Carl Person, a Harvard Law Graduate who founded the Paralegal Institute and who is seeking the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination in 2012, has published the following biography to provide some insight regarding his background and experiences:
Let me introduce myself.
My name is Carl Person and I am a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination for President in 2012.
High school did not stimulate me, and I found ways to avoid going to class, such as by volunteering to run the school’s projector, and sometimes by not showing up for school.
I already knew about work, having had one job or another since the age of 9, when I had a newspaper delivery route (by bicycle) in North Platte, Nebraska.
When I moved back east, to East Northport, Long Island, New York, I worked while in school in the local bowling alley setting up pins (before pin-setting machines were installed), delivering milk for a local dairy (and learning how to hold 7-8 quart bottles of milk in my hands at one time); and as a potato peeler, dishwasher and later a substitute short order cook in our town’s all night diner.
Being experienced in making enough money to get by, I really saw little need to learn any French. And my French teacher in the 10th grade made an offer to me – “Promise not to take French again and I’ll give you a passing mark.” I told her to give me whatever I deserved, and she gave me an F. I didn’t care because I did not plan to go any further in high school. I wanted to be free and have a good time.
I had learned how to make money starting at age 9 and when dropping out of high school (at age 16) I knew that I could always make money. My father wasn’t happy about what I did, but there was little he could do about it. He went to work each day in NYC and I did what I wanted to do while he was gone.
I landed a job with Firestone driving a pickup truck to help start cars which their owners couldn’t start or to fix or change flat tires. Also, I drove a small Ford tractor for a home construction company. I made ammunition boxes for the Korean war effort as a drill press operator, and will never forget when the union shop steward came up to me and said, “Look, I know that you’re new here, but you’re working way too fast, and are making the rest of us look bad. You’d better slow down or else.” I understood immediately, and complied, and reduced my effort about 50% and got along fine.
Instead of the good time I was seeking, I wound up doing various menial tasks to earn the few dollars I needed (while living rent free with my father).
Within one year from freedom from high school, it became clear to me that I was heading nowhere, and decided with my best friend to join the Army, for a 3-year hitch. My father wasn’t happy, but went with me to a Post Office to sign the necessary forms allowing me to join, as a high school dropout – not a very promising introduction into the armed services.
My friend and I were taken by bus to Fort Dix, New Jersey for introductory processing, including the taking of various tests. My friend went to a Signal Corps school to learn how to string telephone lines on telephone poles and I was sent to become a high speed radio operator, learning how to read, send and transcribe Morse Code at 25 words per minute.
After my training was over, at which I learned how to type and shoot a rifle and pistol (the only useful skills I took with me from the Army), I was assigned to Okinawa, and was transported there by a huge military ship with thousands of other soldiers thrown closely together for a 17-day journey, as I now recall. Talking, sleeping, gambling and looking for moments of privacy took up most of our time.
Finally, we landed at Okinawa, and were taken by “deuce-and-a-half” or 2-1/2 ton truck to Machiminato, a base near the capital city of Naha, for orientation and assignment, and later I moved to the Headquarters Company in Sukiran, and started my stint as a ship-to-shore radio operator, working the midnight shift in an Okinawan town known as Shimabuku. My call sign was ADD2 (di dah, dah di dit, dah di dit, di di dah dah dah) and for almost two years I was listening for any ships sending out an S-O-S for any reason, to pass on the S-O-S to those who might be of help to the ship in distress.
Life in a foreign country (actually, an island 70 miles long and 7 miles wide) for a 17-19 year old with little spending money was not very exciting, and most of us could only wait until we became “short timers”, meaning that we had fewer than 100 days left on “The Rock”. I learned that the Army had an early release program for those who wished to attend college, and I asked my father to find a college willing to accept me.
This proved to be quite difficult, and my father found only one college, Long Island University. I obtained my early release, enabling me to start summer school at LIU. The Director of Admissions who admitted me in spite of my drop out status and lack of a GED diploma hired me as his assistant within several weeks after my admission, and 1-1/2 years later I became President of the Student Body, and a leading student academically.
I remember the first day in college, when entering the elevator for the first time, I asked the elevator operator “Who is the brightest student at LIU”. He and others told me it was “Hollister Brewster”, who in a few weeks became one of my best friends at LIU. He came in 1st and I came in 3rd. He obtained entrance to Cornell Medical College on a full scholarship (one of a class of about 65 students) and I was admitted to all law schools to which I applied, and chose to go to Harvard Law School, from which my father had graduated 36 years earlier.
I worked harder than anyone at law school but wasn’t able with all that effort to take any honors. It seemed that they went to students who for some reason didn’t have to study very hard, such as Richard Posner (7th Circuit Court of Appeals) who came in first.
Nevertheless, I was appointed to become law clerk to the Chief Judge of the United States Tax Court in Washington D.C., which I declined because of the low compensation and high cost of living in Washington, and instead accepted a position with a NYC law firm to which Richard Nixon and John Mitchell were going to become partners.
I worked for several years as a Wall Street lawyer doing securities work, trusts and estates, taxation, and corporate law, and went out on my own to become an individual practitioner and small business owner in 1968.
Because of my self employment, I was able to commence lawsuits that would have had me fired if I had been working for a major law firm. I used my legal skills to try to limit government regulation and government spending. For example, I sued to legalize lawyer advertising; to legalize all gambling in NYS; to stop government financing of NYC ball parks; and to stop payments to major media for not moving their offices out of NYC.
I created the paralegal field, and owned and ran the Paralegal Institute for 18 years. I know first hand about the crippling effect of government regulation on education and small business, and tried to do something about it, by two lawsuits seeking to reduce the regulation of for-profit vocational schools in NYS, so that their regulation would be no more stringent than the regulation of competing vocational programs offered by NYU and other degree-granting universities.
Because of my exposure to extreme regulation of education for 18 years, I am in a position to know what needs to be done to reduce or eliminate such regulation and the benefits to be obtained. Regulation slows down if not stops the ability and willingness of schools to create and maintain a cutting-edge curriculum. For example, when I ran the Paralegal Institute, it took me several years and various compromises to be able to obtain state approval for a program I designed to create a new field of employment I called a "Personal Assistant" or "Business Assistant" to the owner of a small business. If, earlier, I had not started the Paralegal Institute before licensing was required, I would never have started the school. Regulated schools find it too difficult to create new types of programs and let their existing programs deteriorate into obsolescence and irrelevance with the predictable inability of graduates to get meaningful jobs while at the same time being stuck with massive student loans they are unable to pay off, with hundreds of billions of dollars in loan losses paid by taxpayers. Get rid of regulation of education and you’ll reduce the costs of government in a variety of ways and get a better, competitive educational system, and create more jobs for Americans.
After the time the Paralegal Institute closed its doors, I became a political activist. I’ve learned that meaningful, permanent jobs can’t be created by government programs. For job creation the government needs to end as much regulation of small business as possible, and let small business create and improve their educational offerings and let the free market select which ones are the best, and which should fail or be improved.
I am anti-war (which would save trillions of dollars in so many different ways and help to create a sound, sustainable economy through ending all unnecessary wars and bringing our troops back home); I want to end the war on drugs and legalize victimless crimes. If we end the stifling regulation of small business, healthcare issues can be solved in a free market without federal intervention. Social Security can be phased out and replaced with a more workable model. Also, we need to end the Federal Reserve, without further weakening our currency.
I have been active in the Libertarian Party of Queens County for nearly a decade and in 2010, I ran for New York State Attorney General and came in third, with the highest number of votes for that office ever received by a Libertarian Party candidate.
I intend to use my candidacy to spread the message of libertarianism to those open to the message of liberty, both on the right and left, and in so doing, strengthen the Libertarian Party at the state and national level. I intend to raise and spend a considerable sum to accomplish these goals. I ask for your support.
You may contact Carl Person (pronounced pier-son) by phone at 1-212-307-4444 or by e-mail at CarlForPresident2012@yahoo.com