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primemover

Allan Greenspan

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Although a lengthy read, this discussion provides some interesting historical insight to the banking system, inflation and confiscatory taxes:

Since the Fed trades non-interest-earning money for interest-earning bonds, the system tends to inflate the money supply essentially eternally, in a quiet, endless campaign of wealth confiscation from the public, in order that the government can honor the bonds held by the Fed. That the Fed's profits are assigned to the Treasury does not change this, and since the two are just components of a single monolith, it's really just a change of pocket, not a change of pants.

That portion of the mature debt that is not honored through inflation is honored by taxation, mostly by income taxation, which of course is widely recognized as confiscatory prima facie. Income taxation is usually set as high as is politically feasible.

When debts are retired by income taxation, the money supply contracts, increasing the value of a quantum. This is because the Fed throws away money it is paid - which, of course, is no less unreasonable than making up money to pay out. With income taxation, wealth is redistributed from those who pay taxes to those who do not (notably, ``philanthropic'' foundations), without any explicit pay-out. Importantly, the architecture of the system necessarily inflates the money supply whenever debts are retired by means other than taxation, and inflation is no less clearly confiscatory than is explicit income taxation itself. That is, one way or the other, intrinsic to the architecture, wealth is confiscated from the public. Even the presumption of a benevolent FOMC cannot avoid this - only retirement of the entire national debt (over $6 trillion, or about $20000 per human living in the United States), proscription of deficit spending, deprecation of income (and sales and property) taxation, and cessation of so-called Federal Open Market activities, can end the cycle of theft.

source:

http://www.mega.nu:8080/ampp/corporate.html#metatop

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What are his views on all of it today?

I don't know, but will offer something I watched recently. Greenspan gives "testimony" before the House and Senate on a regular basis. Within the past several weeks, he was answering questions of House members.

Rep. Ron Paul challenged him on the gold standard. For those who don't know, Ron Paul is the only member of Congress that I am aware of who is not a statist. He was a Republican congressman for several years, then ran for president for the Libertarian Party. After losing that, he ran again in his Texas district for Congress as a Republican. The Republican Party tried to beat him in the primaries several times with other, conservative, Republicans. They could not and now he is a fixture in Congress that the Republicans wish would go away. He routinely votes against any spending (or other) bill that is not authorized in the US Constitution.

Anyway, he was asking Greenspan about why we shouldn't go back to a gold standard (Ron Paul wants it). Greenspan's response was unintelligible (as usual), basically saying that what the Federal Reserve does today is akin to accomplishing what a gold standard would. Ron Paul wasn't buying it and Greenspan had a smirk on his face that told me he knew any gold standard fan wouldn't buy it, either. I didn't catch the entire Q&A, but that was the gist of what I got. It was an interesting exchange.

I have often wondered about Greenspan and others in those positions. It would be very easy to set up offshore companies that buy and sell US Treasury bonds, futures, forex currency contracts, etc. and move ahead of everyone else. They are privy to certain government reports before they are released. I have no idea if financial gain is his motive. Maybe it's just Lord Acton's words, "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Greenspan has been Fed Chair longer than anyone else. He has presided over a massive inflation of the money supply during his time. I have never seen him propose any ideas that would move the country away from a central bank or towards a less powerful state. He has talked in general terms, such as tax cuts being a good idea. Yet, he has also recommended not cutting taxes at times.

If there was ever a bully pulpit to advocate the gold standard, improving the economy through downsizing government or any other pro-Capitalist (or pro-Objectivist) ideas, being Federal Reserve Chairman is it. It is considered by some to be the most powerful position in the world. If he really wanted to talk, people would listen. And the debates would occur around the world.

I suspect he has long abandoned any ideas of Capitalism untouched by government. At best, he has mixed views. More likely, he has concluded that it's better to be Fed Chairman than an Objectivist.

~ zynner

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Anyway, he was asking Greenspan about why we shouldn't go back to a gold standard (Ron Paul wants it). Greenspan's response was unintelligible (as usual), basically saying that what the Federal Reserve does today is akin to accomplishing what a gold standard would. Ron Paul wasn't buying it and Greenspan had a smirk on his face that told me he knew any gold standard fan wouldn't buy it, either. I didn't catch the entire Q&A, but that was the gist of what I got. It was an interesting exchange.
Was it really unintelligible, or where you exagerating? I assume you were exagerating.

If you were not exagerating, how did you make the conclusion below?

I suspect he has long abandoned any ideas of Capitalism untouched by government.  At best, he has mixed views.  More likely, he has concluded that it's better to be Fed Chairman than an Objectivist.

I watched that same interview and was lost on some of the economic issues, but what I was able to comprehend, did not sound wrong. In fact, I thought at times he went out of his way disagree with some eonomic principles the congressman were suggesting. In any event, economics is on my reading list so that I can figure out what he is on my own.

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A guy like Greenspan isn't going to change. That is one thing about Objectivists in general; the philosophy makes so much sense eventual it all becomes a moral conviction.

It would be my best guess that he still remains true to his beliefs as he keeps the board in check the best that he reasonably can. He has to watch his mouth very carefully, namely when it comes to destroying the centralized bank, because otherwise they will kill him just like everyone else who tried to do so, with the exception of Andrew Jackson.

Money was- and is- funnelled to Nazis and now terrorists easier than you would think.

An even simpler way to look at it: the act was passed in 1913 under Woodrow Wilson (hmm... see also: graduated income tax; federal trade comission... a moron? I think so). Notice 1: What happened when they started playing with their power in 1929; 2: the stability of our economy ever since; And 3: Let's see here. The oldest inflation data dates back to 1914. What cost 9.9 CENTS in 1913 cost $1.82 in 2003. The US Dollar was created in 1785; so that's 128 years with virtually no inflation, followed by 90 years with an overall markup of roughly 1800%.

Well, at least America should be the richest counrty in the world.

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I'm not sure anyone can answer "why" except for Greenspan himself. Maybe he just honestly changed his mind, maybe he was a poseur and a liar. According to Rothbard, who also knew him in his Objectivist days, he believes in laissez-faire on a "higher philosophical level," but advocates centrism because he is a pragmatist:

For Greenspan, laissez-faire is not a lodestar, a standard, and a guide by which to set one's course; instead, it is simply a curiosity kept in the closet, totally divorced from his concrete policy conclusions.

It's obvious Rand mis-judged the man, however, while she was alive, Greenspan was not publicly ensconced in the Establishment as he would later be in the late 80s when he absorbed the conservative Keynesian views. Greenspan also is a member of the Trilateral Commission, and Council on Foreign Relations, which openly call for a heavily taxed, regulated, and centrally planned economic structure around the world. (I don't have time to research it more right now, but maybe I'll look more into his ties there later...)

Edit: Oh I didn't know you changed the OP, sorry.

Edited by 2046

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Appreciate the response. It makes sense, just a bummer because I always liked his writings on the issue. And yea, I think this OP is a bit more interesting and though provoking :pimp:

Edited by softwareNerd
Removed quoted text

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