The most well-known libertarian, Ron Paul, faced off against Paul Krugman, probably the most well-known big government “economist” of our time. The link is here.
I may be a bit biased, but Ron Paul took Krugman to school. He has a way of making Krugman’s positions look ridiculous, which in fact they are.
Ron Paul made a reference to Milton Friedman and the Great Depression. Krugman was correct that Friedman actually advocated that the Fed should have printed more money. Ron Paul’s point was that the Fed is constantly causing booms and busts, regardless of who is in charge and what the policies are.
I found it amusing that Krugman says that the time after World War II was the most prosperous time in the country’s history. First, it really wasn’t the most prosperous. If you simply measure growth and an increasing standard of living, the late 19th century was better. Regardless though, as Ron Paul pointed out, the end of World War II brought on liquidations, less regulations, bringing home the troops, drastically less spending, and less debt. Many of the policies followed right after World War II were the epitome of being anti-Krugman.
I liked the point about allowing competition with currencies. Ron Paul makes the point that if he is wrong, then there is nothing lost. But people should be free to use whatever they want in the way of money. Krugman said that people can barter, but that misses the point. Businesses are not free to accept gold and silver and decline the use of federal reserve notes. Even in a bartering situation, people would have to pay taxes on capital gains in gold or silver if it is to be legal.
Krugman said, “do you really think that people use dollar bills only because the federal government isn’t allowing them to use other stuff?” But if this is the case, then what is he afraid of? If he thinks that people would use dollars even if there were no legal tender laws, then why doesn’t he allow Ron Paul’s proposal to stand? Again, if Ron Paul is wrong, then there is nothing lost. Krugman doesn’t explain this.
This debate is the debate of the country, or maybe the whole planet. It is a solution of liberty vs. a solution of big government. These two people represent each side well. If you think that more debt, more money creation, and bigger government is the solution, then Paul Krugman is your man. If you think more liberty and drastically less government is the solution, then Ron Paul is your man.