Steve G.

Confessions of a former Fiat-Money/Inflation Enthusiast

In Republican on October 22, 2007 at 9:52 am

Dr. Ron Paul helped me see the light.

Here is a letter I’m sending to my local newspapers:

During last night’s Republican debate on Fox News, a typically clueless media inquisitor had the audacity to ask Texas Congressman and Republican presidential hopeful, Dr. Ron Paul, how he was different from Hillary Clinton. The question stems from the fact that, unlike his “Republican” colleagues, Ron Paul holds traditional conservative Republican positions against interventionism at home and abroad. Hillary, of course, is much closer to any of the other Republicans than Dr. Paul on virtually every issue. A better question would have been, “How are any of the other Republicans different from Hillary?”

Unfortunately, Dr. Paul only had enough time to outline his foreign-policy disagreements with Mrs. Clinton. It would have been nice if he had been given a chance to point out that while she wants to raise taxes, he wants to abolish the income tax and the IRS altogether. Hillary wants to expand socialized medicine, while he wants to gradually abolish Medicare and Medicaid. Hillary would extend the federal government’s sphere of influence on issues like abortion and gay marriage, while Dr. Paul would leave these and most other issues to the states, as per the 10th amendment. But most of all, Hillary, her Democratic colleagues, and all of the other so-called “Republicans,” would leave the immoral and unsustainable fiat-money system of the Federal Reserve in place, while Dr. Ron Paul would legalize monetary competition and restore gold and silver to their rightful and constitutional status of legal tender.

Anyone who advocates for a continued fiat currency cannot rightly be called a fiscal conservative. Fiat money allows politicians to simply print more whenever there’s a shortfall, and there is no hope for restoration of small-government principles so long as Helicopter Ben’s printing presses keep churning out essentially worthless bills.

Supporters of the War in Iraq on the right, and opponents on the left, are virtually in agreement (or willful ignorance) on the issue of fiat money. But fiat money, the War in Iraq, and socialized Hillary/Romney-care all go together. One cannot support one without giving his support to all. Fiat money not only makes them possible, it makes them inevitable. If you are pro-fiat money, you are pro-war and pro-socialism. There is only one candidate from either party who is against all of the above: Dr. Ron Paul.

  1. Which paper is this? Does it have a word limit for LTEs?

  2. I sent this to several papers: The Adrian Daily Telegram, the Saginaw News, the Jackson Citizen-Patriot, the Bay City Times, etc. The word limits I’m familiar with are 400. This letter is 380.

  3. “typically clueless media inquisitor” is not a phrase that improves your chances of getting published.

  4. Most of the papers I’m familiar with in Virginia don’t want more than 200 words and they prefer about 150, I think.

    Actually, the first paragraph of the LTE above is quite good and stands on its own. Although, Mr X may have a point. I’m not sure whether the bozo that asked that question is clueless or whether he thinks the viewers are clueless. It was the most absurd question I’ve heard in any of the debates.

    I’d be rather surprised if the LTE gets published because it is so far removed from the realm of the ordinary. It contains terminology and references that do not normally appear in mainstream political discourse. For example, will the editor even know who Helicopter Ben is?

    It might be fun to send the letter to what’s-his-face that asked the question.

  5. Wow, it’s hard to believe that this is the same GE Smith. All I can say is RIGHT ON!!!!

  6. Congrats! I knew you’d come around. It’s been a real kick watching you grow and evolve. You are a real brave and honest person to change your mind like this and acknowledge the inherent evil of fiat currency, in particular how it enables the welfare/warfare state.

    Can I brag and gloat now?

  7. May I suggest the book” The Case for Gold”, which I believe was written by Rothbard, but has Ron Paul’s name on it as the author. While I don’t think gold is the answer it is a worthy topic for discussion. And good on you G.E. Keep plugging away at those LTEs

    MHW

  8. Mr. X: Wrong. Sorry. I have called people Communists, discussed Labor-Theory of Value, etc., and my letters have been printed. Check out this letter I wrote, which was published, and then covered by the liberal blog, Walberg Watch:

    To the editor,

    Our esteemed congressman, Rev. Tim Walberg, is opposing an effort to recall him from office, not because he has done an adequate job as our representative, but because he says the recall is “unconstitutional.” His reasoning is that since the Constitution does not lay out a process for recalling congressmen, then it can’t be legal. This is the philosophy of the mullahs in Iran, wherein everything not expressly legal by state decree is therefore prohibited. While Walberg may prefer to inhabit the dystopian religious dictatorship of his own mind, fortunately, the rest of us still get to live in the United States.

    Rev. Walberg considers himself a “constitutionalist,” but apparently he’s never read the Tenth Amendment — my guess is that he stopped at No. 2. The powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. The state of Michigan has made its own laws for recalling congressmen, just as it has its own laws for administering elections. I thought conservatives like Walberg were for “states’ rights”?

    The truth, of course, is that Walberg is no more a “constitutionalist” or a “conservative” than George W. Bush, or for that matter, Ted Kennedy. Walberg is a career politician, a welfarist parasite who’s been feeding at the government trough for the better part of 30 years. Like all career politicians, he puts his own ambition ahead of country, party, ideology, and especially the Constitution. In Walberg’s world, anything not expressly prohibited to the government by the Constitution is legal — and if those few remaining restrictions are inconvenient, then the Constitution can simply be ignored.

    Removing Walberg from office will happen soon enough. If the recall is unsuccessful, then he will surely be ousted in the 2008 election. The following January, when we have a new congressperson aligned with President Hillary Clinton and Madam Speaker Pelosi, the “conservatives” of Lenawee County and the rest of the 7th District can blame themselves for supporting unprincipled self-aggrandizers like Rev. Walberg, who wrap themselves in the flag but desecrate the Constitution at every turn.

    I think “dystopian religious dictatorship of his own mind” and “welfarist parasite” are a lot stronger than anything in this letter. The letter will be printed. There is a 400 word limit, and I typically use all 400. This is a short one for me.

    http://walbergwatch.blogspot.com/search/label/Jason%20Seagraves

  9. Tom Blanton: I think, although I’m not 100% sure, that Chris Wallace asked the question. Chris, who’s statist father’s government worship can best be viewed in the YouTube Ayn Rand interview, recently accused Ron Paul of advocating that “we take our marching orders from Al Qaeda.”

    I will be shocked if this letter isn’t printed. I’ll send you the links when it is.

  10. Andy – One thing I really hate about people I meet in “meatspace” (the real world) is that they talk a lot about stuff that they don’t really know about. Worse than that, I’m finding that I actually have this same trait, although it seems confined to the online domain. I become convinced of a position and defend it vigorously, even when I don’t really know the full story (I think I do). But my mind isn’t closed. Remember, I am a former subconscious socialist who ran for Congress on a platform of federalizing virtually everything and regulating everything else. I did not understand that to be coercive or violent. I was an idiot, but I don’t blame myself entirely, because I was so indoctrinated with statist education that I thought I was rebelling against the state even as I sought to expand it! I thought I was advocating peace and freedom even as I promoted armed robbery of productive citizens! But my mind was open. I became friendly with the Constitution and Libertarian candidates and I watched the Libertarian convention on CSPAN. I did not believe in my entire platform by the end of that election, even, and I told my Libertarian opponent so. I first rebelled to far-left anarchism, and then to Supply-Side type monetarism, both of which I think have helped me understand the full spectrum of libertarian beliefs. And now I get it.

    But here’s the thing: What retarded my development into a “true” libertarian is all of the inaccuracies perpetuated by the anti-fed, anti-income tax people. If they say something that is documentably wrong, then it weakens their whole case — i.e. the Fed prints money. I’ve had people tell me that the Fed prints money and bills the government! In reality, the Treasury prints the money and the Fed pays for the printing. Yes, I know the Fed system “creates” money, but there are many anti-Fed people who do not understand the Fed System.

    Another element in my development is the complete stupidity that “it can’t happen again.” I was dumb enough to believe that the problems of the 70s and before had been “solved,” and now the Fed was smarter. Then this subprime housing meltdown and continued rate cuts in the face of inflation proved me wrong. I was very stupid to think that just because something had not happened on my watch, that it couldn’t happen — especially while fully acknowledging that it had happened in the past!

    In retrospect, I think that being wrong and vigorously defending my wrongness, though now embarassing, helped me see that I was wrong in the first place. So I would reccomend it to anyone.

  11. MHW: I read The Case For Gold. I am a freelance writer, and not too long ago, I was hired to write articles about Ron Paul and monetary policy. At the time I was a fiat-money non-supporter of Ron Paul. I have thanked my employer several times for paying me both monetarily and intellectually with that job!

  12. G.E.,

    as a recovering idiot, i can definitely identify with your “wrongness” post. you could pretty much replace your name at the top with mine and it would be accurate. the great thing about libertarianism is how enlightening it is. it’s truly the revelation that never subsides. that said it also comes with its downside: it puts a huge weight on my shoulders by revealing the true identity of evil in the world. i was born to fight and libertarianism pits me against the most powerful opponent i can face and it’s scary. there’s one thing the war machine is right about, “freedom isn’t free”.

  13. Actually, it was not Wallace who asked the stupid question, it was Wendell Goler – another FOX News clown.

    G.E., it sounds like you went from Milton Friedman thinking to von Mises thinking by way of Ron Paul. You better watch out or the next thing you know, you’ll be reading David Friedman or http://www.mises.org/.

    You could wind up being a wild-eyed anarcho-capitalist if you aren’t careful.

  14. zrated, freedom is absolutely free. It is tyranny that imposes huge costs.

  15. Tom, that “freedom isn’t free” saying is one of the stupidest sayings ever. The warmongers always love to trot that one out to defend every act of aggression Uncle Sam commits around the globe.

    The only stupider saying is, “taxes are the price we pay for civilization”… AARRGGGH!

  16. it’s stupid the way they use it, but ultimately, they’re right. living free will cost you big. if anyone doesn’t believe that, just ignore the police when they give an order or say, “no thanks” to the IRS. freedom has a price and in this country it’s a high price.

  17. To the knowitalls who said my letter would not be printed:

    http://www.lenconnect.com/articles/2007/10/23/news/news08.txt

  18. I never would have pegged you for a Jason 🙂

    Good deal!

  19. LTEs are pretty easy to get into newspapers that size.

    Good job with this one!

  20. I agree with Jason Seacrest that the delegates in Denver should have all the information they need to inspect the vulvae of all the Radical and Reform leadership. I’ll contribute $100 to the Radical Caucus booth if the Caucus endorses all vulvae inspection and makes a copy of the reports prominently available to every delegate who visits the booth. (We can negotiate over the details of the pudenda if necessary, but each element of it follows straightforwardly from an absolute commitment to never endorse the initiation of bukkake.)

  21. I’ll drink to that!

  22. FYI: I just got word that my letter will also be appearing in the Saginaw News. Saginaw is a much larger city than Adrian, and the paper has a much larger circulation.

  23. GE, it takes a “big man” to admitt when they are wrong about something. A lot of people will stick to a wrong idea and never let it go because they don’t have the “balls” to admitt that they were wrong.

    A few months back you posted a Presidential platform for yourself. I said that I agreed with much of it but that I didn’t think that it went far enough and was not good enough for a Libertarian Party candidate. I said that I’d vote for you with that platform only if it was a case where there was not a more libertarian candidate on the ballot. With your new outlook it looks like you could be a Libertarian Party candidate for whom I’d vote.

  24. Not only do I recognize I’m wrong, I just can’t believe how wrong I was. In fact, I am embarrassed. Badly. I would like to blame government-school brainwashing, but I have to take some of the blame myself. Also, I was blinded by some of the untruths the anti-Fed people spout (or misunderstandings). It’s like the 1% of stuff they said that was wrong or even insane blinded me to the 99% of the self-evident truth.

    As for my presidential platform. It would be a lot different now!

  25. Should have said: Not only do I recognize I WAS wrong… Or course, I’m sure I’m still wrong about something or other, but that was not my intent.

  26. “Also, I was blinded by some of the untruths the anti-Fed people spout (or misunderstandings). It’s like the 1% of stuff they said that was wrong or even insane blinded me to the 99% of the self-evident truth.”

    This is why it is important to make sure one gets their facts straight when discussing politics. If one gets a fact wrong/makes a mistake the other side can use it against you even if everything else you say is correct.

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