Books that provide good information. Knowledge arms us all and makes us better equipped for the future.
Mises Daily by Ron Paul | Posted on 9/3/2009
Most Americans haven’t thought much about the strange entity that controls the nation’s money. They simply accept it as though it has always been there, which is far from the case. Visitors to Washington can see the Fed’s palatial headquarters in Washington, D.C., which opened its doors in 1937. Tourists observe its intimidating appearance and forbidding structure, the monetary parallel to the Supreme Court or the Capitol of the United States.
People know that this institution has an important job to do in managing the nation’s money supply, and they hear the head of the Fed testify to Congress, citing complex data, making predictions, and attempting to intimidate anyone who would take issue with them. One would never suspect from their words that there is any mismanagement taking place. The head of the Fed always postures as master of the universe, someone completely knowledgeable and completely in control.
But how much do we really know about what goes on inside the Fed? With the newest round of bailouts, even journalists have a difficult time running down precisely where the money is coming from and where it is headed. From its founding in 1913, secrecy and inside deals have been part of the way the Fed works.
Part of the public-relations game played by the chairman of the Fed is designed to suggest that the Fed is an essential part of our system, one we cannot do without. In fact, the Fed came about during a period of the nation’s history called the Progressive Era, when the income tax and many new government institutions were created. It was a time in which business in general became infatuated with the idea of forming cartels as a way of protecting their profits and socializing their losses.
One of our local aspiring politicians here in Central Florida has recently written a book explaining his politics intertwined with history and a stab at economics. I have briefly meet Todd on several political rallies and must admit when I first meet him last December 2008 I was totally thrown back by the fact that he was a trial lawyer. Honestly after losing Orange County Republican Representative Ric Keller and his crap and losing my beloved Seminole County Congressional Representative Tom Feeney in the 2008 congressional elections to liberal Democrats I was in no mood for another RINO. It took a couple of beers and self control not to get just a little perturbed. Well I was wrong about Todd.
In his book he explains the frustrations he and millions of other conservative voters have had with former President Bush and the Republican in the congress and senate from 2001 to 2006. Basically we the people voted in one group of people and got a totally different result. Expanded federal government, new entitlement programs, corruption, poorly executed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (until General Petraeus took over in 2006 in my opinion), lack of border enforcement and the constant political charades that pass as politics in Washington. The frustration and disgust is mutually and universally felt by millions including Todd.
The book is extremely well written for what I assume is a first book. It is at a basic senior high school level and is very easy to grasp the concepts that are put forward. The order of discussion is also very coherent and well thought out. The book starts out with the founding fathers and eliminates a lot of propaganda currently passing for fact in the main stream of the media and education institutions. How we got away from being a Christian nation and how the founding fathers viewed religion as part of our being are examined with just enough depth to make the case without boring the reader with tedious example after example. Pretty damn good job for a new author. An examination of socialism, dependency verses capitalism is examined in economic wealth terms as well as spiritual terms. Not something you see in every political book.
The current issues like our $11.5 trillion dept are examined currently and looking at the road of how we got here. Solutions are provided that are sp ecific ranging from a balanced budget amendment to supporting the Fair Tax national sales tax plan. Obama’s disastrous economic policies are examined without vilifying the man. Education and the importance of Christianity in children’s lives are examined. Supporting school vouchers is not going to win Todd any teacher votes and saying so in black and white took some courage for the likely Republican nominee for the Orange County congressional seat in 2010. Supporting 12 year limits on the senate and house members will not endear him to the established members of the Republican or Democratic Party. The stands that Todd made in this book took real courage and I mostly agree and certainly respect that. How many times have we had a politician tell us one thing and do the opposite? Seems like every day at the White House.
The book goes on to cover energy independence, health care reform, entitlement reform, illegal immigration, the environment (surprisingly green for a Republican), and finally the most, for me anyway, interesting part of the book, his assessment of running for congress as a complete unknown. Bein g a local I remember his radio adds and really liked what he said. But after Bush what was the difference between him and his primary opponent Keller? Really all I wanted was the seat to stay in Republican hands. Todd gives all us interested in politics some real insight to the process as an average Joe trying to make a difference and the obstacles he faced. Sadly only eight pages were devoted to this subject. The book is worth the price just to read his thoughts on that bitter campaign last summer.
Finally Todd is a lawyer not a business person or economist. And as such has blind spots in some of his policy solutions. It’s not his fault per se. He doesn’t circle much in these fields and just doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. Here are a few of his solution that I had a beef with.
Education scores are given for science scores for whites, Hispanics, American Indians and African Americans (these hyphenated classifications make me want to vomit). Well here is the politically incorrect truth. Whites have an average IQ of 100, Asian 101, Jews 110+, Hispanics 93, and blacks 85. Ouch that hurts. Vouchers are the right solution. Let the parents and students self segregate based on academics, athletic, knighting, race or any other way they want to. Forcing students with totally different values, intellects and abilities is beyond stupid. That doesn’t mean if Steve Erkel, the black brainy kid on Family Matters, wants to attend the dork school he should be denied . Go for it. The kid would fit right in there. Let the parents and children decide what is best for them. I said it not Todd.
On illegal immigration Mr. Long is right about non enforcement costing blue collar workers jobs and wages. Want a dirty little secret? Blue collar wages are driven down about 37%, depending on worker demand, by illegal immigration.
On page 159 a proposal to have women seeking an abortion view the unborn fetus on an ultrasound to make them sympathetic and possibly change their minds about the abortion is proposed. Bad idea. Some women who have abortions are haunted for years afterward. No need to make it worse. Or maybe that is the intention?
You want to make women responsible for their behavior? A better idea would be to do away with all payments related to children. No welfare, child support, food stamps. Eliminate it all. Give custody to the parent with the most stable employment background. If that fails start looking at dividing the kids up. If that doesn’t work look at the grandparents. If that doesn’t work adoption and finally bring back the orphanages. A dirty little economic secret is that since the 1950’s the biggest change in the family has not been the lack of faith in Jesus Christ but the change in a money supply to unwed mothers and divorced mothers. Charles Murray of the America Enterprise Institute has written several papers and books on the subject. Any economist worth his salt can do a regression analysis of t he divorce and unwed mother rate from the 1950’s and find the relationship between increased economic incentives to reward bad behavior and a increase in that behavior. Why my friend in graduate school did just such a regression analysis. People are more inclined to follow Jesus Christ if there are consequences to not following his example. Make the consequences real.
As far as religion in schools as a Libertarian if the parents want it then so be it. I don’t feel if parents object they should be ignored. Let them put their kids in a secular school.
On page 179 there is a condemnation of the news media. We all know the liberal idiots who pollute the air waves on a daily basis. But I don’t think much has changed over the years. Some people want to be informed and some could care less. The media in the 70’s was never fair they just hid their bias better. Hey I am all for honesty. At least know you know you’re getting propaganda from the jerks. I disagree that people are less informed today. If you want to know something you can find it much quicker than back in the day. The same 30% that supported the American Revolution are the same 30% that are well informed today. I have a family of liberals and facts mean nothing to them. Trust me on this. They will seek out the propaganda no matter what.
Abolishing the FCC would be a good first step. The government has no constitutional right to the air waves. Through the whole thing to the industry and have them come up with standards of decency and reporting news events. When they come up with their standards they either sign on or they don’t. If they don’t follow their standards have them sue each other in an arbitration hearing. Fines go to the winner. The FCC is about to silence critics and like any government program is poorly managed and susceptible to politics and dictators. Get rid of it if you ever get the chance.
On health care get rid of Medicaid, Medicare and all federal government related expenditures. Give the people a voucher to the elderly buy health insurance. Eliminate pre-existing clauses. Set up medical savings accounts for the young and so forth. CATO has written several papers on the subject and they have several excellent free market solutions. Mr. Long supports decentralizing government programs to the state and local level. Privatize it all and get the government out of the business.
Pretty much the same thing with social security. Mr. Long does support privatization of social security but also support raising age eligibility requirements if social security is not privatized. Pretty unfair but then again the whole system is unfair. I support giving a rebate to anyone who wants to opt out of the system with interest. That would be fair. And require all private accounts mandated, say 5% of gross income, to be put in federal, state or local bonds. The money will not grow fast but that’s not what it’s for. People can use their income above 5% to invest as they please.
On the ethanol mess I couldn’t quite pick up if Mr. Long was for or against the tariff on Brazilian ethanol. As any respectable economist will tell you tariffs punish consumers at about a 9 to 1 up to a 19 to one ration. For every domestic dollar gain to industry consumers lose $9 to $19. Bill Clinton knew this dirty little economic secret and when he signed NAFTA it helped our economy. Never support tariffs. The government’s policy on energy should be one of encouragement then getting out of the way. Period. Do that and gas will be $1.50 a gallon.
The green people will be disappointed that Mr. Long isn’t for cutting down every tree and eliminating every environmental regulation. Oh well. But as stated before industries should self regulate themselves with the government acting only as the referee throwing the flag when someone cheats. Industries know who cheats, how they do it and if they can get away with it. Setting up a financial system to rat out and fine the bad players would clean up any industry pretty darn quick. I have worked with thousands of contractors over the years and they know all the tricks of the trade. Having them hire industry insiders to check out the other guy would be much more effective than government for life employees looking to make friends.
Overall this was an excellent first book that is very suitable for younger readers and those without a lot of political knowledge. For hard core politicians, economist, business people getting Mr. Long’s positions on issues is refreshing. Mr. Long makes no apologies for his religious faith and takes some very politically dangerous positions. Honesty in a political book is a rare thing these days and he is to be complemented on his frankness. Well worth the read. Best of luck in 2010.
As her opponents seethe, writhe and wail over governor Pailin’s every move it is business as usual in Alaska. Sarah Palin quietly goes about her business as usual much to the chagrin of those who have rabid hate for her. Personally I find this whole “OPPOSE SARAH PALIN” (from both sides of the isle) drop dead funny. Apparently the opposition is so out of touch they have no clue how “mindlessly stupid” they appear to anyone who has no vested interest one way or another in what she does.
In fact daily it is becoming more clear just how “mindlessly stupid” the majority of officials running our government have become (or always were and we just paid it no mind).
While Governor Palin was busy signing a joint resolution declaring Alaska’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution – and now 36 other states have introduced similar resolutions as part of a growing resistance to the federal government.
Kathleen Sebelius Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services is doing the footwork trying to foist the latest SCAM onto the citizenry of the USA. Free health care to all.
When asked by a reporter “does president Obama expect EVERYONE to pay the bill for this program?” her answer was YES. Now either the woman is totally out of touch or plainly an open faced liar.
What a surprise of late!
It certainly does not take rocket science to see why the Sarah Palin bandwagon grows daily by leaps and bounds.
Fair Play, economist Steven Landsburg states this eloquently in a passage on the importance of rights, tolerance, and pluralism (p. 92):
You and I disapprove of bigotry. But the private virtue of tolerance and the public virtue of pluralism require us to countenance things we do not approve. Tolerance means accepting the fact that other people’s values might be very different than your own. Pluralism means eschewing the use of political power as a means for ‘correcting’ those values.
The idea of tolerating intolerance sounds suspiciously paradoxical, but so do a lot of other good ideas—like freedom of speech for advocates of censorship. In fact, freedom of speech has a lot in common with tolerance: Neither of them means a thing unless it applies equally to those we applaud and those who offend us most viscerally.
Tolerance is ennobling, which is why we should teach it to our children. Pluralism is insurance against tyranny, which is why we should demand it of our government. To speak up for even the most despised minorities is both morally right and politically prudent.
A Review of the book:
United In Hate — The Left’s Romance With Tyranny and Terror is a book that examines the seamy underbelly of the radical Left which considers Western society and its values an anathema. Dr. Jamie Glazov, the Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine, methodically details the causational factors that have lead modern Leftists to adhere to the death and destruction mantra of tyrannical Islamic Jihadists.
The Twin Towers are destroyed, 2973 people die in the attack and the radical Left cheers; the war in Iraq is won and the Left expels a disgusted sigh; totalitarian thugs kill innocent millions that the Left justifies as a “cleansing” required to forge a utopian society; suicidal Jihadists shred shoppers in malls with nail bombs and are excused by the Left as door-matted victims striking back at their oppressors; women are vilified, stoned, mutilated and killed by radical Muslims as Leftist feminists remain silent, save here in America where they rail mightily against a country club that’s denied membership to a female executive.
What draws Leftists moth-like toward the annihilating fires of unbridled totalitarianism, or drives them to slavishly worship at the feet of dictators that kick them to the curb when they are considered no longer useful? Why does the Left cleave to a radical Islamic terrorism that vows to destroy all non-believers, including them? Dr. Glazov answers these and other “head scratching” questions in a court-ready presentation of the Left’s mindset that will make forensic psychologists proud.
The Left’s hatred and rejection of Western civilization, its freedoms and values, begins with an acute sense of alienation from it, and unable to “fit in” the Left believes radical societal change, regardless of the consequences, is necessary. After all it’s the West’s fault that the Left has no sense of purpose or direction. Although the Left vehemently argues against this premise, its words and actions prove Dr. Glazov’s case.
The ideological descendents of the communist/progressive Left that spent its capital hoping the West would lose the Cold War to the Soviet Union are today’s leftist core. Based on their hatred for the United States, the Left has forged a symbiotic relationship with radical Islam, whose hatred for America equals theirs. Both make it clear that they consider Western civilization evil and unworthy of preservation. Violent revolution is the Left’s path to change; the Jihadists’ follow the path of war and annilation.
Some might think Dr. Glazov has taken a wrong turn in his analysis of the radical Left’s agenda and beliefs. If so, they should read the scurrilous quotes of Michael Moore extolling the virtues of the “Iraqi freedom fighters,” or Ward Churchill’s and Jeremiah Wright’s crowing after 9/11 that “America’s chickens have come home to roost.” Or, they should examine the genuflexing before the world’s tyrants by the likes of Jimmy Carter, Sean Penn and Tom Hayden. Dr. Glazov’s take on the radical Left is correct and as sharp as a tightly focused laser.
Should the book cause even one radical Leftist to re-examine his or her contorted beliefs and return from the “dark side,” Dr. Glazov’s efforts will be a resounding success. A great thought provoking read!
Ben R. Furman
Former FBI Counterterrorism Chief
You can get the book at:
United in Hate: The Left’s Romance with Tyranny and Terror