Next we turn our attention to the economic infirmities of the world dollar system, which:
Cause a persistent trade deficit, hollowing out our industrial base.
Enable a persistent and alarmingly high federal budget deficit.
Destabilize the value of the dollar, fomenting euphorias and panics.
The first of the world dollar standard's economic disorders:
1. The world dollar standard causes a persistent trade deficit, hollowing out our industrial base.
The U.S. trade deficit grew to $497.8 billion in 2010, from $374.9 billion in 2009. This means that Americans bought almost half a trillion dollars of goods and services from abroad more than what we sold. Many people sense that it is wrong to spend more than you earn, particularly at this scale. They are right.
The abandonment of the gold standard in 1971 is closely tied to the massive unemployment the industrialized world has suffered in recent years … Free Trade is unquestionably beneficial for humanity at large. It is good to be able to buy goods where they are cheapest; some countries enjoy conditions that favor them in production of certain things; each country should produce those things in which it has an advantage over other countries. Thus, the whole world can benefit from the good things each country has to offer. It is an appealing and sound doctrine, but... there is a crucial catch: the doctrine of Free Trade was conceived for a world where the sole means of payment was gold.
Under the world dollar standard the excess half a trillion dollars we spend a year gets recycled. And not to the entrepreneurs of America. That money gets sent right back to Washington, by way of Wall Street, by purchase of T-bills by international central banks. America loses jobs. America consumes more than it produces. Other countries produce more than they consume. The rest of the world gains jobs yet ends up in a form of forced labor, producing without consuming. The economy becomes a Sisyphean labor for all.
Will America start prospering again — as it has not prospered for over a decade? Likely yes. But not without a fight. Now that Jim DeMint has raided Steve Moore from the Wall Street Journal that card might be Heritage Foundation vs. the White House. Could be big.
John Holdren, now Obama’s White House science advisor, 40 years ago termed America “overdeveloped.” Holdren co-authored a 1993 book, Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions, with Anne and Paul Ehrlich reportedly saying that, “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States….” (Emphasis supplied.)
As a soldier of France, no one knew better than Professor Jacques Rueff, the famous French central banker, that World War I had brought to an end the preeminence of the classical European states system and its monetary regime, the classical gold standard. World War I had decimated the flower of European youth; it had destroyed the European continent’s industrial primacy. No less ominously, the historic monetary standard of commercial civilization had collapsed into the ruins occasioned by the Great War. The international gold standard -- the gyroscope of the Industrial Revolution, the common currency of the world trading system, the guarantor of more than one-hundred years of a stable monetary system, the balance wheel of unprecedented economic growth -- all this was brushed aside by the belligerents.
Publisher's Note: Originally released in June/July of 1991, this detailed report discusses Jacques Rueff's economic theories and applies them to modern economic events.
By John D. Mueller
A Rueffian Synthesis
LBMC’s integrated approach to economic forecasting can fairly be called “the Rueffian synthesis.” It would be more modest to call it “a” Rueffian synthesis, since that would allow for other Rueffians who might conceivably quibble about our application of Rueff’s ideas. But it appears that, apart from LBMC, there are no other Rueffians in the world – even in Rueff’s native France – using Rueff’s ideas as a basis for economic prediction.
"Commercial banking grew out of the desire (inspired by the profit motive) to conserve cash (gold) and by means of credit to provide financial elasticity and growth in the commercial process of exchange. That is, all producers (sellers) who desired true money (gold), instead of the short-term secured credit bills – promissory notes of their customers (the buyers) – could, through the mediation of goldsmiths-turned-bankers and bill-merchants-turned-bankers, obtain real money by discounting their bills of exchange for gold with the emerging commercial bankers of early modern Europe. The combined institutions of stable money and secured credit enabled commercial civilization to make of the entire world the only closed economy."
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