– Ron Paul On Bitcoin: “If I Can’t Put It In My Pocket, I Have Reservations” (ZeroHedge, April 23, 2013):
“You will not see economic growth until you liquidate the debt and liquidate the malinvestment out there,” is the hard truth that former Congressman Ron Paul lays on Bloomberg TV in this wide-ranging interview. Paul is concerned at “the erraticness of the dollar… and its devaluation,” explaining that, “people think the gold price up and down is a reflection of something wrong with gold; no, I say it is something wrong with the dollar.” The topic gravitates to inflation, which Paul explains is far from missing as, “Bond prices go up. Stocks are going up. Housing prices are starting to go back up again. Education costs are going up,” adding that, “CPI is not reliable.” Paul is buying gold, believes “we are in as much trouble as Greece,” and while fascinated by the free market nature of Bitcoin, he notes that while he doesn’t fully understand it, “if I can’t put it in my pocket, I have some reservations about that.”
Paul on whether he’s concerned about the drop in gold:
“I am concerned about the erraticness of the dollar. The dollar is up, the dollar is down. We print a lot of dollars. The dollar gets devalued. That is really the concern. If people think the gold price up and down is a reflection of something wrong with gold, no, I say it is something wrong with the dollar. People have been expressing concerns over the past couple of months about gold, but compared to what?
Compared to where gold went from when the Fed took over where it was $20 per ounce compared to what has happened in the past?…
I remember in the 1970’s when they finally allow people to own gold and it went from $35 to $200 rather rapidly, and then it lost 50%. Then it went up to $800.
To compare a couple of months or a couple of weeks and forget about a bull market in gold price in relationship to the dollar for 12 years. I would say the comparison is not an authentic comparison. What you have to look at is the inflation. Inflation is an increased supply of money.
Since 2008 they have quadrupled the supply of Federal Reserve credit and are buying $85 billion per month of treasury bills. At the same time last week they bought $60 billion. That is the inflation. That is the distortion of the market and that’s why we’re not getting economic growth.”
On whether we’re seeing the opposite of inflation right now:
“It depends on how you define it. Inflation is when you increase the supply of money. Bond prices go up. Stocks are going up. Housing prices are starting to go back up again. Education costs are going up, but the gross distortion is the effect that the inflation of the money does on the price of money and interest rates and how it causes economic problems and why you don’t get economic growth.
You have to look at the malinvestment and destruction that occurs when you mess around with the price of money. It’s not just the CPI because the CPI is not reliable. The government fudges that as well. They change the way they measure it. Free-market economists say it is going up about 8%. A lot of deception going on out there. I was just talking to someone on getting social security, they’re not happy with the purchasing power of the dollar and you can’t tell me there is no inflation.”
On what the real value of gold is:
“No one knows it other than what is happening at that moment. The Supply and demand of gold is very important. That is why it is money, because gold is used elsewhere and it is commodity. The supply and money of paper is the culprit. That is the one that is causing all the trouble. People ignore the supply and demand of paper. Yes, paper goes up and goes down, but look at the long term purchasing power of the dollar. It has been devastating. At the rate they are printing the money, you will see a continual devastation of the value of the dollar.
You will not see economic growth until you liquidate the debt and liquidate the malinvestment out there. Sure, you will see housing go up again, but you will see more bubble formation because prices go up does not mean there is economic growth. We are a long way from the correction, mainly because they ignore the definition of inflation and ignore the need to liquidate debt and the need to liquidate and get rid of all the malinvestment.
One good comparison is look at the price of stocks and gold. Although in the past couple of weeks it has changed a bit. The price of the stock market has crashed, because you used to be able to buy the Dow with 44 ounces of gold. Now it is under 10 ounces of gold. It will probably go a lot lower.”
“I think the way gold is acting it acts like a market does. You get ahead of itself, there has to be a correction. The amazing thing is not the correction, the amazing thing is the biggest bull market of the century when one commodity went up for 12 years straight. You cannot ignore that. To say, well there has to be an adjustment because prices are subjectively decided by many factors so you cannot predict exactly where the money will go. Unfortunately right now the money that the Fed creates goes into reserves, further distorting the markets and pumping up prices of bonds, further building a bubble that will burst because our economic growth is not there and we are in every bit as much trouble of Europe and Greece.
Someday there will be a lack of confidence in our dollar and you will see the correction in the paper a lot more severe than you see the correction in the dollar-gold ratio.”
“To tell you the truth, it’s little bit too complicated. If I can’t put it in my pocket, I have some reservations about that. But it has been designed in the free market. If it is a means of exchange, it would not ever be illegal. You shouldn’t regulate it in the free market, but I do not think it fits the definition of money, which has been around for 6000 years.
People want to see something they can know what it is, they can define it, touch it and put in their pocket. If you do not have a computer and someone running the computer and calculations, you don’t have it. I am not a big supporter of that, but I am not opposed to it. I admit, I do not fully understand what is going on with it.”
On whether the Boston marathon tragedy is an opportunity to fix immigration:
“There is always an opportunity because there is a need for it, but I do not think they will solve any problems at all because they are too big and complicated and very much involved with economics. I don’t think you can deal with immigration unless you deal with the welfare state. It is an incentive for people not to work. It is an incentive for others to come and get free services. Also, I think it is more important that we look at our work permit, letting people come in and work, and put aside the idea of how we will give automatic citizenship.
That becomes a political football because everyone is lining up. Who is going to get the vote? One side says that we are going to get all the votes — we want them all to be legalized. I think you have to deal with the economic policy and really open up the opportunities for people to come back and forth and to work, but not to insist everyone will become a citizen because I do not think that will work under these circumstances.”
On how Republicans will win the next election if there is no solidarity:
“I think the solidarity is the same problem in Republican and Democratic parties. It’s ongoing. There’s always factions. Of course, I want to unify everyone in the belief and the cause of liberty. Sound money, balanced budget, the constitution. So yes, there’s a good way to unify them, but unity for the sake of unity makes no sense whatever. The old guard are losing their way. The party is getting smaller. It is splintered. They will have to face up to the fact that if they talk about limited government and personal liberties, they have to believe in it and do something about it because the young people will not be fooled. If this continues, the party will become smaller.”
On whether Rand Paul will run for president in 2016:
“You’ll have to ask him. I have no idea what he wants to do.”