Ron Paul
2001 Ron Paul Chapter 92

Foolishness Of Fiat

31 October 2001

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2001 Ron Paul 92:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, the world’s politicians, special interests, government bureaucrats, and financiers all love fiat money because they all benefit from it. But freedom-loving, hardworking, ethical and thrifty individuals suffer.

2001 Ron Paul 92:2
Fiat money is paper money that gets its value from a government edict and compulsory legal tender laws. Honest money, something of real value, like a precious metal, gets its value from the market and through voluntary exchange. The world today is awash in fiat money like never before, and we face a financial crisis like never before, conceived many decades before the 9–11 crisis hit.

2001 Ron Paul 92:3
Fiat money works as long as trust in the currency lasts. But eventually trust is always withdrawn from paper money. Fiat money evolves out of sound money, which always originates in the market, but paper money inevitably fails no matter how hard the beneficiaries try to perpetuate the fraud. We are now witnessing the early stages of the demise of a worldwide financial system built on the fiction that wealth can come out of a printing press or a computer at our central banks.

2001 Ron Paul 92:4
Japan, failing to understand this, has tried for more than a decade to stimulate her economy and boost her stock market by printing money and increasing government spending, and it has not worked. Argentina, even with the hopes placed in its currency board, is nevertheless facing default on its foreign debt and a crisis in confidence. More bailouts from the IMF and U.S. dollar may temper the crisis for a while, but ultimately it will only hurt the dollar and the U.S. taxpayers.

2001 Ron Paul 92:5
We cannot continually bail out others with expansion of the dollar money supply, as we have with the crisis in Turkey, Argentina, and the countries of Southeast Asia. This policy has its limits, and confidence in the dollar is the determining factor. Even though, up until now, confidence has reigned, encouraged by our political and economic strength, this era is coming to an end. Our homeland has been attacked, our enemies are not easily subdued, our commitments abroad are unsustainable, and our economy is fast slipping into chaos.

2001 Ron Paul 92:6
Printing money is not an answer, yet that is all that is offered. The clamor for low-interest rates by all those who benefit from fiat money has prompted the Fed to create new money out of thin air like never before. Driving the Fed funds rate down from 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent, a level below the price inflation rate, represents nothing short of panic and has done nothing to recharge the economy. But as one would expect, confidence in the dollar is waning.

2001 Ron Paul 92:7
I am sure, due to the crisis, a faith in fiat and a failure to understand the business cycle, the Fed will continue with the only thing it knows to do: credit creation and manipulation of interest rates.

2001 Ron Paul 92:8
This policy reflects the central bank’s complete ignorance as to the cause of the problem: Credit creation and manipulation of interest rates.

2001 Ron Paul 92:9
Since the Federal Reserve first panicked in early January, it has created $830 billion of fiat money out of thin air. The country is no richer. The economy is weaker. The stock market has continued downward, and unemployment has skyrocketed. Returning to deficit spending, as we already have, will not help us any more than it helped Japan, which continues to sink into economic morass.

2001 Ron Paul 92:10
Nothing can correct the problems we face if we do not give up on the foolishness of fiat.

2001 Ron Paul 92:11
Mr. Speaker, a dollar crisis is quickly approaching. We should prepare ourselves.

This chapter appeared in Ron Paul’s Congressional website at

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