Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Other Ron Paul

(originally published by OpEdNews)

It feels as though an elephant is standing on your chest. You can hardly feel your left arm and sweat is pouring from your forehead.

You know that this is a heart attack and you need to get help quickly. You stumble to the phone and dial “944”. That’s right, you dial “944” because the emergency response system has been contracted out to private corporations and, after studying all of the competitors’ literature, you decided that the “944” corporation would give you the most at the lowest cost. Now you need them!

The phone rings once…twice…three.. “Hello, what is the emergency please?” a voice sporting a very thick oriental accent responds.

“I-I-I’m having…(you’re weak and it’s difficult for you to speak)…a”

Suddenly the oriental woman interrupts and again asks, “What is the emergency please?”

In a way you’re relieved that you understood her the first time because you would never have understood what she said this time around. It’s not surprising, either, as the woman who answered the phone is sitting in a large, run down room in Vietnam. She has a computer screen in front of her and loaded into the computer is global positioning software so she can see where you’re located if you get to the point of telling her where you’re located.

“I’m having a heart attack! I need help, please!”

The woman responds, “Where are you located, please” with an accent so thick that, this time, you don’t understand her. The voice doesn’t sound panicked, as one would think appropriate for someone in her position. However, it not only doesn’t sound panicked, it almost sounds indifferent.

You give her your address which is followed for what seems like a life time of silence. In reality, the woman is trying to locate you on the computer database so that she can contact your local emergency services.

“Hello?” you say desperately.

The woman attempts to repeat your address back to you, but it doesn’t sound like your address. You don’t exactly know what it does sound like. You don’t understand her at all.

We could continue this story. Under the best case scenario, the woman in Vietnam who works for the company that the “944” corporation contracts the dispatching service out to contacts your local emergency services and they make it to your house while you’re still alive. Of course, you may pass one, two or even three hospitals on the way to the hospital service which you purchased.

Under the worse scenario…well, we won’t even think about it.

You didn’t realize that this was going to be how the “944” corporation was going to be able to offer you the same service for less when you signed up with them. You didn’t know that they would hire someone in Vietnam to answer incoming emergency phone calls and you didn’t know that person would earn the equivalent of $1.00/hour.

To say that this is how Ron Paul would like to see things would be stretching the point. He probably wouldn’t really like to see things this way.

However, as a Republican who is actually a practicing Libertarian, Paul does not think that it’s the government’s job to do business. Consequently, he believes that anything that can possibly be privatized should be privatized. As a libertarian, Paul doesn’t believe it’s the government’s job to regulate how private business does business. Like all libertarians or Libertarians, Paul doesn’t believe that government should do anything other than provide a basic police force to stop Americans from hurting Americans and a basic military to stop foreigners from hurting Americans and that’s even questionable. Has The Regime proven that the military can actually be privatized? Can you say Blackwater?

Libertarians believe that if business is bogged down with regulations, it cuts into profits and makes it difficult to provide decent paying jobs to Americans. They’ll tell you this is why corporations are outsourcing their work.

They don’t say much about the CEO’s pay cutting into profits. They have spoken about it on The Thom Hartmann Show and have said that, in the grand scheme of things, the CEO’s pay doesn’t cut into the profits at all. They’ll prove this by telling you how large the profits are, showing you just how small of a percentage of those huge profits the CEO’s multimillion dollar compensation really is.

If you’re sharp, you’ll see the irony in the argument. If a multimillion dollar salary doesn’t make a dent in a corporation’s profits, why does that corporation feel the need to outsource its production work to places who pay their employees $1.00/hour?

The Libertarians’ ultimate solution to this business/labor dilemma is to keep government out of the regulation business and allow corporations to regulate themselves. This is what Ron Paul believes, although he doesn’t write much about labor on his web site.

I’ve worked for a multinational Fortune 500 corporation and in an article published at OpEdNews entitled “Shock Over Richards's Rant is Curious”, I give an excellent example of just how well large corporations would do if allowed to self-regulate.

OpEdNews promotes itself as a site for “Tough Liberal, Progressive News and Opinion”, although there have been many conservatives who have offered thoughtful commentary on articles published at OpEdNews. I imagine if there was an exceptional, factually based article written by a moderately conservative writer, OpEdNews may publish it.

However, make no mistake about it. Notwithstanding his passion to end the occupation of Iraq, Ron Paul is anything but a Progressive. The man who appears to be a maverick Republican is not a maverick Republican. He’s a libertarian who’s too concerned with his personal success to register with The Libertarian Party, take his millions with him and run as a Libertarian.

The accolades that Paul is receiving from writers for a Progressive news outlet are very concerning.

To friendship,

“America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” – John Quincy Adams

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