What Ron Paul Was Like 30 Years Ago

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The great economist Murray Rothbard wrote an introduction to Ron Paul’s 1981 monograph, Gold, Peace and Prosperity.

Rothbard’s introduction is really quite amazing. Thirty years ago, Rothbard understood what a special man Ron Paul was. But most remarkable is that everything Rothbard wrote about Ron Paul accurately reflects the Ron Paul of today. Ron Paul is a man of principle, who doesn’t change his views based on the latest polls.

President Obama may have run for President on a platform of ending the war in Afghanistan – and instead expanded the war. He may have run on a platform of limiting the influence of banksters in Washington – and put to former banksters as his top advisors. But it is very difficult seeing the principled Ron Paul flip-flopping on his promises in such a way. Here’s Murray Rothbard, thirty years ago, on Ron Paul, though it could have been written this morning without changing a word:

Ron Paul is a most unusual politician – in many ways. In the first place, he really knows what he’s talking about. He is not only for the gold standard. He knows why he is for it, and he is familiar with the most advanced and complex economic insights on the true nature of inflation, on how inflation works, and how inflationary credit expansions brings about booms and busts. And yet Ron has the remarkable ability to take these complex and vital insights and to present them in clear, lucid, hard-hitting terms to the non-economist reader. His economics is as sound as a bell.

But, even more important, Ron Paul is an unusual politician because he doesn’t simply pay lip service to moral principles. He believes in moral principles in his mind and heart, and he fights for them passionately and effectively. High on his set of moral principles is the vital importance of individual freedom, of the individual’s natural right to be free of assault and aggression, and of his right to keep the property that he has earned on the free market, and not have it stolen from him by confiscatory taxes and government regulations.

Ron Paul, in short, is that rare American, and still rarer politician, who deeply understands and battles for the principles of liberty that were fought for and established by the Founding Fathers of this country. He understands that sound economics, moral principles, and individual freedom all go together, like a seamless web. They cannot be separated, and they stand or fall together.

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2011 Economic Policy Journal

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