Sunday, December 18, 2011

Libertarian Party Greenbacker Alert

Hans Palmstierna emails:
Havent seen this commented on very much but maybe the Libertarian party is pretty much of non-news these days in the US (especially with Ron Paul running for the GOP).

But were you aware that known Greenbacker Deluxe Bill Still is trying to get the LP nomination for presidential candidate? I'm talking about the "money masters/secret of oz "-guy who promotes the right of Congress to issue money. I know Gary North did a splendid work of tearing Ellen Brown to shreds a while back, but I haven't seen anyone comment on Bill Still...
Yikes! Still wants to just print new money to pay off government debt. He writes in the press release announcing his candidacy that Pillar 1 is:
End government borrowing. A sovereign nation does not have to borrow, in fact, being debt-free is the very definition of sovereignty. Pay off the existing bonds -- which is our National Debt -- as they come due, but pay them off with debt free U.S. Notes (or their electronic equivalents) instead of Federal Reserve Notes, which are all borrowed into existence.
Still is very confused about economics if he thinks the government can just print money (or what he calls "U.S. notes") to pay off its debt, without causing serious inflation, if anyone would accept the notes in the first place.

Do any readers know if he is getting any traction in the Libertarian Party?


  1. Let's play a game that I like to call "to as, as to" (2ass2 for short):

    Bill Still:libertarianism as ___:___.

    Or, in more grammatical terms, Bill Still is to libertarianism as {insert} is to {insert}.

    I'll start off...

    Bill Still:libertarianism as flatulence:entropy

  2. Forgive my ignorance, and help me to be less so. Isn't printing enough worthless money to pay off the debt exactly what Bernanke is trying to do? That and pay off the European debt as well. Or is he just trying to save the bankers? Thanks.

  3. Why are unelected bankers more credible issuers of a fiat currency than congress?

  4. Your old buddy Karl (Gold is a poor investment at $500, $600, $700, $800, $900, $1000, etc. etc. etc.) Denninger is a BIG Bill Still guy.

  5. Anonymous 8:26 said:
    "Why are unelected bankers more credible issuers of a fiat currency than congress?"

    Who is making that claim?

  6. The suggestion that nobody would accept US notes spent into existence by congress is implying such. Collect taxes denominated in US notes and you automatically have acceptance and demand. US notes along with gold and silver as competing currencies could be a solution. It would be too easy to manipulate the money supply if gold and silver were used exclusively.

  7. Anon 9:41,

    It isn't a question of credibility, it is a question of calculability and constraint. A central bank has some constraint due to its want to make a profit (the left side must be greater than the right side), and it can calculate because all of its purchases and sales are done on the open market (as rigged as it may be). Government has no constraint and cannot calculate rationally.

    I don't favor either system because both systems will inflate the currency, except that a pure government fiat system will be more apt to inflate to a greater degree due to a lack of constraint and calculability. That is why many Austrians, including myself, prefer a free market money system, where there is no monopoly issuer of the money and the market decides what is to be the money.

    Just as with the MMTers, the greanbackers disregard the fact that resources are scarce and that money is not wealth. The printing of more money doesn't confer any general benefits to society, it only confers benefits to those closest to the printing presses. If you think that Congress spends a lot now, just wait until they're stamping the ink.

    As for market manipulation, you will always have this if you have a monopoly on the issuance of money. What is money is more easily manipulated: the one that takes capital investment, labor, time, and profitability in order to produce a unit of the commodity, or one that can be printed (with as many zeroes as necessary) at almost zero cost?

  8. Wenzel, Krazy Karl didn't like your Still piece.

  9. Anonymous 9:41 PM: The US tried US notes in the Civil War. It led to massive price inflation. It used legislative fiat through a legal tender tax to enforce this. The reason the US created the US notes during the Civil War was to more easily manipulate the money supply so it could float wartime bonds.

    How do you figure an exclusively gold and silver monetary system would be easy to manipulate? The system you describe is the epitome of monetary manipulation.

  10. "Why are unelected bankers more credible issuers of a fiat currency than congress?"

    Is this a joke?

    If you put the voter's political terrorists in charge of the counterfeit racket, they would print the dollar worthless by the end of the week. At least the bankers aren't stupid and they don't have to buy votes from the infantile voting parasites.

  11. Right now the Fed prints the money, lends to banks at 0%. The banks turn around the money by buying treasuries and collecting the spread. Why not let the taxpayers keep the spread? Bill Still makes perfect sense to me. If he only gets one vote, now you know where it came from.

  12. There are times that one looks to bad reporting as an accident, and then there are times when one has to call it what it appears to actually be -- hacksterism:

    From Economic Policy Journal: Utter Nonsense

  13. "It would be too easy to manipulate the money supply if gold and silver were used exclusively."

    This is essentially the argument made by the creators of "The Money Master;" whilst a hard money system was good once, in the interim since it has not been in effect, the elites have hoarded all the gold and silver. If we went back to a hard money system, they control all of the supply and we'd be no better off than we are now.

    Bob, I think I smell a topic for the Bob Wenzel Show:

    "The Gold/Silver Standard and Competing Currencies: A Beginners Crash(proof) Course"

  14. "Still is very confused about economics if he thinks the government can just print money (or what he calls "U.S. notes") to pay off its debt, without causing serious inflation."

    Why don't you ASK Mr. Still to clarify his position before making an ass out of yourself?

    Yes, Bill is getting some traction in the LP. I (a small l libertarian) am lukewarm on this as Bill is a pretty one dimensional candidate. However, Bill *is* well worth engaging on his hot button topic and I would welcome a healthy debate here rather than name calling and pot shots.

  15. SEE for more info.For introductory economics, is and are also interesting.

  16. "A central bank has some constraint due to its want to make a profit (the left side must be greater than the right side), and it can calculate because all of its purchases and sales are done on the open market.. "

    Except the market isn't open and free. The banks are not restrained because governments pass "stimulus" or "easing" laws which basically rapes the taxpayers or inflates the money supply and socializes bank losses due to NOT exercising proper restraint. And how is issuing debt from nothing substantially different than printing money backed by nothing?(by nothing I mean other than "good faith and credit blah blech.." which basically means future production and taxes mostly from the diminishing middle class).

  17. I don't understand the fear that "THEY will control the supply of gold and silver." The only threat I see is that THEY can print as much money as they want. I don't see how honest money gives the banksters MORE power.

  18. I would take Still or Paul. BTW, I don't think your correct in saying he wants to print money. In fact, I am fairly certain that he wants the exact opposite. But since your a reporter, the facts really would not be that important. Would they?

  19. Erasing the national debt is a trivial act. Simply endorse you currency before spending it. Cancel the Treasury's endorsements and viola! no debt for US.

    Come to think of it though what statute says FRN's are the only legal tender? There isn't one.Using the gov't cash is voluntary and the act of using it is what makes people liable for income tax.

    We don't need the gov't to opt out.

  20. Patrick,

    I noticed that you left out the part where I said "as rigged as it may be". I was making the point that while I know that the Fed has a monopoly position and operates in a rigged market, it still has a balance sheet to constrain it, government does not (it can print into perpetuity).

    Obviously, the Fed is not a free market entity and enjoys its monopoly position due to government force and legal tender laws. However, in order for the Fed to create money in the economy it must purchase assets from the economy (just like the Treasury would). However, in order for the Fed to tighten it must sell assets back into the economy. As you can see, people must be willing to purchase those assets. And, as I said, its balance sheet must balance or have the left side greater than the right.

    The government, on the other hand, cannot just sell assets back into the economy. First, it would run into the same problem that the Fed runs into, people must be willing to purchase those assets. Also, because it is publicly owned, it creates an even larger problem when it attempts to sell public assets. So, if the government cannot sell those assets back into the economy, either due to political or market reasons, then it will merely tax the money back to the treasury. This is a power that the Fed doesn't have. As you can see, the Treasuries balance sheet is only constrained by how much it can tax from the private sector which is a very scary thought. This tells me that a Treasury system will be more apt to create fiat money than to tighten fiat money, which has historically been the case.

    The contention that I am making is not that the Fed is good, but that the Treasury would be worse. It should be clear that Austro-libertarians such as myself don't want any monopoly money issuer, because both confer benefits to the monopoly and those close to it. There is no benefit for the general economy. Also, both will strip the general public of their purchasing power as well as set into motion the business cycle.

  21. Patrick,

    Also, many of the problems that you pose have more to do with the government itself rather than the central bank. I would presume that it would be far easier for the treasury to bailout and stimulate. Of course, easing would be far easier, as well, because they don't need to sell treasuries in order to do it-- just print.

  22. anonymous 7:08,

    "I don't think your (sic) correct in saying he wants to print money"

    Let's see, Still supports fiat paper money, but he doesn't want to print money? That's like saying I support gold money, but I don't want gold mining; or, that I support the free market, but I don't want voluntary exchange: or, I support property rights, but I don't want private ownership.

  23. How to spot a paid troll on a social networking site:

    "Here we go again with the same [derogatory name] mantra. [So-and-so's] supporters are a bunch of [name denoting lack of intelligence] who have no idea what they're talking about. Anyone with even a basic understanding of [subject at hand] knows that [the proposed idea] is utter and complete [derogatory name].

    ---[notice that the troll does not attempt to explain the subject at hand, but only criticizes others for purportedly having no understanding of it]---

    I suppose we should just [absurd and illogical extrapolation of the proposed idea]. Would you be happy then? I wouldn't. [So-and-so] is not only a [derogatory name], he is [adjective which draws "so-and-so's" patriotism into question]."