For many years, Ron Paul has been telling us that the free market holds the cure for all ills, that any government regulation is bad, and that the UN is for all intents and purposes the right hand of Satan.
Now it seems that Dr. Paul would like to acquire control of the two URLs that carry his name, RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org. Apparently, while he was actively involved in politics, he was quite happy to allow some of his supporters to put out the necessary investment and tremendous amount of work to build up his brand on the internet. Now that he is no longer actively campaigning for office, its completely understandable that he would want control of the resource. It's also understandable that those who put the work and money into building up the websites would want compensation for that investment and work.
What a wonderful opportunity to allow the invisible hand of the free market to set a price that would be acceptable to both parties, right? Let’s examine the property that Dr. Paul would like to obtain and that his former supporters would be willing to sell.
There are two URLs, and with them a highly targeted email list of approximately 170,000 addresses. RonPaul.com has been averaging three million hits per year for the last two years. That number makes it a very hot commodity on the internet market.
One of the ways that websites make money is through advertising. An advertiser will pay around $2.00 per thousand views to have their logo and a short blurb placed in a high traffic website. Ron Paul's websites have the added attraction of having highly motivated viewers, so a rate of $5.00 per thousand views is not unreasonable. This is the same as half a cent per view. If a visitor clicks on that advertisement, then the penny paid to the originating website is bumped, perhaps to a nickel. If we do just a little math, assuming just one advertisement on the opening page of the website, if 2% of the visitors actually click on the ad, that means $15,000 per year from the views and another $3,000 from the click-through.
Something else that is sold on this website is Ron Paul clothing. Once again, this is something that Dr. Paul had no apparent interest in as long as that money went to his campaign fund. If just 0.5% of the visitors were to buy a t-shirt, and the profit on that shirt were a dollar, that equates to another $15,000 per year.
So far, we’re up to $33,000 per year income without lifting a finger. At the risk of sounding like a television huckster, I have to say; "but wait – there’s more!"
170,000 highly targeted and opted-in email addresses must to be worth something. As per Direct Marketing News, that something is $89.00 per thousand, bringing our assessment of the email list to $15,130.
The current owners of the URLs are asking $250,000 for them. Assuming that the Paulbots remain as rabid in their support as they currently are, this equates to an ROI of over 13% per year with only one advertiser. The last time I checked, that is a wonderful return. But apparently it’s not enough for Dr. Paul.
Ron Paul is now suing the owners of these URLs in an attempt to bypass the free market. That’s not all. He has chosen to bring that lawsuit under the auspices of the United Nations! This is the absolute height of hypocrisy. Paul has been preaching that an unfettered free market is the only means of fairly running an economy and that the United Nations is a tool used to eliminate American freedom for years.
Now he is choosing to use the United Nations as a tool to sidestep the unfettered free market he previously worshipped.
I used to be disgusted, now I’m just amused.