Tom Woods: Not All ‘End the Fed’ People Quite Get ItSubmitted by Dixie-Paleocon on Sat, 10/06/2012 - 18:19
Several days ago I managed to get myself drawn into a Facebook exchange with someone who opposes the Federal Reserve and the current banking system in general for not quite the right reasons. Thus the Fed is a “private bank,” it does not put enough money into circulation, its member banks enslave people by charging interest on loans, etc. This person thinks of himself as part of the “liberty movement.”
Another claim of his was that the elites funded and promoted the Austrian School of economics, and that these same elites were behind the funding of Karl Marx. This theory would probably have a difficult time accounting for why Austrian economics is still relatively obscure – why should that be, if the world’s most powerful people are supposedly promoting it? – or why Marx, far from drowning in money thrown at him by the elites, spent his life begging for money, mainly from Friedrich Engels. Given how badly Marx treated and took advantage of Engels, the latter would presumably have been delighted if some moneybags had taken over the task of funding poor Karl.
Until now I’ve more or less let these folks be. But when I heard someone say he had dropped out of the End the Fed movement because it was so dominated by people like this – people who think fiat money per se is fine, but that it ought to be issued directly by Congress rather than by the Fed – I began to wonder if I should address it. So in this exchange, I asked my opponent if he could distill his thoughts into five or ten propositions on money, which I could then examine. I am convinced that the misguided policy proposals coming from people like this are the result of fallacious reasoning about money, so I wanted him to spell out his thinking clearly and systematically.
I am going to reproduce for you what he wrote. The first time through he listed ten things he wanted me to prove. I explained to him that demands are not propositions. I want to know what your views on money are, I said. Someone came along and reworded his demands into the form of propositions.
I said I would respond to these propositions. Not because of the importance or lack thereof of the individual involved, but because these fallacies are evidently widespread within the end-the-Fed orbit. I’d like to have good answers out there.