Saturday, June 16, 2012

Mark Skousen at The Daily Bell, Part III

Mark Skousen is interviewed at The Daily Bell.  He was interviewed twice before, and I commented on these interviews at the time, here and here.  Suffice it to say, I found him underwhelming as an Austrian, free-market economist – with statements so hedged and wishy-washy that he often said nothing; when he said something, it wasn’t very Austrian-sounding.

This interview had less meat.  For the most part, it was an advertisement for Freedom Fest in Las Vegas.  However, I would comment on one statement Mr. Skousen made:

Senator Rand Paul is a brilliant politician and has already gone farther politically than his father. He's made the decision, a wise one in my judgment, to stay within the Republican Party to achieve real success in government. That means endorsing the compromise candidate.

If Senator Paul achieves real success in government (if success is defined as shrinking government both in size and scope) by staying in the Republican Party, it will be a first.  I am not saying it will be impossible; however…let’s just say the odds are stacked against this quaint notion.

His father, Ron Paul, set the stage by maintaining a strict dogma. Senator Paul will have to compromise to achieve success, but I think half success is better than no success at all.

His father did more than set the stage.  His father achieved more success than any libertarian-minded candidate has ever dreamed of achieving.  This was Rand’s for the taking; instead Rand chose the easy path to go along and get along, instead of the path that would have left a lasting legacy.

He may not banish the income tax but he will push for a flat tax.

What does this mean?  Is pushing for a flat tax “more success” than not banishing the income tax?  This is nonsense.

He may not eliminate the Fed but he will make it more accountable and less inflationary.

Who is Skousen fooling?  As long as there is a Fed, it will be inflationary – as inflationary as it needs to be to save the money center banks (short of hyper-inflation, in my humble opinion).

He may not bring all our troops home from around the world but he will cut the military budget and minimize the blowback damage of the past.

This may be so, but voting for sanctions and endorsing the bombs-away candidacy of Romney is not a good showing.

He may not end the TSA but he will help privatize it.

Did Skousen just crawl out from under a rock?  What good is privatizing such an agency?  Show me a beneficial government / corporate partnership.  In every case the result is horrendous:  privatized military, medicine, banking, you name it.  The corporatocracy is devastating to Americans.

Mark Skousen organizes Freedom Fest.  The roster of speakers is one of “my version of government is better than your version of government” fest.  He believes this game can be played and won from within – or at least talks this way, whether he believes it or not.

Ron Paul chose legacy, the remnant found him, and he built a following.  This is success, and Rand could have built on this success.  Rand chose job instead of calling.  He will be a forgotten man in 100 years, whereas Ron will forever be remembered as a champion of liberty, and perhaps our time’s Martin Luther.

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