We might, in a cynical moment, describe politicians as persons of limited ability who wish to gain fame without talent, and fortune without working — at least at an honest trade. But that would be unduly harsh, and not altogether true.

There is, in fact, considerable talent involved in successful politicking. The recent election campaigns bore this out. I did not watch the debates, and generally eschewed the whole process, but the snippets of political rhetoric I couldn’t avoid reinforced my understanding that the politician’s skill involves, among other things, circumlocution. Asked a specific question, such as, "What is your position on the draft?" the candidate may begin his "answer" with some general statement as, "First of all, let me say that —" which will give him the opportunity to blather on for some minutes about war in general, his own experience in the military, and the great sacrifices made by our brave soldiers in past and present wars. He may then go on to call attention to his past remarks about the possibility of the draft (without actually saying whether he opposed it or not), the necessity to consider it at length and hear all sides, and wrap it up, five or six minutes later, with a call for Americans to renew their dedication to freedom, the fight on terrorism, and the American Way. At the end of this harangue, the questioner will have 1) given up, 2) forgotten his original question, or 3) become distracted by something else mentioned during the "answer." And the candidate will not have lost any supporters, such as might have happened if he said, "I support it," or "I reject it."

As fascinating as it is to watch the skillful candidate (although bureaucrats also possess this skill, as anyone trying to obtain from the IRS a straightforward answer to a simple question can attest) respond to a question without answering, even more fascinating are the questions that are never asked. The usual questions can be predicted, and the candidate will have his retorts prepared in advance. Unusual questions get screened out.

"Mr. Candidate, the war that is important is not the one between the U.S. and so-called terrorists, but the one between the creators of euros and the creators of dollars. Which side do you take in this war, and what importance do you attach to it?" Of course, that question was never asked, and never will be. Years of experience in dealing with the monetary question have convinced me that there is no subject in which Americans take less interest, or is more important. "Mr. Candidate, do you agree that the power to issue a nation’s "money" is the power to enslave the people of that nation?" Shocked silence, followed by bluster — should the question ever be asked. It won’t.

Political silence notwithstanding, an issue of overwhelming importance is the question of who will issue the world’s "money." We have seen a dozen European countries abandon their own currencies in favor of a single one. Others appear anxious to join the European Union, and use its scrip. For the time being, however, most oil is being sold for dollars. So what?

Modern money is not something that is out there, waiting to be harvested, and available to anyone willing to do the work. On the contrary, it is a fictional entity, represented by numbers (credit) created from thin air by the issuing banks — and no one else. You spend your working life to obtain what these fortunate individuals get for nothing; and which they can stop issuing, or issue in great abundance, without any accountability to you, although you will be profoundly affected by their actions. For example, during a recent visit to Spain, we were impressed by the significantly higher prices for food since our previous visit two years ago. The euro-creators have evidently decided on a policy of inflation. If Spaniards are unhappy about it — tough!

Yes, the Spanish currency was fiat prior to the euro, and its managers could inflate it, too. But if they did so, the peseta would weaken vis–vis the mark or the franc, and large segments of the population might be adversely affected by that, and complain to the authorities, who could, if it suited them, do something about it. But when the currency of not only Spain, but also Germany, France, and nine other countries is being inflated simultaneously, to whom does one turn? It’s just a natural, unfortunate phenomenon, like bad weather. The situation is similar to that which obtained in this country prior to the Federal Reserve: private banks could issue their own notes, some of which were "good," or "strong," while others were "weak," or "bad." The Fed eliminated these pesky variations by making ALL currency equally bad, or good, depending on your point of view.

Anselm Rothschild said it first: "Give me the power to issue a nation’s money; then I do not care who makes the laws." Of course! Those who issue a nation’s money own its government; the laws do not apply to them. Today the question is: who is going to issue the world’s money, and thus rule the world? A good question indeed. You won’t hear it asked at any political debate. Some questions are best dealt with, not by circumlocution, but no locution at all.

Dr. Hein [send him mail] is a retired ophthalmologist in St. Louis, and the author of All Work & No Pay.