Does anyone here in this house speak goldbug-babble? Anyone who can make sense of Dr. Paul’s logic in the clip below, I’m curious what the fuck this man is trying to hawk to his 1988 C-SPAN viewers. I mean I know it’s snake-oil, but even snake-oil pitches have a logic to them. This one just sounds like bat-shit blather.
As far as I can tell, the reason why the Koch brothers hire tools to promote the gold standard is the same reason that robber barons of the 19th century loved the gold standard so much: Gold locks in the power and wealth of those who have all the power and wealth; and gold locks out everyone else who’s not so lucky, condemning them to serfdom. Which leads to Populist uprisings, labor unrest, and all that century-old misery. That would explain why Koch fronts like Ron Paul hustle the gold standard to us suckers as the equivalent to “freedom”–just like coal companies pitching the public the lie about “clean coal”–you want the suckers to believe that a gold standard will offer them the very opposite of the misery it delivers.
That part of the scam I get. Fair enough. But this 1988 gold standard pitch? Makes no sense.
Over the years, Congressman Ron Paul, hero of the libertarian cult, has hawked his beloved “gold standard” as the cure-all for [NAME OF CURRENT CRISIS], logic be damned. In this video, Dr. Paul promises that the gold standard will solve the trade deficit with Japan, the hot topic in 1988–in fact, Dr. Paul says there won’t even be a trade deficit to worry about if there’s a gold standard, and moreover, people won’t even have to keep accounting records anymore!
Here’s the background to the clip: It’s presidential elections time, 1988, and Dr. Paul is running for president as the Libertarian Party candidate. By this time, American industry has been thoroughly gutted by Reagan, a by-product of his jihad to destroy labor unions. By the end of Reagan’s second term, America was saddled with a frightening trade deficit with Japan, and everyone on the Sunday talk shows harrumphed that Japan–which protects its industry and gives its workers free universal health care–was now getting its revenge on America-san over World War Two.
That’s the background. Since then, China has replaced Japan, but you get the picture.
Now, here’s Dr. Paul explaining to a C-SPAN interviewer his gold-standard Libertarpia, where trade deficits no longer matter, where you don’t even have to keep accounting records anymore thanks to the gold standard (he seriously says this), and yes, where the rivers flow with chocolate and the children laugh and play in free-market bliss with privatized gumdrop smiles. Here it is [I’ve pasted a transcript below]:
Anyone who can make sense of what the fuck Dr. Paul is talking about, let me know. Maybe that sign-language gorrilla, Koko, can make sense of it?
UPDATE: Our Australasia correspondent just sent me this British clip on the gold standard that makes roughly the same point about the gold standard–that it’s a bat-shit idea only a tuxedo-wearing right-wing aristocrat could love–only this clip rebuts the libertards better than anything I could write:
Here’s the transcript of Dr. Paul’s gold-standard hustle:
Q: If elected President, how would you handle the trade debt
RON PAUL: Well we wouldn’t worry a whole lot about it. We’d have sound money. And when you have sound money and free trade, you don’t worry about trade deficits. Do you know what the trade deficit is between New York and Texas? Nobody knows it and nobody cares. If we don’t have enough mobney in Texas we have to quit buying. That’s what would happen in the world if we had a sound monetary system, a gold standard where people couldn’t create money out of thin air. The only time tehse trade deficits mean something is when you’re on an inflated paper money system like we are today and then they mean something. So if you have a gold standard, sound money and free markets, you don’t even keep the records. If you spend too much money and you come up short, you gotta go back to work and earn some money before you can buy things from Japan. The fact that we buy a lot of things from Japan–if it were a free market, Japan couldn’t do anything else with those dollars except spend them. They’d either have to loan them back to us or they’d buy something from us. So some of those figures aren’t very meaningful. What we need is afree market, free trade, and sound money. If you had a gold standard–it wouldn’t be so much state fixed rates, but it would be market-wise. The rates would be fixed. Everybody would work on an ounce of gold rather than on dollars and yen.
Q: But even if you go to a gold standard and say, “The United States is now a free trade, open market, anything goes,” how is that going to bring down the walls that Japan has built up against US products?
RON PAUL: It would be irrelevant because it would only hurt the Japanese ten times more than us. The only reason they can do that is because we give them a 50 billion dollar subsidy and they can turn around be more choosy what they do with us. But if they didn’t have that advantage it would be to their disadvantage if they couldn’t buy from us. And again, if they got a lot of dollars from us because we were buying cars, what are they going to do with their dollars? They have to either buy debt from us or invest in our stock market. All the money would have to come back eventually. … The only reason they have such an advantage now is because we give them horrendous tax subsidies through foreign aid and military aid.
Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.
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