The deeper I dug…the stranger it got.
Last week, while perusing an old copy of Ayn Rand’s Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (a collection of free market essays by a variety of authors associated with Rand), I was drawn to a 1966 essay by Alan Greenspan. As I progressed through the paper, I became more astonished with each page.
In the essay, Gold and Economic Freedom, Greenspan makes an impassioned defense of gold as a necessary precondition to economic prosperity, and warns of the mischief in which governments engage when freed from its constraints.
"The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit. They have created paper reserves in the form of government bonds which — through a complex series of steps — the banks accept in place of tangible assets and treat as if they were an actual deposit"
He identifies the devious motive behind the statists’ monetary games:
"But the opposition to the gold standard in any form — from a growing number of welfare-state advocates — was prompted by a much subtler insight: the realization that the gold standard is incompatible with chronic deficit spending…the welfare statists were quick to recognize that if they wished to retain political power, the amount of taxation had to be limited and they had to resort to programs of massive deficit spending."
He even noted historical examples of disasters caused by various central banks via chronic currency debasement and suppression of interest rates:
"If banks can continue to loan money indefinitely — it was claimed — there need never be any slumps in business. And so the Federal Reserve System was created in 1913."
"The excess credit which the Fed pumped into the economy spilled over into the stock market — triggering a fantastic speculative boom. Belatedly, Federal Reserve officials attempted to sop up the excess reserves and finally succeeded in braking the boom. But it was too late: by 1929 the speculative imbalances had become so overwhelming that the attempt precipitated a sharp retrenching and a consequent demoralization of business confidence. As a result, the American economy collapsed."
My cigar fell to the floor as I sat agape.
How on earth could this possibly be the same person who is running the Federal Reserve today? Is it conceivable that this is the same guy who has been wall-papering the world with dollars to sustain our titanic budget deficit? Is there any way that this could be the very same man who has been expanding the money supply and manipulating interest rates for several years…fueling numerous epic speculative bubbles (such as the tech-stock debacle of the late 90’s and the current real estate catastrophe-waiting-to-happen)???
It hardly seemed possible.
There hasn’t been this big of a transformation since Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader.
Solving this mystery became something of an obsession.
With confidence that "the truth is out there," I began working late into the night. Evidence was collected and data was processed. Periodic Greenspan handwriting samples were obtained and analyzed via sophisticated software. Audio files of his speeches were downloaded and submitted to high-tech voice stress analysis. Old pictures underwent electron microscopy.
No stone was left unturned.
Numerous likely theories were discarded, one by one. At the end of the day, only one plausible explanation was left: We are dealing with an Invasion of the Body Snatchers scenario. There’s been a diabolical "swap." The current "Alan Greenspan" is a cunningly disguised extraterrestrial who has been sent here by hostile aliens to wreck our economy. As to what they did with the old "free market Greenspan," I can only speculate (perhaps he is under the Meadowlands with Jimmy Hoffa?).
But, the more urgent question is…who is next?
Clearly, they are targeting libertarians.
Will I log on to this site one morning to find an article by Lew Rockwell — in strange, flat prose — calling for a "more steeply progressive income tax" and "government-financed health care for all"?
Will I pick up a copy of the National Review and see a cover story by Karen Kwiatkowski extolling the virtues of Max Boot and Bill Kristol?
Will I turn on the TV to see a cadaveric facsimile of Pat Buchanan calling for President Bush to "get more aggressive in the war on terror" and demanding that the US "enact regime change in Syria and Iran"?
Clearly, we all need to take precautions.
I’ve barricaded my doors and windows…and have swept the backyard for strange-looking melons.
They’ll never take me alive.
Steven LaTulippe [send him mail] is a physician currently practicing in Ohio. He was an officer in the United States Air Force for 13 years.