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PostSubject: Economics   Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:45 pm

If you are interested at all, read this. I know that the ones with opinions on this would most likely be Bandit and Ben.

It's pretty big, so I'll have to put it into several posts.

This is from the book "Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson". It's the chapter on Economics (pp. 627-643).
Ezra Taft Benson was the thirteenth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also was the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture during both administrations of U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.


Ezra Taft Benson wrote:

Free Enterprise

Nothing is more to be prized, nor more sacred, than man's free choice. Free choice is the essence of free enterprise. It recognizes that the common man will make choices in his own self-interest. It allows a manufacturer to produce what he wants, how much, and to set his own price. It allows the buyer to decide if he wants a certain product at the price established. It preserves the right to work when and where we choose.

In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson said that the sum of good government shall leave citizens "free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned." (This Nation Shall Endure, p. 86.)

Enterprise, initiative, self-reliance! Called by whatever name, this dynamo for human betterment has been developed within the environment of freedom and responsibility laid down by our forefathers. This system has fed the body and nourished the spirit. It has released the creative power within each person. It has given this country an unprecedented degree of freedom, the richest blessing a nation can receive from the hand of God.

Not only that, our American farmers and business people, through their enterprise, have lifted the standard of living of this country higher than ever occurred before, in any land, at any time. The abundance which this enterprise has produced is shared more widely than ever, anywhere. I believe in the free-enterprise system. (The Red Carpet, pp. 216-17.)

Our abundant material blessings have come to us through an economic system which rests largely on three pillars: Free enterprise-the right to venture, to choose. Private property-the right to own. A market economy-the right to exchange. We must never make the catastrophic blunder of putting the chains of big government on our basic economic freedom. Yet there is that very danger today.

The pillars of our economic system are being threatened by a strange and unlikely coalition of subversives, do-gooders, and self-servers. There are, in this country, a hard core of subversives who hate the free-enterprise system and are dedicated to its overthrow. There is a host of do-gooders, who constantly criticize our free choice system, ready to solve all human problems with legislation, willing to impose their version of the millennium on you and me, unwilling to rely on the judgment of the individual. There are the self-servers, who view government as a way to gain an advantage, to restrain competition, or to obtain special favors.

But the most dangerous threat of all comes from the disinterested-that great group of otherwise intelligent people who shrug off any responsibility for public affairs. (Title of Liberty, pp. 147-48.)

No fair-minded person contends that the private-enterprise system is perfect. Many deplore the fact that a few of our corporate entities seem to lack that social consciousness proportionate to their power and the privileges granted them by the state. Some businesses apparently still fail to recognize that there are social and spiritual values as well as profits that should be considered in their operations. Neither do our needs always correspond to our demands under the free-enterprise system. (The Red Carpet, p. 119.)

Economic security for all is impossible without widespread abundance. Abundance is impossible without industrious and efficient production. Such production is impossible without energetic, willing, and eager labor. This is not possible without incentive. Of all forms of incentive-the freedom to attain a reward for one's labors is the most sustaining for most people.

Sometimes called the profit motive, it is simply the right to plan and to earn and enjoy the fruits of your labor. This profit motive diminishes as government controls, regulations, and taxes increase to deny the fruits of success to those who produce. (See G. Edward Griffin, The Fearful Master, p. 128.) ("America, a Choice Land," California-Hawaiian Region of the Elks, Anaheim, California, 8 November 1968.)

A free market operates in an environment of free enterprise and free competition. Here everyone has a chance to decide what is a fair price, a fair wage, and a fair profit, and what should be produced and in what quantities. (The Red Carpet, p. 221.)

Our freedom of individual opportunity permits us to draw upon our natural resources and upon the total brain and brawn power of the nation in a most effective manner. This freedom of individual choice inspires competition. Competition inspires shrewd and efficient management, which is conducive to the production of the best product possible at the lowest price. (God, Family, Country, p. 310.)

The individual has power to produce beyond his needs, to provide savings for the future protection of himself and family. He can live where he wishes and pick any job he wants and select any educational opportunity. He is, to a high degree, free through his own hard work and wise management to make a profit, to invest in any enterprise he may choose, and to leave a part of his accumulation to be inherited by others as he may, in large measure, determine.

He may enjoy the sacred rights of freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom of worship. To this American entrepreneur his home is his castle, and in the event that he is accused of an offense against the laws established by the people, he has the right of trial by a jury made up of his own fellow citizens. Here is freedom guaranteed by the limitation of government through a written constitution. ("The American Free-Enterprise System: Will It Survive?" Contemporary Issues Forum, Ogden, Utah, 18 January 1977.)

We must realize that the growth of industry does not just happen. It takes the same vision, the same personal initiative and pioneering spirit that in an earlier day opened the continent. Any new business, particularly in a new field, is a pioneering effort. It requires imagination and courage, the risk of capital and the willingness to work hard. These are the things America is made of-and new industry is tangible proof that they are not dead among us. (The Red Carpet, p. 226.)

We have a responsibility to preserve our free economy, bequeathed to us as a great heritage by our forefathers who pioneered in this great land. We must also be pioneers in standing firm against proponents of unsound panaceas for all facets of our American economy that may be harmful not only to ourselves, but especially to our children and grandchildren. This modern-day challenge is every bit as demanding and forbidding as the frontier wilderness which spurred our forefathers to their successful efforts. (The Red Carpet, pp. 227-28.)

Profit is the reward for honest labor. It is the incentive that causes a man to risk his capital to build a business. If he cannot keep or invest that which he has earned, neither may he own, nor will he risk. Profit creates wealth; wealth creates more work opportunity; and more work opportunity creates greater wealth. None of this is possible without incentive.

There is another benefit to profit. It provides man with moral choices. With profit, man can choose to be greedy and selfish; he can invest and expand, thereby providing others with jobs; and he can be charitable. Charity is not charity unless it is voluntary. It cannot be voluntary if there is nothing to give.

Only saved profit, not government, creates more jobs. The only way government can create jobs is to take money from productive citizens in the form of taxes and transfer it to government programs. Without someone's generating profit that can be taxed, government revenue is not possible. (This Nation Shall Endure, p. 86.)

Students of economics know that a nation cannot spend itself into prosperity. Nor can we preserve our prosperity and our free-enterprise system by following a reckless policy of spending beyond our income in peacetime. Critics forget that our free-enterprise system is based on solvent government and sound money. This is the road of common sense, the road of a sound defense-a sound defense against the enemies and forces that endanger freedom both at home and abroad. (The Red Carpet, p. 167.)

Some say that free enterprise is aimless and unplanned. I doubt if there is as much planning in any other country on earth as there is here in the United States. But it is planning by individuals-millions of them-free planning, planning based on freedom of choice. It is not collectivist state planning. (The Red Carpet, p. 128.)

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PostSubject: Re: Economics   Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:46 pm

Ezra Taft Benson wrote:
Some say the free-enterprise system is heartless and insensitive to the needs of those less fortunate individuals who are found in any society, no matter how affluent. What about the lame, the sick, and the destitute? Most other countries in the world have attempted to use the power of government to meet this need. Yet, in every case forced charity through government bureaucracies has resulted in the long run in creating more misery, more poverty, and certainly less freedom than when government first stepped in. (This Nation Shall Endure, p. 79.)

Our needs do not always correspond to our demands under the free-enterprise system. For example, the American male still prefers steak and potatoes and apple pie to a better balanced diet. Many American families often prefer housing below a decency level to the "indecency" of getting along without a family car. As a nation, we have spent twice as much money for liquor and tobacco as for medical care, about the same for movies as for the support of the churches, and almost as much for beauty parlor services as for private social welfare. Whether wise or unwise, these decisions on the part of individuals as to how they spend their money are the result of free consumer choice, which is a part of the free-enterprise system. With all of its weaknesses, our free-enterprise system has accomplished in terms of human welfare that which no other economic or social system has even approached. (God, Family, and Country, p. 310.)

The enterprise system is on trial today throughout the world, and in this country. All of us are a part of that private, free-enterprise system and are vitally concerned with the outcome of this struggle. If the enterprise system fails and if representative government should prove incapable of meeting its responsibilities, then fails a bright hope of the human race. Ours would be a gloomy page in history if this generation were to allow the highest aspirations of mankind to slip through our fingers. There is in this country a deep belief in freedom and responsibility. If we demonstrate as much ingenuity in organizing this belief as the opponents of freedom have demonstrated in attacking it, we stand well to win the battle. (The Red Carpet, p. 213.)

If reference is made continually to weaknesses of the private-enterprise system without any effort to point out its virtues and the comparative fruits of this and other systems, the tendency in this country will be to demand that the government take over more and more of the economic and social responsibilities and make more of the decisions for the people. (This Nation Shall Endure, p. 54.)

If the government were genuinely concerned about full employment and real prosperity, it could do much in bringing it about. It could support the proven and successful free-market system, the law of supply and demand, where the buying public, not the government, is the deciding factor in what shall be produced and marketed, including energy products. The bureaucrats ignore the lessons of American history that freedom works and that the ability of individuals to come to mutually beneficial agreements is the very essence of a free society. (This Nation Shall Endure, p. 78.)

Now, while the world is in commotion and turmoil over ideologies and political philosophies, is a good time to reflect upon the past. It is a good time to draw a few comparisons, to take stock, to sound a few warnings and to give some sound and vital counsel that will help us to realize that, just as past advances have been the fruit of our freedom-our free-enterprise system-so the progress of the future must flow from this same basic source-our freedom.

We have developed a productive plant and a way of life which have given the highest standard of living for the masses known to the civilized world. In the long run, a nation enjoys in the form of goods and services only what it produces. (The Red Carpet, pp. 116-17.)

Some who are engaged in the business of advertising and selling are doing a magnificent job of telling the story of freedom-and I commend them. They use advertisements to explain the meaning of capitalism and free enterprise. They present to their audiences such challenging and valuable statements as these-and I could mention many more: "More money for less work soon means no work." "We can't legislate happiness." "You can't vote yourself security." "America is 'opportunity unlimited.'" (The Red Carpet, p. 231.)

American ingenuity under freedom of choice has harnessed tremendous amounts of mineral energy to do physical work. Under our free-enterprise system there are good reasons to believe that the technological progress of the past will continue in the future, perhaps even at an accelerated rate. Then, too, our free-enterprise system allows for all necessary flexibility. No other economic program responds so readily to changes in wartime and peacetime demands. (The Red Carpet, p. 118.)

There are some in our midst who decry free enterprise, who would place business, agriculture, and labor in a government straitjacket. The fundamental reason that our economic order is better by far than any other system is that ours is free. It must remain free. In that freedom ultimately lies our basic economic strength. Let us work aggressively to correct any weaknesses, but let us never make the blunder of putting chains on our basic economic freedom. (The Red Carpet, p. 129.)

Our free-enterprise economic order is not perfect. Let us admit the weaknesses that exist. Let us work aggressively to correct them. If the face of our economy is dirty in places, let us wash it. But let us not subject it to unneeded amputations and plastic surgery. (Crossfire: The Eight Years with Eisenhower, pp. 578-79.)

Are we aware that all over the free and neutral world people are asking: Is the free-enterprise system really stronger, more productive, more fruitful than is the Communist system? Show us! We want to believe it, but show us! Are we ready to accept the challenge? Do we understand that we are face to face with our destiny and we must meet it with a high and resolute courage? Survival is not guaranteed. It must be won by sound thinking, hard work, and right living. (The Red Carpet, pp. 127-28.)

Past material advances have been the fruit of our freedom-our free-enterprise capitalistic system, our American way of life, our God-given freedom of choice. Progress of the future must stem from this same basic freedom. Because our forefathers-yours and mine-fought for the ideal of freedom; because our fathers preserved that ideal through the free competitive enterprise system under our God-given free agency; because they were willing to make religion the vital force of daily living, all of us have climbed through the years to new heights of well-being and inner strengths. (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 17.)

I believe strongly in our free-enterprise system. And I would like to see that system preserved and strengthened for my children and my children's children, down to the last generation, and I am willing to do anything in my power, small though it be, to contribute toward the preservation and the strengthening of that system which I believe is built upon eternal principles: freedom of choice. (Conference of National Federation of Grain Cooperatives, Washington, D.C., 29 March 1955.)

I never travel across this great nation without experiencing a feeling of gratitude and thanksgiving for all that we have and are. As I see its broad, fruitful farms, its humming factories, its gleaming cities, certainly it is easy to realize that we have achieved unequalled material progress in this great country. It could not have happened under any other system of economy. (The Red Carpet, p. 120.)

Labor Unions

The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is fundamental. It includes the right to earn one's living. This right should not be curtailed by man-made prohibitions. I have always felt that our system of government and way of life has succeeded so well because it has been based on freedom for the individual. It disturbs me that in our great nation it is necessary to vouchsafe this elementary principle by statute when it is embodied in the Constitution.

All of us will agree that a man has the right to join with others in forming a union to bargain collectively with an employer. A corollary of equal importance is the right not to join a union. A great religious leader, David O. McKay, has said: "It is understood, of course, that any person is free to join a union when to do so favors his best interest; but no one should be compelled to join, or be deprived of any right as a citizen, including the right to honest labor, if he chooses not to become a member of a union or specially organized group." (The Red Carpet, pp. 266-67.)

Freedom of association means that a man will be free to join or not to join a union, as he sees fit. This will not only give each man his freedom of choice, but will force labor bosses to be more considerate of the wishes and needs of the workingman. Poorly run unions or those that accomplish little except to spend the members' dues will have to improve or make way for better unions. Well-run, uncorrupted unions need never worry about membership. Only those that have little to offer the workers need the government to force people to join them. If a company wishes to negotiate a closed shop agreement with a union, it should be free to do so. But the power of government should never be brought to bear to force it one way or the other. (An Enemy Hath Done This, pp. 238-39.)

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PostSubject: Re: Economics   Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:46 pm

Ezra Taft Benson wrote:
Individual rights of men are the very bedrock of our republic, and freedom of choice is certainly one of the cornerstones of a free society. I am fully sympathetic with the problems of the laboring man. His rights should be protected. When Congress has had under consideration important labor legislation, the right of a worker to walk off the job at will has been carefully protected. The right to walk on the job without the limitation of requiring that a worker join a union or any other organization should be equally protected.

Unions may be necessary to our complex society, but they are not an end in themselves. It is my firm conviction that a person should get and keep a job on the basis of his ability and performance. This is fair. It is the American way. (The Red Carpet, p. 267.)

My conscience forbids me to consent to granting exclusive privileges to either business or labor unions. Since I would not forcibly prevent anyone from entering any legitimate business or joining any union they desired, and since I could never bring myself to dictate to the buying public whom they could and whom they could not purchase goods and services from, I consider it wrong to ask government to do things on my behalf.

Economic wealth flows from thrift and productive investment. Many labor laws even hamper economic output and therefore cause poverty rather than wealth. (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 237.)

The extent of government interference into labor-management relationships should be limited. Government has no business making up rules for the game and then forcing the players to follow those rules. If left completely alone, labor and management will work out their own agreements in the shortest possible time and with the least disruption to the economy. In time, a natural balance between the forces of supply and demand will result in the greatest benefit for business, for labor, and for the country. (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 238.)

As a result of the natural forces and counterforces in the labor marketplace, without government interventions to aid or hinder either side, it is likely that the size of the labor union involved in a contract negotiation will equal the size of the management unit. In other words, instead of a giant nationwide industry intimidating a tiny union of employees at just one of its plants, or instead of a giant nationwide union intimidating a tiny company in just one community, there will tend to be a grouping and regrouping of unions and employers so that the forces on both sides will be approximately equal. While this could conceivably result in industry-wide negotiations between giant unions and giant employer associations, most of the natural economic pressures point in the opposite direction. Cost of living and cost of production factors vary so widely from one part of the country to the other that if a uniform compromise wage rate were set on a national basis, workers in the high-cost areas would form a local union for more realistic negotiations, and employers in the low-cost areas would form a local association for the same purpose. (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 239.)

Voluntary unionism would put an end to the present practice in some of the larger unions of spending huge amounts of the members' dues for political action which is pleasing to the labor bosses but may or may not be for the membership. No man should be forced to pay through union dues for political campaigns or philosophies which he opposes. Political contributions should be strictly voluntary. Just as corporation funds should not be spent for political action by the president of that corporation, so, too, union funds should not be spent for political action by the president of that union. (An Enemy Hath Done This, pp. 239-40.)

Labor and management are equal partners in business. They should be treated as equals, with no special favors either way. Government, as a nonproductive entity that lives off the income of both labor and management, has no business meddling in their affairs, except to make sure that public order is maintained and that contracts are honored. (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 240.)

Federal Monetary Policies

Few policies are more capable of destroying the moral, political, social, and economic basis of a free society than the debauching of its currency. And few tasks, if any, are more important for the preservation of freedom than the preservation of a sound monetary system. (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 211.)

We must return to policies of fiscal responsibility which will regain the world markets we are losing and protect our private competitive economy. We must reverse our present dangerous fiscal policies. If we fail so to do, we will set off an international monetary debacle that could easily make the experience of the 1930s sink into insignificance.

The welfare state, towards which America is steadily moving, is not something new. History has recorded it in the ancient civilizations of Babylon, Greece, and Rome; and modernly in Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany. It is the program of all of today's Communist countries. It not only fails to provide the economic security sought for, but the welfare state always ended in slavery-and it always will. (The Red Carpet, p. 308.)

Many of our problems and dangers center in the issues of so-called fair prices, wages, and profits, and the relationship between management and labor. We must realize that it is just as possible for wages to be too high as it is for prices and profits to be excessive. There is a tendency, of course, for almost everyone to feel that his share is unfair whether it is or not. An effort to adjust apparent inequities often calls for government subsidies. Too often these are authorized without asking the question, Who will pay for them? Much of our program of letting the government pay for it, "can be described as an attempt to better yourself by increasing your pay to yourself and then sending yourself the bill." (The Red Carpet, p. 221.)

The root of all evil is money, some say. But the root of our money evil is government. The very beginning of our troubles can be traced to the day when the federal government overstepped its proper defensive function and began to manipulate the monetary system to accomplish political objectives. The creation of the Federal Reserve Board made it possible in America for men arbitrarily to change the value of our money. Previously, that value had been determined solely by the natural interplay of the amount of precious metals held in reserve, the value men freely placed on those precious metals, and the amount of material goods which were available for sale or exchange. (An Enemy Hath Done This, pp. 213-14.)

The pending economic crisis that now faces America is painfully obvious. If even a fraction of potential foreign claims against our gold supply were presented to the Treasury, we would have to renege on our promise. We would be forced to repudiate our own currency on the world market. Foreign investors, who would be left holding the bag with American dollars, would dump them at tremendous discounts in return for more stable currencies, or for gold itself. The American dollar both abroad and at home would suffer the loss of public confidence. If the government can renege on its international monetary promises, what is to prevent it from doing the same on its domestic promises? How really secure would be government guarantees behind Federal Housing Administration loans, Savings and Loan Insurance, government bonds, or even Social Security?

Even though American citizens would still be forced by law to honor the same pieces of paper as though they were real money, instinctively they would rush and convert their paper currency into tangible material goods which could be used as barter. As in Germany and other nations that have previously traveled this road, the rush to get rid of dollars and acquire tangibles would rapidly accelerate the visible effects of inflation to where it might cost one hundred dollars or more for a single loaf of bread. Hoarded silver coins would begin to reappear as a separate monetary system which, since they have intrinsic value would remain firm, while printed paper money finally would become worth exactly its proper value-the paper it is printed on! Everyone's savings would be wiped out totally. No one could escape.

One can only imagine what such conditions would do to the stock market and to industry. Uncertainty over the future would cause the consumer to halt all spending except for the barest necessities. Market for such items as television sets, automobiles, furniture, new homes, and entertainment would dry up almost overnight. With no one buying, firms would have to close down and lay off their employees. Unemployment would further aggravate the buying freeze, and the nation would plunge into a depression that would make the 1930s look like prosperity. At least the dollar was sound in those days. In fact, since it was a firm currency, its value actually went up as related to the amount of goods, which declined through reduced production. Next time around, however, the problems of unemployment and low production will be compounded by a monetary system that will be utterly worthless. All the government controls and so-called guarantees in the world will not be able to prevent it, because every one of them is based on the assumption that the people will continue to honor printing press money. But once the government itself openly refuses to honor it-as it must if foreign demands for gold continue-it is likely that the American people will soon follow suit. This, in a nutshell, is the so-called "gold problem." (An Enemy Hath Done This, pp. 216-18.)

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PostSubject: Re: Economics   Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:47 pm

Ezra Taft Benson wrote:
We have been feeling the exhilarating effects of inflation and have become numbed to the gradual dissipation of our gold reserves. In our economic stupor, when we manage to think ahead about the coming hangover, we have merely taken another swig from the bottle to reinforce the artificial sensation of prosperity. But each new drink at the cup of inflation, and each new drain on the gold supply of our bodily strength does not prevent the dreaded hangover, it merely postpones it a little longer and will make it that much worse when it finally comes. What should we do? We should get a hold on ourselves, come to our senses, stop adding to our intoxication, and face the music! (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 218.)

When the going gets rough, we mustn't rush to Washington and ask big brother to take care of us through price controls, rent controls, guaranteed jobs and wages. Any government powerful enough to give the people all that they want is also powerful enough to take from the people all that they have. And it is even possible that some of the government manipulators who have brought us into this economic crisis are hoping that, in panic, we, the American people, literally will plead with them to take our liberties in exchange for the false promise of "security." As Alexander Hamilton warned about two hundred years ago: "Nothing is more common than for a free people, in times of heat and violence, to gratify momentary passions by letting into the government principles and precedents which afterward prove fatal to themselves" (Alexander Hamilton and the Founding of the Nation, p. 21). Let us heed this warning. Let us prepare ourselves for the trying time ahead and resolve that, with the grace of God and through our own self-reliance, we shall rebuild a monetary system and a healthy economy which, once again, will become the model for all the world. (An Enemy Hath Done This, pp. 220-21.)

There is no "happy" solution to our problems, but, if left to our own resources, the productive genius that is the product of the free-enterprise system, coupled with the initiative and drive of the American people, can successfully lead us through the trying readjustment period that lies ahead, and then on to higher levels of real prosperity and security than we have ever known.

While politicians will continue to insist that our economy is not in the slightest danger, lest they be accused of being "negative," or "spreaders of doom," there is a sound and realistic course of action that we can follow to prepare for the coming readjustment period and to lessen the shock. As a nation, we must stop giving away money to foreign nations as though we had it. We should demand repayment of our loans to other countries-especially those which are making the heaviest demands upon our gold supply. We should cease giving them our gold until they pay their debts to us. We must stop the federal government from deficit spending, and begin immediately to pay off the national debt in a systematic fashion. This, of course, means increasing taxes or decreasing the size of government. It is doubtful that the American people can absorb more taxes without further injuring the productive base of our economy, but there is no doubt that government can be reduced without any such risk. (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 219.)


Inflation

It is important to understand that the wage-price spiral is not the cause of inflation. The rise of wages and prices are the result, not the cause. There is one and only one cause of inflation-expansion of the money supply faster than the growth of the nation's material assets. Whether those assets are gold and silver, or food, machines, and structures, the creation of money more rapidly than the creation of tangible items of value which people may want to purchase floods the marketplace with more dollars than goods and dilutes the accepted value of money already in existence.

In America, only the federal government can increase the money supply. Government can create inflation. The most common method of increasing the money supply today is by spending more than is in the treasury, and then merely printing extra money to make up the difference. Technically this is called "deficit spending." Ethically, it is counterfeiting. Morally, it is wrong. (An Enemy Hath Done This, pp. 209-10.)

Deficit spending and the inflation it produces constitute a hidden tax against all Americans-especially those who own insurance policies, have savings accounts, or who are retired on fixed incomes. Every time the dollar drops another penny in value, it is the same as if the government had counted up all the money that you and I had in our pockets, in savings, or in investments, and then taxed us one cent on each dollar. The tax in this case, however, does not show up on our W-2 forms. It is hidden from view in the nature of higher and still higher prices for all that we buy. (An Enemy Hath Done This, pp. 210-11.)

One of the first arbitrary and politically motivated interferences with the natural value of money was to peg the price of gold at thirty-five dollars per ounce. At first this made little difference because it was quite possible for men to mine gold profitably at this price. But as the government moved into a program of deficit spending, the motivation for fixing the price of gold became obvious. The artificial increase of the money supply caused the value of each dollar to decrease in relationship to the total supply of material goods which that dollar could purchase. This relative decrease in purchasing power, of course, is known as inflation. But if gold were not held by law at a fixed price, its value would have risen in direct proportion to the artificial increase in paper money, and as long as gold was guaranteed backing behind each dollar, the government wouldn't have been able to benefit one iota from deficit spending. (An Enemy Hath Done This, p. 214.)

Taxes are necessary for defense and for some needful services that none of us would begrudge. But at the same time all of us are concerned about the expense of operating the government with our money. We must not let inflation impose further crushing burdens of cheaper dollars. (The Red Carpet, p. 172.)

The tragedy of destroying fixed pension and savings is but one cruelty of inflation. Economists point out to us that it discourages savings, for why should people save, with the value of saved dollars being constantly lessened. Inflation, like big government, big debt, and deficit spending, need not be inevitable. Perhaps it is just the sad experience of a whole generation which leads people to expect that their dollars will always be worth less each year. (The Red Carpet, p. 173.)

We must stop inflation! It appears that will only come in the wake of an aroused public opinion. We can only do it by all working together. A balanced budget is of the utmost importance. (The Red Carpet, p. 175.)

Inflation is a serious threat to American industry and labor. We must understand that if inflation-even so-called creeping inflation-is permitted to take further root, it can destroy the future freedom and security of our children. This matter of inflation is of vital importance to all of us, but especially to our younger citizens. They will live under the hysteria of inflation through the rest of their lives if it is not checked now. They and their children will pay the bill that will inevitably be rendered by a continuing fiscal irresponsibility-and, it will, I fear, be a bill compounded in hardship and heartache. (The Red Carpet, pp. 174-75.)


(Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 627-643)

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PostSubject: Re: Economics   Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:10 pm

whoa, that's a lot, i'll probably read it sometime, since his speech 'the proper role of government' is the basis for a lot of my political views, but that's alot to read at the computer, and it's not my computer, so i don't wanna print it.

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PostSubject: Re: Economics   Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:38 pm

Bullspit.

All bullspit.

Sorry, but in a country where 90% of the wealth is owned by 10% of the population, and companies are literally willing to let people die by use of their products because it's cheaper to pay the lawsuits than it is to recall the product, free trade is no longer an option. It is a privelage american capitalists have abused and simply don't deserve anymore.

And Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Canada, while having no mention of socialism in their constitutions, per se, are run by members of SI (the largest international socialist organization) and have some pretty high taxes plus lots of government-funded social welfare programs (including universal healthcare) regularly and frequently rank above america in terms of happiest people, highest incomes per capita, peacefulness, and a load of other great things.

And one more thing on your beloved free trade.
With jobs being outsourced at a faster rate every day, with the dollar on a decline, and a big economic recession looming in the future, America stands to lose a lot by sticking with free trade arangements. It's becoming less and less economical to do anything in america these days. If you think i'm exaggerating, i'll turn your attention on the recent Boeing controversy. All signs point to this kind of thing happening in more and more areas of the American market, at which point we stand to lose a lot all because of free trade.
If 9.5 trillion dollars isn't a big enough national debt already, i don't know what is.

And this isn't really related, but it might shed some light on some stuff for you:
Iran and Iraq have universal healthcare due to America's war spending in those countries. Whether you're for or against universal healthcare, you can't deny that it's simply disgusting that we are giving it to people on whom we are waging war before our own x.hpeople.
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PostSubject: Re: Economics   Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:20 am

ZING!
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