Bonnie Alba
"Meltdown" -- Book for all of us
By Bonnie Alba
April 2, 2009

Finally, an easy-to-read book for you and me explaining America's "economic crisis." Thomas E. Woods is a Senior Fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute ( ). "Meltdown" is not your usual political rhetoric; nor is it what we hear from the presumed economic experts, who mostly repeat the same tired explanations.

Woods writes an excellent and simple chronicle of the Economy, Government and the Federal Reserve from Mises' school of economic thought. Mises' basic concept is that the Government's intervention into our 'free'-market economy is detrimental to the free market; that the market works best from the bottom up.

How is that different from what most of us and our government have believed for too long? The Federal Government practices the Keynesian concept that government 'must' intervene in the economy if it falters, propping up unrealistic economic conditions. The Government and Federal Reserve consider themselves the major 'top-to-bottom' arbiters and managers of America's money supply and the economy.

Washington's in-charge political leaders still call it the "Free" market (hopefully tongue-in-cheek). For decades the Government has been on this road of increasingly meddling in the "Free" Market, anything but free these days. In fact, it's anti-Liberty, anti-libertarian, but totally pro-government control of all areas of our lives.

House Rep. Ron Paul (TX) wrote the book's foreword. Practically a household name after his run for president, Paul has been successful in drawing major attention and interest among citizens to his long-held beliefs about the Federal Reserve, the money supply and the economy.

A proponent of Mises' economic system, Paul became a believer after years of study. He has been a long-time critic of government and Federal Reserve economic policies in controlling the nation's budget, finances, and the money supply over and against the Keynesian-practicing majority.

In an understandable and creditable analysis, Woods expounds on how we arrived at this point, the "what happened?" question which is not adequately explained by Washington except for the Blame Capitalism game. In his simple, precise presentation, he explodes the myths that most people accept through the drive-by media's less than explanatory reasons for past-to-present economic crises.

His chapter on "money" is priceless, from the origin of money to the reasons we use paper money and how it affects Americans' property rights with the Federal Reserve in control of our money supply.

For example, Woods stated that "The spending-is-good-for-the-economy fallacy grows partly out of our use of Gross Domestic Product as a measure of economic health."

You've heard that "consumer spending amounts to over 70 percent of the economy." Have you thought about that "government" statistic? Woods says, " should be obvious that something isn't quite right about it." Before I read this book, alarm bells went off every time I heard that government-produced figure.

As he explains, "Before things can be used up, they need to be produced. Production, in fact, is what makes consumption possible in the first place....To consume more, we first have to produce something ourselves." Fact: Government has no money and produces nothing to earn money.

When we hear our political leaders uttering such words as "help the economy, be patriotic, spend" or "it's our patriotic duty to help," they're basically calling citizens to go into debt or increase their debt load. Our immediate thought should be they don't know how to fix it. Government isn't doing enough spending?

Fact: millions of Americans are losing their jobs. There doesn't appear to be enough replacement jobs. Ask yourself why could it be due to the intervention of government and power-grabbing unions into the once-free market place? Is this one reason many of our once-proud American companies now produce overseas?

As Woods points out, "...when the government engages in 'stimulus' packages meant to encourage consumer spending...," we are being told to "take, take, take" without "resources for their replacement."

"What Now?" is Woods' last chapter which contributes needed knowledge that may guide our responses to government actions which threaten our liberty and freedom.

Meltdown is recommended for better understanding the "...sound basis of individual human action and..that government intervention is always destructive, whether through welfare, inflation, taxation regulation, or war." ( )

On The Theory of Money and Credit, Mises said, "There cannot be stable money within an environment dominated by ideologies hostile to the preservation of economic freedom."

And I agree.

© Bonnie Alba


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Bonnie Alba

Bonnie Alba is a "politically incorrect" researcher-writer. Since 1995, her articles have appeared in California newspapers. Previously she served in various Department of Defense positions for over 16 years... (more)


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