• Ron Paul: A Most Unusual Politician

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    This
    is the preface to Ron Paul's Gold,
    Peace, and Prosperity: The Birth of a New Currency
    .

    Ron
    Paul is a most unusual politician — in many ways. In the first
    place, he really knows what he's talking about. He is not
    only for the gold standard. He knows why he is for it, and
    he is familiar with the most advanced and complex economic
    insights on the true nature of inflation, on how inflation
    works, and how inflationary credit expansions brings about
    booms and busts. And yet Ron has the remarkable ability to
    take these complex and vital insights and to present them
    in clear, lucid, hard-hitting terms to the non-economist reader.
    His economics is as sound as a bell.

    But,
    even more important, Ron Paul is an unusual politician because
    he doesn't simply pay lip service to moral principles. He
    believes in moral principles in his mind and heart, and he
    fights for them passionately and effectively. High on his
    set of moral principles is the vital importance of individual
    freedom, of the individual's natural right to be free of assault
    and aggression, and of his right to keep the property that
    he has earned on the free market, and not have it stolen from
    him by confiscatory taxes and government regulations.

    Ron Paul,
    in short, is that rare American, and still rarer politician,
    who deeply understands and battles for the principles of liberty
    that were fought for and established by the Founding Fathers
    of this country. He understands that sound economics, moral
    principles, and individual freedom all go together, like a
    seamless web. They cannot be separated, and they stand or
    fall together.

    Ron Paul
    understands that all three parts of this system of liberty
    have been under grave attack for decades, and that the main
    problem is the federal government itself. The government has
    systematically eroded and invaded property rights, has piled
    on ever higher taxes, ever more onerous regulations, and,
    most sinister because most hidden, has eroded the value of
    the dollar and of all our savings through inflation. Ron Paul
    is an unusual politician because he is not content to shrug
    his shoulders, to "go with the flow," as Californians
    say, or to go along in order to get along. He is a man of
    honor as well as a man of principle, and so he has, ever since
    he got into politics, been doing something about it. He has
    fought, sometimes single-handedly, for our liberties and for
    our savings.

    Inflation,
    as Ron Paul points out, is caused by the government's continual
    creation of new money, by what amounts to its system of legalized
    counterfeiting. But, if that is so, why not simply urge the
    government to stop the creation of money? Why not point out
    to our rulers the bad consequences of their actions? But Ron
    Paul realizes that this kind of education, or even pressure,
    is not going to work by itself. For we are dealing not simply
    with ignorant or misled people; we are dealing with a pernicious
    system.

    Let
    us put it this way: give any man or group power, and it will
    tend to use that power. If the power is inherently abusive,
    then that power will be abused. Our present system gives to
    the federal government and its Federal Reserve the unlimited
    power to counterfeit. The problem is that if the Fed has the
    power to counterfeit, it will inevitably use that power. Why?
    Because the power to counterfeit is too tempting. The power
    to create money means that it is far more tempting to print
    it than to work for it. It means that the counterfeiter can
    pay his debts, spend more money, give more money to his friends
    and associates. In the case of government, the power to counterfeit
    means that government's debts can be paid without levying
    taxes, that government spending can increase, and that political
    allies can be purchased and maintained.

    The
    power to counterfeit is the power to abuse. It is not enough
    to urge the government to use it more moderately. The power
    must be taken away. Counterfeiting is fraud, and no one should
    have the right to counterfeit, least of all the government,
    whose record of counterfeiting throughout history is black
    indeed. Money and banking must be separated from the State,
    just as Church and State are separated in the American tradition,
    just as the economy and the State should be separated.

    Vital
    to this necessary reform is the return to a money which is
    a useful product produced by the free market itself. In every
    society, people on the market voluntarily arrive at one or
    two commodities which are the most useful to use as money.
    For thousands of years, gold has been selected by countless
    societies as that money. The only alternative to a market
    commodity-money is what we unfortunately have now: paper tickets
    issued by the government and called "money." Since
    the paper tickets — dollars, francs, pounds sterling, or what
    have you — are issued by the government, the government can
    issue any amount it arbitrarily chooses. Counterfeiting is
    built into the system, and hence so is inflation and eventual
    destruction of the currency.

    The
    only genuine solution to the evil of inflation, then, is to
    separate money from the State, to make money once again a
    market commodity instead of a fiat ticket issued by the central
    government. The dollar must once again be what it was originally
    until it was, in effect, nationalized. The dollar must once
    again be simply a name for a unit of weight of gold coin.
    Only this kind of fundamental reform will cure the ravages
    of inflation. Because Ron Paul is one of the few men in public
    life who truly understands the problem and is willing to fight
    to cure it, it is truly a pleasure for me to write the preface
    to this booklet.

    Murray
    N. Rothbard
    (1926–1995) was the author of Man,
    Economy, and State
    , Conceived
    in Liberty
    , What
    Has Government Done to Our Money
    , For
    a New Liberty
    , The
    Case Against the Fed
    , and many
    other books and articles
    . He was
    also the editor – with Lew Rockwell – of The
    Rothbard-Rockwell Report
    , and academic vice president of
    the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

    Murray
    Rothbard Archives

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