new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious
liberty from every Part of Europe. Hither have they fled, not from the tender
embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far
true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home
pursues their descendants still." -- Thomas Paine, Common Sense, January 10,
Sound Money: Fight for It!
Isn't it ironic that gold and the gold
standard have been dubbed the barbarous relic when it's the paper systems that
are forced on us that are reducing the world to barbarism?
Austrians Remove the Burden of Fear
June 21, 2011
Bad ideas are sometimes the hardest to
de-throne. It’s probably accurate to say most people think of money as the
paper currency printed by governments. And it is money in the sense that
it functions as a medium of exchange, but is it sound, is it vulnerable to
inflation? Its very existence is evidence that it is, so why are so many people
reluctant to switch to a money that isn’t?
Who said it, when and where?
June 14, 2011
Over the years I've accumulated a long list
of quotes about money and banking extracted from online articles and books I've
read. Unlike most other sites that post pithy remarks from famous authors, I
include hyperlinks to their sources, so that anyone who wishes can not only
verify a quote but, perhaps more importantly, read the context in which it was
From "golden fetters" to handcuffed
June 7, 2011
financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the
owners of wealth to protect themselves." -
Alan Greenspan, 1966
If investors attempt an alternative such as
purchasing physical precious metals, the government will either restrict those
activities or abolish them. One way or another it will see that it has the
"captives" needed to pay its bills.
That Other Invisible Hand
May 27, 2011
As Adam Smith explains, the free market brings its
wonders to the world by virtue of an invisible hand. Individuals cooperating
under the international division of labor and seeking generally to satisfy
their own wants end up promoting the general welfare, often without intending
to or without realizing it.
The Triumph of the Bankers
May 24, 2011
In spite of its success in bestowing wealth on some men
funding an unnecessary war,  the National Banking System proved
unsatisfactory to financial leaders. (See “Who
Paid for the Civil War?”) Even with laws discouraging or restricting
redemption, crises still occurred, and banks had to contract and deflate to
Central Banking Quicksand
May 20, 2011
The German hyperinflation was one of many runaway
inflations of the last century. Hungary, China, Bolivia, Argentina, Peru,
Brazil, Russia, Austria, Poland, Greece, and the Ukraine, among others, all
experienced hyperinflations in varying degrees. But the worst case of monetary
destruction happened in Yugoslavia from 1993-1994.
Who Paid for the Civil War?
May 20, 2011
When war broke out in 1861,
the federal government was without its own money machine, though that would soon
change. As expenses from the war mounted, the U.S. government once again issued
Treasury Notes to help finance it. The Act of July 17, 1861 authorized Secretary
of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase to issue notes at 7.30%, a rate chosen to make
interest calculation so easy they...
Inflation, Government's WMD
May 17, 2011
Inflation’s standard definition is too narrow to provide an appreciation of the
extent of its harm; it is far more than a deterioration of the currency’s
purchasing power. It’s also much more than a “hidden tax.” Government’s
perennial fiat inflation is a subtle WMD.
Wildcat Inflation Fighter
May 16, 2011
Though banking and government have had a corrupt
relationship throughout history, the Suffolk Bank and Independent Treasury
System, both of which were prominent during the “wildcat banking” era of the 19th
Century, represent significant efforts at reform.
May 15, 2011
By most accounts, selling a central bank to an educated
populace should be a daunting public relations task, if not an impossible one.
Think of trying to convince the Pope to swear allegiance to the devil or getting
a politician to resign and get a productive job. Yet selling lies, even Big
Lies, is an area where power lovers have excelled throughout history with
Inflation Inferno I
April 28, 2011
Governments and bankers hate gold because its supply cannot
be inflated on command. They work hard to establish and retain a monetary system
under their control that can respond quickly to their demands for inflation — or
what today is called "accommodation."
Is the Fed dollar "safe and stable"?
January 4, 2011
If we want a safe and stable monetary
system we need to eliminate the elements that make our current system grossly
unfair and unstable. The Fed must be abolished, and the government must be
excluded from monetary matters altogether. We need free market money - probably
gold and/or silver - run by free market institutions. Government's one role
would be to protect private property and uphold contracts, which would make it
difficult, if not impossible, for banks to engage in the
fraud of fractional
reserve banking. Only then could we look to the future with
How an Economy Grows
November 2, 2010
Since World War II, most economists have been
apologists for government growth.
Now the "experts" who never
see a crisis coming tell us that we must once again
principles to save the free-market system.
Did the Cream Rise to the Top - or Something
October 29, 2010
Economics has been called the “dismal
science” for over 150 years. This is unfair. Outside of the Austrian school,
economics, in parroting the methodology of the hard sciences, has forfeited its
claim to being “scientific.” Since World War II especially, economists have been
mostly apologists for government growth and
more of the same.
Bad Monetary Policy Is Redundant
September 3, 2010
Why is it that if a private individual or firm prints
money they're engaged in the high crime of
counterfeiting, which is another name for inflation, whereas when the Fed
prints money it's called "monetary policy" and is considered our best tool for
The only good monetary policy is no monetary policy.
July 3, 2010
Would you buy a gold bar from a vending
machine? If the ATM were located in a secure area, and the bars carried an
acceptable premium over the current spot price and could be purchased in units
as small as one gram or as large as an ounce, would you consider swapping your
unbacked paper money for an authenticated 24-karat gold bar?
Thomas Paine, Liberty's Hated Torchbearer
June 8, 2010
As the 18th century's most influential political
pamphleteer, Paine's reputation was born with the American Revolution he was
largely responsible for creating, and he wanted to spend his last years among
people with whom he shared a passion for liberty.
The Never-Ending Saga of Economic Crises
June 4, 2010
From that point on, government, through its
proxy the federal reserve, could create paper claims to economic goods without
concern about redeeming it for a unique kind of economic good: gold. By
government fiat, real money was no longer money. By government fiat, paper money
and bank deposits redeemable in paper money were now real money. The federal
reserve could create money at will without worrying about an equivalent amount
of metal on deposit. Member banks could continue making loans on small fractions
of their deposits without worrying about suspicious depositors suddenly rushing
madly to the banks for gold coin redemption.
the Way, Free Markets Are Free
January 29, 2010
Having failed to learn what causes depressions and how
to treat them when they arrive, our nation's leaders are steering us straight
into a monetary
catastrophe. Predictably, the major media voices are clinging to the
assurances of Keynesians, who see new wads of debt and paper money and conclude
the good times are ready to roll again; don't pay any heed to the millions
still looking for work.
Pens for Hire, Cheap
No one traveling in hostile country should ever be
without reliable protection. When the territory in question is intellectual, it
always helps to have the aid of fighters who've been there before. In fact, two
of the most seasoned pros are yours for only the cost of the effort required to
understand their arguments. Fortunately, these straight-shooting writers have
made that cost minimal.
I'm speaking of Thomas Paine (1737–1809) and Frederic
This site is
in no way connected to George H. Smith