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Tag Archives: Ron Paul

Sometimes the hypocrisy emanating from the mouths of politicians is so brazen, that it’s nigh on impossible to keep a straight face after hearing it.

By now, everyone knows about the trials and tribulations of the poor Olympic torch. In city after city, its presence has been met with protests and condemnations of the 2008 Summer Olympics host country, China.

China’s human rights violations have been cited by newscasters and politicians aplenty as reasons why President Bush should boycott the opening ceremonies of the games. Protesters are also demanding that Tibet be freed from Chinese government control.

Funny but, I haven’t seen any massive demonstrations to condemn the American government’s mass slaughter of innocent Iraqis that’s been happening every day since March of 2003. And where’s the outrage over the American government’s support for the murderous sanctions against Iraq throughout the 1990’s? And while we’re on the subject, what about the American government’s indiscriminant killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent Japanese in 1945, with atomic bombs, no less?

Of course, when the government of the United States violates human rights around the world it is necessary to “protect our freedoms.” Only communist and “islamofascist” countries are interested in global military hegemony. And only those sinister nations would employ any barbaric means to achieve those ends. Only they would stoop so low as to engage in the wanton annihilation of innocents simply to arrogate more power for themselves. For we must remember that our enemies are irrational. They just don’t think “right,” like we do. They’re crazy. They have no respect for human life. They practice evil religions and speak weird languages. We just can’t trust them. So, in order to preserve our freedom we must eliminate them before they destroy us. Because they really do want to wipe us off the map! Really, they do!

At least that’s what we’re supposed to believe. Now back to the China situation.

On Wednesday, Congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for China to end its crackdown on Tibet. As an aside, I’d like to mention that Ron Paul, Dr. No himself, cast the only vote against this resolution. And it’s not because he favors the Chinese crackdown on Tibet. Simply put, the Constitution does not give Congress the authority to pass resolutions condemning the governments of foreign countries .

Now, returning to those members of Congress for whom the Constitution apparently means nothing, I found this statement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be rather interesting:

“It is long past time for Beijing to reassess its failed policy to attack and demonize the Dalai Lama, and show the world it can have civilized discussions as a responsible world power.”

Is it just me, or is there something terribly hypocritical about that type of statement coming from a high ranking member of the United States government? Actually, with a few simple word changes that statement would apply perfectly to the United States government’s policy toward Iran since the late 1970’s. How about this?

“It is long past time for Washington D.C. to reassess its failed policy to attack and demonize Iran, and show the world it can have civilized discussions as a responsible world power.”

Talk about a perfect fit!

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Ex-professional wrestler and ex-governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, appeared on the Larry King Live show on CNN last week. He appeared just yesterday with Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room, also on CNN. Ventura is not one to mince his words when it comes to the current state of American politics. His opinions will certainly not find favor between the ears of any well behaved establishmentarian.

To put it mildly, let’s just say that the man who used to go by the nickname “the body” offered a scathing indictment of the entire body of American politics. I have to admit that most of what he said was like sweet music to my ears. He slammed the “two party dictatorship ” of the Democrats and the Republicans. He actually said that he would like to see political parties disappear altogether, as a matter of fact! And all I can say to that one is AMEN! I love his description of the two major parties:

“You know, as I would get in trouble with before, I used to call them the Democrips and the Rebloodlicans. They’re the same as the street gangs, only these guys wear Brooks Brothers suits.”

Ventura even mentioned the enormous debt that’s been racked up by our government since Nixon dealt the final blow to the gold standard! Oh no! Not the gold standard! Could it be? Is Ventura one of those crazed “Ron Paulians?”

He might just be. Turning to the topic of the Iraq War, and specifically ending it, Ventura says:

“Look it, OK, 2006 — the voters clearly sent a mandate to the spineless Democrats. They sent a mandate to them saying get us out of Iraq.
Have they done it? No. Are they even close to doing it? No. All we’re getting is cheap talk from them.”

So how does Ventura think the war should be ended:

“I agree with Ron Paul, we marched in there, we can march out.”

I don’t even know Jesse Ventura that well. I certainly have not followed his political career. And I am not saying that if he ran for president, I would vote for him. BUT, it is so refreshing to hear anyone lambaste the entire American political system on national television when most politicians and commentators are only too willing to glorify it.

Ventura even suggested that voters should have a “none of the above” option when they go to their polling places on election day. Yikes! Talk about heresy! How can he even suggest something so preposterous? Doesn’t this guy know the rules? Trash one party or the other. But never speak ill of the sacrosanct institution that is American democratic elections. Even if all of the candidates are awful, every voter must fulfill their obligation to select the “lesser of the evils.”

I even heard one CNN pundit refer to a vote for “none of the above” as a “populist copout.” Strange, but the “copout,” if you ask me, is in voting for a candidate you don’t like, just because you have been told that you must vote for someone.

Thank you, Jesse Ventura, not only for not worshiping the State but, for your unflinching denouncement of its corrupt elections.

Imagine for a moment that you are someone who has not paid attention to the 2008 presidential campaign at all. You have no idea who the three leading candidates are. You also have no knowledge of the candidates who were in the race. You never tuned in for any of the televised debates. You never read any of the magazine articles. You never read any newspapers. Now imagine that the first time you see any of the 2008 presidential candidates, it is when you tune in to Glenn Beck’s television program on April 1, 2008. On this program he has a guest named Ron Paul, who he introduces as a Republican candidate for president. Mr. Beck asks Paul about the big profits for big oil, the plan to give the Federal Reserve much greater power over the economy, and the general problems relating to the Fed’s ability to secretly control- along with private banks- all of the finances of the United States. It’s a well done interview. You would probably come away from it thinking that this Ron Paul guy has some interesting points. Even if you didn’t agree with him, you would probably conclude that he at least deserves some respect. Why?

Well, quite simply, it’s all in the way Beck treated Ron Paul. He was fair. He allowed Paul to finish his sentences. He gave the viewer the impression that Ron Paul actually knows what he’s talking about when it comes to economic matters. Of course, anyone who knows Glenn Beck also knows that he is vehemently opposed to Ron Paul’s foreign policy of nonintervention. However, unlike Bill O’Reilly, who had Ron Paul on his program just to yell at him, and give the viewer the impression that he is crazy, Beck spoke with Ron Paul in a civilized manner concerning a topic on which he and Paul agree.

In January of this year, Glenn Beck interviewed Ron Paul on his radio show. Once again, it was very well conducted and even ended with Beck paying Dr. Paul this compliment:

“I mean, you know, we just — I just happen to disagree with you, but I respect you, sir, for your opinion. I have said this, you know, behind your back. So let me say it to your face. I think you are the closest we have running to a founding father. You seem to be the only guy who has actually read the federalist papers. So I appreciate your efforts, sir.”

Furthermore, back in December, 2007, Mr. Beck interviewed and debated Ron Paul on television for the entire length of his (Beck’s) program!

How about that!? Where was Fox News for that kind of “fair and balanced” coverage? This is precisely the kind of debate we should be having in this great “democratic” country of ours. There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone’s positions on war, the economy, or anything. There is something wrong, however, with eschewing real debate in favor of flinging epithets at each other as if the discussion was between 9 year olds in a grade school playground.

To be fair, from a left wing perspective I have to compliment Bill Maher for his treatment of Ron Paul as well. After the Republican debate in which Rudy Giuliani and Dr. Paul had this memorable confrontation, Paul appeared as a studio guest on Maher’s television program. Maher even referred to Ron Paul as his “new hero.”

Just imagine what might have happened over this past year if more people in the mainstream media would have given Ron Paul fair coverage. Just imagine what might have happened if the mainstream media actually encouraged real debates on the issues, instead of having their microphones and cameras ready only for political pablum and jingoistic slogans.

Finally, just as Glenn Beck and Bill Maher disagree with Ron Paul on many issues, I disagree with Beck and Maher on many issues. However, I appreciate the fact that both of them treated Ron Paul with respect, and allowed him plenty of time to state his case.

That’s more than I can say for most of the other political commentators.

The hot issue in American politics is the economy. It stems, of course, from the housing boom of the early 2000’s, that inevitably became today’s housing bust. People are angry. They want action. Many of them are calling for tighter regulations and increased oversight of lenders as well as the larger financial sector. Well, the Bush administration has devised a plan. According to this plan, the Federal Reserve would become the great overseer of the financial sector. In fact, the Fed would assume the role of “market stability regulator.” Furthermore,

“The role Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his colleagues have been playing to shore up the financial system would be formalized in the administration plan by giving Fed officials greater power to detect where threats might be lurking in the system.”

How interesting. Under this plan the fox would, indeed, be in charge of the hen house. Let’s remember that the Fed slashed interest rates in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in an attempt to spur demand and encourage consumerism. Americans were led to believe that they could spend and borrow their way into prosperity. Many Americans proceeded to buy overvalued homes which they could not afford. The Community Reinvestment Act, which I highlighted here, also forced lenders to issue loans to many subprime borrowers, who normally would not have qualified for those loans.

Everything that transpired after the interest rate cuts, however, would not have happened if the rates were allowed to be determined by the market. So before we blame the market for the mess, it’s important to remember that it was the Federal Reserve that set and held interest rates well below the normal market level. As far as the great borrowing frenzy is concerned, the Fed was the great enabler.

And now were supposed to trust the Fed to oversee the entire financial sector? We’re supposed to trust the Fed to ensure everything remains copacetic?

Here’s what Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, had to say about the housing boom in 2005, just before President Bush nominated him to become Chairman:

“U.S. house prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years, noted Bernanke, currently chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, in testimony to Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. But these increases, he said, ‘largely reflect strong economic fundamentals,’ such as strong growth in jobs, incomes and the number of new households.”

And how did he feel about the prospect of the boom in the housing market coming to an end?

“A moderate cooling in the housing market, should one occur, would not be inconsistent with the economy continuing to grow at or near its potential next year.”

In other words he simply told everyone to take it easy. Don’t worry. Everything’s under control. That was the message.

Congressman Ron Paul, on the other hand, issued these prescient statements on the housing situation in May of 2004.

“Federal Reserve manipulation of interest rates and the money supply has created a perilous situation for millions of Americans,” Paul stated. “Rising interest rates may well cause housing prices to fall dramatically, leaving many homeowners who bought at the height of the bubble owing more than their homes are worth. Homeowners with adjustable-rate mortgages are especially vulnerable, as are those who used paper gains in real estate values as collateral for second, third, and even fourth mortgages. The Fed’s easy-credit policies are directly responsible for lowering creditworthiness standards and encouraging millions of Americans to overextend themselves. If trillions of dollars in housing equity disappear, no amount of Fed sorcery will keep record amounts of Americans out of bankruptcy.”

Keep in mind that Paul’s statements were issued more than a year before Bernanke shrugged off the looming debacle. Paul predicted that rising interest rates could cause housing prices to fall dramatically, leaving many homeowners owing more than their homes are worth. And then we see this article from marketwatch.com on March 25, 2008, in which it is stated:

“Home prices in 20 major U.S. metro areas have plunged a record 10.7% in the past year as prices continued to decelerate, Standard & Poor’s said Tuesday.

The 20-city Case-Shiller home price index fell a record 2.4% from December to January, the 18th consecutive decline in prices. For 10 major cities, prices fell 2.3% in January and 11.4% for the past 12 months.”
Furthermore, from Bloomberg.com on February 26, 2008:

“Falling prices have trapped many homeowners who would like to sell or refinance their houses because they owe more money on them than the homes are now worth.”

Dr. Paul also highlighted the risk for homeowners with adjustable rate mortgages. In the same marketwatch.com article we see:
“Falling home values could also trigger higher monthly payments for many homeowners with adjustable rate loans.”
And from Bloomberg.com on those rising rates:
“Defaults among subprime borrowers and those unable to meet rising payments on adjustable-rate loans drove foreclosure filings to the highest since August and the second-highest since RealtyTrac started keeping records three years ago.”
So, it would appear that the man who has been labeled by some as a paranoid, crackpot, conspiracy theorist actually had it figured out. And he wasn’t afraid to spell it out, either. The man who is now the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, on the other hand, simply brushed the matter aside.
Now what’s that about the Fed possibly being the “market stability regulator?”

Recently, a few unwritten rules of politics have been brought to my attention. They go something like this: (Of course I guess this now transforms them into written rules.)

1.) A candidate and/or that candidate’s supporters are free to criticize any opposing candidates and their respective political parties. This sort of thing is encouraged. However, I must caveat this rule with a reminder that while critiquing any opponent and/or their party, it is at no time permissible to criticize the entire political system in this country. Only a paranoid conspiracy theorist would dare to challenge our hallowed democratic process.

2.) A candidate and/or that candidates’ supporters are free to criticize the monetary policy of any opposing candidates and their respective political parties. Once again, this is seen as engaging in a healthy debate on the issue. However, at no time should a candidate and/or that candidate’s supporters even begin to criticize the Federal Reserve, or any aspect of central banking. Once again, only the tin foil hat wearers would do such a thing. We should remember that the Fed itself is never the problem.

3.) A candidate and/or that candidate’s supporters are free to criticize the foreign policy positions of any opposing candidates and their respective political parties. Remember, however, and I can’t stress this enough, to , never, ever criticize the United States government’s foreign policy of intervention. I mean, you don’t want to be seen as an America hating, terrorist appeasing isolationist, and a crazed conspiracy theorist to boot, do you?

At all times it is imperative to remind voters that it is the United States government’s role, no, make that duty to police the world in pursuit of Islamofascists, drug lords, and any leader of any foreign country who may be guilty of human rights violations. When those “enemies of democracy” are found we must remember that it is the duty of the U.S. government to drop copious amounts of bombs on them, killing not only the corrupt leaders, but also many innocent bystanders . By following this course of action the United States, through its superior military might, illustrates the respect for human rights inherent in countries with democratic governments. Soon after the bombings we will witness the miraculous transformation of those previously despotic rulers and their once repressed subjects into champions of American style democracy.

4.) All candidates must remember that telling the truth on any issue will jeopardize the entire American political system. Americans need to have faith in their elected leaders and the election process, in general. Any candidate who attempts to reveal the truth to the public must be marginalized immediately. At no time should that candidate be allowed to convince voters that his campaign has any sort of legitimacy. Referring to that candidate as a paranoid conspiracy theorist would help in this case, as well.

5.) Ron Paul does not follow these rules. Therefore, he is an enemy of the American political establishment. Both major parties and their friends in the mainstream media must do everything they can to prevent him and his campaign from influencing the American public.

I guess that just about sums it up.

I get the impression that some people, mainly those who are not supporters of Ron Paul, believe that there exists a kind of “Ron Paul cult.” I disagree wholeheartedly with this belief. Dr. Paul has never presented himself in a messianic way. In fact, he has gone to great lengths to remind people that his “revolution” is not really about him. After all, he never coined the term “Ron Paul Revolution.” His supporters did. Yes, he is acting as a conduit for libertarianism. And that is precisely why libertarians, no matter what their formal party affiliation may be, are thrilled that he is taking the message of property rights, free markets, and peace to new heights.

Occasionally, however, it seems that many anti-paul people just respond to his statements with a quizzical look and wonder where in the world he came up with his various positions on economics and foreign policy. I mean, he must have just made this stuff up, right? Well, as it turns out, he did not just wake up one day and invent libertarianism. His message does not require people to idolize him. It does not glorify Ron Paul at all. It glorifies the concept of laissez-faire that was embodied in the classical liberals of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Looking at some of these classical liberals’ quotes, as well as some quotes from classical liberals of the 20th century, we can see where Ron Paul gets his inspiration. First there’s Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), a French classical liberal theorist and political econmist who commented:

“Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Sometimes the law places the whole apparatus of judges, police, prisons and gendarmes at the service of the plunderers, and treats the victim – when he defends himself – as a criminal.”

And then there is Carl Menger (1840-1921), the founder of the Austrian School of Economics who said regarding money,

“Money is not an invention of the state. It is not the product of a legislative act. The sanction of political authority is not necessary for its existence.”

And of course, there’s a man whose portrait hangs on Ron Paul’s office wall. He is economist and philosopher, Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) who had this to say about war:

“To defeat the aggressors is not enough to make peace durable. The main thing is to discard the ideology that generates war.”

How many times have we heard Ron Paul talk about the dangers of our foreign policy of intervention? For it is the ideology that generates war. Here’s more on that subject from another man who influenced Ron Paul. He was economist and author Murray Rothbard (1926-1995), who also had strong beliefs regarding State expansion during times of war:

“It is in war that the State really comes into its own: swelling in power, in number, in pride, in absolute dominion over the economy and the society.”

Moving into sectors of the economy we find Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993), a libertarian philosopher,economist, and journalist who said:

“The ‘private sector’ of the economy is, in fact, the voluntary sector; and the ‘public sector’ is, in fact, the coercive sector.”

Again, we can hear echoes of these words in Ron Paul’s writings and statements today.

Finally, there’s the issue of civil liberties. Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992) an economist and political philosopher stated:

“‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.”

Sounds just a bit like something Ron Paul would say, doesn’t it?

All of these men I have cited were champions of liberty. The message Ron Paul brings to us now is the same message they espoused. There is no “cult of Ron Paul.” The movement of which he is an important part requires no worship of the messenger. Furthermore, the whole notion of an omnipotent central leader is anathema to libertarians, who revel in freedom for individuals. This is not to say that libertarians are atomistic beings who want no social interaction with other people. It is to say that all associations should be voluntary and free from government coercion.

The messengers will change. The message will remain the same.

Barack Obama has been heralded by many people as the anti-war candidate in the 2008 presidential election. Should he receive the Democratic Party’s nomination, thousands of Americans who are against government sanctioned mass murder will cast their votes for the Senator from Illinois. It’s obvious that he can deliver quite a rousing speech. And he is clearly an intelligent man. Neither of those qualities have been in doubt during this campaign. But is he really the anti-war candidate? Or is he merely the different kind of war candidate? I submit that the latter is actually the case.

Let’s take a gander at this article from NPR and read some comments from this supposed peacenik:
” There are terrorists holed up in those (Pakistan) mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al-Qaida leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”

Now, if I hadn’t mentioned that the above statement came from “peace candidate” Obama anyone reading it could have easily assumed that it was made by any member of the Bush Administration or the presumptive Republican nominee for president, John McCain. And what’s this about us “acting” if Musharraf won’t? Could this be a veiled threat of an Obama commissioned American invasion of Pakistan?

I wouldn’t doubt it. After all, according to NPR, “Obama said that as commander in chief he would remove troops from Iraq and put them ‘on the right battlefield in Afghanistan and Pakistan.’ He said he would send at least two more brigades to Afghanistan and increase nonmilitary aid to the country by $1 billion.”

Again, this is the plan of the “peace” candidate? Alright, I’ll admit, compared to John “100 years in Iraq” McCain, Obama’s comments seem almost pacific. But, that’s not really saying much.

Make no mistake about it, the “Barack star ” is not an Iraq war fan. After all, that’s a war that was started by George W. Bush, a Republican. Mr. Obama, being much more enlightened on foreign affairs as a Democrat, knows which wars the U.S. should be fighting in the Middle East. In this statement regarding the redeployment of troops from Iraq he makes his position crystal clear:

“As we redeploy from Iraq – as I believe we must do – we have to redouble our efforts on all fronts in Afghanistan to ensure we do not lose ground there.”

“Certainly, we’ve had some success there over the last five and half years, whether it’s the five-fold increase in the number of Afghan boys and girls now attending schools or the free elections of a president and parliament.”

“Yet the remaining challenges in Afghanistan are enormous: Opium production is expected to reach a record high this year, with revenues helping to fuel the Taliban and al Qaeda. The Taliban has increased its campaign of suicide attacks and roadside bombings in recent months. Most troubling, Mr. President, is this simple fact: The leaders of Al Qaeda – Osama bin Laden and his lieutenant Ayman Al-Zawahiri – and the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Omar, remain at large. They are now free to operate in a safe haven in northwest Pakistan. That has to change.”

“First, the United States must increase reconstruction efforts, on both the civilian and military side. If we are serious about winning the war on terror, we must shift to greater investments in winning the hearts and minds of Afghans. The U.S. should allocate money in a way that allows more flexibility in our spending, permitting funding of local projects that benefit communities and promising local governments.”

We should “redouble our efforts on all fronts in Afghanistan?” We should “win the hearts and minds of Afghans?” Last time I checked the U.S. government was attempting to win hearts and minds in Iraq. They claim that can be accomplished with bombs and guns, by the way. But, remember this is this “anti-war” candidate.

And of course, Obama believes it is the responsibility of the American taxpayer to ensure that Afghan boys and girls can go to school. Isn’t this the exact same nonsense we’ve been hearing from Bush for the past five years concerning the liberation and democratization of Iraq?

Obama’s Afghanistan and Pakistan plan won’t be the slightest bit more effective at establishing peace than Bush’s Iraq plan. Redirecting the war is not ending the war. Alas, Barack Obama is simply a different brand of warmonger.

There has been only one prospective candidate for President this year who has consistently proven that he is a staunch opponent not only of the crime that is the Iraq war, but of the foreign policy that leads our country into such criminal endeavors. He is, of course, Ron Paul. He is a true anti-war candidate who is unafraid to tell it like it is. Just read this and tell me Obama is the anti-war candidate. Here are a few excerpts from Dr. Paul’s speech:

“Our foreign policy is no less of a threat to us. Our worldwide military presence and our obsession with remaking the entire Middle East frightens a lot of people both here and abroad. Our role as world policeman and nation builder places undue burdens on the American taxpayer. Our enormous overseas military expenditures – literally hundreds of billion of dollars – are a huge drain on the American economy.”

“All wars invite abuses of civil liberties at home, and the vague declaration of war against terrorism is worse than most in this regard.”

“If we hope to pursue a more sensible foreign policy, it is imperative that Congress face up to its explicit constitutional responsibility to declare war. It’s easy to condemn the management of a war one endorsed, while deferring the final decision about whether to deploy troops to the president. When Congress accepts and assumes its awesome responsibility to declare war, as directed by the Constitution, fewer wars will be fought.”

“Sadly, the acrimonious blame game is motivated by the leadership of both parties for the purpose of gaining, or retaining, political power. It doesn’t approach a true debate over the wisdom, or lack thereof, of foreign military interventionism and pre-emptive war.”

“How many more years will it take for civilized people to realize that war has no economic or political value for the people who fight and pay for it? Wars are always started by governments, and individual soldiers on each side are conditioned to take up arms and travel great distances to shoot and kill individuals that never meant them harm. Both sides drive their people into an hysterical frenzy to overcome their natural instinct to live and let live. False patriotism is used to embarrass the good-hearted into succumbing to the wishes of the financial and other special interests who agitate for war.”

“War reflects the weakness of a civilization that refuses to offer peace as an alternative.”

Americans had their chance to elect an anti-war president. Unfortunately most of them passed up that opportunity and fell for the slick political stylings of Barack Obama. While he talks about “change,” the only thing an Obama administration will change is the battlefield upon which our government wages its undeclared, illegal wars.


Would you like to see what has been happening to our money since the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was passed? For a graphic illustration of just how severely the central bank of the United States has crippled the dollar check out the Inflation Calculator.

Here’s a great example. Let’s say we start off with $20.00 in 1819, ninety-four years before the Federal Reserve was created. We then purchase some goods with that money. Now fast forward to that fateful year of 1913 and we see that those same goods could be purchased for only $12.91. Fancy that! Prices actually went DOWN in the ninety-four years leading up to the passage of the Federal Reserve Act. Our money was actually worth more as the years passed.

Now let’s take a look at what’s happened to the value of our money in the ninety-four years since 1913. Again we’ll begin with $20. And here’s where the extent of the damage wrought by the Fed’s years of monetary meddling becomes clear. The goods we could purchase with $20.00 in 1913 would cost us $424.60 in 2007. Our money has lost almost 96% of its value!

Now, everyone seems to understand how counterproductive monopolies can be in the business world. It’s not a particularly difficult concept to grasp. If only business “A” is allowed to supply everything we need to make our daily lives more bearable, we know that we can expect to pay exorbitant prices for those supplies. Add a few more businesses in to the mix to sell the same products and directly compete with business “A” and we see prices fall as each business attempts to lure customers away from the competition. Well, in monetary terms we have been living with a monopoly since 1913, when all of the private banks were cartelized. As the late Austrian economist and hero of libertarianism Murray Rothbard put it :

the Federal Reserve and other central banking systems act as giant government creators and enforcers of a banking cartel; the Fed bails out banks in trouble, and it centralizes and coordinates the banking system so that all the banks, whether the Chase Manhattan, or the Rothbard or Rockwell banks, can inflate together. Under free banking, one bank expanding beyond its fellows was in danger of imminent bankruptcy. Now, under the Fed, all banks can expand together and proportionately.

Furthermore:

In modern central banking, the Central Bank is granted the monopoly of the issue of bank notes (originally written or printed warehouse receipts as opposed to the intangible receipts of bank deposits), which are now identical to the government’s paper money and therefore the monetary “standard” in the country.

So we are left with NO competition. But what if we had competing currencies? Well, it’s not surprising that the only politician who understands how beneficial this situation would be is Ron Paul. Actually, there probably are other politicians who understand it. Unfortunately, only Ron Paul cares enough about preserving peoples’ wealth to say that in order to preserve that wealth, the people, not powerful central bankers must have the freedom to make the monetary decisions that will affect their lives. On February 13, 2008, in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Paul had this to say about the currency issue:

“Madam Speaker, allowing for competing currencies will allow market participants to choose a currency that suits their needs, rather than the needs of the government. The prospect of American citizens turning away from the dollar towards alternate currencies will provide the necessary impetus to the US government to regain control of the dollar and halt its downward spiral. Restoring soundness to the dollar will remove the government’s ability and incentive to inflate the currency, and keep us from launching unconstitutional wars that burden our economy to excess. With a sound currency, everyone is better off, not just those who control the monetary system. I urge my colleagues to consider the redevelopment of a system of competing currencies.”

And just consider this. How free are we in this wonderful “free country” of ours when our money is controlled not by us, but by our government and its central bank?

The duel between Hillary and Obama will continue. John McCain clinches the Republican nomination. Mike Huckabee drops out of the race. These are the stories that made headlines today. Amid these developments there are a few bits of political news that I find truly worth celebrating. The absolute best news for this humble blogger came from Texas Congressional District #14, where the incumbent and champion of the Constitution, Dr. Ron Paul soundly trounced his neocon opponent, Chris Peden. The good doctor and his message of individual liberty and freedom from government coercion received 70% of the vote! What’s even better is that Dr. Paul’s primary win is essentially a general election triumph since he will not face a Democratic challenger in November. The establishment in Washington D.C. can now look forward to (at least) two more years of aggravation. And that truly does bring a smile to my face. It also makes me wonder. Ron Paul won convincingly in his home district where people actually know him. Just imagine what might have transpired in the presidential race if the mainstream media had given his campaign the attention it deserved.

In other electoral good news, the heroically anti-war Democrat from Ohio, Dennis Kucinich, has prevailed in his Congressional primary . Even though I don’t share his economic views, Kucinich has proven himself to be a principled defender of civil liberties and an outspoken critic of State aggression. It’s too bad Kucinich won’t be the Democratic nominee for president. I would have voted for him in the general election against “Mad Bomber” McCain.

Finally, I turn to New England for this glad tiding. The people of two small towns in Vermont voted to authorize police to arrest George W. Bush and Dick Cheney if the war criminals should set foot in their towns. The terrible twosome are charged with crimes against the Constitution. Now we need more people in D.C. with the nerve to hold our corrupt leaders accountable for the atrocities they’ve committed against humanity.

So there you have it. The big headlines are pretty much negligible. No, we didn’t witness any miracles. And certainly there is a very long way to go. But, from some perspectives yesterday was a pretty decent day for the cause of liberty.

I’m starting to think that a John McCain presidency would actually make Dubya look fairly intelligent . Every time I hear the presumptive neocon candidate for president speak, or read about something he has said, I am absolutely gob smacked by the sheer ignorance and/or stupidity of his utterances. Take this article from the Politico, for example. Now first of all I should make it perfectly clear that I do not believe the President of the United States should run the economy. I do believe, however, that the president should have a general understanding of economics. He should be well aware that government interference in economic matters will always be counterproductive. He should allow the market to work and thrive as it is driven by real people leading their daily lives. At the same time he should not destroy it by foisting fascistic legislation like the New Deal upon it.

Who knows what John McCain might do as president, but it seems pretty clear that he doesn’t know either. Speaking in New Hampshire recently the Arizona senator stated that “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.” Alright, I’ll give him credit for his candor. But why on earth would a presidential candidate say something like that? As a man who boasts about his military knowledge, McCain seems strangely willing to hand over ammunition to the Democrats. And surely that ammunition will be fired back at him in the near future.

Nevertheless, he just keeps on giving. The Bush tax cuts have been a favorite griping point for Democrats for years now. The common complaint is that these cuts “favor the rich” while increasing the burden on the middle and lower classes. Back in 2003 John McCain went right along with the Democrats on this issue as he commented, “I just thought it was too tilted to the wealthy, and I still do… I want to cut the taxes on the middle class.” Now, in 2008, he has called for the tax cuts to become permanent. So which McCain is the real one, we might ask? Once again, I should make clear that I have no problem with any tax cuts. Tax cuts are never a problem. Cutting taxes while increasing spending, now that’s a different situation. That’s exactly where Bush has gone so horribly wrong. As I pointed out in an earlier post, the U.S. government has spent five times as much under Bushian rule than it did under Clintonian rule in the 1990’s. You can’t have it both ways. But this is nothing new. As Gary North shows us, it’s happened before.

And while we’re dealing with government spending, there’s always the contentious issue of “earmarks,” the ways legislators steer money to their own pet projects, usually in their home districts. John McCain has spoken out against earmarks in the past. The thinking is that earmarks increase government spending. Problem is, this is all just a clever subterfuge. Earmarks don’t increase spending. The money is allocated before the earmarking process ever begins. The issue here centers on who decides what to do with that money. If it’s not spent by our elected representatives in Congress it will be spent by the Executive. People like McCain and the other anti-earmark crusaders really aren’t against earmarks. They are just for a stronger Executive. But it’s a clever way for “small government” Republicans to convince their constituents that wasteful government spending is being eliminated. Here’s more on this issue from Ron Paul, who, by the way, is the only presidential candidate with an extensive understanding of economics. Of course, he’s the guy who doesn’t stand a chance. Typical.