Daily Bell: When we last spoke to you about a year ago we asked about price inflation. Where are we now in the US and in the West generally? Are we seeing significant price inflation now?
G. Edward Griffin: Yes, I think we are. It’s an amazing thing because all of the news reports and the pundits are saying that inflation is under control, and all of the statistics coming out from the bureaucracies are showing a tolerable inflation rate. But I think that is not held up at all in the grocery store. It’s not held up in the hardware store or the furniture store. It’s certainly not held up in education and in so many fields. So in my view, I think inflation continues on. It’s still not anywhere what I think it will soon be because so many countries are still willing – in fact, anxious – to take American dollars because whether we think it’s going to end or not it’s still the international trade currency. So we’re able to export a lot of our inflation for the present as we have been for quite a few decades now.
To answer your question specifically, I think that inflation is continuing – at a very alarming rate, in my view – and because of the tremendous extension of the money supply it is doomed to come back eventually, with a vengeance.
Daily Bell: You expected extreme price inflation within the next two years or so. Still think so?
G. Edward Griffin: I think the American dollar is on the same road as all of the fiat currencies of history. Once the politicians and the bankers get a taste of that heady wine, of being able to create money out of nothing and to spend it into the economy and to charge interest on it as it goes in – because it all goes in as a loan – that’s a heady wine and they get drunk on it and they just go all the way until finally there’s so much money flooding through the system that the currency’s debauched and it doesn’t buy anything. Usually, that topples the whole country with it. I think we’re on that road. I don’t know that it’s wise to try to put any year or month on it. All I can say is that we’re on a one-way road and unless there’s a major change in the policies of the people in charge we’re going to continue on that road. Unfortunately, I do not see any major changes in policy because we basically have the same crowd, the same people, running the show now as we had when all of these bad decisions were made in the first place.
Daily Bell: Are the official statistics rigged?
G. Edward Griffin: Absolutely, and I’m certainly not alone in thinking that. There are many really qualified economists out there who believe that and, of course, we know they’re rigged to a certain extent because it’s out in the open. They’re constantly changing the formula by which they measure inflation and the gross national product and so forth. They’re constantly tweaking that to make it look as good as possible. They’re taking out of the basket of goods all the things that have the most rapid rise in price, for example. If they don’t like it they just take it out of the basket and find some rationale for doing so. Of course, I don’t put it past those people to actually fudge the numbers themselves.
Daily Bell: Are the elites running scared or do you still believe the crisis is part of the plan?
G. Edward Griffin: I don’t think the elites are running scared. Whether the crisis was part of the plan is another issue but let’s stick for a moment with this business of whether the elites are running scared. I think that they feel quite confident in the degree to which they control everything at the present time. They’re very smart people. They look ahead. They knew that there would be crises coming. That’s not to say that they planned them but it is to say that they planned for them, and that’s quite a difference. I think that they’re quite shrewd about this matter. They’re cold and objective and if they have to take a step backward they will, if they have to take two steps backward they will, as long as they stay in power and stay in control, knowing that sooner or later they’ll have an opportunity to move forward again and gain all the lost ground and gain new ground. So I don’t think they’re running scared. I think they’re very cold, experienced players at this game and they’re prepared for any kind of a contingency that comes along.
And, of course, one contingency that we know they’re aware of, because they talk about it, is the fact that there is going to be civil disorder. As more and more people have been made dependent on government largesse and they think that the benefits from the government are their entitlement, then when the governments finally begin to crumble and they can’t economically support all of these benefits, the people will naturally rebel against their government, thinking that they’re being cheated, never realizing that they’ve been given impossible promises in the first place to get their vote. Then, when things start to crumble, the masses get very angry at their governments and so they flood into the streets. There’s civil disobedience, there are riots and all that kind of thing. These people have known that was coming – not just those people but observers such as myself have known that, too. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. And so they plan for it. That’s why they’ve been reinforcing their police forces with all kinds of equipment and training programs for crowd control and the military forces of the major countries are rapidly being converted from forces that are designed to fight in foreign wars against enemies from other countries into forces that are trained and equipped to combat their own citizens and control their own citizens, internal warfare. This has all been on the drawing boards for a long time.
Back to the main question of whether that means the crisis is being designed for this purpose or it means they’re just anticipating it. I guess it doesn’t make any difference either way. It looks to me like it’s definitely in the future and we know what they’re going to do. They’re going to respond with crushing military force. One of the reasons I believe they’re building FEMA camps across the United States, is that people will become rebellious against the government. So that’s what we’re headed for if we don’t turn it around it’s a very ugly picture. It’s a picture I don’t even want to think about. No one wants to talk about it or think about it but if we don’t we’re in even worse shape because we have to know what’s on the drawing boards.
Daily Bell: What sources are valuable for people to look to for that information? And what do you suggest people be doing once they understand what’s going on?
G. Edward Griffin: That’s a good question because it’s silly to talk about those things unless we have reliable sources of information. We have to be careful that our opinions are not based on rumors or fantasies or agendas but they’re based on facts. We publish a news service here at the Reality Zone called Unfiltered News and I spend a lot of time on it. We scan the news sources that we’ve found from all over the world. Sometimes it’s easier to get objective information about what’s going on in the United States and Canada from international sources than from news in those countries themselves. From Europe I can find pretty unbiased reports just the same way that if you go to Eastern European countries, for example, you’ll find a lot of open criticism of the US but nothing criticizing their own governments. Well, it’s the same way here. Here in America our press tends to be very lenient and very protective of our leaders but openly critical of leaders of other countries. So you have to be on an international basis to be able to find out what’s really going on all over the world. We draw information from people who we don’t really think are objective when it comes to their own situations but they certainly are pretty cold and objective when it comes to us. So we search all over the world for information and then publish it every week.
Then I spend a lot of time trying to comb through and rework the headlines so that the essence of the story is contained in the extended headline. We know there are a lot of people who just don’t have the time to read all of these stories. It takes four hours a day to read all of this stuff, at least, and most people can’t afford that time. They have a family to raise, they’re earning a living and so forth. So what we try to do is bring the essence of the stories into the extended summary or headline at the beginning so that if they don’t have time to read all of the stories, and we know they don’t, even if they can spend 20 or 30 minutes a week reading those summaries they’ll really get the essence of what’s going on. Then if they want to drill down further in any particular story they can do so. We call that Unfiltered News and it’s free. We feel that for anybody who wants to see, at least from our perspective, what we think is going on in the world, this is a good place to go. The newspaper is called Unfiltered News and if you go to RealityZone.com, the publisher, there you can see sample copies from back issues and an enrollment opportunity if you wish.
Daily Bell: Do you draw attention to actions people can be taking in Unfiltered News or do you have suggestions as to other sources where people can find that focus?
G. Edward Griffin: In Unfiltered News we occasionally will do that if it seems to be an integral part of the news. By the way, we carry The Daily Bell every once in a while. When we get a hot story from you folks, out it goes. So you see, we draw from the finest sources! But back to action programs … we will mention a specific action if it relates to the news directly. But we try not to get into the realm of being advocates for action. We believe there are other avenues that are suited for that. There are a lot of organizations out there that are devoted specifically to that and we try to support those organizations and let them worry about the actions.
Now, as far as our viewpoint or concern, we believe that all action must be based on principle because if it’s not on principle then it’s just a reaction to something we don’t like. On that basis, people can be fooled and they can be misdirected and take action that is exactly the opposite of what they should be doing. We have an organization that is very closely aligned to Unfiltered News and Reality Zone, called FreedomForce. You could call it a think tank if you wish. We have a lot of time and a lot of articles focused on what to do in terms of general action – not what do you paint on your placard when you demonstrate in front of City Hall but what is the principle you’re advocating? We feel that if people are firm on the principles of freedom then they can apply those principles to any kind of specific issue and action program. But without those principles you don’t have a rudder, you don’t have a gyroscope and we can move into the wrong cause, so to speak.
I would like to use this as an example: There are many good people who are in the Occupy Wall Street movement. They’re rightly concerned about what the banks are doing, which is legalized plunder. They’re actually right about that. So they go and demonstrate against the banks, and what do they want? They’re calling for more government regulations of the banks. They want nationalization of the banks, more government involvement, etc. and they don’t realize the reason the banks are in the position to do all of these bad things they’re doing now is because they’re already in bed with the government and they have a partnership with the government. All of these crimes that are being committed are being legalized by the very government that these demonstrators are now asking to take charge of the banks. They lack real knowledge about the situation and so they’re actually out there motivated by the right reasons but calling for exactly the wrong action. So that’s where FreedomForce comes in. We’re trying to offer the educational piece so that people can take intelligent action.
Daily Bell: At The Daily Bell, we’ve recently been talking about developing and using one’s moral compass for every kind of investment and monetary decision. Would you care to speak to anything regarding that?
G. Edward Griffin: Well, for example, whether we should invest in a corrupt market while we can make money out of it is the type of decision making we’re talking about here. That’s an age-old argument, isn’t it? It’s an ethical question and I do recognize that there are different points of view on it. From my perspective, I wouldn’t do it. In fact, I just had to make a decision similar to that a few minutes before this call. We had an opportunity to place a rather sizeable ad on our Unfiltered News site. I initially thought, ‘Oh, that’s great. That would help the bottom line!’ Then I looked at the assumptions of the editorial opinion by the advertiser and it was just corrupt. I just couldn’t do it, even for all that nice money. So we had to turn it down. I think people should do that.
Daily Bell: The top men seem to want a more international money. Do you think they will get there, even if they are confident of doing so?
G. Edward Griffin: I think the answer to that question depends on what we do. Right at the moment it seems like there’s nothing to stop it. There is a growing awareness of the problem. Not all of the people who are aware of the problem really understand what to do about it, as I mentioned a moment ago about people calling for the wrong solutions. They’re aware of the problem but they haven’t figured out the solution yet. So I’m encouraged to see a growing awareness of the international crisis and the devaluating of the American dollar and all that sort of thing.
I’m afraid, though, that this awareness could be redirected into a stampede of support for an international currency or regional currencies. I can just see these people saying, “Well, our currency’s falling apart. This is terrible. It’s because of all the greedy capitalists. Now what we need is a new regional currency… an amero or a new international currency such as a bancor.” With all of the trustworthy politicians in charge and your wise bankers” (who, by the way, messed up everything previously) “will make it right this time and so won’t you support a new regional or international currency to solve all these problems?” That’s where they’re headed with all this and I have a feeling that right now the average American would probably say, “Yeah. That sounds like a good idea.”
So to answer your question, I see that we’re headed in that direction. I see a rising awareness but I’m somewhat skeptical as to whether or not this awareness and understanding will rise fast enough to prevent it from happening, especially if we have some kind of a real economic crisis on our hands that will panic people into a blind, unthinking acceptance of any political solution that is offered to them.
Daily Bell: We believe that the Internet has interfered terminally with their plans just like the Gutenberg press did before.
G. Edward Griffin: I think the Internet has had the Gutenberg effect, definitely. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the Internet I think that the game would have been over by now. That is the reason, of course, that these powerbrokers are so determined to bring the Internet under their control, to close down dissenting opinion and alternative news sources – because if they can’t do that they know that in the long term their grip over society will be broken. There certainly will be efforts trying to convince people that government controls over the Internet are necessary in order to stop cyber-crime, pornography, terrorism, etc. And again, the people don’t understand the trick that’s being played on them and will probably go along with it. So that’s going to be a close call, I think. I hope that the people of America and of the world will rise in indignation quickly enough and strongly enough to prevent these people from closing down the Internet.
We all know that Obama has a kill switch, for example. All he has to do is say, “We have a national emergency. Somebody’s attacked us. They’re going to blow up Cincinnati” or something like that – and maybe they will blow up Cincinnati just to provide an excuse. Then they’ll throw the kill switch and there goes the Internet.
Daily Bell: We asked this before, as well: Is one elite response to losing control to implement more war and deeper recession? Is that what’s going to continue to happen?
G. Edward Griffin: There’s no doubt in my mind that corrupt governments throughout history use false-fag events and created crises simply to divert the attention of their people away from their miserable lot in life and to try to then induce any kind of a sacrifice of their personal freedom, their personal wellbeing as a means of protecting them from some kind of a dreaded enemy or a dreaded catastrophe of some kind. That’s not even controversial. That’s a tried and true tactic that’s been used for centuries.
Daily Bell: They have fallback plans, of course. Is bitcoin turning into one? Was bitcoin a false flag from the beginning?
G. Edward Griffin: The question of bitcoin is a little different because it’s a new phenomenon, in a way. I’m all for bitcoin but I have said from the very beginning it has a couple of weaknesses. One, of course, is that it’s completely dependent on the Internet. If the totalitarian forces ever get control of the Internet then they have control of bitcoin and can close it down.
I notice that just recently China announced that they passed a new law that the banks cannot handle bitcoin and no commercial establishment can handle bitcoin. That will be, I think, the first of a series of moves made by other governments as well because, as we know, any government that issues fiat currency and depends upon that for its national livelihood cannot stand by and watch something like bitcoin become the primary channel of commerce. They just can’t do it and they won’t do it. They’ll resort to whatever tools they have at their disposal to stop it. And unfortunately, if something is completely Internet based you can make it secure in one way but very insecure in another way because it’s so easy to throw a switch.
And even though I know it’s diversified and there are many thousands if not millions of loops involved in a circuit, it still can be done. If you can imagine these computer scientists with NSA turning their attention to the task they could probably do it fairly quickly with all the equipment and brainpower and computing power they have.
Then if that fails, all the governments have to do is just decree that no one can use bitcoin and then force them into the black market. So what I’m saying is that there are tools that these totalitarian machines can and will use against bitcoin. Will bitcoin survive? I don’t know. I hope it does. But we have to be realistic and be prepared for what could occur.
Daily Bell: What about public banking? We think that’s another false-flag idea that they’re promoting … anything to keep the monopoly banking function in the hands of the state.
G. Edward Griffin: The idea of state-run banks is an example of people coming up with the wrong solution because they’re not clear on the principles behind the problem. It gets hard with banking because there are so many examples where states run some pretty good banking systems. But the principle is the same whether the state runs a bank, if the federal government runs a bank, or if an international agency or an international government, like the UN, runs the bank. As long as banks are subject to political control they have the inherent problems of our Federal Reserve System. They can create money out of nothing and as long as it’s politically controlled, we know that politics eventually will corrupt the system. It always has and if there’s nothing to prevent it from happening we can presume that it always will. So even though you may have short periods of success, where the banks have been restrained and they’ve performed well, certainly performing better than the Federal Reserve System, still, what happens 20 or 50 or 100 years down the line? That egg of political banking is still there and there’s a little heartbeat inside and eventually it will crack the egg and grow into a huge monster. That’s my view on it, anyway.
Why do we have to always turn to government for things like this? Whatever happened to the private sector, to appreciation for free-enterprise capitalism? That was the answer. I don’t know why people always have to turn to the government. I guess it’s because of government schools. We’ve been taught that the government is benign, the government is best, the government is wise, the government is dependable … all of these things, and we think governments somehow are almost a replacement of God. So I’m not in favor of state run banks, whether they’re the state or the city or the county or the nation or anything. I think the money should be stripped away from them en masse, away from the power of government. That’s my view. I know that there is a counter-view but I think the more you learn about the principles involved in banking, the more tendency you have to believe that problems arise when monopolies can be created. And monopolies can only be sustained by the power of government, by the power of law. All monopolies gravitate to government because they know that if they don’t have laws to keep them as monopolies then there will be competitors that come along and eventually they will no longer be a monopoly. They’ll be competition. So as long as we have this power of law to create a monopoly in any field, including banking, those fields are not going to do well.
Daily Bell: The public banking proponents have attacked you, as well, regarding their perception of your treatment of Eustace Mullins in The Creature From Jekyll Island. What is that about?
G. Edward Griffin: First of all, as far as Eustace Mullins is concerned, I want to go on record as recognizing Eustace Mullins as being a pioneer in this field, and if it hadn’t been for his research and his work I don’t think I could have reached all of those original sources in my lifetime. He certainly did an excellent job of pulling them together. I’ve had a couple people ask why did I not give Eustace Mullins credit for all of his great work in my work. I have to laugh because, first of all, I did mention Mr. Mullins in a couple of footnotes and I gave him credit for some quotes. And in the beginning I gave sort of blanket acknowledgement to all of the people – not just Mullins, who was perhaps one of the major ones. There were hundreds of people that I drew from for information and I was quite willing to acknowledge up front that I’m just a newcomer in this game. There have been people that have been talking about the Federal Reserve and central banking and a lot of these issues for a long, long time, and if I hadn’t had the benefit of their books to draw from I don’t think I could have put this together in a lifetime. They’re upset because I didn’t mention Mullins by name in the introduction and, like I said, I apologize for that.
When it comes to Mullins’s work, I found that a lot of the references he gave were invaluable for me to use in going to original sources and helped me get to a lot of primary information. But I found when I got there that quite often Mr. Mullins hadn’t gotten it exactly 100% right. His quotations might have not been right or some figures would have been wrong. And although he’s definitely right in principle and all of the themes that he’s writing about, I found some of the details had to be carefully checked. And so that’s my only complaint. People may say the same thing about my book, I suppose, but I tried very hard to check out every little detail and when errors were pointed out I tried to correct them as quickly as possible.
Daily Bell: Public banking types – those who want a central bank controlled by “the people” – continue to attack libertarian websites for proposing that gold is money. They believe all gold is owned by central banks and elite families and their colleagues. Is this so? Don’t plenty of average people own gold, especially in China and India? Why is this issue never addressed by public banking proponents?
G. Edward Griffin: I think the main question there is the assumption that the gold supply in the world is predominantly held by the richest families and the banking cartel. That’s not a truth. There’s no doubt they own a lot of gold and maybe in terms of any single source they may own more than any other single source unless you consider the earth itself. Most of the gold in the world has never been dug out or pulled out in any form at all – 99.99% of it is still in the earth and the oceans. There is no doubt that bankers have a lot of gold and the reason they have gold is because they’re smart. They know that gold is a storehouse of value and that as all the currencies of the world devalue, those who hold gold will not lose their wealth. So they’re smart.
Now, the issue is what about the rest of the gold? Who owns that? Well, like I said, most of it’s still in the earth. When the price goes up people start to dig it out, extract it from the oceans. One of the reasons they’re trying to suppress the price is so as not to make it attractive. I personally became involved in a very small gold mine in Montana some years ago and as we were activating that gold because the price went up there were new mines opening up all over the place that had been dormant for all these years. Gold is everywhere. It can easily be extracted; it’s just a question of price. If you allow the price to seek its normal, free-market level then the price would balance. So there’s no shortage of gold. When the price goes up, all the gold that’s in people’s drawers in the form of old watches and rings and bracelets and stuff, which is a tremendous amount, will come back into the market.
Now, to the main issue, in my view. Just because the banks hold a lot of gold and just because they like gold, the question is why then aren’t they in favor of money being backed by gold? The argument is made, why should we have money backed by gold because that would be to the advantage of the bankers, who own it all? Isn’t that the argument? So the question is, then, how come the banks are the leading opponents of backing a money system with gold?
The answer is found in just reflecting here for a moment as to how banks make their money. They make their money by charging interest on loans. So the more money they have to loan, the more money they make. If currency is backed by gold then that limits the quantity of money that can be loaned. The banks can only loan an amount of money equal to what they have in their vaults in the form of gold and that’s it. There’s nothing more.
Once you wrench the money supply away from gold, now they can create money out of nothing, as we’ve seen happen in the last decade, at least since 2008. Between the banks and their partners in government they’ll just create trillions of dollars in a single afternoon, not based on anything except credit, and then they can loan that money and collect interest on trillions of dollars that doesn’t even exist.
So obviously, the banks are interested in a money supply that is completely broken away from anything tangible that would limit the quantity of their money. Those are considerations that people don’t really take into account when they’re looking at this issue.
Most of these arguments come from the banking fraternity itself, from its propaganda trying to convince the average person that gold is a bad thing to have, and it’s stupid. Meanwhile, keep in mind they themselves are acquiring as much as they can.
Daily Bell: What are the top men of central banking interested in? Are they in it for the usury or are they in it for control? This is a major and profound question, in our view.
G. Edward Griffin: The top bankers are interested in it for the usury but their partners in politics are interested in it for control and it’s hard to say which is which, between the two of them, because it’s a revolving door now. I would say central banks, or the big banks that comprise the central banks, and governments now are welded together into one sold piece. It’s hard to distinguish or pull them apart. So the answer to that question is both usury and control.
Daily Bell: Care to comment on any or all of the following: Obamacare, Obama, Boehner, Reid, Congress?
G. Edward Griffin: As for Obamacare, I can’t think of anything to say that hasn’t already been said but let me try to summarize this into a few words: Obamacare is wrong because it’s based on wrong principles, because it won’t work and because it’s unjust. The other you listed are dangerous topics because I start using words that are not appropriate for print!
Daily Bell: How about the tea party?
G. Edward Griffin: The tea parties are refreshing in the sense of their origin, their spirit and the fact that they sprang into being from the grassroots. But like many if not most organizations, they’re susceptible to infiltration by powerful people with influence in politics and banking. We’ve seen a tendency for the tea party to become captive to the Republican Party and they’re trying to divert the tea party energy and spirit into becoming just an arm of the Republican Party. I’m happy to say that so far that hasn’t happened but I worry about it because I see those forces at work.
Daily Bell: You mentioned you review global news sources around the world to put together your paper, Unfiltered News. Are there issues arising in any particular areas of the world you think we should be paying specific attention to for one reason or another?
G. Edward Griffin: Yes, I suppose there are many areas to pay attention to but this comes back to an issue I touched on a little while ago. There are so many issues, so many fires raging, that we’re kind of like a fire brigade. We’ve only got a limited amount of water and we have to decide which fires we are going to throw the water on. We’re running around and somebody says, “This fire over here is more important!” so we throw the water on that one. Then someone says, “No, no! That’s not as important as this one over here.” We just don’t have enough water for them all and we’re frustrated and it leads to a kind of discouraging mindset and apathy.
Yes, we need to throw water on fires, but I think what we need to do is take a moment and think: Where are the fires coming from, who’s setting the fires and how are they doing it? Maybe that’s where we should focus our attention. With that analogy I’m saying that I think we need to focus on the philosophy of the arsonists. What is the thing that makes all these arsonists the same? Why are they doing this? In fact, why do we have arsonists in the first place and what are they trying to accomplish?
If we start with those questions I think we might come to the conclusion that a lot of these arsonists are people who believe in this thing called collectivism. They honestly believe that the world would be better off if we were ruled by a powerful government that takes care of all of the people, directs their lives and tells people what to do for their own good, and that is the road to putting an end to war and famine and disease. And they really think they’re doing a good thing by taking away freedom so they can build this super-state that would do all of the good things that man has never been able to accomplish under the condition of freedom. That philosophy is held in common by all of these people setting the fires and I don’t think we’re going to succeed in just putting out the fires unless we start rounding up – or at least confronting – these arsonists and saying, “Hey, guys, you’re doing the wrong thing. You’ve got the wrong motive.” We’ve got to replace the ones in positions of leadership with people of a different mindset.
I think the most important thing we can do today is to recognize that our opponents are not evil because of their political party affiliation. They’re not our opponents because they’re evil or because they have this, that or the other thing. It’s because they have an ideal, a philosophy that they’re following. People mistakenly often just attack them because of the party labels – ‘Get rid of him. He’s a Democrat!’ or ‘He’s a Republican. Get rid of him!’ Who’s going to replace him? Somebody just exactly the same, with the same mindset. So it does no good to focus on personalities and names. We have to rise above that and focus on the ideas these individuals are pursuing.
That’s where FreedomForce comes in. We’re trying to get people to understand this ideology of collectivism and to understand its superior alternative, which is called individualism. If we can get a better understanding of those concepts, then that result will move into the political world and it will change the balance of power at an issues level because people who have the right principles in mind will know how to apply those principles in all of the issues. They don’t have to be told.
That’s kind of a vague answer to your question about whether there are certain areas of the world we should be paying attention to but I really think if we just are trying to engage ourselves on specific issues – war in the Middle East, Obamacare and so many others – we may solve one or two but meanwhile these guys with the collectivism mentality are setting more fires out there, more fires than we can put out. So we’ve got to get back to principles, I think, if we’re going to make any change in the long view.
Daily Bell: Thanks for spending time with us again.
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