Paul Craig Roberts
|Dr. Paul Craig Roberts|
|United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy|
April 3, 1939 |
Atlanta, Georgia, US
|Political party||Independent (formerly Republican)|
|Alma mater||Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Virginia
(PhD Economics) University of Oxford
(Fellow in Economics)
He reached the height of his government career when he became the United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under President Reagan in 1981. In office he and his staff successfully combated the stagflation (price-inflation and stagnation) then plaguing the American Economy. Tighter monetary policy was used to restrain inflation, in addition lower marginal tax rates were used to increase the rewards to work and investment. In recognition, he was awarded the US Treasury’s Meritorious Service Award for “outstanding contributions to the formulation of United States economic policy”.
A strong critic of the Bush (and later Obama) administrations' handling of the War on Terror, he has taken positions strongly at odds with mainstream politicians: harshly criticising the ineffectiveness, severity and high rates of incarceration associated with the War on Drugs, excessive police violence and use of SWAT teams against civilians. He has criticised the law and order politics and congressional approval of increased government surveillance associated with the War on Terror age, which he views as fundamental threats to the civil liberties and Right to Privacy enshrined in the US constitution, opening the way for an oligarchic police state to be imposed upon the US population. A vocal critic of neoliberalism, US oligarchy and the financialization of the economy, his articles have addressed and criticized outsourcing, economic deregulation, privatisation of social services, Wall Street finance fraud and lax enforcement of environmental protection laws. He has also been a vocal opponent of taxing social-security payments, holding that this amounts to a "tax on a tax" or privatising social-security believing this would create and opportunity for speculators to play with and lose the hard-earned savings of retirees.
A supporter of the human rights of the population of occupied Palestine, he has criticized Israel’s policies and harsh actions against the Palestinians as well as speaking out against what he calls the Israel Lobby's malign influence within US politics and academia.
- 1 Early life and Career
- 2 Works
- 3 Honors and recognition
- 4 Views
- 5 Published works
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life and Career
Dr. Roberts is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology (BS Industrial Engineering) and holds a PhD from the University of Virginia. He was a postgraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Merton College, Oxford University. His first scholarly article (Classica et Mediaevalia) was a reformulation of “The Pirenne Thesis.”
From 1975 to 1978, Roberts served on the congressional staff. As economic counsel to Congressman Jack Kemp, he drafted the Kemp-Roth bill (which became the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981). He played a leading role in developing bipartisan support for a supply-side economic policy. Due to his influential 1978 article on tax burden for Harper’s, while economic counsel to Senator Orrin Hatch, the Wall Street Journal editor Robert L. Bartley offered him an editorial slot. He wrote for the WSJ until 1980. He was a senior fellow in political economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, then part of Georgetown University.
From early 1981 to January 1982, Roberts served as assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy. President Ronald Reagan and Treasury Secretary Donald Regan credited him with a major role in the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, and he was awarded the Treasury Department’s Meritorious Service Award for “outstanding contributions to the formulation of United States economic policy.”
After his time in government he turned to journalism, holding positions of editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week, and the Scripps Howard News Service as well as contributing editor to Harper's Magazine.
During this period he also had a distinguished career in academia. In addition to numerous guest and visiting-professorships at US universities, he was professor of business administration and professor of economics at George Mason University and was the inaugural William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at Georgetown University, serving for 12 years.
In The New Color Line (1995), Roberts argued that the Civil Rights Act was subverted by the bureaucrats who applied it. He thought it was being used to create status-based privileges and threatened the equality of the Fourteenth Amendment in whose name it was passed. In The Tyranny of Good Intentions (2000), Roberts documented what he saw as the erosion of the Blackstonian legal principles that ensure that law is a shield of the innocent and not a weapon in the hands of government.
Honors and recognition
He was awarded the US Treasury’s Meritorious Service Award for “outstanding contributions to the formulation of United States economic policy”.
In 1987 the French government recognized him as "the artisan of a renewal in economic science and policy after half a century of state interventionism"; it inducted him into the Legion of Honor on March 20, 1987. The French Minister of Economics and Finance, Edouard Balladur, came to the US from France to present the medal to Roberts. President Reagan sent OMB Director Jim Miller to the ceremony with a letter of congratulation.
In 1992, Roberts received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism from the free-market American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States.
In 2015, the Mexican Press Club awarded Dr. Roberts its International Award For Excellence In Journalism in recognition of his lifelong commitment to truth and unbiased-reporting in exposing the inner workings of the global economic power-structure.
Criticism of Bush
Although his criticisms of George W. Bush often seemed to align him with the political left, Roberts continues to explain Ronald Reagan’s two goals—to end stagflation and the cold war. Roberts has written that “true conservatives” were the “first victims” of the neocons of the Bush administration. He has criticized the Bush tax cuts, believing they "were nothing but a greedy grab" and were "not necessary policy adjustments but rewards to the mega-rich who underwrite political careers and provide grants to economic departments and think tanks", however, also stating that "they are not a significant cause of today's inequality." He has said that supporters of George W. Bush “are brownshirts with the same low intelligence and morals as Hitler’s enthusiastic supporters.”
Roberts is a vocal critic of neoliberalism and the financialization of the economy, having condemned jobs offshoring, deregulation and privatization in the U.S., However, he has spoken in defense of his time working in Ronald Reagan's administration with supply side economics. Roberts has also criticized Keynesian economics to a lesser degree then laissez-faire market economics, but a nonetheless resolute view.
Roberts has been critical of the United States Department of the Treasury and the U.S. financial regulatory authorities- particularly the actions of the Federal Reserve System- from former Chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke's terms to current Chairwoman Janet Yellen via quantitative easing policies and low interest rates, the latter of which he has argued (due to his view that official government data is biased) is actually negative interest rates.
Roberts has argued that the U.S. has transitioned into an oligarchic police state, in which special interests, lobbyists and big banks have significant power over politicians, and therefore- the US government's actions. Roberts has particularly condemned former Secretary of State and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as well as the neoconservatives of the Republican Party.
Roberts has criticized actions by the Israeli government in the 21st century. He cautions against confusing opinions about a right-wing Zionist government with support of world Jewry. In one of his columns, “What Became of Western Morality?” (January 2005), he noted that it is Israeli newspapers, not American ones, that protest Israeli government “atrocities” against Palestinians: "It is the goyim moralists who are silent, not the Jews. It is the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, not the goyim media, that provides reports of Israel’s abuse of Palestinians".
In a 2009 article for Counterpunch magazine, titled “Pirates of the Mediterranean,” Roberts wrote that for 60 years, Israel has replicated “the 17th, 18th, and 19th century theft of American Indian lands by US settlers.” Roberts repeated accusations that Gaza is “the world largest concentration camp,” populated by people who were “driven out of Palestine so that Israel could steal their land.” He called the U.S. State Department a “puppet” of the Israelis and the U.S. a “puppet state” of the Israelis. He concluded that “there’s no money for California, or for Americans’ health care, or for the several million Americans who have lost their homes and are homeless, because Israel needs it.”
Roberts cautions against blaming all Jews for the actions of a right-wing government:
The world will need to remember that although Israel is a Jewish state, it is a state whose policies many Jews find objectionable, just as a majority of American Jews oppose President Bush’s wars of aggression in the Middle East and his unconstitutional policies at home. We must not confuse Israel’s Zionist government with world Jewry, just as we must not confuse the American people with the war criminals in the Bush regime.
Yet the Anti-Defamation League, a pro-Zionist organization, has criticized Roberts as allegedly promoting anti-semitism for his supposed "criticism of Israel and Jews," making his writings "popular with fringe publications on both the left and the right."  Roberts has been described by the Anti-Defamation League as an "anti-semite" and conspiracy theorist. He has been described as a conspiracy theorist by USA Today and Reason as well.
September 11, 2001 attacks
Of the 9/11 Commission Report, he wrote in 2006, “One would think that if the report could stand analysis, there would not be a taboo against calling attention to the inadequacy of its explanations.” (see Criticisms of the 9/11 Commission Report). He has asserted there is a large "energy deficit" in the official account of the collapse of the three WTC buildings, and this deficit remains unexplained.
Roberts comments on the “scientific impossibility” of the official explanation for the events on 9/11. On August 18, 2006, he wrote:
I will begin by stating what we know to be a solid incontrovertible scientific fact. We know that it is strictly impossible for any building, much less steel columned buildings, to “pancake” at free fall speed. Therefore, it is a non-controversial fact that the official explanation of the collapse of the WTC buildings is false.... Since the damning incontrovertible fact has not been investigated, speculation and “conspiracy theories” have filled the void.
War on Terror
Roberts asked, “Is the War on Terror a Hoax?” and argued that it has “killed, maimed, dislocated, and made widows and orphans of millions of Muslims in six countries.” Roberts called the attacks “naked aggression” on civilian populations and infrastructure that “constitute war crimes.”
Anwar al-Awlaki was an American cleric who became linked to the 9/11 hijackers from evidence obtained by German law enforcement during a search of an apartment owned by Ramzi bin al-Shibh, widely regarded as a key facilitator of the 9/11 attacks. In addition, al-Awlaki was alleged to have participated in the planning, recruitment, and financing of a number of al-Qaeda operations against western targets from 2004 to 2011. After being imprisoned in Yemen, he espoused a radical Islamist position and appeared to have been involved with the attempted Christmas Day bombing in 2008. In October 2011 he was killed by a United States surgical strike, likely involving UAV aircraft. Roberts objected, calling the operation “the day America died.” He wrote that although Awlaki was critical of “indiscriminate assaults on Muslim peoples” and “told Muslims that they did not have to passively accept American aggression,” the U.S. lacked evidence that Awlaki was either a real threat or an Al Qaeda operative.
Sandy Hook attack
In March, 2016, Roberts published an article claiming that many pictures associated with the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting were "doctored." He further claimed that he was unable to determine if the shootings had actually taken place or not.
Charlie Hebdo attack
In a column for the Ron Paul Institute, Roberts said that the U.S. government executed the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris to punish France for its independent foreign policy. He cited its vote to recognize Palestine as a state at the United Nations and French President Hollande’s call to ease sanctions on Russia.
He has written or co-written 12 books, contributed chapters to numerous books, and published many articles in scholarly journals. His writings have also appeared in a variety of print and online publications worldwide.
- Alienation and the Soviet Economy (1971, 1990) ISBN 0-8419-1247-5
- Marx's Theory of Exchange, Alienation, and Crisis (1973, 1983) ISBN 0-03-069791-3 (Spanish language edition: 1974)
- The Supply Side Revolution: An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington (1984) ISBN 0-674-85620-1 (Chinese language edition: 2012)
- Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy (1990) ISBN 0-932790-80-1
- The Capitalist Revolution in Latin America (1997) ISBN 0-19-511176-1 (Spanish language edition: 1999)
- The New Color Line: How Quotas and Privilege Destroy Democracy (1995) ISBN 0-89526-423-4
- The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice (2000) ISBN 0-7615-2553-X (new edition: 2008)
- How the Economy Was Lost: The War of the Worlds (2010) ISBN 978-1-84935-007-5
- Wirtschaft Am Abgrund (2012) ISBN 978-3-938706-38-1
- Chile: Dos Visiones, La era Allende-Pinochet (2000) ISBN 956-284-134-0
- The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West (2012) ISBN 0986036250
- How America was Lost. From 9/11 to the Police/Warfare State (2014) ISBN 9780986036293
- Roberts, Paul Craig. "Republicans Are The Party Of Death — Guest Column by Pat Buchanan".
- http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/.../paul-craig-roberts-we-have-a-republican-party- that-is-a-gestapo-party/
- "Blog". PaulCraigRoberts.org. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
- Reagan, Ronald. "Nomination of Paul Craig Roberts To Be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury". The American Presidency Project.
- "Amerikan Stasi Police State Staring Us In The Face — Paul Craig Roberts".
- "The Social Costs Of Capitalism Are Destroying Earth's Ability To Support Life — Paul Craig Roberts".
- Roberts, Paul Craig. "Consider the taxation of Social Security benefits". Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Robert, Paul Craig. "America's Shame". Paulcraigroberts.org. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
-  Archived September 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- The Bulletin, 30 January 1981, "Roberts nominated"
- Paul Craig Roberts, "Disguising the tax burden: Little-known facts beneath the rhetoric of reform", Harper's, March 1978
- Bruce Bartlett, Human Events, 28 January 2002, "'Rich' Pay More Than What's Fair.", 58(4), p. 14
- Paul Craig Roberts, Washington Times, 17 December 2003, "Two who made a difference"
- Stratton, Lawrence M. (2001-08-01). "Paul Craig Roberts | Hoover Institution". Hoover.org. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
- ""Truth in Media is the Enemy of Washington, Truth is Our Country" Acceptance Speech, International Award For Excellence In Journalism, Mexican Press Club". Global Research News.
- Paul Craig Roberts: "Who Will Save America?", CounterPunch
- Paul Craig Roberts, "The Reality Beneath the Flag-Waving", NewsMax
- "Whatever Happened to Western Morality?", Counterpunch
-  Archived July 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Bombing of the University in Gaza? - What Became of Western Morality?". Radioislam.org. 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
-  Archived December 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Anti-Semitic Conspiracies Continue In Aftermath Of Paris Attacks » ADL Blogs". Blog.adl.org. 2015-01-15. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
- Matt Welch (2015-01-15). "Ron Paul Institute Publishes a Charlie Hebdo 'False Flag' Piece - Hit & Run". Reason.com. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
- Darrell Delamaide (2015-08-25). "Delamaide: Fed role murky amid market chaos". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
- Roberts, Paul Craig (2006-06-02). "Who Will Save America?". Information Clearing House. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
- Roberts, Paul Craig. "9/11 and the Evidence". Information Clearing House. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
- Roberts, Paul Craig (2006-08-16). "What we know and don't know about 9/11". Information Clearing House. Retrieved 2007-12-06.
- "The Osama bin Laden Myth". PaulCraigRoberts.org. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
-  Archived August 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "the day america died". lewrockwell. London. October 3, 2011.
- Luke Brinker (2015-01-16). "Ron Paul defends insane Charlie Hebdo conspiracy theory: I'm just trying "to get the truth out"!". Salon.com. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
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