Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just In Time: An Important New Book for a World in a State of Flux

Even the casual observer of news must realize that the world is shifting at its core, that the future may very well be much different than the world we live in today.

The uprising in Tunisia and Egypt are just two examples of people desiring to be free of oppressive governments. In places like Tunisia and Egypt, the oppression is obvious. In other cases, such as the United States, the government moves may be a bit more slick, but the edge to the banksters and other power elite is becoming more obvious. In the U.S. this has spawned the Tea Party and others suspicious of ever-expanding government.

My chief complaint with these anti-regime movements has been that there seems to be no clear understanding of what the current regimes should be replaced with. The average man seems to have little understanding of the importance of free markets and its importance in creating a prosperous society.

In his new book, Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse, Thomas E. Woods, Jr. addresses my complaint. Aimed primarily at a United States audience, the book brilliantly weaves facts with theories to explain why the United States is in the financial mess it is in today and the way out of the financial mess.

The book is remarkably detailed with the important facts. I am certainly not one who is unfamiliar with the facts surrounding the financial crisis, yet, time after time, I found myself saying as I read Woods' book, "I didn't know that."  Finally, I had repeated "I didn't know that" to myself so many times that I looked up to see what page of the book I was on. It was page 14. If the book had only contained the new facts I had learned in the first 14 pages, I would have been satisfied with the book, but the book goes much deeper.

Woods carefully dissects the fiscal crisis facing the United States. He explains the problems with Social Security and Medicare. But, he does so in a manner, and with the facts, that I have not ever seen done before.  For those who are advocates of freedom, reading this book will sharpen their understanding and mastery of the subject ten-fold. The case for free markets is argued so well that it may find some converts among the open minded anti-free market types (and even, perhaps, among some of the not so open minded).

But Woods doesn't stop with the problems of social security and medicare. In particular, I liked his discussion of the monetary system pre-Federal Reserve. He completely destroys the arguments of Fed apologists and bomb throwers, such as Paul Krugman, who charge that a the pre-Federal Reserve period was a period of laissez faire banking with booms and busts gone wild. Woods carefully takes the reader through the facts. He carefully details the interference that the government played in the pre-Fed era and also details how the booms and busts pre-Fed were much less intense than they are now.

He also explains what parts of the Glass Stegall Act were, and were not, repealed, and how this had nothing to do with the recent financial crisis. Woods also explains why deflation is not bad for an economy, and why it is not even bad for businessmen who must sell their products at lower prices. The fearless Woods also takes the knife to the military budget and explains how bloated that monstrosity is.

When Victor Hugo wrote, "All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come," he was dead on and we can see that by what is going on in the world today.  The idea of regime overthrow is in the air throughout the world. Woods' book compliments this idea, by providing the collection of ideas that show how important free markets are to the solution of current problems.

This book needs to be read by every person who is sick and tired of the raping of the taxpayer, who is sick and tired of the edge given to banksters and other power elites. It needs to be read by every member of the Tea Party, so that they gain a fundamental understanding of the problems of big government that they are protesting and what the real solutions are.

In fact, this book is so important that it should be read by every person that is a voter. The book should be debated far and wide. Indeed, I recommend that you put down whatever else you are reading and read Rollback, now. The book has the potential to become a game changer. It has the potential to become a  major influence. Once you read it, you will know what I mean.


  1. Thank you Robert. From the outset I have thought that the Egypttion rebels are tea parters. They have the same interest and the same goals. Freedom Love Peace Charity.

  2. Sadly these facts will only make an impression on those with the mental capacity to grasp them. And the average public school educated American, high on HFCS, dumbed down further with Glenn Beck soundbites, and fully distracted by Facefook and gadget phones, does not have that mental capacity. An honest, virtuous, transparent and minimalist government is no victory to unmotivated dependents, void of the desire or ability to tend to their own basic needs. America has passed the point of no return. I applaud Woods and Wenzel's efforts, but this country will not be saved in our lifetime. Christina Aguilera botched the National Anthem on the biggest stage in the world and nobody cared. America, and the very idea of it is nothing but a used up pitch for the next corporate scheme or war. Its not an idea that anyone takes any pride in anymore. I would love nothing more than to see this country return to the principles upon which it was founded, but I won't waste my life hoping for that which will never happen. I'll see you all in New Zealand when you realize the true futility of trying to save 300 million people from their own stupidity, gullibility and sloth...

  3. This books sounds fantastic! I am reminded of the late Harry Browne's "Why Government Doesn't Work", which was an easily assimilable, entertaining and devastating dissection of WHY our favorite institution utterly fails without fail. A complementary read, perhaps?

  4. I understand why someone would be less than optimistic over the chances of liberty taking hold in this country. Ignorance and apathy are rampant but the economic crisis does present an opportunity to educate more people. Failing that, New Zealand does have a nice climate even if their internet is slow.

  5. Not distinguishing between types of deflation renders the argument unintelligent. Just as you must distinguish between secular low-to-moderate inflation and hyperinflation, so must secular deflation due to productivity increases MUST be distinguished from a sudden deflation due to increased demand to hold cash.

  6. Excellent attempt at focusing on the positive outcome of what appears to be a dire outlook. One specific paragraph meant a lot to me and is a call to action:

    "Suppose the crisis hit tomorrow. What would you do? Exactly what the circumstances called for: care for our families, help friends and neighbors in need, volunteer for charitable institutions to help those who fall through the cracks, and establish online clearinghouses to share our professional skills and talents with those who need them, perhaps in exchange for the skills and talents of others. We ought to begin dong these things now."

  7. It is as difficult for a Sarah Palin/Glen Beck/Newt Gingrich neocon type to become a libertarian as it would be for one of us to become a neocon!

    It is also as difficult for a Paul Krugman, a Barack Obama, or a Hillary Clinton to become a libertarian as it would be, again, for us to become a "progressive", and for the same reasons.

    Habits and routines of thought are almost impervious to change for most people!

    The ever-worsening crisis afflicting our society has many facets and symptoms. It is, as Murray Rothbard pointed out many years ago, in his For a New Liberty (Macmillan 1973) a crisis of STATISM! The government has overgrown and hypertrophied itself to such an extent that its ill effects are visible everywhere at once, and the old complaints of "not doing enough" ring hollow.

    Thinking people are starting to demand something better, and we are in an excellent position to offer just that!

    This includes former progressives who may still be allergic to the free market and private property, but who are horrified at the consequences of runaway government on civil liberties (e.g. trial by Jury, runaway government spying and warrentless searches and seizures, etc.) Some former conservatives are starting to be worried about the first Amendment since progressive/socialistic inspired political correctness ( speech codes, 'hostile workplace' lawsuits, suppression of their public criticisms of egalitarian dogma, and so on) has gained great power in the USA, and even more power in Europe. In addition, at least some thinking conservatives must be aware of the detrimental effects of a foreign and military policy that we can no longer afford.

    In addition to the above, independent people who see the flaws in both "left" and "right", are now willing, indeed often eager, to give Tom Woods, Ron Paul, et al. a hearing. What was once merely a political curiosity is rapidly becming the primary opposition ideology! As the crisis deepens, the attractiveness of our offerings will increase.

    We don't--and SHOULDN'T--reach out to everybody! We should be happy with the old saying "You can fool SOME of the people ALL of the time, ALL of the people SOME of the time, but you CAN'T fool ALL of the people ALL of the time!

    David K.Meller

  8. "....this book is so important that it should be read by every person who is a voter"
    Why would I want to be a voter? After the SELECTIONS of 2000 and 2004, why would anyone continue to be complicit in their own undoing? And then, conveniently in the nick of time, a book comes out on how to "regain" lost freedoms? Yeah, do I sound at all convinced or impressed upon enough to even read this book?