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Pillars of Prosperity

Ron Paul is an amazing individual. Not only has he been the
most consistent voice for liberty in the U.S. Congress in our time—
perhaps in all time—but he is also surprisingly well versed in economic
theory. Indeed, if I were to dissect one of his speeches or
articles, I would have to treat him as I would a fellow economist,
not as “a politician.”

On top of all that, Ron Paul is a successful OB-GYN, who delivered
over 4,000 babies during his career. This is why I’m so
amazed at his nuanced understanding of economics. Let me put it
this way: Ron Paul knows a lot more about current account
deficits than I do about giving a sonogram.

We economists talk a lot about the division of labor, and moreover
we libertarians often invoke the concept to stir everyone to
action. Sure, it’s important for the great thinkers like Ludwig von
Mises and Murray Rothbard to come up with the grand ideas, but
it’s also crucial for parents to teach their kids the virtue in hard
work, and for crotchety old men to write nasty Letters to the Editor
whenever the city council is considering a hike in property taxes.

Now in the division of labor in the battle of ideas, is there a
place for someone in the U.S. Congress?! I have to admit I wouldn’t
have thought so had you asked me five years ago. But even the
purest of libertarians can’t deny that the Ron Paul movement is
exciting, and is bringing the message of liberty to people who otherwise
wouldn’t have heard it.

The present collection seeks to give the reader a solid understanding
of Ron Paul’s views on various economic issues. The core
of the book concerns Dr. Paul’s strong support for honest money.
(It was, after all, Nixon’s closing of the gold window that
prompted Dr. Paul to run for office in the first place.) There are
also entire sections on trade, international organizations such as
the IMF and WTO, and a section outlining Dr. Paul’s attempts to
protect Social Security from the big spenders in D.C. The collection
also includes a selection of specific tax cuts Dr. Paul has suggested,
which shows that—despite his nickname of “Dr. No”—Ron Paul is
a real congressman, who brings real bills to the floor for consideration.
Most of the selections are straight testimony from Dr. Paul,
though a few transcripts of actual floor debate have been included
to give the reader a feel for the deliberative body of which Paul is
a member. There are numerous exchanges between Ron Paul and
Alan Greenspan, as well as an encounter with George Soros that
somehow turns to drug legalization. And perhaps the most surreal
event is the duel between Ron Paul and Nancy Pelosi (over the
constitutionality of the Export-Import Bank).

Besides the eloquence and wisdom of his remarks, the reader
will also be struck by Ron Paul’s consistency over the decades. This
makes perfect sense for someone who actually holds principles
and makes speeches accordingly. But as we all know, this is rare
indeed for a politician. As an experiment, I had toyed with the idea
of combing through, say, Charles Rangel’s Congressional testimony
in five-year increments, to see if he were as consistent (in his
own way) as Ron Paul. I quickly abandoned the plan, however,
when I realized it would involve reading Charles Rangel’s Congressional
testimony in five-year increments.

Unfortunately, the consistency of the speeches contained in this
book is also somewhat depressing. For example, now it’s downright
cute that Ron Paul (in 1982) was aghast that the federal debt
had topped $1.1 trillion. It would be one thing if no one saw our
current financial mess coming, but plenty of people—especially Ron Paul—did.

On the other hand, we can take this as a sign of hope. The
details are always shifting, but the basic problem remains the

same: Too much government interference with markets in general,
and money in particular. And the solution is the same: A truly free
market in which the citizens’ property rights are respected by their
so-called public servants.
Robert P. Murphy
Adjunct Scholar
Ludwig von Mises Institute

September 30, 2007

Congressman Ron Paul has been working for decades to bring
economics to the forefront of political life. In doing so, he has
raised topics that nearly everyone else in public life wants buried.
But isn’t economics a dull topic, interesting only to Wall Street
traders and government bureaucrats? Isn’t it just about math and graphs?

Not in Ron Paul’s view. He has an intensity of passion for the
discipline of economics that follows up on what Ludwig von Mises
believed. Economics is the pith of material life. It is the core body
of knowledge that seeks an explanation for all material phenomena
as they are affected by human choice. Economics is as
unavoidable in politics as gravity is in the natural world. It is a
ubiquitous reality whether we speak about it openly or not.
Therefore everyone should be interested in economics. The
choice we make about our economic system will determine
whether we rise or fall as a people, whether our families will thrive
or die, and whether the future itself has a future.

The cause-and-effect relationship between bad policy and bad
economic outcomes, however, is not always obvious. We need
teachers and public intellectuals to point out the connections
between the money supply and inflation, between regulations and
slow growth, between protectionism and lowered living standards,
between public ownership and the decline of innovation.
The relationship is most clearly spelled out in the Austrian tradition
represented by Carl Menger, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk,
Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, Hans Sennholz,
and Murray Rothbard, for here we have a body of economic logic
that refines and improves classical doctrines to permit us to understand
cause and effect in economic life. Dr. Paul has read these
authors in detail, and learned from them. He has gone further, in
a pioneering way, to apply them to political life. In so doing, he has
earned for himself a high place in the annals of history.

There are easier roads to political success than using every
opportunity to speak on economic issues. Why did he choose this
path? Not merely to spread knowledge for its own sake. He
believes that public awareness and knowledge is the key to establishing
and keeping freedom, which is the basis of civilization
itself. Without a deep and abiding love of freedom in all spheres of
life, the government can ravage the human population. But for a
people who love liberty, no power is strong enough to finally take
away the right to pursue happiness.

Others who came before Dr. Paul in this respect are people like
Cobden and Bright in England, Frédéric Bastiat in France, and
Thomas Jefferson in America. All of them spoke the great
unspeakable truth that there are forces operating in the world
more powerful than the whims of the political class. Every effort at
centralized planning, and every attempt to legislate political
dreams, bumps up against economic law. Economics is the great
brick wall, a thousand feet thick, that limits the maniacal dreams,
benevolent or malevolent, of the political imagination. We ignore
these economic forces at our peril.

In Dr. Paul’s view, if we seriously paid attention to the teaching
of economics, and the population understood those truths, the central
bank would be closed, the bureaucracies would be shut down,
taxes would be repealed, spending programs would be abolished,
and regulations would be stripped from the books—for all these
efforts to manage society not only fail to achieve their stated objectives;
they also reduce our living standard and artificially restrict
the scope of freedom in our lives.

So there is a reason why politicians ignore the problem of economics,
and why they prefer to characterize it as a narrow field
dominated by number crunchers who care only tangentially about
issues that impact the rest of society. Instead, officials speak
vagaries about leading the country into the future and meeting
human needs because this sort of language empowers the political class.

I have no doubt that the contents of this book will make even
some of his supporters uncomfortable. The right imagines that it
supports free enterprise, but even in the area of trade and money?
Even to the point at which the state is denied permission to undertake
tasks such as imposing sanctions on unfriendly foreign
regimes? The left might like his antiwar positions, but what if giving
up war mongering also requires rethinking the merit of the
redistributionist welfare state?

Dr. Paul writes that freedom is all of a piece. You can’t pick and
choose. Moreover, it is impossible to speak of the future or of
human needs without trusting economic freedom and disempowering
the state to intervene in every area of life. Without sound
money, there is no protection for savings and property, nor capital
accumulation, nor long-term investment, nor entrepreneurship,
nor social advance. Without the right to own and control property,
we have no real say over our lives. Without the freedom to make
contracts, to take risks, and to live in whatever peaceful way we
choose, there is no hope for the future.

A state strong enough to redistribute wealth at a whim will not
hesitate to wage war, impose sanctions, take away privacy, and
violate core human rights. A state strong enough to wage war will
not think twice about redistributing wealth and running a cradleto-
grave welfare state. These are truths that the right and left need
to deal with. Nor are half-way measures a permanent fix. Real
Social Security reform returns the financial responsibility for old
age to the institutions of a voluntary society. Real reform in foreign
policy means eliminating all restrictions on trade.

We have to consider the courage it takes to speak this way in
times when the common belief is that the government can and
should do all things. Ron Paul dares to ask us to rethink the way
the world works, to have confidence in the ability of society—
meaning the millions of individuals of which it is constituted—to
manage itself. He is uncompromising not because he is inflexible
or unthoughtful, but because he has vision and faith to see the
unseen benefits of freedom and to ask us to do the same.
In this volume are collected the wise statements from the
nation’s leading teacher of free-market economic principles. One is
struck by his consistency and willingness to state the truth, even
when it is unpopular to do so. He is right to believe that the most
important step in this struggle is to state the truth, openly and without fear.

In many ways, these speeches and essays amount to a chronicle
of incredible failure: for the state has failed in a million ways to
protect and defend our material well-being, and its very attempt
has come at great cost.

But it is also a chronicle of hope that if we are willing to listen
and learn, we can choose a different future for ourselves, one that
removes responsibility for economic well-being from the government
and gives it back to those to whom it belongs: the people in
their capacity as living, choosing, creative human beings. Now
that is leadership, properly construed.
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Ludwig von Mises Institute
December 2007


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 496 p
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 2008 by the Ludwig von Mises Institute

Table of Contents

Current Political Philosophies’ Errors to Result in
Political and Economic Crisis. . . . . . 3
Challenge to America: A Current Assessment of
Our Republic. . . . . . . 11
Has Capitalism Failed? . .  . . . 41
Senior Citizens’ Freedom to Work Act of 1999 . . . 71
Social Security Tax Relief Act . . . . . 72
Social Security Preservation Act. . . . . . 74
Social Security for American Citizens Only! . . . . . .75
The Agriculture Education Freedom Act . . 79
The Family Health Tax Cut Act . . . . 80
The Public Safety Tax Cut Act .  . . 82
End the Income Tax—Pass the Liberty Amendment . .84
Teacher Tax Cut Act . . 85
The Family Education Freedom Act  . 86
The False Tax Cut Debate .. . . . 89
Police Security Protection Act. .. . . 91
To Provide for Amendment of the Bretton Woods
Agreement Act, and for Other Purposes . . . 95
Inflation—The Overriding Concern of All Americans . 100
Curtailing the Discretionary Powers of the Federal Reserve.  . 101
Print 3 Million and Take 1 Million for Yourself . . 103
Gold Prices Soar; Dollar Declines. . . 104
Government Should Stop Destroying Value of the Dollar. . 105
Increased Money Supply Cause of Inflation. . 106
The Recent Strength of the Dollar and Inflation . 107
Inflation is Caused by Government . . . 108
Debasement . . . . 114
Congressional Inflation . . . 115
Gold versus Paper. .  . 116
Five Myths of the Gold Standard. . . 122
Audit of the Federal Reserve. .. 128
High Interest Rates . . . 132
At the Brink . . 133
The Folly of Current Monetary Policy.  . 139
Back Into the Woods. .. . 140
Conduct of Monetary Policy, March 5, 1997. . . 143
Federal Reserve has Monopoly over Money and
Credit in United States .. . 147
Conduct of Monetary Policy, July 22, 1997. . 167
East Asian Economic Conditions . .. 175
Conduct of Monetary Policy, February 24, 1998 . . 179
The Bubble . . 183
International Economic Turmoil.. . 193
Revamping the Monetary System . . 197
Congress Ignores its Constitutional Responsibility
Regarding Monetary Policy .  . 200
Warning about Foreign Policy and Monetary Policy .202
Economic Update  . 205
The Economy . .. . 212
The U.S. Dollar and the World Economy . .  214
The Foolishness of Fiat. .. . 225
Gold and the Dollar . . 227
Hard Questions for Federal Reserve Chairman
Greenspan . . . . 229
Bring Back Honest Money. .. . 232
Paper Money and Tyranny . . . 235
Reject Taxpayer Bank Bailouts .  . 256
The End of Dollar Hegemony. . 258
What the Price of Gold is Telling Us . .. . 269
Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy.. 283
Chinese Currency . . 286
Financial Services Paulson Hearing . . . . 288
Our Soaring Trade Deficit Cannot Be Ignored.  . 293
Ron Paul Amendment to Cut Corporate Welfare . . 295
What is Free Trade? . . . . . 303
The Dollar and Our Current Account Deficit.  . 312
International Trade . . . . 315
PNTR.  . . 316
The Export-Import Reauthorization Act . 319
Opposing Unconstitutional “Trade
Promotion Authority” . .  . 321
Steel Protectionism .. . . 323
Export-Import Bank is Corporate Welfare . .. . 325
Don’t Antagonize Our Trading Partners . . . 327
The United States Trade Rights Enforcement Act  . . . 329
Dissenting Views on H.R. 7244 . . 333
Big Bankers Get Their Bailout. .  . 337
The Mexican Bailout . . . 338
Reaffirming Commitment of United States to
Principles of the Marshall Plan  . . 341
Calling for the United States to Withdraw from the
World Trade Organization .  . . 343
U.S. Membership in the World Trade Organization . . 346
New China Policy . .. . 348
Ending U.S. Membership in the IMF.  . 353
Wasteful Foreign Aid to Colombia . . . 355
Opposing Taxpayer Funding of Multinational
Development Banks. . . 358
Why Does the IMF Prohibit Gold-Backed Currency
for its Member States? . . . . 359
The Myth of War Prosperity. . 360
Opposing Trade Sanctions against Syria. . . 362
Reject the Millennium Challenge Act . . . . 365
Providing for the Establishment of a Commission in
the House of Representatives to Assist Parliaments
in Emerging Democracies. .. . . 368
Opposing Statement to Committee on Financial
Services World Bank Hearing .. 369
Darfur Accountability and Divestment Act .. . 370
Iran Sanctions Enabling Act . . . 372
Debate on the Housing Opportunity and Responsibility
Act of 1997. .  377
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Subsidies Distort the
Housing Market .  379
The American Dream Downpayment Act . . 381
Reforming the Government Sponsored Enterprises
(Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) . . . 383
Mortgage Industry Has Its Roots in the Federal
Reserve’s Inflationary Monetary Policy . .  388
viii Pillars of Prosperity
The Chrysler Bailout. . . 393
The Balanced Budget Amendment .. 397
Authorizing President to Award Congressional
Gold Medal to Mother Teresa .. . 399
The Davis-Bacon Repeal Act .. 400
The National Right to Work Act. .  402
Authorizing President to Award Congressional
Gold Medal to Rosa Parks .  403
OSHA Home Office Regulations  . . . 404
Minimum Wage Increase Act . .. . 407
Awarding Gold Medal to Former President
and Mrs. Ronald Reagan in Recognition of
Service to Nation .. . . 410
Internet Gambling Prohibition Act of 2000.  . 411
The Wage Act . . . . 412
Truth in Employment Act . .. . 414
Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001 .  . . 415
Terrorism Reinsurance Legislation . .. 416
The Collapse of Enron .  . . . 419
Television Consumer Freedom Act .  . 422
The Shrimp Importation Financing Fairness Act. . . 424
Oppose the Federal Welfare State  . . 426
Oppose the Spendthrift 2005 Federal Budget Resolution .. . 430
A Token Attempt to Reduce Government Spending .  . . 432
Praising Private Space Exploration . .. . 435
Government Spending—A Tax on the Middle Class  . 436
Raising the Debt Limit: A Disgrace . . . 440
Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley! .  . 442
The Republication Congress Wastes Billions
Overseas.  . 444
So-Called “Deficit Reduction Act” . . . . 446
What Congress Can Do About Soaring Gas Prices . .. . 449
Executive Compensation . . . . 451
INDEX . . . . . 459


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