Origins of the Federal Reserve

Originally Posted At
By Murray N. Rothbard
November 13, 2009

The financial elites of this country, notably the Morgan, Rockefeller, and Kuhn, Loeb interests, were responsible for putting through the Federal Reserve System as a governmentally created and sanctioned cartel device to enable the nation's banks to inflate the money supply in a coordinated fashion, without suffering quick retribution from depositors or noteholders demanding cash. Recent researchers, however, have also highlighted the vital supporting role of the growing number of technocratic experts and academics, who were happy to lend the patina of their allegedly scientific expertise to the elite's drive for a central bank. To achieve a regime of big government and government control, power elites cannot achieve their goal of privilege through statism without the vital legitimizing support of the supposedly disinterested experts and the professoriate. To achieve the Leviathan State, interests seeking special privilege and intellectuals offering scholarship and ideology must work hand in hand.

The Hollowing Out Of American Federalism
A short history of the destruction of state sovereignty

Originally Posted July 11, 2009
Revised October 16, 2009
By Lawrence A. Hunter Ph.D.

What Is The Federal System Of Government? Many people mistakenly equate “Federalism” with decentralization. A federal system is certainly a decentralized system but it is also much more. The defining characteristics of federalism are... Before the term “states’ rights” became contaminated by its identification with the efforts of some states to perpetuate slavery and later racial segregation, “states’ rights” concisely described the states’ legal and political autonomy although the term always constituted a shorthand reference to states’ constitutional and political autonomy vis-à-vis the national government as opposed to natural rights, which only individuals possess.

The Fed's Dilemma
The Origin of the Dilemma 

Originally Posted At Mises Daily
By Philipp Bagus
October 08, 2009

The Federal Reserve (Fed) and other central banks currently face a dilemma. A strong central-bank balance sheet is essential for the quality of a currency and the stability of a financial system. Unfortunately, the financial crisis has seen substantial changes in the balance sheets of the world's major central banks. Besides the much-discussed quantitative easing (the expansion of central banks' balance sheets), there has also been substantial amounts of "qualitative easing" (balance-sheet policies that deteriorate the average quality of central-bank assets)

Entangled Giant 

Originally Posted At The New York Review Of Books
By Garry Wills 
September 28, 2009

George W. Bush left the White House unpopular and disgraced. His successor promised change, and it was clear where change was needed. Illegal acts should cease—torture and indefinite detention, denial of habeas corpus and legal representation, unilateral canceling of treaties, defiance of Congress and the Constitution, nullification of laws by signing statements. Powers attributed to the president by the theory of the unitary executive should not be exercised. Judges who are willing to give the president any power he asks for should not be confirmed. But the momentum of accumulating powers in the executive is not easily reversed, checked, or even slowed. It was not created by the Bush administration. 

Read A Doctor’s Evaluation of ObamaCare and Rationing

Dr. David McKalip
August 27, 2009

President Obama is right that the “status quo” has gotten us to a point where health insurance and medical costs are unaffordable for Americans.  That status quo is one in which governments and large insurance companies hold all the money and power – and this would not change under any Congressional proposal. In fact, Congress and President Obama would require every citizen to buy insurance or pay a penalty of 2.5 percent of their income. Congress will in fact strengthen the status quo with only one new feature: state-imposed rationing.


The Reformer's Folly

Originally Posted At The American Spectator

By Ryan L. Cole
July 31, 2009

Barack Obama's rush to reform America's health care system is stalled as legislators and citizens grapple with the fiscal and political ramifications of the $1.5 trillion bill now on offer in Congress.

With Democratic majorities in the House and Senate plus his personal popularity and much acclaimed powers of persuasion, it astonishes that barely six months into his presidency, health care reform, one of Obama's paramount domestic goals, is in peril.

New Federalism, Old Illusions

Lawrence A. Hunter, Ph.D
June 26, 2009

An editorial in the Washington Examiner Friday ran under the headline “Conservatives must rediscover federalism.” When I read it, I had a feeling of déjà vu harkening back to the Reagan days of “New Federalism” when I was research director of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR).

I had come to ACIR from the Senate Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee on Capitol Hill at the behest of the Commission’s chairman Bob Hawkins. Hawkins at that time also was chairman of the Institute for Contemporary Studies, an early think tank founded in 1974 by Ed Meese and other Reagan associates intent on building an intellectual foundation beneath what later was characterized as “The Reagan Revolution.”


How To Cure Healthcare

Originally Posted At Hoover Institute
By Milton Friedman
Since the end of World War II, the provision of medical care in the United States and other advanced countries has displayed three major features: first, rapid advances in the science of medicine; second, large increases in spending, both in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars per person and the fraction of national income spent on medical care; and third, rising dissatisfaction with the delivery of medical care, on the part of both consumers of medical care and physicians and other suppliers of medical care.

An Intellectual Crisis In American Federalism

By Dr. Lawrence Hunter and Ronald J. Oakerson
May 27, 2009

Generations of students have been taught that the Supreme Court of the United States is the great umpire of the American political system, an impartial referee policing the boundaries of authority between institutions of government and between government and the individual. The role of the Court, as commonly understood, is to protect against an improper and unconstitutional exercise of power by any institution of government vis-a-vis any other institution or individual, including the actions of both federal and state governments in relation to one another. Yet from 1936 to 1976, the Court did not overturn a single act of Congress for encroaching unduly upon
the powers of the states.

On Nationalization

Lawrence A. Hunter, Ph.D.
March 9, 2009

If Starbucks went into bankruptcy would we say it had been "nationalized?" No, we wouldn't; we would say it went bankrupt. Would we find the bankruptcy proceedings an unwarranted government intervention? Only the purest of pure anarchists would.

On Toxic Assets

Lawrence A. Hunter
March 9, 2009

The argument over mark-to-market disguises the real debate, which is whether or not to extend forbearance to banks deemed “too big to fail” due to the “systemic risk” they pose for the system. Those favoring forbearance ASSUME the whole asset is really worth the sum of the asset's component parts but for some reason the market cannot ACCURATELY access that TRUE (whole = sum of parts) value right now; Houston, we have a TEMPORARY problem; however, not to worry, the anti-MTM reasoning continues, whatever impediment is currently confusing the market will sometime in the (near?) future go away and the market value of the whole asset will then once again rise to equal the value of the sum of its parts.

Totalitarianism in Democracy; Tyranny by Committee

Lawrence A. Hunter Ph.D.
July 23, 2008

Princeton University professor emeritus Sheldon Wolin, viewed by many scholars as one of the deans of American political theorists and widely recognized as a liberal, argues in his recently published book Democracy Incorporated that the United States has evolved into a new political hybrid in which economic and state powers are conjoined and virtually unbridled, producing what he calls “inverted totalitarianism.” Wolin states the thesis of his book this way:
"It is possible for a form of totalitarianism, different from the classical one, to evolve from a putatively 'strong democracy' instead of a 'failed one.'"
Wolin, Sheldon S., Democracy Incorporated:  Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2008...


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