• Ryan’s conservatism influenced by free market economists – JSOnline

    Serving in Congress since 1999, Paul Ryan is a conservative Republican whose ideology was shaped early on by thinkers who extolled individualism and free markets, warned of an overweening state and promoted tax-cutting “supply-side” economics.

    His intellectual heroes include the economists Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, author of “The Road to Serfdom,” Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead,” and former New York congressman and vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, for whom Ryan once worked.

    Of all these, Ryan’s interest in Rand has probably gotten the most attention.

    “Paul can still quote every verse out of Ayn Rand,” his brother Tobin said in a 2009 interview.

    “I grew up on Ayn Rand,” Ryan said at a Washington, D.C., gathering seven years ago honoring Rand. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”

    Ryan credited Rand with laying out the moral case for capitalism and the pitfalls of “statism and collectivism.” In the same 2005 talk, Ryan criticized Social Security as a “collectivist system,” and talked about the need to “personalize” entitlement programs, and convert them from defined benefits to defined contributions, to halt the growth of government, get workers to think more like owners and capitalists, and break the back of “this collectivist philosophy that really pervades 90 percent of the thinking around here in this town.”…(read the complete article…)

    One thing attributed to Ryan in this article that I do like about Ryan:

    “I’m not one of these people who hates the other side. I don’t hate Democrats or hate liberals. I just disagree with them,” says Ryan “I find some of my favorite people in this world are the people who feel passionately about their beliefs and act on them regardless of whether they are beliefs I share or not.”

  • Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate, formed beliefs of self-reliance, conservativism, from early age – The Boston Globe

    …Ryan’s greatest influence, he said years later, was Rand, author of the novels, “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged.” While he is a committed anti-abortion Catholic and rejects Rand’s atheism, support for abortion rights, and her views on anarchy, he embraces her thinking about what he calls the “fight of individualism versus collectivism.”….

    ….The Ryan blueprint became another flashpoint in the congressional debate over government spending and deficits.

    Obama characterized the Ryan budget as “thinly veiled social Darwinism,” provoking an angry rebuke from Ryan, who charged the president with refusing “to take responsibility for the economy.”

    Romney, who earlier this year called the Ryan plan “marvelous,” has doubled down on the proposal by picking Ryan as his running mate, prompting Democrats to revive their arguments against it — and Ryan.

    “He looks amiable, and is amiable, but he’s an economic extremist,” said Representative Barney Frank, a Newton Democrat. Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland,the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee, said, “When the country focuses on his budget plan, they’re not going to like what they see.”….(read the complete article…)

  • Paul Ryan economics: 5 things to know – Aug. 12, 2012
  • Ryan’s Follies: A Crushing Burden of Public Debt | MyFDL
  • Suddenly there’s a bunch of articles about atheism … | The Zingularity— On Paul Ryan embracing Ayn Rand (except when he doesn’t):

    …I’ve been noticing this sort of clumsy ideological embrace more and more on the right. It goes something like, “I agree with these ideas and principles, except for those parts of the ideas and principles I don’t agree with.” Which is not exactly an impressive affirmation of the principles in question. It pretty much defeats the whole purpose of a principle when you pick and choose which consequences of it you disagree with onprinciple … well, maybe I can explain it better with help, anyone know what I’m driving at?—

  • Brad DeLong: On Ryan’s Claim That He Will Just End Medicare as We Know It for the Currently-Young…
  • Brad DeLong: Paul Ryan Denies Ayn Rand Thrice!
  • Mitchell Bard: Pick of Ryan for VP Slot Tells Us More About Romney Than His Campaign Speeches

    Mitt Romney says a lot of things on the campaign trail, many of which turn out to have no relationship with the truth. But in selecting Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate, Romney made a statement as clear, unequivocal and truthful as he’s made since announcing his run for the presidency: No matter what he says for the next nearly three months, the only path he genuinely cares about following should he be elected president is to pursue a far-right economic policy that cares only about the success of the wealthy and corporations, and takes no account on the outcome for all other Americans. Because in selecting Ryan, in effect, Romney can be saying nothing else

    Romney’s severe 1920s business conservatism has always been his core belief as a politician, even beyond his Mormon faith. That’s why he so easily flip-flops on so many issues. He doesn’t really care about abortion, gun control, immigration, stem cells, foreign policy or even health care reform, so it was easy to take whatever position was politically expedient at the time. To Romney, these issues are just obstacles he’s forced to address so he can gain power and pursue his corporate-centric, Bain Capital agenda….

    …In short, Ryan holds the positions of a right-wing extremist who poses a threat to basic American values that have sustained the people of this country for the last 80 years (and the welfare of lower, working and middle class Americans, not to mention the basic rights of women), tucked neatly behind a pleasant looking facade. Don’t believe me? Okay, how about listening to Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, who, as reported by Jonathan Cohn in the New Republic, called Ryan’s budget:

    “Robin Hood in reverse — on steroids. It would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history and likely increase poverty and inequality more than any other budget in recent times (and possibly in the nation’s history).”

    (read the complete article…)

  • Will Ryan’s bishop call him out as a cafeteria Catholic? | Crooks and Liars

    Paul Ryan is what we’d call a “cafeteria Catholic.” Instead of following church teachings, he simply picks and chooses what he wishes to believe. Typically, an American cafeteria Catholic adheres to everything but the birth control/abortion/homosexuality teachings, but Ryan’s an unusual case: He only wants to cut loose the poor and the needy. I wonder if the conservative Bishop Robert C. Morlino of the Madison diocese is going to publicly call him to task, the way conservative bishops do for the other kind of cafeteria Catholics? ….(read the complete article…)

  • Friends, Foes Like Ryan but Disagree on Politics – ABC News
  • A South Korean view of the state of American politics: Economics of politics: which battlefield is better?

Economics & The Economny

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