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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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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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! This would also force our governments to be more accountable to their electorate in that any government allowing an unbalanced economy would face long recessions as the gold standard auto adjustment mechanisms brought it back into equilibrium; henceforth governments would be wise to provide an environment that favoured slow steady growth for their country with minimal boom bust cycles.
Furthermore Mr. Rothbard adequately counters the criticisms of his conclusions & recommendations in detail.
I think most of us that bother to look further than our noses and not live with our head in the sand now realise the United States financial position(in particular) is untenable in the long term and there is going to be a very painful outcome either slowly creeping through the financial world in a dollar crisis OR precipitated by a large financial event, like the probable implosion of huge OTC derivatives positions. Either way this will herald the end of the world's latest foray into fiat paper currency; it will fail as it must and as fiat currencies always have in the past.
When that happens, HOPEFULLY we will return to a 100% gold standard where our paper money, gold grams or whatever are 100% backed by gold; the only true currency, and sanity can once again return to the finances of our world!
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to EVERYONE in the hope that more of the populations of the world can become educated to what we have been "sold" by our governments with these worthless paper currencies we now all hold in the hope that there can be a groundswell of opinion and an overwhelming chorus to return to sanity and a 100% gold standard! We deserve it!!!
Don't stop with this book -- be sure to get Rothbard's "A History of Money and Banking in the US" and also "The Mystery of Banking."
Here the reader will find a short introduction to what money is in the first place (and how it arises on a free market); how fiat currency makes inflation possible and allows the State to steal funds without anybody noticing; and what sound monetary policy would look like in the unlikely event that the State can ever be persuaded to take its fingers out of the pie. As is typical of Rothbard, the whole is presented with clarity, rigor, and wit.
Readers who like what they find here may want to go on to Ludwig von Mises's _Theory of Money and Credit_ -- which Rothbard describes somewhere as the best book ever on monetary theory.
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"