Shame is something we can all enjoy. In the wake of cyclist Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, TIME’s Joe Stein wrote: “I am incredibly judgmental. This is partly because it’s fun, partly because it’s a way to bond with others and mostly because one of my few faults is not appreciating how difficult it is for others to be as amazing as I am.”
“I do not believe that people who watched the Oprah interview felt wronged for believing that an athlete didn’t dope to win a sport they’ve never watched,” Stein wrote. “I believe that interview made us feel better about all the bad things we’ve done, because at least we didn’t cheat at cycling. Even better, it allowed us to avoid asking if we would have. I know I would have if I weren’t so afraid of needles. And exercising.”
“Shame is like everything else,” wrote Salman Rushdie, “live with it for long enough and it becomes part of the furniture.” Shame is a near universal impulse. We see it all the time when Congress hauls the delinquent or presumed-delinquent before their committee hearings to denounce wrong-doing. Shame should be reserved for the things we choose to do, not the circumstances that life puts on us. We saw it when Jonah Lerer collected $20,000 from the Knight Foundation for detailing how he fabricated for his best-selling book Imagine:
What I clearly need is a new list of rules, a stricter set of standard operating procedures. If I’m lucky enough to write again, then whatever I write will be fact-checked and fully footnoted. It doesn’t matter if it’s a book or an article or the text for a speech like this one. Every conversation with a subject will be tape recorded and transcribed. If the subject would like a copy of their transcript, I will provide it. There is, of course, nothing innovative about these procedures. The vast majority of journalists don’t need to be shamed into following them. But I did, which is why I also need to say them out loud.
So, there you have, the antidote to shame is following the rules – whether in sports or writing or even monetary policy. The problem comes when folks think they can (a) ignore the rules; (b) make up their own rules.
And, of course, is why we need a monetary rule called the gold standard. It is when political and monetary authorities decided to scrap that rule that we began the long descent into monetary disorder and shame.
With the gold standard, we might only feel better. We might prosper.
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
Reply to Polyconomics - Part 1
Having demonstrated that the World Dollar Base “works,” and having explained in detail why it works, we turn finally to answering Wanniski and Goldman.
Wanniski delegates most of the Polyconomics’ attack on LBMC to David Goldman. Strange to say, it is necessary to answer Wanniski and Goldman separately. This is because their arguments against LBMC’s monetary approach are not only different, but mutually exclusive.
"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."
For years, Castro’s Cuba has exported communism. The exports continue but the economic crows have come home to roost...even while Cuba’s economy floats only because of the generosity of Venezuelan oil exports.
Ironically, as Cuba has fallen apart, admirers of its economic mismanagement have kept the country from going bust. Keith...
Argentina is floundering. Brazil is struggling. Colombia is growing. Colombia is now the third largest economy in Latin America, according to Capital Economics. The Wall Street Journal’s Darcy Crowe and Taos Turner wrote recently: “After Argentina’s economy dwarfed Colombia’s for decades, economists say the trend reversed in January as the...