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Rand Paul is Very Special

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I love Rand Paul. He’s like his father, but with even fewer principles. This Paul speech about oil companies on the Senate floor is classic:

Instead of punishing them, you should want to encourage them. I would think you would want to say to the oil companies, “What obstacles are there to you making more money?” And hiring more people. Instead they say, “No, we must punish them. We must tax them more to make things fair.” This whole thing about fairness is so misguided and gotten out of hand.

Dear Big Oil Executives,

My name is Erik Loomis. I like to drive and heat my home and eat. Because of that, I really want you to profit off of me. I was thinking about eating three meals a day this year, but it’s really more important that your shareholders kick some more indigenous people in Ecuador off their land so you can maximize profits. I’d like to support your in your task, as it is as destined by God as 19th century Manifest Destiny or the Christian Holy War against Iraq in 2003. Is my unwillingness to only eat twice a day an obstacle to you making money? I apologize for my selfishness. As my social betters, you deserve anything you would like from me. Do you own any coal mines in China? I would love to support your mission by dying in a Chinese coal mine. My sacrifices are easily worth if it you can add another 10,000 square feet to your mansion. Please tell me how you can better profit off of my life.

Yours in the exploitation of me.

Erik

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  • DrDick

    I love Rand Paul. He’s like his father, but with even fewer principles.

    Also less intelligence and no discretion. Ron at least is smart enough not to reveal the full extent of his deluded, nightmare fantasies for America.

    • Anymore.

    • Murc

      I’ll say this about Ron Paul; he seems to have a well-developed set of principles and a moral code to which he sticks to pretty well.

      It’s an awful set of principles and a code that isn’t hugely productive, but its there.

      (Insert Lebowski quote.)

      His son doesn’t even seem to have that.

      • wengler

        Ron Paul is a isolationist Bircher.

        Rand Paul is a evangelical Randian.

        There’s actually a pretty big difference. Especially on the question of religion.

        • gocart mozart

          How much of his evangelicalism is because he is a senator from Jesusland Kentucky? How does his current incarnation square with his “Aqua Budha” college years. Is it only a religious posture. Does he even believe in God?

          • DrDick

            As with George Wallace’s racism, it really doesn’t matter what he personally believes, but only what he publicly espouses.

            • cc

              “Always be careful what you pretend to be, because you are what you pretend to be.”

      • JohnR

        Ron does seem to have a set of principles which he more or less consistently applies. Rand doesn’t seem to merely have “fewer” principles. He seems to have only one principle which guides him, that being “If I benefit, anything goes.” While this may seem to be merely a variation of Winston Zeddimore’s “If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.”, it’s far more basic and all-encompassing. Mitt Romney shares this guiding principle, but being too intelligent to actually believe the middle-school maunderings of Ayn Rand, he’s unable to disguise it with anything sort of sugar-coating that the Barnumites will swallow.

        • DrDick

          While I generally agree with this, you are rather insulting middle schoolers here.

  • cleter

    I wonder if he’ll end up as Romney’s running mate. He seems like the right kind of right-wing crackpot.

    • UserGoogol

      I think he’s precisely the wrong kind. Romney would probably prefer either to pick a socially conservative right-wing crackpot. Romney’s already pretty solid on being pro-corporation, he needs to diversify his portfolio. So it’s either a socially conservative crackpot or someone only moderately crazy.

      • c u n d gulag

        Rand makes Dan Quayle look positively Churchillian.

        Congrat’s, KY!!!

        To replace that senile old hack, Jim Bunning, you voted in a moronic younger one, with less principles – and no fastball.

    • gocart mozart

      This would explain his dad’s reluctance to criticize RMoney.

  • Some Guy

    Wow, that’s some kind of stupid, right there.

  • DocAmazing

    I must conclude that the speech was written after a long consultation with Aqua Buddha.

    • BigHank53

      No, most Galtian self-pleasuring results in a similar emission.

  • ironic irony

    Money, money, money. It’s not the most important thing, it’s the only thing. And only a select few (right wingers, oil companies, Wall Street jokers, etc.) are allowed to have it.

    Pardon me while I throw up my breakfast.

  • owlbear1

    P.S. Rand Paul’s ideas on how to leave future generations in a hellhole of filth and poverty sound profitable. You should fund a Super PAC to get him re-elected.

    • gocart mozart

      I would subscibe to his newsletter but I can’t afford it.

  • Lancelot Link

    What timing!
    Greenwald’s been polishing Rand Paul’s taint all day today.

  • David Kaib

    Paul, is this quote, like Barton and a number of others before him, is simply articulating what the modern Republican Party is all about. Unfortunately, the idea that corporate oligopolies, operating without limits, driven by greed alone, facilitated by government power, serve some sort of useful purpose is rather widespread in the US Senate. The problem is magical market thinking and a healthy dose of dependence corruption.

  • BradP

    I’m ok with high gas prices, and as I understand it, higher profit margins follow higher prices.

    With that said, he has done his best to don his daddy’s “sort of libertarian” republican image, and one would hope he would be drawn towards all of the government “encouragement” Big Oil has and is still receiving.

    • “I’m ok with high gas prices, and as I understand it, higher profit margins follow higher prices.”

      While there are good reasons to be OK with high gas prices, higher profit margins are not one of them. Why should oil companies handsomely profit off high gas prices?

      Given the use of oil in heating and other utilities, it seems to me that the petroleum companies should come under regulations laid forth in the Elkins Act and Hepburn Act and that their rates be regulated by the government.

      • BradP

        While there are good reasons to be OK with high gas prices, higher profit margins are not one of them. Why should oil companies handsomely profit off high gas prices?

        I don’t mean to say that like high prices because they mean high profits. I like high gas prices because it is a signal and constraint on consumption.

        But (and someone maybe able to point out that I’m wrong on this), when the costs and prices of a product increase, the industry is going to see (or demand) higher returns.

        Given the use of oil in heating and other utilities, it seems to me that the petroleum companies should come under regulations laid forth in the Elkins Act and Hepburn Act and that their rates be regulated by the government.

        I don’t particularly like that idea, but I won’t defend oil companies. They made a deal with the devil for decades of subsidized oil production and consumption, and I won’t shed any tears when the devil comes to collect its due.

        • DrDick

          when the costs and prices of a product increase, the industry is going to see (or demand) higher returns

          No. This flunks basic economics. In your fantasy free market, when costs of a product rise (at least significantly), the industry is going to raise prices, but returns (profits) will decline or remain the same, owing to the stickiness of prices. What we are seeing here is price gouging, using a marginal rise in costs (or uncertainty) to justify a much larger rise in prices, leading to dramatically higher profits.

          • BradP

            Gas prices aren’t that sticky. Gas is largely price inelastic short-term, with the response to price increases tending to be long-term elasticity as people slowly make lifestyle changes to adjust to the rising price.

            Besides, I think the profit margin has more to do with the financial risk of buying a more expensive commodity on futures.

            • DrDick

              All prices are sticky to some extent, though necessities are less so. If the cost goes up by very much, consumption drops. Gasoline is a bit odd, as it is a necessity for many people, but a lot of its use is for recreational or discretionary use. The reality is that when pump prices get high, consumption drops.

            • Uncle Hinkle

              Hey Brad,

              While you and your buddies discuss the advantages of high gas prices, what you’re NOT discussing is the percentage of income gasoline represents and how regressivly awful this is for the poor.

              Rising gas prices are devestating for the poor.

          • mpowell

            I’m sorry, I believe you’re just mistaken here. In the short term there is a highly restricted supply of oil. In the long term there is as well, but in principle higher prices mean more expensive extraction techniques and more oil. But in the short term increasing demand is going to spike the price of oil well above the extraction and processing cost. This is a 100% normal market behavior. The high price is what brings consumption back in line with available supply. But everybody holding that supply makes boatloads of money in the process. You have to distort the concept of price gouging beyond any reasonable meaning to apply it in this case.

            • Sherm

              “higher prices mean more expensive extraction techniques and more oil.”

              You mean higher “profits”, not higher “prices.” If the higher prices were due to taxation, there would not be a rush for more exploration. But if the higher prices simply result in greater profits for the oil companies and commodity traders, you are absolutely right.

              • mpowell

                What I meant was that the medium and long term industrial response to higher prices for oil is more expensive extraction techniques (like the shale stuff and deep sea drilling). Short term it’s just profits (unless the price is coming from taxes), so yes, I agree with your point.

            • DrDick

              I think that by definition, increasing prices beyond the rise in costs is price gouging. That was certainly the way it was used in the late 70s.

              • DrDick

                I would add that I do not dispute that this is completely normal market behavior, but I do not believe that “free markets” ever actually exist (it has always been efforts at monopoly, monopsony, collusion, and crony capitalism all the way all the time). This is not a question of supply and demand pricing (indeed, speculation is fueling at least some of this price rise).

  • TN

    It’s interesting that some GOPers are busy making up fantasies about Obama wanting higher gas prices, while here we have a GOPer who is open about the fact that he’d love to see the oil companies charge more for their product.

  • Reilly

    From Big Oil Executives:

    Dear Mr. Loomis,
    While we don’t doubt the sincerity of your wish for the continued success of our insatiable acquisitiveness, your pronouncements of support can only be considered by us as no less subversive than those “green” agitators who seek to bring us down. Presuming that you can enlist yourself in our cause as if you were an ally — implying some measure of equality between us, or indeed any agency at all on your part — is as much an assault on our power as blockading an off-shore oil well would be.
    The old saying “you can’t rape the willing” is appropriate here. Any position taken by you outside of “victim” necessarily disempowers us Willingness changes the social dynamic and power structure, while impotent struggling does not.
    We are in the business of coercion; mostly economic but sometimes physical. In short, sir, when we want your opinion — even if it agrees with ours — we’ll either bleed it out of you or beat it out of you.
    We suggest that going forward, a position of quiet acquiescence would be more appropriate for you to adopt.

    • NBarnes

      You, sir, win the thread.

  • Anderson

    Hey, LGM, that rotating quotation-space you have on your blog header? You totally need to add this:

    “This whole thing about fairness is so misguided and gotten out of hand.”

    It’s a perfect fit.

  • DrDick

    Rand gets even more special.

  • cpinva

    have you made transportation arrangements yet?:

    Do you own any coal mines in China? I would love to support your mission by dying in a Chinese coal mine.

    sen. paul seems to occupy his own solar system. i am beginning to see the need for a fence at the texas border, the northern border. i really don’t like the idea of anyone who voted for sen. paul, or his father, being able to freely come into this country. they are a danger to themselves and the rest of us.

  • Pingback: I Disagree with Loomis Somewhat | Desertscope()

  • I object to the claim that shareholders are the primary reapers of reward.

  • jackd

    If I heard the piece on the radio correctly, Paul uttered those lines in defense of a subsidy.

    This would be under the Libertarian principle of That Government Functions Best Which Throws Money At Giant Wealthy Corporations, I guess.

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