The Death Rattle of Libertarian Thought

facebook/Stonekettle

That commenter is a Libertarian, I’d bet money on it. He’s Libertarian, probably loved Alex Jones, knows he’s seen black helicopters, etc. I’d have been hiding in the bunker with him had I not become disabled and been forced to question basic libertarian beliefs in the process. I have very little patience for people who think like that these days.

Walk in my shoes for a day. That’s my advice for most of them. The commenter makes a casual reference to Jekyll Island. He probably means this book:

The Creature from Jekyll Island

I’ve read it myself. I liked the book back in my libertarian years, it gave meaning to a lot of the arguments that fueled libertarian economic thought. However, it’s important to then question what the book says and follow up the questions with personal research into the subject. The facts of the foundation of the Federal Reserve are not nearly as damning as they appear on the surface.

The reality of fiat money though, who profits from it and why, is a subject that almost no one understands. Especially not Libertarians or even the author of that book. If you want to understand why the Federal Reserve was created, you might want to read this book instead of the libertarian themed one listed above:

The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market’s Perfect Storm

I haven’t read it yet, but it is on my list since it was recommended by someone who commented on my thread on Facebook. There were good reasons for the creation of a central banking authority. I have determined that much over the years I’ve spent looking into the subject of economics and money. The Federal Reserve is likely a superior solution to the problem of managing fiat money, better than any of the central banks created by other countries have been. This observation doesn’t mean the Federal Reserve can’t be improved, it almost certainly can be.

It was because of that same commenter’s recommendations that I picked up and read:

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

Over the next 18 months between January 1930 and July 1932 the bottom fell out of the world economy. It did so because the authorities applied the wrong medicine to what was a very sick economy. They let the banking system go under, they tried to cut the budget deficit by curbing government expenditure and raising taxes, they refused to assist the European banking system, and they even raised interest rates. It was no wonder the global economy crumbled.

That book is hands down the best book on the subject of why we don’t use gold as money anymore, why it was the gold standard that failed the world in the Great Depression. I think that is the singularly most damaging thing about libertarian economic ideals in general and gold bugs in particular. The idea that the gold standard was good for international commerce and that we were betrayed in leaving it. The real story is far more complex and make for a very interesting read, if you are into that. (My review article)

The failure of the system in 2008, the faults that lead to that, have not been corrected yet, which should scare anyone with a modicum of understanding of the subject. One of the reasons I read Robert Reich’s posts on Facebook and then repost them so frequently is that he’s one of the few people that seem to have a clue about what went wrong in 2008 and how to fix it. In hindsight, it was probably a blessing that Ben Bernanke was in charge of the Fed and not Alan Greenspan after Greenspan/Reagan’s deregulation push caused the bubble that burst in 2008. To think that I used to think of him as helicopter Ben along with the rest of the libertarians. What a bunch of fools we were.

Deregulation of the financial sector is quite possibly the dumbest thing ever done, and the overly simplistic idea that we can go back to commodities as money looks stupid in the rear-view mirror even though I liked as an ideal in the recent past. There are just too many people for the kinds of money solutions humans used in the past to work now. We’re going to have to reinvent money again in the near future. The sooner we do this, the better.

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Postscript

I have definitely slacked off sharing Robert Reich’s Facebook feed. He gets far more hits on his feed than I do so I don’t see the need to share most of his stuff anymore. I’ve stopped sharing most everything on Facebook and only go there a few times a week now just to see if any of my friends have had bombshells dropped in their lives recently. It is my desire to uncouple myself from Facebook that has lead me to create blog articles for most of the things I’ve said as comments and status updates there. Facebook doesn’t own my words, I do.

The reason why I titled this The Death Rattle of Libertarian Thought has more to do with Stonekettle’s commenter using the slur Hitlary to describe Hillary Clinton, and the rest of his wingnut ranting, than it does with anything else I wrote that day on Facebook. Their mindless rejection of the possibility of Hillary Clinton being a better president than Donald Trump was going to be was the final nail in the libertarian coffin for me. Hate the woman all you like, but to pretend that she would have been worse than that drooling moron that the Republicans put in the office? That will go down in my personal history as the day libertarianism died an unlamented death.

I am queuing up The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market’s Perfect Storm, since I’ve stumbled across that thread on Facebook again (2021) After I was so impressed with my commenters other suggested book, I’m going to give her first suggestion a try, too.

Author: RAnthony

I'm a freethinking, unapologetic liberal. I'm a former CAD guru with an architectural fetish. I'm a happily married father. I'm also a disabled Meniere's sufferer.

Attacks on arguments offered are appreciated and awaited. Attacks on the author will be deleted.