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Freedomfest speakers reveal that our monetary system is broken!

July 18, 2011

Some 2000 people attended the Freedomfest conference in Las Vegas, July 13-16, 2011

I just returned from a great conference in Las Vegas called the Freedomfest. This is an annual conference which is produced by economist, Mark Skousen and his assistant, Tami Holland. There were some 100 plus speakers presenting their viewpoints on economics, politics, education, religion, and philosophy. Some popular names at the conference were:  Judge Andrew Napolitano, Steve Moore, John Mackey, Doug Casey, Steve Forbes, Senator Rand Paul, Peter Schiff, Juan Williams, George Gilder, Govenor Gary Johnson, Donald Luskin, David McAlvaney, and Presidential contender Herman Cain.

The conference theme was ‘Keep the Revolution Alive’ which is a philosophy of individual freedom and limited government. What I appreciate about this conference (this was my second visit) is that Mark allows viewpoints which are diverse and contrarian to his own philosophy. How many conferences allow this diversity of viewpoints to make all these contrarian presentations? Most conferences that I attend tend to be ‘group think’ conferences. By this I mean conferences where diversity is limited and constrained to the founders general philosophy. At this conference we witnessed Atheists, Christians, Secularists, Materialists, Capitalist believers, and even Socialist/Marxist believers. The only missing viewpoint at the conference was the Muslim or Islamist viewpoint. Mark needs to work on getting the vision of the Islamist philosophy on the table (from a Middle Eastern perspective). Why is the USA viewed as the ‘Great Satan’ and Israel as the ‘Little Satan’? Why not invite some speakers who have strong views on this issue?  ‘

Personally, I attended a diverse set of workshops at this conference. The bulk of the financial issues which were presented demonstrated that our economy is in serious trouble and broken. The general view of most of the financial speakers was that our debt and deficit situation has reached a threshold level. The only viable alternative for the USA and their policymakers is fundamental change (a non-Obama style change). What we now need in the USA is a recognition of our economic problems and then leadership for dealing with these problems. Herman Cain’s speech recognized that we need problem solvers in Washington…not bandaide solutions. This sentiment was also echoed by Rand Paul, Gary Johnson, and Steve Forbes. Fundamental change is essential going forward!

The biggest problem going forward is the confusion of viewpoints on the issues and our economic problems. And the ‘missing link’ in all the presentations and viewpoints was the issue of our MONEY. Everyone seemed to recognize that we have a debt and deficit problems but few seemed to be AWARE of our ‘money’ problem. Not one speaker addressed the issue of what is money and why is our current monetary unit a fiction and unsound going forward. Steve Forbes recognized that we need some type of Gold Standard to lend credence and discipline to money creation. But he could not enunciate why our current money unit is a fiction and meaningless for the measurement functions for which money must serve.

There wasn’t one speaker at the conference who understood the functions and role which money must serve in a Capitalistic economy. Why must ‘money’ be some type of commodity to serve the function of valuation for goods and services? Why isn’t our money unit today (our dollar) a long-term store of value? Why is any money unit really just a ‘proxy’ for value? What is ‘value’ and is this concept subjective (internal to our consciousness) or objective (an external thing which exists)? The important philosophical issues surrounding money and economics were not addressed at this conference…yet these issues are really the MOST IMPORTANT if we desire to solve our current economic problems and deal with the global economy going forward.

Most of the financial speakers seemed to recognize that the economic MODEL which we have been following (for some 80 years now) is Keynesianism. Yet there was not one speaker at this conference who addressed the flaws and fallacies of this MODEL going forward. None seemed to fully understand the issues of fiat money or the mathematical instruments which have emerged in recent years based totally upon this MODEL (which promotes centralization, debt, borrowing, credit, risk aversion, and deficit spending). None seemed to understand that it was this MODEL which has created our current debt and deficit problems. Once we separated our monetary unit (the dollar) from any grounding to physical reality (gold and silver) we ended up with nothing but mathematical numbers, symbols, and names as our money units. The fiction of our current monetary system was not addressed by anyone with a comprehensive understanding of MONEY.

What is needed for 2012 and beyond at this conference are more philosophers of money, economics, and human nature. As our current Keynesian debt based monetary system starts its collapse and deleveraging phase, the issues of reconstructing a new economic system will become apparent. Basically, we need a NEW MODEL going forward. This model will need to recognize some important changes which have taken place these past 40 years. We are now a global village economy. All our natural resources are scattered unevenly around our planet…yet we all need these resources. Also, our economic activity today is global and interdependent. No one country or nation can survive without the assistance and cooperation of others. Our World is now global and totally inter-connected via all the new communication technologies which have emerged in recent years.

We live as if the world is now borderless and one economic system. Communication is now done in real-time and just-in-time inventories determine the success or failure of most enterprises. Products and services are now distributed via a global network of systems which require the cooperation of all people’s and nations. Any new MODEL for our economy would need to be aware of these evolutionary changes which have occurred. Kingdom Economics is one alternative system that could work if the people desired this type of MODEL going forward. Watch current events over our debt ceiling debate and notice what our policymakers choose as we move forward in the coming months and years.

Can our current Keynesian MODEL continue to survive given all the new realities and technologies which we now use? Can a centralized money unit system (Central banks with their ad hoc QE policies) work in this new environment which is emerging? Can a money unit (say our dollar) function as a’ proxy for value’ in the coming months and years? Will the global markets force policymakers into some type of Gold backed currency unit? What will emerge as our MONEY as the current financial system collapses from the excessive debts and deficits now encumbering the system? Will the USA default on their debt obligations in the near future? What will happen in Europe as this financial system implodes from their excessive debt and deficits? And what will the emerging nations concoct so that their economic systems survive in the coming months and years?

Fundamental Change must happen as we move forward. The question is what type of Change and what Fundamentals will be addressed by the Powers in control? Are the Power Centers on this planet going to allow the Individual to grow and prosper or will these Power Centers attempt to create a State (collectivized) System? Will America be subsumed into a New World Order as these economic issues become more threatening and serious or will America be a beacon for a NEW ECONOMIC MODEL that fulfills its vision of freedom and liberty for all? The coming months and years should be interesting and enlightening. Enjoy and keep reading this blog at:

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Phil Manuel permalink
    July 18, 2011 3:42 pm

    There were speakers at Freedomfest who fully understand our situation with fiat money. One of those is Peter Schiff.


    • July 19, 2011 3:00 pm

      Yes, Peter was excellent. His view of our money unit, however, is misplaced. We do not PRINT money today. What actually happens is that Bernanke just increases units with the click of a computer mouse. This is done at the NY Fed. Digital units are different from PRINTING units on paper (as Peter continually says). Helicopter Ben now works with some 20 primary dealers for money unit manipulation. All this is done via high frequency computers. This change in our money unit is significant and will evenutally lead to deflation and a collapse (flash crash) and then continuing flash crashes. The old days of just PRINTING units on paper (and sending these units to individuals and businesses) are history and Peter needs to clean up his language on this issue. The printing of units on paper would be similar to Weimar Germany in the 30’s and Zimbabwe today. Printing can cause hyper-inflation whereas digital money which only goes to primary dealers will not cause hyper-inflation as the units (for the most part) do not get into the general economy where they bid for goods and services. The velocity of money creates inflation and this situation is not happening today.


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