The Popular Uprising Against Central Banking

The American Conservative published an excellent article by Thomas E. Woods about how Ron Paul’s efforts to abolish the Federal Reserve are gaining mainstream traction.

Fed Up!

The popular uprising against central banking

By Thomas E. Woods Jr.

The way Ron Paul tells it, his more than 30 years of speaking and writing about money, inflation, and the Federal Reserve System attracted only limited interest outside libertarian and constitutionalist circles. The subject, and Paul as its spokesman, were scarcely to be found in the media, even—or perhaps especially—on the business networks.

But Paul’s 2008 presidential bid changed that. Suddenly the Fed was on the table for discussion for the first time since Congress established it in 1913. With Paul making the evils of central banking and fiat money a theme of his campaign, the issue took on a vigor that few expected. Even calling for the Fed’s outright abolition was [no] longer unheard of on the television news networks.

When Paul first raised the issue in his campaign, he had no idea what he was tapping into. “I didn’t realize people your age knew so much about money and inflation,” he told a rally at the University of Pittsburgh last year. “But it gets the largest applause at college campuses. I figured the first time it happened [at the University of Southern California] it was an accident. … But then at the University of Michigan, they started to burn Federal Reserve Notes.”

To Paul’s surprise, some of his loudest applause lines involved salvos against the Fed. Chants of “End the Fed!” greeted his denunciations of the economic damage the central bank was unleashing. An underappreciated reason for Paul’s fundraising prowess was his outspoken opposition to the Fed, a subject that had long been off limits in American politics. Eventually, a national organization called End the Fed, with local chapters around the country, gave institutional expression to the issue, sponsoring a series of demonstrations against the central bank in 39 cities last November.

This is a new phenomenon on the Right. The libertarian and conservative think tanks that liberally invoke the names of Austrian School economists like F.A. Hayek have tended to ignore these men’s opposition to central banking, a position too politically incorrect even for those who pride themselves on their willingness to defend unpopular positions. The Ludwig von Mises Institute and the Foundation for Economic Education have been among the handful of exceptions to this rule, providing the scholarly infrastructure to convert what was sometimes an inchoate unease about the Fed among Paul supporters into well-honed arguments.

Unlike in the past, moreover, commentators with high media profiles now defend this view of money and central banking. Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, may be the best known of these. Schiff foretold the crisis before it happened, including the bankruptcy of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. His books Crash Proof and The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets, both of which have sold well, take an Austrian approach to current conditions. A grassroots movement is even trying to draft Schiff, a resident of Connecticut, to run for U.S. Senate against Chris Dodd in 2010.

Schiff isn’t alone. Famed investor Jim Rogers calls for the abolition of the Fed when he’s a guest on business networks. Indeed, he predicts the Fed’s demise sometime in the next ten years. Another Austrian analyst all over television and the print media is James Grant, editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer. Similarly high-profile is Mish Shedlock, whose Global Economic Trend Analysis blog takes a reliably anti-Fed position.

Read the rest of the article at The American Conservative’s website.

(Links were not in the original article and have been added for our readers’ convenience)


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  • Nag

    You might say I am on the lunatic fringe. However, if I am not mistaken, it was the continental congress which gave us our first fiat money. So, the concept is not strictly alienated to the fed. In the same vien, I believe, it was Sir John Law which gave man the idea of bartering his services with IOU’s, a couple of hundred years before the federal reserve note came along. Without the continental dollar this fledgling nation would have had no way to fund its “patriots”. Because the wealthy signers of independance were spending thier dough on propaganda. For most poor colonists were content on being loyal to the throne. I do believe that had it not been for the british counterfeiting campaign that we would either still have the continental or some type of mutation. As gold and silver were written in after the fact. In summary, creating wealth out of thin air has been with this nation before its inception. The lessons learned from this evil were eradicated by our creators. Unfortunately, it wasn’t learned by thier children (why did my money go from green to multicolored??).

  • Alice Lynn

    Federal reserve stinks! They are thieves, and if you know your constitutional rights, we shouldnt even have to pay Taxes and be cheated out of our money and land. So where does the Federal Reserve come in? This central bank has its hands on every aspect of the American economy. What most people do not know is that it is not a bank owned by the government. It is a private bank that controls the printing of American money and sets the interest rates. In fact the federal government gets its money from the Federal Reserve and then pays the reserve interest on its own money! This entire system was fought by presidents since Thomas Jefferson, but the central bank and the control of American’s money supply was signed in to existence by Woodrow Wilson when Congress was on vacation. Wilson later expressed his regret with these words:

    “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial country is controlled by a system of credit…The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men…we are (now a government) ruled by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.” “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of currency first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that grow up around them will deprive the people of all of their property, until their children will wake up homeless on the continent that their fathers founded.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “I sincerely believe that the banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.” -Thomas Jefferson

  • Ross Johnson

    Why do we need Central Banks when the real wealth is in our people?Money only represents human potential.It is the oil that lubricates the engine.By economic definition it is a medium of exchange,store of wealth,method of deferred payment etc.

    Our financial institutions have turned money into a commodity and thus perverted its’ proper functions.The present system has fed off itself,totally divorced from the real economy.

    The most difficult juggling act is keeping a balance of power amongst Govt,the Corporates and the individual.Real democracy has not happened in western countries for a long time,since those with the most money have the greater say.

    There are many now who want to cringe into socialism and let Govt run the show.This will be an even bigger disaster.

  • Dick Dixon

    Someone please ban this rat “Sean”

    Thank you.

    D. Dixon.

  • Sean

    Thomas woods is a good man. I have video’s of him downloaded.