Tag Archives: Ron Paul

The drum beat for secession intensifies across the land

Americans cherish personal liberty. Unfortunately, we’ve lost most it to a federal government that has become unresponsive to the needs and wishes of the people. Something is seriously wrong, and it cannot be changed within the present structure of government which has been completely taken over by a small group of oligarchs who use it to advance their own narrow interests. Is it possible, or even desirable for the states to withdraw from the union? Increasing numbers of Americans seem to think so. Read what outgoing Congressman Ron Paul has this to say about it.—t.h.g.

Secession: Are We Free to Go?

By RonPaul.com on November 18, 2012

Is all the recent talk of secession mere sour grapes over the election, or perhaps something deeper?   Currently there are active petitions in support of secession for all 50 states, with Texas taking the lead in number of signatures.  Texas has well over the number of signatures needed to generate a response from the administration, and while I wouldn’t hold my breath on Texas actually seceding, I believe these petitions raise a lot of worthwhile questions about the nature of our union.

Is it treasonous to want to secede from the United States?  Many think the question of secession was settled by our Civil War.  On the contrary; the principles of self-governance and voluntary association are at the core of our founding.  Clearly Thomas Jefferson believed secession was proper, albeit as a last resort. Writing to William Giles in 1825, he concluded that states:

“should separate from our companions only when the sole alternatives left, are the dissolution of our Union with them, or submission to a government without limitation of powers.”

Keep in mind that the first and third paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence expressly contemplate the dissolution of a political union when the underlying government becomes tyrannical.

Do we have a “government without limitation of powers” yet?  The Federal government kept the Union together through violence and force in the Civil War, but did might really make right?

Secession is a deeply American principle.  This country was born through secession.  Some felt it was treasonous to secede from England, but those “traitors” became our country’s greatest patriots.

There is nothing treasonous or unpatriotic about wanting a federal government that is more responsive to the people it represents.  That is what our Revolutionary War was all about and today our own federal government is vastly overstepping its constitutional bounds with no signs of reform.  In fact, the recent election only further entrenched the status quo.  If the possibility of secession is completely off the table there is nothing to stop the federal government from continuing to encroach on our liberties and no recourse for those who are sick and tired of it.

Consider the ballot measures that passed in Colorado and Washington state regarding marijuana laws.  The people in those states have clearly indicated that they are ready to try something different where drug policy is concerned, yet they will still face a tremendous threat from the federal government.  In California, the Feds have been arresting peaceful medical marijuana users and raiding dispensaries that state and local governments have sanctioned. This shouldn’t happen in a free country.

It remains to be seen what will happen in states that are refusing to comply with the deeply unpopular mandates of Obamacare by not setting up healthcare exchanges.  It appears the Federal government will not respect those decisions either.

In a free country, governments derive their power from the consent of the governed. When the people have very clearly withdrawn their consent for a law, the discussion should be over.  If the Feds refuse to accept that and continue to run roughshod over the people, at what point do we acknowledge that that is not freedom anymore?  At what point should the people dissolve the political bands which have connected them with an increasingly tyrannical and oppressive federal government?  And if people or states are not free to leave the United States as a last resort, can they really think of themselves as free?

If a people cannot secede from an oppressive government, they cannot truly be considered free.

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Competing currencies essential to freedom

This appeal by Congressman Ron Paul is perhaps the most important proposal by an American politician in the last 100 years.
I’m glad to know that Congressman Paul is not limiting his proposal to gold and silver currencies.

The most liberating means of payment is “mutual credit clearing” through independent non-bank associations of businesses and individuals.

Of course, the credit in such accounts needs to be denominated in some objective units, which could be specified weights of gold or silver, but better still, would be an “index unit” based on a “market basket” of basic commodities that are widely and freely traded.

My four books on the subject, and my websites, provide coverage of pertinent concepts and history, and full details on my prescriptions for businesses, communities, and governments.–t.h.g. 

Legalize Competing Currencies

I recently held a hearing in my congressional subcommittee on the subject of competing currencies.  This is an issue of enormous importance, but unfortunately few Americans understand how the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department impose a strict monopoly on money in America.

This monopoly is maintained using federal counterfeiting laws, which is a bit rich.  If any organization is guilty of counterfeiting dollars, it is our own Treasury.  But those who dare to challenge federal legal tender laws by circulating competing currencies– at least physical currencies– risk going to prison.

Like all government created monopolies, the federal monopoly on money results in substandard product in the form of our ever-depreciating dollars.

Yet governments have always sought to monopolize the issuance of money, either directly or through the creation of central banks. The expanding role of the Federal Reserve in the 20th century enabled our federal government to grow wildly larger than would have been possible otherwise.  Our Fed, like all central banks, encourages deficits by effectively monetizing Treasury debt.  But the price we pay is the terrible and ongoing debasement of our money.

Allowing individuals and business to use alternate currencies, especially currencies backed by gold and silver, would expose the whole rotten system because the marketplace would prefer such alternate currencies unless and until the Fed suddenly imposed radical discipline on its dollar inflation.

Sadly, Americans are far less free than many others around the world when it comes to protecting themselves against the rapidly depreciating US dollar.  Mexican workers can set up accounts denominated in ounces of silver and take tax-free delivery of that silver whenever they want.  In Singapore and other Asian countries, individuals can set up bank accounts denominated in gold and silver.  Debit cards can be linked to gold and silver accounts so that customers can use gold and silver to make point of sale transactions, a service which is only available to non-Americans.

The obvious solution is to legalize monetary freedom and allow the circulation of parallel and competing currencies.  There is no reason why Americans should not be able to transact, save, and invest using the currency of their choosing.  They should be free to use gold, silver, or other currencies with no legal restrictions or punitive taxation standing in the way.  Restoring the monetary system envisioned by the Constitution is the only way to ensure the economic security of the American people.

After all, if our monetary system is fundamentally sound– and the Federal Reserve indeed stabilizes the dollar as its apologists claim–then why fear competition?  Why do we accept that centralized, monopoly control over our money is compatible with a supposedly free-market economy?  In a free market, the government’s fiat dollar should compete with alternate currencies for the benefit of American consumers, savers, and investors.

As Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises explained, sound money is an instrument that protects our civil liberties against despotic government. Our current monetary system is indeed despotic, and the surest way to correct things simply is to legalize competing currencies.

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Hurrah! Free Money once again a topic of debate in U.S. politics

Once more, Congressman and Presidential candidate, Ron Paul has championed the cause of honesty and freedom, this time by introducing a bill (H.R. 1098) that would promote free competition in currency and end the monopoly control of money and finance by the banking and political elite. Seth Lipsky’s article below tells the story.

I’ve not read the bill, so I don’t know the details, and I don’t expect it to get very far in a Congress that is, by and large, bought and paid for by the same interests that the bill seems to challenge, but its very existence and the fact that is getting some media coverage could go a long way toward educating the public about the vital issues and systemic flaws that are involved in the money system.

The survival of democracy and the future of civilization depend on, one way or another, on liberating the credit commons from monopoly control. Action from the bottom up (the organization of private, free exchange alternatives) combined with action from the top down (popular pressure for legislative action) might eventually be sufficient to crack the nut.—t.h.g.

Ron Paul, Upping the Ante in His Campaign for Liberty, Hoists the Flag of Hayek

Offers a Bill To Allow Free Competition in Currencies

By SETH LIPSKY, Special to the Sun | September 29, 2011

http://www.nysun.com/opinion/ron-paul-upping-the-ante-in-his-campaign/87502/

The first time I met Friedrich Hayek was in 1980 at California, where he was staying at the home of another economist. Then a young editor for the Wall Street Journal, I’d asked to call on the Nobel laureate for a book review I was writing. His host invited me for dinner. Before the meal, Hayek and I retreated, alone, to the far end of the host’s living room, for a chat.

We were but a few minutes into our conversation when, suddenly, Hayek clapped a hand over his nose and mouth and started coughing convulsively, before slumping onto the couch. I raced back to the host to exclaim that Professor Hayek seemed to be in trouble, only to be told that it was okay, he was just taking his snuff. A jolt of the divine herb, it seems, and the sage was back on his feet.

Hayek died 12 years later at the age of 93. I never came to know him well. But this week I found myself imagining that were his long-ago collapse-into-a-coughing fit to occur in front of me today, I’d whip out a copy of a new bill in Congress, H.R. 1098, called the Free Competition in Currency Act of 2011, and wave that under the great economist’s nose. It’s hard to think of anything, even a pinch of the strongest snuff, being a greater pick-me-up for his spirits.

For Hayek was an advocate of, among other things, private money — competing currencies — and HR 1098 would end a ban on them that has obtained here in America since the Civil War. The new bill in Congress, introduced in March by Rep. Ron Paul, would repeal the legal tender laws, prohibit taxation of certain coins and bullion, and clean up other sections of our coinage laws.

It is not a measure the Congress is going to pass in a hurry. But it is being nursed by advocates of monetary reform, and it would be unwise to discount it entirely. Few, after all, gave Congressman Paul much of a chance to win passage of a measure to audit the Federal Reserve, but when it eventually passed it was with an overwhelming, bipartisan vote. It may yet be enforced by the courts.

The Free Competition in Currency Act is far more important. It comes amid a historic collapse in the value of the dollar to less than a 1,600th of an ounce of gold. The dollar has gained a bit of value in recent days, but it is still worth less than a sixth of what it was worth as recently as, say, the start of President George W. Bush’s first term.

One of the things the government has done in the face of that collapse is seek to enforce a prohibition against private “uttering” — that is, putting into use — of coins of gold, silver, or other metal as current money and making or even possessing likenesses of such coins. H.R. 1098 would end the ban on private uttering of coins and, presumably, stop any current prosecution of such uttering.

The drive for the bill is animated, if only in part, by the case of Bernard von NotHaus, who was convicted in March of issuing a private medallion called the Liberty Dollar. The government prosecuted von NotHaus even though the coins he issued were made of silver and are today worth much more, in terms of Federal Reserve Notes, than when they were issued.

What the government is doing in the Von NotHaus case is seeking to suppress sound money in order to protect the unsound, fiat money the government has been issuing via the Fed. A federal judge in North Carolina has agreed to consider post-conviction motions to throw out the von NotHaus verdict, partly on the argument that the Constitution does not enumerate a power of Congress to outlaw privately-minted coins, which were widely produced in America’s early decades.

H.R. 1098 would go way beyond the Von NotHaus case, by asserting the virtue of the idea of private money as a system. The idea was sprung by Hayek not long after he won his Nobel Prize, in the mid-1970s. He started with a lecture. He later wrote, in a slim volume called “Denationalization of Money,” that he’d been in “despair about the hopelessness of finding a politically feasible solution to what is technically the simplest possible problem, namely to stop inflation.”

“The further pursuit of the suggestion that government should be deprived of its monopoly of the issue of money opened the most fascinating theoretical vistas and showed the possibility of arrangements which have never been considered,” he wrote. He came to the view that a plethora of privately issued money would enable mankind’s millions to find their own mediums of exchange, and good money would end up driving out bad.

Hayek concluded “Denationalization of Money” by calling for what he termed “a Free Money Movement comparable to the Free Trade Movement of the 19th century.” He came to the view that the gold standard was not the solution, though it was “the only tolerably safe system” if the management of money were going to be the preserve of the government.

The Free Competition in Currency Act got an early hearing in Congress this month in the House Subcommittee on Monetary Policy. The hearing wasn’t widely attended, but there was testimony by the president of the Foundation for the Advancement of Monetary Education, Lawrence Parks, and by a professor at George Mason University, Lawrence White, who talked about how FedEx and UPS’s private competition with the Post Office has brought benefits to American consumers. He extended the analogy to money.

It’s too bad Hayek couldn’t have been at the hearings. He viewed the denationalization of money as the “cure” for “recurrent waves of depression and unemployment that have been represented as an inherent and deadly defect of capitalism.” In other words, as a cure for ills like the current crisis. How Hayek, who once called for a global debate on socialism versus capitalism, would have thrilled to the moment, pausing only for the occasional pinch of his favorite snuff.

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Who came within a whisker of beating Michlle Bachmann in Iowa?

The mainstream media will not utter his name, but Jon Stewart does.

One thing the Huffington Post, Ron Paul and Glen Beck all agree on

AUDIT THE FED.

We need more transparency in how the money and banking system is managed, and an independent audit of the Federal Reserve is a start. There is widespread agreement on that point as pointed out in this Huffington Post article. But what will it take to make it happen?

Ron Paul calls for competition in currency, attacks central bank’s “independence” as “unaccountability.”

Submitted by cpowell on 09:44AM ET Monday, January 10, 2011. Section:Daily Dispatches

Toward Sensible Monetary Policy

By U.S. Rep. Ron Paul
Monday,January 10, 2011

http://paul.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1816:…

Last week the 112th Congress was sworn in. I am pleased that I will be chairing the Monetary Policy Subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee, which has oversight of the Federal Reserve. Obviously, this position will facilitate my efforts to ensure that the Fed provides the American people with more information about what they have been doing with and to our money.

Not surprisingly, since my chairmanship was announced, apologists for the Fed have been recycling the old canard about how increased transparency threatens the Fed’s so-called political independence.

By independence, they are referring to the Fed’s ability to greatly impact the economy with virtually no meaningful oversight. We only recently learned that the bankers at the Fed were able to use the latest financial crisis to bail out Wall Street cronies and foreign central banks with billions of dollars that were created and wasted, instead of appropriated and voted on by representatives of the people.

The Fed and its supporters in Congress fought even this small bit of transparency and without this one-time provision in the financial reform act forcing disclosure, we would still not have this information. Indeed, we are in the dark on so much of what the Fed has done. This is extremely dangerous for our country, yet this power and secrecy are defended as some kind of public good, which is patently ridiculous.

Our government is based on a system of checks and balances. With no check on the Fed, it is no surprise it has thrown the economy wildly off balance.

The solution is not to re-inflate the bubbles the Fed created, or to continue to devalue the currency, or to throw billions at failing banks and corporations. The solution is to return sanity and freedom to monetary policy. Forcing the entire country to use a medium of exchange that is subject to the whims of elite bankers and their cronies on Wall Street is not sanity. Hoping that an unchecked, all-powerful, behemoth banking cartel will solve any economic problem is not sanity.

The problems the Fed was created to solve now look miniscule compared to the problems it has created. If “political independence” erodes the purchasing power of the currency by 98 percent and destabilizes the economy with radical booms and busts, all while increasing unemployment and tipping us ever closer to hyperinflation, perhaps it is time to try a little transparency and accountability instead. Better still — we should try giving the people true economic freedom.

Make no mistake: The Fed is not truly independent of political pressure. Its chair is appointed by the president, and it is a creature of Congress. Congress has a duty, albeit a neglected one, to exercise oversight of the Fed. However, even if it was politically independent, it is not independent of the influences of Wall Street. One has to look only at the revolving door between the Fed and the big banks to know that. Disclosures on TARP funds confirm this.

It is nothing short of cruel and criminal for Congress to stand idly by while the life savings of Americans are inflated away to nothing. It is high time that Congress insist on getting complete information on what the Fed has been doing, and for whom. My hope is that exposing the truth will demonstrate the insanity of the status quo and more people will call for sensible changes, such as legalizing competing currencies.

At last, central banking and legal tender are once again subject to real political debate and public scrutiny.

In what seems to me to have been an unlikely turn of events, Congressman Ron Paul of Texas has been appointed to chair the House Subcommittee for Monetary Policy in the new Congress. In one sense this seems like very good news, on the other hand, it raises some serious questions about the oligarchy’s ultimate game plan.

Ron Paul is undoubtedly one of the few politicians who understands money and banking, but he has some serious blind spots, and call me cynical, but I think that politics at the federal level has been so thoroughly corrupted that I have little hope that anything that promotes the common good can ever come out of Congress.

Still, I strongly recommend that everyone watch the following C-span interview in which Congressman Paul outlines his agenda. It does not go as far as it needs to, but it is an agenda that I, for the most part, endorse.

According to Brendan Trainor, Rep. Paul in this interview makes the following points. I have highlighted what I consider to be the most urgent and important ones (in red).

  • Ron will start by requesting the information that is now due from the Fed from the watered down version of the “Audit the Fed” bill that was passed by Congress.
  • Ron will submit his more robust version of the Bill to Audit the Fed in Congress again.
  • Ron is aware of the twin dangers of his attack on the FED. Criticism of the FED could result in a reactionary attempt to create an even more centralized monetary system, or else “some of my allies who are critical of the FED” who Ron now public-ally calls “GREENBACKERS”, will push for Congressional issue of fiat money. Both of these outcomes have to be guarded against (by those few of us who understand the debate in the first place.)
  • Ron explicitly defends the proposition that the market should be regulating finance, not the regulators. The Market does a better job of regulation than the government. This counter-intuitive idea does require a limited government involvement (not to discount the anarcho-capitalist alternative) that will require
    an atmosphere of “law and order, NOT regulation“.
  • Market regulation through “law and order” means that banks and financial institutions are subject only to ordinary business law: That is, they are free to operate as they please, but they must fulfill their contracts and must not engage in fraud. If they cannot fulfill their contracts, they are to be shut down, not bailed out. Their assets are to be distributed to their creditors (bankruptcy).
  • The surest way to END THE FED is the peaceful, gradual method of eliminating, not the FED directly, but legal tender laws. Allow people once more to use GOLD CONTRACTS and other means of using alternative currencies and specie in domestic business contracts. Let the fiat paper dollar compete with the people’s choice: constitutional “honest money”.
  • Ron correctly deflects the usual straw man criticisms directed at him by those who favor central planning in monetary policy. ie
  • There were numerous financial panics before the FED was created. Yes, there were. But those panics were the result of “artificial conditions” and in any event were allowed to play themselves out by liquidation of the bad debts and bad contracts without government interventions up to the recession of 1920-21. That was the last recession that was handled without government intervention. It was a sharp recession, where unemployment reached nearly 20%. However, because President Warren G Harding did NOTHING, except cut government spending and taxes, the recession was OVER IN A YEAR.
  • If the FED does not intervene, the Recessions will be worse. The corollary of the first objection. Yes, the recessions may at times be worse, but they will be shorter. The so called “Panics” of the pre Fed era rarely lasted more than a year or two, and then the economy fully recovered. The interventionist policies starting with the Great Depression ( a ten year depression) and this one now only prolong the recessions, and in the end, the underlying causes are NOT addressed, leading to a new “BUSINESS CYCLE”.
  • Attacking the FED will harm the US DOLLAR hegemony. Ron: I want to protect the dollar, but within the context of markets. Markets are ultimately stronger than the central banks attempts to shore up the dollar, and nothing the central banks can do will overcome that fact. The Market, in the end, will out.
  • Fiscal policy (Congress) is more important than Monetary policy (the Fed) Ron: they work hand in glove. The Fed basically enables the Congress to spend exorbitantly by creating fiat money to cover them. We have to end the Wars and Global Empire, and we have to end the limitless welfare state as well. IOW, we do have to address fiscal policy, but at the same time, address its enabler, the FED.

Ron explicitly puts forward the idea that the BUSINESS CYCLE as we have known it can be ended. NOT with more regulation, certainly not with more “Central Planning” (that ultimately leads to Socialism, and we know THAT doesn’t work) , but ended  with the limited government ideal (classical liberalism.)

[A major blind spot is the failure to pinpoint interest/usury as the cause of financial imbalance that leads to the “business cycle.”—t.h.g.]

Definitely a radical agenda, led by a peace loving man. Let us all work to explain his ideas as this year’s economic policy drama unfolds. The attacks from the left and the RINO Republican establishment will be vicious and loud. Those of us who understand the monetary debate are few and our voices have few MSM outlets . Even monetarist libertarians will attack Ron. We must resist them to the best of our abilities, by explaining his policies whenever we can.

Brendan

[Another major blind spot is the size and market dominance of firms like Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, etc. Government needs to set the rules of the game to prevent such megalithic financial firms from emerging and manipulating markets. At the very least the Glass-Steagall law should be reinstituted. It also needs to pass legislation that encourages the development of mutual companies and cooperatives in the financial sector. That would be a complete reversal of the policies of recent decades.] — t.h.g.

Ron Paul’s Straight Talk About Central Banks and the Greece Bailout

The government of Greece is only the latest entity to stagger under the ever-increasing global load of debt. Virtually everyone (individuals, companies, and governments) is caught in  the usury trap. Only the members of the banking cartel who create the debt-based money in every country of the world (and their cronies) are exempt. They are our creditors.

In his latest four-minute update, Congressman Ron Paul again explains the real purpose of central banks (like the Federal Reserve), the way in which they collude to steal wealth from the people, and the ultimate disaster that is on the horizon. — t.h.g.

Ron Paul Bill Seeks to End Legal Tender and Taxes on Coins

Congressman Ron Paul has introduced a bill in Congress that would really break the logjam of monopolized money and economic depression. This article from Coin News gives the highlights.

Here’s one significant quote:

“There is nothing in the Constitution that grants the Congress the power to enact legal tender laws. We, the Congress, have the power to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, but not to declare a legal tender. Yet, there is a section of US Code, 31 USC 5103, that purports to establish US coins and currency, including Federal Reserve notes, as legal tender.”

More…

Who is the world’s most powerful person?

Congressman Ron Paul says it’s TIME magazine person-of-the-year, FED Chairman Ben Bernanke. While I agree that  Bernanke is more powerful than the President, he’s only the front man and a hired hand for the real power — the banking elite and hidden oligarchy who’s agenda is to arrogate to themselves ever more power and control.

The level of fraud, theft, and expropriation being suffered by the American people today has reached such astounding proportions as to be almost laughable. The US is on the verge of financial ruin, civil unrest, and political despotism.

As that drama unfolds, it is crucial that people remain calm and behave in ways that express their highest ideals. It is time to cooperate and share and organize ourselves into mutual support associations to provide all of us with the things we need to thrive as we transition to “the Butterfly economy.” The following prayer from long-time friend and colleague, Rev. John Papworth, expresses very well the kind of sentiment that should inspire us. – t.h.g.

LORD make me an instrument of Thy war against evil;

Where there is vandalism against Thy creation,

Let me campaign to stop it.

Where there is sabotage of Thy genetic ordainings,

Let me fight like hell to prevent it and to safeguard Thy works.

Where there is conspiracy of boardroom greed to dominate and destroy Thy creation,

Let me join with others to wage an unremitting struggle to oppose it.

Where giant political and money forces combine to control local neighbourhood life,

Let me be quick to affirm the overriding need for strong community power so that Thy moral laws may prevail.

Where there is passivity, deference and conformism to the giant powers of darkness which are degrading society and its individual members,

Let me be a powerful witness to oppose them.

DIVINE MASTER, grant that I may not so much seek to live a quiet life as to be in the vanguard of those who would enhance life, not so much to grab as to give, not to evade my social obligations as to shoulder them, not to be afraid of power as to be imbued with courage to control it with others for worthy ends.

For it is in striving to act with love that we affirm love, and in devoting ourselves to noble causes we are redeemed, and in giving ourselves utterly to the service of truth, beauty and the well-being of our neighbours, we rise to the life immortal.  AMEN.

(Based on an old, mush loved, prayer of St. Francis of Assisi).

JOHN PAPWORTH