I had a laugh at the expense of poor Kyle Victor of HuffPo, who tried to pretend that abolishing the Federal Reserve would amount to a great windfall for the financial sector at the expense of the people.
Thanks to a comment on my blog, I’m reminded of what the great Jacksonian editorial writer William Leggett, whom I have spoken about in the past, had to say about banks, special privilege, and the welfare of the people — in 1837:
In the complete separation of government from the bank and credit system consists the chief hope of renovating our prosperity, and restoring to the people those equal rights, which have so long been exposed to the grossest violations. Leave credit to its own laws. It is an affair between man and man, which does not need special government protection and regulation. Leave banking to be conducted on the same footing with any other private business, and leave the banker to be trusted or not, precisely as he shall have means to satisfy those who deal with him of his responsibility and integrity. All this is a matter for men to manage with each other in the transaction of private affairs….
There are two principles at war on the subject. One of these is the principle of aristocracy, the other the principle of democracy. The first boasts of the vast benefits of a regulated paper currency, and asks the federal government to institute a national bank ‘to regulate the currency and exchanges,’ or, in other words, to regulate the price of the labourer’s toil, and enable the rich to grow richer by impoverishing the poor. The principle of democracy, on the other hand, asks only for equal rights. It asks only that the government shall confine itself to the fewest possible objects compatible with publick order, leaving all other things to be regulated by unfettered enterprise and competition. It asks, in short, for free trade, and the divorce of bank and state.
In short, Leggett, who believed in the Jacksonian principle of “equal rights,” described the HuffPo position on the Fed and banks as pro-aristocracy, and the no-special-privilege position that Ron Paul would later adopt as the position of the people. (I realize this should be obvious, but it apparently isn’t.)
Leggett was this good all the time, by the way. Read him.