Review of “End The Fed”

Never before have I read a book that starts out by stating, “Why you should care”; but that is exactly what Dr. Paul does with “END THE FED”. He explains that the Federal Reserve has been given almost absolute power, unchecked of course, over the entire economy with little concern from Congress. Not only does Congress not care about the power of the Federal Reserve, they encourage the Fed to continue involving itself in the economy. “The Federal Reserve System must be challenged,” Paul writes, “Ultimately it needs to be eliminated…No single institution in society should have power this immense. in fact, I believe that freedom itself is at stake in this struggle.”
Dr. Paul continues by telling of the creation of, as G. Edward Griffin calls it, “The Creature From Jekyll Island”. Which, most libertarians are aware, was formed by a small group of powerful bankers who had convinced the government that a “central bank was needed to stabilize the currency.” Something the Fed has failed to do in nearly 100 years, thanks in part to fractional reserve banking, fiat currency and artificial manipulation of interest rates. A “dollar” is now worth approximately 5% of it’s value in 1913, when the Fed was created; does that sound like a “stabilized currency” to you? It doesn’t sound very stable to me, either. Devaluing a currency, as the Fed has done, is nothing less than fraud; just as adding water to a gallon of milk is fraud. Something Dr. Paul learned about early in life working on the family dairy.
Aside from his work on the family dairy, he credits a job with the Pittsburgh Press as helping him become interested in coin collecting. With coin collecting helping him understand the value of money. This led him later to study Mises, Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Hans F. Sennholz and Austrian Economics. it was his study of Austrian Economics along with Richard Nixon’s “We’re all Keynesian, now”statement and the removal of the Gold Standard that led him to become involved with politics.
Before going into details of his involvement with the Gold Commission and his interactions with Fed Chairmen; Dr. Paul spends a chapter explaining how central banks, all central banks not just the Fed, enable, encourage and fund wars, both legal and illegal, just and unjust. For the most part, all countries throughout history have been limited in how wars are financed; mainly due to have commodity based currencies. But, thanks to the advent of central banking, a government could just turn to the bank and request a large sum of money to fund whatever perceived evil lurked around the corner. The bank complies and expands the currency, reaping the benefits, and passing the cost on to the “little guy” or even worse, a future generation.
During the final days of President Carter’s administration, a bill that was co-authored by Ron Paul and Jesse Helms was signed into law creating the Gold Commission. Possibly the most significant action of the Commission was a recommendation that Congress authorize the US Mint to mint a gold coin. The Congress actually authorized 4 coins; 1 ounce, ½ ounce, ¼ ounce and 1/10 ounce. These coins were minted with a legal tender face value, which has only compounded the problems associated with legal tender laws, which need to be repealed as much as the Fed needs to be abolished.
If the first third of the book was good, the last two-thirds is great!
Dr. Paul goes into detail, with transcripts of conversations he’s had with both Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. Of the two, at least Greenspan understands, or knows, the arguments for a Gold Standard. Yet, somehow, has lost the knowledge he had in the 1960’s when he wrote an essay titled “Gold and Economic Freedom.”
After writing about his “Conversations with Greenspan” and “…Bernanke”; he explains why Congress should be interested in monetary policy. One reason being that bad money and unjust taxation, including inflation, encourage the “black-market”. “By destroying money and fueling the growth of the state,” Paul writes, “the institution of a central bank is the biggest generator of underground criminal activity ever.”
He goes on to explain “the current mess” and the Fed’s “solution” of throwing more money into the market as being similar to “adding more poison to a poisoned patient amounts to a cure.” And, “the current path is prolonging and extending the pain – while causing a slow death dressed up in fancy clothes.”
“Why End The Fed?” Dr. Paul explains, “The Federal Reserve should be abolished because it is immoral, unconstitutional, impractical, promotes bad economics and undermines liberty. its destructive nature makes it tool of tyrannical government.” The Fed has caused more “bubbles” than would have ever happened had a free market system of competing commodity-based currencies been in existence. In fact, inflation would be mostly non-existent without the Fed.
In the final chapters, Dr. Paul gives a Philosophical, Constitutional, Economic and Libertarian Case for abolishing the Fed. While each of these arguments is slightly different, they are also very similar. In short: The Fed creates inflation; inflation steals wealth from anyone who had saved some of their earnings; theft is illegal, immoral, and unjust. I’m reminded of a quote from Frederic Bastiat, “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.”
In the end, Dr. Ron Paul explains “The Way Out.” But, in an effort to not play the role of “spoiler” I will refrain from giving any details and end the same way Dr. Paul was greeted by 10,000 people when his “Rally for the Republic” speech began, with hopes that one day we can…“END THE FED! END THE FED! END THE FED!”