Archive for the ‘Monetarism & economy’ Category

Monetary Aid for Banks

October 30, 2008

This cartoon explains very well the monetary aid from governments for banks. Click to enlarge:

Source: SinFest.

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Ron Paul – Paper Money and Tyranny

January 26, 2008

Paper Money and Tyranny

All great republics throughout history cherished sound money. This meant that the monetary unit was a commodity of honest weight and purity. When money was sound, civilizations were found to be more prosperous and freedom thrived. The less free a society becomes, the greater the likelihood its money is being debased and the economic well-being of its citizens diminished.

Alan Greenspan, years before he became Federal Reserve Board Chairman in charge of flagrantly debasing the U.S. dollar, wrote about this connection between sound money, prosperity, and freedom. In his article “Gold and Economic Freedom” (The Objectivist, July 1966), Greenspan starts by saying:

“An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is an issue that unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense…that gold and economic freedom are inseparable.”

Further he states that:

“Under the gold standard, a free banking system stands as the protector of an economy’s stability and balanced growth.”

Astoundingly, Mr. Greenspan’s analysis of the 1929 market crash, and how the Fed precipitated the crisis, directly parallels current conditions we are experiencing under his management of the Fed. Greenspan explains:

“The excess credit which the Fed pumped into the economy spilled over into the stock market- triggering a fantastic speculative boom.”

And,

“…By 1929 the speculative imbalances had become overwhelming and unmanageable by the Fed.”

Greenspan concluded his article by stating:

“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation.”

He explains that the “shabby secret” of the proponents of big government and paper money is that deficit spending is simply nothing more than a “scheme for the hidden confiscation of wealth.”Yet here we are today with a purely fiat monetary system, managed almost exclusively by Alan Greenspan, who once so correctly denounced the Fed’s role in the Depression while recognizing the need for sound money.

The Founders of this country, and a large majority of the American people up until the 1930s, disdained paper money, respected commodity money, and disapproved of a central bank’s monopoly control of money creation and interest rates. Ironically, it was the abuse of the gold standard, the Fed’s credit-creating habits of the 1920s, and its subsequent mischief in the 1930s, that not only gave us the Great Depression, but also prolonged it. Yet sound money was blamed for all the suffering. That’s why people hardly objected when Roosevelt and his statist friends confiscated gold and radically debased the currency, ushering in the age of worldwide fiat currencies with which the international economy struggles today.

If honest money and freedom are inseparable, as Mr. Greenspan argued, and paper money leads to tyranny, one must wonder why it’s so popular with economists, the business community, bankers, and our government officials. The simplest explanation is that it’s a human trait to always seek the comforts of wealth with the least amount of effort. This desire is quite positive when it inspires hard work and innovation in a capitalist society. Productivity is improved and the standard of living goes up for everyone. This process has permitted the poorest in today’s capitalist countries to enjoy luxuries never available to the royalty of old.

But this human trait of seeking wealth and comfort with the least amount of effort is often abused. It leads some to believe that by certain monetary manipulations, wealth can be made more available to everyone.Those who believe in fiat money often believe wealth can be increased without a commensurate amount of hard work and innovation. They also come to believe that savings and market control of interest rates are not only unnecessary, but actually hinder a productive growing economy. Concern for liberty is replaced by the illusion that material benefits can be more easily obtained with fiat money than through hard work and ingenuity. The perceived benefits soon become of greater concern for society than the preservation of liberty. This does not mean proponents of fiat money embark on a crusade to promote tyranny, though that is what it leads to, but rather they hope they have found the philosopher’s stone and a modern alternative to the challenge of turning lead into gold.

Our Founders thoroughly understood this issue, and warned us against the temptation to seek wealth and fortune without the work and savings that real prosperity requires. James Madison warned of “The pestilent effects of paper money”, as the Founders had vivid memories of the destructiveness of the Continental dollar. George Mason of Virginia said that he had a “Mortal hatred to paper money”. Constitutional Convention delegate Oliver Ellsworth from Connecticut thought the convention “a favorable moment to shut and bar the door against paper money”. This view of the evils of paper money was shared by almost all the delegates to the convention, and was the reason the Constitution limited congressional authority to deal with the issue and mandated that only gold and silver could be legal tender. Paper money was prohibited and no central bank was authorized. Over and above the economic reasons for honest money, however, Madison argued the moral case for such. Paper money, he explained, destroyed

“the necessary confidence between man and man, on necessary confidence in public councils, on the industry and morals of people and on the character of republican government.”

The Founders were well aware of the biblical admonitions against dishonest weights and measures, debased silver, and watered-down wine. The issue of sound money throughout history has been as much a moral issue as an economic or political issue.

Even with this history and great concern expressed by the Founders, the barriers to paper money have been torn asunder. The Constitution has not been changed, but is no longer applied to the issue of money. It was once explained to me, during the debate over going to war in Iraq, that a declaration of war was not needed because to ask for such a declaration was “frivolous” and that the portion of the Constitution dealing with congressional war power was “anachronistic”. So too, it seems that the power over money given to Congress alone and limited to coinage and honest weights, is now also “anachronistic”.

If indeed our generation can make the case for paper money, issued by an unauthorized central bank, it behooves us to at least have enough respect for the Constitution to amend it in a proper fashion. Ignoring the Constitution in order to perform a pernicious act is detrimental in two ways. First, debasing the currency as a deliberate policy is economically destructive beyond measure. Second, doing it without consideration for the rule of law undermines the entire fabric of our Constitutional republic.

Though the need for sound money is currently not a pressing issue for Congress, it’s something that cannot be ignored because serious economic problems resulting from our paper money system are being forced upon us. As a matter of fact, we deal with the consequences on a daily basis, yet fail to see the connection between our economic problems and the mischief orchestrated by the Federal Reserve.

All the great religions teach honesty in money, and the economic shortcomings of paper money were well known when the Constitution was written, so we must try to understand why an entire generation of Americans have come to accept paper money without hesitation, without question.Most Americans are oblivious to the entire issue of the nature and importance of money. Many in authority, however, have either been misled by false notions or see that the power to create money is indeed a power they enjoy, as they promote their agenda of welfarism at home and empire abroad.

Money is a moral, economic, and political issue. Since the monetary unit measures every economic transaction, from wages to prices, taxes, and interest rates, it is vitally important that its value is honestly established in the marketplace without bankers, government, politicians, or the Federal Reserve manipulating its value to serve special interests.

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