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Vivek Ramaswamy's Heterodox Policies EXPLAINED
Imagine running for president where basically your only credential is you got rich off of convincing a lot of people to invest in failed drugs.
Imagine running for president where you largely kept your mouth shut about politics because you didn’t want to upset the powers-that-be only to start speaking out once you saw a way to personally gain from it.
It’s one thing if such a person said, “Yeah, I profited from failure and cowardice, therefore, I know how to fix our socio-economic system so these shortcomings aren’t as profitable in the future!” But instead, Vivek acts like he got rich from good ol’ fashion honest hard work.
But I don’t want to focus on how he’s spent his career prioritizing self-preservation over the national interest as much as I want to focus on his policy positions because on the macro I like that he’s against raising overall taxes (signed the taxpayer protection pledge) and spending (opposed the debt deal), but let’s focus on some of his more heterodox policies that have garnered him so much of his notoriety…
He says he supports more child care, “I’m unapologetically pro-life, but I believe we need to walk the walk when it comes to being pro-life… by helping women get to ‘yes’ through child care, including some ability to draw from Social Security earlier on in life when you actually need it in order to provide for child care. And then also foster, even through the law, greater responsibility for men. Now that we have paternity tests I think there should be greater responsibility of confirmed fathers.”
But why is child care a federal responsibility?
And there’s nothing in Social Security to “draw from.” Social Security is a redistribution of wealth from those who are currently working to those who are currently retired or disabled. The rest is just rhetorical smoke and mirrors.
And then he talks about using the law to force confirmed fathers to take greater responsibility, but clearly, Uncle Sam is in no position to tell fathers how they should parent. I believe fathers should be equal to mothers — equal rights, what a concept!? — so both should automatically get 50/50 custody and then only if a parent is found guilty of a crime such as physical abuse should the state be able to force him or her to pay restitution.
He says he supports sending the US military into Mexico to fight the cartels, “I’ll use our military to annihilate the cartels. If we can do it to ISIS, we can do it to the Chinese-subsidized narco-terrorists south of our own border.”
First, we should build more wall, increase border security, reimplement the Remain in Mexico policy, reduce drug demand, and offer security assistance to the Mexican government and then we’d see a huge drop in illegal immigration and drugs.
Trump threatened to designate the cartels ‘terrorist organizations,’ which would’ve legally allowed the US to attack them, in order to get the Mexican president to agree to Remain in Mexico.
But we should only send troops as a last resort because once we go down this path then who knows how long we’d have to fight them and how far south we’d have to go in order to destroy them.
I’m also uncomfortable with a president broadening a designation that’s historically been used for those who wish to terrorize for ideology to those who wish to kill for profit in order to avoid congressional oversight. In the end, a president should seek to leave office having simplified our laws and strengthened our checks and balances.
Interestingly though for a guy who literally wants to start a war on drugs, he says he’s not a fan of the War on Drugs, “You don’t hear me talk about the War on Drugs. I’m not a War on Drugs person.”
The biggest problem with marijuana is the psychoactive ingredient THC so it might make sense to have a federal law that limits its concentration so that as marijuana becomes more commercialized we’d at least know that its biggest corporate sellers would comply with this regulation.
And I’m open to decriminalizing some of the other drugs he’s mentioned like ayahuasca, but the leftwing narrative that the War on Drugs has been a wholesale failure is empirically false. Yes, we should push for more rehabilitation for drug users, but we should also have steep fines and incarceration for dealers and manufacturers. We should also have state-based safety campaigns to highlight drugs’ dangers like during the 1980’s “Just Say No” campaign. I get that the Left likes to pretend like marketing campaigns against moral degradation don’t work, but clearly the Left believes they do since they’ll spend millions on 60-second Super Bowl ads. The human mind is malleable. The more difficult and stigmatizing we make it to take hard drugs then the fewer people will do them. Duh, dude.
He says he wants to raise the voting age to 25 years old, except for those who pass a civics test or serve as first responders and/or military personnel.
But the “civics” test could evolve into regurgitating a bunch of doublethink loyalty-test jargon, i.e. “Does white privilege exist?” We have gerrymandering with political borders, but this would invite gerrymandering with political biases where whoever has power after each election will try to rewrite the test to disenfranchise as much of their opposition as possible.
This constitutional amendment would also have to define what constitutes a “first responder” and “military personnel,” therefore overcomplicating our supreme law, which will become a litigation nightmare as whole neighborhoods could claim their youth is part of a first responder community watch program where a judge would then have to determine whether say 1 “emergency” call per year is sufficient grounds to call oneself a “first responder.”
But let’s say his civics test only achieved its intended aim of disenfranchising some of the uninformed, I’d still say that better than kicking citizens out of the ballot booth is lifting them up via increasing school choice so that we don’t just have a smarter electorate, but a smarter society.
And then if we raised the voting age and implemented a test for the ballot then how long would it be before we did so for the bullet, Mr. Second Amendment Absolutist?
Vivek supports a flat tax, “I do favor a simple, flat 12% flat tax across the board.”
But rather than trying to raise taxes on the poor in the name of “fairness” we should seek to abolish the payroll tax altogether and abolish the personal income tax for at least the bottom 70% of the population and then tax unearned income and earned income on the same gross graduated rate from 1% to 30%.
Vivek supports a “basket of commodities standard” as well as reducing the Fed’s double-mandate from including “reducing unemployment” to just “stabilizing the US dollar as a unit of measurement.”
I strongly agree with establishing more sound money.
But a “basket of commodities” is worse than a gold standard because the powers-that-be could easily manipulate how much weight each commodity is given as a percentage of the basket similar to what they currently do with the CPI by undervaluing real inflation in order to justify more money printing.
I believe better than letting a “basket of goods” determine how much money we print we simply pass a law where we end the Fed and print 3% new dollars every year that goes straight into the Treasury. No more. No less. We should also make literal gold and silver legal tender to compete with our monetary public option (aka the dollar).
With that said, I agree with his more intermediary solution, which is to replace the double mandate with a single mandate of stabilizing the currency. After all, reducing unemployment should be the prerogative of our elected officials and not unelected bankers.
He supports firing many federal bureaucrats, shutting down many federal agencies, and an “8-year limit for all federal bureaucrats.”
I also agree with radically downsizing our federal bureaucracy, but an 8-year term limit is too short for federal bureaucrats, especially if he counts it consecutively, i.e. if you move from federal job A to B then are you still term-limited by your original start date because then federal employees like Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Douglas McArthur would’ve been term-limited out well before their generalship and then if he doesn’t count it by their original start date then I’m afraid this could invite more complexity as bureaucrats would seek the creation of endless new job titles in which to exercise their power from.
I think we should have term limits for all 4 branches of government as so: 8 years President, 16 years Congresspeople, 16 years Senators, 36 years Supreme Court Justices, and 18 years federal employees.
18 years may sound long, but many of our most powerful politicians have already exceeded this and we’re living longer and longer so I think this is a solid amount of time that’s also more likely to pass as a constitutional amendment.
His foreign policy role model is Tricky Dick, “When it comes to foreign policy, the president I most admire is Richard Nixon.
Richard Nixon’s foreign policy can be summed up as telling the American people one thing while doing the opposite behind the scenes, e.g. he talked tough on China while he worked behind the scenes to open up relations with them and he talked peace on Vietnam while he tried to bomb them into coming to the negotiation table so he could boost his poll numbers in time for his reelection even though he knew that these negotiations would at best prolong the inevitable reunification of Vietnam under communist rule.
In other words, he used American blood like it was a political contribution.
Nixon’s foreign policy wasn’t just driven by electoral concerns, but also a childlike embrace of the “balancing of power” as if real life is an amoral game of Risk.
How Vivek Ramaswamy's embrace of Nixonian foreign policy translates into specific policies is that with, for example, Taiwan he says, “Xi Jinping should not mess with Taiwan until we have achieved semiconductor independence… After that, our commitments to Taiwan — our commitments to be willing to go to military conflict — will change.”
I agree with increasing our semiconductors by massively increasing our semiconductor engineers, but how much progress a president feels we’ve made on this front shouldn’t have any bearing on our relationship to Taiwan’s sovereignty.
We should work with the Taiwanese government to sell them whatever weapons they want while making it clear to them that if conflict comes we may give them some aid, but we wouldn’t send American troops.
Overall, I like that Vivek supports cutting overall taxes and spending as well as I agree with some of his more heterodox positions, but when I look more specifically at his past and policies I see a Nixonian who cares more about looking like he’s speaking the truth rather than actually fighting for it.