“What Has the Government Done To Our Money?” Part I

I’ve been reading this book by Rothbard (in preparation for Mises University later this month) and like all the books I’ve read by Rothbard so far, it is fantastic. Superb…stunning, these might be more appropriate words. It is taking me a long time to read it because I want to write down everything Rothbard says in my notes. I can’t read a sentence or two without stopping to quote him. I thought I’d share some of those quotes, and my thoughts on the book.
He starts out by saying how confusing money is to people. This has led to a great deal of misunderstanding. People might support a free market–but never free money. “We must have the government take care of our money” they say. He uses what I consider to be a brilliant argument. Here we are, facing someone who says that we can’t trust the free market with “creating” (I use that term very loosely, I hope you know what I mean) money because fraud would be rampant and corruption everywhere. Basically, Rothbard says to this type of person,
Premise 1) You [not Rothbard, but the anti-free money person] believe government is necessary to find out and punish fraud and theft.
Premise 2) If we had free money, would the government find out and punish any fraud?
If the person answers “yes, the government would take care of the problem” then Rothbard would say, “what’s the big deal with free money then?”
If the person answers, “no, the government wouldn’t be able to find out and punish fraud” Rothbard would respond with, “So you’ll trust the government to create and manage money AND ensure there is no fraud in themselves?” Yeah right.

I’ve been reading this book by Rothbard (in preparation for Mises University later this month) and like all the books I’ve read by Rothbard so far, it is fantastic. Superb…stunning, these might be more appropriate words. It is taking me a long time to read it because I want to write down everything Rothbard says in my notes. I can’t read a sentence or two without stopping to quote him. I thought I’d share some of those quotes, and my thoughts on the book.
He starts out by saying how confusing money is to people. This has led to a great deal of misunderstanding. People might support a free market–but never free money. “We must have the government take care of our money” they say. He uses what I consider to be a brilliant argument. Here we are, facing someone who says that we can’t trust the free market with “creating” (I use that term very loosely, I hope you know what I mean) money because fraud would be rampant and corruption everywhere. Basically, Rothbard says to this type of person, Premise 1) You [not Rothbard, but the anti-free money person] believe government is necessary to find out and punish fraud and theft. Premise 2) If we had free money, would the government find out and punish any fraud?If the person answers “yes, the government would take care of the problem” then Rothbard would say, “what’s the big deal with free money then?”
If the person answers, “no, the government wouldn’t be able to find out and punish fraud” Rothbard would respond with, “So you’ll trust the government to create and manage money AND ensure there is no fraud in themselves?” Yeah right.

To be continued…

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