Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Ron Paul’

“The greatest threat facing middle and working class Americans is our depreciating paper currency.”

    – Ron Paul

Gold, Peace, And Prosperity, The Birth Of A New Currency
by Congressman Ron Paul (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 2011, 91 pages with index).

There is, perhaps, no more critical subject facing our nation at the moment than the activities of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States of America. But while the Fed’s actions over the past 100 years have had a profoundly negative effect on the lives of nearly all Americans, very few people are aware of the ways in which they are robbed by Fed policy. Even more frustrating from the standpoint of those who believe in sound money is that that there appears to be little desire on the part of Americans to cure their ignorance by studying the machinations of these masters of the universe who run the Fed.

Gold_Peace_Prosperity

One of the principle reasons people remain in the chains of ignorance concerning the Fed is the reporting of mainstream financial journalists. The stories one sees in the mainstream press about financial matters – whether in print or on television, it matters not – seem designed more to steer people away from the truth about the workings of the Fed rather than lead them to understanding.

In stark contrast to the long-winded flim-flam one hears on most news outlets about the Fed, Ron Paul’s Gold, Peace, An Prosperity, The Birth Of A New Currency (hereafter Gold, Peace And Prosperity) is a breath of fresh air. In his typical fashion, Paul manages to be both profound and concise in his comments. This book, a short 91 pages including introductions by Henry Hazlitt and Murray Rothbard plus an index, equips the reader with more sound teaching about the problems with our current Federal Reserve system as well as how to fix it than entire shelves full of books by most authors.

Did I mention that this is a short book? Just to give you a sense of what I mean, it can be read in one sitting. When I re-read it for this review, it took me a little over two hours reading at a leisurely pace and taking notes. As John Robbins noted in his exposition of Philemon, many scholars make the assumption that nothing short can be profound. But this is a mistake. Gold, Peace, An Prosperity stands as proof of this.

Worth noting is that this book was first published in 1981. That is significant for the reason that Ron Paul was part of the Gold Commission convened by President Reagan at the time to study the possibility of returning the United States to the gold standard, an option that ultimately was voted down by the Commission. The next year, the Minority Report of the Gold Commission was published under the title The Case for Gold (see here for free pdf and epub downloads), which is considered something of a modern day classic by advocates of sound money. I would by all means recommend reading The Case for Gold, but I think Gold, Peace, An Prosperity is an even better place to start. While The Case for Gold provides more detail than Gold, Peace, And Prosperity, the latter is less technical in its language and much shorter, making it an ideal read for those just starting to learn about sound money, or, for that matter, those who would like a refresher course from one of the few statesmen of recent times who actually understands the monetary problems we face as a nation as well as what is needed to fix them.

In the first chapter of the book titled “Impending Social Strife?,” Paul writes, “We probably will see widespread civil disorder in the 1980s.” Looking back 38 years, some may be tempted to discount Paul’s argument for sound money by accusing him of being an alarmist. “You see,” they will say, “we didn’t have widespread civil unrest in the 1980s, so all this talk about economic collapse in 2019 is just so much conspiracy theory nonsense.”

What shall we say to this? Does the fact that widespread civil unrest did not occur in America in the 1980s refute Paul’s argument against the Fed and for sound money? No, it does not. While it may seem odd to many today that there was serious consideration of a return to the gold standard in the early 1980s, one has to remember the context. America had just gone through the terrible stagflation – stagflation was a term coined in the 1970s to describe a situation where there was simultaneous inflation and little or no economic growth, a state of affairs that the standard Keynesian economics of that time could not account for – of the 1970s that followed hard on the heels of President Nixon’s decision to take America off the Bretton Woods gold exchange standard in 1971. Just to give you a sense of the inflation of the 1970s, gold went from $35 dollars and ounce in 1971 to around $800 an ounce at its peak in 1980, a surge of roughly 2000%.

Second, all the problems that Paul identified in 1981 with the Fed are still with us today and are far larger than what they were when he first wrote. On October 22, 1981, 38 years ago almost to the day, the federal debt first topped $1 trillion. Today in 2019, it stands at over $22 trillion. According to this CCN article, the 2019 federal deficit – the deficit is the yearly amount by which federal spending outstrips tax revenue; the debt the total of all previous budgetary shortfalls – was $984 billion. Stop and think about that for a moment. It took the federal government over 200 years to accumulate $1 trillion debt, an amount it’s now adding on a yearly basis.

What Ron Paul did not foresee in 1981 was the cunning ruthlessness of the central bankers and the politicians to not only maintain the corrupt system, but also to expand it. In 1981, there was no Plunge Protection Team. No one had ever heard of Quantitative Easing and if anyone had spoken of negative interest rates, he would have been laughed to scorn. Yet the bankers, politicians and news media have managed not only to sell the public on all this financial flim-flam, but they make it seem downright normal. This was possible largely because the American people did not take to heart Paul’s warnings from 1981.

Ron Paul was right on target when he wrote, “The greatest threat facing middle and working class Americans is our depreciating paper currency.” This was true in 1981, and it’s true today in 2019.

I highly recommend Gold, Peace, An Prosperity. Not only is it a great primer on the dangers of the central banking, paper money and the importance of sound money, reading it makes me want to shout the title of a more recent book by Paul, End the Fed!

Chapters include: Foreword by Henry Hazlitt; Preface by Murray Rothbard; Impending Social Strife?; The People are Demanding an End to Inflation; Depreciation is Nothing New; “Not Worth a Continental”; The Best Medium of Exchange; Cross of Paper; How Our Money was Ruined; The Stage is Set; Is Business to Blame?; Are Banks to Blame?; Are Unions to Blame?; Inflation and the Business Cycle; The Guilt of the Economists; The Alternative to Inflation; Money and the Constitution; Morality and Transfer Payments; Citizen Control of Money; Day of Reckoning; Free Market Money?; Legal Tender Laws; An Historical Precedent; The End – or the Beginning; Index.

 

Read Full Post »

Kim Jong Un_Missile

North Korean dictator Kim John-un and one of his missiles.

The conflict between the US and North Korea, long simmering on the back burner, has in recent times threatened once again to come to a full boil, with the war of words between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump threatening to become a war of bullets and bombs and ICBMs.

In August, Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress lent his support to the war option, saying in an interview with the Washington Post
that God has given Donald Trump the go-ahead to “use whatever means necessary – including war…to take out Kim Jong Un.”

Jeffress justified his stance by appealing to Romans 13, which, he said, “gives the government…the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jonh Un.”

What are Christians to make of Jeffress’ statements? Do they comport with what the Bible teaches about war and foreign policy or not? Before exploring those questions, a little history is in order.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

The past week saw US presidential candidate Donald Trump at the center of another controversy, this time related to the issue of abortion. In an exchange with MSNBC host Chris Matthews during a Town Hall in Wisconsin, Trump responded to Matthews’ question, “Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no as a principle?,” by saying, “The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.” Matthews asked a clarifying question, “For the woman?” To which Trump answered, “Yes, there has to be some form.”

As a result of his remarks, Trump has come under fire from both pro-choice and pro-life advocates. On the pro-choice side, critics have been quick to seize on Trump’s statement as a correct logical inference of the pro-life position and, therefore, a good reason to reject pro-life arguments in favor of continuing support for Roe v. Wade. As pro-choice writer Jill Filipovic put it, “If abortion is murder, then women who have them are criminals – right?,” and further, “When you make something illegal, it comes with penalties – this is how criminal law works.”

Many pro-life advocates have moved to distance themselves from Trump’s comments, with one abortion opponent stating categorically, “No pro-lifer would ever want to punish a woman who has chosen abortion.” Marjorie Dannenfelser, another pro-life supporter, responding to Trump’s remarks said, “But let us be clear: punishment is solely for the abortionist who profits off the destruction of one life and the grave wounding of another.”

Matthews’ question should be of interest to anyone involved in the abortion debate, especially to Christians, whose faith implies respect for both life, law and logic. With that in mind, what should Trump have said in response to Matthews’ question? The best option open to Trump, and he would have been entirely within his right to do this, would have been for him to punt. Why is this? Because Matthews asked the question of Trump as one, “running for president of the United States [who] will be chief executive of the United States.” But the Federal government has no constitutional role in the abortion debate. As Ron Paul observed,

[T]he Constitution says nothing about abortion, murder, manslaughter, or any other acts of violence. There are only four crimes listed in the Constitution: counterfeiting, piracy, treason, and slavery. Criminal and civil laws were deliberately left to the states (Liberty Defined, 2).

But underlying both Matthews’ question and Trump’s response appears to be the assumption that abortion does, in fact, properly fall within the jurisdiction of the federal courts. But if there is no mention of abortion in the Constitution itself, it is hard to see any reason for the federal courts to have jurisdiction on the matter of abortion.

Instead of allowing himself to be dragged into Matthews’ trap, Trump could have sidestepped the issue by stating he would like to see jurisdiction concerning abortion returned to the states. This can be done, “with a majority vote in Congress and the signature of the President” (Liberty Defined, 7). This approach would have allowed Trump honestly to position himself both as an opponent of Rove v. Wade and an advocate of limited, constitutional government. It would also have saved him a good deal of embarrassment and backtracking.


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: