Ron Paul’s Speech at Wake Forest University

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Location: Wake Forest University
Date: 4/20/2009


Ron Paul: Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, thank you. Thank you. You’d think a campaign was going on or something like that. It’s great to see so many young people interested in what we’ve been talking about. I assume most of you have heard about the Internet and you get a little information from the Internet now and then. I am just so pleased to see the excitement that has continued since the campaign a year or so ago and along with the Campaign for Liberty. Because evidently there is still a lot of people in this country who care about liberty and freedom and all that has made American great and I’m delighted to have you here.

Probably most of what I will talk about tonight will be warning you about what you are inheriting, because it’s a mess and I don’t need to tell you that, because everybody knows it. There’s something different. There’s something in the atmosphere now that is different than it’s ever been since I’ve been involved in politics. And the very first time I ran was in 1974, and something really is going on that is getting the attention of the entire world. It is usually the financial problems that we’re facing that’s getting everybody’s attention, and rightfully so. It is a major, major crisis. It is something I have written about and talked about for many years.

I believe very sincerely that the financial bubble that burst here about a year and a half ago was the largest financial bubble in the history of the world. Unfortunately, this could have been prevented. It could have been prevented by really just paying a lot more attention to our Constitution. Just doing that would have solved a lot of our problems.

The issue of money was something I talked about as early as 1974. Matter of fact, it was the issue of money that prompted me to speak out in those early years because I had witnessed and remember very clearly 1971, and that was when the previous monetary situation came to an end. The Bretton Woods agreement which was established in 1944 lasted till 1971 and it collapsed. It collapsed and that was the last linkage that we had to gold. And I was convinced it would usher in a bad age. The 1970s were very, very bad. I guess to some of our surprises the situation after that worked out a little bit better and it lasted a little bit longer because it had become more sophisticated and more aggressive at inflating the bubble. And yet, it was inevitable that a financial bubble based on printed money and created credit and debt always comes to an end.

And that was the reason that it was easy to assume that we would face this crisis and we’re in the middle of it now. And you, the young people especially, all Americans now, need to deal with this problem. And this problem has encouraged us to do a couple of things that I think are rather dangerous, dangerous not only to our economic wellbeing. But the real problem is, we don’t clean up the mess and understand the monetary issue and understand that what big government does is it takes away our liberty. And that is what we need, we need to preserve our liberty. We can be poor, we can have a tough time, but if you have your freedom and you’re willing to work, we can be back on our feet in no time.

Of course, there’s a couple of little things we have to do along the way like repeal the 16th amendment and get rid of the income tax, and getting rid of the Fed. […] Congress went and established a Federal Reserve. People say, “Well how do you get rid of it?”. Well, we get rid of it the same way it came about: Congress. Congress created it, Congress can get rid of it. When will they do it? It’s when we become outraged enough to send a message to Washington and say, “Enough is enough. No more central economic planning through this sinister, evil, immoral counterfeiting”.

You might ask, “Why haven’t we addressed this before until now?” Because, economically, we did fairly well. A couple of years ago people were feeling pretty good. People weren’t complaining, they weren’t receptive to this message because they were still getting stuff from the government. And there is still a large number of people in this country. We may still be the minority in the sense that the majority still think they can get something from the government. Unfortunately, the group that’s getting the most right now is Wall Street and the big bankers and the people who lived off us for all these years, and that’s why the bailout is every bit as bad as the building of the bubble.

The Congress never paid much attention, they still don’t pay a whole lot of attention. Monetary issues have not been high on the agenda. There’s not a great deal of understanding of exactly how the Fed words. Right now, of course, it’s difficult to know exactly how it works behind the scenes because they won’t tell us what they are doing. That’s why HR 1207, getting the books open and finding out exactly what the Fed is doing, is so important.

I make the argument that if we get that bill passed and if we get the books open then we can ask and get answers on this issue, the second stage won’t be as difficult. It’s just finding out and letting the American people know how this thing operates. It will make a difference and then ending the Fed will come. This is not something brand new in history. In the past, countries have abused and destroyed their currencies and anytime the people get rowed up and have a vote on it, people do not vote for paper money or debasing the currency or diluted coinage or clipping coins. They always vote for sound money.

We did it at the time of our revolution, we did it after the civil war period, we did it in 1900 when there was an argument over the monetary standard. So, when the people know about it and we can get it out in the forefront, which is an opportunity for us now because people are thinking along these lines, rest assured that the people aren’t going to vote to keep the money machine of the Federal Reserve going, they’re going to vote for gold and silver as real money.

The Congress didn’t pay much attention, the economy seemed to be perking along, people were benefiting, nobody really asked the question “Why do we seem so prosperous?”. Well, anybody could seem prosperous if you had unlimited borrowing power and unlimited taxing power and unlimited printing power, but they never really questioned it. As long as it seemed to work, they did’t care. But the real concern even through those years that I had was that Congress had the freedom to spend money. They weren’t held responsible.

So, there is a certain group in Washington that think that we have to be the policeman of the world, that we have to be the nation builder and we have to travel around and spread our wonderful goodness even if it uses force to do so. It taught us something that I thought was very, very dangerous. It taught us to be aggressive with our foreign policy. Instead, I think we should have another option.

Today, our foreign policy is based on two principles. One: We go to countries and then we say, “We would like you to do this and will you do this” and if they’re co-operative they do it and we give them a lot of money. If we go to them and they so, “No, we don’t want to do it”. Or they do it for a while and then they quit and they upset us, we don’t give them money, we give them bombs.

We need another option. We need to get out of the business of telling other countries how to live and decide the defensiveness of this country. Defending American is a sound principle and it’s time, for financial reasons if no other reason, but especially because we shouldn’t be doing it, it’s time to bring our troops home from around the world.

We talk about the Middle East the most because that’s where most of the fighting is going on, but when I was in high school we went into Korea and we’re still there. Little bit before that we went into Japan and we’re still in Japan, we’re still in Europe. We’re all over the world. It costs about a trillion dollars to run our foreign affairs operations when we have everything up. And it’s expanding. So the American people finally got annoyed with this during the last administration on how these wars were going and they were perpetual. We’re in Afghanistan, and then we quickly go into Iraq and then we start bombing Pakistan, so people wanted change. Change was offered and the change came. It was supposed to anyway.

But foreign policy is run by the same group of individuals regardless of political party and it’s time we made sure that neoconservativism didn’t exist anymore and that the American constitution ran foreign policy and not the neoconservatives who want to police the world.

Now, there are still some who voted for change. They don’t quite know that they’re not going to get it, but if they look at the budget they will find out that that budget dealing with the DOD went up 9%. We heard about the economic program last week: more money for education, more money for energy, more government interference, more money in medicine, nationalized health care and a lot more regulations on the financial markets. No talk about the income tax and no talk about the Federal Reserve System.

But, in conclusion, the fifth point in the new program was that we have to be fiscally responsible and in time we will be responsible, you know, in the next administration. That’s what happens all the time. But today there was a token offer by the administration to make sure that you knew that they were serious. So, out of this 3 trillion dollar budget they’re going to offer a 100 billion dollar cuts here and there which is just not going to cut it, believe me.

There is no concern whatsoever about the spending in Washington now that all the big guys have been bailed out. Wall Street and AIG and the car companies have all been bailed out so now everytime something comes up, that appeals maybe to the middle class, nothing is going to be voted down. But unfortunately even the things that they are giving to the middle class are things like national healthcare, free medical care. You know, where is this free medical care coming from? So we don’t expect much improvement on these programs.

We got into the mess by spending too much, borrowing too much, too much debt and too much printing of money. So we get into a crisis that was predictable because of the financial bubble. So what are they doing to fix it? They’re spending too much, they’re borrowing too much, running up too much debt and they’re printing like they’ve never printed before believing that they can re-inflate this bubble again. It’s not going to happen. That system that came into being in 1971 ended at the end of 2007. I believe that that financial system was a house of cards, it was destined to collapse, it has collapsed and they’re trying to rebuild it.

They say that the last thing the government should do is cut spending and deregulate. You know, one suggestion if you really want to help people in this crisis; why couldn’t we have at least said, “Why don’t we just get rid of the income tax immediately and let you have all your money that you spend and work for?”.

It probably would have cost a lot less than the bailouts and the money would have been immediately available. But, people will say, “Well, how can you do that? You talk about getting rid of the income tax, where are you going to save the money? What are you going to replace it with?” Well, when we get rid of the income tax we want to replace it with nothing.

But, we should cut spending. We could and should. Now, I’ve always argued the case that you don’t go and cut some social programs where people have been taught to be dependent for several generations now. So, under these circumstances every once in a while we have these proposals in Washington. Conservatives don’t want to cut any of the military spending and they say, “Oh we got to be fiscal conservatives”. So they want to cut child health care worth a few million dollars. And I think that just doesn’t add up because it’s not going to work that way. But, you could cut overseas spending. There’s no reason why every single program that we spend money here at home if we don’t want to just cut it off, like what’s going to happen if we continue with runaway inflation, everything just gets cut off. So, if we cut back, put some toward the deficit, we could work our way out of it.

What are the odds of that happening? Very, very slim. It’s not likely to happen because it makes too much sense. So they’re not going to do that, they’re going to, unfortunately, deliver to you a much bigger problem and I see that the only thing that’s holding this together right now is the dollar. Believe it or not, the dollar standard that created this financial system has collapsed because it was dead on debt. But people still now are buying dollars. I believe part of that comes from the fact that central banks get together and decide that it’s in the interest of everybody to try and prop the dollar up for as long as possible.

Even the Chinese didn’t buy as many dollars in January and February but they brought a lot of dollars in March. So they’re still buying dollars. But the dollar is the last resistance to total economic collapse in the crisis here. It’s the foundation and it’s not a sound foundation, it’s a foundation of sand. And once that is discovered, the dollar is going to lose its value because we have been creating more than anything this world has ever seen. And then we will have a major crisis. They talk about the problems that we face today economically. But what will happen when the dollar doesn’t work? People are going to get angry and they’re going to get upset and that worries me.

And that is why the message of liberty, the message of limited government, the message of sound money, the message of limited taxation is so vital because the answers are there, we don’t have to suffer through this. But right now that’s all that you’re being offered. And you think they would be cutting back overseas, but there they go expanding the DOD budget. But what about the expansion of the war? Do you think for a minute that they’re going to be out of Iraq next year? The war is going to continue because of the same people running it, they’re not going to walk away. There’s as much instability there as ever, probably a lot more instability than there was before we went in. And just think of the millions of people that have died and suffered on both sides and how many of our families and our military have suffered. And yet, here we are. We have our presence in Iraq, we have our presence in Afghanistan, almost on a daily basis we’re dropping bombs on Pakistan. And even Obama in the campaign promised he was going to send more troops to Afghanistan and he’s doing that.

You know, we had a vote not too long ago on Americorps. Americorps is the program that is going to discipline all our young people. So if you don’t have a job, they’re likely to invite you into Americorps. But, unfortunately, the goal of many in the administration is to make it a mandatory national youth service and that to me is not a part of what I think America is all about.

They come at the understanding of rights a lot differently than we do because they believe it comes from the government and they believe very sincerely that a draft is permissible under our system. You know what I call a draft? I call it slavery and that was supposed to have been outlawed.

We were hoping for some changes and that maybe there would be some modification in the drug war. “War is the health of the state”. We know Randolph Bourne said that. And then another famous general, Smedley Butler, said that “War is a racket” and low and behold, it is. The military-industrial complex is very interested in what happens. But also, the war on drugs is a disaster and we ought to repeal that war as well.

The war on drugs and so much else that they do in Washington is based on the assumption that you don’t know what is best for yourself and therefore we have to have the nannies in Washington telling us what to do because otherwise we wouldn’t take care of ourselves. They believe in both ways. A certain group believes that you don’t have good sense about how to spend your money so they’re going to tell you how to spend every penny and the other portion will say, “Well, you don’t know what to do about what you’re going to put into your lungs and into your stomach and therefore you need the government to take care of you”.

But the war on drugs has led to a severe crisis in civil liberties and this notion that we need the government to do this is really only a recent thing. It isn’t like Thomas Jefferson talked about it and ran on his platform saying, “Oh let’s tax marijuana” you know. That didn’t happen. That happened in 1937 and I just don’t see how we can put up with it. Just think about it.

It’s an issue about states’ rights. Liberals generally will say, “If you’re for state’s rights you’re a bad person”. But you know, I was on a liberal talk show the other day and their main interest was on marijuana and my criticism of the war on drugs. They were from California, so they brought up this subject and I pointed out to them, “That is why you should pay attention to the 10th amendment. You in California have a law that says you can use marijuana if you are sick and it might be helpful to you. But what do you do? You endorse the system of the feds coming in and overruling your state laws.” So, if we use that correctly, whether you’re left, right or middle, libertarian or conservative, there is reason to believe that local government is always superior to the federal government telling us what to do.

I think one of the silliest outcomes on the war on drugs has been this idea that if you go out and decide to raise hemp and make some rope, you’re a dangerous criminal. You know we’ve raised hemp in this country all the way through World War II. And as a matter of fact they will tell me, “But it’s still legal to raise hemp”. Yeah, technically it is. But you can’t do it unless you get federal license, but they won’t give you the license. So the states make it legal and you’re allowed to raise hemp but obviously they circumvent it and they take it over.

You know, when they prohibited the use of alcohol there was a lot more respect for the Constitution. They amended the Constitution to prohibit alcohol. As ill-advised as it was they amended it, the prohibition didn’t work and it was a disaster and it caused a lot of crime and things like that and sort of like what’s happening now.

But now they don’t even bother to think that you have to amend the Constitution for the federal government to take over these events. So to me it tells me that we live in an age where there is so little respect for the Constitution, which makes it tougher for us. But just like the monetary issue is becoming more appropriate to talk about, all these other issues will become more appropriate too. We live in very dangerous times, I expect a lot of chaos and trials, but I also believe that the spirit of liberty still lives in this country and enough people will wake up and our voices will be heard.

Sometimes people get discouraged because they say, “Well, we don’t have the 51%”. We certainly don’t even have 5% in Washington. But it is not a total numbers game. It has to do with people being in the right places and speaking and talking about the right things. A teacher or a writer is so much more important than those who just follow and go along. So, being in a position of influence is very important. The leadership is key to it. So, don’t count the numbers entirely. If Washington knew that the people were waking up and the intellectuals were talking our way, congressmen would change, they will mould very easily just like they go along with what we have now. They will change if they hear from you and they’re starting to hear from us. I heard that there were few rallies on April 15th, sounds like a pretty good idea.

But when this will happen we don’t know exactly. This could linger for a while. I happen to think the financial markets aren’t in a recovery phase like some people are dreaming. And just think about the loss of trillions and trillions of dollars and the concern that many of you must have about where your job is coming from. So the investment right now for all of us, every single one of us, is to invest in the cause of liberty.

A lot of people invest and they worry about their finances and they do a very good job, but ultimately the most important investment is in investing in a free society and that is why America was great. America was great because we had the best understanding, the best Constitution, and we had the freest system ever, and we became the most prosperous until finally the determination was always that of the material things. Because capitalism and freedom does produce a lot of materialism and material benefits and that’s the great part about it. But, low and behold, after a while instead of the lobbyist coming to Washington and make sure they were free citizens with a government that was small and that we weren’t doing too many things overseas, they started coming to Washington to help divvy up the loot, to spread the loot around, redistribute the wealth. We became materialistic in that sense. And like I say, there is nothing wrong with the materialism that you earn. But this idea that Washington became just nothing more than a source of redistributing the wealth then we forgot about emphasizing the important issues that maintain the society that can produce wealth, and that of course is what is being challenged.

I’m convinced that in the lifetime of almost everybody in this room that we will have to be confronted and a decision will have to be made and the decision will not be too complicated. There’s only one question that we have to answer, “What do you think the role of our government ought to be?” And should the role of the government be there to police the world or take care of somebody’s buddy and redistribute wealth and to run the banking system where they have certain advantages and where we get contracts from the government and we can manipulate the tax code to certain advantages? Or, was the Constitution designed for that very important purpose of the protection of liberty? That is what it is for. Now, the Constitution was explicit, it’s very clear on what it is supposed to do and it doesn’t have anything in there that tells the federal government they have the authority to regulate you and constrain you and tell you what to do with your lives. The Constitution says very clearly that it’s there to restrain the government, not the people.

In a free society you have the greatest amount of productivity, you have the greatest amount of abundance. We should never be bashful for arguing that because the big government folks have for so long wanted to make us feel guilty by saying, “Oh you’re selfish, you want to take care of yourself, you’re not humanitarians! We care about people. We want to give food here and free medical care here and free education here.” But they never talk who paid for it. But they want us to look cold-hearted. The truth is, the results of their so-called generosity with our money has turned this country upside down. So if we want to be generous and humanitarian in what we do, you have to argue the case for free markets and sound money. That’s when the maximum number of people will be taken care of.

The wonderful thing about living in a free country, and we should all be grateful that we have had this opportunity because our country was certainly the freest ever, is that it allows us to release our creative energies. Some would argue, in a free country where you can make up your own minds, you might go out and drink too much beer and too much alcohol and smoke too many cigarettes and eat too much. But, you also might be more creative and ambitious and willing to take care of your families and take care of your neighbors and contribute to your churches and local government and get further educated. And, that is what is the wonderful part about it. You have the greatest chance to work for your own excellence and work for virtue, which is really what we are supposed to be doing in life. And, under an authoritarian state, under a tyrant, it becomes much more difficult because survival is the only thing that you have to deal with. And today we’re moving into that mode that survival might be our most important thing that we do. But freedom is what we seek because under freedom is when we can work for those things that we consider so important and creative and artistic.

When this time comes it’s going to be difficult to make decisions on exactly what we should do and when we should it, and quite frankly I don’t know. Even 20 or 30 years ago I talked to people who were too concerned and they wanted to move out of the country and opt out of the system and all these other things and that was when I decided that I would work within the system and do my very best to try to bring about changes.

Now I’ve never been one to go to Washington, and frequently and I do not call myself a legislator in the conventional sense. I want to deal with the big picture. I want to deal with the philosophy. I want to move bills that only deal with making a point. I don’t want to take a bad bill and have an amendment and cut $5 out and say, “Oh, I got my amendment passed and therefore I can vote for the bill”. That is not what I want to do, and I don’t think we should be doing that. We should be looking at the big picture and we should know what we believe in and argue the case.

We might not ever get that perfect free society, I’m quite convinced that we won’t. But if we don’t know what it’s like and we can’t describe it and we can’t visualize it and we always start off by compromising with the other side, I don’t think that’s much of a compromise. You know, if you believe in total freedom and you compromise with somebody who is a total dictatorship, you still have half a dictatorship. So I’m not for that.

Ideas are the most powerful things that we can deal with. Politicians are very powerful, there is no doubt about it. And political parties deal only in power. They want to get power and what do they do? You know, I’m sure you know what they do. When Republicans want to get in control and they get your attention by saying, “Oh, we want limited government. We believe in personal liberty, we believe in no nation building”. Then all of a sudden they get in and they say, “Oh, how am I going to keep in power, I’ve won over all those conservatives, but now I have to win over the liberals”. So when Republicans get in they act like Democrats and start spending like Democrats. Now when Democrats get in power they do exactly the same thing. They get in power by saying, “We’re going to take care of all the poor people and have all these welfare programs”. But as soon as they get in they have to prove themselves by becoming war mongers and sending more troops and spending even more money on the military.

And policies never change. What has to change are ideas. We’re in this mess not because of just the politicians who were there and sort of flipped coins to decide what to do. They are a consequence of ideology, they are a consequence of philosophy. I mean, one time on a radio show they asked me who I thought contributed most to this bad political problem we have. They were trying to get me to say it was all Obama’s fault. Yeah, he’s been in office for 3 months and we’re going to blame the whole thing on him. We might blame him for perpetuating it, but then I got to thinking, “You know, the individual who probably contributed the most to this was probably Keynes, the economist”. Because he had taught us for so many years, and that’s mostly what we learn in our university, that you have to spend money and have government regulations and all the policies that we have followed. Republicans were in charge and what did we have? We had the Enron scandal and the breakdown and the bankruptcy. That was just a hint of what was to come. So, people got panicky. Within weeks, a month or so we had a new Republican Bill, it was called the Sarbanes Oxley bill. More and more regulations like the reason somebody became fraudulent and over extended and borrowed and dealt in derivatives and had all this credit was because we didn’t have enough regulations. Believe me, it’s not the lack of regulations, it’s the lack of regulations on certain people like the Federal Reserve and the Treasury and the Congress, that’s what we need to regulate.

I imagine a lot of you have seen the British-Scottish singer that came out this last week, named Susan Boyle. That really fascinated me like I’m sure it fascinated a lot of other people. But I loved it. And I got to thinking about it and this may be a little bit a stretch of an analogy, but you know, she knew that she was a good singer all her life. She had no doubts in her mind even though she says she never had a chance to sing. And all of a sudden she had a chance to sing and everybody who had her stereotyped was shocked and she has this beautiful voice and now she’s accepted. Sometimes I think about our freedom movement as being something like that. There’s been a bunch of individuals, I have been a small part of that group for the past 30 or 40 years who have been speaking out. People who are trying to talk about this wonderful, beautiful thing that we have and yet how did they paint us and how do we still receive it? You know, a little bit kooky. “There are kooky people”, I get it all the time. How did they treat me in the debates?

But the ideas aren’t kooky, the ideas are beautiful and they’re starting to be heard. We’re starting to sing our songs and believe me, they’re starting to listen. Not because they want to concede anything to us, but they want to concede that they have to because they don’t have any place to go. Because the other option is going to be so bad and so distasteful that we will have tyranny, we will have more government and so far that’s been the proposal. But believe me, the freedom movement is alive and well. I’ve been around the country and the campuses are alive and well, and most of the people that are responding to much of what we’ve been saying have been the young people.

There are a few that aren’t quite so young, but they’re young in spirit and that’s all that counts. And it’s this new generation that will make the difference, and they’re in college now, they’re in high school, and they’re going to be dealing with jobs and we have to ask the right questions, and get the right answers. It isn’t as bad as what it was like when the Soviet system broke down. You think we would have learnt a little bit of a lesson from the Soviets. Remember, I think they went into Afghanistan. I think the British went into Afghanistan. I think everyone who went into Afghanistan for thousands of years has always been losing. But the Soviets’ last war was in Afghanistan and they went broke. This was predicted by Mises, the great Austrian economist. He said it wouldn’t last. He predicted early on that socialism and communism couldn’t work and the reason is that it destroys the pricing structure, the pricing structure of money as well as all goods and services. So he knew the Soviet system would collapse.

Now the important thing about the collapse of the Soviet system is that we didn’t have to fight them. You know, they did it to themselves. It was done within and I remember the Cold War quite well. I was drafted in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis and yet we never had to fight which is very fortunate because it could have ended up that way. But, the system collapsed but they’re still having a lot of problems over there. But our traditions are so much better, we have the traditions of private property and contracts and sound money and individual liberty. So going back to our system is not going to be nearly as difficult.

You know, the other day some of you may have heard that our governor in Texas came out and said that still on the books there was this principle that states had the right to secede, at least Texas. And he received a lot of grief over that and I received a lot of phone calls asking me, “What do you think about that?” I said, “Well, I think the principle of secession is not all that bad”. It seems that, if I remember my history correctly, I think that’s the way America came into existence. But to defend the principle of secession doesn’t mean you have to defend secession because I don’t know of anybody right now that that’s their key agenda. But the principle is important. Just think if that principle had existed past the civil war. That means the feds would have always been on their toes not to overdo it, not over-tax and over-regulate and over-control the states. But that was, of course, eliminated in the civil war.

But you know, we have since then praised secession. Have we condemned the seceding of all those republics around the Soviets, around Russia? No, we were delighted. We encouraged it. Sometimes our CIA actually goes in and helps them secede. So, this idea that we are automatically obligated to stay forever is a rejection of the ideas of free choice. In the early years it was never thought that it was illegal to secede. That was a proper thing, it was understood that way and the New Englanders didn’t like the South. They wanted to secede from the South when the South was more dominant. So they debated it, and it was never argued that it was unconstitutional to do it.

Now those who will just ridicule this to no end like they would like to, ask them this: Say that we joined an international body, sometimes they refer to it as the United Nations and let’s say that… right now I believe that 25% of the American people – sort of surprised me but didn’t disappoint me – 25% of the American people thing we ought to be out of the UN. I’m on that side. But 75% think that we should be in there. But I bet if you ask all the American people, whether they’re on either side of that argument, if we have the right to get out. I would think most of them would say, “yes we do”, because right now we’re not even attending some conference because we don’t think we have the votes and we don’t want to be voted down and it’s becoming more dominated by our enemies than our friends. So most American will say, “yes, we have the right to secede from the U.N. if we have to”. And that might be something that we have to be concerned about because if we lose our fight, if we lose our arguments and we don’t win this battle, the U.N. is going to be more powerful. That’s the proposal. They’re saying the dollar standard is done. They’re talking about another standard, another fiat standards but it will be SDRs on the IMF and the U.N. But here we have the U.N., and of course we have the World Bank and the IMF and WTO. And Republicans and Democrats are crying out for more regulations. When they talk about regulations and expanding them and to conform they’re going to be doing that and putting us more in hawk to the Federal government.

But you know, the U.N. also has already attacked us on some of our rights when it comes to nutritional substances and vitamins. They want to make those all international and the FDA wants to take over control. Guess why? The drug companies like that. You know, in this country you would wonder why we put up with so much. I mean, I have a bill in the Congress which I … if you would have asked me ten years ago, “Are you going to ever introduce a bill to legalize such and such?” I would say, “Why would I have to do that?” And that is just to get the feds out of regulating your right to drink raw milk. I would say that ought to be your own choice.

Why can’t we allow people in the states to do this instead of having people coming in and regulating and believing that you’re incapable of taking care of yourself? I happen to have more faith and confidence in freedom. Freedom, I believe it works. The reasons why I’ve gotten so excited in the last couple of years has been that with so many of the crowds that we have and the places that we have gone, we bring so many people together. Sure, I bet there are lot of Conservatives here and a bunch of Republicans, maybe a couple of Democrats and maybe some independents and maybe some liberals and maybe some progressives. But the Constitution brings us together.

You know, when you legalize freedom of choice, you become less judgmental. You let people make up their own minds on how they want to run their lives and what their lifestyles are. Even if you object to it, you know, you have to put up with it if they’re not offending you or not abusing your rights. And that just brings us together in a healthy way and rather than saying, “Well, what we need to do is tell you exactly how to operate.”

Now, nobody would argue that the federal government or any government should tell you what you should read, and yet they’re doing that all the time because of the nasty stuff. You know, the first amendment was written to make sure that you’re allowed to read controversial things, not the non-controversial things. So basically though, most people say, “No, we should have freedom of speech” and then we certainly believe that you have a right to go to a church or a temple or a tabernacle or a mosque or whatever and practice your own religion or no religion at all; we generally recognize that. But why is it that all of a sudden we accept the notion that the government, the FDA, is the only one that can tell us what to put in our mouths and in our lungs. I would think, thinking about our eternal soul and our intellectual capacity is pretty important, yet we’re allowed to deal with that. But oh no, we have to decide what we can do with our own bodies.

I would think that in a society like that, which we generally had in our early history, it wasn’t nearly as regulated. I think some people are going to do some pretty dumb things. People already do dumb things. Some people read this intellectual stuff and become socialist and fascist and all these other things, but we don’t stop them from reading it. So, a lot of people are going to use freedom the wrong way. But I think the large majority is going to use it the right way and that is what is very important.

So, we need a little more confidence in ourselves and confidence in freedom. And the rules are there; you can’t hurt people, you can’t steal from people and damage their property. The government should be there to protect property, they’re there to protect contracts and they’re there to have sound money. So what do we have? We have a government that’s doing exactly the opposite. They have become the counterfeiter, they take our property without due process of law and they tax us to the hilt and then they destroy the value of money. So our government is doing the opposite of what it is supposed to be doing. The government is supposed to be there for a very specific purpose and that is to protect our liberties.

If we can get that message across, believe me, this country can succeed. We will have the tough times and you’ll have to be prepared. The most important thing we do though right now because it’s an intellectual fight, is to know the issues, understand them, understand why Mises was a much greater economist than Keynes. And if we know how to defend those positions, I am convinced we can win this because it is an intellectual fight and we are on the side of right. There is no doubt in my mind that we would be much happier living in a free society. I am also convinced that I enjoy my freedom so much that even if I became poor, even if freedom led to less prosperity, I would still want my freedom. But we don’t even need to deal with that. If we support freedom and can defend it and defend it in the American tradition, defend it with the Constitution, there is no reason why we can’t be both free and prosperous.

Thank you very much.