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What Has Government Done to Our Money? and The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar Hardcover – September 20, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute; 5th edition (September 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0945466447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945466444
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #748,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995) distinguished himself as an economist, writing a major treatise on theory, several important economic histories, and a highly praised history of economic thought. But he was also known as the pioneer thinker of libertarianism, the political philosophy that roots freedom in private property ownership and decries the state as inherently contrary to the ethics of a free society. Writing from this perspective, he gained a reputation as the most provocative and influential contributor to the anarchist tradition in our century.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 34 customer reviews
I.e. he makes the subject understandable to the layman.
Paul Rantanen
Rothbard makes a compelling case for the gold standard by presenting the economic issues in terms that we can all understand.
Paul R. Matson
This books will leave you wanting more, as its a quick read (if your like me it will be done in a day or two).
R. A. Williams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 67 people found the following review helpful By David Lewis on July 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Murray N. Rothbard is now recognised as one of the foremost economists of the last century, and rightly so. Not only does he write in a clear concise manner, but he takes what could be an unintelligible subject and explains it in terms everyone can grasp.

In this beautiful hardbound book Rothbard gives us an exceptionally clear, detailed description of what money is and how it has come to be manipulated by governments and central bankers into almost worthless inflationary fiat paper currency.
He explains how gold became the most respected and trustworthy currency of choice, how this developed into the gold standard when our paper money was actually backed by a real asset; gold, and then how our governments and particularly their central bankers then manipulated the situation until all we were left with was no gold standard and only fiat paper currency of no "real" value because it no longer had the backing of gold. He then explains very clearly how this situation has led us to where we are now; inflation and the rapidly diminishing purchasing power of the paper money we hold (over the last 30 years the real value of $1 has dropped to around 4 cents!!!!!), unnecessary asset bubbles and the prospect of either hyperinflation or the greatest depression the world has ever seen arriving in the very near future!

Mr. Rothbard then rightly argues for a return to the gold standard because of it's inherent automatic adjustment mechanisms due to the scarcity of gold in the ground and the finite quantity already above ground. More importantly he advocates a 100% reserves gold standard which would put an end to fractional reserve banking and thus the ruinous credit creation/oversupply of money by our central bankers and thus an end to rampant inflation as we know it!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Williams on April 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Rothbard writes this book in a style not often found in todays politically charged books. Rather than ranting and throwing shots at opposition, Rothbard cafefully walks the reader through economic history and theory, and very cafefully dissects those with opposing viewpoints.

This books will leave you wanting more, as its a quick read (if your like me it will be done in a day or two). For further reading, I suggest "The case against the Fed" also by Rothbard.

For a complete book on Rothbard's view of economics, see "Man, Economy, and State"
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Forseth on January 22, 2008
Format: Hardcover
We have in fact a dual money system, Coins, Gold and Silver, are still minted according to the demands of our constitution. And it well proves the point of how dangerous is, and of how little worth today are the Fiat Dollars of the Federal Reserve. A $50 face value US gold coin can be gotten from the Treasury for just over $800 Federal reserve dollars, and rising by the day.
And recently a few people that still use the real money were hauled into court by the IRS for using those coins at face value to pay wages and purchase things. You see the problem was that in real [gold] money no one earned enough to have to share with the IRS and that greatly upset the IRS. So the IRS filed charges on a few people, a total of 176 counts and the jury failed to convict on even one because we do in fact have a dual money system in this country and the accused had done nothing illegal. It's simply not their fault the Federal Reserve [Fiat money] system is failing to hold its supposed value and has caused inflation at a current level of over 16 to 1, and still rising. Look it up, the court case, if you want a good insight into the current and very real story of the huge differences in our two monetary systems, both of which are doing exactly what people have been writing about for years..
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By George F. Smith on July 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Monetary theory is one of those subjects that (1) appeals to no one, (2) must be understood by everyone, and (3) is in fact roundly misunderstood by most of the so-called monetary experts.

What is the basis for my claim?

(1) Try talking to your friends about fiat money, commodity money, and fractional serve banking sometime. If they don't tune you out right away it's only because they're your friends. (2) Money, in an advanced society, is involved on at least one side of almost every transaction. Liberty, prosperity, and peace will not be around long if our ideas about money are flawed. (3) That industrialized societies have been subject to economic crises since the inception of the Industrial Revolution suggests that the most influential minds are influencing us in wrong ways.

What can you do? Get Rothbard's book and devour it.

You'll learn what money is, how it emerged, and how it's been corrupted by government and banking. You'll also understand why central banking is a polite name for central counterfeiting and why an autonomous gold standard is the only monetary system compatible with civilization.

Rothbard's book is an easy read and a must-read. Give copies to your friends. Send copies to the Fed. But read it yourself first. He wrote it for you.

George Ford Smith
author, "The Flight of the Barbarous Relic"
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By T. Anderson on February 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Other reviewers have already said all that needs to be said, so it is hard to add to the observations that the man had insight into what works in economics - not just theory but fact - and writes in a style that does not intimidate or overwhelm those who are novices.

There is probably nothing in this book that will be new to those who are already familiar with the issues of paper currency versus hard currency, but even those persons will be rewarded with an easy to read overview of the subject and will be have an excellent tool for introducing the subject to friends and relatives.
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