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The End of Money and the Struggle for Financial Privacy Hardcover – January 20, 1999

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Richard Rahn is that rare, rare bird, an economist who can explain arcane matters in easy-to-understand language. Get the latest dope, in plain language, on the world banking and currency crisis, the techniques and importance of "foreign" bank accounts, and how modern technology may spell the ultimate demise to intrusive and totalitarian governments." -- Henry G. Manne, founder of the Law and Economics Center, and former Dean of George Mason University Law School

"Richard Rahn persuasively argues how the coming digital money revolution will make lower tax rates and radical tax simplification inevitable." -- Jack Kemp, Co-Founder of Empower America

"The End of Money is a call to arms to defend individual liberty. Than demonstrates how inextricably linked financial privacy is to our fundamental freedoms, and why we must fight for it." -- Mack F. Mattingly, former US Senator and Ambassador

About the Author

Richard W. Rahn, Senior Fellow of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, is founder of the Novecon companies whose products range from advanced semiconductor substrates and devices to international financial services.

He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1972, taught in several graduate schools and served as head of the graduate Department of Management of the Polytechnic University of New York. During the 1980s, he was Vice President and Chief Economist of the US Chamber of Commerce, helping to shape important tax reforms of that decade. He served as an economic advisor to US and foreign government officials and coordinated several economic transition teams in Eastern Europe.

Dr. Rahn is a frequent commentator on economic issues in the news media and has testified before the US Congress on tax and economic policy issues more than seventy-five times.

He works in Washington, D.C. and lives in Northern Virginia. In addition to his business role and Discovery Institute position, he serves as an adjunct scholar of Cato Institute and an adjunct fellow of Hudson Institute.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Discovery Inst; First Edition edition (January 20, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963865420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963865427
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,089,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David R. Burton on February 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book examines in depth and with clarity the implications of the electronic revolution on the institution of money. It shows how the electronic revolution is likely to make governmental attempts to monitor financial transactions less and less successful. It shows the tax system will have to adjust to compensate for the new electronic reality or tax evasion will be rampant. It also makes the case that greater financial privacy and a more limited government will bring greater happiness.
The book explains the latest in encryption technology in plain English and looks at other technological innovations such as smartcards. The book is a fine book and should be read by anyone with an interest in the areas of monetary policy, taxes or finance. This book expresses a unique and compelling vision of what our financial futures will look like. The quibbles that I have with the book are fairly technical. While I agree with the author that the advent of strong encryption technology and other financial innovations will in time make it very hard for governments to tax financial transactions, I think he does not sufficient emphasis the fact that if government simply shifts its tax burden onto physical capital, it will affect the rate of return on the financial assets that represent legal claims on the physical assets. This book is unique and powerful and right. It makes arguments that desparately need to be heard if we are to make the right choices in the years to come
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Rahn explains advanced concepts of economics in a format that the beginner and simpleton, like me, can understand and use. It is an easy four hour read, is a primer in economics and is must reading for anyone who thinks the way of spending money will continue just like it is at this time. The big question is whether government will grow up in time not to get in the way of the monetary changes and whether you and I will be able to spend our money as we wish without Big Brother's nosing in. What Dr. Rahn fails to point out is that the concepts expressed in his book are basic to our constitution and to our freedom. If we do not take heed, we stand to lose both. It is must reading for every citizen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roy on July 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Rahn has made a bold attempt to predict the impact of technological and financial innovations on the economy and society in general. The technological developments are the Internet, electronic money, and freely available cryptographic software of a very high standard, specifically PGP. Other commentators have also speculated on the problems these with cause to governments in raising taxes, fighting money laundering etc. However Rahn takes into account not just technological developments but also an innovation of a purely financial nature, namely securitization.
In principle, almost any kind of asset can be turned into money by securitization. Probably the most highly publicised example is "Bowie bonds" which are backed by royalties from songs. David Bowie was the first to raise money in this way, hence the name.
Throughout history governments have yielded to the temptation to allow their currencies to be debased. In the past most people had to put up with this but Rahn suggests that the technological and financial innovation will effectively give people other choices.
Rahn concentrates on the US in his book, which is natural enough - after all as well as being his own country it is the world's most influential! However he does make many references to Switzerland, particularly in connection with that nation's long experience of bank secrecy, and is also very critical of the tendency of many Americans to think that what is illegal in the US should be illegal everywhere and conversely that what is legal there should be legal everywhere. He points out that the American legal system imposes a big burden on American business and society and that other countries should be suspicious of attempts to export US law.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chris Athanas on March 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, so you have your guns, you've studied the law and you've got your gold and 10 years of food stashed.
Guess what?
It's not necessary. Not now. Not anymore.
No violence, no protests, no writing your congressman.
This is a revolution that is happening one person at a time, anonymously, securely, privately and instantaneously. Each individual voluntarily removes his energy from the system that is enslaving him.
The government will simply lose revenue until it can only function within its justified duties, which is the protection of the property and lives of its citizens.
This book shows the convergence of multiple truly revolutionary technologies that will give us back our freedom and force government to adjust to this new world. This is the way we will return to true freedom.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Richard Rahn explains money concepts and how it relates to your everyday life in a simple and concise manner. He conclusively argues for the abolution of taxes on capital and why unprincipled politicians will fight to keep them. He demonstrates with examples how some countries have prospered by keeping or eliminating taxes on capital while those who didn't have fallen behind. He is most persuasive on the issue of financial privacy as a human right and without it we are at the mercy of a totalitarian government. Very easy to read.
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