The Fed as a Criminal Organization
by Walter Block
Recently by Walter Block: Global Warming, Air Pollution and Libertarianism
I often get very nasty letters that make my blood boil. I guess that is the price regular columnists of LewRockwell.com have to pay for contributing to this blog, since we all take rather unpopular positions on many issues. Often these letters are filled with nasty expletives, question my parentage, and much worse.
But rarely do I receive a letter that really infuriates me. The one below is entirely polite. There is not a slur in it. No questioning of my sanity, my morality, my ethnic or religious persuasion. There is no threat in it, implied or explicit. And yet this one is far worse than those others. I repeat it below, along with my response to it. See if it doesn't enrage you too.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Saturday, January 21, 2012 2:28 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Federal Reserve Board Research Assistant Opportunities
Dear Professor Block:
I am writing to request your assistance in informing your department’s students about Research Assistant (RA) positions at the Federal Reserve Board. Our positions are highly competitive; each year we hire approximately 20-30 recent undergraduates as RAs. While at the Board, RAs work on a broad range of topics and have the opportunity to increase their quantitative skills by working on both real-world policy issues and high-level research projects. After their time at the Board, many of our RAs move on to top graduate school programs.
Additionally, we offer summer internships for economics, mathematics, and finance students to work on advanced research projects with Board economists.
Thank you for supporting our program.
Best, Dustin Rawlins
Dustin R. Rawlins Research Recruiting Administrator Division of Research and Statistics Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Washington, DC 20551 202-736-1912 www.federalreserve.gov
Dear Mr. Rawlins:
I will indeed pass along your message to my students. I will do so, despite the fact that I think yours is a criminal organization, because, one, I owe it to my students to pass along information about all (presently) legal job openings and two, because I like to have my students make up their own minds about issues of this sort.
But when I do so in my next mailing to them, I will append a message of my own, alongside yours.
Here it is:
I regard the Fed as a criminal organization, since it engages in (well, aids and abets) counterfeiting. The Fed is to the U.S. economy as was the old central planning apparatus of the late and non-lamented Soviet Union to the entire economy of the U.S.S.R. The Federal Reserve System has been responsible since its inception in 1913 for destroying some 97% of the value of our dollar, the life blood of our economy. This organization has exacerbated the business cycle. It has created both inflation and unemployment. These people, along with HUD, Fannie and Freddie, are responsible for the depression that currently afflicts us. (For more on this read Ron Paul's End the Fed and Murray Rothbard's The Mystery of Banking and What Has Government Done to Our Money and The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar).
I pray, hope and trust that Ron Paul will be the next President of the U.S. If so, I think I have a shot at being one of the people he brings to Washington D.C. to help him implement his programs of reducing the governmental footprint. If so, I hope he appoints me the next head of the Fed. If so, I will do my level best to end this monstrosity of an institution with all deliberate speed, and institute a 100% gold backed dollar in its place. But more. I shall also do what I can to institute a Nuremberg type trial for all employees of the Fed. Not only should we audit them, we should throw in jail all of those responsible for counterfeiting, creating unemployment, inflation, and all but destroying our currency.
And here is a message for you, personally, Mr. Rawlins.
You "Thank (me) for supporting (your) program." But what makes you think I support the Fed? Is it because I am an economist, often write on macro-money issues, and your organization has suborned almost this entire subset of the economics profession with high paying jobs, assistanceships, and entre into prestigious journals which are necessary for promotion in academia (See this on that: White, Lawrence H. "The Federal Reserve System's Influence on Research in Monetary Economics." Econ Journal Watch, Volume 2, Number 2, August 2005, pp 325-354.) Well, if so, yours was a good guess. Most economists, particularly those who do research in macro-money, have indeed been purchased by your organization. However, I fear, I am an exception to this general rule. I oppose central planning whether in farming, manufacturing or, in the provision of money and central banking. I am a rarity in the economcs profession: someone who actually supports Ron Paul. See on this here.
I have no doubt that "After their time at the Board, many of (y)our RAs move on to top graduate school programs." All I can say about this is, So much the worse for "top graduate school programs." What they teach there, and what you use at the Fed, is Keynesianism and Monetarism. It is greatly to be regretted that at none of these institutions is Austrian economics even considered, let alone mentioned. What the Fed and these "top" programs do to Mises, Hayek and Rothbard, namely ignore them, is what the mainstream media try to do to Ron Paul; namely, act as if he is the 13th floor of the hotel, in the words of that great philosopher, Jon Stewart. For this reason alone yours is not a legitimate scientific institution.
Mr. Rawlins, it is not too late for you, personally. You can quit your job in that evil institution and seek honest employment elsewhere. There, you can actually contribute to the creation of goods and services purchased by voluntary customers instead of mercilessly battening down on them.
Walter E. Block, Ph.D. Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business Loyola University New Orleans 6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318 New Orleans, LA 70118 tel: (504) 864-7934 fax: (504) 864-7970 email@example.com http://www.walterblock.com/
"It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a u2018dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance."
~ Murray N. Rothbard
Dr. Block [send him mail] is a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of Defending the Undefendable and Labor Economics From A Free Market Perspective. His latest book is The Privatization of Roads and Highways.