I got an advance copy of a long-awaited book in the mail today. Here's one of the opening paragraphs.
"....After all is said and done, the Fed has one power that is unique to it alone: it enables the creation of money out of thin air....Given that money is one half of every commercial transaction and that whole civilizations literally rise and fall based on the quality of their money, we are talking about an awesome power, one that flies under cover of night. It is the power to weave illusions that appear real as long as they last. That is the very core of the Fed's power.
As President Obama said of the economic boom that went bust: "I think it's important to understand that some of that wealth was illusory in the first place."
Those are among the opening paragraphs of Ron Paul's new book "End The Fed". I'm about halfway through my advance copy (I LOVE my new status as a member of the fourth estate), and so far, the book is pure, undiluted greatness. Brilliant.
When I get through reading a good book, there are markings on about 10% of the pages. By the time I got a few pages into "End The Fed", I was losing the ability to distinguish between the good, the great, the superlative, and the immortal passages that should be tattooed on Ben Bernanke's nether regions.
There's no point in underlining and highlighting in a book when it inspires this kind of frantic vandalism:
Here are a few of Dr. Paul's comments on the Fed's practice of pumping money into the economy whenever it suits them:
"It is and should be a mainstream cause to end the power and secrecy of the Fed. It's my own view that ending the Fed would address the most vexing problems of politics of our time. It would bring and end to dollar depreciation. It would take away from the government the means to fund its endless wars. It would curb the government's attacks on the civil liberties of Americans, stop its vast debt accumulation that will be paid by future generations, and arrest its massive expansions of the welfare state that has turned us into a nation of dependents....Essentially you take away from the government the capacity to expand without limit. It is the first step to restoring constitutional government. Without the Fed, the federal government would have to live within its means. It would still be too big and too intrusive, just like all state governments are today, but the outrageous empire at home and abroad would have to come to and end."
This little snippet got 3 stars in the margin:
"Even the Fed itself claims that part of its job is to keep inflation in check. This is something like the tobacco industry claiming that it is trying to stop smoking or the automobile industry claiming that it is trying to control road congestion. The Fed is in the business of generating inflation.....the entire reason for the Fed's existence is to generate more (inflation), not less of it.
What the largest banks desire is precisely what we might expect any large corporation to desire: privatized profits and socialized losses. The profits come from successful loan activities, sometimes during economic booms. But when the boom turns to bust, the losses are absorbed by third parties and do not affect the bottom line. To cover losses requires a supply of money that stretches to meet bankers' demands.....
Whenever instability turns up, so do efforts to socialize the losses."
Paul goes on to explain the history of the Fed, and how its stated goal was to stabilize the money supply. But then,
"In practice the reality has been much different. One only needs to reflect on the dramatic decline in the value of the dollar that has taken place since the Fed was established in 1913. The goods and services you could buy for $1.00 in 1913 now cost nearly $21.00. Another way to look at this is from the perspective of the purchasing power of the dollar itself. It has fallen to less than $.05 of its 1913 value. We might say that the government and its banking cartel have together stolen $.95 of every dollar as they have pursued a relentlessly inflationary policy."
Dr. Paul gives us a chapter on his intellectual influences, and gives some credit to his grandmother, who knew her Bible well. Shortly after the end of WW2, prices were rising because of inflationary war financing, causing Grandmother Paul to remember Genesis 47:15, a passage describing Joseph has become Pharaoh's Bread Czar:
"So when the money failed in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, 'Give us bread, for why should we die in your presence? For the money has failed.' "
Our current problem was well established, even in ancient Egypt. Debased currencies fail. Governments cannot manage money.
That's my new favorite Bible verse. Genesis 47:15.
Dr. Paul also discusses FDR's ham-handed attempts to eliminate competitors of Fed Funny Money:
"Roosevelt, by executive order (6102) in 1933, confiscated all gold held by private citizens, with a few minor exceptions such as numismatic (collector) coins, and levied severe penalties on those who disobeyed. The penalty (for owning gold) was $10,000 and/or ten years in prison. In today's money, that's more like $400,000. It was a rather bold, arrogant move from which much harm has come."
And then he writes:
Before gold became legal in 1975, many gold bugs were buying it. I purchased my first gold shortly after the breakdown of the Bretton Woods Agreement. The law was circumvented by buying numismatic coins (any coin dated 1947 or older was considered a numismatic coin). Mexico accommodated American citizens by minting the beautiful Mexican 50 peso, weighing 1.2 ounces, and placing the date 1947 on it.
I love it. I've read through chapter 3, but will probably finish the book tonight.
You must own this book.
Sometime soon, when we're assured of the official on-sale date, we're going to have the Tarrant County Libertarian Meetup at the Border's Books at Hulen and I-30 in Fort Worth. This book will be the topic for discussion.