A monetary question for the supporters of Ron Paul

By Neil Stevens Posted in Comments (234) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Ron Paul says he wants to abolish the Federal Reserve, and return the US from having a fiat currency to one backed by gold. But I have one question for Representative Paul and his supporters: where is the US government going to get the gold to put us back firmly on the gold standard?

According to the Federal Reserve, the M2* measure of the money supply stands at about $7,243,000,000,000.

In order to back all of that money with gold, at a price of even $35/ounce, the price of gold when the gold standard was doing well, we would need about 206,900,000,000 ounces of gold. At a more current price of about $660/ounce, we would still need about 10,970,000,000 ounces of gold. That's about 460,000 tons of the shiny stuff. [Updated: I used the wrong conversion rate at first. Fixed now though.]

Where does Ron Paul intend to get 460,000 tons of gold in order to back our money supply, without printing more money to buy the gold?

* Surely we can't look at M1 to consider the issue, because we're not going to leave the savings accounts of Americans hanging, are we?

Neil you moron, don't you know?!

They are going to melt down the illudium pu36 explosive space modulator, which is mostly made out of gold.

And then the government will hire alchemists to get the rest from lead.

Silly Neil. You might need to stop thinking so hard about these things.

abolish the Department of Education, the Homeland Security Department, and replace it with a Department of Alchemy :)

btw, I have no problems with dropping the Department of Education, including those lame NCLB country schoolyard entrances.

Molon Labe!

all those old Fiats. I know a guy down the street has a 76 spyder up on blocks, but I don't think you could back more that a couple of C notes with it.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

Fiat stock has been doing quite well, maybe we should stick with fiat.

Molon Labe!

10.9 billion ounces, divided by 12 troy-ounces in a pound, divided by 2000 pounds per short-ton is closer to 450,000 tons.

That's about three times the total amount of gold ever mined in human history.

As far as Ron Paul is concerned, I can't say it better than Erick did.

Last time I trust google. I used the wrong conversion rate. Fixing now!

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out of unabashed self-interest.

Nervously,
SW

is he is destroying the good name of many libertarians. He is a horrible front man for the libertarian ideas that have been a major part of Republican conservative thought for a long time.

Molon Labe!

It's a matter of simple supply and demand. As you start buying gold the price will increase and the amount of gold needed will decrease. As a side benefit you'd have a devalued currency which would make exports more competitive. So overnight there would be billions of pissed off Chinese stuck with mountains of tapperware and dishwashers with no buyers. Works for me.

So Ron Paul's solution to fixing inflation is... inflation?

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That's the beauty of the plan. Because the currency is backed by gold the feds won't be able reduce the money supply by way of raising interest rates, so their only alternative will be to cut spending. Monetary policy will be on autopilot (gold standard) so all you have to contend with inflation is fiscal policy.

So, say there is a spike in inflation, what do you do? you get rid of the Department of Education.. another spike? there goes the department of Housing and Urban Development.. yet another? bye bye Department of Commerce.. Ron Paul is one of the greatest minds of the modern era.

This one makes less.

1. We don't have sufficient gold to "back" our current level of currency. Or did you miss that.

2. Inflation is caused by an increase in the money supply.

3. If you fix the money supply by hitching it to gold, which is fixed in it's supply, where does the inflation come from?

4. I was under the impression that as President Mr. Washington Jefferson Adams Paul was going to do away with the Departments of Education, HUD, Commerce, etc on his first or second day so where did you pull this comment come from. (Don't answer that one, it will violate the posting guidelines!)

5. RonPaul™ is one of the greatest minds of our time. I thought he had one of the greatest minds of the late 1700's.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

well, the money supply has to be increased at a rate slightly higher than the growth of the economy. So there will have to be some inflation. If you keep the money supply constant you strangle the economy.

In the previous post that you did not understand I explained that there is enough gold. You are trying to calculate the amount of gold needed based on its current price. But when the government starts buying gold in large quantities the price of gold will increase sharply so you will need less gold to back all the currency. There is more than enough gold because the more gold you buy, the more expensive it gets and the more expensive it gets the more currency it will be backing.

And yes, inflation is caused by an increase in the money supply. That's why the only way you can control inflation is by reducing the money supply by raising interest rates or cutting spending.

1. Please explain EXACTLY how there is enough gold. The "buy it up" rationale doesn't wash. How much gold is currently available, how much new gold is mined every year, how much currency backed by gold is necessary in the marketplace. Specifics please. You might also want to address the impact of the price of gold artificially going up because the feds are buying it. You might want to check into the history of the silver market...

2. Why does the money supply need to be increased? Isn't the whole POINT of a gold backed currency to eliminate inflation and the arbitrary increase in the money supply?
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

You are missing the the point. You need to understand how supply and demand works before you can grasp this. As demand goes up for a fixed supply of gold, the price will keep going up until you reach a balance ie. price level, where supply and demand will match.

So basically if your money supply is $100 and you have one ounce of gold, supply and demand will set the gold price to $100/ounce and all your currency will be backed by gold. If you wanna know what the price of gold will be, you take all the money in circulation and divide by the amount of gold available. That will be the new price of gold and all your currency will be on the gold standard. From then on is where it gets interesting because the government won't be able to create money, so all new expenditures will require a corresponding amount of gold coming into the system.

Alan Greenspan agrees with Paul, BTW:

http://www.polyconomics.com/searchbase/02-01-00.html

Read the last sentence of that page.

For a gold standard to work the way you think it should (constraining the government's ability to spend), you need to do it the old fashioned way: the government sets a fixed conversion price between dollars and gold, and commits to convert any amount of dollars for gold at that price.

What you're describing with all this supply/demand nonsense is nothing different from what we have today. The market sets the dollar price of gold, valuing it not as money, but as an industrial commodity.

From the 1820's until early 1934, the gold price was $20.67/oz. Then FDR did the one thing that totally smashes your theory that the government can't create inflation with gold-backed money: he changed the conversion rate to $35/oz, which of course inflated the dollar by nearly 40%.

To this day, there is a legally-mandated official conversion rate for gold, but of course you'd never trade at the official rate. It's something ridiculous like $42/oz.

Greenspan has admitted that his fondness for gold-backed money is nothing more than a fondness, and one that is shared by very few others in his profession.

We are in agreement more than you think. I was answering to an earlier question about there not being enough gold available.

And the way you determine the price of gold that you're gonna use to work the transition is through supply and demand. You have a fixed money supply and a fixed amount of gold. You divide one by the other and that will give you the fixed price of gold that you're gonna use from that moment forward.

But you are right. You don't buy any gold. You use the gold that you already have and by decree you state that this gold is worth the same as all the money in circulation. That completes the transition and from then on the price of gold is fixed.

You have a fixed money supply and a fixed amount of gold ... and that will give you the fixed price of gold that you're gonna use from that moment forward.

Yeah right, and I've got some great ocean front property in Nebraska I'll give you a good price on.

History has shown there's nothing about a gold standard that keeps the government revaluing gold to expand (or shrink) the money supply, just as easily as it can expand the money supply now by in effect printing more currency to buy treasury bonds (or shrink it by selling bonds). The main difference is bigger lurches with a gold standard, and arbitrage opportunities at the expense of American taxpayers when we're trying to avoid adjusting the gold price to current reality.

The gold standard advocates used to push it as a way to constrain the Fed from accelerating inflation by monetizing debt. These days the more common complaint is that the Fed isn't increasing the money supply fast enough to keep short term interest rates as low as critics think it should be.

The optimal money supply size increases as our GDP increases (and other factors), and we're supposed to assume that changes in supply and demand for gold supply will occur at just the right rate to maintain stable prices and economic growth. Has anybody demonstrated that the supply and demand for gold changes in better sync with how the optimal size of the money supply changes, in comparison with how the Fed has controlled it for the last three decades starting with Volker?

I still think your idea is nuts.

Under a pure gold standard without any government manipulation, gold is money. How can you make gold more expensive by "buying" more of it? What are you going to use to buy it with, wampum? Cowrie shells? Remember, you've abolished fiat dollars, so they're now meaningless.

In the past when we've had free gold and silver coinage, the government didn't buy the metals. They just assayed and minted the metal of any miner who walked in the door with it. The miner walked in with bullion and walked out with money.

Exactly. "Buying" is not the best word. "Converting" would be better. Check my previous post.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

You're just as dumb as he is.
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Piracy? Invasions? Booty?

But Booty is on stage every night at your local Gentlemen's Club starting at 2200 local...

"It's a book about a man who doesn't know he's about to die, and then dies...
...But if the man does know he's going to die and dies anyway. Dies, dies willing, knowing he can stop it, then...
Well, isn't that the type of man you want to keep alive?"
Karen Eiffel, Stranger Than Fiction

We're not going back to the Gold standard, we're going to use the Tin(foil) Standard™. We all know that Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ronulans have plenty of it. Now, the hard part that he's going to have to figure out is getting off their heads and into the government reserves.

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The CIA has better politicians than it has spies - Fred Thompson

Just herd them, tin foil and all, in to the special FEMA camps for refugees.

They are probably there already.

When you see a conspiracy everywhere, something had to have happened to you... like when they told you to leave you decided to sit back in a city under sea level to "see what happens."

Come on.

I agree. I think it is best to trust the government to determine the value of money. If the people in Washington need to change the value of goods and services, I trust they will do right by us. We are too far down the road to revert to a gold, silver, platinum, seashells or aluminum can standard.

Never in history has any government through tight money or easy money done wrong by their people.

Besides, converting to a gold standard would be difficult--so it's probably not worth doing.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

Hadn't read the diary till now. My initial thought was "Isn't there a Harry Potter book by with a title to answer this question?"

Well played.

"My heart was here...I feel like I have unfinished business here." - Roy Hibbert

For those who prefer Anime (Full Meatl Alchemist)
or Alchemical Theory to Harry Plopper...

"It's a book about a man who doesn't know he's about to die, and then dies...
...But if the man does know he's going to die and dies anyway. Dies, dies willing, knowing he can stop it, then...
Well, isn't that the type of man you want to keep alive?"
Karen Eiffel, Stranger Than Fiction

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(Formerly known as bee) / Internet member since 1987
Member of the Surreality-Based Community

Since when did all this hostility develop toward libertarian philosophy? I don't like Ron Paul either, but do you even want the libertarian wing in our party anymore?

Since when is support for the Gold Standard a definitive part of libertarian philosophy?

You're talking to a guy, remember, who wants to end all mandatory spending, eliminate multiple executive departments, and overall cut the federal budget from over two trillion to under one trillion.

But that doesn't mean I support the gold standard, or even see how it's feasible.

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The gold standard is tin foil hat stuff at this point, but it is deeply intertwined with libertarian philosophy, going back to most of the austrians (Hayek and Mises were big gold bugs, Rothbard more contemporary). The idea obviously being that government is not to be trusted to do anything other than inflate the currency, which the gold standard doesn't allow (at least not as obviously). The experience of other countries with paper money doesn't exactly disprove this (though it doesn't make the gold standard any more feasible).

Now, most libertarians gave up on this in the 70s and 80s because it doesn't work. But Paul is in his 70s, and probably developed his philosophy when gold standards and libertarianism went hand-in-hand.

Again, I'm not saying don't crucify me on a cross of gold. I'm just saying there is some significant historical linkage.

http://www.myelectionanalysis.com

I'm sympathetic. Roosevelt and Nixon had major parts in our current system, and those aren't names that lend the greatest credibility. There are good arguments against it.

We just need to be sure of what we're doing is all, heh.

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... more it's current moonbat-infested adherants.

Really.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.

Ron Paul is a poor libertarian. If you are interested in a real one, check out Wayne Allen Root. He is running for the LP nod. I am not supporting him by any means, but he beats the looney Ron Paul. Roots most well known book is titles "Millionaire Republican". He left the party over the social cons, particulary over the stupid internet gambling prohibition.

Molon Labe!

I don't like Ron Paul either, but do you even want the libertarian wing in our party anymore?

To the extent you can define a small-l "libertarian wing" of the Republican party I'm clearly part of it, and I'd resent being grouped with a kook like Ron Paul. He's more like the capital-L LSD wing of the party (thankfully smaller than the number of Kossacks who vote for him in the online "polls").

I don't understand monetarism--and if I did, you'd probably know more--so I'll trust your analysis.

...isn't it about "too much money chasing too few goods".

I don't understand the libertarian aversion to investing the government with the power to change the "value" (whatever the hell that means) of things.

Trusting the government is what we conservatives stand for.

Moe! We need a dull, rusty harpoon here...
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CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Trusting the government is what we conservatives stand for.

Stupidity is what a Moby stands for.

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The CIA has better politicians than it has spies - Fred Thompson

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

conservatives actually believe. I suggest you do a little reading and I would bet it makes a lot more sense to you than the tripe you are getting fed from the libs.

It was Regan who said "the most dangerous words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help" I may be paraphrasing, but you get the gist.

That is the real reason Republicans got whacked in Nov 06 - they forgot how to be conservatives.

He was saying I'm a statist because I asked about the logistics of the gold standard, which is to say he dodged the issue entirely.

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Honest, I was... but then realizing he was a troll, I thought maybe he really did think that is what conservatives think. The way the libs paint it, you never know, they are sophists.

Yeah - that's about right.

"It's a book about a man who doesn't know he's about to die, and then dies...
...But if the man does know he's going to die and dies anyway. Dies, dies willing, knowing he can stop it, then...
Well, isn't that the type of man you want to keep alive?"
Karen Eiffel, Stranger Than Fiction

This diary says not one bad word about the policy. I just ask how Paul intends to implement it.

And yet Wampuss comes in saying these things...

MBecker is right. Paul is a fraud.

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I knew I shouldn't have sold my gold nugget bracelet I used to wear in the late 80s.

Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you. Washington Elected Elite

"Sound money still means today what it meant in the 19th century: the gold standard." --Ludwig von Mises

"Gold and economic freedom are inseparable...the gold standard is an instrument of laissez faire..." Alan Greenspan (1966)

Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, and Greenspan (when he was an Ayn Rand acolyte) were all goldbugs.

Ron Paul is a goldbug because he and many libertarians take these people's ideas seriously.

I don't understand the precise mechanics of how such a conversion to the gold standard will take place, but I don't know how to reform Social Security, welfare, farm subsidies, or transportation pork, either. Should all these ideas be dismissed simply because they will be difficult? I hope not.

The "Posting Rules" suggest posters who go "off-topic" will be warned before being banned. I guess sarcasm gets bumped without a warning.....

...he was faking his away through other comments threads before getting tossed. We don't like fake conservatives.

Moe

PS: All future concerns regarding our moderation policy are best made via the Contact link found at the top of the screen. Thank you in advance for your compliance.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

Nowhere in the diary did I criticize the plan. All I asked is how we're going to get the gold reserves necessary to back our currency.

It's a simple question. It's a fundamental question even. And with as many people around who want the gold standard, you'd think someone could answer it rather than digressing on why they want the gold standard.

The question isn't what or why. The question is how?

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...how would such a conversion take place? Act of Congress? Presidential decree? Popular vote?

If it can't happen without Congress, the question should be, "Why is Ron Paul running on a non-issue?", regardless of the merits of the issue. Or are there other reasons to why a gold standard is undesirable?

As I understand it, and I don't really, currency could be linked to any commodity (gold, energy, diamonds, coffee, etc.). Is it possible that some alternate weight or measure could be used?

Doesn't having any extra budget-restricting arrow in the quiver sound like a good idea?

The key to having a stable commodity-backed currency is that the value of the commodity must be stable.

Things like coffee, diamonds, or oil are no good because factors like weather and technology can make the value fluctuate strongly. Aluminum once upon a time was as valuable as gold or platinum, but once we found a way to extract it cheaply from ore, it became as cheap as it is today.

Gold, though, isn't going to change value anytime soon unless the Earth starts passing through meteor showers made of gold or something. So it would work as a backing for our currency, in theory.

Another factor in choosing a backing is that the commodity has to be acquirable in the quantities you need in order to be able to survive a run on your currency. Whether gold qualifies is the question I'm asking in this diary.

I'm not inherently opposed to the gold standard. I just want to see some real argumentation for it, rather than stuff that sounds like tin foil hattery.

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Gold demand fluctuates. Gold supply fluctuates. Outside factors, such as armed conflict, affects gold production. Gold mines run out. Technology makes it feasible to build deeper gold mines and harvest gold that wouldn't have been possible to get 20 years ago. As technology develops, gold is replaced with other metals in industrial uses or vice versa. As tastes change, gold is replaced in jewelery with other metals or vice versa. Seems to me, as a result, the price will vary just like any other commodity.

The price of gold has increased far beyond the rate of inflation over the past half dozen years. For over a decade before that period it couldn't even keep up with the rate of inflation, and in fact declined in value.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

...are possible.

I don't know where you've checked or researched, NS.

I'll look into it tomorrow...

...one economist suggested raising the price of gold to lessen the need for such great gold reserves (an idea that seems contrary to the market somehow).

Another article, if I may post a link, is from Time magazine from 1981 in which most of the movers and shakers in the Reagan White House (including Larry Kudlow!!!) and Jack Kemp and Jesse Helms favored some return to the gold standard or fractional gold standard...

Apparently Reagan made pro-gold standard statements during the 1980 campaign. Big surprise, too, was Ron Paul was quoted back then in the article, suggesting "Sooner or later. It will all dawn on people."

We've had almost 3 decades to observe very long periods of low inflation and economic expansion happening concurrently. Our unemployment rate would've been considered to be beyond full employment back in 1980.

Back in 1980 it is understandable that people would be willing to latch onto anything that might make a difference, because things were so miserable at the time.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

This is interesting to read, given what we know happened after 1981:

Some supporters of the yellow metal favor a "fractional" gold standard in which money would be only partially covered by Government gold stocks. This would not entirely remove the Federal Reserve's role in monetary policy, but would restrain its powers to issue paper money. They believe that the Fed's policy of controlling inflation through the money supply is well intended but ineffectual. Lawrence Kudlow, chief economist of the Office of Management and Budget, says that the Federal Reserve has become a "monetary Gong Show."

Well someone didn't see Reagan and Volcker setting the stage for an extended economic expansion coming after the next recession, heh.

The notion of returning to the gold standard comes from the same supply-side economists who fostered the cuts in personal income taxes that President Reagan is now trying to get through Congress. Such supply-siders as Economist Arthur Laffer and Consultant Jude Wanniski have been putting the gold bug in politicians' ears for the past several years. Republican Congressman Jack Kemp of New York, co-author of the Kemp-Roth tax-cut bill, says that he plans to take up the gold banner as soon as he has completed his drive to lower taxes. Republican Congressman Ronald Paul of Texas and Republican Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina have introduced bills that would restore some version of the gold standard. Says Laffer: "President Reagan is going to have a lot of trouble if he does not go to a gold standard soon." Laffer argues that a gold standard should accompany a supply-side tax cut to give consumers incentive to save.

Kemp: Success. Paul: Failure. Why didn't he just join forces with Helms? Because Helms was pushing a fractional system that left the Fed intact, and Paul didn't want that, or something?

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South Africa and the U.S.S.R. South Africa mines more than half the world's gold, 21.7 million oz. last year. Most of it is extracted by black miners, whose treatment by their apartheid government is a matter of international concern. In the case of a revolt or strike by the workers, a halt in production could drive up prices and disrupt world commerce. The Soviet Union holds an estimated 60 million oz. of gold and has unmined reserves of perhaps 250 million oz. more. At today's prices, that would give the Soviets a $146 billion stranglehold on Western economies.

Between having the dollar's stability depend on some economists working with scant information, and having the dollar's stability depend on the Soviets and the South Africans, I know which I'd have preferred.

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...but it seems the larger goal was to discredit a candidate, not the gold standard...

Thanks for checking the link...

That article suggests it's possible to have a fractional backing, where we'd not have to have 1/660th of an ounce of gold for every dollar in the system. But that would require us to keep the Fed in place to continue regulating our existing fractional reserve system.

Ron Paul opposes the Fed though, so the burden is still on his supporters to show how we can operate without the Fed, which I assume means having the dollar 100% backed and creatable only by the Treasury, not by banks.

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...Ron Paul allegedly has most of his $1.5-3.0 million in investments in gold.

To create a gold standard would require setting the price at what, $5000/oz?

I assume his assets would immediately appreciate???

I don't understand blind trusts....

Perhaps there's a commodity we could use instead of gold that the US has more of? Platinum? Silver?

I'm just uneasy with the Feds saying, "Whoa! Too many people are working, let's slow down industry."

Are when you hire someone to manage your money and have no idea what it is invested in. If he is in a blind trust, he's not going to have most of his money in gold. Well, unless he hired some nutter to make his investment decisions, in which case he might, but he wouldn't know about it.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Neil, you ask a great question. Without knowing the specifics of Dr. Pauls plan to wean us off of our disatrous fiat currency system, I'll offer some thoughts. You obviously won't be able to change over to a gold standard or commodity backed standard overnight. My idea would be to gradually phase in a gold backed currency alongside of the current system and let the marketplace determine which system it thinks is better.

As far as your question about the amount of available gold, a few things. First there needs to be a transparent audit done to ascertain the amount of our countries current gold holdings at Ft. Knox and all the other Federal Reserve Banks where the gov stores the gold. It is my understanding that there has never been a comprehensive audit done to determine this. The Federal Reserve also did away with the M3 number mysteriously last year. This was the best estimate of money supply in circulation and they got rid of it because I believe they didn't want us pheasants to actually know how much money they have been printing lately...you know, the cost of the war has been getting pretty expensive, wouldn't want people to know how worthless the money is becoming. Once we know how much gold we have, we can assign a value for every ounce i.e $400 or something and start issuing paper backed by this gold. Right now with our current system, our stupid politicians don't have to make any hard choices on spending decisions. They know the fed will just print all the money they want for our welfare state.

I would love for Red State to have a serious dialog on this issue, but with comments like Ericks and a few others, I'm afraid that might be to much to ask for.

Respectfully,

Allan Bartlett

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That's a perfectly fair answer. Thank you.

We wouldn't be able to ditch the Fed, though, because we'd still have to manage our current Federal Reserve Notes that were circulating with the new Gold Backed Notes.

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The only real positive I can see to the gold-standard argument is that it (putatively) gets the Federal government out of the business of managing the banking system. Also, some people think it would be a good idea if the government were no longer free to create inflation.

These arguments have been hashed out many times, over many centuries. For us to do it all over again here seems like a waste of time. I know the Austrians were sympathetic to gold standards, as was (guardedly) Alan Greenspan. On the other hand, Ben Bernanke is aware, and has forthrightly (and famously) said so, that his job literally is to create inflation, and he does so by statutory mandate.

Silver was the primary monetary metal for most of human history. But the world has had two major eras in which more-or-less widely-used gold standards were used, and both ended badly. There was the Bank of England gold system used in much of the 19th century, that persisted (with some major interruptions, like WW 1) until about 1930.

Then there was Bretton Woods, which collapsed in 1971.

The feature of gold standards that you take for one of its great attractions (the fact that it operates "automatically") is also the source of the trouble.

Gold-standard periods are typified by frequent panics and major economic disruptions. There were four major panics in the 40-odd years before the Federal Reserve was created in 1913. And these weren't the candyass "recessions" we have nowadays. They were major problems, with double-digit percentages of unemployment, bank-runs, and suicides by people who lost their life savings overnight.

Gold standards interact very badly with periods of economic growth, because in such times they create huge deflationary pressures, which mercilessly squeeze farmers and wage-earners. The US went back to full gold convertibility in 1879 after a decade of preparation. This was a decade characterized by extremely high growth in the nation's industrial output, combined with technological innovations (most notably railroads) that reduced real costs throughout the economy. And yet, it was a deflationary decade.

Now you might very well make the argument that the United States of all countries could afford to go back to gold because we are no longer a growing economy in real terms. (Real growth this year will probably be less than one percent, about on par with population growth, including illegal immigrants.)

But economies in the rest of the world are hot as a firecracker. And to a very great extent, the world economy runs on fiat dollars. Going back to a gold standard will choke this growth right back to near nothing.

The fundamental problem with gold-standard advocacy is that it mistakes the real relationship between money and economic activity. The total amount of money doesn't actually matter at all. What matters is the total amount of economic activity, as it relates to the production of goods and services that enable people to meet not only their survival needs but their desire for personal fulfillment through interesting work.

Going back to a gold-standard will displace the development of economic activity in favor of the development of money. It's really not what you want to see happen.

Given the volume of gold that has been used for industrial purposes, my little baby's humidifier has gold in it somewhere, wouldn't there always be a problem of regulating how much specie was in circulation?

People could become very inventive in how they start extacting and recirculating this. They could do the same now, and they might even make some dough of it, if they can extract a lot of gold for a minimal effort. However, I tend to think this could be bad if these recycling efforts also effected the value of the national currency.

James Hansen - Scott THomas Beauchamp with a PhD.

The radical libertarian position rejects the idea of a "national currency." Money is just gold or gold certificates. The amount of money in circulation depends entirely on the amount of metal that gets mined out of the ground. (South Africa becomes one of the richest nations on earth.) You'd presumably have private labs to assay the purity of coined gold, or just use the services of the Treasury to do the assaying and print gold certificates or mint coins, as they did in the mid-19th century.

The fact that various private, unregulated activities such as you describe will affect the total amount of money, is part of what's good about a pure gold standard, according to its advocates. As long as the government doesn't do it, they're cool.

was the anthem of populism and industrial strife in this Country for most of the post-war 19th Century.

We argue a lot here about the various emanations and penumbras of the 14th Am., but the most significant and controversial clause at the time of enactment was the guarantee that US War Debt be repaid in gold while the rest of the economy lived on inflated and inflatable Greenbacks and subsistence agriculture. The huge silver strikes of the '70s and '80s made silver the more plentiful and attractive specie.

Since my home was once the richest town in America because it sits on one of the World's largest and most productive gold mines, I could get behind going back to the Gold Standard, but most of you wouldn't like it. The Alaska-Juneau Mine behind downtown Juneau has over seven hundred miles of tunnels in Mts. Roberts and Juneau and the Treadwell Mine accross Gastineau Channel was almost as large and even worked under Gastineau Channel. The Channel broke through in 1918 and the Treadwell never reopened. The A-J lost its deferments for its miners in '44 since gold was no longer considered strategic. With the low fixed price of gold after WWII, it was not reopened after the War. Attempts in more recent times have been stopped by the greenies.

In Vino Veritas

If we did go back to a Specie-Backed currency, I wonder how long it would be before politicians began to campaign for bimetalism. Imagine the populist appeal of a deliberately debased currency to a nation a wash in credit-card debt. It's about as ethical as paying the baloon payment on your non-traditional mortgage with North Korean $100 bills, but man would the voters eat it up.

James Hansen - Scott Thomas Beauchamp with a PhD.

...was the well-known good-money/bad-money problem that is endemic to bimetallism. You make good points about the post-Civil War peiod. (Greenbacks were finally withdrawn by 1879, if I recall correctly, after arduous and deflationary preparation.)

However, the weirdnesses and dislocations of bimetallism were in evidence from the Revolutionary period onward, not just after the Civil War. Different countries at different times set the gold-silver conversion ratio at slightly different points at different times, resulting in huge movements of metals in and out of countries.

As I said upthread, money isn't the point. Economic activity is. When you let metals run free, you get uncontrollable situations that are all about money, and not about jobs, goods, and services. Far more trouble than it's worth.

I think you may have meant to say that the "Cross of Gold" speech (which was made in the summer of 1896) was the culmination rather than the anthem of the late 19th century free-silver movement.

Bryan's speach was just the best, I think, articulation of how the farmers and laborer's felt about the gold-based economics of the last half of the 19th Century.

I remember my grandfather telling of going off to attend college in Savannah, GA in the early 1900s, don't know exactly when but he was born in '86. US currency was so scarce in the rural South that he had only trading script from a timber company that he'd sold timber to and his great fear - that ninety odd miles was a big trip in those days and the train ticket took all his cash - was that when he got there no bank would accept the script. They did and he got to go to school for a while. Modern Americans can't conceive of living like that.

In Vino Veritas

I already knew all that, but you put it in succinct words.

off of our disatrous fiat currency system

The past 25 years of economic expansion and low inflation in the US do not support your characterization.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

stayed later than I wanted here...

Yes, I am sympathetic to Dr. Paul, and yes, many of his supporters are people who foam at the mouth when describing how bad the government is.

The trouble is, Dr. Paul gives speeches ripped from the 1930's and 40's Old Right. I don't think his IDEAS are rotten, but his presentation, spoken so directly in a political vocabulary so unfamiliar to most Americans that he seems like a crank.

I just read Reagan's 1981 Inaugural--why doesn't a candidate steal entirely from that speech and try to project optimism about America? Dr. Paul's ideas could be presented far more convincingly if worded correctly... Alas...

By the way, I posted earlier as wampuss, and just re-registered under a different name. I wholly understand conservatism, and I think some of these people can't take an eff-ing joke. I get a bit irritated by people who mock a candidate who openly admits to wanting to dramatically reduce the size and scope of government. Dr. Paul's language might be wrong, but I don't think his ideas are...

Given that we ban retreads on sight.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

but I think you've been a little "ban-happy" in this thread.

I'm not sure how you considered (the original) Wampuss's comments as trollish. Slightly obnoxious, annoying, less-than-brilliant?

Sure, but since when does that get you banned?

...and merely note that banning one moby, then rebanning him when he came back is an odd definition of "ban-happy." I think that the designation should be reserved for threads where I'm reproducing the aesthetics of the Japanese club fight scene in Kill Bill.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

at least with respect to this particular harpooning, you made both Franz & I happy.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

...he can put us back on the Gold Standard again. Those silly deflationary depressions like we had in the 19th century and in the 1930's are so passe. We need to bring them back into style again. The silly annoying recessions we have now are even more so "yesterday", lets get back to real depressions again.

Wubbies World, MSgt, USAF (Retired):
public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println("An argument is a sequence of statements aimed at demonstrating the truth of an assertion.); }

As near as I can make out, there are two historic strands to gold-standard advocacy: first, the desire to get the government out of our lives. Wake up and smell the coffee: our great-grandparents made the decision to permanently embed the Federal power in our economic life, during the New Deal. That fight is over. The good guys lost.

Second, the desire to prevent governments from creating inflation. Now there are are myriad counterarguments to this, not least of which is the fact that the entire financial system operates on a completely different basis now than it did even forty years ago.

But I'd like to point out one empirical thing to you all: the American saving rate. Historically, the percentage of personal income that people save has been between 10 and 20 percent for much of the last century. From roughly the Reagan era onward, it slipped to an average of something like 8%. For the last two or three years, it's been near-zero, and at times negative.

What does that tell you? It tells you that Americans are being very sophisticated about their personal finances.

What happens to cash-money in the presence of inflation? It loses value. What happens to fixed-income securities? Same thing. In inflationary times, you avoid holding either one.

Millions of ordinary Americans are reacting with cool rationality to the fact that our money is now being debased by inflation on a near-daily basis. So they're choosing to hold not bank deposits, but things like common stocks and residential real estate.

The fact that both of those asset classes are now in a state of panic reinforces my point: free, unregulated markets suffer frequent panic attacks. We've had four major financial crises in the last 10 years alone.

>>>We've had four major financial crises in the last 10 years alone.

I remember reading One Up On Wall Street where Peter Lynch chose the wrong weekend to plan an international golf outing during the late 1980's. When he came back, the DJIA had dropped about 300 points and the masses were hysterical.

Imagine if the DJIA had dumped c. 1000 points in 1987. This whole AU Standard would be a serious possibility. This leads me to wonder wether we still are as vulnerable to these financial crisis as we used to be.

James Hansen - Scott THomas Beauchamp with a PhD.

...as inflation. Its role as a lender of last resort gives the Fed's chairman a huge amount of moral force when dealing with individuals in crisis.

The reason that free markets occasionally go bananas and start destroying things with wild abandon, is because people are subject to panic attacks in combination with herd mentality.

Investors are like a huge herd of antelope at the watering hole. All it takes is for one guy to get spooked because he thinks he sees a lion in the underbrush, and everyone is suddenly running at top speed in the other direction.

You give the example of 1987. If I recall correctly, the situation after Black Monday was that S&P futures at the Chicago Merc finished the day trading far below the fair value of the index, which was already very low after the day of slaughter.

Supposedly, Alan Greenspan, who just had settled into the Fed Chairman's job, called Leo Melamed at the the Merc at midnight that Monday night, and asked him point blank if the Merc would open the next morning. The big concern is that one or more large futures traders wouldn't be able to meet their nightly mark-to-market.

The story continues that Melamed worked the phones through the night and right up till the minute the Merc opened the next morning to make sure no one would pull the trigger on their counterparties' positions. That's what it took: keeping everyone from blowing his stack. But all hell would have broken loose had the Merc failed to open that morning.

Same thing happened in September 1998 when Long-Term Capital blew. The story goes that the guys who run the New York Fed put the CEOs of Goldman, Merrill, Bear, Lehman, Morgan Stanley, and others in a room over a weekend, and told them not to come out until they had a deal to either buy or liquefy Long-Term.

My original post was merely asking a question, but this discussion has gone so far beyond that, that I can't help but chip in my thoughts.

We have a growing economy and a growing population. Under our fiat money system, we can grow the money supply with them. 'Aha!' the Ronulans say, 'Your system is designed to inflate! That's just more income redistribution, stealing from the wealthy in order to make it easier to pay mortgages! We need STABLE money to protect propery.'

But no. See, what the Ronulans don't think about/don't admit to is that going on the gold standard in a growing economy with a growing population, is a recipe for deflation, not monetary stability.

Consider: In order to make a living, people need to make a certain number of transactions. They need a job to provide a certain minimum amount of money, then that money has to go out to buy food, shelter, clothing, and other essentials. And most everyone needs that minimum amount of money coming in every month.

So what happens if the population grows? There's only a certain amount of money out there, so the amount of money available per person drops! People still need the same amount of minimum necessities, but they're willing to pay less because it's all they can afford. By the law of supply and demand, when demand shrinks the price drops. When the prices drop on all those necessities at once, what do we call that? Price deflation.

In practice we didn't have continuous deflation under the gold standard because the supply of gold is not fixed. As the country expanded, we found gold in one place after another, gradually working from Georgia to California to finally Alaska. All that new gold coming into the system staved off some of the deflation, and at times even caused inflation (What's the old story? $10 whisky and $100 shovels in boom towns?).

We're out of frontiers now, though. Exploration is likely to bring diminishing returns on new domestic sources of gold. Conclusion: the growth of our money supply will now be out of our hands, either uncontrollable at all or controlled only by foreign gold mines.

For a group of people who are whining that the Chinese have influence over our interest rates with their buying up our debt, the Ronulans sure are eager to let the Russkies, with their own vast gold resources) have a strong finger to press down on the scales of our monetary system!

So while I can buy arguments that the Fed is created and structured on the wrong way, it being created by socialists and all, I do NOT think a strict gold-backed dollar is the correct way to fix the situation.

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Milton Friedman argued that computers operating mathematical formulas would do a better job than a federal reserve chairman at regulating the money supply. I'm inclined to believe him. He did not, however, argue that we should go back on the gold standard. That's simply nonsense.

Not only would we have to buy a heck of a lot of gold, as you so aptly point out, Neil, but it would also not allow American exports to become cheaper as the American economy and the dollar soften, thus allowing US exports to sell more and buoy the economy back up again, as we are seeing happen now.

Just one more reason to count Ron Paul as a bona fide nutcase.

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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Obviously we can't trust Ron Paul. He's supported by the French!

The world only goes round by misunderstanding - Charles Baudelaire

Wow! I've never seen such misinformation on one post thread. Both in regards to Ron Paul's policy ideas and generally in regards to economics. Back in the Reagan days, we used to actually discuss monetary policy in the Republican Party. Today we sweep it under the rug. Perhaps that's why most of you seem to have no idea how any of this works. It's truly sad. Do any of you even bother to read about the issue before you throw around such absolutes?

First, what most of you, including the original questioner, are debating IS NOT WHAT DR. PAUL ADVOCATES!!! He is not in favor of a "gold standard" for precisely some of the reasons you state. However, like Alan Greenspan, he does recognize the importance that commodities like gold can play in preventing unlimited inflationary policy. His first policy goal is simply to ALLOW the use of gold and silver to be used optionally as alternate legal tender. In other words, simply to allow people to make contracts payable in gold or silver as an alternative to contracts which today must be only in terms of dollars. He has also stated that a money backed by a "basket of commodities" probably including gold, would be safer and more viable than the insubstantial system we currently operate under. This is not something that we could move to overnight, but something that I think he would open a conversation about.

You may feel free to call him whatever names you wish, although quite frankly, I think it's foolish in a year like this to be insulting the only candidate who is bringing independents into the party, but whatever. The point is that his monetary policy is one backed by a fair number of respected economists. I have a hard time finding any economists who believe that George W. Bush even HAS an economic policy. I would suggest that Dr. Paul's understanding of monetary policy is considerably closer to Alan Greenspan's and Ronald Reagan's than anybody on the scene today. Today's leaders seem to resemble the Keynesian folks who ran the economy into the ground under Nixon-Ford. Yes, I know it's hard to imagine a bad economy or serious inflation problems anymore. That's because Greenspan, for all his failings, had a fairly Austrian/Monetarist understanding of economics. But the problem with the Fed is that it is susceptible to the whims of policy that comes with different individuals in management. More Keynesian policy WILL eventually lead to more inflation and another stagnant economy. The plummeting dollar should be the first indication of a foolish set of policies. Perhaps you'll be unlucky enough to see the full force of it before this term ends.

While I understand Dr. Paul's concerns about the Fed, I admit to having some concern about what would happen if we suddenly went off our addiction to Central Banking. That said, I'd feel far more comfortable with a President who understands what the Fed does than one of the gaggle of political opportunists who has no clue what an economist does. More importantly, threatening to end the Fed is probably the best way to reign in their irresponsible policy. Remember, a president doesn't rule by edict (although lately it feels that way sometimes), so Dr. Paul would not be able to simply end the Fed overnight. Still, having a reasoned discussion about the pros and cons of Central Banking is definitely something our nation ought to do once in a while. There is something eery about a government that controls the value of our money, isn't there? I mean, really, if we truly believe in small government, wouldn't you think this would be something worth a little conversation?

So, before you start calling someone a nutcase, try actually studying a little economics or try even just reading what his actual policies are instead of criticizing what some blogger TOLD you his policies are. Really, you'd embarrass yourselves a lot less. I gotta tell you, this thread, with a few exceptions, is the kind of thing I expect to hear when I listen to Democrats talking economics. It's all hot air and unfounded opinion. If conservative Republicans are to have any hope of recovery, we'll need to actually understand the issues that brought us to power in the first place. Reagan came in on an anti-inflation platform, more than anything else. Conservative Republicans are about sound economic policy more than anything else. If you don't understand what economics is about, you're easy pickings for the left. Learn something!

RonPaul2008.org's issues section mentions only his complaint, but not his proposed solution:

In addition, the Federal Reserve, our central bank, fosters runaway debt by increasing the money supply — making each dollar in your pocket worth less. The Fed is a private bank run by unelected officials who are not required to be open or accountable to “we the people.”

All complaints, no answers on that point. Which contrasts with this bit on abortion:

I am also the prime sponsor of HR 300, which would negate the effect of Roe v Wade by removing the ability of federal courts to interfere with state legislation to protect life. This is a practical, direct approach to ending federal court tyranny which threatens our constitutional republic and has caused the deaths of 45 million of the unborn.

That's good stuff. Why can't he be as concrete on the matter of the Dollar?

HTML Help Central for Red Staters

What's this? Ron Paul actually introducing legislation?

But the most trustworthy anti-Paulian I know once told me that "the guy has been in Congress for 20+ years and has yet to introduce one piece of legislation that would implement even one of the platform planks that he so ardently speaks about. NOTE: I didn't say "get legislation passed", I said "introduced".

HR 300 must be a mistake, because there's just no way this anti-Paul guy could possibly have gotten his facts wrong or be over-zealous in his rebuke... So I still don't believe Paul ever intro---

Well... huh.

It's not like Ron Paul hasn't written more articles on economics than all the other Republican candidates combined, that are posted all over the internet. But since you clearly don't want to work that hard, I'll try to connect you with some links. This is just a sample of the hundreds we could probably find if I thought you might actually read them:

Why it matters: http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2006/tst032706.htm

A 24-page treatise on his economic philosophy and background:
http://www.mises.org/books/paulmises.pdf

His interview last week on Larry Kudlow's show amidst the mortgage collapse:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/014693.html

On the Fed:
http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/ron-paul-gold/2007/06/01/

Interview on Econ Program:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdgB5JpON1g

A good financial blog on Dr. Paul's thoughts on gold and the Fed:
http://bullnotbull.com/archive/gold-standard-2.html

Hope that helps. Really, you have far more to be afraid of from the other candidates' non-existent economic policies.

It doesn't help at all. I want to know what concrete steps Ron Paul promises to take as President with respect to the Dollar and the Fed.

But none of your links DO that. When they have text at , your links are all generic talk, all hot air about why Ron doesn't like things as they are now. I know, I know, you don't HAVE a link to that, it's not in your Ronulan Campaign Kit. That's because this is an area were we see CLASSIC Ron Paul: the do nothing curmudgeon that Becker has pegged him as so well.

So why don't you write Doctor Paul and ask him to address this issue on his campaign webpage, then come back to me when you have an actual answer to my question.

Then you'll come across as something positive.

HTML Help Central for Red Staters

One thing Presidential campaigns ought to be good at is churning out mind numbing amounts of text. And Ron Paul in particular has supposedly been writing on all these things for YEARS.

So how flipping hard should it be to put up a program instead of vague complaints? Give me a breka.

HTML Help Central for Red Staters

Yeah, right. I spent the last two hours hunting down what I thought would be useful information, which clearly you haven't read in the last 13 minutes. I also pointed out why your question wasn't meaningful, because it asked why he wanted to do something that he didn't propose to do. And by the way, I have no "campaign kit". All I've figured out is how unserious your question really is.

If the other candidates had a "program" half as detailed as Dr. Paul's was, perhaps I'd cut you some slack. But at this point, you're coming across as nothing but a basher, because you are clearly holding him to a different standard than any other candidates.

His program, as I've clearly explained is to first legalize the use of gold and silver as legal tender. Second, to allow the free market to take its course. Third, to open a discussion of monetary policy reform, which would involve such various issues as a "basket of commodities" of some sort to back the currency, the possibility of abolishing the Fed, etc. Of course, he understands that such moves are not going to come overnight, and this is why he hasn't laid them out as initial policy goals. I think his immediate policy goal (again, as outlined in the articles and interviews I provided) would be to use his "bully pulpit" to discourage the Fed from pursuing an inflationary policy, and to discourage further bailouts of the mortgage market, etc.

Of course, all of this is in the articles and readings that I found for you, but maybe someone else will actually care enough to read them instead of just playing it off.

I find it distressing that Republicans can toss the idea of sound monetary policy overboard with so little thought. Isn't this supposed to be a conservative site?

Ok, finally we have three points from the Paul program that can be specifically answered: the role of the Fed, gold as an alternate legal tender, and gold plus silver in the same role. Thanks, scott742, for finally spelling it out.

The reason to keep the Fed is the same reason it was established in the first place, in the wake of the panic of 1907: to serve as a lender of last resort.

Without something like the Fed, free markets will always be subject to periodic and disastrous disruptions, for one simple and inescapable reason: liquidity goes away in times of stress. I can't explain this any better than to ask whether you would be willing to lend money, even overnight, to a person or business that is in even a slight danger of going bankrupt. You wouldn't touch him with a ten-foot-pole. Multiply that by millions of individuals and thousands of private institutions, and you get a panic that shuts business activity down, sometimes for years, and throws people out of work. This is a constant feature of free markets throughout history, regardless of whether commodity money is in use.

People on this thread have been throwing Alan Greenspan around, and while a very capable and admirable guy, he's not the Fed chairman anymore. Ben Bernanke is. Bernanke is an academic economist, and a close student of the Great Depression. He has said on many occasions that the Fed's job of being a lender of last resort is far simpler to accomplish if the Fed is actually in full control of the money it creates and destroys on a daily basis. You don't have to agree that this is a good thing, but you do have to agree that he's correct.

Right at this moment, we happen to be in the midst of a full-blown financial crisis that is far more serious and widespread than the Long-Term crisis of 1998. The Federal Reserve, the ECB, and other central banks have joined forces to keep the damage contained to the financial world.

Believe me, people like me who are close to Wall Street have been having major trouble sleeping for almost a week now, and I'm among the people that have been sounding alarms for months (read my RS posting history).

Yet ordinary people haven't the slightest idea of the maelstrom that is raging over their heads. If not for the Fed, we'd be having bank runs, bankrupt businesses, cities and states defaulting on their bonds, ruined farmers, and suicides. Just like 1929, 1907, 1893, and on and on.

Ok, on to gold and silver as legal tender.

The primary reason we don't need either one at this point in history is that the US Treasury has so much credibility as a debt issuer around the world, that for all ends and intents US Treasury bonds are money. Have you ever thought to ask yourself how much US Treasury debt there is? About $9 trillion. And have you ever asked yourself the total size of all the world's assets (counting real and financial assets, and discounting derivatives by 100-to-1)? About $100 trillion. And what's the usual reserve ratio in modern fractional-reserve banking? That's right. It's 10%.

The monetary base of the global economy at this point in history is the indebtedness of the US Treasury. There's no need for gold or silver. If this ever changes (and both the Treasury and the Federal Reserve have a wide array of compelling reasons to ensure that it never does), then we'll have no need to discuss gold except in a forensic sense, because the world will instantaneously move to some other standard, which (just as a wild guess) would probably be some mixture of euros, yen, and gold.

Now given that US Treasury debt now fulfills the same function as monetary gold did in the past, you can examine some of the weirdnesses and dislocations in the world with the same analytical tools that are used to analyze things like the triggers for the Great Depression.

Remember the years between 1928, when the Fed ham-fistedly overvalued the US dollar against gold, and 1934 when FDR changed the gold ratio to $35/oz? What was happening to our reserves of monetary gold at that time? Right: the government of France sucked out every ounce of undervalued gold they could get the Treasury to sell them. They and others did exactly the same thing for the same reason throughout the 1960s, dooming the Bretton Woods system.

That's precisely analogous to what the Chinese are doing today, through the unilateral action of undervaluing their money against the dollar. You can make a totally coherent case that we have far too little inflation right now.

On gold and silver bimetallism: leave aside that in proposing gold as legal tender alongside fiat dollars, you already have in effect a bimetallic standard. Adding silver to the mix makes it three metals. The history of bimetallism is so full of weirdness (like France manipulating the precise gold-to-silver ratio) that I think a simple reading of history should dissuade anyone serious from it. It's just way too easy for other countries to mess you up through unilateral action.

Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul! is doubling his support every month.

Silly man.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

According to Ames, he has 1000 supporters now, right? And the election is 15 months off. 2 to the 15th times 1000 is almost 33 million voters.

Hillary still wins.

;-)

I'm not in your league but that doesn't stop me from asking questions - I don't understand a few things.

"liquidity goes away in times of stress" What is the basis for this statement?

You ask "whether you would be willing to lend money, even overnight, to a person or business that is in even a slight danger of going bankrupt?"

In the past I've read you espouse CAPM so if you can put a risk premium on a loan and price it accordingly why wouldn't you do it?

"The monetary base of the global economy at this point in history is the indebtedness of the US Treasury." Doesn't this make it dangerous to print money as it dilutes the dollars over the same underlying assets? If you print money at the same rate as the underlying asset base grows then it might be OK.

Hmmm by zuiko

In other words, simply to allow people to make contracts payable in gold or silver as an alternative to contracts which today must be only in terms of dollars.

Who, exactly, is stopping you from drawing up a contract where you are paid in gold or silver or moon crystals? The NSA? The Illuminati? The secret world government?
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer
www.race42008.com
www.hinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
"One man with courage makes a majority" - Andrew Jackson

Ron Paul & Lyndon LaRouche: Separated at birth? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH2XWWG7qhk (worth watching this video all the way through. It's unrelenting quality stuff!)

Same question for the creepy supporters of each.

Yeah, that's clearly not off topic at all.

And, it's so relevant and meaningful. By the way, when did discussing monetary policy become creepy? Wow, the climate in this party really has changed in the last couple of years. Now, apparently, Keynesian economics reigns supreme.

Wow, the climate in this party really has changed in the last couple of years. Now, apparently, Keynesian economics reigns supreme.

Right, if you if you don't sign up for the gold standard you're a Keynsian.

I realize that Democrats like you are too dumb to realize that Milton Friedman, vigorous advocate of floating exchange rates*, wasn't a Keynsian, and obviously that's the intellectual level of discussion you're used to, but you don't have an audience as dumb as yourself around here.

* Hint for Democrats, Paulists, and others similarly challenged: not consistent with a gold standard.

"if you if you don't sign up for the gold standard you're a Keynsian."???

No, that's not what I said. I was implying that all this pro-inflation talk harkens back to the days when Keynesians ran the nuthouse, and all manner of non-Keynesian policy, whether monetarist (Friedman), Austrian (Paul, Hayek) or supply-side (Kemp, Laffer) were treated as idiots. This is the primary reason why Reagan was ridiculed in the early days.

But I really like how I get called a Democrat for advocating sound money. That's really priceless. Is this just an insult you use randomly? Because the last Democrat I know to stand up for sound money was Grover Cleveland!

I don't care if you are behind the gold standard specifically, although there is clearly reams of backing for the idea, mostly from the conservative movement which you've forgotten. What I do care about is the renewed Keynesian idea that inflation doesn't matter and that we should just shut up if we have an idea that doesn't fit with the modern idea of inflating the currency.

If you want to discuss real issues, I'm open to that, but your hatred of Paul and the gold standard borders on the insane. Even if you disagree that's no excuse for this kind of invective (I mean, calling me a Democrat is at least as bad as any cuss word you could come up with).

Obviously, monetarism and austrianism differ somewhat on some issues. Friedman wouldn't have advocated doing away with the Fed, nor having a gold standard. But he did advocate a sound monetary policy, and this is far from what we have today. Recent policy has deteriorated into inflationary policy, and we're approaching an economic crisis as a result.

Whether you want to oppose the gold standard is one thing. But inflation is a Keynesian policy pure and simple, not a monetarist one (though Friedman did advocate an extremely small rate ongoing). Clearly, Keynesian policy is the only one of these three approaches that is in tune with big government, big spending, and the Democrats. It's also what many here have been advocating, and it's current policy in Washington. It is a failed, disastrous policy, but one which is very convenient when spending gets outta control. See the connection?

Big spenders love Keynesians. And they hate the gold standard. So, before you play up the insults that you hear other people throwing around, figure out who is generally on your side, and who is just another big government stooge. The conservative movement is dis-emboweling itself.

And current monetary policy is all that's keeping us from having runs on banks right now. Thanks to the Fed, the entire Crisis is being restricted to the Financial Sector and most of us don't notice it.

"It's a book about a man who doesn't know he's about to die, and then dies...
...But if the man does know he's going to die and dies anyway. Dies, dies willing, knowing he can stop it, then...
Well, isn't that the type of man you want to keep alive?"
Karen Eiffel, Stranger Than Fiction

We could not have gotten to this level of crisis without all the Fed loosening over the recent past. So, if you're thanking the Fed for saving us from itself, maybe that's something, but I certainly hope you don't think this crisis came out of nowhere. The signs of easy money are everywhere.

No, it's not discussing monetary policy that makes Ron Paul supporters creepy, it's the creeeeeepiness.

I grant you that Ron Paul supporters come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and many are very different than you. In fact, many are people who I disagree with vehemently on many issues.

That said, wouldn't it be nice to have a candidate who could actually attract votes from people who aren't just like us? I mean, isn't that how elections are won?

I don't know if you've been noticing, but the Republican "base" is shrinking. Haven't you had enough of insulting the only Republican who is actually bringing independents into the party? Just how much are you willing to sacrifice in order to get the nomination for your candidate? Do you really find it worthwhile to insult people who aren't just like you? Do you really think you can still win after you thin out the party roll until the only people there look and think exactly like you? Do you really live in a dream world?

That said, wouldn't it be nice to have a candidate who could actually attract votes from people who aren't just like us? I mean, isn't that how elections are won?

Turnout decides things more often, doesn't it? Just ask the Democrats how important the union political machines are to them.

And anyway, I don't want a candidate who attracts Stormfronters and Daily Kossacks, as Ron Paul seems to.

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You're right. We should nominate Paul, and we'll win in the general by attracting the elusive nutjob vote.

Especially with LaRouche running for VP!

inside his family's armed compound. Bravo!

James Hansen - Scott THomas Beauchamp with a PhD.

Right, to keep it safe from "the bankers" (and we know who THEY are).

I find it hard to see where you get your "nutjob" idea. There are a few, no doubt, but I have yet to work in a campaign without a few nuts. They are certainly not dominant in the Paul campaign.

But if it's a convenient way to dismiss a candidate, don't let me interfere. Certainly much easier than winning debates on real issues.

Trust me when I tell you, the people "out there" aren't thinking "nutjob" when they talk to Ron Paul. They think it when they hear about bombing Mecca. Honestly, Tancredo is an honorable man, and an outstanding Congressman...one that I'd be thrilled to make a Senator. But I don't know how you can say stuff like that and still have any credibility.

You are absolutely correct that I am simply ridiculing him rather than debating anything substantively. I also haven't read much of what he's written, so I'm talking largely out of ignorance. Having said all that, some of his ideas seem whacky and his supporters are creeeeeeeeeeeeeepy!

Paul-Larouche 2008!

Ron Paul has never suggested what you're proposing. I think the biggest problem with this whole conversation about the monetary system is that words "gold standard" are by no means universally understood. Check out this article:

http://bhday.wordpress.com/2007/08/12/what-gold-standard/

BD

ot looking to return us to the “gold standard” as those words are widely interpreted. He is, as he says in the Google interview, “against the idea that government can print as much money as it wants” (to paraphrase).

ONCE AGAIN we have no idea what he's for, but we know what he's against.

Give me a break. Saul Anuzis was right: this clown should be omitted from events.

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I'm afraid you haven't listened to what Ron Paul has actually said.

Read. Obey.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

WilliamR you may not know this, but Moe is a site moderator. That means that it would be a very go idea for you to follow his directions.

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

gawk at wrecks, but it would be so cool if, everytime you pulled that thing out, an audio would come on of the whistling from the Clint Eastwood movies.

" in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
Abe Lincoln

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right...

---Thomas Paine---

mentalism-
Count me out after reading this quote from a Ron Paul link from above
http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/ron-paul-gold/2007/06/01/
" This gave the dollar a special place among world currencies and in essence “backed” the dollar with oil. In return, the U.S. promised to protect the various oil-rich kingdoms in the Persian Gulf against threat of invasion or domestic coup. This arrangement helped ignite the radical Islamic movement among those who resented our influence in the region."

Ron Paul needs to read a Koran and realize the Islamic fundamentalism is caused by their theology, and its not limited to the last 50 years, its been a trend since Mohammed
was figuring out if the message was from God or not.
So until the Muslims get a new religion, some Muslims will fight non Muslims.

Clearly those factors are important. But you can't ignore the fact that a Muslim country like Indonesia with a population far in excess of Saudi Arabia has produced relatively few terrorists while a friendly nation like the Saudi kingdom has produced large numbers. There must be something else at work here.

Notice that he says it "helped ignite" the radical Islamic movement. This suggests that it was not the ONLY factor, and that this movement already existed, but was given an added impetus by this phenomenon. If you think about it, there has to be a reason why more terrorists come from one Muslim area than another. There are undoubtedly other factors at play here. He's simply suggesting that this is one. It doesn't sound unreasonable to me.

the USD for reasons to attack the USA.

This line of reasoning is truly esoteric. With Congressman like Paul, who needs a Saudi business man to come here to grab an audience to blame the USA on USA soil for USA policies toward Israel to justify the GD 9/11 attacks? Remember immediate post 9/11? Hmm?
I say again, the Islamist movement is rooted in their theology, when Paul and his supporters realize that it is not American's fault the sooner they return from the ET land- twilight zone that they are in.

are not the same thing. I might kill somebody because they are Muslim, and I don't like Muslims. That is the causation, but it is not justification.

anything short of a world Islamic caliphate is unacceptable.

SO, how far is your capitulation willing to go?

First, I have to point out that your ridiculous assertion that Paul and/or supporters are claiming that the attacks are "America's fault" is patently untrue. While I don't doubt that there might be a random supporter somewhere who might believe that, it is far from the candidate's position or that of most of his supporters. What he has tried to point out is that the attacks were influenced by the fact that America has had an interventionist foreign policy, and that this policy has been particularly noticeable in the Middle East in recent years. To deny that Osama used our troops in Saudi as a justification for the attacks is impossible. It's right there in black and white.

Does the fact that they used it as justification mean that it was our fault? No, of course not. Does it necessarily even suggest that we should change our policy. Again, emphatically no. But it absolutely suggests that we need to re-examine it and discover whether the pros of having troops in Saudi outweigh the cons. The cons now must include the fact that stationing troops there stirs up a hornets nest, and some would argue unnecessarily. Because, after all, do we have a strategic interest in having troops stationed in Saudi? I would argue that we do not.

Of course, all this is debatable. But it is only debatable if someone is willing to discuss it, instead of flying off the handle every time someone mentions U.S. foreign policy. The simple fact is that the more nations we have troops stationed in, the more places where we might stir something up. And, for real conservatives who DON'T believe policing the world is the appropriate role of our troops, perhaps thinking through these things is worthwhile.

I'm no fan of Muslim theology, and I have no doubt that wrong theology leads to horribly bad results sometimes. In point of fact, some interpretations of Muslim theology have led some people to do evil things. But it's a big stretch go to from there to the mindset that some seem to hold that suggests that all of Islam is evil and needs to be exterminated immediately. I gotta tell you, we're not the ones in the twilight zone.

That kind of stuff exists in the Bible and the Torah, as well. It's just that Christians and Jews generally don't take it seriously, so they rarely stone disobedient children and such.

Are just as bad as Islamism.
The only difference is that the average Jew or Christian doesn't take "Kill the infidel at all costs!" seriously anymore.
Makes you wonder about the religion that attracts people who DO take that sort of thing seriously, though...

"I Will Always Place The Mission First.
"I will never accept defeat.
"I will never quit.
"I will never leave a fallen comrade."
Warrior Ethos, US Army

"killing the infidel at all costs."

First, nothing in the New Testament can be cited to support acts of violence against anybody.

In the Torah, there is violence, but never categorical violence for the spreading of religion. Israel did not build an empire, it fought wars to survive extermination. Islam has been fighting offensive wars to spread Islam since the founding of Islam.

Israel did not build an empire, it fought wars to survive extermination.

Really?

Once free from slavery in Egypt, the former Hebrew slaves were instructed by god to proceed to Canaan, kill the people there and take their land.

Deuteronomy 20:11-17:

When you march up to attack a city, first offer it terms of peace. If it agrees to your terms of peace and opens its gates to you, all the people to be found in it shall serve you in forced labor. But if it refuses to make peace with you and instead offers you battle, lay siege to it, and when the LORD, your God, delivers it into your hand, put every male in it to the sword; but the women and children and livestock and all else in it that is worth plundering you may take as your booty, and you may use this plunder of your enemies which the LORD, your God, has given you. That is how you shall deal with any city at a considerable distance from you, which does not belong to the peoples of this land. But in the cities of those nations which the LORD, your God, is giving you as your heritage, you shall not leave a single soul alive. You must doom them all-the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites-as the LORD, your God, has commanded you."

Another case of God ordering genocide (and theft) appears in Joshua (Yehoshua) Chapter 6:

16. And it was at the seventh time, the priests blew with the trumpets, and Joshua said to the people, Shout, for the Lord has given you the city. 17. And the city shall be devoted; it, and all that is in it, to the Lord; only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that is with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent…19. And all the silver and gold, and vessels of copper and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord…21. And they completely destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword…24. And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was in it; only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of copper and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord.

By the way, I also find it disturbing that God would kill every (obviously innocent) first born Egyptian male child to terrorize the Pharaoh into releasing the slaves. How is that not terrorism, and on a massive scale?

for a repeat of same in the the OT or the NT, unlike the Koran.

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer
www.race42008.com
www.hinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
"One man with courage makes a majority" - Andrew Jackson

Aah, I see. So terrorism, genocide, ethnic cleansing and theft are acceptable (or even good?) if they are for a "specific purpose" (by which I assume you mean limited in time and scope, although not scale) but evil if they are ongoing imperatives. So if Islamic terrorists are doing what they're doing for a "specific purpose" rather than just because killing infidels is a good think in itself and always, everywhere, would their terrorism be acceptable to you as a tactic?

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I voted Harry Browne in 2000, but will never vote Ron Paul.

Try to be adult about this, Neil. Someone made a point regarding the Old Testament vs. what they claim the Koran mandates, and I responded by quoting the Old Testament and making a sensible related argument. If you can't handle a mature discussion about this -- and have to trot out labels in a silly attempt to discredit someone's arguments -- then step aside and let Mike (GameCock a.k.a., Contestphallus) and I have a big-boy conversation. There's some apple juice in a sippy cup over on the kiddy table for you.

This diary is for good, hearty Ronulan fun, not your religious trolling.

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I voted Harry Browne in 2000, but will never vote Ron Paul.

Oh, Neil. I didn't bring up the contrast between the Old Testament and the Koran on this matter, did I? Is it ok for someone to make an argument that the two scriptures are diametric opposites in some regard, but not ok for someone else to challenge that assertion by quoting the Old Testament? What goes on in that head of yours, Neil. Does the html stuff take up all the capacity?

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I voted Harry Browne in 2000, but will never vote Ron Paul.

Oh, is it support group time again? Need a hug? There, there, Neil. Everything's gonna be aaaaaalllll right.

It's so funny how you and a few others here, whenever you make some unsound argument you can't defend, run into each others arms for support in the form of a chorus of ridicule -- in lieu of arguing your case, of course. I guess it's less than compassionate of me to try to deprive you guys of that emotional crutch you obviously need when you have those feelings of inadequacy.

He's yours.

And for the record, Brooks, because I know you're out there relentlessly stalking, it's not about grudges, or stifling debate, or anything of the sort. It's about you representing yourself as someone you're not. Some people are on to it, and I was a little late realizing what was going on. You may pass as a Republican in Berkeley, but you are doing a lousy job of it here.

Please feel free, as always, to have the last word.

What a complete fool you are, Jack-on. Anyone who is familiar with my posts and comments, and who has any capacity for objectivity, knows that I'm a Defense/use-of-force conservative, an economic and fiscal conservative, and on some issues a social conservative (and on other social issues a libertarian or none of the above). Actually, your more than a fool. A fool can't help it, and I bear no ill will toward a fool who is just a fool. And some fools are aware of their limitations. But you are oblivious to it, actually think you're insightful or clever in some way, and go around expressing yourself accordingly in criticism of others. Now THAT's one combination that's not only undesirable, but must make it hard to get through life. Good luck with aaalllll that.

While you're flitting from thread to thread, dazzling everyone with your verbosity, setting all the Red State Chuckleheads straight about how things really are, and sucking up to all the lefty posters here, do you ever ask yourself, "Is this reply necessary?" before you hit the "Post Comment" button?

You seem like a smart guy who can fathom that those whom you have visibly annoyed might just be the tip of the iceberg. People are polite around here is all I'm saying.

You may proceed to nut up on me and give me a silly screen name. Or you can give me a taste of what's coming to you if you don't wise up.

Your characterization of my comments is wholly inaccurate, unfair, and not indicative of objectivity -- and yes, I assume there are some here who will have the same perception of anyone who is not a social conservative on every social issue and who is willing to engage in vigorous debate -- but I won't go beyond that except to say that I think that there are many here who welcome someone who is a Defense/use-of-force conservative, an economic and fiscal conservative, on some social issues a social conservative (and not on others), and who is willing to engage in rational, reasonable discussion or substantive debate of the social issues in which he is not a social conservative.

Sorry to press the "rabid jack russell" button, but I just don't buy it. Your off-the-charts response (again) tells me I am on the right track. Please help me figure out 1) what you are doing here, and 2) how you are adding to the discussion.

From what I have read, you are a partition-Iraq, don't believe in God, pro-stem-cell-research, most-tax-cuts-don't-help conservative, which hardly fits the definition. I would be interested to hear which candidates you have supported in the past, who you have voted for in past presidential elections, any grassroots activity, etc. A little credentialing might help us not be so wary of your intentions. Your short time on this site, and some of your responses have not helped the comfort level.

As far as getting through life, I've done pretty well so far. I really hope you can say the same. Feeding time is over, and I apologize to those who will have to deal with BR for the rest of what will surely be a long evening.

See "Reply to Jack Savage" below.

trying to find where that occurred so he can get in a reply).

depends on the word "recently"...

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer
www.race42008.com
www.hinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
"One man with courage makes a majority" - Andrew Jackson

Dang, there goes the rest of my afternoon.

Oh, and Mike, et tu, brute? So much for baseball talk facilitating bonding ;>

KILLING TO CONVERT. IT DOESN'T. AND EVEN IN THE OT, THOSE TIMES GOD DID ADVOCATE TOTAL WAR, IT WAS NOT TO CONVERT.

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer
www.race42008.com
www.hinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
"One man with courage makes a majority" - Andrew Jackson

No need for all caps, Mike. Just a conversation between an old Oriole wannabee and an old Cub wannabee.

Let me recap how we got here:

Someone pointed out that the difference between Islam and Judaism or Christianity "is that the average Jew or Christian doesn't take 'Kill the infidel at all costs!' seriously."

Then someone said "In the Torah, there is violence, but never categorical violence for the spreading of religion. Israel did not build an empire, it fought wars to survive extermination. Islam has been fighting offensive wars to spread Islam since the founding of Islam."

I pointed out that in the OT, God instructs his people (and they obey) on at least one or two occasions to engage in conquest, enslavement, genocide, and ethnic cleansing. I also pointed out that God's killing of all the first born male children in Egypt would fit the definition of terrorism.

You responded by saying that the key difference is that in the OT that killing was done for a "specific purpose" rather than an ongoing imperative.

So I asked you if you would consider Islamic terrorism acceptable if they did it for a "specific purpose" rather than for the purpose of killing infidels for its own sake and/or on an ongoing basis. That's a reasonable question to ask, given the distinction you made, right?

You didn't answer that question, and unless for some reason you really don't want to, please do (if, that is, we're having a real conversation here).

Now you have repeated your argument that a key distinction (no longer the sole distinction) is the permanence of the command and I think you're adding another distinction: that the killing in the OT ws not to convert, but (I assume your arguing that) the killing of all infidels that (for the sake of argument) is commanded in the Koran IS for the purpose of conversion.

I'm still unclear on why genocide would be significantly more morally acceptable if it is not for the purpose of conversion vs. if it is for that purpose, if that's what you're implying (are you, or am I misunderstanding you?). As for killing for a "specific purpose" (meaning limited in time frame and scope, and as a means to an end) vs. an ongoing imperative and one that is deemed good for its own sake, yeah obviously the latter is much worse (other things equal), but again, please answer my question from above.

Also, another question: Is killing to convert morally worse than killing to deter, prevent or punish DEFECTION from one's religion? They seem like roughly two sides to the same coin to me, although not exactly, but what do you think?

But what I said below goes for this subthread too.

-----------
We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

Sigh by Raven

Here we go again...

For starters, the Plague on the Firstborn:
God did not order the Jews to go kill all the firstborn Egyptians. He did it Himself for reasons of his own, which, frankly, I don't understand. He did Not, I say again, order His people to do the killing for Him.

The conquering of Canaan:
This was not done for purposes of conversion. It is classified as Divine Retribution against people who had heard the Word of God (before the Jews fled to Egypt during the Famine) and had rejected Him and were partaking in the worst sins available at the time.
So He ordered these peoples eliminated and their land Retaken by the Jews as their just reward for keeping to their faith in Him.
We may not agree with His methods, but it is how things were done at the time. Different ages, different peoples, different methods.

But you will note that God never commanded conversion at the point of a sword, nor did He command His people to pursue wars of extermination to continue until His Son's return.

If you're going to quote Bible passages at us, you might want to learn the context from which you are removing those passages...

"I Will Always Place The Mission First.
"I will never accept defeat.
"I will never quit.
"I will never leave a fallen comrade."
Warrior Ethos, US Army

God did not order the Jews to go kill all the firstborn Egyptians. He did it Himself for reasons of his own, which, frankly, I don't understand. He did Not, I say again, order His people to do the killing for Him.

I know that. While that comment followed a seperate comment regarding God telling his people to commit genocide (so I understand your misunderstanding), I know God did it himself. My point was that it was an act that we would definitely consider terrorism if a person did it, and considering it is celebrated (albeit with acknowledgement of the suffering by Jewish people like my family at the Passover seder, although still viewing it as justified and as a miracle). So there's the question of the example God is setting, and the absence (at least in my experience in a Jewish family) of any point being made that such an act is generally immoral.

The conquering of Canaan:
This was not done for purposes of conversion. It is classified as Divine Retribution against people who had heard the Word of God (before the Jews fled to Egypt during the Famine) and had rejected Him and were partaking in the worst sins available at the time. So He ordered these peoples eliminated and their land Retaken by the Jews as their just reward for keeping to their faith in Him.

If "the worst sins available at the time" involve cruelty and other acts that are not just "sins" but would be considered immoral on the basis of harming others without justification, and if God's punishment of them was not unfairly harsh just because he had a "chosen people" to whom he wanted to give that land, then that is a fair point. But if we're only talking about people -- including children -- rejecting God and committing "sins" that are only immoral if one defines morality in religious terms, then that would say that, in effect, the slaughtering of every adult and every child was justified simply because they didn't have the right faith. Tell me which was the case, and if it's the latter, tell me why that would be so different from an Islamist wanting to kill "infidels" simply because they are non-believers in Islam.

We may not agree with His methods, but it is how things were done at the time. Different ages, different peoples, different methods.

Well, that one I don't accept, particularly since I would assume that the concept of God is not like fashion or culture or something that adapts its sense of justice to some zeitgeist. I guess you could argue that in different ages, just like in different cultures or perhaps with different individuals, different methods would have different effects, but to excuse genocide by simply saying it was a different age doesn't work for me.

But you will note that God never commanded conversion at the point of a sword, nor did He command His people to pursue wars of extermination to continue until His Son's return.

I was taught in an orthodox Jewish grade school that the punishment for a Jew working on the Sabbath is death. That's not an issue of conversion, but it's punishment (or at least the threat of it) for not abiding by the rules, and I assume one couldn't change that by converting to another religion or just abandoning the religion. So what I think that, in effect, means is that death is the punishment for failure to follow the rules or for leaving the faith. Killing people for defecting or not practicing fully is not exactly the same as killing for failing to convert, but they seem almost to be two sides of the same coin.

Secondly, why so much emphasis on the conversion issue? As I've asked before, is it significantly more immoral to commit genocide to convert people vs. for any other reason?

If you're going to quote Bible passages at us, you might want to learn the context from which you are removing those passages...

I'm always open to correction. As with a lot of things, we all make comments based on the information we have, and it's invariably incomplete, so the best we can do is try to get it right and listen to others who dispute and/or add to it.

This threadjack is over. Long over. Waaaay over. Dead.

Theology is for email or other sites. I'm frightened that I can see the inexorable, logical progression that led from a discussion of monetary policy to Biblical hermeneutics. I don't want to be frightened any more. Stop. Now.

-----------
We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

That God in the Old Testament was a Vengeful God. Not particularly unlike the various gods of that day and age. He used many of the same methods but for different reasons and with different intended outcomes. (Note: I am not saying that the Ends Justify the Means, only that at the time, that was the methodology)

Even God's methods changed with the times (e.g.: Christ). Different age, different peoples, different methods. As I said before.
You may not "accept" it, but as the people changed, so did God's manner of reaching out to them.

As has also been said before: the primary difference between the Jews and the Christians is that the Jews are still waiting for their Saviour and are still working with God as he decided to appear in the Old Testament. From which all of your apparent objections to Him appear to stem.
I have noted you don't take offense with His methods in the New Testament.

Oh, and just so you know, Morality has ALWAYS been defined in religious terms. Always. You can't separate the 2 without sacrificing both.

"I Will Always Place The Mission First.
"I will never accept defeat.
"I will never quit.
"I will never leave a fallen comrade."
Warrior Ethos, US Army

End threadjack, please. Thank you.

-----------
We are all heroes, you and Boo and I. Hamsters and rangers everywhere, rejoice!

"I Will Always Place The Mission First.
"I will never accept defeat.
"I will never quit.
"I will never leave a fallen comrade."
Warrior Ethos, US Army

Raven, I sent you two emails (via RedState contact form) last night with responses to your comments. Did you receive them?

to checking that account yet.
I can't do it from work and I work more than 12 hours a day almost every day. You'll have to be patient.

"I Will Always Place The Mission First.
"I will never accept defeat.
"I will never quit.
"I will never leave a fallen comrade."
Warrior Ethos, US Army

ok, no problem. Heck, feel free to use your limited free time for anything else you want before spending time on this stuff ;>

I guess that's the magic of Ron Paul: he complains about all the things his supporters also complain about, and then they project on him their own preferred solutions.

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As I said on the other thread linking to this one, Ron Paul has proposed a private monetary standard. He realizes there aren't enough votes to get rid of the FED, but he wants gold and silver to freely circulate in the economy again. Banks would be free to issue their own currency if it's 100 percent backed by gold and silver. To see how this would work, read the article below I linked to

How Gold Was Money--How Gold Could Be Money Again

Unless, of course, you want the government to step in and FORCE people to accept your gold and silver backed money.
---
Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

Such laws are called Legal Tender laws, and are neither needed nor moral.

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I voted Harry Browne in 2000, but will never vote Ron Paul.

Right, because we all know how unpopular gold and silver are. Why, you can't even SELL the stuff!

What?

They do?

$692 per ounce? You don't say. Well, I'll be.

numerous times. A cat turd doesn't improve with either age or exposure.
____
CongressCritter™: Never have so few felt like they were owed so much by so many for so little.

As of this point, I ban first and ask questions later.

If any of you have problems with each other, take it to email, or deal with it somewhere else.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

ok, Moe. It seems a few people like to egg me on from thread to thread, and I often react by taking the gloves off, but going forward I'll try to resist being provoked.

ahh...forget it...Moe asked...

" in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
Abe Lincoln

I propose a simple deal to whomever this concerns: If someone doesn't initiate name-calling, baseless accusations, or other forms of ridicule TOWARD me, you won't find it coming FROM me. (Actually, you generally won't find it coming from me even in retaliation if you do initiate it, but it would be nicer if the elevated conduct is mutual). Let's just stick to the issues and the merits of our arguments. Fair enough?

you'll get nothing from me...you know how I feel from last week.

only reason I jumped in was after the warning from Moe, you ran over to him like everyone is out to steal your lunch money...

prolly best to go low key for a while...

" in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
Abe Lincoln

It certainly seems to me that your saying "you'll get nothing from me" is inconsistent with your entire comment from that point forward. I'm just pointing that out, but I'm refraining from responding in kind.

Apparently, around here, it's ok to insult certain people if you don't like who they support for president. Otherwise, it's bad. See how it works?

Still, it wouldn't hurt to curb the temper a bit. Even when life is unfair, because, after all, it usually is.

my point was don't throw freaking stones if you can't handle getting some tossed back at you...and certainly don't run to a moderator and cry boo hoo people pick on me.....was that a fair explanation?

" in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
Abe Lincoln

Listen, I really wasn't planning on responding to what you're saying, but since you're persisting, let me just explain as diplomatically as I can why I commented to Moe. The fact is, in most cases (not all, but most), I'm not the one initiated the insults with a given person on a given thread. But I do take the gloves off when provoked, whether I should or not. I wanted to let Moe know that that's what's going on here.

And in my comment I mentioned that there are a few people who apparently seek to provoke me, but I left out then what I'll add now, which is that the other reason those people initiate the insults with me is because they were unable to defend their arguments in a previous thread, usually accompanied by their initiating insults in that thread and my reciprocating, and they bear a grudge and perhaps a bruised ego (not from the previous exchange of insults but from embarrassment from the previous exchange of arguments on the issue being debated) that they feel can be healed a bit by dropping an insult that they know will be welcomed and probably favorably acknowledged by others in the same boat, with the same mentality. I left that part out, because, while completely true and relevant, it's not particularly diplomatic and I really wanted, and still want, for everyone to just cut the crap and stick to arguing the issues. I'm just laying it all out here for the record, you can tell me I'm full of it if you want, and then, I ask you and anyone else once again, can we just cut the crap, drop the insults, and discuss and debate the issues? Go ahead and hit back re: this comment if you want, but please indicate if you're really interested in knocking it off from this point forward.

My life is far, far too short for this. In the future, beware the passive aggressive types, though. And believe me, if I could handle it somewhere else, I definitely would.

Jack, I'm going to answer your questions rather than respond with the same offensive tone of your comment. In the future, I ask again that you just stick to the merits of arguments on issues rather than insults.

From what I have read, you are a partition-Iraq, don't believe in God, pro-stem-cell-research, most-tax-cuts-don't-help conservative, which hardly fits the definition.

Iraq: First, just to correct you, what I am leaning toward is not "partition", but "soft-partition". As for favoring that strategy, how you think that makes me less of a conservative or less of a Republican I have no idea. Perhaps you can explain that to me.

God: Correct, I don't believe in God. I'm an agnostic. And "church-state" issues is one area in which I'm not a social conservative and have been quite open about that. Is that alone a disqualifier, a reason I shouldn't be on RedState?

Tax Cuts: First, you have misrepresented my position. I never said "most tax cuts don't help". What I've said -- based on the overwhelming consensus of economists, including the consensus among conservative economists and Bush's own top current and former economists -- is that the Bush tax cuts (or others like them, meaning tax cuts on labor income, and to a lesser extent tax cuts on capital gains and dividend income FROM RATES PRIOR TO THE CUTS that existed prior to the Bush cuts or in that general neighborhood) have most likely had a negative impact on revenues (vs. what revenues would otherwise have been) and will have a negative impact if extended. You initially called me "insane" for saying that, then later posted a post on your diary pulling back and saying that you were only refering to the 2003 tax cuts and to "targeted" tax cuts in general. Now, if you think that my accepting the consensus opinion of the economists I've mentioned above (and as you know I've provided plenty of quotes from them and links) regarding the relatinship between tax cuts and tax revenues makes me less than a conservative, than the most polite thing I can say is that I really don't see how you can possibly think that. Last I checked, a conservative tries to base policy in general -- including fiscal policy -- on the best information available and practical reality rather than on wishful thinking.

Stem cell research: First, I think you mean EMBRYONIC stem cell research. Second, I made one comment pointing out that I think someone was incorrect in asserting that (1) if embryonic stem cell research had any real potential, there wouldn't be a benefit to government funding it vs. leaving it all to the private sector, and (2) ALL the private money is in adult stem cell research. You then take a correction of fact to be an announcement of a policy preference, which is presumptuous. There are plenty of times when I will challenge someone on a "fact" that I think is incorrect or an argument that I don't think holds water even if I don't disagree with them on his/her policy preference. Now, it happens to be the case that I DO favor embryonic stem cell research because I don't consider those embryos to be persons (and because I believe only persons have a right to life) and because such research has the potential to save millions of lives and save millions of others from terrible suffering. This is another social issue on which I am not conservative, and I've been open about that. (And in case you're wondering, a couple of social issues on which I AM conservative are crime/law & order and opposing affirmative action and the victim-mentality of many African-Americans. I also readily point out the blatant flaws in the logic of the arguments put forth by most pro-choicers who don't realize that they have to answer the question: Is it a person or not?)

Please help me figure out 1) what you are doing here, and 2) how you are adding to the discussion.

As I've said and demonstrated clearly (to anyone paying attention and willing and able to be objective), I'm a Defense/use-of-force conservative, an economic (e.g., free trade) conservative, a TRUE, RESPONSIBLE fiscal conservative (much lower non-Defense government spending, prudent management of debt-to-GDP, responsible management of finances in light of projected demographics and related unfunded entitlement liabilities -- largely so we're not hit with huge tax increases down the road, and above all, basing policy on the best available information, viewed as objectively as possible, rather than letting assumptions that would feel good trump what the best information indicates), and on some (probably the majority of) social issues I'm either libertarian or none of the above (and on some, I'm conservative).

I offer, in my not-so-humble opinion, some very important, high quality information and opinions worth at least considering, and in my dialogues with people I think I'm better than many/most at listening and replying directly and substantively to others' questions and asking relevant questions and making relevant, logic, sound arguments of my own. I do so partly because I find it interesting, partly because I'm trying to influence people (those whose minds are open) to move toward policies that I believe are best for the nation, and partly to learn and refine my own understanding and positions on issues. THAT's why I'm here. Why are you here?

I would be interested to hear which candidates you have supported in the past, who you have voted for in past presidential elections, any grassroots activity, etc. A little credentialing might help us not be so wary of your intentions.

Sorry, that is just too offensive for me to answer like I've been subpoenaed to be cross-examined by Roy Cohn. I'm restraining myself big-time in this reply and responding to questions I shouldn't have to answer, but that's pushing me too far. I've told people many times that I like McCain and Rudy (and explained why), and most recently I was impressed enough with something Fred said that I'm considering him, too. If that's not good enough for you, too bad.

I am curious, though - if someone asked me who I have supported in the past, what sort of work I have done for candidates, grassroots activity - you know, general stuff - I honestly wouldn't be as offended as you seem to be. I am happy to share that history - sort of like "I remember when" old war stories. So I won't push it, but I do find it a little curious.

Anyway, I'll be drinking in another bar for the foreseeable future. Not that it hasn't been fun...

I would encourage you to stay a patron of this bar under the new rules of engagement (yeah, mixing metaphors) that I suggested (actually, they are RS's rules, but I'm suggesting we stick to them without being reminded), at least as far as dialogue with me is concerned. No personal crap, just discussion and debate of the issues.

But I really do need to be somewhere else for a while - for a number of different reasons. I wish you the best in your efforts to influence others.

ok, best to you. Your bar stool will be kept warm. And that reminds me of a true story I'll leave you with:

I was in a bar years ago with some buddies. One of them asked me what was wrong. I said "Nothing, why?" He said, "You had a look on your face like you were constipated or something." I replied (with absolutely no pun intended), "It's just that my stool is a little hard."

Last I checked, those who don't believe in God were Atheists.

As to Embryonic Stem Cell Research: I am still waiting for your substance. Thus far all I have received from you are unsubstantiated claims. I've looked and found Plenty supporting my position and none supproting yours.
Furthermore, I did not say "ALL" (though I am leaning that way as of searching for any), I said Most or Almost All, or The Vast Majority. I don't deal in absolutes when discussing the improvable negative.

I am with you on most of your economic positions and even some of your War positions, but that's really about all thus far.

BTW, speaking of the War, wth is "soft partition" and how is it different from a Federal system of government?

"I Will Always Place The Mission First.
"I will never accept defeat.
"I will never quit.
"I will never leave a fallen comrade."
Warrior Ethos, US Army

I emailed you a reply, since Thomas has requested an end to the threadjack.

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer
www.race42008.com
www.hinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
"One man with courage makes a majority" - Andrew Jackson

Glad to hear it "C-P". And if Willie Mays could catch that Vic Wertz shot into Center Field at the Polo Grounds, maybe there IS a God! http://youtube.com/watch?v=7dK6zPbkFnE

Mike Gamecock DeVine @ The Charlotte Observer
www.race42008.com
www.hinzsightreport.com
www.theminorityreportblog.com
"One man with courage makes a majority" - Andrew Jackson

The universe is ok, but that Mays catch, Holy Schmoly!

Christmas past, is it?

========
Considering where the good doctor's head was, when practicing medicine, is it any wonder that the man has issues?

All of you who just assume Ron Paul wants to convert all existing dollars to being backed by gold should really try to read what the man says instead of watching fox news so much. The man has 30 years of writings on the subject and I doubt any of you have read any of them. Paul has never suggested taking all the dollars on the market right now and then back them with gold. He wants to introduce a legal competing gold-backed currency, just like we compete with other currencies around the world.

Here is one article by him that explains how he would implement the system:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul431.html

And here is a simple video explaining why our current debt-based fiat currency will never last:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9050474362583451279

The idea by some of you that anyone is suggesting taking all of the money created out of thin air by the Fed and backing it all with gold is ridiculous. This is Paul's argument, so much money has been created by the Fed that it has lost most of its value and therefore a new system needs to be transitioned in.

______________________________
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Shiny Golden Coins
Like Sun Could Feed Green Plant Leaf
Hide in Bank Unseen

"If this ain't a mess, it'll do until one shows up." -Sheriff Bell, No Country For Old Men

He says we need to get gold coins in circulation, but he also admits that gold is too expensive to replace any tokens of currency below the $100 bill. So his plan fails at step 1.

And he never does explain precisely how denominating the coins in ounces instead of dollars would prevent the Gresham's Law effect, assuming convertibility.

HTML Help for Red Staters

Yes the gold is too expensive now. That's why he wants to slowly implement coins into circulation only by weight, so the market sets a new trading price for that of the coins, instead of having someone in government set a rate at the very beginning. After the market has set a trading price, the government would enact a fixed rate that you could trade your gold in at. But he would still allow the coins to be traded at a market value between individuals, which could be slightly different from the government set value, so it could more readily adjust to demand and prices.

From wikipedia: "Gresham's law applies specifically when there are two forms of commodity money in circulation which are forced, by the application of legal-tender laws, to be respected as having the same face value in the marketplace." When Paul refers to Gresham's law in his essay he is not talking about two commodity monies as the definition states, but instead he's talking about the gold coin and the paper dollar. He doesn't want them fixed to each other in the marketplace, only on trade-in to the government.

The trade-in price is established after the market value has been established and is not directly fixed to the market price. This trade-in value can be adjusted if a drastic market change took place. This therefore eliminates the Gresham effect because there is no bad money pushing out the good, as has been seen in history when we had gold and silver fixed to each other. In this case the gold coin and the dollar would not be directly fixed to each other in the open marketplace. I would suggest you read "A case for Gold" by Ron Paul if you really want to debate this. It helps to read and understand your opponent's argument before you critique it.

Also, gold is priced as strictly an investment or collectable right now. It would be priced much differently if it were being used as legal tender. Why don't you watch that video I posted and tell me exactly how we can continue on the current path of our monetary system.

The fact that you can't answer a simple question: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET GOLD INTO CIRCULATION WHEN IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE FOR EVERYDAY USE, shows just how dangerous your man-god is when it comes to monetary policy.

HTML Help for Red Staters

First, it's not a propaganda video, it simply explains how our current monetary system works. Once you learn this it will become apparent why our current monetary system is flawed. I guess only you can choose not to educate yourself, but you have to realize that people don't take you seriously when you try to criticize someone elses policy and you don't even know how our current one works.

And why do you keep assuming that a gold standard would use 1 ounce $900 gold (or some similar amount) for every day transactions? First, gold would not be priced nearly as high if it were in monetary use like I explained in a previous post, plus you could make smaller coins with only fractions of gold content if it were still a problem. But you fail to see the fallacy in your argument. You are comparing gold to the dollar. The dollar is only worth $.04 of what it was in 1913. The dollar is a paper currency that will continue to lose its value, so in the long term gold will always be worth a lot of dollars, but you lose purchasing power when the dollar goes down, so just because something is priced at $1000 doesn't mean it is expensive in gold terms.

At least you can watch the 4-part interview with Ron Paul that I posted. It's just him explaining his monetary policy to you in an interview. I think you could at least see what he has to say before you continue to criticize him. But you should really watch the other video too. (I don't agree with the conclusion of it, but it's explainations of our current system are great)

Hasn't Mr. 17 hours 46 min, run afoul of a rule, or am I behind the curve?

Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies...

But I'm just so fascinated with the idea that someone actually found Ron Paul endorsing a concrete monetary policy, rather than generic principles, that I'm withholding the blade.

HTML Help for Red Staters

not believe anyone would have actually started to feed the Ronulans again.

Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies...

Yes, I know Life Is Not Fair, but come on: the title of this diary expressly calls out RP posters.

Now, if he ventures outside this post to shill for his Man-God, then, that's different.

HTML Help for Red Staters

you would have brought booze to an A.A. meeting.

Friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies...

This diary pre-dates the RP ban. This RP poster just dug it up to reply to it late.

HTML Help for Red Staters

It sounds to me like you're suggesting gold's market price should be overridden by the Congress. I have a problem with that. You see, I take more of a free market approach when it comes to the economy. I oppose such central planning of commodity prices.

HTML Help for Red Staters

No I'm actually not suggesting that at all. Ron Paul says he wants the market to determine the price of gold. The government trade-in policy would be used if people wanted to carry paper bills that were backed by gold. This trade in price would be a price that was set for paper trade-in purposes but moved with the market value of gold. I said this already in a previous post. It is actually very important that the price of gold be market determined.

It's funny how you say that you don't want central planning by the government, but I'll let you in on a secret...the government already has central planning of our money through the Federal Reserve!!! They determine interest rates and money supply, not the market! They get together and say the interest rates should be this or that, and we need to increase the money supply to encourage investment. Or they say we need to cut back on the money supply and raise interest rates to make up for our previous inflation... Don't you get it? It's the central planning of our money that causes each boom period that is always followed by its complementary recession. You would be against any other form of government central planning wouldn't you? So why are you for the central planning of our money through the Federal Reserve system? It fails just as miserably as any other form of central planning.

I again ask you to at least do a little research on how the system works. If anything, at least watch the interview with Ron Paul about his monetary philosophy in the post below this one. He addresses many of the popular questions about a gold standard.

Let me also just add in reply to your previous post that Paul is about the furthest thing from a communist. He is actually the exact opposite. He has voted against more big-government than all of the other candidates combined. He has always strictly followed the constitution and believes our government should be more closely modeled after the Founding Fathers' interpretations. They wrote in the constitution that only gold and/or silver could be used as legal tender. They had already experienced too many problems with the continental paper currency. So let me ask you, were our founding fathers communists?

Your apprehensiveness to actually watch a simple interview with a man about his policies shows exactly how close-minded you really are. When I choose between candidates I make sure I actually research them for myself, instead of listening to what the media says about them. I would also never criticize a politician's policy if I had never even taken the time to hear him talk about it!

The man went on stage in a nationally televised debate and said that the reprisals taken against anti-Communists in Vietnam (You know, after we pulled out and the Watergate Babies denied foreign aid, leading to the Communists overrunning RVN) constituted "cleaning up" and were a good thing to let happen.

HTML Help for Red Staters

I need a source for an argument I'm having with another Ronulan elsewhere...

"Guns don't kill people...
"...But they sure help!"
-Paul Giamatti, Shoot 'Em Up
q

RP on who is a terrorist. Can't find it.

"Guns don't kill people...
"...But they sure help!"
-Paul Giamatti, Shoot 'Em Up

Just did a quick search: It was in the Ron Paul Political Report, according to Free Republic:

GOLD EAGLES AND LEAD BALLOONS

Each month I will award Gold Eagles to champions of freedom and Lead Balloons to statists. Please send me your suggestions.

A LEAD BALLOON to Jack Kemp (R-NY) and Bob Dole (R-KS) who have introduced legislation to forcibly close the Palestinian Information Office in Washington. They would also ban delegates from the Palestinian Liberation Organization at the United Nations. The authors call this bill an "Anti-Terrorism Act." But what about terrorism that uses government force to suppress free expression in this country?

HTML Help for Red Staters

"Guns don't kill people...
"...But they sure help!"
-Paul Giamatti, Shoot 'Em Up

But I did promise links on my claims of his insanity.

I think the Ronulan got a little upset when I pointed out the fact that since the scandal was tied to his Congressional Newsletter, RP has to choose between 2 bad options: Fully supporting every word (racist, anti-Semite, whatever else it all added up to) or that he was incompetent (unable to control what is published in his own Congressional Newsletter).

Then I went on to mention that RP does have some sane ideas, but that he couldn't even get a single other Congressman to back him on Those, let alone his more extreme stuff. So where's his Leadership? His ability to affect Congress?

That's when the guy disappeared...

"Guns don't kill people...
"...But they sure help!"
-Paul Giamatti, Shoot 'Em Up

Here's an excellent video of Ron Paul describing his monetary policy. He answers the questions and criticisms that were posed at the beginning of this blog. I think if you take the time to watch it and the previous video I posted you should understand a lot more about where he is coming from. You may even start to like him.

Video:

Part 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF5pwDCpz4s&feature=related

Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-M8En38oFQ&NR=1

Part 3:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IH6iEbP9ozw&NR=1

Part 4:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojtxgCYeagE&NR=1

.

"Where I stand does not depend on where I'm standing." Fred D. Thompson

 
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