[OT] Ameros will clog the tubes - was Re: Network Neutrality

Charles Curley charlescurley at charlescurley.com
Fri Dec 5 21:30:58 MST 2008


On Fri, Dec 05, 2008 at 09:56:10AM -0700, Nicholas Leippe wrote:
> On Friday 05 December 2008 09:18:21 am Von Grant Fugal wrote:
> > How do you propose to distribute this new money in lockstep with capita
> > changes?
> > Perhaps you could give each newborn an average savings worth of
> > money in a trust fund. Anything less than this is redistribution of
> > wealth and is abhorrently immoral.
> 
> Let's not get into the subject of individual's differring morals.
> 
> You are suggesting here that there is no other way to increase the supply in a 
> fair manner. It's simple really. The purchase of goods and services by the 
> government would be done with newly minted/printed currency as opposed to 
> currency already in the budget. As opposed to being done by fractional reserve 
> banking as it is done today. To decrease the money supply, currency collected 
> from the sale of public goods and services can simply be withheld from 
> circulation, and taken off the books.

I've been reading much of this discussion of money and banking with
amusement as well as interest.

To understand money, hold in mind that there is absolutely nothing
magical about it. It is a commodity like any other. Carry the
implications of that realization out and many of the questions you
guys are discussing are instantly answered.

The only thing that is tricky stems from money's nature as a medium of
exchange: There are time when you have to invert your logic. For
example, if the supply of commodity X, say, plywood, increases, you
can reasonably expect the price of X to decrease. Since prices are
stated in terms of money, you have to invert your thinking: what
happens if the supply of money increases is that the price of
everything else increases.

For further reading, let me suggest starting with Murray N. Rothbard,
What Has Government Done to Our Money? I suspect it's available on the
net somewhere; try mises.org.

One implication is that, like any other commodity, you are better off
not having the government supply the stuff. In fact you are better off
with government not defining the term (legal tender laws).

So to deal with the supply of gold or silver or whatever: same as any
other commodity: if there isn't enough of it, someone likely will go
mine some. Or sell off old, worn jewelry. At least miners are limited
by physical constraints in how much of the stuff they can produce;
central banks have no such constraints with fiat currency.

And if the market decides there still isn't enough of the stuff?
Substitution: the market can start using something else as a medium of
exchange. Time on mobile phones, for example. An absurd example?
Maybe, but mobile phone air time is a de facto currency in parts of
Africa.


> 
> Well, it's theft if done by private individuals for private gain. If
> the government (we'll pretend a government that's by and for the
> people, assuming one exists), then no private individual gains
> anything by doing so--it is a benefit to _all_ of the people by
> maintaining a stable per-capita money supply. Because the government
> is in essence the collective of the people-- thus the people are the
> ones printing the new money.

Here we have profound disagreement: if it's theft when a private
individual does it, it's theft when a government does it. Governments
are composed of people, and morality doesn't magically change just
because one is anointed king or elected senator or whatever. If you or
I have no moral right to do a thing, then we cannot delegate the power
to do that thing to someone else.

-- 

Charles Curley                  /"\    ASCII Ribbon Campaign
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