Sunday, March 15, 2009

MELTDOWN: "There is no better book to read on the present crisis."

Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse (Hardcover)

"There is no better book to read on the present crisis."

Many Americans are looking to the new administration to solve our economic problems. Unfortunately, that is probably a vain hope. Although we were promised "change," we are only getting a continuation of the same superficial economic fixes that have damaged so many economies in the past, and that will only delay the return of prosperity.

These fixes are based on the false belief that the free-market economy has failed. But it is not the market that has failed. It is intervention into the market that has failed. The Federal Reserve and its manipulation of money and interest rates have failed. None of this can be blamed on the free market.

That's why Meltdown, a New York Times bestseller, is so important. This book actually gets things right. It correctly identifies our problems, their causes, and what we should do about them. It treats the architects of this debacle not with the undeserved reverence they receive in Washington and on television, but with the critical eye that is so conspicuously missing from our supposedly independent thinkers in academia and the media.

In a short span, Tom introduces the layman to a range of subjects that have been excluded from our national discussion for much too long. Among many other things, Tom explains Austrian business cycle theory, which he correctly identifies as the single most important piece of economic knowledge for Americans to have right now. In so doing, Tom provides Americans with the most persuasive and rational account of how we got here. Only if we correctly assess the causes of the debacle can we hope to propose a path to recovery that might actually work and not simply prolong the agony.

Our years of living beyond our means, of buying everything on credit and on money printed out of thin air, are over. Sure, our government will carry on with its nonsensical policy of curing indebtedness with more indebtedness, inflation with more inflation, but the game is up. It's not going to work. The resources aren't there. The more we intervene and the more we prop up economic zombies, the worse off we'll be. But the sooner we understand what has happened, assess our economic situation honestly, and rebuild our economy on a sound foundation, the sooner our fortunes will be restored.

Ideas still matter, and sound economic education has rarely been as urgently necessary as it is today. There is no better book to read on the present crisis than this one, and that is why I am delighted to endorse it.


Rep. Ron Paul

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