Archive for May 2008

The Revolution

May 28, 2008

Ron Paul’s The Revolution: A Manifesto is a clear and simple a picture of what a free society looks like, used to look like, and what some of us long for. This book more than accomplishes what a manifesto should as it provides an easy to follow road map bringing us back to the fundamental limits of government set forth in that long forgotten piece of paper, the U.S. Constitution.

The book has some great little anecdotes and stories highlighting the issues and problems Paul describes.  But his section on monetary policy and the manipulation of our currency is arguably the most important part of the book if for no other reason than it is the least understood (much less discussed) problem facing America. The Federal Reserve is simply an evil and immoral institution and the ability to print money out of thin air amounts to nothing more than a clever form of TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.

Simply put, monetary manipulation is theft that greatly benefits those in power at the expense of the general public and is a swindle that largely goes unnoticed. Well, not if Ron Paul can help it.

Frankly, my eyes used to glaze over whenever I would hear someone talk about monetary policy or seemingly arcane topics like the gold standard. A test pattern would immediately appear in my mind as I would be lulled to sleep by the boring monotone of Alan Greenspan or some other Greenspan wannabee droning on about economic indicators, indexes and the general meaningless minutia of macro and micro economics. Not any more thanks to John Robbins’ piece, The Case Against Indexation in his powerful new book, Freedom and Capitalism, and, of course, Ron Paul presidential campaign. No longer can discussions of the unconstitutional and secretive Federal Reserve be dismissed as the hobgoblin of conspiracy theorists and the ramblings of Illuminati inspired nut-jobs. If nothing else, Ron Paul has done more to bring this topic out of the fevered backwaters and into the forefront of American politics than anyone else in history. In this sense Ron Paul’s presidential campaign was a success.

As Paul points out, new money is used to fund the war and is a great benefit to those in government who get full buying power from the new dollars before the deleterious effects of the increased money supply impacts the rest of the economy. By the time these new dollars trickle down to the middle class, the poor and those on fixed incomes (retirees and widows), those who are really hurt by our now severely devalued dollar, most have no idea why costs for virtually everything are going through the roof and are (sadly) willing believe any explanation the government and the so-called “financial wizards” in Washington give us.

Paul points out that the real deception is that since there is this lag between the creation of new money and its effects on the rest of the economy, those who benefit from this swindle can blame other seemingly benign factors (that are arguably outside of the power of government to control) like the machinations of the oil cartels, crop failures, environmental wacko inspired policies, foreign trade, illegal immigration, natural disasters (like hurricanes with names like Katrina), or whatever else to divert people’s attention away from the real cause of rising prices.

Beyond that, manipulation of the money supply, along with the Fed artificially adjusting interest rates, causes business cycles (witness the boom and bust of the real estate/mortgage market), malinvestment and discourages saving since it’s better to spend your money now rather than save it only to have its buying power evaporate as the Fed just prints more money.

It used to be that in times of war (a least during the last constitutionally declared war) people were encouraged to do things like buy war bonds, make sacrifices (remember “victory gardens”), and “do their part” for the war effort. The key here was that since the war was constitutionally declared (something which all wars should be) we were all in it together and the sacrifices we were called to make were all voluntary. Now our government just prints money out of thin air and forces Americans to “sacrifice” at the grocery store and at the gas pump by means of their coercive manipulation of our money supply. A clearer modern example of corrupt weights and measures, something God strongly condemns, would be hard to find. For example, consider this from Deuteronomy 25:14-16:

Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.

If it’s an abomination for me to defraud someone, why would the U.S. Government be any less abominable in God’s sight for doing the same? Or consider Micah 6:11-13:

Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights? For the rich men thereof are full of violence, and the inhabitants thereof have spoken lies, and their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. Therefore also will I make thee sick in smiting thee, in making thee desolate because of thy sins.

Let’s just say that Paul’s analysis of our government’s monetary manipulation is not going unnoticed, even if Winthrop’s “shining city upon a hill” is looking pretty dingy these days.

May the revolution continue . . . .

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Rusted Memories

May 1, 2008

G.L.W. Johnson is the senior pastor at Church of the Redeemer in Mesa, Arizona, and the editor of B. B. Warfield: Essays on His Life and Thought. Recently, Johnson has been busy at Lane Keister’s Greenbaggins blog offering up a series of reviews of John Muether’s new biography, Cornelius Van Til: Reformed Apologist and Churchman. In his latest installment Johnson provides some homey recollections of time he spent with both with Gordon Clark and the man he most admires, Cornelius Van Til.

Before getting into the substance of Johnson’s reminiscence, I should point out that this is the same Pastor Johnson who, when asked to consider John Robbins’ dispute with Muether examined in Can the Orthodox Presbyterian Church be Saved? , or perhaps even giving him a call to get his side on Muether’s questionable take on the Clark controversy, said he “wouldn’t give Robbins the time of day.” He then went on to justify his snide, sinful and unprovoked attack on his brother in Christ by saying: “Anyone who claims to be ‘Reformed’ and yet describes both Bavinck and Vos as the two ’sinister’ figures behind Van Til would merit only Warfield’s contempt.”

Ouch!

Now, admittedly, I couldn’t find any instances where Dr. Robbins’ described either Bavinck or Vos as “sinister” or that they were somehow the “puppet masters” behind Van Til. Maybe I missed something or maybe this is a good reason for Johnson not to trust his memory. Robbins does cite some short incoherent babble from Bavinck that very much tracks the later anti-intellectual and incoherent babble repeated by Van Til. So I asked Johnson was Robbins wrong for doing so? Johnson didn’t say. Robbins has also been very critical of the entire biblical theological movement that has both jettisoned logic and usurped systematics in any number of Presbyterian and Reformed circles and seminaries. Again, I fail to see the problem.

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