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Ron Paul's farewell address to Congress

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They failed to recognize that what they were doing was exactly opposite of what the colonists were seeking when they broke away from the British.

Some complain that my arguments makes no sense, since great wealth and the standard of living improved for many Americans over the last 100 years, even with these new policies.

But the damage to the market economy, and the currency, has been insidious and steady. It took a long time to consume our wealth, destroy the currency and undermine productivity and get our financial obligations to a point of no return. Confidence sometimes lasts longer than deserved. Most of our wealth today depends on debt.

The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.

This neglect ushered in an age of redistribution of wealth by government kowtowing to any and all special interests, except for those who just wanted to be left alone. That is why today money in politics far surpasses money currently going into research and development and productive entrepreneurial efforts.

The material benefits became more important than the understanding and promoting the principles of liberty and a free market. It is good that material abundance is a result of liberty but if materialism is all that we care about, problems are guaranteed.

The crisis arrived because the illusion that wealth and prosperity would last forever has ended. Since it was based on debt and a pretense that debt can be papered over by an out-of-control fiat monetary system, it was doomed to fail.  We have ended up with a system that doesn't produce enough even to finance the debt and no fundamental understanding of why a free society is crucial to reversing these trends.

If this is not recognized, the recovery will linger for a long time. Bigger government, more spending, more debt, more poverty for the middle class, and a more intense scramble by the elite special interests will continue.

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Without an intellectual awakening, the turning point will be driven by economic law. A dollar crisis will bring the current out-of-control system to its knees.

If it's not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.

This continuous move is no different than what we have seen in how our financial crisis of 2008 was handled. Congress first directed, with bipartisan support, bailouts for the wealthy. Then it was the Federal Reserve with its endless quantitative easing. If at first it doesn't succeed try again; QE1, QE2, and QE3 and with no results we try QE indefinitely -- that is until it too fails. There's a cost to all of this and let me assure you delaying the payment is no longer an option. The rules of the market will extract its pound of flesh and it won't be pretty.

The current crisis elicits a lot of pessimism. And the pessimism adds to less confidence in the future. The two feed on themselves, making our situation worse.

If the underlying cause of the crisis is not understood we cannot solve our problems. The issues of warfare, welfare, deficits, inflationism, corporatism, bailouts and authoritarianism cannot be ignored. By only expanding these policies we cannot expect good results.

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Everyone claims support for freedom. But too often it's for one's own freedom and not for others. Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties.

Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited. These are the politicians whose goal in life is power. Their success depends on gaining support from special interests.

The great news is the answer is not to be found in more "isms." The answers are to be found in more liberty which cost so much less.  Under these circumstances spending goes down, wealth production goes up, and the quality of life improves.

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Ron Paul is a member of the House of Representatives from Texas and a former presidential candidate, for the GOP and also for the Libertarian parties. His latest book is End The Fed

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Good-Bye and Good Riddance, Ron Paul. Don't let th... by E. T. SIMON on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 1:07:54 AM
Sad when people move into someone else's country a... by Bill Johnson on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 9:27:26 PM
He did a lot of good while he was there.... by Ken Stevens on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 2:24:45 AM
Ron Paul is just about the only US politician who ... by Paul Sedkowski on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 6:58:33 AM
Thank you for your many years of service! You have... by Bill Johnson on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 7:17:17 AM
Wow! As I read and re-read each paragraph, trying ... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 8:08:56 AM
There it is. He prefers government by the business... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 8:09:34 AM
Gary said: There it is. He prefers government by t... by June Genis on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 11:48:42 AM
What you ignore is also a point that I also brough... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 7:11:07 PM
 "Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two ... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 7:35:47 PM
Truly brilliant!  Ron Paul's fan club is just... by Sister Begonia on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 12:14:35 PM
Ron Paul's assertions that we act and live as indi... by janet O'Connell on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 10:07:36 AM
"It is up to each of us to be virtuous if we expec... by Sister Begonia on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 12:08:55 PM
"Free-market anarchism  (sometimes called sim... by Gary Williams on Monday, Nov 19, 2012 at 2:30:42 AM
Far easier for the president and congress to "borr... by Lance Ciepiela on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 9:55:43 AM
 A few days ago, somebody was arguing that ha... by Ad Du on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 11:22:19 AM
The guy isn't worth a plug nickel.  His indiv... by Lester Shepherd on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 12:13:24 PM
...but out of respect for a man who has more integ... by Scott Baker on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 1:25:08 PM
Ron Paul's position isn't necessarily a "gold- or ... by Paul Sedkowski on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 2:46:12 PM
You might want to take a look at what happened to ... by Gary Williams on Saturday, Nov 17, 2012 at 7:27:50 PM
Yes, another good example of the problems involved... by Scott Baker on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 5:12:52 AM
Tell me how good a suit an ounce of gold would hav... by Scott Baker on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 5:10:31 AM
The whole point of free competition is that the ma... by Paul Sedkowski on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 7:11:39 AM
Please take a look at the chart in my previous com... by Scott Baker on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 1:43:23 PM
Paul, in the end, achieved nothing. He confused ma... by John Bonanno on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 7:25:51 AM
reply to Paul Sedkowski:   I like Scott Bak... by Ned Lud on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 7:33:23 AM
Does this mean that we have finally rid ourselves ... by Sister Begonia on Sunday, Nov 18, 2012 at 12:05:39 PM
This Space Cowboy does not need to agree with ever... by Michael Dewey on Friday, Nov 23, 2012 at 10:58:46 AM
The #1 responsibility for each of us is to change ... by Michael Dewey on Friday, Nov 23, 2012 at 11:03:26 AM