Monday, December 17, 2007

The Good Doctor Breaks Fundraising World Record

On December 16th, tens of thousands helped make history. 234 years after the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, Dr. Ron Paul brought in over $6 Million of donations from people like you and me, beating the single-day presidential primary fundraising record of John Kerry's $5.7 million in 2004. I'd like to collectively congratulate everyone and commend the donors for fulfilling their civic responsibilities. With 17 days left until the Iowa caucus, I am cautiously optimistic the media will have no choice but to give Ron Paul the airtime he deserves and abandon their bias and misrepresented poll data.

We are at $18.3 Million. Become part of this historic fundraising success here.


Itai said...

I understand his libertarian views, but he wants to dismantle the EPA. I don't approve of that idea at all. There are a lot of issues I can agree on with RP but on other issues he's gone off the deep end. I need someone who understands where government needs to play a large roll and where it should be minimized.

Baris said...

I'm glad you brought that up Itai, as you know I'm a big supporter mitigating our carbon footprint. His approach to this is 'Clean air' is essentially property, strict enforcement of property rights can lead to lower pollution.

Take a look at this:

Here's a comment from that youtube link:

"He would give tax credits for wind and solar power, end subsidies to the oil industry, and end other subsidies to projects that harm the environment.

He said this today:

"Once we end federal energy subsidies and stop invading countries to secure our oil supply, the price of fossil fuels will begin to reflect the reality of a limited resource that is mainly obtained from the unstable Middle East.""

I'll need to blog about this as well, as this was a major roadblock for me when I first heard his position on this. Dismantle the EPA?! How dare you?? :-)

Itai said...

I have heard a lot from him equating good environmental policy to strict property rights. However, as an environmental economist, I can tell you that the physical and biological world sees no jurisdiction lines or property perimeters, and therefore its benefits and costs transpose any such boundaries. Pure private property policies cannot account for these externalities, both positive and negative. Therefore, what my neighbor does on his or her property, even if legal, can have severe consequences for me and the rest of the world. For example, given the right financial (ie market) conditions, trees on all private properties could be cut down nearly overnight which will cause great destruction to this earth. No laws would be broken except those required by nature to sustain itself.

Lastly, Ron Paul is also a huge supporter of free markets. However, free markets only produce efficient outcomes when prices reflect true costs (ie. shadow prices). Most of the goods we consume are outputs created by using many different inputs, including the environment. It is impossible to precisely value those environmental inputs. Therefore all market prices will never reflect true costs.
Calling out for a free-market society without any kind of oversight or regulation, and failing to recognize that shadow prices cannot be observed, will result in perverse incentives and the same, or worse, market failures we see today.

There is no doubt that there are poor governmental policies in place that must be removed or corrected. However, blanketed statements that governments are bad and free-markets are good fail to recognize the true links between our physical and economic worlds.

Itai said...

Anti-Evolution. I can't deal with that ...

Baris said...

We had a huge discussion over this at the plex the other day...I don't like it either. Someone who barely hints at rejecting a theory that is grounded by overwhelming scientific evidence is surely a harbinger for less incentives to encourage, champion, and fund scientific research and education.

But things aren't this simple in this day and age, I've been reading lots of knee jerk reactions of this news lately. Let's consider for a moment that he indeed does believe in evolution, or he does champion science (he does have an MD and has delivered over 4000 babies after all, it would be very difficult for someone to get a degree in this field with a strong conviction to reject theories based on solid evidence), but that he's concerned about the Christian vote, as he is a Protestant Christian. What will his religious right voters think of him when he discounts Creationism? Does he say it's bogus and lose the vote of the religious right, or does he give a half-ass answer about both sides being a theory and that the facts aren't on the table, and risk the vote of the scientist? I'm convinced that politics is a delicate game of math and majority, perhaps there is more than meets the ear.

At the end of the day, it's very difficult for the US to elect a non strict Christian to office, that's a simple truth we're gonna have to learn to deal with, for the time being.

David said...

Re: environment
Unfortunately, big government has done so much to harm to the environment by giving out subsidies for drilling and production of oil and by over-regulating and almost outright halting the production of new nuclear plants to replace coal and oil plants for so long that it is really hit and miss. Paranoid over-regulation can cause harm, too.

I think more then not it's the private citizens and land owners who end up taking action anyway by filing class action lawsuits against polluters in their communities and such.

Re: creationism
Yeah, Paul is religious, but he's very intent on promoting freedom of (and from) religion. He has done absolutely nothing to indicate that he would mandate creationism to be taught in schools or anything like that.

Dr. Paul holds an MD from Duke University, which is about as prestigious as they come for degrees involving medicine and life sciences. And even many of the greatest scientists in our time were/are religious. I think they usually reconcile this by saying something along the lines of science and their deity of choice working in concert, and that indeed the Bible is mostly parables.

I haven't followed this too closely since I think it's just as lame to judge someone on their religion as it is for them to judge other people. Fortunately, I don't need to with Ron Paul because unlike some of his opposition, especially Romney, Dr. Paul has done nothing to impose his religious views on other people.

Baris said...

Dave! What's up buddy? How's NH?? When are you coming back to the plex? Say hi to Vijay for me, we miss him in politic@ ! We really could've used him in the last few days actually.
Digg my story!

David said...

Vijay kind of laughed when I said we miss him on politics@ ;-)

Dugg your link. This exclusion is such bullshit, but we'll probably show up in force like we did in Iowa way back in June and crash the party:

Baris said...

This is a very good interview with Bill Moyers and Ron Paul, January 4th, 2008

Only 12 minutes long, well worth it.