An Intellectual Revolution on Money

As the British Parliament debated the outbreak of the American Revolution one arrogant member of the House of Commons referred to the colonists as illiterate farmers. Edmond Burke, the father of conservatism, rose to state that he had been told by book sellers in London that the sales of books in the colonies topped all sales in Europe. He stated the Americans were enlightened to the meaning of liberty- they read and understood.

Today, Nathan Lewis writes in his Forbes.com column that it is high quality writing and the work of intellectual authors that is driving the newly emerging money revolution.

In 2014, we began to see a new stirring of intellectual capability, which will serve as the foundation of the epic task of global monetary reconstruction. Last year, the Cato Institute established the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, headed by the excellent George Selgin. Over the past year, the discussions they have hosted at their website Alt-M.org have been of very high quality. This sort of thing didn’t really exist before.

In 2014 the Atlas Network established the Sound Money Project, headed by Judy Shelton. Again, the level of discussion at their website this year is exemplary. They recently released a book, Roads to Sound Money. More excellent material is found at the Lehrman Institute (thegoldstandardnow.org). Also in 2014, the American Principles Project, which I sometimes call the “Tea Party’s think tank,” started the Fix the Dollar Project, headed by Steve Lonegan.

But, it’s not just about quantity. We need quality. The real improvement we are beginning to see is that these new voices are not just an “amen corner” reciting dogma handed down to them by earlier writers. Rather, they are bringing new light to the monetary topics that have been clouded in ignorance for much of the past hundred years.

Combined with the indispensable work of superb scholars like George Selgin of Cato, Judy Shelton of Atlas, Norbert Michele of the Heritage Foundation is a growing grassroots movement seeking answers to why middle income wage earners struggle every year to get ahead-if they can. What is driving stagnant wages and a rising cost of living?

One only need read the intellectual arguments of the great conservative think tanks.

Once again history repeats itself as Americans take to reading. Something that strikes fear into the hearts of central bankers who rely on an unenlightened populous.

Steve Lonegan is Director of Monetary Policy for the American Principles Project