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Showing posts from October, 2012

A Review of Gary North's "What is Money?"

The inaugural installment of this collection of essays first appeared on on September 29, 2009 - fittingly, Ludwig von Mises' birthday. Dr. North is one of the foremost Austrian economists and economic historians working today, and has gained a wide following with his writing and lectures. These essays are virtually impossible to overrate; they clear up so much of what is misunderstood about money and banking.

Our civilization depends on sound money and honest banking. As North makes emphatically clear, we have neither.

A few excerpts should get my point across:

"The heart of the modern monetary system is fractional reserve banking. This system is based on fraud. At the very heart of the modern economy is fraud -- fraud on a gigantic scale. What is the nature of this fraud? Counterfeiting. Banks are government-licensed institutions that issue bogus IOUs. Because these IOUs function as money, they are counterfeit money. This is the heart, mind, and soul of all …

Securing Property Rights in the Absence of a State

Many Rothbardians are vowing not to vote in this or any election since voting only supports the State.  But I wonder if they could be persuaded otherwise if they knew one of the ballot choices were to dissolve the governments and replace them with voluntary market institutions.  Of course, we don’t have that choice, and most people would either laugh or be scared to death if it were proposed.   But with sovereign nations riding the Keynesian sled into the Abyss, the dissolution might fall in our laps anyway.  Preposterous as it might sound, we might need to consider organizing society around something other than the coercive monopolies driving us to extinction.

Fortunately, we have both experience and theory to draw upon.  In this article I want to touch on two sources from each: The classic study by Terry L. Anderson and P. J. Hill, An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West and Robert P. Murphy’s Chaos Theory.

Thanks to Hollywood and popular literature,…