Scott Horton Interviews Thomas E. Woods

Scott Horton, April 21, 2011

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Thomas E. Woods, author of Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse, discusses the pivotal events (Quebec Act, the “shot heard ’round the world“) preceding the Revolutionary War; the persistent myths surrounding the Civil War, southern secession and slavery; how the Union victory transformed the country into a “nation” with a strong central government and budding imperialist ambitions; and the antiwar case for a gold standard monetary system.

MP3 here. (19:17)

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse. A senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

 

13 Responses to “Thomas E. Woods”

  1. As if something as stupid as gold standard (who wants to be under the thumb of South Africa, really) would ever stand in the way of an empire going to war. If you're going to do counterfactuals, at least make them pass the giggle test.

  2. If its so ludicrous to assume governments can more easily raise funds with money that can be created through the federal reserve system, how do you explain the enormous budget expansions since the creation of the federal reserve system in 1913?

    Even if you are a liberal and support the federal reserve system, it must seem more expedient to raise funds by creating your own money and slowly inflating currency then raising it through taxes. To think otherwise would set you apart from the vast majority of liberals AND conservatives.

  3. The U.S. is an empire. Do you really think the country would brook any constraints on its behavior. The FRB is just the excuse for how the USG did it, it's not the cause.

    Does the USG obey any of its own laws, when it deems it inconvenient? You cannot rein in an empire, no matter what you do.

  4. Without the governments ability to print endless amounts of funny money to fund its wars, it would have to resort to direct taxation. How many people would support paying 80% or higher tax rates to fund wars in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq or Afghanistan? Sure a gold standard wouldn't STOP all imperial ambition, but it would slow it as the rulers would have to weigh the perceived gains of the war against the threat of rebellion at home.

    What the Fed does is allow the gov to tax people indirectly through inflation and pass the pain of the debased currency to future generations. Ending the Fed wouldn't kill the imperial beast, but it would severely cripple it.

  5. Your history is a little shaky. Every major empire in the last 2000 years has gone the way of the dodo bird because they overextended themselves. Their ambitions far exceeded their ability to pay for it all. Rome, Great Britain, the Soviet Union…all petered out for economic reasons. America will be no different.

    Precious metal and commodity prices are hitting all-time highs because the dollar they are priced in is being debased. Eventually, the dollar will collapse, and with it, the American empire. Bank on it.

  6. Those who say that the American empire would continue unabated even if the Federal Reserve were abolished need to recall that the Spanish empire came to end precisely because it ran out of money (gold and silver). If America continues to rely upon the Fed for its source of funds, the empire will come to an end when the rest of the world refuses to take the dollar in payment. For that to happen, a rival currency would need to rise up to take its place. One of the functions of the American military is to ensure that oil continues to be denominated in dollars. If the American government senses that the Chinese yuan might soon be viewed as an acceptable alternative to the dollar, I would fully expect war between the two nations, initiated by America using a lame pretext for which we are now famous.

  7. Presumably you realize that by saying this you are making my point, which is that the Fed exists not for the b.s. public-good reasons, but because it facilitates the nefarious intentions of the sociopaths in charge.

  8. This odd system cut off the second half of my comment. You of course realize you are making my point for me, right? The point is that gold's rules wouldn't allow them to do this. Thus they must break from gold (which fashionable opinion, including most antiwar people, irrationally hate) and embrace fiat money. Fiat money enables them; gold inhibits them. Kind of my point.

    Now you come back with: but they can just go off gold! Duh. Does that refute me? Do you understand the original point at all?

    To an extent you do have a point, though I doubt you realize it. The gold standard is too statist. We don't need a "standard" that the sociopaths can abandon at will. We need a market-based money that the sociopaths don't monopolize.

  9. Scott Horton, I'm very surprised that Charles Goyette hasn't been interviewed by you since October, especially considering his new book is now out.

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