Greenspan: Still Going for the Gold

If patience is a virtue, Alan Greenspan is a saint. For more than three decades he has endeavored to guide the nation toward sound money -- first as a radical intellectual, then as an business economist and presidential adviser, and currently as chairman of Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. His critics on the left seem unable to comprehend the destructive consequences of irresponsible fiscal policy and accommodative monetary policy. His critics on the right simply cannot appreciate the long-term perspective of Greenspan, a man who argued powerfully in the 1960s that "gold and economic freedom are inseparable" and who has steadfastly, albeit slowly, continued to pursue the realization of his intellectual ideals in the economic sphere. Arbitrary and capricious, he is not.

The benefits of a balanced budget

Instead of taking potshots at Greenspan reinforcing the claims of those who maliciously accuse him of waging a war against workers, advocates of sound money should be working with the Fed chairman toward the ultimate goal of price stability and restoration of a gold-based monetary system. It ain't gonna happen overnight; that is the fundamental lesson to be drawn from Greenspan's languorous pace. But with the achievement of a balanced budget agreement, we are making real progress.

Balancing the budget is a moral imperative because it means the government cannot indulge in excessive spending and then abuse its sovereign monetary authority by financing chronic deficits with increasing levels of federal debt -- a practice that results in inflation. Supply-siders who minimize the importance of a balanced budget do not show proper respect for the teachings of economist Ludwig von Mises, who observed:

Inflation is a policy. And a policy can be changed. Therefore, there is no reason to give in to inflation. If one regards inflation as an evil, then one has to stop inflating. One has to balance the budget of the government. Of course, public opinion must support this; the intellectuals must help the people to understand. Given the support of public opinion, it is certainly possible for the people's elected representatives to abandon the policy of inflation.

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Kathleen M. Packard, Publisher
Ralph J. Benko, Editor

In Memoriam
Professor Jacques Rueff

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