If you said “This shouldn’t be a responsibility of the Federal government”, you’d be correct about 99% of the time. If you went on to say “This shouldn’t be a responsibility of government”, you’d be right at least 95% of the time ... giving some credit to the state and local.
We certainly have ample and overwhelming evidence of the catastrophic failures resulting from central planning and concentrated government power. Furthermore, based on our experience with our own government, it’s understandable that we in the Liberty movement would have a reactionary “burnt child” response to virtually ANY proposal coming from Washington D.C.
I believe the new legislation authored by Dennis Kucinich (dubbed the NEED Act) is an exception, and an idea that the Liberty movement should strongly support.
We’ll have to forgive the silly “National Emergency Employment Defense Act” (NEED) acronym which is a D.C. standard. However, unlike the typical DC strategy of making a bill with a nice title covering up 2000 pages of freedom destroying, government empowering crap, this bill is less than 50 pages in length, and actually has some worthwhile substance.
If you read the legislation, there’s a lot of the typical “welfare state” language which we’ve come to recognize as the pretext for more government intrusion. Note however that most of these socialistic platitudes are in the “findings” (i.e. why we’re in this current economic mess) and at the end (i.e. explaining all of the good things that MIGHT be possible with the new law in place) The actual legislative content is in the middle and is generally very positive.
Primarily, the bill ends the Federal Reserve system, returning control of monetary policy to the Treasury, and ends fractional reserve banking, taking the money creation power away from the big banks. Opponents will argue that this amounts to a “government takeover” of the banks, but there is no truth to the argument. The bill just creates a fundamentally different business model for banks, based on the apparently radical concept that they should only be able to lend money that they actually have.
A potential flaw (this is my reactionary government mistrust) is that it still leaves government with the arbitrary power to manipulate the money supply. However, the specific mandate in the bill is for money supply governance that causes neither price inflation nor deflation. A good argument in favor of commodity backed money is that NOBODY should be entrusted with this power. However, Congress (with Fed enablement) ALREADY seems to spend whatever they want, far above and beyond their means, but borrows the money at interest. Furthermore, the Fed’s mandate already calls for “stable prices”, yet it has embarked on a renegade inflationary policy since its inception, with a secret balance sheet and NO accountability. A government panel with the same mandate and additional transparency could hardly be any WORSE.
Add to this bill some additional provisions which would overturn the sections of title 18 of the U.S. Code which criminalize the creation and use of alternative currencies (you can almost count on Ron Paul to propose that), and we could have a real winner.
The Liberty movement is full of those who advocate a gold standard or commodity backed money. If we ever established this sort of system without simultaneously eliminating the scourge of fractional reserve banking, it would accomplish very little. Even with the Fed out of the picture, the huge private banks and the international banking cartel would have the power to manipulate the money supply and perpetuate the boom and bust cycle. Furthermore, this immense “money creation” power, concentrated in private hands would continue to enable the undue influence of the banking cartel over our elected officials and appointed regulators.
A cursory glance at our current economic situation reveals that the millions of hard working people and small businesses which actually contribute to society by providing REAL tangible value are slaves to their debt and the debt-based monetary system. Meanwhile, the bankers who provide relatively little value, facilitating transactions and loaning money are prospering like never before. The big financial firms are taking in hundreds of billions of dollars in profits and paying record bonuses amounting to untold billions. I’m not making the typical class warfare argument which argues that the disparity must be addressed with government taxation and redistribution. It’s merely a strong indicator of a broken economic system where the people producing the real wealth of society struggle, and those that merely shuffle paper grow fabulously wealthy. It’s not a problem of too little government and insufficient taxation, it is a problem of a distorted economic landscape.
In contemporary politics, we serfs have our political differences, but we are arguing against each other in a world where we are all waist deep in the mire of debt and economic instability. Meanwhile, the bankers and political elites look down upon us from their mountains of wealth and laugh at our petty conflicts. If there is ONE issue upon which the average working class people should unite, it is the issue of monetary reform. In a fair monetary system, even based on a so-called “fiat currency”, we would at least be on a firm economic playing field. Of course our political differences wouldn’t instantly vanish. We in the liberty movement would still be focused on reducing government influence in our lives, maximizing individual liberty and advocating for non-interventionist foreign policy. With the real “den of vipers” rooted out however, the venom in the current false dichotomy “blame game” would be diluted as many of the problems to which we try to assign blame would slowly but surely evaporate.