Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The second Golden Rule: do not force me, as I would not force you

Over at Three Sources, we're talking again about gold, sparked by an Amity Schlaes column in the Wall Street Journal. My comment, reproduced below, pretty much sums up my philosophy on the gold standard, and more:
I don't mind paper money *inherently*. My problem is that there are people who are not accountable to me in the slightest, who have the power to create more of something I use as a medium of exchange (which means devaluing what I've saved).

In the same way I don't want others to force me to use paper money, I don't want to force others to use gold-backed currency. What I do demand is that we have the freedom to use gold if we want. Paraphrasing Lincoln on being a slave and being a master, the beginning of true libertarianism is when a person realizes, "So as I would not be forced, so as I would not force you." Now, U.S. law makes Federal Reserve notes artificially competitive. We aren't required to use it, but there's artificial confidence (borne of an implied government-backed guarantee) in Federal Reserve notes, and most people (including Schlaes?) don't know that the Gold Clause Resolution of 1933 is still in effect -- you can't insert a clause into a contract stipulating that repayment be made in gold. It's not necessarily a criminal act, but your contract can be ruled null and void. Why shouldn't people be able to receive payment in gold if they so desire, without being made into criminals? And didn't the other person enter into the contract freely, with the clause right there to read? So Congress legislatively blackmailing mortgage lenders into freezing rates is not the first time that the federal government forced the rewriting of contracts (especially when detrimental to those expecting repayment).

Resultingly, the Fed's control over our money supply is virtually a monopoly. A true monopoly, unlike this myth of Microsoft's "uncompetitive practices." Thus it's much harder for us to use other mediums of exchange, whether we're buying or selling. We've been *bred* to like paper and look funny at hard metal. Again, the former isn't inherently bad, but the people in charge can render your savings less valuable, if not worthless like in Zimbabwe. Think about how oil prices would impact you less if you could have used gold-backed money issued by private banks. As gold prices increased, indicating an increase in demand but more so the weakening dollar, people who saved in gold could better afford $4/gallon gasoline.

Bringing this back to Schlaes, she wrote a good piece, but why must she hold back? Of course the federal government had no regard for property rights -- it was clear to anyone who had gold and was forced to sell it, or else face prison time and fines. And FDR, that evil bastard who I hope to God is rotting in hell as we speak, *lied* during 1932 campaign, campaigning on a platform that advocated sound, gold-backed money. Mere days after he was inaugurated, he issued Executive Order 6102, making it a crime to hoard more than $100 in gold unless for "collecting" (which has been gradually done with firearms). It's just like Ayn Rand said:

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."


Blogger jk said...

I agree completely on the legality of using Gold or wampum or any private currency.

You seem a bit hard on Shlaes, who has written a superb indictment of FDR's economics and affronts to freedom. I don't feel that she "held back" at all in "The Forgotten Man." That book stands pretty proudly against all the FDR hagiographies. Go Wilke!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

Her article wasn't bad, but she could have been more damning in talking about seizing people's private property. But I'm also comparing her to the likes of Burt Folsom and Larry Reed, who have spoken more bluntly about FDR's evil. And that's what it is, pure evil.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008 10:08:00 PM  

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