Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ron Paul: Why Are We Sending $38 Billion to Rich and Powerful Israel?


http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2016/september/19/why-are-we-sending-38-billion-to-rich-and-powerful-israel/

Ron Paul is certainly an interesting character. Economically very right-wing, but very anti war, like any on the true left. Anti-War.com is inspired by Ron Paul and they are passionate as any left wingers about being peace It so good that the populist right and true progressive left can agree on this important topic, so maybe with have a chance to stop a war from developing.

Staying alive and avoiding nuclear war is more important than being left or right at the moment. Besides, there is nothing to stop a country being a bit left, and another being a bit right, it should be just about sensible debate and preferences.

Last week’s announcement of a record-breaking US aid package for Israel underscores how dangerously foolish and out-of-touch is our interventionist foreign policy. Over the next ten years, the US taxpayer will be forced to give Israel some $38 billion dollars in military aid. It is money we cannot afford going to a country that needs no assistance to maintain its status as the most powerful military in the Middle East.
All US foreign aid is immoral and counterproductive. As I have often said, it is money taken from poor people in the US and sent to rich people overseas. That is because US assistance money goes to foreign governments to hand out as they see fit. Often that assistance is stolen outright or it goes to the politically connected in the recipient country.
Just as bad is the fact that much of what we call “foreign aid” is actually welfare for the wealthy here at home. The aid package to Israel is a very good example. According to the agreement, this $38 billion will all go to US weapons manufacturers. So the real beneficiaries are not the American people, and not even Israeli citizens. The real beneficiaries are the US military-industrial complex. Perhaps the money won’t even leave Washington – it may simply go across town, from the Fed to the Beltway bomb-makers.
So why is the US giving a rich and incredibly well-armed country a record amount of military aid? Part of it is that the US government believes it can coerce Israel to do Washington’s bidding in the Middle East. History shows that this is a foolish pipe dream. If anything, US aid subsidizes Israeli human rights abuses in Gaza and elsewhere.

27 comments:

Matt Franko said...

Ron Paul s a libertarian nut-job....

MRW said...

I agree. He REFUSES to learn economic reality.

Andrew Anderson said...

Actually, being for a gold-standard is not libertarian but fascist since inexpensive fiat is the ONLY ethical money form for government use else the taxation authority and power of government is abused to benefit private interests such as gold owners.

Ralph Musgrave said...

Why Are We Sending $38 Billion to Rich and Powerful Israel? Because Jews have had Europeans by he b*lls for centuries. Jews got Europeans to worship their God: brilliant move...:-)

Andrew Anderson said...

Your beloved banking model has spawned all kinds* of evil, Franko. But what else should one expect from government subsidies for usury and private debt creation?


e.g. Adolph Hitler and WWII, Communism, environmental destruction, murder of the least so-called creditworthy, etc.

The Rombach Report said...

"Ron Paul is a libertarian nut-job...."

Ron Paul has been the most consistent and insightful anti-war voice among the right, left, or center. Disregard his warnings at your own risk.

The Rombach Report said...

"Actually, being for a gold-standard is not libertarian but fascist..."

So, the classical gold standard, when it functioned on and off in the 19th century and early 20th century, was fascist?

Andrew Anderson said...

If fascism is defined as government for special interests instead of for the general welfare then a gold standard is fascist whenever it exists.

Or do you think justice requires someone's favorite shiny metal? That's not a Biblical viewpoint, btw, just so you know.

Ignacio said...

Him being a "libertarian" (don't agree with the use of the term) has nothing to do with the questions being raised being correct or not.

The question in the OP is pertinent...

Gary Hart said...

"So why is the US giving a rich and incredibly well-armed country a record amount of military aid?" Everybody has to give tribute to their rulers.

Tom Hickey said...

While Ron Paul's economics is questionable from the perspective of the MMT paradigm, his foreign policy has been consistently realistic in contrast to the idealism of neoconservatives and liberal interventionists.

He has also pointed out, correctly, that neoconservatives and liberal interventionists actually do pursue what they consider to be a realistic foreign and military policy and justify it on the basis of lies about ideals like overthrowing tyrants, liberating the world's oppressed and spreading freedom and democracy when the real agenda that is hidden is promoting neoliberalism, neo-imperialism and neocolonialism to enrich those in power and reward their minions.

Ron Paul has this spot on. Dismissing what he says about foreign policy because he may wrong about other matters is illogical and lazy.

Andrew Anderson said...

I'd say a lot of RP's positions are based on gold standard thinking so I'd not attribute a whole lot of virtue to them - he thinks we'll have a financial collapse if we don't reign in spending.

Kaivey said...

On the whole, he seems quite likable. I don't get on with his libertarianism, though. But he seems to be a decent enough guy.

The Rombach Report said...

"Ron Paul has this spot on."

Tom - Thank you for such a consistent voice of reason.

Tom Hickey said...

I'd say a lot of RP's positions are based on gold standard thinking so I'd not attribute a whole lot of virtue to them - he thinks we'll have a financial collapse if we don't reign in spending.

1. RP's economic views are pretty irrelevant to his foreign policy views. His views are based on an ideological position that reflects the advice of some of the founding fathers that the US stay clear of foreign entanglement and focus on the US.

2. RP is well aware that the US is not on the gold standard and would like to see a turn in the direction of sound finance, although he admits it unlikely that the world is going back to a gold standard anytime in the foreseeable future. Again, his views are based a a particular ideological position that represents one approach to Libertarianism and Austrian economics.

It's possible to agree with #1 and disagree with #2 without inconsistency.

Andrew Anderson said...

and would like to see a turn in the direction of sound finance, although he admits it unlikely that the world is going back to a gold standard anytime in the foreseeable future. Tom Hickey

You don't buy the nonsense that a gold standard is sound finance do you?

Tom Hickey said...

You don't buy the nonsense that a gold standard is sound finance do you?

I thought I made my point clear, to anyone whose first language is English anyway. RP's economics doesn't bear on his foreign policy position, which I agree with almost wholly. He is one of the few voices in US politics that has been right pretty consistently in my view. Since his economics and foreign policy positions are not intrinsically connected, it matters not what I think of his economics in this context of foreign policy.

It should be obvious to anyone who has followed this blog from more than a day to two that MMT and Austrian economics are antithetical with regard to functional finance versus sound finance. Ironically, Abba Lerner, who was the originator of functional finance, was a student of Friedrich von Hayek at LSE.

Andrew Anderson said...

Hayek was a bit of a rogue among the Austrians, no? Too smart to toe the party line is my understanding.

Andrew Anderson said...

Speaking of English, we are constantly assaulted with "the gold standard of this or that" on a weekly basis as if a gold standard were virtuous!

So please pardon my underestimation of you in that regard.

Tom Hickey said...



Hayek sided with Popper on falsifiability against Mises' action axiom as the basis of praxeloogy.

Matt Franko said...

But look at his reasonings:

"it is money we cannot afford "

and

"it is money taken from poor people in the US and sent to rich people overseas."

Its not like he is saying "F the Jews we shouldnt send them a pea shooter!"


How do you know that if you explained things to him that LM can easily pound out 3 dozen more F-35s no problem that he wouldnt say "well lets send them 4 dozen then!"

His argument is based on "we're out of money!"...

Tom Hickey said...

While it is true that RP brings in the affordability argument, his position is clearly not based on affordability but an ideological commitment to homeland defense as opposed to "national security" that justifies creating a national security-surveillance state domestically and an empire abroad.

While we may realize that the affordability argument doesn't hold water operationally in a fiat system, it does matter in the present US system of pay-go and focus on budget tradeoffs that assume sound finance. Even Michael Hudson talks like that even though he knows better operationally. The reality is that "affordability" is an issue in budgeting and military and intelligence expenses do result practically in reducing other expenditure. That's just reality under the present restraints that have been imposed politically. So I willing to cut people like Paul and Hudson some slack here.

Matt Franko said...

"Even Michael Hudson talks like that even though he knows better operationally. "

Tom there is really no empirical evidence of that...

Tom Hickey said...

Tom there is really no empirical evidence of that...

Do you follow the Yahoo group, Gang of 8?

Andrew Anderson said...

How do you know that if you explained things to him that LM can easily pound out 3 dozen more F-35s no problem that he wouldnt say "well lets send them 4 dozen then!"
Franko

Not likely. The Austrians believe in deflation "to purge the malinvestments"; hence their love of a gold standard to limit fiat creation to the mining rate of gold - as absurd as that is.

Kristjan said...

To have beef with Austrian economics is like to have beef with lobotomy. The theory is not considered accurate and is not being taken seriously in academia. It is far from being unknown like MMT might still be. Followers of Austrian economics are mostly not well informed and they don't trust the government. This is my take on it if it can be considered anything more than a cult nowadays followed by the likes of Bob Roddis.

Tom Hickey said...

To have beef with Austrian economics is like to have beef with lobotomy. The theory is not considered accurate and is not being taken seriously in academia. It is far from being unknown like MMT might still be. Followers of Austrian economics are mostly not well informed and they don't trust the government. This is my take on it if it can be considered anything more than a cult nowadays followed by the likes of Bob Roddis.

That statement is too broad for the US, where Austrian economics still has a foothold in academia and a dedicated department at George Mason University staffed by some well-known economists that even Brad DeLong cites, while he still pretty much ignores MMT economists. Austrian economics is not monolithic and there are different approaches. depending on emphasis of major influencers like Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, Lachmann. Their approaches are somewhat nuanced and differ. Lord Keynes has written about this from the POV of PKE.

While it might not be correct to characterize Alan Greenspan as follower of the Austrian school of economics, he was at least strongly influenced by it. Jesús Huerta de Soto is influential internationally. Joseph Schumpter, Miskey's teacher, is considered an Austrian economist by some, even though like Minsky after him, he did not self-id with any specific school of thought.

Austrian economics remains influential in its influence if not as a specific school of economics. The Chicago school has been dominant in economics thinking in the US and it has arguably been heavily influenced by the Austrian school. Most significantly, mainstream conventional economics ("neoclassical economics") was shaped by the early Austrian economists and retained much of that influence, most importantly, methodological individualism.

Dismissing Austrian economics based on what LK calls "vulgar Austrians" is like dismissing MMT because of errors by bloggers and commenters.