With the New Hampshire primary coming round tomorrow, we're finally seeing a few solid articles worth reading. Some Journalists are digging deep into a few Republican candidates' background and economic philosophies. We pulled up a few articles worth your eyeballs to read in a sea of spin, polls and gotchas.
Ron Paul is obsessed with the Austrian School of economics. Matthew Yglesias explains what this is all about:
“Austrians” in Paul’s sense refers to something narrower, specifically the thought of Ludwig Von Mises and his student Murray Rothbard. It is a form of capitalism that is even more libertarian and anarchic than that espoused by many libertarians. Rothbard‘s followers, most prominently longtime Paul associate and founder of the Mises Institute Lew Rockwell, have been waging a decades-long war against the Koch brothers and the more mainstream form of libertarianism the Kochs represent.
“Austrian economics,” in this sense, goes beyond standard-issue free market thinking in a number of ways. Most notably, it seeks to build a strong ethical case for strict libertarianism without admitting that this would lead to any practical problems whatsoever. Therefore, along with rejecting the legitimacy of any intervention to protect the poor or regulate anything (a position much more extreme than even the Hayek of Road to Serfdom), Austrians reject the idea that there is anything at all the government can do to stabilize macroeconomic fluctuations. This, to be clear, is different from the mainstream Republican view that the stimulus bill enacted by Congress in 2009 and signed into law by President Obama was wasteful or ineffective. Austrians also believe that cutting taxes to boost economic activity doesn’t work either. And they disagree with Milton Friedman that appropriate monetary stimulus by the Federal Reserve could have prevented the Great Depression. Indeed, they disagree with even the least controversial of all stabilization measures, the ordinary tweaking of short-term interest rates that all modern central banks use to try to prevent either inflation or deflation. In the view of the Austrians, practically every economic policy pursued by the federal government and Federal Reserve is a mistake that distorts markets.
The Wall Street Journal dug in deep and analyzed all of the deals at Bain Capital, the corporate raider fund which made Mitt Romney so rich.
Mitt Romney's political foes are stepping up attacks based on his time running investment firm Bain Capital, tagging him with making a fortune from the rougher side of American capitalism—even as Mr. Romney says his Bain tenure shows he knows how to build businesses.
Amid anecdotal evidence on both sides, the full record has largely escaped a close look, because so many transactions are involved. The Wall Street Journal, aiming for a comprehensive assessment, examined 77 businesses Bain invested in while Mr. Romney led the firm from its 1984 start until early 1999, to see how they fared during Bain's involvement and shortly afterward.
Among the findings: 22% either filed for bankruptcy reorganization or closed their doors by the end of the eighth year after Bain first invested, sometimes with substantial job losses. An additional 8% ran into so much trouble that all of the money Bain invested was lost.
Another finding was that Bain produced stellar returns for its investors—yet the bulk of these came from just a small number of its investments. Ten deals produced more than 70% of the dollar gains.
Some of those companies, too, later ran into trouble. Of the 10 businesses on which Bain investors scored their biggest gains, four later landed in bankruptcy court.
Trade Reform took the rhetoric seriously and analyzed Santorum's manufacturing positions:
Santorum’s plan has a few good points but only barely matches the promise of its title. In reality it only offers more of the same policies that boost the 1% at the expense of everything else, even harming smaller manufacturers trying to compete with the multi-national giants.
The plan even offers a number of items that have ravaged our manufacturing base, pushing even more disastrous “free-trade” agreements. And, the plan has the added bonus of a series of unrelated proposals apparently included only as filler and the necessary proof of insanity to qualify him in a Republican primary.
The Huffington Post notes that Santorum wants to cut people off from food stamps after a limited time.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum agreed with Huntsman on Social Security means testing, but went further, offering a plan to turn food stamps and housing assistance into block grants for states, in which recipients would be required to work and time limits would be imposed.
While many believe Santorum has plans to revamp U.S. manufacturing, the National Journal shows not so much. While making sure corporations get to bring back their foreign profits while paying no taxes, Santorum is also against Buy America provisions and of course against helping the U.S. auto industry:
He came out against so-called domestic content legislation requiring that a certain percentage of parts be produced in America -- the kind of "domestic content" proposals that were popular in the 1980s and which the Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll shows are back in fashion. He also denounced the auto bailout, saying "all it did was pay off a special interest" -- unions -- "because they're big buddies with Barack Obama."
Santorum tried to strike a middle ground on trade noting that he had opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement but was not a Pat Buchanan-style protectionist and said he did not think dealing with China's "currency manipulation" was "worth a trade war."
Did you know more than Ron Paul is talking about pegging the dollar to gold, otherwise known as the gold standard? Amazing but true. The gold standard is also another way to rein in the Federal Reserve and disallow the expansion of credit and control over the money supply. While one doesn't hear about this much, returning to the gold standard is a favorite agenda item of extreme conservatives. We sure know those gold coin sellers love the idea.
While John Huntsman is surging to third place in the New Hampshire polls, he doesn't want to do much about our trade deficit with China, with some fairly condescending views towards those who do. Newt Gingrich has a paper trail a mile wide, so all one needs to do is look at the Congressional record.
Pretty much all of the candidates are off the rails, sponsored by corporate lobbyists or plumb bat shit crazy or both. That said, because it's political season, you'll see various issues melded together per some so called press. For example, did you know if you're for reduced immigration, anti-illegal immigration now you're anti-choice and anti-contraception? I don't think so.
Most articles and endorsements one sees more corporate agenda items written as analysis on some candidate's ability to parrot those corporate lobbyist and agenda talking points. No economic theory or reality in the text.
That's the real problem here. Candidates like Buddy Roemer, who now out polls Rick Perry cannot even get one line written about them in the MSM, much less in the debates or coverage of their ideas. Roemer is the only candidate speaking out about corporate controlled politics. No wonder they won't let him into the GOP debates.