Saturday, August 9, 2014

Announcing availability of a Monograph few will read: GOVERNMENT’S MONEY MONOPOLY (Second Edition)

It’s understandable if recipients of this announcement are surprised that I predict few people will read Government’s Money Monopoly (Second Edition).

That’s because the book’s subject—money and monetary policy— is somewhat arcane and specialized. There’s a limited audience even among those with an interest in economics and financial affairs. Indeed, while uncorrupted economics is mostly straightforward (e.g., increase in the free-market-bashing minimum wage causes loss of jobs), because of government meddling the subject of money and monetary policy is complex and often numbing.

Because substantial editing of Government’s Money Monopoly’s first edition has brought the second edition down to about 125 pages, I consider the latter to be a Monograph, not book, length.

Accordingly, I’ve decided to “publish” the second edition of Government’s Money Monopoly in pdf form, and park it on my former website where it will be accessible via a simple link (see below). (This is what I’ve done with my North Korea and gold clause Monographs.)

My reason for undertaking a second edition in light of the limited audience that I foresee is best explained in the Preface to the Monograph:

"In 1981 I wrote/edited the first edition of Government’s Money Monopoly. Among the many endorsements and favorable reviews, one was especially gratifying. It was by Professor Murray N. Rothbard’s who had long waged a relentless war against fiat money, to be replaced by a true gold standard. Professor Rothbard’s review is reproduced here. Please note that it was written some thirty-five years ago."

"In this excellent, scholarly volume, Henry Mark Holzer brings us the key documents in the government’s takeover of money, engineered by Alexander Hamilton and Chief Justice John Marshall. He traces the takeover back to Old World theories of absolute “sovereignty” that we had fought a Revolution to overthrow, and shows the consequences in the Age of Inflation [1981]. Holzer is also outstanding in linking government control of money and issue of paper with a trampling of individual rights and liberties. Anyone who wants to know how we got into our monetary mess will find Holzer’s book indispensable. And his concluding proposal for a constitutional amendment to prohibit all federal state coinage or paper money, legal tender laws, or regulation of banking is something that all lovers of liberty or sound money and all opponents of inflation should rally around." (Emphasis added in Monograph.)

When recently I reread the first edition of Government’s Money Monopoly I was stunned to realize that it could have been written in 2014 because of how the federal government—Congress and the President, abetted by the Supreme Court—has continued to engorge Washington’s power over money and, by extrapolation, taken over the fields of finance and economics in the United States of America. Here are my prescient words of 1981, written for Government’s Money Monopoly’s hardcover edition’s cover.

"The consequences of our government’s monetary policies are all around us—widespread joblessness, crushing taxation, record inflation. Most Americans are profoundly affected by these policies, and eager to see them changed. Yet nothing happens—and won’t—until more of us learn to ask certain questions: What are we up against? How, and why, did it happen? What can we do about it once and for all? This book has the [historical] answers.

"Throughout history most societies have been despotisms of one kind or another. Not surprisingly, the rulers had complete control over monetary affairs—for a distinct correlation exists between how free a society is and how much power its government has over money. Because the United States of America was supposed to be a free country, its government was granted comparatively few monetary powers—[essentially,] only to borrow and coin money, and regulate its value.

"Yet today, that same government possesses total power over every aspect of America’s monetary system. With an octopus-like stranglehold, Washington’s control extends to gold, money, credit, banking, and much more.

"How and why the Founders’ limited intention was converted into omnipotent government monetary power is the subject of this book—a collection of basic materials which, if properly understood, explains what happened."

When I reread the first edition (written while I was a professor of law at Brooklyn Law School), I realized that parts of the book were overly long and, truth be told, too scholarly for the audience I wanted to reach.

Accordingly, in the second edition of Government’s Money Monopoly I’ve made deep cuts in the text to better tell the story that government’s debasement of money is thousands of years old, that monarchs and governments used various means to rob their citizens, and that debasement of money relentlessly continues today in the United States. Most important, I want laypersons to understand the underlying reason why politicians from Solon to Franklyn Delano Roosevelt sought to control money and, with it, entire financial and economic systems.

Here’s how I’ve sought to accomplish that:

Expanded Contents

Foreword (1st ed.)
Identification of the “Number one” economic problem.
How the fundamental documents of our Founding show what went wrong.
Interrelationship between economics, politics, and moral principles.
The only cure for inflation.
Professor Henry Mark Holzer’s proposed constitutional amendment.

Preface (2d ed.)
Accolades from Professor Murray N. Rothbard.
Relevance of Government’s Money Monopoly for today.
Prescient words, written in 1981.
Constitutional power to coin money and regulate the value thereof.
The reason for a second edition.
Overview of contents.
Why and how statism took control over America’s monetary system.

Government and money.
Money and freedom.
Historical parallels.
Solon’s debasement of money.
The Dark Ages.
1604’s Case of Mixed Money.
Money in the American colonies, and in the Constitution.
Alexander Hamilton v. Thomas Jefferson. George Washington as referee.
Chief Justice John Marshall and 1819’s case of M’Culloch v. Maryland.
“Greenbacks” in the Civil War.
The cases of Legal Tender I, II and III.
Government theft of silver and gold, 1911 to 1934.
A proposed solution to government’s money monopoly.

1. Monetary debasement in early times.
Solon’s 594 B.C. debasement of money to aid debtors.
England and sovereign power to debase money.

2. Money in colonial America.
Important factors.
The scarcity of coin.
“Commodity money.”
Colonial paper money.

3. Monetary power and the Constitutional Convention.
The history and knowledge brought by the delegates to the debate.
Debates over government monetary power.

4. The bank controversy.
Jefferson’s opposition to Congress chartering a national bank.
Hamilton’s support for Congress chartering a national bank.

5. John Marshall and monetary power.
Preview of the most important constitutional law decision ever made.

6. M’Culloch v. Maryland
Triumph of the Federalists.
Genesis of the “Living Constitution.”
Edited version of Chief Justice Marshall’s lengthy opinion.

7. The Legal Tender Cases.The historical and statutory background.

8. Hepburn v. Griswold (Legal Tender I).
Factual background of the case.
Edited version of Chief Justice Chase’s opinion.
Justice Miller’s dissent.

9. Knox v. Lee (Legal Tender II)
Knox presents the question of whether the Acts were constitutional.
The most important monetary decision since M’Culloch v. Maryland.
Edited version of Justice Strong’s majority opinion.
Edited version of Justice Bradley’s concurring opinion.
Edited version of Chief Justice Chase’s dissenting opinion.
Edited version of Justice Field’s dissenting opinion.

10. Julliard v. Greenman (Legal Tender III).
The Supreme Court takes another look at Legal Tender.
Solidification of the government’s awesome power over money.
Edited version of Justice Gray’s majority opinion.
Edited version of Justice Field’s dissent.

11. Ling Su Fan v. United States.
Historical and statutory background.
Embargo of Philippine silver coins.
Edited version of Justice Lurton’s opinion upholding the embargo.

12. Noble State Bank v. Haskell.
Modern statement of government’s power over monetary affairs.
Edited version of Justice Holmes’s unanimous majority opinion.

13. Gold Clause Cases.
Federal government has supreme power over American monetary affairs.
Edited version of Chief Justice Hughes’s majority opinion

Ayn Rand’s theory of “Man’s Rights” and government’s money monopoly.
Author’s proposed constitutional solution to government’s money monopoly.

Government’s Money Monopoly can be accessed at no charge HERE