Rand Paul Proves His Ignorance, says “Liberals Have No Idea of How Capitalism Works”

rand-paul-1In all the hoopla over just how ridiculous Texas Senator Ted Cruz has been lately, along with his seemingly endless onslaught of asinine statements these last few months, I had almost forgotten about Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.  For all the attention Ted Cruz has received, we really shouldn’t forget that Rand Paul was one of his cheerleaders during the whole shutdown fiasco.

Well, Paul did an interview with Sean Hannity where he decided to continue his attack on “Obamacare” (shocking, I know) and claimed that if “Obamacare” is so good “why do they have to advertise to get you to do it?”

Funny, I’ve often asked the question, “If “Obamacare” is so terrible, why do Republicans keep lying about it?”

He also went on to say that, “Liberals have no idea of how capitalism works.”

Actually, here’s his full comment on liberals and capitalism:

“Liberals have no idea of how capitalism works.  They have no idea why, when you go to Wal-Mart, products are cheap, how they get from one point to the other, and how they’re distributed in such a cheap fashion.”

I wanted to put his full comment out there, because of the sheer irony between his statements about the need to advertise “Obamacare” and knowing how capitalism works.

First, the Affordable Care Act is not socialized medicine, it’s health insurance reform.  Maybe Mr. Paul needs to learn how the law works before commenting on it?  Just a thought.

Second, according to Rand Paul, if something is good—there’s no need to advertise it?  Using that mindset, Apple, Google, Samsung, Honda, Toyota, Southwestern Airlines — they’re all “bad.”  After all, if their products and services are so good, why do they have to advertise them?

Attention all Business majors: Forget what you know about sales, marketing and advertising.  If any company must advertise their product or service to get people to use it, it’s a failure.  Well, at least according to Rand Paul.

Now let’s move on to, “liberals have no idea of how capitalism works”—are you serious?

As a liberal, I think I have a damn good grasp of how capitalism works.  I also have a pretty good grasp of how flawed capitalism is.  ”Pure” capitalism is every bit the failure as communism or socialism.  Unchecked, and unregulated, capitalism will build a society (as we’ve seen since “Reaganomics” took the U.S. by storm in the 1980s) where a small percentage of the population has everything and the vast majority has next to nothing.

Now, I’m not saying capitalism is all bad, but it has its flaws like every other economic ideology and needs oversight and regulation for it to be successful.

Capitalism is also driven by consumer spending, not tax cuts.  If demand for a product is there, jobs will be there.  Cutting taxes sounds good to those who lack the ability to think for themselves, but what these tax cuts really do is line the pockets of the rich executives while they cut and slash their workforce to “streamline” the process and increase their profits.

Another thing capitalism does well is feed greed.  The more you give it, the more it wants.  The richer you make the richest among us, the richer they’re going to want to be.  Profits in the millions get replaced by profits in the tens of millions.  Profits in the tens of millions get replaced by profits in the hundreds of millions.  Profits in the hundreds of millions get replaced by profits in the billions.

It’s perpetual and it’s never ending.

But unfortunately for 98% of us, money is not infinite.  There’s only so much to go around, and the more we allow the top 2% to hoard most of it, the worse off the rest of us are going to be.

People like Paul often talk about the greatness the United States once displayed and how we need to get “back to traditional American values.”  Well, during the strongest periods of growth our country has seen, taxes were much higher (and oddly we had balanced budgets when they were higher) and unions were much stronger than they are right now.

Why is it, in the 1950s, we could grow as a nation with much higher taxes and stronger unions, but now both of those are tantamount to “crazed socialism run amok” according to conservatives?

Rand Paul’s “Ayn Rand” Libertarian tribal beliefs are an absolute failure in practice.  ”Survival of the fittest” and “every man for himself” is not a feasible philosophy with which to build a successful nation.  That’s why in all of human history we’ve never seen a successful society built on Libertarian principles, and the closest examples we have are nations like Somalia (small government, little or no taxes, no regulation) which are absolute disasters.

Liberals are also well aware of how it’s possible to produce cheap products.  And yes, unfortunately it’s necessary to outsource some jobs to keep costs lower for American consumers and keep our economy going.  That’s not always the “PC” thing to say, but it’s the unfortunate truth.

However, for Paul to act as if greed has nothing to do with the issues that are going on in this nation is absolutely absurd.  He blames hardworking people, sometimes working 50 or 60 hours a week to survive, for being drains on our economy because they need some government help.  All the while, he fiercely defends the companies that these individuals work for which pay such a lousy wage that, even when working full-time, they’re still unable to survive without help.

All while the executives at most of these companies are being paid absurd salaries.  Depending on which study you look at, the CEO to average worker pay ratio currently sits anywhere between 185: 1 to 325:1.

Yup, that’s capitalism alright.  And that’s with regulations.  Imagine how much worse that ratio would be if there were no regulations on capitalism?  You really think the median household income in the United States would rise if there were no minimum wage?  If you believe that, you’re insane.

But that’s exactly what individuals like Rand Paul believe.

So, while he might sit there and say liberals don’t understand capitalism, I think it’s pretty clear judging by the policies Senator Paul supports—he doesn’t understand much of anything.

About Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has a degree in Political Science. He is a co-founder of Forward Progressives, and author of the popular Right Off A Cliff column. He is also the founder of the Right Off A Cliff facebook page, on which he routinely voices his opinions and stirs the pot for the Progressive movement. Follow Allen on Twitter as well, @Allen_Clifton.

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    We DO know how capitalism works…that’s why we don’t trust it.

    • Ruchir Bhatt

      I came to this country because there is capitalism. Redistribution of others money and keeping people dependent on government (and by this order the government leaches become more powerful) is plentily available in my home country. Maybe you may want to shift there!

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        I’d rather go to Denmark. As someone from there said, “Everyone has enough, no one has too much.”

        It is not a matter of being dependent upon government. Rather I want government to protect me from rapacious, unbridled capitalism.

      • Ruchir Bhatt

        It is the rapacious unbridled capitalism that makes this conversation possible.
        You want to go to Denmark, how may more do? If you look up there pending immigration stats they wil be pale compared to the US. Why do 10 or so million want to live here illegally and perform the odd jobs that most of us do not? because the rapacious unbridled capitalist system allows them.
        The rapacious unbridled capitalism that brings us the science, technology, new ideas, etc not the bleeding hearts.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        No, a lot of that comes from federal funding of research and the supporting infrastructure that allows you to function here. Imaging having to build your own roads, colleges, etc. Not sure what you people have against an equitable system where everyone derives some benefit and no one gets screwed.

        The 10 million who get here walk. They can’t swim to Denmark.

      • Ruchir Bhatt

        Where is federal funding in Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc.? It is capitalism and individuals that have changed that we do many things and not the government. Government has nothing, it has take from someone to give to others.
        I am not for anarchy and there is again room for LIMITED government not the government that care of us from cradle to grave.
        Capitalism is the most equitable system the world has ever known. History has tried many other forms of economic and political orders and they have not come anywhere close to the prosperity that America has brought to itself and unintentionally to the world.
        The people invented ‘stuff’ did not do so for the progress of the nation or the betterment of the world, to them something made sense and their curiosity and risk taking changed the world.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Federal funding? The federal funding that created the internet and the bandwidth that supports it.

        And how do you explain Chinese capitalism?

        And you picked some poor examples. FacebookL timewaster. Twitter: timewaster for egoists. Google: good for research but what does it produce? Google doesn’t build roads, fight fires, keep the peace, inspect my produce.

        So why are the happiest places to live those socialist paradises of Northern Europe? You know, Norway, Denmark, Finland. They feel they are their brother’s keeper. And that’s the kind of society I want to live in. We all benefit. When one of us falls, another picks him up.

      • Ruchir Bhatt

        Well I respect your opinion about the companies that you do not believe provide any value. Apparently, quite a few million people might disagree with you.
        While they might be ‘happiest’ place for you, not many companies are formed their, not many innovations are invented there or the Danish and the Finnish would love to get their patens in the US and maximize their returns.
        Capitalism empowers you and provides an environment to blossom and you ventures inspire more good than you can imagine.
        I wish you get to live in the country/place of your desire and I am quite sure that you will be disappointed. I know that because I have migrated from one and see my country being eaten up gradually by the forces of socialism.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Why do you assume we want to be taken care of cradle to grave? We don’t. We just want not to be taken advantage of by rampant capitalism. And if capitalism is so great, why did wall street and GM have to be bailed out by the government? Would the wholesale collapse of the US economy have been a good thing?

        And from whence did you emigrate?

      • Ruchir Bhatt

        Wall street, GM and other companies made bad bets and decisions and they should’ve been allowed to fail or go through a bankruptcy process. Instead the government propped up bad and ‘illiquid’ assets and perpetuated the agony.
        First of all the Federal reserve along with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provided ultra cheap money (which the Free market would not have allowed) which these banks and investment houses bought and tried to maximize the leverage (rational business would have), but when they fail by making bad decisions, you have to let them go under, not reward their bad behavior by propping them up. That would have been consistent with Capitalist behavior.
        I immigrated from India.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        So allowing a second Great Depression would have been OK with you?

        Wall Street was looking for better returns because of record-low interest rates and pressured Fannie and Freddie, so that WAS the free market at work.

        I’ve a long-term friend from India. Never struck me as a socialist paradise such as northern europe. I suspect the situations are not comparable.

      • Ruchir Bhatt

        It was far from the second depression. But yes it would have been tough, I do not deny that but more like the depression of 1920′s, which is hardly spoken of today. The prices would have found a bottom and rebounded. There would be more restraint on part of the financial institutions and interest rates would certainly have risen, rewarding the savers.
        The cheap money dumped in the market for the Fed was not FREE MARKET at all. Now if you are bank manager and someone is giving you money for free, you will not sit on it, you will make sure your institution is in a better position. Now if you make wrong bets and wrong choices, you should be fired and your institution needs to fail.
        You cannot have it both ways. Make mistakes and get rewarded.
        Fed should be audited and restrained by the government because it dumps more money in the market then the congress does and the government borrows money from it when it is an impasse on a resolution.
        That creation of debt is paid by in taxes or devaluing of the currency. Both eventualities are equally bad.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        It was 10% unemployment and a $16.4 trillion loss in net worth. The lack of government restraint is what precipitated the problem. Even Greenspan was forced to admit he was wrong in assuming the markets would regulate themselves. The rest of us knew that was laughable.

        I agree one should not make mistakes and get rewarded, but that happens all the time. CEOs fuck up, get golden parachutes while the common folk get pink slips.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Uh huh…

        Innovation Centre Denmark
        “The innovation centres have been established in cooperation with the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education and the Ministry ofForeign Affairs. Denmark already has innovation centres in Shanghai,
        Munich and Silicon Valley.”

        From Mashable: (http://mashable DOT com/2013/08/23/denmark-innovation/)

        “”I think there is much to be said in support of an administratively functional government, and Denmark is the kind of place where the systems and bureaucracies seem to just work,” says Jamie Allen, head of research at the Copenhagen Institute of Interactive Design.A Canadian expat who has also spent time in New York, Seoul and London, Allen was drawn to CIID’s focus on the intersection of technology and traditional design. “There is definitely a sense amongst Danes that they will be taken care of no matter what, and this is something that provides a comforting backdrop for collaboration and community that’s based more on ideas than on acute or fanatical economic pressure.”

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Global Innovation Index Rankings: (http://www DOT globalinnovationindex DOT org/content.aspx?page=data-analysis)
        1. Switzerland
        2. Sweden
        3. UK
        4. Netherlands
        5. US
        6, Finland
        7. Hong Kong
        8. Singapore
        9. Denmark
        10. Ireland

        So, two socialist paradises beat the US.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Linus Torvalds developed Linux in Helsinki in 1991.

        The Latest Innovation Hotspot: Finland is a sauna for startups (http://www DOT microsoft DOT com/eu/transforming-business/article/the-latest-innovation-hotspot-finland-is-a-sauna-for-start-ups.aspx)

        “The government has certainly played its part. Through programs such as Tekes and Finnvera, the Finnish state provides relatively substantial investments
        compared to VCs and angels. So, for a start-up looking for 1 million Euros from a private investor, the government matches the funds with a loan at favourable rates, which can be repeated at future investment rounds.”

  • janetsinclair

    Love capitalism. Love being a Liberal. The difference between my brand of capitalism is what I do with the money. Do I hoard my profits, send it to the Cayman Islands, pretend I don’t have it and ask the government for a little bit more, then give myself and my buddies a big bonus with tax money? That is not ANY Kind of philosophical leaning. It is simple greed and self-indulgence. There are just as many liberal entrepreneurs as there are conservative entrepreneurs, maybe more.

  • Suzanne

    We know very well how capitalism works. It makes the rich richer, then they toss a few handfuls of change to the middle class and the poor.