Although Jon Stewart and Texas Congressman Ron Paul found common ground in their opposition to the war on drugs on Monday night, Stewart questioned whether all of Paul’s libertarian ideals were realistic.
Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, said during his appearance on The Daily Show that the free market system was the only true humanitarian system.
“In your mind has there ever been a time when the market did regulate itself?” Stewart asked. “And was there a time in our history of capitalism, or anything along those lines, that you could point to and say, ‘that was a better system, that was a more humanitarian system?’ Because my understanding of those days — the 1800s — is that they were incredibly rapacious. And these regulations arose from the failings of the market.”
Paul responded that the collusion between corporations and government made regulations ineffective.
“I think the environment would be better protected by strict property rights,” he said. “I was raised in a city in Pittsburgh, where the sewers were the rivers and the corporations did it in collusion with the government… all you have to say is you have no right to pollute your neighbor’s property.”
“Does there inability to do it effectively mean they shouldn’t do it?” Stewart pressed. “Wouldn’t you rather have people regulating that are accountable to voters than corporations regulating themselves, accountable only to shareholders?”
“But the regulations are stricter in the marketplace,” Paul said.
Watch video, courtesy of Comedy Central, below: