Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I do not support Peter Schiff for Senate (Michael Barnett)

Michael Barnett expresses my own sentiments that Peter Schiff should stick to his work in the financial sector and on the talk show circuit and not run for Senate:

Peter Schiff is an excellent economist and his appearances on various financial shows (and the corresponding Youtube clips and blog posts) have contributed to the economics education and financial health of thousands of people. Why on earth would he consider running for Senate? I know he can’t possibly believe that the political process has even a remote chance of limiting the size and scope of government… can he? (Aside: I am reminded of the short but poignant “prayer” many a libertarian would do well to look at again – ”Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”) Such a belief would be truly absurd for two reasons:

  1. The inherent inertia of the political workings of Washington D.C. make it nearly impossible to slow down the growth of government; actually shrinking the government from the inside is a metaphysical impossibility.

  2. Even if I am wrong that it’s a metaphysical impossibility to shrink government from the inside, what it would require is more than three libertarians. Were Schiff to win, and Ron Paul’s son Rand Paul to win also, that would make 3 libertarians vs 532 socialists of varying degrees; worse, their forces would be split, as Schiff and Rand would be in the Senate (2 vs 98) and Ron would be in the House (1 vs 434). You’ve got to be kidding me.

I’d prefer to see Schiff save his money and that of all the people who would donate to his campaign (freedom-lovers) so they can use it to brace for the impact of the inevitable depression. Tossing it all into the political advertising money pit is a total waste. That’s an enormous amount to spend ($30 Million or so?) in the hopes that Peter can get elected and make great speeches on CSPAN, given that he already gets invited to speak on the financial circuit with little or no out-of-pocket expense on his part.

Really, his audience is probably orders of magnitude bigger now than it would be in Congress. In my opinion, this is a terrible use of time and money for Schiff and those libertarians who would contribute to his campaign. Don’t do it, Peter.


minnesotakevin said...

I disagree. The problem with many in Washington is that, in their heart, they think that they are doing the right thing for the country. They were brought up in our Keynesian school system, and they've been brainwashed by the media to think that the government is the solution to everyones problems. If Schiff can get in CT, Rand Paul in KY, and Adam Kokesh in NM, we can have a small, but decisive Senate minority. 3/100 is huge, and could break any 50/50 votes out there. The other important factor to remember is that most politicians won't talk to the media or at least someone like Schiff, but when he is sitting next to 99 other Senators, there is bound to be conversation. Schiff said it best, if he can convince at least 1 person of the truth of how government stifles freedom then there is hope. It only took me about 6-9 months of reading and watching Schiff to make me realize how backwards our system is, and it didn't even take much. Schiff's delivery style is great because he rarely raises his voice, he is always curt and polite. Schiff has plenty of Reps in his Broker Dealer to carry on his work. His "popularity" and his credibility need to be put to better use than just being the CEO of a B/D.

Minnesota Chris said...

Minnesotakevin, thanks for your comments. I agree that Mr. Schiff would make a great senator; my contention (and Micahel Barnett's, the original author of the post) is that his election is far from guaranteed, which could result in a complete waste of millions of dollars in campaign contributions. Even if he does win, it will mostly mean he can make some great speeches on C-SPAN like Ron Paul does now.

Besides, Schiff already gets plenty of great coverage through his TV appearances and books, which costs the freedom movement nothing. It's hard to beat that return on investment!

One correction in your post: Adam Kokesh is running for Congress in NM, not for Senate.