Saturday Book Review: What Has Government Done to Our Money? by Murray Rothbard
This book is mercifully short. If you don’t know Murray Rothbard, all you need to know is that he is one of the grandaddy kooks. He wrote a lot about Austrian Economics and is considered a prolific anarchocapitalist philosopher. In other words: he wasted his life.
Now, on to the book.
Rothbard spends the majority of the book discussing how money developed in numerous civilizations throughout time. Through trial and error, all these primitives gravitated towards gold (and silver to a lesser extent). I assume this was because it was shiny because gold doesn’t have many uses otherwise.
Then at some point, the rulers of each of these societies would start to sever the link between their currency and the actual metal content so that they could make more money out of thin air. This would typically be done so that the leader could finance a (necessary) war or some such (necessary) government function.
Rothbard argues that this is a bad thing. And therefore we should use gold as money to prevent such things.
Well count me as unconvinced you goldbug kooks! Where to even begin…
- How would the government ever be able to actually finance a (necessary) war like Iraq (1 and 2) or Vietnam?
- How could the Federal Reserve print money to get us out of recessions like they have now done during QE1, QE2 and QE3 to get us out of the Ongoing Bush-caused Great Recession of 2008? Imagine how much worse things would be right now without QE1, 2 and 3? Much worse for sure. Many economists agree on that.
- Deflation is bad because the prices of things would go down (like the price of your house! or gas! or computers!). You could have deflation if you use gold as money. Many economists agree on that as well.
Those are just a few of the reasons that come to mind, but you should also know this: The average life span of a fiat currency is only 27 years, yet the US has had a fiat dollar for 41 years already! The United States is the most powerful empire in the history of the world. This time is different, obviously.
If you’re not convinced, just know that really smart economists such as Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman think a gold standard is kooky. Where is Murray Rothbard’s Nobel? It doesn’t exist, that’s where. Who do you trust, a guy with a Nobel awarded by his fellow elites or someone without a Nobel?
If you are interested in understanding more about how the kooks think (it is like a visit to the loony bin, but from a safe distance), you can buy the book from Amazon. HOWEVER, you should not spend money on this filth. You can download it for free (legally – respect IP folks!) from Mises.org.