The country – nay the world – is mired in the subprime toxic waste meltdown, with lenders writing off billions of dollars in losses. So serious is the problem that the Fed has begun lowering interest rates to ward off recession and President Bush has attempted intervention in private contracts to freeze interest rates for some home mortgage borrowers.
Few remember that it was the Fed’s intervention that caused the subprime problem in the first place. Under Alan Greenspan’s tutelage, interest rates were driven to the decades’ low rates that ushered in the housing boom that is now the housing bust.
Luckily, we have one presidential candidate who grasps the causes of the problem: Ron Paul, the Republican congressman from Texas. If any of the other candidates understood the subprime problem, perhaps we would have a chance seeing the problem resolved properly. (Properly? The borrowers and the lenders should suffer the losses, not the taxpayers.) Ron Paul’s February 15, 2006 Statement before the House of Representatives exhibits his understanding of money.
When the Fed announced, about a month ago, that it had begun lowing interest rates, Ron Paul was the only presidential candidate who took the Fed to task for further intervention in the interest rate marketplace. A few days ago, Ron Paul again blasted the Fed for lowering interest rates. The other candidates remain mute, probably because they have no understanding of what the Fed does when it intervenes in the monetary markets.
Ron Paul has long been a student of Austrian Economics, and, as ranking member of the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy for the House of Representatives, has been the only member of Congress to put Fed Heads on the spot when they make their mandatory reports to Congress. While it is true that some congressmen and senators have chastised Fed Heads for not intervening more in the monetary markets, only Ron Paul has challenged the concept of central banking and permitting the Fed to attempt to manage our nation’s money supply.
Although it is possible that one or two other candidates understand money, we have seen no evidence of that understanding. They seem to want to discuss only topics presented by the main stream media (MSM). But, based on what I have heard the other candidates say, none of them has any idea the real roll that money plays in economic matters. I am willing to bet that most CMIGS’ clients know more about money than the other candidates for the highest office in the land.
Unfortunately for Americans, Ron Paul is not among the leaders in the Establishment polls for the race to the White House. He could be, however, if the MSM gave his campaign a little more time so that his positions could become better known. Eliminating the IRS and going back on the gold standard simply are not acceptable to the MSM, but those positions are received enthusiastically when Ron Paul is afforded the time to explain them. (To the Establishment, the income tax is an acceptable means of redistributing wealth from producers to nonproducers and the gold standard is archaic.)
Still, as Ron Paul delivers his messages, more people will ask the other candidates what they think of Paul’s positions. Frankly, the other candidates will be lost and stumble through unintelligible comments that exhibit their lack of knowledge of money and how a national disgrace, the income tax, could be eliminated.
Another reason Ron Paul is not high in the polls is because the American masses have next to no grasp of the concept of money and why it must be honest. When he speaks about money, they consider him somewhat daft, when, in fact, the masses are unable to comprehend what he says because of their ignorance of money.
Although not a difficult subject to understand, especially once you’ve discovered the excellent writers at the Ludwig von Mises Institute or read some of Murray Rothbard’s books, most Americans have no real understanding of money. They think they learned about money and economics in college while nothing could be further from the truth.
With the exception of a few schools, colleges indoctrinate with either Keynesian or some other form of statist economics that routinely support the notion that money is so important that government must control it. Milton Friedman’s theory on money supply is one example.
Few Americans have ever heard of Ludwig von Mises and the other proponents of Austrian Economic Theory, which – if I dare define – says that money is a commodity whose value is best determined by the marketplace. When the government attempts to determine a money’s value, the determination is usually wrong, causing distortions in the marketplace.
Further, because money is a commodity, it has a quality. There can be low quality monies, such as paper, or there can by high quality money, such as gold and silver. Over the millenniums, gold and silver have proven to have the qualities to have been accepted in all civilizations. That fact that no government uses gold or silver as money today does not make them any less accepted by people; nor does it refute the fact that paper is low quality money.
Although not high in the polls at this time, that could change because Ron Paul is striking a cord with the young and the old. For example, the audience, mostly young, erupted with applause when Jay Leno asked him about eliminating the IRS. To many people, and especially the MSM, the IRS is necessary because the government needs tax money to run its programs. Ron Paul noted that if the federal government gave up all the taxes collected by the IRS, it would still have revenues equal to the amount collected in 2000. A leaner government could run on those funds, says Ron Paul.
Most gold and silver investors have at least some grasp of the concept of money; otherwise, they would not be gold and silver buyers. However, if our once proud dollar is to survive, more gold and silver investors are going to have to have such an understanding of money that they can bring their friends and associates to the hard money camp. By simply talking about sound money Ron Paul is contributing to a greater understanding of this arcane subject, which should not be arcane but is.
In addition to the books by Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises Institute articles are an excellent place to start, especially for gold investors. For example, the Institute posted Go for Gold, by Thorsen Polleit, Honorary Professor at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. Another timely Polleit essay, Manipulating the Interest Rate, a Recipe for Disaster, condemns the Fed’s recent intervention in the money markets.