This book applies Austrian business cycle theory to understanding the onset of the 1929 Great Depression. Rothbard first summarizes the Austrian theory and offers a criticism of competing theories, including the views of Keynes.
Rothbard then considers Federal Reserve policy in the 1920s, showing its inflationary character. The influence of Benjamin Strong, the Governor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, was especially important. In part, his expansionary policy was motivated by his desire to help Britain sustain the pound. Strong was close friends with Montagu Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England.
After the 1929 crash, Herbert Hoover followed an interventionist policy that prefigured the New Deal. He favored keeping wage rates high and thus contributed to rising unemployment. Against the popular stereotype, Rothbard shows that Hoover was not a partisan of laissez-faire.
The Federal Reserve has usurped power and control over our country. The Fed has caused severe boom and bust periods through its monetary policies. Inflation cannot be a permanent policy because it must result in a complete annihilation of the dollar. This country cannot remain free if the Federal Reserve is permitted to exist.
Why Gold? explains why the Constitution made only gold and silver money. The gold standard is the best proven method to ensure economic and political freedom for America.
Leslie Snyder Bates simplifies the understanding of gold, money, and freedom. Why Gold? offers a plan for economic stability through a successful return to the gold standard. Without returning to the gold standard, Bates asserts, inflation will cost us our freedom and individual rights.