Trish Regan: It’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years since Richard Nixon abandoned the gold standard back in August 1971. What has that done to our economy? What has it done to the middle class? I am Trish Regan. Welcome to American Consequences With Trish Regan. It’s good to have you here today.
This is a very important topic and one that I think we all care deeply about because when you think about our economy and the transitions we have been through, you can go back to almost 1971 and what do you see? You see that middle-class wages fail to keep up with productivity, beginning in the early 1970s. Now some on the Left might say, “Well, it’s because that was really the destruction of the unions.” But what if I told you it was the destruction of sound money policy. What if it was the fact that we went off the gold standard that actually contributed to mass inflation? That may be, in fact, the entire root of our problem.
If you go back to 1965, what do you discover? You discover that William Martin, then the head of the Federal Reserve, decided he didn’t care so much. He didn’t care about inflation. He decided that the biggest priority was employment. Sounds familiar, right? So, what did he do? He focused on employment and didn’t worry about inflation that was going unchecked. By the early 1970s, it was so out of control that the U.S. was looking at a run on gold effectively. Right? Because the French are like, “This is no good. You guys are supposed to be pegged to gold.” So, they wound up having to get rid of the gold standard altogether.
Interestingly, that sort of was the beginning of the end, if you would. We started to experience a decline, specifically in the middle class. I know you’ve heard me talk about the hour-glass economy, how the middle class has been squeezed. That squeeze really can be traced back to the early 1970s, and we’re looking at it very much today. I would argue it’s because of bad economic policy. I would argue that we started an inflationary process that has just spiraled out of control making it much harder for middle-class Americans. The political environment has been such, the taxes have grown. They’ve felt sort of free reign, especially in this current environment, to keep taxing people and redistributing wealth. Who winds up getting most hurt in that scenario? It’s the middle class.
So, when you think about the inflation that’s coming – and I’m so thrilled because we have a man who cares passionately about this on the show today. We have former congressman from Texas, founder of the Ron Paul Institute, and host of the Liberty Report, Ron Paul, coming up for you. He’s got a very timely message out online that you should look at on 2021ronpaulwarning.com. You’re going to hear, of course, on the show, but he has more there.
His concern is really that this lack of discipline, if you would, when it comes to money printing, has been the entire reason for inflation and has really empowered us in ways that maybe we shouldn’t have been empowered. I mean one of the reasons why we were in Afghanistan, right, is because we’d sort of taken this on. Given all the money we have, we’re kind of like, “Hey, why not?” And we’ve gone around the world and kind of meddled in all these places that, ultimately, have come back to bite us in a pretty significant way. I mean you look at the images of what’s happening right now on the ground in Afghanistan. I wrote about this in American Consequences this week. I’ve certainly been tweeting up a storm, @Trish_Regan, I think more than I’ve ever tweeted because I’ve been so affected and so disgusted by all that we’re seeing.
You think, “What is it for?” I mean a trillion dollars, right, effectively down the drain, 20 years down the drain as we come up on the anniversary of 9/11 – 2,300 American lives that have been lost and thousands more wounded in this battle to try and make Afghanistan a better place, which clearly, we’ve lost. Now, I understand and I empathize with the Biden administration’s position that we didn’t want to be there any longer. Right? I get that.
But why would you exit in the way that they have, to the point where people are clinging to planes and then plunging to their deaths when those U.S. planes are taking off? Why would you be so misguided in your ability to pull out of the region? We need a little more intelligence, shall we say, when it comes to our planning in our operations. And we could have gotten out in a way that – hey, we got out of Syria and we didn’t see anything like that, right? So, we could have got out in a more strategic way.
But back to the idea of this podcast, which is that we have all this money printing going on, and it’s going to continue going on. I mean you look at what Jerome Powell has been doing, it’s really kind of insane. We’ve got pretty low unemployment. Maybe that’s because nobody wants to work because, you know, they’re all on unemployment. But when you look at the unemployment numbers, how can you be at 5.4% unemployment and think that employment should be your main issue when you’ve also got a 7.8% increase in producer prices or 5.4% increase – by the way, the last couple months have both been 5.4% increases in the consumer prices.
Check out wages, which are like 1% growth. So, you realize that prices are growing much faster than wages. Wouldn’t you want to care about inflation? You’re going to sit there and tell me it’s transitory? I don’t think so. I think we actually do have a real problem on our hands. My next guest is pretty passionate. It has been his life’s calling.
I’m excited to talk to him especially because I’ve been up at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire. Bretton Woods, of course, was the site of the 1944 agreement where we became the World’s reserve currency and we pegged the U.S. dollar to gold. I mean, at the time, we had all the gold. Right? We had all the gold. We had like three-quarters of the world’s gold. So, it made sense. We were trying to find a way to have an ease of transactions in the world.
But it only made sense for a while. Eventually, it backfired, and it backfired, in part, because… well… we wanted to spend more. Right? You’ve got politicians wanting to do what politicians do, which is serve their own constituencies. They want to spend more. Consequently, the next thing you knew, the head of the Federal Reserve – who, by the way, was there for five administrations – he’s out there saying, “OK, we’re going to focus on employment instead of inflation.”
This is part of the whole “Phillips curve” argument, which I know that Ron Paul will get into with us. But it was the wrong decision because, ultimately, it put us in a place where we really couldn’t manage this anymore. The laws of Bretton Woods were completely thrown out the window and the peg to gold was thrown out the window. That was effectively sort of the beginning of the end, although my next guest might go back even further because there are people that say, “Hey, we never should have had the gold standard to begin with, and maybe we just shouldn’t have had the Federal Reserve to begin with.”
So, we’re going to get into all of this today. I’m so happy to have here, today, back on the program with me, the former congressman from Texas, the founder of the Ron Paul Institute, the host of the Liberty Report, and the author of the 2021ronpaulwarning.com – none other than Congressman Ron Paul himself. Welcome, sir. Good to have you back.
Dr. Ron Paul: Nice to be with you today. We’re going to have an interesting subject with which to deal with.
Trish Regan: I was up in Bretton Woods for the last week. So, I was kind of living and breathing this at the Mount Washington Hotel, site of the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference where they put the IMF in, created the World Bank, and also pegged the U.S. dollar to the gold standard. Now, some people might have said that was the beginning of the end. I mean, certainly, 1971 was a problem when Richard Nixon abandoned the gold standard as well, but you, sir, have made this really your life’s work – your passion. Monetary policy, as you see it, with the reserve currency has just been a total disaster. It’s my understanding this is one of the reasons why you started speaking out back in the early 1970s. So, I’m so excited to talk to you. Let me just start with what you think of 1971. We can go back to 1944. Why have you been so passionate about this entire issue?
Dr. Ron Paul: Well, along with medicine in the 1960s, I got fascinated with reading Austrian economics. It was at that time that people, that Austrian economists, were getting a little bit of attention because they were saying the Bretton Woods was going to break down and gold was going to go up. Nobody listened to them. But I watched that very closely. The predictions were there. Austrian economics fascinated me. Sure enough, the Bretton Woods system broke down August 15, 1971. That confirmed that which made me a true believer.
Yet, there were many before me who knew. Those were the people that I read and followed. For instance, in 1944, when the IMF was signed, there was a very, very well-known, very astute journalist who was a friend of Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, who wrote both for the hard money movement, but also for conventional economics. So, he was well-known. He says, “This won’t work. This can’t work.” That was in 1944. So, that was fascinating.
When that finally came about in 1971, the conditions in this country were bad because they had rising prices, and we had inflation and all these problems. They were going to blame the unions for this and the businesspeople for this and war for during this. But they didn’t want to talk about who really was doing it. That was the people who wanted finance by the government – the special interest and why you run up deficits and don’t worry because you can print the money. The predictions were at the rate we were printing money from 1944 on up would eventually destroy the value. But we got away with it because we held the gold, and we weren’t bombed out in World War II.
So, we were in a position to take over. We had all the power and control, and we declared ourselves the reserve currency of the world. You have a lot of advantages for that. So, the climax of that was predicted. The consequence of the breakdown in 1971 we’re still living with, and we’re going to be watching it closely because it’s going to get a lot worse before it’s resolved.
Trish Regan: Yeah, look, I was looking through – after 1944, they established the Bretton Woods Agreement. So, it meant you had to abide by a certain set of rules, but by 1965, you had William Martin at the Fed who suddenly – by the way, this is kind of eerily similar to what’s happening right now – said, “You know what? We’re going to focus on employment instead of inflation.” Right?
So, they kind of threw their inflation concerns out the window, and they focused on employment – very similar to what’s happening right now. Sure enough, by 1971, they were in such a situation that they could no longer be pegging the U.S. currency to gold anymore, and it all kind of disintegrated. When you think about what happened then and you think about now, what kind of similarities do you draw?
Dr. Ron Paul: Well, they’re still off the mark because they haven’t considered anything other than that. What they were talking about back then was the Phillips Curve. There was a trade-off. You inflate the currency, live with the inflation, and you reduce unemployment. But, boy, they were astounded, though, in the 1960s and the 1970s because they had inflation, which was supposed to reduce the unemployment, but we had a recession. So, it was stagflation. I strongly believe that condition is and can return because the stupidity of the economic policies of the last 50 years or so is that if you print money and you have inflation, the economy grows. If you think about it, what have we heard for the last five to 10 years from the Fed? “Well, we’re doing well but we have to have more inflation.”
When they talk about inflation, they’re referring to the CPI. They say, “We have to have 2%.” What they’re literally saying is, “We have to take away the value, steal the value of the currency, at a 2% rate and call this good economics.” But it never made any sense. I kept thinking to myself – every time I heard that I thought, “Wait till the day comes when it’s 4% and 5% and 6%.” Well, it’s even higher than that now if they admit the truth because the inflation has come back. It’s really bizarre right now because employment is high because we have subsidized on unemployment so much that things are distorted.
But you can’t gain riches for the maximum number of people by printing money. It creates no new wealth. It creates distortion. If you mess around with interest rates, you cause people to make a lot of mistakes. They end up with a malinvestment and politicians doing whatever they want. That’s what we have, the price of money, interest rates…
In the past, they’ve always manipulated, but I don’t think anybody ever thought back then – even the most pessimistic… I would have never dreamed that there would be a day when we would have negative interest rates. They’re more negative than people will admit because they get them down to 2% so the government can borrow all the money and hardly pay for it. But because there’s an inflation rate, there’s actually – the real interest rate is a negative interest rate. It’s really nutty as it can be. It won’t work, and it’s going to distort things. There will be a total collapse in confidence.
The bond market will go into shambles because that is so distorted as well. But basic monetary policy was the fact that the Federal Reserve was created and the seeds were planted along the way and what Roosevelt did by taking gold away from the people. And what happened in 1971 – the gold was taken away from any restraint whatsoever because foreigners still could. We spent our money. We were the reserve currency. So, we were buying stuff around the world and just sending home paper money. They finally said, especially Charles de Gaulle and the French, “This is no good. This money is losing value.”
So, they started turning their money and caused the precipitation. You could see what was happening. That’s when they had to close the gold window because, within weeks or months, there had been zero gold in the Treasury. But we’ve been off it. I think if anybody’s interested in the subject, they ought to go to the Internet and look for any type of a chart that designates, say, CPI since 1971 or unemployment or whatever. There’s something very, very direct. In 1971, things changed the value of the dollar. The value of the dollar, actually, since that time, against gold has lost 98% of its value. It’s probably going to do that again. But that will be the conclusion of the dollar being used as a reserve currency in the world because we really have license to steal.
Trish Regan: Print money. Yeah.
Dr. Ron Paul: Because we get to print our money. That’s part of the problem we have with China. They say, “Well, it’s all China’s fault.” But we’ve been getting a free ride. We send them all our paper, and then they have their money. They spend it. Then we complain.
Trish Regan: So, we’re talking, everyone, with the former congressman from Texas, founder of the Ron Paul Institute, and host of the Liberty Report. You can follow him on Twitter @RonPaul. You should also check out www.2021ronpaulwarning.com. He’s got a lot about inflation.
So, congressman, if you could do it all over again, what would have been the answer? Was the mistake back in 1944 becoming the world’s reserve currency? Or was the mistake really in 1971 saying, “We’re not going to –” or maybe in 1965, when we no longer cared about inflation? Where, in your view, did we really go wrong?
Dr. Ron Paul: 1913 when we created the Federal Reserve system because it had the power to do this and it steadily did it. Then it was incremental. It kept getting worse. It inflated for World War I immediately. There was a depression in 1921 that was corrected pretty fast because, back then, we had hands-off. We didn’t bail out everybody.
But then we inflated again in the 1920s. The Fed created the depression. This is when the first thing that Roosevelt did was steal the gold. The gold is the singles for the people of what they want to do, and they were saving their gold. So, the first thing they did was steal the gold from the people. Gold was priced at $20 an ounce then.
So, they took in all the gold. That meant that they were holding the gold and they would at least have – technically, they had the law on their side… “Well, we have gold in reserves now. We can keep printing all this money.” And they did. But they took the gold from the people. Immediately after, to really expand at least the appearance of the gold supply that they were holding, they changed the price. They went from $20 an ounce and devalued the dollar, and then turned it into $35 an ounce. So, this was a tremendous boost, which then financed trying to get out of the depression. It didn’t work. Then the war came along and they inflated.
So, it was continuous until the – a person like Henry Hazlitt, he probably didn’t have a difficult time predicting that the thing would collapse, and that’s what happened in 1971. That’s when it gets really interesting. But we’re not quite to the middle of the story right now because we’re locked in. So, you ask me, “What would I do?” I would have never endorsed the Federal Reserve. That’s why I wrote a book, End the Fed.
The next thing you could do is legalize the Constitution. The Constitution is explicit that the people could only use gold and silver as legal tender, which means they can’t print money. They had runaway inflation with the Continental money. It caused chaos. That was one of the reasons the Constitutional Convention was held is because of the runaway inflation with the Continental dollar. The Articles of Confederation then was considered a failure. Unfortunately, they went this way. So, it was early on.
But it’s not like it’s unique to the United States. You can go back to Roman times. That is exactly what they did. Most of the time, the expansion of money came by fiat. You’re diluting the value of currencies and the coins. Then, the next step they do is they expand their empires that they can’t manage. Our empire is too big. We just saw it shrink yesterday.
Trish Regan: So, on the one hand, I know you don’t believe in expanding the empire. I don’t either. I don’t think that we should be meddling all around the world in all these things. I also think, however, when you want to get out, you want to do so in a seamless enough way rather than ripping the Band-Aid off, and we’re seeing the consequences of that. Just poor, in my view, very, very poor planning in terms of how we exited. But the fact that – I mean, think about, congressman, over 20 years, right, I mean we’ve been all over the place.
There we were helping the Bin Ladens, effectively, against the Soviets. So, we’re helping the bad guys. And then we realize the bad guys, well, they were really bad. Right? They took over, and we wound up with 9/11. So, then we go in and we say, “We’re going to help the good guys.” Now, we’ve theoretically been helping the good guys, but now the bad guys are back in charge. It’s like, my gosh, what was it all worth? A trillion dollars, 2,300 American lives lost…
Dr. Ron Paul: Yeah. It’s insane. Of course, after we helped get the Soviets out of Afghanistan, what we did is we became like the Soviets. Then we occupied. We would take over the territory. That, of course, stimulated the growth of the Taliban. They had nothing to do with 9/11. It’s all, again – it’s world domination, which is the issue and it’s the empire.
For the time between World War II up until recent times, we had everything going for us. So, our wealth was pseudo wealth. It was because people trusted us so much, the dollar was as good as gold, but it really wasn’t, but people used it like it were gold because we said, “Oh, yeah, it was.” But 1971 changed all that because the world – the real growth of our power was early on, but the dollar still trusted more than it deserves. It’s because we don’t follow the rules, and it’s literally a declaration of bankruptcy. The first declaration was with Roosevelt, and the second one was with Bretton Woods.
Trish Regan: So, I was also looking at just some interesting numbers. There was a liberal study put out on how wages have not kept pace with productivity, right? It goes right back to the early 1970s. They say in the early 1970s, this completely got off course and productivity skyrocketed compared to wages, which were really pretty stagnant. They used to kind of move in lockstep with productivity. They site that, well, it was the unions that got busted up and that’s the reason, etc.
I’m thinking to myself, which is why I’m so glad you’re here today, “What happened in the early 1970s?” Well, we became much more reckless, right, with our economic policy. Is there, in your view, any kind of correlation there? I mean has it disenfranchised the middle class and suppressed wages relative to productivity because we don’t have any discipline?
Dr. Ron Paul: These are predictable events. Mises writes about that a whole lot, and he was writing all the way back to 1912. Increasing the money supply does not increase wealth. When you inflate the currency, prices will go up, but labor never keeps up with it. But capital markets do. The banks and the big corporations do. It’s a source of social friction. So, that is why we have it.
There’s all kinds of reasons. It’s a tragedy for me to look at the success of the people that call themselves Marxists and communists and socialists because look at what free enterprise did. Well, we haven’t had free enterprise ever since we had central banking, which was a dominant feature of what the Soviet system was supposed to be all about – getting rid of having a central bank, but not having gold and silver as restraints because that restrains the size of government. But with the social conditions now, it’s been the fact that labor does not keep up.
It is true. The middle class is getting wiped out. Mises said this years and years ago. If you do this, if you destroy the currency, you’re going to destroy the middle class. It’s so true. The middle class is suffering. Who would have ever dreamed? Now, we don’t talk about how many millionaires there are or how many billionaires there are. We’re wondering, “How many trillionaires are there right now?”
Trish Regan: I mean how does that – can you break it down for me in terms of what Mises was saying? The theory is – I mean, I get it, right, it’s hurtful to the middle class because everything costs more, and if your wages aren’t keeping up, then basically, you’re losing ground. But how does it really play out? I guess the banks and those with money can keep benefitting because they’re actually invested and, therefore, their assets are growing?
Dr. Ron Paul: They get the money first. They’re the distributors of the money. So, if you create a billion dollars and a bank gets it to bail them out or do whatever they want to do and they get the loan or not… But they get it, it has a certain value. But every year those dollars circulate, it doesn’t create wealth necessarily. What it does is it creates higher prices. So, inflation is higher prices as a consequence of the money supply increasing.
But no matter what you see or hear about inflation coming, they’re always talking about the CPI and the PPI and, therefore, the poor people and the middle class and the banks – everybody needs more money. Even though the problem is there’s been too much money, it’s fiat money. It doesn’t come from savings. Interest rates are distorted. They look at this and they say, “We just need more money.”
So, what has happened these last two years? Republicans and Democrats – you know, the quantitative easing has bore trillions and trillions of dollars, $6 trillion in the past year or so that we’ve created. We can’t even keep track of it.
Trish Regan: I know. The money supply is out of control. I mean it’s – I can’t remember what the exact numbers are but we’ve printed some ungodly amount of money – certainly in 2020, more than we had in many, many years in the past. Hey, I have a question for you. I’m just curious because you’re so passionate about this. I’m kind of laughing to myself because I care so much, too. I had my kids up at Bretton Woods with me. I’m bringing them to the gold room and I’m trying to tell them about this, and they’re looking at me like, “Wow, this is a lot.” Did you ever talk to your son, who also is such a champion of liberty, like you, about this? Did you ever talk to your kids about this growing up? I mean, was this always top of mind?
Dr. Ron Paul: No, but they couldn’t have avoided it because they knew I was involved and they would go with me on campaign trips. Rand had more interest than the rest. We have five children. But they all were interested and all helped campaigning. Some of them just liked campaigning, but they also knew what the issues were all about. They also knew that, for a time, I was a paperboy as a kid. I saved. I was a saver. But I’d obviously looked at the coins, saved the coins.
Even back then, we didn’t have gold, but we had silver coins. So, it was disappointing to me to see the silver disappear. I said, “Yeah, we couldn’t afford the gold standard. Then we couldn’t afford the silver standard. Then we can’t –” in 1980, they took away the copper penny. We couldn’t afford enough copper for a penny. Now we’re working on the paper money. Eventually, Mises always said, “If it’s the paper money, eventually you’ll destroy it, too.”
Trish Regan: I had forgotten that. Right, we don’t have copper pennies anymore.
Dr. Ron Paul: Well, no, no copper. They disappeared. No, you won’t see them in circulation. I mean, that was disappointing to me. And because we were in a retail dairy business, back then, a lot of people paid in paper money and in coins. But as that money came in – the business was run out of our house. I would always sit and look at all the money that came in and look at the coins. So, that got me interested in it.
Then, later on, I guess it was probably in the 1960s and late 1950s I got interested. Hayek’s book The Road to Serfdom got me fascinated with this. Just one led to another. The whole idea of running for Congress was just to be able to speak out. People say, “Well, when did you decide to be a politician?” Well, I never have. I still think, in my mind, I’m still a doctor. But I’ve been fascinated. I feel very blessed that I could do a couple things because both I do with passion.
Trish Regan: You can hear it in your voice. That’s always been – I think people have always respected that so much about you because it really doesn’t come from a political sensibility. It comes from just what’s right, which – let me just ask you before I let you go. I know we’ve been talking about gold and Bretton Woods and the Fed. But there’s talk now that the federal government is looking at the possibility of requiring vaccine IDs in order to have interstate travel. Apparently, they’re not going down this route, but it has been discussed or is being discussed. What’s your reaction to that?
Dr. Ron Paul: Horror. It’s horror. It’s well on its way – This morning’s program that I just did on Ron Paul Liberty Report, we talked about it there because there’s another proposal in to promote this along. There’s a lot of – the real thing that people ought to look into is the collusion between the Federal Reserve and the big corporations because if you say, “Don’t we have freedom of speech anymore?” I’ve been regulated by Facebook. Rand’s been taken off. This sort of thing, they can’t do that. But what they say is, “We’re private practice, and you’re libertarians. You can’t do this to a private organization.” The whole thing is, they’re not private.
The other day, Amazon got a contract from the government to provide information for NSA for $10 billion, and they don’t even pay taxes. That sort of thing… that’s how the rich get richer, and the poor get angry and poorer because the cost of living never keeps up, and it leads to problems that we have today. I don’t think anybody should – if there’s an understanding of Austrian economics and what liberty is all about, they should not be surprised at what’s happening here. When it gets worse, they shouldn’t be shocked at all.
Trish Regan: One of the things that – and I’m going to go back and do some reading myself because something that sparks my interest… you mentioned the fall of Rome and the tie to the money printing. I think, if you look back historically, perhaps that’s the commonality. Why does a great society eventually fail? Is it because they just have no discipline in terms of their financial structure?
Dr. Ron Paul: Well, in a way. But what you have are people who are dishonest. Men of integrity would not go and deliberately destroy the currency. The founders were aware of this. They considered counterfeiting of money as a capital punishment. There’s only about two or three things that the federal government has authority in a legal fashion. But they believed that if you counterfeited money that you should get the death penalty. That’s how strongly they felt about this because they had seen so many people wiped out with the Continental money.
They printed the money, of course, to pay the people who were fighting the war. So, they were sort of trapped into that. But they would do this, and they were bitterly opposed to paper money. They said in the Constitution, they cannot emit bills of credit, and that’s what paper money is. It’s not so complicated. I’m convinced – I’ve always told people that I think the 12-year-olds, you can teach them about paper money. Just show them a Monopoly game and try to go buy amber with Monopoly money. So, to me, it’s pretty fascinating.
I think – you know, you mentioned at the opening that that’s been my big issue, the money issue and all this. It was the thing that got my attention. But really, it was the relationship of sound money to personal liberty. That really is the clincher for me because sound money prevents the growth of government. Government is the threat to our liberties. It’s the foreign invasion here. As bad as we have problems with China and these other places, China spends less than a third of what we spend on weaponry. They don’t have any ships out there that are going to land troops on our border. But I tell you what, they will. They can outdo us and we, unfortunately, bankrupt ourselves. That is our big problem.
But our governments could not do this. It’s this illusion of wealth comes from the printing of money, and it makes us poorer. So, we don’t have true wealth. But as long as you trusted – the psychological factor is the major thing. There’s a principle in Austrian economics that talks about the labor theory of value and the subjective theory of value. A lot of people endorsed for thousands of years that the person putting labor in decided value. But the whole thing is, it’s subjectively determined. So, subjectively, there’s a lot of people who still trust the dollar, but that will change.
Trish Regan: OK, OK. But I’m going to challenge you on that because where else do you go? I mean you’re not going to go to China with the yuan. I mean they, any day, can say, “Well, we’re going to change the education companies to non-profit.” You’re not going to go to the euro because Europe’s a total utter disaster. I mean I’ve thought about this a lot because I don’t think the U.S. is in good shape, but relatively speaking, congressman, wow, it’s kind of a mess out there.
Dr. Ron Paul: It is. When I go to the college campuses, I say, “You have to ask one question. What should the role of government be in a free society? Do you want to live in a free society?” Most people do. I say, “Well, you have to have the role of government. What should the role of government be? Should it be to regulate and treat everybody who thinks they have a virus? Everything under the sun? Should we be in Afghanistan teaching them how to act like Westerners?” Then if they say yes, then you’ve lost your cause.
But if somebody said, “Well, do you want to decide how you run your own life, that you own your life and you can do anything you wanted as long as you don’t hurt somebody? Do you think we should police the world and take care of the whole world? Or do you think that people have the right to take care of themselves?” Most people say, “Yes, I want my own life, and I want to spend my own money the way I want to spend it.”
Then you say, “Well, the role of government should do one thing, protect your right to do that.” So, the role of government could be written in one page, and that is to protect liberty. But no, what do we have? What if you considered the fact that every regulation written – I guess you’ve seen at times when they stack up the regulations. If that becomes the law of the land, you don’t need that much to allow you to have your liberty. Then you decide.
You have all the chances in the world to make all the mistakes you want. You’re going to have to accept all the consequences of it. So, no, you have to answer that question, and then you have to decide. The founders did that and told us that the government should be very, very small. If you’re allowed to get big, you’re not going to be in a free country.
Trish Regan: Would that, in your view then, encourage a more insular kind of insulated society? In other words, is that sort of like you also need to kind of just be your own country and not be so focused globally? Stronger borders? I mean does that all kind of go hand in hand?
Dr. Ron Paul: No, that argument is very important because most people who would say, “Oh, Ron, this sounds good.” A lot of Republicans when I was running for president, they’d say, “Yeah, we love your economic policy and we love this, but we don’t like your foreign policy because you’re an isolationist. You don’t want to do things.” It’s the opposite.
Libertarian is the opposite of isolationist because you allow people to spend their time and their lives wherever they want to go. We believe in trade. See, I think all these sanctions and everything else – why do we have sanctions on Cuba when other countries are trading with it? This is the way you convert – the only export we should have had to Afghanistan was trying to develop a system where we could go back and forth and show what people look like when they live in a free country and they have prosperity.
So, no, I think free trade is the best way to spread a message of free markets and prosperity. So, no, it’s a very, very open society. There’s no regulation on your speech like it’s coming right now. No regulation on your money. You wouldn’t have an income tax. But you’d have some rules, and they’d have to be very strict. You’d have to enforce contracts. You’d have to have honest money, and you’d have to have a prohibition against any aggressive action.
Now, the hooker here, as I finish my statement, the hooker on that is most people say, “Yeah, I don’t believe in stealing from my neighbor. If they have two cars, I have no right to the neighbor.” Most people understand that. But what they don’t understand is Republicans and Democrats and Independents, 99% say, “Yes, I would never do it, but the government should do it. The government is responsible for redistributing the wealth.” That’s where it all falls apart. The acceptance of people having lifestyles that people disagree with, that’s a hang-up with people. So, sometimes it’s these personal things that prohibit.
Usually, I would use this example. How come we get along pretty well with permitting people with different religious beliefs? Why can’t we do that with all our social and economic beliefs, too, and our property? So, to me, it’s not complicated and it’s wonderful because if anybody cares about liberty and seeking peace and prosperity, the blueprint is there.
Trish Regan: Well, I encourage everybody to go and watch your show, the Liberty Report. We’ve been talking with Ron Paul, former congressman from Texas, a doctor, founder of the Ron Paul Institute, and host of the Liberty Report. You can follow him on Twitter, @RonPaul, and you can get his inflation warning at 2021ronpaulwarning.com. It has been a pleasure, as always, sir. Fascinating to talk to you. I thank you.
Dr. Ron Paul: Nice being with you. Take care.
Trish Regan: Wow. So, that is a lot to digest. Right? There’s a lot in there. If you have to go back and listen to this podcast twice, I encourage you to do so because in talking with the congressman, we went in a lot of different ways. I think the bottom line, as you heard him say, is that sound money is connected to freedom. So, we have to think hard about how we protect our money so that we can protect our freedom. That’s the bottom line here.
Right now, our money is not protected. Right now, we are dealing with inflation. You heard Doc and I talk about it a couple of weeks ago, and you’ve heard me write about it on americanconsequences.com. Go there. Sign up. Get our newsletter there. Get the magazine. It’s all free. Of course, Congressman Paul has been sounding the alarm.
I encourage you to go to 2021ronpaulwarning.com because this is something that’s very real and this is something that’s really going to continue, I think, hurting the middle class. You want to be invested properly. You want to be looking at equities because, look, that’s where you’re going to still see growth – provided, of course, that the Fed doesn’t really screw things up and put a giant prick in this bubble. That may be coming eventually. I don’t think just yet, especially when you look at the 10-year yield.
Of course, the 10-year yield is very affected by the fact that we are money printing, if that’s what you want to call it. But we’re out there buying $120 billion worth of bonds every single month and, consequently, getting an interest rate of 1.3% on the 10-year yield. How does that make any sense, by the way? You think that I’m going to lend you money for 10 years, knowing that I’m only going to get my money back plus 1.3%? I mean it really doesn’t make any sense. It sort of defies logic in every single way.
So, be smart. Be protected. Go to americanconsequences.com. Go to 2021ronpaulwarning.com. Go to trishintel.com where we, again, are writing on all of this. And make sure that you have downloaded and subscribed to this podcast available on Apple iTunes, Spotify, or anywhere you get your podcasts because this is an important issue that we’re going to continue, right here, to dissect every single week. Thank you so much for listening. Make sure you download the podcast. Make sure you go to americanconsequences.com. I’ll see you next week.
M: Thank you for listening to this episode of American Consequences. Want more Trish? Read her weekly articles, Thursdays, in our magazine at americanconsequences.com and subscribe for free to get all of our daily articles and the monthly magazine. We’d love to hear from you, too. Send Trish a note, [email protected]
This broadcast is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered personalized investment advice. Trading stocks and all other financial instruments involves risk. You should not make any investment decision based solely on what you hear. Trish Regan’s American Consequences is produced by Stansberry Research and American Consequences and is copyrighted by the Stansberry Radio Network.
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