Central Banks 'Good', Ron Paul 'Bad'?
By Staff News & Analysis - February 17, 2012

Money Bawl … Monetary expansion is also, for Paul, a key enabler of what he takes to be our imperialist foreign policy: The creation of money out of thin air allows the government to finance wars, as well as the welfare state. Central banking is a form of central planning, on his theory, and as such "incompatible" with freedom. Paul allows that "not every supporter of the Fed is somehow a participant in a conspiracy to control the world." The rest of them, judging from comments repeatedly made in the book, have fallen for the delusion that expanding the money supply is a "magic means to generate prosperity." Paul finds it baffling that anyone could hold this absurd view, but attributes it to Chairman Bernanke, among others. Almost all of the criticisms Paul makes of central banking, when stated in the axiomatic form he prefers, are false. – National Review Online / Ramesh Ponnuru

Dominant Social Theme: Central banks are good and Ron Paul doesn't know what he's talking about.

Free-Market Analysis: Recently, the National Review Online responded to libertarian Congressman Ron Paul's criticism of central banking. Why anyone would want to defend central banks is beyond us, but Ponnuru, a leading young conservative thinker has taken on the task.

The US is the world's dominant superpower, and the US central banking system is part of how the US as an entity has afforded its current dominance. Since 1971, the world has been on a dollar gold standard, reinforced by the determination of Saudi Sheiks to sell oil for nothing but dollars.

Of course, one could hardly blame the Sheiks. Muammar Gaddafi announced that he wanted to place Africa on a quasi-gold standard and not more than a year later he was dead along with most of his family and his regime deposed.

The dollar reserve system, in fact, has been enforced at the point of a gun. And the presence of the system has allowed the Federal Reserve to print as many dollars as it wishes because other countries need to hold dollars to buy oil. The rest of the world, in other words, is paying to arm and reinforce American superpower status.

Of course, as we regularly point out, it is not "America" that has put this system in place but the Anglosphere power elite families that want to create world government. This powerful group of intergenerational controllers and their enablers and associates apparently created central banking around the world and has access to virtually endless wealth.

This same group, in our view, purveys what we call "directed history" and then creates narratives of this faux-history in its bought-and-paid-for mainstream press. The National Review, as a so-called thought magazine, resides in the upper echelon of this compromised press. It has all the policy signatures of a publication that supports the empire. Chief among these perspectives is support for America's military-industrial complex.

But as central banks come under more significant threat from what we call the Internet Reformation, we're surprised to see publications like the National Review being dragooned into defending the central banking meme as well.

The elites try to control culture and society via the dissemination of dominant social themes – fear-based promotions that frighten middle classes into giving up wealth and power to specially prepared globalist facilities such as the UN.

Chief among globalist memes is the theme of the central bank – the idea that the economy will collapse if central bankers do not "manage" it. This is, of course, nothing but an excuse to create a managed money monopoly, which is just what has occurred.

It is by controlling central banking and their currencies that the elites have gained a chokehold on many important global facilities. Now that central banking itself has come under attack as an injurious and malevolent monopoly, they have begun to push back.

Ponnuru may not know he is being employed to reinforce an elite meme but that's apparently what he's doing. He has posted his screed at a publication whose credibility has been constructed via power elite efforts and cash.

This fits a larger power elite trend we have noticed. Via numerous web sites and articles of late, free-market economics and its tenets are increasingly coming under attack. For the longest time, the elites didn't know how to respond to the growing popularity of Austrian free-market economics on the 'Net but now, apparently, they may have decided on a full-frontal attack.

Via numerous economic schools and facilities – "greenbackers," social credit and even perhaps an elite-implemented gold standard – the din is rising. Austrian economics has been targeted, as it has been before, for destruction.

AgaIn, those employed to destroy the credibility of free-market finance may not fully understand the nature of their employers or the breadth of the historical argument in which they are participating. But it is a most important engagement – and like many top elite memes will be fought within the parameters, partially, of a larger "great conversation."

The elites co-opted this intergenerational conversation in the 20th century. But the Internet Reformation has snatched it back in the 21st century. If the elites cannot reconstruct credible moral and intellectual authority for their economic approaches (and their control of economic activity) their painfully erected structure will inevitably degrade.

The stakes could not be higher. Ponnuru (knowingly or not) is a soldier within a powerful cause. His talents are well-utilized within this context, but his argument fails – as it must – in our view.

The argument cannot succeed, in fact, because central banking is an elite dominant social theme. Its creation was intended to cement control over the world's economy. It does not constitute a free-market evolution and cannot truly be defended as one. Here's some more from the article:

Consider, for example, a world in which the Federal Reserve conducts monetary policy so that the price level rises steadily at 2 percent a year. Savers, knowing this, will demand a higher interest rate to compensate them for the lost value of their money. If the Fed generates more inflation than they expected, as it did in the 1970s, then savers will suffer and borrowers benefit. If it undershoots expectations, as it has over the last few years, the reverse will happen.

The anti-saver redistribution Paul decries is thus not a consequence of monetary expansion per se, but a consequence of an unpredictedly large expansion. For the same reason, monetary expansion does not necessarily lead to less saving. There is no reason to believe that the real burden of home loans would be any larger in a world with 2 percent inflation than in one with 1 percent inflation.

Nor is the wage earner necessarily defrauded. Continuing with our scenario of a steady 2 percent increase in the price level, the prices he pays after ten years are higher but, on average, so are his wages. There is no reason to expect a larger money supply over the long run to affect relative prices — to change the ratio of the cost of a week's supply of vegetables to a week's wages, for example. That's why central banking isn't central planning: It never attempts to fix the relative prices or quantities of all the goods an economy produces, and it cannot cause the total amount of goods an economy produces to hit any particular target.

Did you understand any of this, dear reader? We've read it over several times to try to understand what the heck it means. Well, let's try to unpack it. The idea seems to be that a central bank can manipulate the production of money so that the supply grows at two percent a year.

In fact, this is the first logical fallacy. Does ANYONE seriously believe that a handful of people – even as smart as those running a powerful central bank – can engineer two-percent-a-year growth in a given money supply?

The problem here is that the money HAS TO CIRCULATE. The article rightly glosses right over this important point. The argument is merely asserted: Money will circulate at exactly two percent a year. Reality shows this sort of certainty is simply not valid.

The article glides from one logical fallacy to another: "The anti-saver redistribution Paul decries is thus not a consequence of monetary expansion per se, but a consequence of an unpredictedly large expansion."

Another sentence we had to read several times. The text seems to distinguish between monetary inflation and an unexpectedly large amount of it. Why this is seen as an important distinction is beyond us. The result, anyway, is the same: Monetary inflation, the result of Federal Reserve money-printing, penalizes savers by debasing their holdings.

The point is also made that savers will continue to save within the context of a central bank-initiated monetary inflation. We are thus informed that the central bank's monetary manipulation does not necessarily suck savings out of an economy by penalizing savers.

So what? This is an argument in favor of monetary manipulation? Apparently so. And now we come to even weirder logic. We are informed that "central banking isn't central banking." The article maintains that when central banks cause price inflation, wages follow suit. Thus, the wage earner is "not necessarily defrauded."

Critically, the author writes, "[The central bank] never attempts to fix the relative prices or quantities of all the goods an economy produces, and it cannot cause the total amount of goods an economy produces to hit any particular target.

We are trying to give Ponnuru the benefit of the doubt here but this stuff seems pernicious. As Austrian economics shows us clearly, the business cycle itself is not a neat phenomenon. When a boom (caused by central bank monetary overprinting) turns to bust, businesses suffer and a number of them go out of business.

Homeowners lose their houses and apartments because they have lost their jobs and often they cannot find other jobs during the depth of a "recession" because the economy is not recovering quickly. Over time, as this horrid cycle is repeated, an economy can be virtually denuded, its businesses collapsed, its industry rendered impotent by mal-investments.

The article seems to argue that people should not be angry at this corrosive central-bank initiated business cycle because "after ten years" wages and prices will have regained a semblance of continuity. But in our humble view, this is intellectually dishonest.

In the long-run "we are all dead"… but who really wants a command-and-control economic system that returns to some sort of parity every decade or so? Why do we have to put up with it? Why not let the market work?

The article builds on these illogical arguments with yet more controversial points. It states that "money does not magically produce more good in circulation" and then points out that the increase of goods has occurred within a central banking environment.

But it does not bother to tell us that within the business cycle, the production of many of these goods overshoots. Products and services were surely created unnecessarily within the central bank money-production environment as people – fooled by the circulation of so much money – over-expanded factories and hired too many staff.

He writes: "Paul's contention that the Fed has continuously abetted the expansion of the state — its wars, its welfare, its attacks on civil liberties — is also false. The federal government uses its monopoly over the currency to finance very little of its spending. It gets almost all of its money through taxing and borrowing, and the borrowed funds come from people who are well aware of the need to charge a premium to cover the risks of inflation."

Wow! The vast military machine of the US is financed by taxes and borrowing? Where does the borrowing come from? The US is broke now, busted, but still institutions (coerced, to be sure) lend to the US because of the perception that the Fed can print nearly as much money as it wants in order to pay off US debts. It is the central banking facility that makes so much war-mongering possible.

The article attacks Ron Paul's affection for a "gold standard." But what those who argue against commodity money inevitably do is focus on one that is managed by government and central banks. A REAL gold standard would not be "managed" but would be entirely responsive to the free market itself. Here's how the article ends:

People who see through Paul's illogic, misapprehensions, and paranoia typically dismiss everything he has to say about money. But buried beneath all of that are some reasonable points. The Fed doesn't have a great track record, and keeping it in its present form may not serve us well.

In a recent study for the Cato Institute, three academic specialists in monetary policy noted that the Fed, in its first decades, generated a severe inflation and a severe depression; that it does not seem to have stabilized the economy; and that it has extinguished the kind of benign, productivity- driven deflation that the country sometimes experienced before the Fed's creation … Central banking is not central planning, but it does reflect an unwarranted confidence in the ability of government officials to engineer beneficial economic outcomes.

This is interesting not for the rebuttal but because it would seem to confirm our belief (our hunch anyway) that elites plan to make big changes in their central banking system. Here's the relevant statement: "The Fed doesn't have a great track record, and keeping it in its present form may not serve us well."

This is symptomatic of the limited hangout we've come to expect from these defenses of central banking. After concocting a mish-mosh of falsehoods and half-truths to justify the existence of monetary price fixing, boosters will concede that the system has it flaws and "keeping it in its present form" may not produce the best possible results.

We don't know what the powers-that-be have in mind to replace central banks with. We do know that because of the Internet, tens and even hundreds of millions are aware that a tiny handful of people have the power to print up trillions of dollars in a single weekend while many others can't pay their mortgages even after a full month of hard work.

This knowledge, covered up in the 20th century, has been widely disseminated in the 21st. Even big words like "quantitative easing" can't hide the real truth of the matter. A tiny power elite owns the world's printing press and does with it as it wishes.

Of course, now that the proverbial cat is out of the bag (again), the elites are bracing for a backlash. They are defending their prerequisites and privileges (seemingly using such magazines as the National Review) and they are struggling to come up with alternatives.

Some of these alternatives in our view include having nation-states take over central banking (which the elites will still manage to control behind the scenes via mercantilism) or setting up some sort of government run gold standard.

Alternatively, the elites may wish to crush the world's economies so thoroughly that people will cry out in pain and allow the system to be continually expanded, creating some sort of global central bank and some sort of international money.

We don't know what the outcome of all this will be. But the elites are not about to let their proverbial golden goose – their control of central banking trillions – simply slip away. These sorts of articles in our view are proof positive that they will fight back using any weapons they can.

In fact, intellectual weapons are very important to them. They are but a handful, far too few to control the world's billions simply by force. They need to justify what they do. But it is a sign of the times that the methodologies for this sort of justification haven't changed since the 20th century.

In the 20th century, they could make the kind of arguments enunciated in this National Review article and the results would simply have been a further accretion of justifications for central banking as it has been historically constructed.

But in the 21st century too much is known about the elites themselves, the conspiracy to set up world government and the central bank mechanisms that are in use. Western elites behind the so-called New World Order continue to have a terrible time dealing with their exposure via the Internet.

After Thoughts

They didn't plan it, after all! And they don't know how to stop its exposure. Their tried-and-true damage-control methodologies work best within episodic environments. But the Internet is a process not an episode.

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