About the expensive war efforts ("crusade" as described by some) of the US, here are some ideas from an anti-establishment insider:
Ron Paul before the Iraq war. Wise man see. Fools Rush in.
Perpetual War is Expensive! Jan 20 2011http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGeC5fjpHUo
Doctors Ron and Rand Paul at AC360 with Anderson Cooper Jan 3 2011.wmvhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3pv5mtgQeA
A brief discussion and my opinion on Ron Paul's ideas:
1. Anti immigrant, or more specifically anti non-european immigrant and Isolationism: This is consistent with opinions of familiar conservative and paleo-conservative figures such as Pat Buchanan and late Samuel Huntington. Large scale Hispanic/Mestizo immigration is a cause for valid concern for the majority of European origin in the US, but an Arizona law or putting national guard on the border will not solve this problem. What is needed is to create a stable political structure in the form of a Latin American Union that includes all countries in South and Central America including Mexico. A developed and powerful EU like entity in the South hopefully will create jobs so people will not have to migrate North for a better life. That is what the US needs to work on, if they ever hope to stem this flow of constant migration of the economically disadvantaged and marginalized. So if the Pauls think a hands off approach will do the magic, unfortunately it won't. Paul's anti imperial policy is good, such as closing off bases, though a bit naive, in the absence of other balancing forces in different parts of the globe, but one can gradually move in that direction. Pure isolationism is patently unwise, as it assumes that any large system can survive by itself alone in this increasingly interconnected world. An enlightened policy of guidance for building local and regional centers of power in the form of regional large systems will relieve the US of the headache of global peace keeping and balancing of power. This is similar in a way to the dismantling of Mercantile empires of the past century.
2. Balancing the budget and moving away from a fiat currency controlled by the Feds: I don't think Pauls are gold bugs and want to reintroduce gold based dollars, but using the Fed inter bank rates and money supply (dollar printing machines) to control economic cycles can be dangerous as politics sometimes gets into Fed policies and misuse and abuse the system causing problems. So I tend to agree with Pauls that budget should be more balanced and govt. expenses cut down as much as possible, but fiat currencies are here to stay, whether they are the US Dollar or Euro or Yuan or any future international reserve currency that is based on a weighted basket of currencies, that takes into account the GDP contribution of respective economies. So this new currency may contain lets say 20 currencies of the world's 20 largest economies (G20), with weight given according to its GDP share among G20 economies. Of course if regional systems take shape and they have Euro like new common currencies of their own, these will then take part in the international reserve currency. Moving away from the Dollar/Euro reserve currency regime towards a more fair system for all parts of the globe becomes more essential everyday as more people in different regions find out how they are being unfairly penalized due to whims of countries that can print their currencies at will, bring down the value of their currency and thus levy an instant inflation tax on the rest of globe, who holds these currencies as reserve.
Socialism and generous state welfare system is good as it provides a safety net for the bottom tier population, but it should not be at the expense of future generations, using excessive govt. borrowing, because as a policy it is unsustainable in the long term. One should only spend as much as one has, frugal life style can be a virtue as it is better for the planet and its environment, it is as true for individuals as it is for nation states. Money wasted in useless luxuries can be better utilized in educating young minds and making them more healthy. If a system cannot ensure the health, well being and thus maximizing and utilizing the creativity of the largest numbers of its population, then competing systems will gain the upper hand, who does a better job at ensuring these for their population, which as a result will make the better performing system more competitive.
3. Reducing ties with Israel: Keeping Israel as the 51st state has been a costly venture for the US. The Pauls support a policy of gradually cutting close economic and political ties with Israel. Although this seems to be a non main stream position now, my prediction is that over time, the US population will become increasingly aware of the heavy cost of close ties with Israel. This will also give Israel as a state to find creative solutions to sustain itself and survive as a viable state in the future, without depending so heavily on the US.
4. Corporate America: The Pauls I believe are no friend of big corporations, but their adamant libertarian principle of small govt. may not be a practical solution to counter the damaging effects of greed by corporations, who need to be regulated aggressively to make sure that corporations serve the interest of the people and not the other way around as it is the situation now, where the entire political class, Republicans and Democrats, are both slave to corporate interests and funds. The majority of SCOTUS is also in corporate pocket it seems. So "accidents" don't just happen, oil companies like BP will always try to cut corners to increase share-holder profits, without considering the full consequence of the risks they take with public commons property.
5. Race relations: OK, the Pauls may have a genuine problem in this area. Although Rand Paul talks about legalities in property rights and letting restaurant owners decide for themselves to make a "white only" restaurant, even if technically he may have a fine legal point, these kind of talk is unhelpful, because it will alienate a large chunk of not only black, but Hispanic and other non white minorities as well. Instead of making a white only restaurant or excluding blacks or others from housing en masse, it is more logical to distinguish offending customer or tenant who may be obnoxious or noisy and use existing laws more strictly to deal with such offensive elements. Lets not allow people to discriminate based on the color of their skin (or ethnic origin), when you open a business for public. If you do not let someone in your home, or your immediate circle of friends or you don't date a person of certain race or ethnicity, I believe existing law has nothing to say about such private choices.
Overall, I would say that the Pauls have many good ideas and a genuine good heart to do good just like Obama does, but they need to evolve from their current positions to appeal to a larger voting public and thus make a difference in the future of the US of A, despite the apparent success of Tea Party movement so far.