by Eric Margolis (www.lewrockwell.com) As Henry Kissinger once rightly observed, it is often more dangerous being America’s ally than its enemy. Watching Washington’s growing anger at Afghan president Hamid Karzai, one recalls the unhappy endings of such former US allies as South Vietnam’s Diem, Iran’s Shah, Indonesia’s Suharto, Nicaragua’s Somoza, and Pakistan’s Zia ul-Haq. Washington [...]
Saturday, March 27, 2010
by Daily Bell Staff Report
Dr. Ron Paul
On Monday, Senator Chris Dodd rammed his “financial reform” legislation through his Senate Banking Committee on a strictly party-line vote. It’s no surprise that Chris Dodd’s answer to the economic crisis is the same as his answer to seemingly everything else: give the government more power … Dodd’s bill, which should be called the “Fed Empowerment Act,” will add more layers of bureaucracy to government. One of its provisions includes creating a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to be housed at the Fed and funded by it. Apparently, the Connecticut senator expects us to believe that an agency inside the Fed and financed by it will be “independent.” The legislation also includes a new Financial Stability Oversight Council to “monitor” companies that supposedly could become “too big to fail.” The Council will have the ability to require nonbank financial companies to be under the Federal Reserve’s supervision if the government deems they pose a “risk” to financial stability. Certain large companies will be expected to submit plans to the government “for their rapid and orderly shutdown” if the company goes under … Who knows how many businesses could be targeted and broken up, under the guise of “reform,” solely for standing up to the federal government! In yet another expected move, Dodd’s bill strips out a complete Fed audit and allows the Fed to decline to disclose specific information. – Ron Paul, Campaign for Liberty
Dominant Social Theme: More regulation is necessary …
Free Market Analysis: We were lucky enough recently to snag an exclusive, short interview (below) with libertarian congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex). And when we received the above missive via email from his Liberty organization, we found to some extent it paralleled the interview. In both this exclusive interview, and the call to action above, Ron Paul bemoans the power of the Federal Reserve and Congress’ lack of ability to create meaningful oversight over what can in many ways be considered a rogue monetary entity. Hopefully, the Fed does not end up with even more power after its latest series of economic disasters. See for yourself:
Daily Bell: Will the Fed be audited in your lifetime?
Ron Paul: To the extent that I want to see it audited, probably not. There may be some half-hearted attempts at auditing the now-ended liquidity programs, but the substantive things like open market operations, the discount window, and deals with foreign central banks will remain in the shadows. We’ve had great success with the language from HR 1207, managing to get the language through the House as part of HR 4173, but I fully expect the audit language to be watered down when the House and Senate bills go to conference.
Daily Bell: What’s in store for the dollar and fiat currency in general?
Ron Paul: Well, in the long run the value of all fiat currencies falls to zero. So, it’s just a matter of time before the fiat dollar disappears. The dollar has lost 96% of its value over the past century, and the Federal Reserve and federal government have been doing their best in the past two years to accelerate that.
Daily Bell: Where do you see gold and silver going from here?
Ron Paul: Long-term I think they will be much higher than they are right now. We live in a world of government-monopoly fiat currencies and they all inflate and destroy their value in unison. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see gold much higher in the next couple of years.
Daily Bell: Can the fiat dollar recover in your opinion?
Ron Paul: That’s hard to predict, but I don’t think it’s likely. The dollar has lost 96% of its value since 1913, and there’s just no way we can get back to that level under a fiat system. In order to recover, the same Federal Reserve that caused that 96% drop would have to suddenly get wise, stop the inflation and debt monetization, and get serious about sound money. That just won’t happen.
Daily Bell: Will we have a China-centric or Asia-centric world in the 21st century?
Ron Paul: This is a difficult forecast, but it’s certainly possible. When you have Russian leaders chiding American leaders for embracing socialism and Chinese students laughing at the Treasury Secretary’s assertion that US assets remain a safe investment, people begin to wonder when the world flipped upside down. For over a century, whether rightly or wrongly, the US has been seen as the epitome of free-market capitalism, where anyone could pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make it big. Over the past several decades that ability for entrepreneurial success has been suffocated by excessive regulation, taxation, and government intervention. Forcing American businesses and workers to get government permission for everything they want to do is not the recipe for economic success.
Hat tip: Mises Daily
by Mark Thornton
Thursday, November 14, 2002
For a few billion dollars you might expect to be able to bribe some small third world country into cleaning up its act, to defend the property rights of its citizens, to provide a stable currency, and to establish a non-interventionist economic and foreign policy.
With little Switzerlands and industrial revolutions developing around the globe, the U.S. could provide the examples that would establish a classical liberal world order within one generation with less than 1% of the federal budget.
Alas, Americans are united in their opposition to foreign aid—and with good reason! Foreign aid, military aid, debt relief, economic development assistance, and even disaster assistance money—all with “strings attached” to ensure proper behavior—are associated with “fraud, waste, and abuse.”
U.S. aid designed to bring about peace in the Middle East is an ideological seedbed of hatred, war, and terrorism. The big players in foreign aid, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, are more likely to bring about economic meltdown and social calamity than economic stability.
Ludwig von Mises pointed out (Planning for Freedom) that foreign aid doesn’t create friends in foreign lands, it creates ideological enemies who wish to do us harm:
The United States, they think, is aiding them because its people have a bad conscience. They themselves pocket this bribe but their sympathies go to the socialist system. The American subsidies make it possible for their governments to conceal partially the disastrous effects of the various socialist measures they have adopted.
Mises is here referring to our “friends” in Europe, but the same could be applied to the Middle East, Africa, the Western Hemisphere, and Asia, with the only possible exception being countries like Vietnam and Australia who receive limited or no foreign aid from the United States or the international organizations that we control.
The fraud and failure of foreign aid is now so obvious that it has ended up in the pages of the American Economic Review!
By Rick Rozoff
Global Research, February 13, 2009
At a meeting of the European Union’s General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on May 26 of last year, Poland, seconded by Sweden, first proposed what has come to be known as the Eastern Partnership, a program to ‘integrate’ all the European and South Caucasus former Soviet nations – except for Russia – not already in the EU and NATO; that is, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The above are half of the former Soviet republics in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) established as a sop to Russia immediately after the breakup of the Soviet Union in that year and in theory to be a post-Soviet equivalent of the then European Community, now European Union. (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania never joined and both were absorbed into the European Union and NATO in 2004.)
The Eastern Partnership has since last May been presented as an innocuous enough sounding proposal containing a mission statement to promote “a substantial upgrading of the level of political engagement, including the prospect of a new generation of Association Agreements, far-reaching integration into the EU economy, easier travel to the EU for citizens providing that security requirements are met, enhanced energy security arrangements benefitting all concerned, and increased financial assistance.” (European Union press release, December 3, 2008)
The key phrases, though, are “upgrading of the level of political engagement” and “enhanced energy security arrangements.”