Nothing demonstrated Franklin Roosevelt’s ruthless immorality better than his 1933 gold heist. From Thomas Woods at mises.org:
[Originally published August 13, 2008]
It’s been 75 years since the federal government, on the spurious grounds of fighting the Great Depression, ordered the confiscation of all monetary gold from Americans, permitting trivial amounts for ornamental or industrial use. This happens to be one of the episodes Kevin Gutzman and I describe in detail in our new book, Who Killed the Constitution? The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush. From the point of view of the typical American classroom, on the other hand, the incident may as well not have occurred.
A key piece of legislation in this story is the Emergency Banking Act of 1933, which Congress passed on March 9 without having read it and after only the most trivial debate. House Minority Leader Bertrand H. Snell (R-NY) generously conceded that it was “entirely out of the ordinary” to pass legislation that “is not even in print at the time it is offered.” He urged his colleagues to pass it all the same: “The house is burning down, and the President of the United States says this is the way to put out the fire. [Applause.] And to me at this time there is only one answer to this question, and that is to give the President what he demands and says is necessary to meet the situation.”
Among other things, the act retroactively approved the president’s closing of private banks throughout the country for several days the previous week, an act for which he had not bothered to provide a legal justification. It gave the secretary of the Treasury the power to require all individuals and corporations to hand over all their gold coin, gold bullion, or gold certificates if in his judgment “such action is necessary to protect the currency system of the United States.”
It’s a short-odds bet that they try this again. From history.com:
On June 5, 1933, the United States went off the gold standard, a monetary system in which currency is backed by gold, when Congress enacted a joint resolution nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold. The United States had been on a gold standard since 1879, except for an embargo on gold exports during World War I, but bank failures during the Great Depression of the 1930s frightened the public into hoarding gold, making the policy untenable.
Soon after taking office in March 1933, President Roosevelt declared a nationwide bank moratorium in order to prevent a run on the banks by consumers lacking confidence in the economy. He also forbade banks to pay out gold or to export it. According to Keynesian economic theory, one of the best ways to fight off an economic downturn is to inflate the money supply. And increasing the amount of gold held by the Federal Reserve would in turn increase its power to inflate the money supply. Facing similar pressures, Britain had dropped the gold standard in 1931, and Roosevelt had taken note.
Liberal historians, which is most of them, love Roosevelt, so they ignore his massive betrayal of Eastern Europe at Yalta. From James Bovard at fff.org:
This year is the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two. One of the biggest frauds of the final stage of that war was the meeting at Yalta of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and President Franklin Roosevelt. Yalta has become a synonym for the abandonment of oppressed people and helped inspire the 1952 Republican campaign theme, “20 years of treason.”
The American media uncorked a barrage of tributes to Roosevelt on the 75th anniversary of his death in April. CNN, for instance, trumpeted Roosevelt as “the wartime president who Trump should learn from.” But there was scant coverage of one of his greatest betrayals.
Roosevelt painted World War II as a crusade for democracy — hailing Stalin as a partner in liberation. From 1942 through 1945, the U.S. government consistently deceived the American people about the character of the Soviet Union. Roosevelt praised Soviet Russia as one of the “freedom-loving nations” and stressed that Stalin is “thoroughly conversant with the provisions of our Constitution.” But as Rexford Tugwell, one of Roosevelt’s Brain Trusters and an open admirer of the Soviet system, groused, “The Constitution was a negative document, meant mostly to protect citizens from their government.” And when government is the personification of benevolence, no protection is needed.
Harold Ickes, one of Roosevelt’s top aides, proclaimed that communism was “the antithesis of Nazism” because it was based on a “belief in the control of the government, including the economic system, by the people themselves.” The fact that the Soviet regime had been the most oppressive government in the world in the 1930s was irrelevant, as far as Roosevelt was concerned. As Georgetown University professor Derek Leebaert, author of Magic and Mayhem, observed, “FDR remarked that most of what he knew about the world came from his stamp collection.”
The Internet’s best economist explains why the New Deal was a huge mistake, and why we’re about to repeat it, except this time only huger. From Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:
So far, the current economic situation, together with the response by major governments, compares with the run-in to the depression of the 1930s. Yet to come in the repetitious credit cycle is the collapse in financial asset values and a banking crisis.
When the scale of the banking crisis is known the scale of monetary inflation involved will become more obvious. But in the politics of it, Trump is being set up as the equivalent of Herbert Hoover, and presumably Joe Biden, if he is well advised, will soon campaign as a latter-day Roosevelt. In Britain, Boris Johnson has already called for a modern “new deal”, and in his “Hundred Days” his Chancellor is delivering it.
In the thirties, prices fell, only offset by the dollar’s devaluation in January 1934. This time, monetary inflation knows no limit. The wealth destruction through monetary inflation will be an added burden to contend with compared with the situation ninety years ago.
Boris Johnson recently compared his reconstruction plan with Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal. Such is the myth of FDR and his new deal that even libertarian Boris now invokes them. Unless he is just being political, he shows he knows little about the economic situation that led to the depression.
Posted in Banking, Business, Currencies, Debt, Economy, Government, History, Money, Taxes, Trade
Tagged Federal Reserve, Fiat money, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Gold Standard, Great Depression
People buying gold hand over fist might want consider a precedent that’s already been set for the government taking that gold: Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Executive Order 6102. From schiffgold.com:
Yesterday marked the anniversary of the great government gold heist of 1933 ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
On April 5, 1933, the president signed Executive Order 6102. It was touted as a measure to stop gold hoarding, but it was in reality, a massive gold confiscation scheme. The order required private citizens, partnerships, associations and corporations to turn in all but small amounts of gold to the Federal Reserve in exchange for $20.67 per ounce.
The executive order was one of several steps Roosevelt took toward ending the gold standard in the US.
With the dollar tied to gold, the Federal Reserve found it difficult to increase the money supply during the Great Depression. It couldn’t simply fire up the printing press as it can today. The Federal Reserve Act required all notes have 40% gold backing. But the Fed was low on gold and up against the limit. By stealing gold from the public, the Fed was able to boost its gold holdings.
If you want honest money, you have to get government completely out of the money business. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
The U.S. Constitution states:
Article 1, Section 8
1. The Congress shall have Power …
5. To coin Money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin….
6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting … current coin of the United States.
Article 1, Section 10
- No state shall … emit Bills of Credit and make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.
The intent of the Framers could not have been clearer. The Constitution clearly and unequivocally brought into existence a monetary system based on gold coins and silver coins being the official money of the United States.
Just because a president tells you he’s not taking the country into war doesn’t mean he won’t take the country into war. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
President Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran reminds me of President Franklin Roosevelt’s similar campaign against Japan prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
After England declared war on Germany, owing to the latter’s invasion of Poland, the American people were overwhelmingly opposed to entry into the war. That was because they recognized that U.S. interventionism into World War I, which cost the lives and limbs of tens of thousands of American soldiers and severely infringed on the liberty of the American people, had accomplished nothing.
Americans had no interest in doing it again. Their mindsets were similar to those of our American ancestors, whose founding foreign policy was to avoid involvement in Europe’s forever wars.
In his 1940 campaign for president, Roosevelt told the American people that he was with them in their opposition to foreign wars. He said to them, “I’ve said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.”
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, Horseshit, Imperialism, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Iran, Japan, President Trump
The original New Deal was a disaster, the Green New Deal will be even more so. From Laurence M. Vance at fff.org:
We have heard much this year about how much the country needs a Green New Deal to reverse the negative effects of climate change, ensure economic security, revamp the nation’s transportation system, restore damaged ecosystems, secure a sustainable environment, and achieve justice and equality. Overlooked in all of the analyses of the Green New Deal is that Americans didn’t need the original New Deal.
The Green New Deal
On February 7, newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) introduced in the U.S. House a resolution (H.Res.109) “recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.” On the same day, the veteran Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a companion resolution (S.Res.59) in the U.S. Senate. According to the U.S. Senate, “A simple resolution addresses matters entirely within the prerogative of one house,” is “also used to express the sentiments of a single house,” or may simply give “advice.” Simple resolutions require neither the approval of the other House of Congress nor the signature of the president, as they do not have the force of law.
Posted in Business, Collapse, Debt, Economics, Economy, Government, History, Law, Politics
Tagged Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Green New Deal, New Deal
Speaking of fascism, how about the US’s most fascist president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt? From James Bovard at mises.org:
Franklin Roosevelt did more than any other modern president to corrupt Americans’ understanding of freedom. Last week was the 75thanniversary of his 1944 speech calling for a second Bill of Rights to guarantee economic freedom to Americans. Nation magazine whooped up the anniversary, proclaiming that Democrats now have a “unique—and likely fleeting—opportunity to deliver where FDR fell short” with vast new government programs.
The 1944 speech, given as the tide in World War Two was finally turning, was a followup of his 1941 “Four Freedoms” speech which exploited Americans’ rising apprehensions tosee far more power for the government. Roosevelt promised citizens freedom of speech and freedom of worship and then, as if he was merely enumerating other self-evident rights, declared: “The third [freedom] is freedom from want . . . everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear . . . anywhere in the world.” Proclaiming a goal of freedom from fear meant that government should fill the role in daily life previously filled by God and religion. Politicians are the biggest fearmongers, and “freedom from fear” would justify seizing new power in response to every bogus federal alarm.
FDR’s list was clearly intended as a “replacement set” of freedoms, since otherwise there would have been no reason to mention freedom of speech and worship, already guaranteed by the First Amendment. The “four freedoms” offered citizens no security from the State, since it completely ignored the rights guaranteed in the original Bill of Rights that restricted government power, including the Second Amendment (to keep and bear firearms), the Fourth Amendment (freedom from unreasonable search and seizure), the Fifth Amendment (due process, property rights, the right against self-incrimination), the Sixth Amendment (the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury), and the Eighth Amendment (protection against excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments).
Christmas 2018 is hardly the most dire Christmas America has faced. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
“Deck the halls with boughs of holly,” goes the old Christmas carol. “‘Tis the season to be jolly.” Yet if there were a couplet less befitting the mood of this capital city, I am unaware of it.
“The wheels are coming off,” was a common commentary on the Trump presidency on Sunday’s talk shows. And the ostensible causes of what is looking like a panic in the political establishment?
The December crash of the stock and bond markets, the worst since the Great Recession. The shutdown of a fourth of the U.S. government over the Trump border wall. The president’s decision to pull 2,200 troops out of Syria. Resignation, in protest of Donald Trump’s treatment of U.S. allies, by Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
But there has to be more to it than this. For America has endured, in the lifetime of its older generations, far worse Christmases than this.
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, History, Politics, Religion, War
Tagged Christmas, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Pearl Harbor, President Trump, Syria, World War II