How America Can Spend Its Way Back to Greatness
A Guide to Monetary Reform
by Richard Striner
May 2015, 136pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3876-7
$41, £31, 36€, A56
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3877-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

During the Civil War, the government created some $450 million in “new money.”

Providing a unique perspective on economic history and policy, this book shows how a daring method once recommended by top economists could be adapted to help America pay for the things it needs.

Written in a crisp, fast-paced style, this groundbreaking work presents an in-depth account of monetary theory and practice as the basis for its suggestion of a new system of money creation. First, the economic history of the United States is explored, with special emphasis on the years from the Civil War to the Great Depression. The proposal that follows, based on a long-lost method of money creation, is related to that context, as well as to America’s current situation, both economic and political.

Readers will learn how banks have created most of America’s money supply since the nation’s founding, but also about experiments with an alternative system in which the government plays that role. The crux of the book is an examination of the way in which the two systems could be harmonized to pay for public necessities without increasing taxes or national debt. The proposed new system of money creation would incorporate two complementary money streams—the existing banking system run by the Federal Reserve and a new stream of money created by Congress. By integrating the “Greenback” method with the fiscal and monetary status quo, the author argues, the United States could spend its way back to greatness.

Features

  • Explains in vivid terms the way money has evolved in modern times, clarifying the rise and global triumph of "fractional reserve banking"
  • Shows how a compromise between our existing method of money creation and the "Greenback" method could pay for hundreds of billions of dollars of national necessities without higher taxes, more deficit spending, or inflation
  • Documents what money consists of, how it enters into circulation, and how the nature of money has changed over the centuries
  • Reveals how significant numbers of economists, businessmen, and political leaders have advocated for the direct creation of money by government through the years
  • Takes the lay reader through the history of previous attempts at direct money creation in a fascinating tour of American economic history
Richard Striner, PhD, is professor of history at Washington College, Chestertown, MD. An interdisciplinary scholar, he has written books and articles on presidential leadership, economics, architecture, literature, and film. Among his books are Father Abraham: Lincoln's Relentless Struggle to End Slavery; Lincoln's Way: How Six Great Presidents Created American Power; and Woodrow Wilson and World War I: A Burden Too Great to Bear. Striner has been a regular contributor to The New York Times "Disunion" series and has appeared as a commentator on NPR. He has also written on economic policy issues for The American Scholar, The Washington Post, and other publications.

Reviews

"Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division and upper-division undergraduates."—Choice, July 1, 2016

“Striner makes the case for recapturing the nation's sovereign right to issue its money and benefit from the gain thereof—a starting point for important new developments in monetary and public policy.”—Joseph Huber, Professor of Economic Sociology, Martin Luther University, Halle, Germany

"Richard Striner's thought-provoking book on Pure Money reminds us that the federal government can rebuild our nation's declining infrastructure and restore broad-based and sustainable prosperity, but first it must reclaim the sovereign power to issue its own currency.”—Timothy A. Canova, Professor of Law and Public Finance, Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL
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