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Overview of Very Sound Policies yet does not address opposing views
on July 30, 2008
Ron Paul presents the most logical and non-politically driven viewpoint on all facets of government that exists among the political elite. In The Revolution: a Manifesto, Paul briefly covers many facets of his objectives including views on foreign policy, monetary policy, abortion, free trade, and an assortment of laissez-faire convictions.
This book will immediately resonate with anyone already open to Paul's views or familiar with the Austrian school of economic thought. However, in anticipation of a book intended to cause a revolution, as its title would suggest, I was disappointed that Paul's work was not written in a more convincing manner. Having read Paul's book "A Foreign Policy of Freedom" and discovering one of the most convincing compositions on the topic I have ever read, my expectations were exceedingly high for the Revolution. While Paul presents a strong case in many areas of the book, he rarely dealt with common objections that skeptics reading this book typically would put forth. Thus I do not believe this rates high enough that I could put this in the hands of a skeptic and feel confident that Paul's positions would be adequately defined in a compelling enough manner.
Areas of this book that I felt Paul could have added far more focus:
- Government's Role: Paul asserts that one of this nation's problems is people's perception that government should be "providing from cradle to grave", an outstanding point. However, Paul would have been much better served explaining why a reliance on government is not only a detriment to oneself, but also to the population as a whole, but instead chose to stand meekly on the hopes that this point would be obvious to all with no further explanation. If that were true, this nation would already look vastly different.
- Federal Reserve: Paul states the importance of the issue of not being able to audit the Federal Reserve but makes little mention of the absolutely frightening realty of having a private entity printing our money with no clear auditing process. Paul was called a "kook" and seen as "crazy" by the public on a massive scale because people did not understand his views on removing the Federal Reserve; thus more attention to this topic should have been essential to the book. The bulk of the population is unfamiliar with economics beyond basic college entry courses and does not understand how the US would avoid future depressions without having a Federal Reserve managing its money supply. These are concerns Paul should have addressed if the true intent is really to sway public opinion. Had Paul provided as convincing a case against the Fed as he did regarding the explanation of inflation, this section would have been a giant success.
- Gold Standard: Although Paul has an entire book on his views of the Gold Standard, as a topic that is widely misunderstood, Paul missed a chance to provide a much more convincing case in this particular chapter. Paul unfortunately chose not to address some of the most common objections to the Gold Standard such as gold supply and limiting aspects relative to a growing economy and population, instead choosing only to suggest it is the answer to inflation.
- US Policing the World: Paul's position of reducing US military intervention and eventual reductions of US bases and forces around the world may be logical to those with a full understanding of his views prior to reading this book; however, to the average Republican, Democrat, or even Independent reaching for this book to gauge what Paul is all about, they will still be left with questions regarding how safe we are without policing the world and what in fact the troops would be doing upon returning to the US. Paul is more than equipped to aptly address these concerns, but regrettably does not in this book.
- The Constitution: The core of all of Paul's beliefs is centered on the fact that the constitution was created to protect the people from government, not the other way around. I was astonished to find so little explanation of the critical importance of understanding this principle considering this is so central to his views and perhaps is the most prominent issue that differentiates Paul from nearly all other politicians.
One of the most attractive aspects of Ron Paul's political agenda is that he has chosen to discuss the actual validity of policies while other candidates seem stuck on discussing how to implement policies already in place. If this book accomplishes nothing else but gathering support for a discussion on the soundness of US policies, than it is indubitably a success; however, considering the strength and soundness of Paul's positions, the lack of convincing arguments in this book leaves me wondering if he missed a golden opportunity to truly affect public opinion.