Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Review of END THE FED

The following is my review of Congressman Ron Paul’s newest book END THE FED.

For sake of full disclosure, I will not try to pretend that I came to the reading of this book without prejudice. I am quite a fan of Dr. Paul and the vast majority of the positions he takes on issues of economic policy and beyond. Furthermore, before even hearing Dr. Paul’s argument on the issue of the Federal Reserve, I believed the institution should be dissolved because of the unconstitutionality of a central bank. Jefferson was writing on the issue centuries before Congressman Paul even picked up a pen, and we all know my reverence for our nation’s greatest patriot. Moreover, anyone who reads the founders knows their concern for sound money. So the issue is not a new one. Needless to say, I didn't need convincing, but after reading this book, I am even more firmly in the camp of sound money and free markets.

Though the issue of sound money is not a new one, until recently, it has seemed like a cause no longer welcomed in American political debate. Welcomed or not, the issue of money and central banking’s relation to freedom is back in public discourse, and Dr. Ron Paul’s 2008 bid for president seems to have been the catalyst.

END THE FED is written in Dr. Paul’s usual simple, straight-forward prose. One thing that is appreciative in Dr. Paul’s work is his ability to clearly articulate an argument that anyone can follow. Rather than focusing on flashy sentences and meaningless platitudes, he relies on factual information coupled with constitutional reasoning and historical evidence to make a strong case against the nation's central bank and its inflationary policies. At no point does the work seem contrived or convoluted; rather, it comes through honest and simple.

It is for this reason that I think anyone can read the work and clearly understand what Paul’s key points are. This does not mean one will agree, but it does mean that one should approach the work with an open mind. In fact, Arlo Guthrie notes of his own experience reading the book, "Rarely has a single book not only challenged, but decisively changed my mind."

What would lead to such a change of mind? I think it centers on Paul’s clear grasp of the issue from both a historical and philosophical standpoint.

The book is not merely a one sided argument that the FED is bad and, therefore, must be stopped. It goes much deeper than that to show exactly where the issues of central banking and money manipulation fits in the greater pursuit of liberty.

Dr. Paul clearly shows in the book how the both the Democrats and Republicans favor the FED and its policies because of what it affords each as those same policies harm the populace as a whole. Likewise, Paul points to the inability of a state to continue massive expansionism in military endeavors and welfare programs when constrained by a sound currency. Bound by a sound currency, government would be forced to be limited and the people would experience more peace and freedom. Absent the ability to print unbacked currency, Congress would have to act responsibly with expenditures and could not easily take on debt.

In the book Dr. Paul’s argues from against the FED and its policies from the standpoint of morality, the Constitution, history, and one who seeks liberty. In each of these points, I found him to be quite convincing. His passion for and knowledge of the issue is continually found page after page, and will hopefully bring the same to each who reads it.

If not completely convinced, each should still take at least something away from this book. I came into it expecting merely a discussion of the economic and constitutional failings of the Federal Reserve and its policies. But I discovered much more, including a call for responsibility in government and consistency in philosophical conviction.

END THE FED explains the current economic crises while providing solutions. But at the same time realizes that we are doing the wrong things while ignorance and complacency may lead to only more of the problems that have created this mess.

Therefore, Paul's book attempts to bring the masses up to speed with the issues surrounding central banking.

Perhaps my generation, to whom Paul dedicates the book, will wake up and demand change. Perhaps we will realize: “The Federal Reserve should be abolished because it is immoral, unconstitutional, impractical, promises bad economics, and undermines liberty. Its destructive nature makes it a tool of tyrannical government” (pg 141). If we do not, Paul argues, there will be much trouble ahead.

END THE FED is not only worth reading; it should be required reading for anyone seeking peace and freedom for these United States.

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