An Exclusive Interview with the Hon. Steve Lonegan, Part 2

Steve Lonegan, former mayor of Bogota, New Jersey, and nominee for US Senate, is the Director of Monetary Policy for American Principles in Action, the leading advocacy group for the classical gold standard in Washington, DC.  Steve formerly was a top State Director for Americans for Prosperity.

Hon. Steve Lonegan

On September 3, 2014, he launched FixTheDollar.com -- also at Facebook -- at a debut event near Wall Street and hard by the grave of Alexander Hamilton (and his beloved wife, Eliza), featuring gold standard proponent Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, previously interviewed here.  Thegoldstandardnow.org is pleased to present this exclusive interview.  This is the second of three parts.

Q:  How does American Principles in Action differ from Americans for Prosperity?

A: Americans for Prosperity is an outstanding organization committed to defending free markets. I greatly enjoyed my tenure with AFP.

APIA fills a different market function while still advancing the individual liberty that is at the heart of the conservative and libertarian movements.  We are committed to bringing together social conservatives with economic conservatives. APIA recognizes the core spiritual principles that are the foundation of the Declaration of Independence.

Bottom line is that APIA understands that for conservatives and libertarians to obtain a majority we need to welcome social conservatives and make them a full part of the team.

At the end of the day, we are on the same page in fighting to reestablish equitable prosperity.

Q:  APIA stands for both the classical gold standard and the Hayekian "parallel private currencies" which would denationalize money.  In addition, Steve Forbes, who leans toward gold-price targeting, was, with you, the featured speaker at FixTheDollar's launch event on September 3, 2014.  What are the distinctions between these three gold standards?

A: All true gold standard proponents stand for monetary integrity. The classical, in my opinion, is superior in part because it has been proven in history.

People love to quote that old adage that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In this case, if we learn from history--and hundreds of years of it--we would be destined to benefit from that lesson.

Q:  You are on record as observing that "the very day on which the American Dream died [was] August 15, 1971."  And that President Nixon's speech of that date closing the gold window "contained the death knell of the American Dream."  What do you mean by that?

A: The ultimate irony is that a policy introduced by Nixon, who left office after he had lost the trust of the nation, remains in place.

Nixon drove a stake into the heart of equitable prosperity when he announced he was “temporarily” closing the gold window. That was 43 years ago. Since then real GDP growth has been significantly poorer than that of the forty years prior to 1971. If America had maintained its gold standard growth rate of that prior forty years, the economy would be 50% larger today. Our nation would be $8 TRILLION wealthier.

Slashing our national prosperity by 50% represents a stake in the heart of the American Dream of equitable prosperity for all. Period.

Q:  You have stated that your purpose in creating FixTheDollar.com is to create a citizens' movement to bring the importance of monetary policy, in general, and the gold standard, in particular, to our elected officials and candidates, especially presidential candidates.  How will that work?

A: Yes, to build a Citizens League. We are getting the message in front of any group that will listen:  Republicans, Democrats, labor unions, rotary clubs--anyone. "Fix the dollar" is a non-partisan issue that can change the course of history for the better and restore the American Dream.

This is going to be laborious. This is about putting it out there one town, one group, one state at a time. But movements like this hit a tipping point when suddenly people, followed by the media, and finally the politicians, wake up. You and I will know when that happens. And then the politicians who jump on board will take credit for recognizing the danger of bad Fed Policy. Remember, when this happens, you read it here first.

Q:  What venues are some of the first you are scheduled to present before?

A: We went to New Jersey, where I am based, and neighboring New York. Sort of a test market and a series of early informal focus groups. The most important thing I learned from this is that Americans are very aware of what is happening to their money, they just don’t know why or how they can become effective in demanding good monetary policy. Our presentation closes that gap.

At the time of my writing this I am sitting in my hotel in Des Moines, Iowa. I am presenting our Fix the Dollar program across this state to enthusiastic crowds. We are ready for prime time. The voters will place this issue squarely into the 2016 presidential primaries.

Q:  You have been quoted as saying that your purpose is that everyone -- blue or white collar, of every age, race, and creed -- can climb the ladder to affluence, balance the federal budget via economic growth, provide the resources to improve the natural environment and fix our decaying national infrastructure."  Can the gold standard really do all that?  How?

A: Yes. The gold standard guarantees that the individual controls the value of his or her wages and savings. That no one can take away the accumulated value earned by the sweat of one's brow, the commitment to thrift and the rewards of frugality. Without a gold standard, unelected bureaucrats at the Federal Reserve, not the wage earners themselves, control the value of our money.

If the poor are to move to the middle class, the middle income wage earner to become affluent, each one of us must have total control of the value of our effort. That means having money we can trust.

Had we maintained the growth rate American experienced prior to Nixon closing the gold window, we would be 50% wealthier as a nation. That means abundant resources to invest in infrastructure, higher tax revenues from a larger tax base (not higher tax rates) to eliminate the deficit, and less need for government welfare programs.

Q:  Why doesn't the gold standard necessarily privilege capital over labor and creditors over debtors?

A: The gold standard places labor and capital, creditors and debtors on the same even, guaranteed, playing field where rewards are determined by merit, hard work, and value. The current non-redeemable paper ticket system gives the power to Federal Reserve bureaucrats to pick winners and losers.

To read Part 1, click here.


 

 

 

Kathleen M. Packard, Publisher
Ralph J. Benko, Editor

In Memoriam
Professor Jacques Rueff
(1896-1978)

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