Over the weekend I came across a tweet from a politician named, Pierre Poilievre. Before then, I knew nothing of the man. I still don’t know much, but now he is certainly in my sights (in a good way).
His tweet (shown below) was of a speech he made, prefacing it with the words, “What is money?” I strongly recommend you listen to it.
Poilievre hits it out of the park. It is certainly a rare occurrence for a politician to speak about the destructive policy of “printing” money. It is even more rare for a politician to demonstrate the understanding of the impacts of such a policy. And it is most rare for a politician to talk about the fundamentals of money intelligently, in a way that grabs your attention.
Poilievre gives some great history lessons as well. My favorite part is at the 3:50 mark where he talks about how King Henry VIII got his nickname, “Old Coppernose.”
“[King Henry VIII] would actually have his minters melt down the British pound and he would re-mint it with just a tiny coat of silver around the outside of a copper coin. So, people would think they were getting a silver coin meanwhile, on the inside what they actually got was copper.
The problem is, being the egomaniac that he was, facing outward from the coin (he didn’t want a profile shot) his face was on the coin and it stared everyone in the eye when they looked at that coin. But his nose protruded the farthest out and when it was in people’s pockets it would rub against the inside of the pocket and the silver would scrape off the tip of his nose. Meaning that you had a silver coin with a red nose, and thus, he got the nickname ‘Old Coppernose.’ And every time someone saw that red copper nose, they knew the king had stolen the real value of their money. Throughout time, other politicians have found other creative ways [to inflate] …”
When people speak of “great” political speeches, what they typically refer to are fancy platitudes that mean nothing but sound profound. Strangely, people gravitate toward this kind of thing. Here are a few examples of worthless one-liners (in my view) that are all considered “great:”
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” - FDR
“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” - JFK
“I believe in change, because I believe in you, the American people.” - Obama
Not all political one-liners are worthless. Some of them do speak profound “truths,” even if you have to translate them in reverse. For example,
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” - Bill Clinton
“Read my lips, no new taxes.” - H.W. Bush
“I am not a crook.” - Nixon
Anyway, back to Poilievre.
Poilievre is a six-term Member of Parliament (MP) in Canada, specifically representing the electoral district of Carleton in Ontario. From his own website, he says,
“He champions the free market in which everyone gets ahead on merit, not government handouts, and people take ownership of and responsibility for their own destinies. …
More recently, he has begun warning Parliament of the growing risk of a debt crisis, as the country’s public and private debt is now almost four times the size of the economy. Moreover, the central bank’s policy of printing money to fund this government debt is ballooning asset and consumer prices, which increases the price of the things the rich own and that the poor must buy. Poilievre argues that money printing amounts to an ‘inflation tax’, a sneaky way for governments to raise money by raising prices for the people.”
It’s nice to hear a seemingly sensible voice in the realm of the overlords. Keep your eyes on Poilievre. Perhaps he is just another savvy politician who knows how to capitalize on the winds of time. Or perhaps he was inspired, as were so many others, by the great Ron Paul. We shall see.
I’ll leave you with a truly great speech. “What if … ?”