Rand Paul Slams A Bureaucrat

This video is a couple weeks old, but it is absolutely magnificent. Rand Paul demolishes a bureaucrat and masterfully outlines why bureaucratic red tape restricts freedom and hurts individuals. Beautiful.

VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)

8 Responses to “Rand Paul Slams A Bureaucrat”

  1. Doc says:

    I was really pissed off at Ron Paul for taking my money and quitting the race for President.
    I’m still pissed that Rand & Ron Paul begs for money from me with really nice stationary.
    And that they call me on the phone and bug me for contributions even after I’ve asked to be removed, begged to be removed and cursed like a sailor at poor defenseless telemarketers who continue to call me begging for money from these too.

    But MAN! They both say what I want to hear! They should say it more, as should like-minded people on the interwebs.

    Too bad I quit voting.

    VA:F [1.9.18_1163]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  2. Kreff says:


    Don’t stop voting! If you do, the enemy wins. In all honesty, I’m not sure the voting isn’t rigged. With electronic voting, it would be fairly simple to tamper with the results. Who would be the wiser if the opposing candidate won with 50.3% of the vote…

    I’m going to keep voting for several reasons:

    1) It’s a freedom MANY people around the world wish they had.
    2) It’s a right guaranteed in our Constitution.
    3) We have to fight for what is right otherwise, we’re as guilty as the “criminals” who commit the crimes.

    Not voting is giving up and I’m not giving up!

    VA:F [1.9.18_1163]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  3. Tony says:

    My toilets seem to work OK.

    VA:F [1.9.18_1163]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  4. Andrew says:

    Hi David,

    You are an intelligent writer with whom I disagree and was hoping to get your thoughts on a few concepts. First I should say that I agree with some of what you write on this site. The aggressive tactics of government against people minding their own business in the desert are absurd and reprehensible, and the regulations into building houses are in many cases similarly absurd.

    I happen to believe, however, that the regulations on light bulbs that Mr. Paul was arguing against are quite sensible. Many people are unwilling to switch because they like the warmth of incandescent bulbs or their lower cost, despite the fact that moving to a more efficient bulb technology will make a remarkable impact on the energy use of our country. Further, these regulations have also spurred significant amounts of investments and development in LEDs, which would not have happened if the government did not in some way forcibly create that market.

    This is, in a small way, represented by the parable of the tragedy of the commons, each person unwilling to make an individual sacrifice, even a small one, despite the great amount of common good that can come of it. I would argue then that some (though not all) government regulations represent our collective ‘agreements’ to act against our individual short term interest, in favor of our collective long term benefit.

    Do you feel that this is incorrect, or that there is something fundamentally flawed with the Tragedy of the Commons?

    VA:F [1.9.18_1163]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  5. Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for your comment! I’ll do my best to address everything you brought up.

    To be blunt, I do not trust the government. Give the government an inch and it will take a mile. Remember, this is the same governmental entity that banned hemp (a remarkably efficient and environmental plant), mandated racial segregation at one point, and started numerous destructive wars. I’m constantly amazed at how quickly people trust the government. This makes me very hesitant to give government the authority to ban light bulbs, invade countries that haven’t harmed us, regulate what we can and can’t eat, etc. As Gary Johnson said, “Where does government end and personal responsibility begin?” This is indeed a difficult question.

    Let’s go with your light bulb example. What makes you so sure the bureaucrats and politicians in Washington are telling the truth or know all the facts? What’s to keep them from mistakenly banning a great product? When bureaucrats/politicians make an error, it effects all of us. CFL light bulbs are actually quite dangerous because they have a high level of mercury content, which means they cannot be recycled or thrown away in a normal way; this will be a huge issue in 15-20 years once the current CFL light bulbs break down.

    Do you know what the procedure is if a CFL light bulb breaks or smashes? The EPA sends in the equivalent of a SWAT team to clean up the mess. The high mercury level in CFLs is incredibly dangerous. In other words, outright bans of incandescent light bulbs for these poisonous, dangerous, and dim CFLs strikes me as a bit odd.

    Think of it this way: if CFLs are so good, why must you force people to use them? It’s not as if people are resistant to new and better products; we are not desperately clutching cell phones, TVs, or computers from 10-20 years ago. People prefer incandescent bulbs because they give off better and stronger light, they are less dangerous, and generally they’re just better products. Of course, if someone wants to buy CFL bulbs, that’s absolutely their choice.

    Another issue is that there is no authority in the Constitution for Congress to ban light bulbs. It is an outrageous overreach of government power to meddle in the affairs of the people.

    I don’t disagree with the tragedy of the commons; in many cases, property rights are a great solution to the tragedy. However, just because there might be an issue with individual self-interest does not necessarily mean government coercion is the ideal solution. Rather than use government force, why not give voluntary persuasion a try? Weak ideas require force to be implemented, strong ideas only need voluntary persuasion and active education.

    Really it comes down to this: should the government have the authority to tell us how to live our lives? People are not perfect, and I’ve never made such a claim. However, it’s impractical and very dangerous to assume you can mold society to your liking through forceful government intervention.

    When you get a chance, take a look at this article by Jeffery Tucker: http://mises.org/daily/4725/The-Decivilizing-Effects-of-Government Tucker does an excellent job explaining these ideas I’ve just discussed.

    Essentially, I do see government intervention as a “de-civilizing” tool; meddling in the peaceful affairs of individuals. People aren’t going to make brilliant choices all the time, but that’s the meaning of freedom and liberty: the freedom to make choices both boneheaded and brilliant. It’s not up to government to force us how to live or make choices. Such a concept invites tyranny, abuse, and it is impossible to contain this amount of power.

    Anyway, hope this helps clarify my viewpoint on things. If you have any other questions definitely let me know. Be sure to read the above article by Jeffery Tucker, I think you will enjoy it and at the very least find it entertaining.



    VN:F [1.9.18_1163]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  6. Andrew says:

    Hi David,

    First, on the LED issue (not the CFL issue as you tried to turn it to). You can read about LEDs here: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/08/ff_lightbulbs/all/1. So here is the problem, do you buy a bulb that costs $40, but that will make that back in personal savings over 5-10 years, and in aggregate as a nation make a significant dent in our energy use. Or do you buy the bulb for $1. If the answer in general was “well of course I’ll buy the one that is objectively better in the long run,” then I would have more sympathy for your arguments. But as it is, we both know what that answer is.

    On how quickly people trust governments: I partially agree, and I do believe that the average American citizen is woefully ignorant of what happens in their name. But… To use an economic argument, I tend to think of this as specialization. Requiring people to be able to make informed decisions about every piece of food, every cosmetic, every cleaning product and every building material out there is simply not practical. Yes, there are many cases where government is bought by the very people they are supposed to be protecting us from (which is another issue), but on the whole, that is a public good that I don’t believe the free-market would create on its own.

    Further, as a result of the previously mentioned ignorance (or in some cases apathy), people simply do not care where their products come from as long as they’re cheap. I simply do not believe that people are able, on a day to day basis, to take into account the long-term cost to the planet, and thus themselves. Sure, they might feel a twinge of guilt that the company making their goods is dumping toxic chemicals in the watershed, but not enough to seriously hurt that companies profits.

    On DDT. I simply cannot believe he used this argument, for so many reasons. First, this is a chemical that has been directly linked to diabetes, developmental disorders, nearly every known form of cancer, neurological diseases, environmental and wildlife damage. To top that all off, its effects are highly residual, and transferable through both air and water systems. Yes, the WHO uses it to combat malaria. But, they are phasing it out because mosquitos are becoming resistant anyway, and because spreading other problems along with your cure isn’t the greatest policy if it can be avoided. If you could *somehow* contain its effects solely to your own home and person, and weren’t housing minors who didn’t have a say in the matter, then yes, I’d be happy to let people use those products.
    About Tucker’s ridiculous tirade on water heaters. First, I don’t feel the same as he does on any of those issues. I don’t have a problem with my bed linens, nor does my dishwasher have trouble cleaning dishes, nor do my shirts have any trouble retaining their whiteness. And if they did? I could turn my water heater up. Saying that changing the normal setting for 140 to 120 is an attack on civilization is absurd. And further, saying that the change is unfair to the people who want their setting higher is just as silly as saying that having the setting higher is unfair to the people who want it lower. Most people won’t notice the difference, energy will be saved, and if you really have a problem with it, you can raise it. How is this worthy of righteous indignation?

    The trash one I grant him to a degree. Municipal waste systems are usually, well, rubbish. But overall its very difficult to take him seriously when he makes claims such as: “There is no way to know [what innovation might occur in a privatized waste system], because government control has stopped the process of innovation.” Which is, again, completely absurd. The treatment of waste is a municipal decision, and many city governments have chosen to privatize their waste management systems and there has been tons of private sector development in these areas. And this doesn’t even mention the entire countries with private waste management. Check out Germany here: http://earth911.com/news/2009/07/13/trash-planet-germany/ (You might notice that part of their system involves individuals ‘sift[ing] through our own garbage and separate it according to type,’ the concept that Mr. Tucker found so repugnant and unsanitary).

    I’m simply out of time or desire to go into this rest of his absurd quibbles, but I will grant him the patent system. It is 100% broken.

    I don’t think government is the ‘ideal’ solution. But I don’t think there is an ideal solution. I wish I had as much trust in people as you do. But unfortunately I haven’t seen evidence that people very good at acting based on the long term and widespread costs of their actions. I am certainly for personal choice, what you eat, what you read, what you wear, who you pray to or not, how you spend your time… As long as it doesn’t affect other people.

    This was somewhat exhausting to research and write, so while I’d be fascinated to hear your reply, I’m not sure I have the time or energy to keep this discussion going. If you develop a free market system that takes into account environmental and human costs, let me know, I’ll be on board in a heartbeat. Until then, please keep fighting for the greatest good (Which I know you are and appreciate, even if I disagree with your means), but also please find someone with more sense than Mr. Tucker to guide your cause.

    VA:F [1.9.18_1163]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  7. Nikki says:

    My toilets work because when I renovated, I put the old ones back in, my sister however bought new ones and hers do not work, several flushings and they are nastier to clean.

    As for lightbulbs, the new ones are extremely expensive and give off a light that is unappealing, in fact irritating. Reminds me of old East Germany. The beauracrats paradise.

    I pray my old washer doesn’t break down, because the new sloshing front loaders do not get clothes clean, not to mention, the new clothes soaps are questionable, you will need to add other products, so how is that an improvement?

    Bought a new dishwasher, have to buy more expensive dishsoap or the dishes are not clean. Is this an improvement, are the new products actually better for the environment, time will tell.

    We are now a strangled economy because of the massive misdirected government agencies. They are frighening. The brave new world is here. If I could vote in Rand Paul’s state I would, apparently the people of that state have some sense.

    VA:F [1.9.18_1163]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  8. I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the layout of your website?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    VA:F [1.9.18_1163]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Leave a Response