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Catching a Falling Financial Knife

Governments Cheat Creditors by Devaluing Currencies

Politics / Fiat Currency Sep 01, 2008 - 01:59 AM GMT

By: Dr_Ron_Paul

Politics Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleMany who agree with me on a lot of other issues, do not understand my enthusiasm for gold and sound money or why I spend so much time studying and talking about monetary policy. It's true that I talk about money differently than most, but the fact is sound money offers many benefits. For example - peace.


Can sound money really bring about peace? Actually, it plays a big part in peaceful international relationships. Money based on commodities, rather than paper, is not subject to government manipulation, and is a key component to free and honest trade. History shows that if countries engage in trade with each other, their governments tend to find ways to get along for the same reason you do not kill your customers at your place of business, even if they occasionally annoy you. If someone outright cheats you, however, you may engage in "war" by taking them to court, for example, and the relationship will sour.

Governments and central banks with unfettered power to manipulate currency also have the ability to cheat their creditors. One way they do this is to simply create enough currency to pay off debts. This devalues the currency and "cheats" the recipient out of what they are owed. It would not be fair if you watered down your product the way our government waters down its currency, so it is not hard to understand, in these simplified terms, why loose monetary policy contributes so much to ill will and war around the world.

Sound money, on the other hand, simply is what it is. Removing governmental power to manipulate money, removes the temptation for government to spend, print and cheat. Sound money ensures that our government's spending priorities would be brought into sharp focus and reduced to only what we can afford.

Sound money also limits the ability to wage wars of aggression. Imagine how much more careful Washington would have to be about starting a war if they did not have this financial sleight of hand at their disposal! Fiat currency allows government do expensive things they should not be doing while paying the bills with cheap money. The Federal Reserve has lately been auctioning off large amounts of treasury bills as a way to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our crushing entitlement burden. The resulting devaluation of the dollar is quickly eroding our image as a good trading partner in the world. As a consequence, there is therefore more talk of economic isolation and war.

This vicious cycle of spending, fighting and inflating is not what Americans want. It is what the government wants, and it has had to deceive the citizens into allowing and supporting it. Sound money curbs the government's ability to engage in these shenanigans and reduces the wars we fight to only truly defensive ones, for which Americans are more than willing to stand and fight. So in these ways, sound money is very conducive to peace.

Dr. Ron Paul
Project Freedom

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas enjoys a national reputation as the premier advocate for liberty in politics today. Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman in Washington for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency. He is known among both his colleagues in Congress and his constituents for his consistent voting record in the House of Representatives: Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution. In the words of former Treasury Secretary William Simon, Dr. Paul is the "one exception to the Gang of 535" on Capitol Hill.

Dr. Ron Paul Archive

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Comments

me
04 Sep 08, 00:12
America's Broken Free Market System

Like others, you have blindly embraced the Austrian economic school of thought, while neglecting to address the real problems in America. This demonstrates your lack of creativity and deficient understanding. While the Austrian economic philosophy has some sound premises, it also has many weaknesses. You and others who support it blindly need to understand that. True experts understand when to take the good parts of different philosophies and integrate them into a working system. They don’t merely copy what others say. Perhaps you do understand some of the flaws but are more focused on minimizing barriers for support. This could explain why you have continuously failed to address the real problems in America – our broken free market system that needs real regulation and real accountability, and our healthcare system.

Corporations are screwing the people and making record profits while paying record low taxes. And they are sending jobs overseas in large part because of the high costs of healthcare – costs that are controlled in other nations – costs that are provided for by the government. As a result, nations with universal healthcare have much lower levels of fraud, much lower administrative costs and better clinical outcomes.

Extremists are never good. This is the rule of the universe. We are now seeing the extremist version of America’s free market economy; one that goes unchecked and has destroyed the lives of millions. In just a few years, America has witnessed the implosion of the two largest asset bubbles in world history. As a result, most baby boomers will never be able to retire while hundreds of new dynasties have been created – the excessive CEO payouts, the ridiculous hedge fund and Wall Street payouts. This has added to the permanent generations of wealthy elitists who will serve to strengthen the trend of global enslavement and exploitation by multi-corporate firms. Perhaps if lobbyist donations and bribes were eliminated politicians would begin to serve the best interests of the people instead of corporations.

Instead of identifying the real problems and creating real solutions, you have aligned yourself with others who blindly accept a gold currency and who stand to benefit from such an approach via selling gold coins to unsuspecting investors. These are the same uncreative, agenda-filled, greedy people who also advocate a minimal government role in the free market system. It was the hands-off approach to the free market system that resulted in WorldCom, Enron, the dotcom collapse, the real estate and banking collapse. And it will be the hands off approach that will lead to further destruction of America’s economy. Most of this destruction is likely to be irreversible.

Extremists offer no viable solutions to America’s problems. Extremists advocate minimal or no government regulation in the economic system. Alternatively, extremists advocate complete government control. The fact is that lack of regulation has created this entire crisis. You need to realize that regulation, when structured and executed in a diligent and accountable manner, is good. Proper regulation ensures the free market system is held to uniform standards. It is regulation, not socialism. You had your chance to hold these crooks accountable but you and the other professional politicians failed the people. Instead you were focused on creating media propaganda for yourself. Why is Franklin Raines not in prison? Why did Washington not take over Fannie and Freddie in 2004 when massive accounting fraud was discovered? The fact is that Washington is a big joke and is controlled by corporate America. Yet, you always shy away from this issue.

Several years of a lack of adequate regulation and accountability has all but destroyed America’s free market system. Today, it resembles a highly corrupt gravy train for corporations and the wealthy elite, with no real penalties for wrongdoings. Evidence of this is obvious in many industries – energy, banking, real estate, and healthcare. The fact is that deregulation of industries that provide basic necessities always leads to collusion and price gouging. You of all people being in the state of Texas should appreciate this. After Texas deregulated its energy industry shortly after the Enron debacle, Texans have continued to pay much higher rates for electricity than the national average. Currently, Texans are paying anywhere from 80 to 100% higher than the nation’s average.

Certainly your agenda sounds good to naïve ears – “get rid of the Fed, get rid of the IRS. But the fact is that it is irresponsible. How can you head the House Finance Committee when you don’t even understand this? If federal income taxes were eliminated, states would have no ability to fund the types of services provided by the Federal government. The Federal government’s deficits are primarily funded by foreign nations. When states run into deficits, they are funded by municipal bonds, most of which are bought by US investors for tax advantages. Foreign nations fund the deficits because they benefit economically. This keeps rates low which opens credit for Americans to buy more imports. There would be no incentive for foreign nations to fund individual state deficits. In fact, certain states would receive funding such as California, New York, New Jersey, etc. while others would be left in the dust. This would create economic havoc. And it would be impossible to control interest rates. The arguments are virtually endless against getting rid of Federal taxes. On the contrary, there is no doubt that Washington has been misusing taxpayer dollars. This can be fixed by creating accountability and stiff penalties.

If the Fed was under the direct control of Washington, it would be forced to act in the best interests of the people instead of Wall Street. The European Central Bank is the model system because it does act for the people. The real solutions are not abolishing the Fed or IRS. The real solutions are fiscal and monetary responsibility, fixing the corrupt, unchecked free market system which continues to destroy working class Americans while the wealthy profit.

As a physician from the state with the biggest healthcare crisis in America, you should understand the need for universal healthcare. Approximately 1 in 3 Texas residents do not have medical insurance. Similar to the oil industry, America’s healthcare industry does not operate under real free market dynamics. If you do not understand why this is so, you should spend some time thinking about it. Of course from the standpoint of political strategy, anyone who advocates a true universal healthcare system (such as Dennis Kucinich) would have a near impossible path to the White House. The industry is much too big and powerful and with 3 healthcare lobbyists for every member of Congress, they plan to keep things the way they are. If you have not yet figured out one of the primary reasons for the loss of jobs overseas, you should look at healthcare.

You cannot allow the free market system to distribute goods and services that are needed for survival – water, food, energy, and healthcare – because companies will raise prices knowing that consumers will have no choice but to pay. Washington realized this the hard way with agriculture during the 1920s. As a result, the US agricultural industry is largely government-controlled via subsidies. How much do you think Americans would pay for water if private companies controlled distribution? We are seeing the oil and healthcare industries holding Americans hostage because they know we have no choice.

As the fastest growing expense for corporations, America’s ridiculously expensive, highly inefficient, corrupt, and modestly effective healthcare system only benefits the players. And please do not say America has the world’s best healthcare because these myths are getting old. How can American companies expect to compete with foreign peers whose government provides healthcare? They cannot unless they either eliminate or reduce benefits. That is why every major US corporation has a large and growing presence overseas.

With the dollar so weak, one might expect outsourcing to be on the decline instead of on the rise. When you consider that healthcare costs continue to rise, then you will understand the thrust of outsourcing trends. America’s healthcare crisis has been going on much longer than the current economic crisis. Yet, I’ve never heard you address healthcare. For you to think that healthcare can be delivered by a free market system raises many doubts about your credibility as a politician and physician. The fact is that America’s healthcare system does not operate under free market dynamics. Under a free market system, consumers determine demand. Under America’s healthcare system, providers determine demand for medical services. You will never have an effective healthcare system when private enterprises are running the show because quality healthcare will always take a backseat to profits. That is precisely why America’s healthcare lacks preventative services. As a physician I am sure you understand that a focus on prevention would save trillions of dollars, raise living standards, and increase the quality of life of those approaching their end. HMOs and PPOs will never pay for preventative services because they only care about today.

If you want to start fixing America you need to start by cleaning up its broken free market system, sending thousands who defraud taxpayers and shareholders to prison and advocating universal healthcare. After these issues have been resolved then you can start talking about a gold standard and the Fed. You are in Washington and have done nothing to stop the wave of fraud. You have allowed thousands to go unpunished. I am not in Washington; if I were, you had better believe these crooks would be in prison – thousands. Every time a drug company defrauds Medicare, the CEO would go directly to jail and his compensation over that period would go to Medicare. Every time a company committed accounting or shareholder fraud, the CEO would go to jail. CEO compensation would be capped and voted on by all shareholders. And the guys who really hold all of the votes – mutual funds – would be watched over to make sure their votes were aligned with the people instead of with the company as a way to get 401(k) business.

CEOs of most US publicly traded corporations are being paid massive amounts of money and have zero risk. In many cases, they leave with hundreds of millions after destroying the company. If you want the big payout you had better be held responsible when something goes wrong. These guys need to act as true captains and go down with the ship. Most government agencies have partnered with corporations instead of serving the best interest of consumers – the SEC, the FDA, the list goes on. Americans want real leadership, not illusions. So please, save your rhetoric for the gullible teenagers who have no idea what is really going on. And if you really decide to get serious, come and talk to someone who is truly interested in helping the people and saving America instead of partnering with guys who benefit financially from your pitch. Come and talk to me.


Patriot
17 Oct 08, 21:07
U.S. Constitution

This is in response to ME,

You claim that "You need to realize that regulation, when structured and executed in a diligent and accountable manner, is good."

However, Americans must first realize that the most important regulation of all, that of restraining government found in the U.S. Constitution, should be followed diligently and accountably. This can be accomplished through education and teaching your fellow man. One of the main premises of the Constitution is having sound money, or money backed by gold or silver.


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Catching a Falling Financial Knife