable indicator.

    iac (7ee308)

  45. “ who took “Atlas Shrugged” seriously was a mental midget)?”

    I don’t think it’s strictly a matter of intelligence. It’s also a question of wisdom.

    Alan Greenspan is an Ayn Rand fan and I’m sure there are many other above-average intelligence people who are as well.

    My point is simply that the people of average intelligence ARE SMART ENOUGH to see through Rand’s stilted world of straw men.

    Her characters lack all nuance: they’re either strong, smart, sexy superheroes like Dagney and Hank or miserable, ugly losers like the college professors and parasites who serve as more or less anonymous backdrops for Dagney and Hank’s redundant demonstrations of superiority in all fields.

    There will be some Americans, indeed a sizable minority, who will see enough of themselves in these characters to find the book inspiring. That doesn’t mean they’re not smart enough to see through it, it just means they don’t want to.

    Hax Vobiscum (edacf7)

  46. #36 Leviticus:

    It’s (kinda) like Bertrand Russell’s argument for the existence of the minds of others: we observe actions similar to our own and infer similar motivations (agency) behind them.

    No, it is exactly like that!

    We presume that there must be a cognitive agent in order to seek out a forum such as this, when in reality, whatever the motivation really is, its happening at a precognitive level.

    Anyway, as Stash said, it gets pretty tiresome attempting to nail Jello® to a wall, so nobody here will think any less of you for ignoring it in future: in fact, I applaud your effort at engaging if~if only because it makes liberals look terrible.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  47. I attended CPAC, my own informal poll is that practically everyone I talked to in the lobby, in the dinners, at the exhibits, all raved about Governor Sarah Palin. You would think the people in those poll, would have learned from last year’s experience, when he dropped out of the campaign, after giving one heck of a speech. Napolitano’s remarks about Lincoln, at the Ron Paul event were the most disturbing thing, I’d heard.

    narciso (57971e)

  48. Mr. EW1,

    I have to answer your reply.
    I think “Everyone” is in the bigger conference room down the hall. But, hey yourself!

    A: I don’t clain to be mainstream. Is that bad?

    I’m a registered Republican too, who voted for Bush a couple times.

    Also a committed, Conservative Christian also, I take it?

    A: Yeah my baby just woke up and I’ll be on my way out the do to Cburch in a few minutes, but I don’t understand your insinuation. Please explain you thought process above. By the way, you should go back and listen to Paul’s CPAC speach. The last couple minutes were devoted to severely limiting abortion by giving the right back to the state. Don’t respond to this point unless you listen to the speach.

    I’ve seen Ron Paul’s foreign policy labeled looney a couple time here. I’d like to hear what’s so looney about it.

    Are you haven’t seen it described as “loony” instead of looney? Pretty sure that loony is the more common usage for that sort of thing.

    A: Shoot, I could have sworn that the cartoons I used to watch were “LooneyToons” Thanks though, I’ll take note of that.

    I think he cares for the country and thinks that we are wasting a lot of money in about 143 countries.

    Oh, I suppose that’s probably true. Unfortunately, modern weapons systems make the kind of isolationism that Paul advocates impractical, and, get right down to it, dangerously loony.

    A: We can respectfully disagree as to whether modern weapons systems are a good reason the be in so many countries. Let me ask.. if they are so modern, couldn’t we opperate in, say, 20 countries or something like that? Let me know your thoughts on that.

    Oops, sorry. But seriously, while we could certainly get a better return on our dollars used for “foreign aid,” isolationism as foreign policy is unworkable when there is a significant portion of the world’s population that would like to see the dissolution of our country and significant harm come to our friends and allies.

    A: No one that I agree with wants to isolate themselves or the country. I think the main point is non-interventionism. We can have good trade relationships with other countries without foreign entanglements. That was the founding father’s vision.

    And in a global economy, it really does make sense to engage politically those we trade with as well…which would be the Everyone that you started with…but hey!

    A: I agree with that.

    Please respond specifically instead of name calling.
    Thx, Jake

    Okay, I won’t call you by name but I fail to see how to helps any. But you’re welcome.

    Take care man. God Bless.

    Jake (b911b4)

  49. In light of the current economic crisis I think Romney belonged at the top of the poll due to his experience. Very rational choice for this specific time in history.

    Dennis D (ae900a)

  50. #46 EW1:

    I applaud your effort at engaging if IT~if only

    I wonder what the statistical frequency of a typo actually changing the meaning of a sentence is?

    Anyway, I meant that your (Leviticus’) efforts reflect well on your side, even as the scrollover denigrates everything and everybody.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  51. #48 Jake:

    Mr. EW1,

    I don’t care who you are, that right there is funny!

    (See, EW1 is a military title and inconsistent with the use of “Mister,” which also has a well defined use as a military courtesy…oh dear, what is it about explaining “jokes?”)

    A: I don’t clain to be mainstream. Is that bad?

    Not at all, in fact, I’m delighted that you picked up on the allusion.

    but I don’t understand your insinuation.

    The Internet is littered with Mobys, I wasn’t quite sure whether you were or warn’t.

    Don’t respond to this point

    Er, what point?

    the cartoons I used to watch were “LooneyToons”

    They were actually “LooneyTunes,” a trademark of, and copyrighted phrase belonging to Warner Brothers Entertainment; as opposed to the normal usage of “loony.” (Except in Canada.)

    I think the main point is non-interventionism.

    I agree: I think the main point where people disagree with Paul’s concept of foreign policy is his idea of “non-interventionism.” I also agree that the Founding Fathers had a desire to limit “foreign entanglements,” although I disagree with Paul about the context of their vision.

    Here’s the deal: modern communication has made the internal politics of a great many other nations relevant to our daily lives as private citizens because they affect us economically, and in the physical safety of our private person, and more generally, the internal politics of the United States.

    I think the Founding Fathers were quite comfortable ignoring that which was unimportant to us, and rightly so. However, when a threat to our interests at home or abroad became apparent, they also had no problem recognizing when it had to be dealt with. Thus the line To the Shores of Tripoli; in the Marine Corps Hymn, when the Marines were dispatched to the Barbary Coast to deal with the Barbary states.

    And I think Ron Paul’s vision of foreign policy ignores that, and that he is attempting to turn back the hands of time to a more simplistic view of the world than is tenable today. I think that such a simplistic view puts us all at risk.

    I would much prefer to engage other states economically, but not every other state meets us as openly and honestly as we are willing to engage them. And because of that, and because non-state actors have the potential to cause enormous disruption in the fabric of our daily lives, I think it only prudent to engage ourselves where and when our interests require. And I don’t think that Paul’s rhetoric supports that.

    Take care man. G-d Bless.

    Thank you, and my good wishes to you as well.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  52. As a “liberal democrat” I wanted to read some of the far right blogs to see if there was any intellectual rigor in your movement. Surprisingly, I found that there was! However, I also find that your movement continues to be dominated by a weird collective of disparate interests. Perhaps this explains the sad state of a proud movement that began with Barry Goldwater in the sixties. Buckley replaced by Limbaugh; Goldwater replaced by Palin. What happened to true intellectual, rational conservatism? How did it get hijacked by nit-wits? Why is it now primarily representative of a southern, rural and uneducated population?

    My thoughts:

    Ascendancy of the religious right. Most people view them as a christian taliban and it’s a real turn off to voters. Creationism is a joke and makes most people who understand science nauseous. Literal interpretation of the Bible left mainstream western thought in the middle ages. It might be amusingly tolerated by most except for the activist agenda these groups pursue. Our founding fathers wisely supported separation of church and state. A true conservative would believe that the government has no place in regulating sexual mores, or personal choices (that’s the CHOICE to have an abortion).

    Economic policies hijacked by corporate interests. Tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas? Destruction of the basic regulatory framework that prevents the kind of excesses that have placed us in the financial predicament we are in today. An unfair tax policy that places an disproportionate burden on working class americans while rewarding financial elites. And ultimately the domination by special interests whether it be Oil, Pharma, Wall Street, etc. Is that what conservatism means?

    The Politics of Fear. We can’t keep going around attacking every perceived threat. War should be the very last resort. This thinking is ultimately self defeating and makes us no better than those that oppose us. In many instances worse. Torture? I’m appalled that some americans see that as acceptable. Wire-tapping any and everyone the governments has an interest in without a court order or any judicial review? The founders of conservatism are spinning in their graves.

    You conservatives really need to rethink what conservatism stands for if you want to regenerate the movement and start winning elections again.

    William Herschel (af03fb)

  53. Nice try, William, Patterico is certainly center right, as you’ve seen from at least three of his posts. If you want far right, go to the American
    Conservative or the Spotlight. There is no separation of powers in the constitution, and the fact than an ex Klansman like Hugo Black said it doesn’t make it so. Goldwater was replaced by Reagan then W, and hopefully Palin. She’s been moderate on those policy issues, actually libertarian on most economic issues, with the exception of breaking the Big Three’s monopoly on the oil pipeline, financial regulations designed to expedite transactions like subprime were a democratic gambit. No point on aggressive interrogations, applied in just a few select cases.

    narciso (57971e)

  54. Well thanks Narcisco. It wasn’t a “try” at anything, it was my thoughts.

    As a democrat I certainly hope you do run Sarah Palin as your candidate in 2012. That’s our dream.

    Reagan did follow Goldwater ideologically except for Reaganomics, which was new and elitist, and his bringing the religious right into the party.

    W was nothing like a true conservative and had nothing in common with the great conservative thinkers of the past.

    William Herschel (af03fb)

  55. #54 William Herschel:

    It wasn’t a “try” at anything, it was my thoughts.

    You might try thinking a little bit next time.

    You haven’t uttered anything here that isn’t straight out the liberal closet of stereotypes that the left has of the right.

    So much for “intellectual rigor” on the left.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  56. Welcome William,

    As a democrat I certainly hope you do run Sarah Palin as your candidate in 2012. That’s our dream.

    Please don’t throw me in that Briar Patch!!! ;)

    W was nothing like a true conservative and had nothing in common with the great conservative thinkers of the past.

    That statement is a little too absolutist for me, but he was far more bipartisan than he is usually given credit for. Just imagine the healing that might have occurred if 9/11 hadn’t happened and the Dem Party hadn’t been hijacked by Reid/Pelosi/Dean/etc… His strength of character in the face of constant dishonesty and undermining by his political opponents was pretty awe-inspiring.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  57. I love it when a Leftist comes by and tries to give advise as to what conservatives should do. It makes it even more funny when these “thinkers” show the intellectual depth of a teaspoon.

    JD (0d1f38)

  58. #57 JD:

    It makes it even more funny when these “thinkers” show the intellectual depth of a teaspoon.

    And all the intellectual integrity of an overcooked cappellini.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  59. Mr. EW1 (Can I go to the well one more time?)

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I think that is all anyone should require.

    So, we have some different views, but we have found dialougue. The Libertarians mostly want a fair chance at dialogue.

    I understand the need for confrontation which arises when our just rights to trade and to freedom are attacked.

    The barbary pirates are one of the original American examples of attacks on freedom, but don’t forget Great Britian and France.

    To the point, there is something more complex happening now that you correctly attribute to a changed world. We are more advanced as a people, country and world. Perhaps we are the new empire that once was Great Britian and previously Rome.

    Shall we now interpret the meaning of “foreign entanglements” differently?

    I will press a little further and ask you to explain your interpretation of the Founding Fathers desire to limit “foreign entanglement”.

    Is it possible for us as the world’s most powerful nation to treat other nations as equals?

    I know that this dialogue is loaded with potential pitfals, but let’s try to talk them out.

    The answers could save American’s billions of dollars per year and help us work out our internal shortfalls.

    Respectfully, Jake

    Jake (b911b4)

  60. My thoughts:

    Ascendancy of the religious right. Most people view them as a christian taliban and it’s a real turn off to voters. Creationism is a joke and makes most people who understand science nauseous. Literal interpretation of the Bible left mainstream western thought in the middle ages.

    Creationism is anti-intellectual but it is grossly exaggerated by the left as a mainstream belief of conservatives.

    It might be amusingly tolerated by most except for the activist agenda these groups pursue. Our founding fathers wisely supported separation of church and state.

    Actually, this is a standard canard. The Constitution prevents establishment of a national church. It does not do what the political left says it does. Bradley and I have arguments from time to time on this subject. There are all sorts of positions within the conservative movement on this issue. Democrats, as a party, seem to be devoted to atheism. Republicans do not require such ideological obedience. Bradley is an atheist; I am an agnostic. We share many positions with devout Christians and Jews and even a few Muslims and Hindus.

    A true conservative would believe that the government has no place in regulating sexual mores, or personal choices (that’s the CHOICE to have an abortion).

    No, that is a libertarian position. Conservatism, as a philosophy, is reluctant to abandon long held principles simply because they have become less fashionable. Actually, I am pro-choice but believe abortion should be a last resort and does involve the loss of innocent life. The woman should have the right to choose to do so until the point when the baby is capable of independent life. That is about the end of the first trimester. If she doesn’t make up her mind by then, she should carry it to term and give it up for adoption.

    Economic policies hijacked by corporate interests. Tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas? Destruction of the basic regulatory framework that prevents the kind of excesses that have placed us in the financial predicament we are in today.

    This is the ignorant populist position not far removed from William Jennings Bryan. Corporations are economic entities that are owned by lots of people; often the very people making these arguments. Ask the average college student what the profit margin of most big corporations is and who owns them. A yawning chasm of ignorance will appear.

    An unfair tax policy that places an disproportionate burden on working class americans while rewarding financial elites.

    Quick ! what is the proportion of income taxes paid by the top 1% of the population ? The top 5% ? The top 10%?

    How has this share of the tax burden changed since Reagan ?

    And ultimately the domination by special interests whether it be Oil, Pharma, Wall Street, etc. Is that what conservatism means?

    And the domination of the Democrats by public employee unions with salary scales 46% higher than private sector jobs? What about that ? By the way, “Special Interests” wrote the Obama stimulus bill. The Congress didn’t even have a copy before they voted. The K street lobbyists did have it.

    Most of the big financial management people who got us into this are actually heavy Democrat contributers, mostly due to social liberal beliefs.

    The Politics of Fear. We can’t keep going around attacking every perceived threat.

    What about the contrived fear of global warming that is going to destroy our energy policy ? If Al Gore isn’t living off fear (and doing very well at it) you don’t know what’s going on.

    War should be the very last resort.

    We can discuss what options Bush had with Iraq after 9/11 but remember that Hitler did not attack us in 1941. Why did we go to war with him ?
    I omit the fact that he stupidly declared war on us but we did not have to have a “Europe first” policy.

    This thinking is ultimately self defeating and makes us no better than those that oppose us. In many instances worse.

    Here you lose me. We are worse than al Qeada and the Taliban ? That should be news to gays and women if they knew anything about it.

    Torture? I’m appalled that some americans see that as acceptable.

    Nobody I know does. What the argument is over is the definition of torture.

    Wire-tapping any and everyone the governments has an interest in without a court order or any judicial review? The founders of conservatism are spinning in their graves.

    This is a straw man argument. My daughter spent several years writing the FISA court requests for wire taps. Technology has changed and the calls being monitored are between people in other countries and, occasionally, between them and people in the US. The FISA legislation was a Carter-era law written by Congress to cripple our ability to surveil enemies. It took weeks sometimes to get a court order. The FISA court has actually ruled on that question and the result would surprise you.

    Now, we have been attacked and, I suspect, Obama has been informed of all the attacks that were thwarted during the Bush administration by intelligence methods that Pelosi, et all want to stop. He knows he will be blamed if we are attacked again and he had dismantled the ability to foil such attacks.

    You conservatives really need to rethink what conservatism stands for if you want to regenerate the movement and start winning elections again.

    Comment by William Herschel —

    I agree and that is what is going on. I’m afraid few of the conclusions of such a rethinking will meet with your approval but that is why you are a Democrat.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  61. #59 Jake:

    Mr. EW1 (Can I go to the well one more time?)

    Jake, “Mr.” and “EW1″ really are mutually exclusive, the catenation is quite jarring.

    Perhaps we are the new empire that once was Great Britian and previously Rome.

    No, we aren’t. Americans, as a rule, have never desired nor really pursued Empire. For the most part, we are quite libertarian as a people. But we are also quite practical people, and as such, have found plenty to keep us busy at home.

    Shall we now interpret the meaning of “foreign entanglements” differently?
    I will press a little further and ask you to explain your interpretation of the Founding Fathers desire to limit “foreign entanglement”.

    I think the Founding Fathers viewed Continental relations as quite inbred (and quite literally so, in many cases), and had no desire to engage in the petty that heads of state could at the time. I think they also viewed the physical isolation of early America as providing a buffer to the family squabbles that Europe constantly engaged in. And lacking the impetus to Empire, they were quite willing to exclude themselves from the political investment necessary become involved in Continental politics.

    So I don’t think that the Founding Fathers were dogmatic in their rejection of “foreign entanglements,” but pragmatic.

    Is it possible for us as the world’s most powerful nation to treat other nations as equals?

    I think it is rare that we can. There are economic, political and cultural reasons that this is so. I think that one of the defining qualities that allow us to treat another state as an equal is the way in which the citizens of that state are treated: I have no problem treating Australia as an equal, but don’t think the same treatment should be accorded North Korea, for example.

    I know that this dialogue is loaded with potential pitfals, but let’s try to talk them out.

    Not necessarily. Without claiming to speak for anyone else, I would point out that I find Paul an unattractive candidate simply because I think his platform (specifically his foreign policy) to be less than practical. Perhaps not as impractical as that espoused by the Democrats, but still lacking in substance when it comes to dealing with that frighteningly large segment of the world’s population that desire the American experiment to fail.

    EW1

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  62. by a weird collective of disparate interests

    In the typical leftist group mind – think, any opinions differing one iota from the party line are immediately deemed to be a “weird collective of disparate interests.” Thanks for pulling your cranial pants down for us, Herschel.

    Dmac (49b16c)

  63. EW1,

    Perhaps I misuse the word empire and it is not a word to throw around lightly. What I should use is “predominant world power”.

    In history, predominant world powers fail because they overextend themselves. This happened to Great Britain and it happened to Rome.

    Ron Paul sees the buildup of our foreign policy from the Korean War to the present as a similar patern. I think were are currently over-extended too.

    But that is not the main reason why Ron Paul is an attractive candidate to me. His stances on monetary policy and abortion are the main reasons why I respect him deeply.

    He is a Chrisitan doctor. He has written legislation in the House of Represetatives that is creative in its aproach to severly limiting the power of Roe vs. Wade. By the constitution, abortion should be a state issue and not a Federal one.

    He also understands money. Currencies come and go, but gold as money does not. Our current economic problem is caused, in part, by monetary inflation.

    The inflation of the money supply gives us in the U.S. the sense that we are able to afford a lifestyle that we cannot. This would not happen if the currency was tied to something measurable like the gold and silver that it used to be tied to until around 1963.

    These are just some of the interesting subjects that draw me to support Ron Paul. Please share your thoughts.

    Thanks, Jake

    Jake (b911b4)

  64. Let’s go back to the gold standard. I have always wondered what it would feel like to pay $327 for a gallon of milks and $198 for a loaf of bread.

    JD (0d1f38)

  65. #63 Jake:

    This happened to Great Britain and it happened to Rome.

    Which were, in fact, empires. (Although there is a good argument to be made for Britain ‘maturing,’ if you will, and losing interest in Empire.)

    I think were are currently over-extended too.

    I don’t. There are many ways to become overextended, spending is one: we currently spend a reasonably small percentage of our development of wealth on our military. (A good illustration of what can happen to an empire that overextends its military spending is the now defunct and seldom lamented, at least in sane circles, Soviet Union.) Another would be political involvement in the internal affairs of other nations, but President Reagan showed that it was possible to coerce desired behavior from other nations without becoming too deeply entangled with them.

    All in all, we have a great reserve capacity to extend ourselves (not that we should, but we could if needed) further.

    His stances on monetary policy and abortion

    Abortion, eh? For personal reasons, that is a subject that I would not care to discuss further than admitting that I think Roe v. Wade poor jurisprudence.

    Monetary policy, OTOH, is fair game. And I think it unfortunate that Paul has tied himself to a view that I think, again, attempts to turn back the hands of time. While gold has long been prized for its beauty and rarity, its real value is as a conductor of electricity (at least for me, the “E” in EW1 does stand for “Electronics” after all). I can’t eat it (at least, not in a nutritive sense~although it can look fabulous on a dark chocolate cherry sundae!), and since I’m not particularly given to vanity I don’t find it attractive as an adornment for me. (Actually prefer white metals for what little adornment I wear.) And worst of all, it just is not at all convenient to carry about for exchange. Much prefer my little plastic chits with the mag strip on the back. (Often go months at a time with carrying any “real” money at all.)

    My rather long winded trail to my point is that gold isn’t money. Money is a concept, and that is all it is. Its just a way of keeping score. Its a way for me to exchange the value I add in my arena of expertise for the value that my local baker has added to a sack of flour. And while I can actually use small amounts of gold from time to time, it isn’t exactly something that I need large chunks of around the house.

    And attempting to tie the value that I add to an area of expertise, to a specific amount of a very specialized commodity has the effect of making it more difficult for me to trade the value I created, rather than less. In general, gold is not a particularly attractive way for me to keep score.

    Our current economic problem is caused, in part, by monetary inflation.

    I’m not gonna try and dig out any of my Econ texts at this hour (come to think of it, I don’t have a clue where they are). But “monetary inflation” is a phrase that can cover a multitude of sins. One problem with choosing a commodity like gold as a currency is that there isn’t any way to tie the amount of gold in circulation as currency to actual wealth. Do we just mine enough gold each year to correspond to the actual increase in wealth created that year? How would that work? Since money, which is just a concept (albeit one we generally think of as numerically based~after all, we are keeping score), can grow to accomodate increases in wealth where gold may not be able to, we can actually avoid the deflation in the value of gold that would otherwise occur. In fact, when the world’s total wealth decreases (as it unfortunately has, from time to time), money can decrease in volume to account for the loss~something gold really can’t do at all.

    …gives us in the U.S. the sense that we are able to afford a lifestyle that we cannot.

    That’s actually a cultural phenomenon that I don’t think related to the money supply at all, but also teh subject of a different post.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  66. This would not happen if the currency was tied to something measurable like the gold and silver that it used to be tied to until around 1963.

    But then it would be controlled by the Silvermans, the Goldmans, the Goldsteins, the Silverbergs, the Goldbergs, the Silversteins …. I think it should be tied to something the Jews cannot control. How about pork and shellfish?

    nk (502275)

  67. He has written legislation in the House of Represetatives that is creative in its aproach to severly limiting the power of Roe vs. Wade.

    I’m feverishly looking for the law he passed in my U.S. Code. Oops, it never got past his desk. He did not get even on co-sponsor let alone a vote on it. Those damn blind idiots who refuse to recognize genius when he walks among them.

    Jake, my poor friend, Ron Paul is an Obama wannabe and nothing more. The only difference is that Obama fooled the whole country and Ron Paul is satisfied to fool a handful of idiots who will elect him to a job where he has no three a.m. wake-ups to root around for a baby in some fat lady’s cooch.

    nk (502275)

  68. #66 nk:

    How about pork and shellfish?

    Oy vey.

    Such a headache I am giving me.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  69. Luap Nor has attained his Peter Principle.
    He could no more be elected a U.S.Senator from TX than President of the United States.
    As a Congressman, his level of competance is voting NO!

    AD - RtR/OS (0ac8fd)

  70. Comment by EW1(SG) — 3/1/2009 @ 8:28 pm

    I’ll give you a nine month-old hog, dressed, for five boxes of .380 ACP Remington Golden Sabers and two boxes of .22LR Remington Match.

    nk (502275)

  71. Something in the paper today about how when the economy starts to break-down, the barter-system comes to the fore.

    Good thing I stocked in 2-cs of .308 today.

    AD - RtR/OS (0ac8fd)

  72. EW1, JD, nk,

    I can see that the conversation is turning on me, but I will persist a bit more.

    Actually, a gold standard would have the opposite effect of $327 milk. Continual monetary inflation WOULD do that though (Weimar Republic).

    You have to ask yourself, why has everything become so darn expensive in the last 40 years. House prices from went from $20,000 to $200,000 and bread has gone from $0.10 t0 $2.00. This is, in large part, monetary inflation. The value of the dollar has gone way down relative to commodities (not necesarily relative to other currencies).

    By the way, nk, what’s the difference between jews controling the gold or, currently, the Federeral Reserve? At least I can get in on the game if it’s gold.

    Also, at least Paul is attempting to do something about the abortion issue. With other politicians it is just a talking point… no action yet.

    Ron Paul has nothing to do with Obama, as you see with Obama our foreign policy has not changed, spending is rampant and abortion rights are expanding. Ron Paul would attempt to change all of that.

    Lastly, I infer that you all are now cosidering prep (survival supplies) and I agree with that. Barter is good when the SHTF and ammo would be a great bartering currency. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that though.

    I understand that this thread is getting a little old, but I would be glad to continue elsewhere.

    EW1, I have already gained some respect for your thoughtfulness and would follow your lead to a different thread if necesary. I would also discontinue the dialogue if you have grow tired of me.

    Your call…

    Respectfully, Jake

    Jake (b911b4)

  73. #70 nk:

    I’ll give you a nine month-old hog,

    That’s a little steep. One box of Hornady TAP in .380 and the two boxes Remington Match and done.

    EW1(SG) (7688b9)

  74. Jake – Not to horn in from elsewhere, but you didn’t address the questions raised about a gold standard being able to deal with increasing wealth raised above.

    The international banking system has not seemed to have a problem operating on a fractional reserve system based on trust for centuries. Examine how the Medicis expanded their banking empire in the middle ages. Why does the U.S. have to be different?

    It seems that any currency which ties itself to a commodity is going to tie itself to the boom and bust cycles of that commodity over the long term. Why is that a good thing?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  75. #72 Jake:

    I can see that the conversation is turning on me,

    Nah, you’re doing fine.

    You have to ask yourself, why has everything become so darn expensive in the last 40 years.

    Has it? Has it really? As I mentioned above, gold is not a commodity that interests me very much~even though among my skills I occasionally find a use for it in a practical sense. Outside of jewelers, the occasional dentist with a quirky clientele, electronics manufacturers, and flamboyant chefs, nobody really has a use for gold, so its value is as volatile (if not moreso) than any other commodity. OTOH, my skills have multiplied and improved over the last 40 years~enough so that an hour of my time is worth almost a week of my time 35 years ago, in real purchasing power. I don’t really care what numbers are used to score with, only what my time can be used to exchange for.

    My other big heartburn with a gold standard is that currencies themselves are a commodity that can be traded in: and doing so opens up markets that wouldn’t otherwise exist (outside of and unrelated to the exchange of currencies). A gold standard would inhibit the trade between states that is initiated when price fluctuations provide an opportunity for a good or service to be more desireable at a remote destination than at its origin.

    Money isn’t about the intrinsic value of the currency: its about what the perceived worth of a good or service is to the participants in a trade. Gold is pretty much worthless to me, except that its made into bullets rather easily. But then, so are old car batteries. Many cultures, even some rather sophisticated ones, have done quite well without gold.

    Ron Paul has nothing to do with Obama

    Well, there is certainly that in his favor!

    EW1(SG) (7688b9)

  76. Ron Paul wouldn’t be spending hundreds of billions of dollars in bailouts, misguided attempts to stabilize real estate prices, trying to goose the economy and other counterproductive measures. That sets him apart from Obama, as well as Bush, and probably McCain.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  77. Bradley – I think Ron Paul also talks to himself. It appears that he has his own team of 350-400 internal advisers. He’s crazier than a shithouse rat.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  78. #76 Bradley J. Fikes:

    That sets him apart from Obama, as well as Bush, and probably McCain.

    Another point in his favor.

    EW1(SG) (7688b9)

  79. #76 Bradley J. Fikes:

    That sets him apart from Obama, as well as Bush, and probably McCain.

    Another point in his favor.

    EW1(SG) (7688b9)

  80. I don’t necessarily buy the gold standard, BTW. The main advantage I can see is it prevents hyperinflation. Zimbabwe would be better off with a gold standard. The United States, probably not.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  81. I am happy to see that Ron Paul is still generating a lot of comments, many very good ones. I am opening my blog The Political Coffeehouse to other writers. Pro Ron Paul and Libertarian writers are particularly appreciated. I also appreciate debate so will consider any writer that can present a good argument intelligent argument.

    J. Michael Warner (52379b)

  82. Thanks, JMW,
    I’ll check it out.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  83. Comment by EW1(SG) — 3/2/2009 @ 6:32 am

    Wait! When I said a nine-month old hog, dressed, I meant in a tophat and smoking jacket.

    nk (502275)

  84. And very nice point about gold in your comment #75. Precious metal currencies are no less based on sentiment than fiat currencies, and no less subject to devaluation due to seigniorage and debasement for that matter. It could be that Kublai Khan introduced paper currency because he was a nomad and it was easier to carry on his pony than gold, but I tend to think that he realized that the wealth of China was the productive capacity of its people and not the reserves of its gold mines.

    nk (502275)

  85. #74 daleyrocks:

    I was thinking about addressing that, but I’m really just trying to hold my own right now. I only just received a little support from #76 Brother Fikes.

    I will address the wealth issue now and then I have to go to work (We have had a great deal of snow on the East Coast otherwise I would already be working now).

    Bear with me and let me know if I don’t answer the question.

    First off, what is wealth? For me it is both the intrinsic and the stored value of the work accomplished (as perceived by those who have wanted my services).

    Dollars are a storehouse for my wealth, but not the only measure of it. I can choose to store my wealth in anything from gold to nine-month-old hogs.

    The wealth of our nation does not increase because of the ability to create more dollars (although creating dollars makes us think that we are more wealthy).

    We were a wealthy nation, but we blew that on wars and welfare (and $100 hammers).

    The only thing that would change by linking the dollar to gold is the ability of the government to print money when it needs more, thus checking any wild spending.

    With the gold standard there would be fluxuation, but it would be honest and perceptible. The value of our money would be stable in terms of commodities.

    I have much more to say, but I’ll have to come back after work.

    Blessings, Jake

    Jake (d4a64c)

  86. “Dollars are a storehouse for my wealth, but not the only measure of it. I can choose to store my wealth in anything from gold to nine-month-old hogs.”

    Jake – Or such things as houses.

    Think about the difference between consumption, such as spending money on eating or perhaps on a war, and wealth.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  87. I do disagree with the occasional dentist with a quirky clientele. A gold crown will last a lifetime. I have one (porcelain-covered) for going on 33 years now. I am going to get the new-fangled alloy one on another tooth now but that’s only because we bought the daughter a piano.

    nk (502275)

  88. #82 nk:

    Wait! When I said a nine-month old hog, dressed,

    Well, of course. Three boxes TAP?

    #84 Jake:

    I’m really just trying to hold my own right now.

    You’re doing fine.

    First off, what is wealth?

    You’re on the right track.

    For me it is both the intrinsic and the stored value of the work accomplished (as perceived by those who have wanted my services).

    Not to mention the accumulation of durable goods, goodwill between men, and a variety of other things…some of which can be priced and some that can’t.

    We were a wealthy nation, but we blew that on wars and welfare (and $100 hammers).

    We are still a very wealthy nation, in a world that has grown an incredible amount of growth in my lifetime: I would guess that the increase in wealth in that span alone is more wealth than ever produced before. And war is an unfortunate, but necessary expense (at least, the preparation for, anyway). Democracies are typically reluctant to wage war because it is expensive, in many different terms, so it isn’t exactly like we’ve been seeking out war for fun.

    And yes, we do spend more on “welfare” than is healthy~an unfortunate side effect of living in a democracy is that eventually, a portion of the electorate figures out that it is easier to live off of handouts from those seeking power than it is to generate their own wealth. That is human nature, and to be honest, I have no idea how to remedy that or even if there is a solution to that problem.

    The only thing that would change by linking the dollar to gold is the ability of the government to print money when it needs more, thus checking any wild spending.

    Oh, bugger all. I obviously didn’t make it clear that using a gold standard would throw a huge ass monkey wrench in the works that would break the way that people actually trade!

    People trade things according to prices. Prices fluctuate based on a variety of factors. Attempting to fix prices to the value of a particular commodity distorts the prices of other commodities, and reduces the likelihood that those commodities will be exchanged.

    There is much more to prices than meets the eye~for a very good discussion of prices and their place in the market, I recommend Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics 3rd Ed: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, who, being a master in the field, does a far better job of explaining things than I.

    But if nothing else, it’s important to understand that prices are how we agree to exchange things. Money is the abstract concept that we use to implement that exchange, and that it really doesn’t matter what we use as currency during the implementation of the exchange, as long as the parties to the exchange are happy with their end of the bargain.

    The value of our money would be stable in terms of commodities.

    I think that idea is fallacious, as mentioned above: fixing the price of other commodities to the price of single commodity introduces distortions into the market, and inhibits trades that might ordinarily occur.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  89. #86 nk:

    A gold crown will last a lifetime.

    LOL! I’m counting on it!

    But I don’t think it’s very common anymore for gold amalgam to be the first choice in dental work. But that’s just a WAG.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  90. As an alternative to a Gold Standard, I would propose a Ferrari Standard.
    Historically, or at least since the 50′s, the cost of a new Ferrari has tracked the cost of a moderately sized new house.
    Production has always been steady, and there is the added benefit of the use of your wealth as transportation.

    AD - RtR/OS (3120b9)

  91. The idea of seeing a paycheck in the amount of 1 cent Ferrari might be discouraging AD.

    SPQR (72771e)

  92. Haw, Haw!

    Just trying to make the point that there are many different commodities that have value and track the ups and downs of the economy.

    Of course, because of the scarcity/collectable factor, that $8K Ferrari from the mid-50′s is now a $1M+ commodity. But then, I’m confident that there are areas of the country where a small cottage that cost $8K in the mid-50′s now goes for $1M+ due to the size and location of the lot it is sited on. Tried to buy a beach-house in Newport Beach/Balboa CA lately (as if there are any original cottages left there that haven’t been McMansionized)?

    AD - RtR/OS (3120b9)

  93. For your convenience, I believe that the Ferrari dealer is right across from the Balboa Bay Club – maybe you could do a two-fer, just park it out front, and enjoy the scene.

    carlitos (f13ec4)

  94. Balboa Bay Club…that is so last century.

    AD - RtR/OS (3120b9)

  95. I just visit the dealer at Wynn’s between sessions of dropping a million or so at the tables.

    SPQR (72771e)

  96. With that kind of action, I would think Steve would have one of the showgirls drive you around in a new Maser 4-Porte.

    AD - RtR/OS (3120b9)

  97. Oh, yeah, Steve and I are like that.

    SPQR (72771e)

  98. #91 AD – RtR/OS:

    that cost $8K in the mid-50’s now goes for $1M+ due to the size and location of the lot it is sited on

    Not quite close enough to the water…its $70K/yard from here to there.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  99. It must be that Latin/Roman/Etruscan symbolism – youse guys are big on monuments!

    AD - RtR/OS (3120b9)

  100. Comment by EW1(SG) — 3/2/2009 @ 1:32 pm

    Knew a guy in the late 60′s who had bought one of the original cottages on the Balboa Pen. a few years earlier – 700sq’, 1BR, 1BA, standard size lot with a lot of room. He paid about $13-15K – right around what a new Ferrari would cost. It was so reasonable because he was three lots from the bay, but at least he had room to park his car, and small sailboat off the street. That lot alone has to be worth high 6-figures now.

    AD - RtR/OS (3120b9)

  101. Hey Guys,

    Since I left, the stock market has gone below 7000 for the first time in 10+ years… The “Dow to Price of Gold Ratio” is now at just over 6:1 which is the lowest such ratio in a LONGGGG TIME.

    The Dow to Gold ratio has been 1:1 a few times before in this century and I will parrot a bold prediction here and say that it will approach 1:1 somewhere around 4000:4000 within the next 3 years.

    I’m pretty sure nobody here is going to be taking home a Ferrari anytime soon unless you are investing in gold and taking physical possesion of it (but I did appreciate the good humor).

    EW1, you said “that it really doesn’t matter what we use as currency during the implementation of the exchange, as long as the parties to the exchange are happy with their end of the bargain”.

    Nobody is currently happy with their end of the bargain and nobody is buying anything, but gold is approaching an all time high in dollars (and the dollar is still considered strong).

    The problem as I see it is that we have inflated the currency beyond its usefullness and the government continues to attempt the inflation of a false economy.

    Hyperinflation is not out of the realm of possibility when the bailout money begins to trickle down and be quickly spent by the masses.

    Take care, Jake

    Jake (b911b4)

  102. #101 Jake:

    The problem as I see it is that we have inflated the currency beyond its usefullness and the government continues to attempt the inflation of a false economy.

    Nah, what you are actually seeing is the realization that we’ve managed to elect a doctrinaire Marxist to the highest executive position in the land.

    Pretty good reason to panic, really. Although, in our favor, he’s not ready for prime time and his ineptitude is likely to be somewhat self limiting, particularly when his fans figure out just what a rube he is.

    What you are seeing first hand is how people react when a government threatens to start taking an unreasonable share of people’s time and efforts.

    Are we Zimbabwe yet? No, I don’t think so. You’re going to find a few like me, who plan to coast through the next few years, and you’re going to find some who will move their assets out of the market (in a general sense, not any in particular), and things are going to get uncomfortable. For a while. And after that, who knows?

    Now, while its true that gold never completely loses its value…it doesn’t produce anything either. Which is why I would much rather hitch my wagons to something that does.

    (BTW, I have to admit: I have never seen anybody compare the price of gold to the DJIA before. I haven’t even got a clue what that is supposed to show…reminds me of those parlor tricks where somebody says “Pick a number between 12 and 87. Now add 63 to that and add the digits together…)

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  103. Anything. Just lose the LOON, Palin.

    DEO (5fd482)

  104. EW1,

    I’m not a fan of Obama, but there’s no way you can convince me that this economic woe began when he came on the scene. Obama will play his part, but this mess is more an outcome of 40+ years of greed-based policies and practices by the Federal Reserve and Congress.

    The DJIA to Gold ratio that I mentioned may not be a useful gauge, but my intention was to say that it has been a pretty good investment lately.

    By the way, where i the next good thread that your going too? Maybe I’ll hang around.

    Jake (d4a64c)

  105. Forty plus years? Source your facts.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  106. #104 Jake:

    Maybe I’ll hang around.

    Things are kinda catch as catch can around here, so just jump in when you can get a work in edgewise!

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  107. Hi Mr. Hitchcock,

    I thought that this thread was winding down, but I guess it’s only beginning now.

    By the way, how long do these threads stay on the website? I’d hate to miss out on the ensuing respectful dialogue, if you care to have one.

    I’m at work now, but I’ll source facts and interpret them for you when I get home from work tonight (I am a fiscally conservative independant).

    Until then, take care, Jake

    Jake (0f8840)

  108. #107 Jake:

    By the way, how long do these threads stay on the website?

    Oh, kinda until something else that interests everybody comes along…

    Oooh, something shiny!

    EW1(SG) (e27928)

  109. I don’t know what the cutoff period is for commenting on threads, but many have been sporadically recharged after seeing the new shiny.

    John Hitchcock (fb941d)

  110. The great thing about pegging the value of money on gold is that when the economy is great the value of gold goes down making money worth less and keeping the economy from overheating. When times are bad the value of gold goes up increasing the dollars worth, boasting the economy. So that after a while (hopefully) a point of equalibrium is arrrived at.

    Kasado (87adce)

  111. Kasado, you need to pull that old Econ book out of the bookcase and review monetary theory again.

    To be brief:
    As the price of gold increases, the value of the Dollar decreases (it takes more Dollars to buy l-oz. of gold); conversley,
    As the price of gold (or any commodity) decreases, the value of the Dollar increases since it takes fewer of them to buy that set quantity of that commodity.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  112. AD,

    If the dollar was really linked to gold then you could always redeem a set amount of gold for a set price.

    For example, you could always buy an ounce of gold for $500 (or whatever value they set the dollar at). As a side effect, this would also loosely peg the amount of dollars the gov’t could circulate and/or spend to the amount of gold that the U.S. had on hand.

    Earlier this century, when we were on the gold standard, $35 would always redeem you an ounce of gold. Today it would cost you $925. That is the devaluation of the dollar (otherwise known as monetary inflation.

    Gotta go, by boss is coming….

    Jake (0f8840)

  113. I didn’t say that the Dollar was on a Gold Standard.
    What I did say is that the price of gold changes, the value of the Dollar changes inversely.
    And, prior to FDR, the price of Gold was approx $20/oz. FDR devalued the Dollar in ’33 (setting the price @ $35), and prohibited the holding of Gold for Monetary Purposes, instituting a system of licensing for those requiring the use of Gold in industry and commerce.
    It stayed illegal for private parties to possess Gold until the Carter Admin. – when the price soared to $800+/oz at the height of the curse of Stagflation.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  114. Correction…
    insert “as” between “that” and “the” in the second line.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  115. My apologies if I misunderstood…

    I see that you know the history of it, but it seems to me as though you were correcting Kasado. The way I read it, he is correct.

    I’ll will parenthisize the way I understood him. Tell me where he is wrong.

    “The great thing about pegging the value of money on gold

    (i.e gold standard)

    is that when the economy is great the value of gold goes down – making money worth less and keeping the economy from overheating.

    (if the gold is in less demand, the price goes down. If the price goes down, outside of the proposed U.S. economic system, the pegged dollar also goes down since it always buys the same amount)

    Kasado, forgive me if I have mis-analysed what you were saying.

    AD, again, this is how I understand it. I’m open to more discussion.

    Gotta run…

    Jake (0f8840)

  116. Comment by Jake — 3/4/2009 @ 12:23 pm
    If we were on a Gold Standard, the relationship of Gold to the Dollar would be fixed, and could only change if the Government devalued/revalued the Dollar.
    Since we are not on the Gold-Standard, the value of currencies float on the World Market, constantly changing as the market manipulates those currencies.
    As traders move wealth into or out of the Dollar, the value of the Dollar changes in relationship to its’ demand in the marketplace.
    At this point in time, the market wants Dollars since the United States is perceived in the World Market as a “safe” investment. This increases the value of the Dollar against other currencies, and tends to depress the Dollar-cost of Gold (and other commodities) in the market.
    However, if and when inflationary pressures begin to build due to the incredible number of Dollars the Fed is pushing into the system, the price of Gold will most likely increase Dollar-wise, as investors sell off Dollar denominated securities, and push their wealth into either Gold itself, or securities closely linked to Gold.
    Another complication:
    For most of the later half of the 20th-Century, the price of a barrel of oil was approx 1/10th the price of 1-oz of Gold. That relationship is not now working. To me, that is troubling.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  117. Gold is not useful as a currency but using it as an index of inflation can be useful. The trouble is that broke down in the past decade. We had a deflation after 9/11 and the Bush administration (rightly in my opinion) inflated the currency to compensate. The trouble is that they allowed it to go on too long and gold might be the problem. The gold price stayed quite low until the past four years. It was 2006 before it really took off and they should have clamped down before that. Maybe Greenspan was lulled by the gold price. He sure missed the boat on the bubble.

    MIke K (8df289)

  118. Since Mr. Greenspan became infatuated with Ms. Mitchell, his economic skills seem to have declined.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  119. AD,

    I agree with everything you said, 100%

    I think the discussion is whether we SHOULD fix the relationship of Gold to the Dollar.

    Take care, Jake

    Jake (0f8840)

  120. Mike K,

    How should they “clamp down” on gold?

    Just curious…

    Jake (0f8840)

  121. The Gold-Standard….
    This is an argument that has been going on since 1933,
    and really ramped up after Nixon took us off of the Bretton-Woods Gold-Standard in response to 3% inflation.
    I think there are plusses and minuses on the question, and that there is no definitive answer.
    Some are advocating a “Commodity Basket” standard, but that just seems to be a more formal style of what we have with the floating-rate system.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  122. For most of the later half of the 20th-Century, the price of a barrel of oil was approx 1/10th the price of 1-oz of Gold. That relationship is not now working. To me, that is troubling.

    Reversion to the mean offers the brave and nimble multiple opportunities as the rubber band stretches in response to stresses upon it, and reverts to its natural state when those stresses are removed. Or one can get whacked many times as the dynamics of market stresses are most easily discerned after the action has taken place. In this case, either gold declines or crude rises, or a mixture of both. I believe the ratio stands at around 25-1 currently, at least according to financial stats I’ve been seeing this week. An extreme which verily whets the appetite of the speculator/arbitrageur.

    allan (9e9124)

  123. Yes, the real question is which is at the incorrect value, or the furthest from the correct value point?
    It would seem to be obvious that oil is currently under-valued due to the extreme slow-down in commerce world-wide. But, is the true value of oil in the $90-100/bbl range?
    And, how much of Gold’s current price reflect the fear of an on-coming inflation, or is just a safe-haven?
    Those who can devine the reasons correctly behind these situations will make a lot of money.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  124. Also, the gold standard in the hands of a govt entity will likely not be all that standard, much less golden. A gold standard would necessarily still require a constant adjustment by clumsy and fallible human hands. Better than a printing press, you say? If you insist. I just go with what’s out there now. I’ll change with the change.

    allan (9e9124)

  125. allan, I think you need to review Bretton-Woods, and how an International Gold Standard works.
    Revaluation/devaluation of currencies by countries is not an insignificant event, and were not done an a haphazard or ad hoc basis.
    In fact, devaluations (the most common occurrence) were major events responding to long-term trends or major international events.
    It is the floating rate system that bends to the will of individuals (see: Soros’ attack on the Bank of England in the 90′s) and is highly susceptible to manipulation.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  126. Allan~

    I agree that no system is perfect, but the printing press gives us the sense that we are richer than we are (which I think leads to credit problems).

    I think that we, psychologicaly, have to link currency to something – if for no other reason just for for a sense of bearings.

    The gold standard would loosely peg the amount of dollars the gov’t could circulate and/or spend to the amount of gold that the U.S. had on hand.

    What is it currently pegged to? I think nothing. That is very Keynesian and in my mind played a big part in the mess we is in. Your thoughts?

    ~Jake

    Jake (0f8840)

  127. #105 Mr. Hitchcock,

    I’m still working on my response…

    Sheesh, I feel like I’m back in college researching a topic.

    Anyways, hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to post 40+ years of greed based policies and practices that contributed to our mess today.

    The goal is to show that this economic woe did not begin when Obama came on the scene (though he will play a large roll).

    Good night.

    Jake (d4a64c)

  128. Jake, if you’ld been around here for any length of time, you would know that the CW here is that the economic meltdown has a large basis in the CRA passed during the Carter years which was used to push the mortgage industry into the sub-prime mess, with enhancements to same during Clinton, plus the mis-management of the GSE’s under the protection of leading Democrats in the Congress.

    AD - RtR/OS (6b51ea)

  129. I have no qualms about the original workings of the Bretton Wood arrangements as they addressed stabilizing global monetary volatility. And all things considered I would have extreme confidence in its deployment today, or any time. Stable currencies are a boon to credit markets, steady economic growth, and so on. But as history has shown, there is nothing under the sun that men in striped suits or military braids cannot bend to their will. That was my point. Thus as an individual, the best I can do is respond aggressively to changes beyond my control.

    allan (9e9124)

  130. AD…my compliments on your well written and thoughtful comments which I always stop and read as I scan the threads hopping over some of the more contentious interchanges.

    allan (9e9124)

  131. AD,

    I was thinking about that CRA program last night and I do agree that it was a major cause to this meltdown.

    But, there is a basic philosophy which is at fault which leads democrats (and to some extent republicans) to believe that the U.S. can afford extravagant welfare (in Bush’s case – Medicare Part D).

    This philosopy is Keynesian’s, which believes that the government can actually control the economic system through printing money, by lowering rates. This makes us all think that we are richer than we are. THESE are the policies that I was looking at.

    After all, there ARE too many programs, not all of them bad, but we have to take care of the underlying philosophy first.

    As George Will said, Reagan only cut one gov’t program (CETA) during his 8 years and he ended up bringing it back 2 years later.

    Sheesh, someone please cut a program….

    Jake (0f8840)

  132. #131 Jake:

    Sheesh, someone please cut a program….

    A sentiment shared by many here.

    EW1(SG) (e27928)


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