General Overview (from Amazon.com)
If you are fed up with Washington boondoggles, and you like the small-government, politically-incorrect thinking of Ron Paul, then you’ll love Tom Woods’s Meltdown. In clear, no-nonsense terms, Woods explains what led up to this economic crisis, who’s really to blame, and why government bailouts won’t work. Woods will reveal:
- Which brave few economists predicted the economic fallout–and why nobody listened
- What really caused the collapse
- Why the Fed–not taxpayers–should have to answer for the current economic crisis
- Why bailouts are band-aids that will only provide temporary relief and ultimately make things worse
- What we should do instead, to put our economy on a healthy path to recovery
With a foreword from Ron Paul, Meltdown is the free-market answer to the Fed-created economic crisis. As the new Obama administration inevitably calls for more regulations, Woods argues that the only way to rebuild our economy is by returning to the fundamentals of capitalism and letting the free market work.
Why the President Should Read This Book
Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. Yes, it’s cliche, but cliches become what they are generally because they’re true, and nothing seems more true when it comes to history than that government will continue to make the same mistakes over, and over, and over again. Such is the case with the financial crisis that started in or around 2008. Well-intentioned politicians saw government interference in the housing market as a way to help their constituents. The Federal Reserve assisted by keeping interest rates low. Banks were threatened that they must go along and make loans to people who otherwise wouldn’t have received them, but were all too happy to cooperate since they could make their profit and then pass the risk onto government-backed entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The result was a real estate bubble that was destined to pop, and when it did, it hurt worst those who it was designed to help, and those who were complicit in the debacle got bailed out.
In the ensuing financial mess, the government uncannily made many of the same mistakes it made during the Great Depression, based on a misunderstanding of what caused, and cured, that financial downturn.
The sad part is that none of this had to happen. The real estate bubble could have been avoided. Once it happened, it could have been deflated gradually. Once it popped, it could have been a quick trip to the bottom, and then a quick recovery. But in every case, the government made things worse, and those who were least able to cope with the fallout were those who suffered most. Too bad our current and previous few Presidents didn’t know history better. But at least future Presidents can avoid the same mistakes next time by reading this book.