Let’s Give the Fed Some Competition

The Federal Reserve prints so much money that since it opened its doors in 1914, the dollar has lost more than 90 percent of its value.

(Page 2 of 2)

People generally assume that government is careful about preserving the value of the dollar. As we’ve seen, that is far from the case. When Franklin Roosevelt became president, he raised the dollar price of gold -- from bed.

In his diary, FDR’s Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr. wrote, “If anybody ever knew how we really set the gold price ... they would be frightened.” One day, Roosevelt was asked how he picked the change in the price of gold, and he said he increased it 21 cents because 7 was a lucky number (3 times 7).

When government monetary policy is too loose, you get hyperinflation, like in Germany in the 1920s. A more recent example is Zimbabwe, where prices rose so fast that the government printed bills with a face value of 100 trillion (Zimbabwean) dollars.

“That has never happened in the case of private competing currencies,” said Barker, who wants to abolish the Fed. “In all of those instances in world history where we’ve had (competition), we have not had rampant runaway inflation.”

Barker said the information age may break down the government’s monopoly on money.

“There are experiments going on. There’s something called Bitcoin, which is an electronic money that some people are experimenting with. The legal status is a bit unclear.”

I pointed out the irony of a former Fed economist wanting to close the Fed.

“The Federal Reserve is not the first agency of government that I would get rid of,” he said. “But one thing we’ve learned over the last several decades is that central planning does not work as well as markets.”

John Stossel (read his Reason archive) is the host of Stossel, which airs Thursdays on the FOX Business Network at 9 pm ET and is rebroadcast on Saturdays and Sundays at 9pm & midnight ET. Go here for more info.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • sarcasmic||

    The government likes a monopoly on currency because with it they can inflate it, which benefits debtors since the money you use to pay back the debt is worth less than it was when you borrowed it.

    And there is no bigger debtor than government.

  • anon||

    I'm sure shriek will be by shortly to offer some bullshit argument about how gold caused the Great Depression.

  • ||

    Damn you anon, I was just about to say that but had to log in first.

  • anon||

    Hah!

    You, sir, need to click the "remember me" box. Which also makes me think of that damned song in Phantom of the Opera.

  • Arf?||

    Some of us are paranoids and don't allow persistent cookies between browser sessions.

    Maybe we can have images back now that registration is required? Kind of the carrot to the registration stick?

  • mr simple||

    I remove the cookies too and what I hate is how every time I log in I get sent to the account management page with no way to get directly back to where I wanted to comment. What's up with that, squirrels?

  • anon||

    Or you guys could quit looking at kiddie porn and not worry about cookies! Unless they're of the girl scout variety.

  • Coeus||

    Or you guys could quit looking at kiddie porn and not worry about cookies!

    Is that even possible any more? What with the little Lupe bullshit that guy in Puerto Rico went though, and Australia declaring A-cups kiddie porn.

  • Arf?||

    Yeah, that's pretty annoying. It's because of the redirect. Not sure what browser you are using, but on mine (Firefox) you can hold the back button and it gives you a list. You can select the page you were on and it should reload with you being logged in.

  • ||

    shriek is a sockpuppet and I'm pretty sure it got banned yesterday. Which is fine by me.

  • anon||

    Aww man, I missed it. Been busy at work.

  • ||

    I will also note that there hasn't been a single Tony post since registration. I guess the sockpuppets are dropping like flies. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

  • SugarFree||

    There were "T o n y" posts yesterday in one of the later threads, but they faded off quickly.

  • ||

    It looks like "Tony" was on the moderators' ban list from the get-go. Why am I not surprised?

  • sarcasmic||

    It looks like "Tony" was on the moderators' ban list from the get-go.

    I think it's more likely that someone else registered the name with no intention of using it.

  • ||

    Could be, but they are clearly aiming to clean up sockpuppets, and Tony was the ne plus ultra of sockpuppets.

  • ||

    Could be, but they are clearly aiming to clean up sockpuppets, and Tony was the ne plus ultra of sockpuppets.

    I won't miss any of the Anonypussies in any of their incarnations.

  • ||

    I think it's more likely that someone else registered the name with no intention of using it.

    Amazing how most of those names had no email associated with them, and were amoungst the worst of greifers.

    Squatter's rights FTW.

  • thirtyandseven||

    Yes, although I wish you could register your email address and then when posting logged in under that email, you could still sockpuppet for the user name.

    Cuz there used to be some pretty damn funny uses of sock puppets here.

  • thirtyаndseven||

    You still can, although admittedly, this isn't that funny.

  • thirtyandseven||

    lol. Well yea but you have to go to your profile and change it and shit. You think I got that kind of time and willpower?

  • sarcasmic||

    Someone posted under the name T o n y claiming to be the "real" Tony and that someone had stolen his name, forcing him to register a name with spaces in it.
    He then spewed a bunch if intellectually dishonest nonsense, leading me to believe it may have indeed been the "real" Tony.

  • ||

    Yeah, he did that on Tuesday afternoon to me. I figured he wasn't lying about "Tony" being registered since he spouted off his usual nonsense.

  • Sudden||

    They might've just held onto his username like they did mine, although he had never before posted with an email attached to my knowledge, so perhaps not.

  • Tman||

    The fact that he hasn't shown up yet in this thread to drop some christfags is a good sign.

  • ||

    shriek was trolling pretty hard yesterday and then suddenly went completely silent from that point on, which says "ban" to me.

  • Tman||

    I haven't seen mingey around either, which is beginning to make it look like -gasp!- Tony/Mingey/Chad were the same group of sockpuppets.

    What possess someone to be a sockpuppet? This is the freaking internet dude, get a life.

  • ||

    Mingey

    There has been two confirmed MNG sightings. Hasn't posted much though, if at all, since.

    Tony, the ultimate sockpuppet, is a conglomeration of spoofery and sockpuppetry. The space "T o n y" made some awful arguments, even for him.

  • BakedPenguin||

    The big thing is that they've made griefing nearly impossible. I could care less about trolls at this point.

  • Tman||

    I think if you put it to vote most commenters here would agree that keeping around the MIGHTY HERC would be fine just for laughs.

    Dude was crazier than a Nuthouse, but entertaining nonetheless.

  • ||

    For his genre, HERC was my favorite poster.

    Nothing like grabbing a beer and reading [EMPIRE] a HERC post.

    A cheap beer. The kind that prides itself on being cold.

  • ||

    For his genre, HERC was my favorite poster.

    HERC was just...wow. A peculiar sort, to be sure. A true Interwebz legend, and is hung as a constellation in the Reason Mythos.

  • ||

    And so saith the HERC:

    THE CULT OF CATS – Contribution and Tax Exemption Status Re-think

    OUTSIDE PEST VS INSIDE PETS

    The Cult of Cats the [ASPCA] The American Society for the Protection of Cruelty against Animals – The Humane Society – and Feral Cat Society, do not understand the concept of property rights, business concerns and rights, the protection of endangered species, or floral and fauna, these organizations once again place the sub-species of [CATS] above the human species, they are unable to differentiate between a [CAT] as an Outside Pest an undomesticated wild sub-species, and that of an Inside [Cat] as a Pet a domesticated wild sub-species, or a Pet that when in an outside environment as a dog is by its master, must be under the direct control of its master, a cat is a sub-species to that of the human species it is a the human is the master and the cat is the sub-species, the cat does not control the human the human must be its master and in total control of that sub-species. Thus it flies in the face of common sense with an a entire Pet and Pet Supply Industry devoted to the care and maintenance of any and all pet sub-species, that this concept eludes that of the The Cult of Cats the [ASPCA] The American Society for the Protection of Cruelty against Animals – The Humane Society – and Feral Cat Society.

    And it was good.

  • Old Mexican||

    This cat-hater had a special place for HERC in my heart...

  • Pip||

    You know who else was hung like a constellation?

  • Bobarian||

    What about everyone's favorite rapesquatch STEVE SMITH.

    That or posting under the name of everyone's favorite political leader or his klingon wife. Some great opportunities for truly hilarious or poignant commentary are falling to the wayside.

  • ||

    There are those who say, I cannot be spoofed. I'm here to tell y'all I can be spoofed and spoofed good and hard...so stop cryin', stop whinin', take off your bedroom slippers, take off your bath robe and get my sorry ass re-elected!

  • ||

    ^^^

    See? Not so hard! :-)

  • ||

    And now with orange!

  • ||

    Wait, how does this work?

  • OO=======D||

    Robe off. Check.

  • anon||

    needs more "let me be clear."

  • ||

    And lo, the mighty Thor did raise up mjolnir, and strike down the jötun. The thundering echo of the banhammer was heard deep into the distant hills.

  • ||

  • shrike||

    Episiarch, your record long streak of being wrong is still intact.

  • Bill||

    Not quite the way he would mean it though.

    Friedman pointed out that gov't interference with gold helped contribute to the depression.

  • free2booze||

    And the higher prices, that result from inflation, increases tax revenues.

  • anon||

    Meh, that part's a wash on the government's part; sure, it receives more revenues, but the products it must purchase are also higher.

    Although to the citizens, it effects the poor the worst and rich the least.

  • thirtyandseven||

    It's not a wash if it uses the tax revenue to pay down debt instead of buying moar st00f...

    *giggle*

  • ||

    Pay....down....debt? I don't understand what you're trying to say.

  • thirtyandseven||

    Yeah, I don't really get it either.

    Sounds like one of those hair-brained concepts Ron Paul would be droning on about.

  • ||

    Ron Paul likes drones? Maybe there's a place for him in Obama's next cabinet!

  • ||

    Are you serious? Are you serious?

  • ||

    Meh, that part's a wash on the government's part; sure, it receives more revenues, but the products it must purchase are also higher.

    Not really. Imagine you somehow managed to run up one million dollars in credit card debt. Then, the government offered to instantly devalue the currency by 90%, thus reducing your real interest payments on that debt by 90% in addition to eliminating the value of your debt by 90%. Would you take that deal, even if it meant that prices of everything would go up tenfold, and your income would go up tenfold too?

    I sure as hell would.

    Same logic is why government always tries to inflate the currency.

  • anon||

    Would you take that deal, even if it meant that prices of everything would go up tenfold, and your income would go up tenfold too?

    As if my income would go up ten-fold.

    Just because the government prints more money does not mean that my wages increase.

  • Emperor Wears No Clothes||

    Your income doesn't.
    But the government's does.
    The govt taxes on nominal dollars.
    The game is loaded in favour of the house.

  • Zeb||

    Maybe we should let Germany run the Fed.

  • Drake||

    Yep - Notice tax rates and the AMT aren't indexed to an inflation measure?

  • Suki||

    That would be okay if they "allowed" us to pay each other in other stuff. Somehow, whenever anybody strikes on something that works okay the feds are in there to stop it.

  • WTF||

    Printing my own dollars would be healthy competition, but the government calls it counterfeiting.

    Interseting, since 'Stossels' would not be imitation US federal reserve notes, nor pretending to be US currency, how would they be 'counterfeit'? Has this ever been tried in court?

  • sarcasmic||

    I recall some eccentric guy minting his own coins in California round the gold rush. While what he was doing was indeed illegal, because there was a shortage of legal tender in the area they let it slide.
    Can't remember the specifics and I'm too lazy to google it.

  • T||

    Are you referring to Emperor Norton or someone else?

    Because Emperor Norton was the man.

  • sarcasmic||

    I believe so.

  • Drake||

    Back when kings had to deal in gold, there were limits on what they could borrow and spend. Some tried debasing their currencies and it didn't work.

    With a monopoly on fiat money, there is no limit on what can be spent.

  • Old Mexican||

    Insert economics-ignorant comment from shrike here:___________

  • Broseph of Invention||

    It's unfortunate that the name "Shrike" has become synonymous with "salad-tosser". Dan Simmons' stuff is a delight.

  • T||

    I can think of many people I would like to see on the Tree of Pain.

    Wartner Bros is apparently going to film Hyperion, BTW.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It could not suck, I suppose. Not too complicated to film. The Shrike better not look stupid, though.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was watching a NOVA episode last night on the elements, and they featured some gold mining. It occurred to me that all I really need to do is secretly mine the asteroids for gold, and I'd be set.

  • anon||

    If you're on the east coast, you can pan for gold in just about any stream in the Appalachian Mountains.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Not enough gold that way. I need, let me see, about ten tons.

  • mr simple||

    Yes, death rays and doomsday devices do require a lot of gold.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Especially when they're gold-plated.

  • Old Mexican||

    That was a good episode. I like it when NOVA creates shows that are informative and entertaining, not sactimonious, preachy and boring.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I thought so, too. They used to be great. I make a point of watching the ones on physics.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah. I wish they were all about physics. I think they still do a pretty good job, but it does seem like there is a lot less science in them than there used to be.

    OM, I think that what I (and probably you) find interesting on a show like that is probably what many other people think is boring and vice versa. Which is a shame. I'd much rather watch some guy lecturing in front of a brick wall for an hour about real science than see some flashy thing with no real content. That doesn't seem to be the case for the general viewing public.

  • Pro Libertate||

    They used to cram in more science. Last night's show was entertaining enough, but it wasn't as packed full of information as the programs used to be.

  • R C Dean||

    Once we start mining asteroids for gold, the price will drop like a stone.

    Supply goes way up, price goes down.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I was talking about humanity, the United States, or some company. I was talking about me.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Wasn't. Danged fingers.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Mine for monopoles then!

  • robc||

    Watch out for Pak ships though. Bad side effects.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yeah, Pak Protector isn't a career option.

  • robc||

    True, Pak protectors have no options.

  • ||

    I like this subtle ad for knock-off bags. You are a true innovator.

  • ||

    That makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

  • BakedPenguin||

    LOL

  • ||

    OT: Did Reason auto-register all the regulars while I was away? Because the email in my info field was fake, obviously, and there's nowhere to go to check for registration data.

    Guess I'm stick with a no-spaces handle from now on.

  • robc||

    Thats what you get for being Liar McLiarson.

  • ||

    Don't be fuckin' with me right now. I'm infuriated at the lack of spaces in my handle. I need time to cool down, and libertard provocation isn't going to make it better.

    /Channeling Max.

  • anon||

    Does the registration system parse underscores as spaces in the names? If so: you're welcome.

  • ||

    I see other handles with spaces in them. Why can't you have them in yours?

  • ||

    I was kidding anyway, I don't really give a shit. It said my public name was already in use/registered, so whatever.

  • ||

    Did you get the pre-registration email about claiming your handle? They may have reserved it for you. Email registration@reason.com and ask them about it.

  • ||

    No, because he was stupid enough to use a fake email, and you were stupid enough to miss where he said that, you unobservant baboon.

  • ||

    Hey! In my defense, I didn't expect Reason would actually implement a registration system. But I guess this cuts the trolling population significantly, so I can't complain.

  • ||

    You're a towel!

  • SugarFree||

    It said my public name was already in use/registered, so whatever.

    Some people have been able to fix that by sending an email to registration@reason.com.

  • Enough About Palin||

    That's what happened to me. Glad I used a real email since all those years ago.

  • SugarFree||

    Either his handle is already reserved or spaces put him over the handle-length protocol.

  • ||

    Yeah. Either Reason pre-registered all the regulars to prevent trolls from fucking with their usual handles, or some troll's been fucking with mine.

  • ||

    Scrap that. You guys answered it above.

  • Jesse James Dean||

    I am a regular lurker and was somehow pre-registered

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm pretty sure they don't allow spaces in your handle.

  • ||

    Do you think you're funny, smart guy?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Just as much as you think you're smart, funny guy.

  • ||

    I'm not your guy, friend!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm not your friend, pal.

  • ||

    I'm not your pal, buddy!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm not your buddy, dude.

  • plu1959||

    My suggestion would be to go to Yahoo or Google, create a new email account, and then use your new email to register here with your preferred name.

  • ||

    This'll do.

  • ||

    Holy shit. I got a reply and a fix five minutes after sending the email.

    Win. Thanks, Reason.

  • R C Dean||

    Somebody must be spiking the squirrel chow with meth.

  • ||

    Can we elect the squirrels to the government, then? They get shit done!

  • Old Mexican||

    Why? Why must our government make currency competition illegal?


    Because otherwise the jig would be up. Unbacked currency would simply go the way of the Zimbabwe dollar.

    Tide detergent, anyone? The future currency.

  • robc||

    Not necessarily. As long as the US government required taxes to be paid in FedDols, then they have a value.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: robc,

    As long as the US government require[s] taxes to be paid in FedDols, then they have a value.


    As long as paying taxes has value... and as long as people want to.

    Tide, anybody?

  • KDN||

    Not being thrown in jail or being able to practice business in the US will surely still have some value, no?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: KDN,

    Not being thrown in jail or being able to practice business in the US will surely still have some value, no?


    Depends on for whom, KDN. You can't inflate the currency forever; you can't expect people to continue working for decreasingly less. At one point, the whole scheme will collapse, either because everybody is poor or because everybody stops being affraid of the government.

  • Enough About Palin||

    I find the Tide as currency thing funny. Just cut it with water. Or better still corn syrup, which is cheap.

  • ||

    I always thought the future currency would be fire sauce packets.

  • R C Dean||

    Nah.

    Bottle caps.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Important when bottling your beer!

  • robc||

    At least they have an intrinsic value.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I prefer Nuka-Cola to Sunset Sasparilla

  • Bobarian||

    But you can't get a blue-star cap from a Nuka-Cola.

  • William Bruce||

    ...or cancer from Sunset Sasparilla.

  • Lord Humungus||

    leaves! (the plural of leaf) /Douglas Adams

  • shrike||

    Competing currencies are perfectly fine here. I was grabbing as many Euros as I could in 2010. Yen, Canadian Dollars, etc - no problem.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shriek,

    Competing currencies are perfectly fine here.


    "Here" as in the USA, as in "for me" or as in "my mommy's basement from where I blog in my PJs all day"?

  • thirtyandseven||

    Whence. From whence he blogs.

  • Old Mexican||

    Thank you, Captain Grammar! You saved the day again!

    :-)

  • ||

    "From whence" is barbarous and uncouth. Stick with "whence", you barbarian.

  • thirtyandseven||

    From whence is perfectly acceptable usage to emphasize the "from" component.

    http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-fro2.htm

    It has been used by Shakespeare, Defoe...Smollett, Dickens...Dryden, Gibbon, Twain and Trollope, and it appears 27 times in the King James Bible
  • thirtyandseven||

    WTF it ate the second half of my comment. As I was saying...

    It's in the Bible dude. You gonna argue with the Bible??

  • ||

    Dr. Samuel Johnson is my Jesus. Barbarous, I says.

  • fursa||

    He refuted it THUS

  • Zeb||

    Aren't Hebrew and Greek declined languages? They don't need no prepositions in the bible.

  • ||

    Attic Greek is so declined it's disgusting. Ugh, now I'm angry just thinking about Greek class.

  • ||

    OT: I followed up on that idiotic post at HuffPo that led to a back and forth between Virginia Postrel and William Bradley.

    I asked him, again, to provide DeMaio's policy positions that were so offensively right wing. His response?

    I'm not here to answer ideologist's questions. If she can't answer mine, which happen to be what this is about, then there's no more time to waste with libertarian stuff.
  • T||

    Someday, I'll learn never to click on HuffPo links that aren't Radley Balko.

  • Joe R.||

    Just to be safe, I don't click anyway. Sorry, Radley.

  • ||

    I love how they attacked the one guy who was like: "I'm an independent and both parties suck" or something along those lines. They immediately jump on him as being a libertarian and an idiot. What a bunch of fucking partisan hacks.

  • mr simple||

    Holy science, that guy is full of himself, among other things.

    Shorter comments:
    any random commenter: I have a serious question about the implications of your article.
    Bradley: I don't have to answer because I don't like you.
    oin2012: Yeah, boss, you tell them. slurp!

    It amazes me that people can be so stupid as to accept anything someone tells them without asking questions, just because it's what they want to hear. I guess that's why the two major parties are so strong.

  • ||

    And of course, this ignores the fact that she asked him first.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Based on what I read in the comments, Bradley is an asshole. 'Nerf said.

  • Brandon||

    I didn't know it was possible for two people to create an echo chamber....

  • anon||

    OT: I can't wait for the ads showing the price of gas with Obama's voiceover: "Energy prices would necessarily skyrocket."

  • R C Dean||

    The Repubs could do serious damage with that quote, a chart of gas prices since inauguration, some soundbites on failed solar deals, and the blocked pipeline.

    Naturally, I expect them to spend their ad dollars on anti-contraception ads, instead.

  • anon||

    Goddamnit Dean. Seriously. You -always- find a way to shit all over any optimism I have.

    Because I know you're right.

  • ||

    Optimism about Team Red beating out Obama? You really think RomneyBot will be less bad?

  • anon||

    Yup.

    He'll get to nominate a Supreme Court justice. While this alone isn't necessarily good, it ensures another spot doesn't go to someone that thinks it's OK for the government to force me to purchase a product.

  • ||

    Fair enough

  • JW||

    He'll get to nominate a Supreme Court justice. While this alone isn't necessarily good, it ensures another spot doesn't go to someone that thinks it's OK for the government to force me to purchase a product.

    I don't think Paul has much of a chance of winning, at this point.

  • Zeb||

    Ugh. I pretty much dread any and all supreme court nominations. The only good outcome I can imagine for the SCOTUS is if Ron Paul gets elected miraculously, with Gary Johnson as VP then someone crashes a plane into the SC while they are in session, killing all of them. Ron Paul nominates 4 or 5 new 30 year old libertarian justices, then has a heart attack and dies and Johnson appoints the rest.

    Outside of that happening, I think we are pretty much screwed either way on the SC front.

  • anon||

    Zeb, you're waaay too pessimistic on this. Have you seen the trend of the SC rulings recently?

    Granted, it may be a false sense of security, but I think the SC is our last chance at actually regaining some semblance of autonomy.

  • WTF||

    They're not The Stupid Party for nothing.

  • BakedPenguin||

    They could also air a bunch of ads detailing Obama's lies about transparency, civil rights, medical marijuana, foreign wars - oh wait, they're on his side on all those things.

  • robc||

    With Romney as nominee?

    He doesnt seem to be the type to run anti-contraception ads.

  • R C Dean||

    Just give him a day. The longer he goes without taking a particular position, the more likely it is that he will announce that he has always taken that position.

  • anon||

    Is this some sort of variation on Godwin's Law?

  • ||

    No, it's called the Flip Flopney. A particularly effective device that is inversely proportional to the wanton amnesia of the voting public.

  • ||

    Highly unlikely, he wants run far and away from such campaign fodder. Though it was never about contraception anyway, and he doesn't want to mention specific mandates he himself imposed in a statewide health system.

    Not quite as far as running from why we have a relatively weak dollar, since he knows TEAM RED is complicit.

  • Gerholdt||

    Another statist act of perversion by the Great Hypocrite (suspended habeus corpus, initiated income tax and military conscription). OOOh that makes me want to defile his memorial and desecrate his grave.

  • plu1959||

    I've always thought that Everclear would make a great currency. It will always hold some value, it doesn't spoil, it's easily divisible, and it's (relatively) portable. With a little practice, anyone could learn to detect counterfeits. You'd just have to make sure you don't spill your money.

  • ||

    How about the bones of savagely murdered kittens instead? That's more in line with libertarian tastes, surely! *Fiddles with monocle*.

    Tony told me so.

  • anon||

    Damn, that was quick.

  • ||

    I only accept payment in indentured child servants. Child slavery is plain cruelty, and a moral abomination, but indetured servitude to your betters is clearly excellent for fostering character.

  • ||

    Kittens? Aren't libertarians monsters who hate THE CHILDREN because of fuck you?

    It really should be charred baby bones.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've always thought that Everclear would make a great currency.

    It actually was when the country was founded.

    Farmers would turn their surplus grain into distilled spirits, and use it to trade for other goods.

    One of the first thing the federal government did was tax the production of whiskey, and it remains extremely hostile to personal distilling precisely because people could trade with it and avoid paying taxes.

  • anon||

    You're 100% right; I had forgotten about this until you mentioned it.

  • T||

    In fact, some grumpy farmers tried to revbel over it.

  • plu1959||

    But of course!

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Fuckin revenuers.

  • Suki||

    There used to be private currencies. A businessman who sold iron and tin made coins that advertised his business. The Georgia Railroad Co. also produced its own currency.

    This became illegal in 1864 -- Abraham Lincoln was a fan of central banking.
    Ah ha!

  • BakedPenguin||

    We need metallic currency, but the name "dollar" has been ruined by the inflationists. I vote for "Quatlu"

  • ||

    At least you didn't suggest "gold-pressed latinum". Because that would make you a Space Jew.

  • ||

    I've always thought they were Space Libertarians.

    Goldbugs, no war to speak of, and appalled by women wearing clothes. True heroes of the future.

  • Randian||

    Geez, Amakudari, are you never on Facebook?:

    Old Meme is Old

  • BakedPenguin||

    WTF is "latinum"? Are Space Jews incapable of saying the letter "P"?

  • ||

    They all have those accents that make them sound like they're from Jew York City...I mean, Hymietown.

  • ||

    IIRC all recurring Ferengi were Jews.

    Still, no one out-Jewed Saul Rubinek. Dude used his vast business empire to collect rarities (including Data) while wearing a yarmulke.

  • ||

    Whoa, so he was like some kind of Earth Ferengi?

  • ||

    Yes, like I said, he's Jewish.

  • ||

    Maybe he was Druish?

  • ||

    Maybe he was Druish?

    Well, he was attracted to wealth and power over others, as long as the others were a one-of-a-kind.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's Quatloo, Penguin. Otherwise, I concur.

  • Randian||

    Er, somebody want to help me out? What is the provision in the United States Code that outlaws alternative currencies? Because my understanding is that they were legal.

  • ||

    Prolly some such other tiny little by-law footnote when the FED was created.

  • anon||

  • WTF||

    That outlaws coins, but what about alternative paper currency?

  • anon||

    There's some precedent in case law that basically says coinage is a synonym for paper currency.

  • WTF||

    "Whoever, except as authorized by law, makes or utters or passes, or attempts to utter or pass, any coins of gold or silver or other metal, or alloys of metals,

    "

    Kind of a stretch to make this apply to paper, since it specifies metals. Not that they wouldn't do it anyway, given what they've done with "...commerce...among the several States.."

  • anon||

    The entirety of section 25 deals with the issues of counterfeit and forgery; here's a much better source: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/searc.....bread=true

    Paper is covered under section 491 I think.

  • Randian||

    There had to be a way that mining scrip, for example, was legal.

  • Ann Cap||

    Does ink still contain iron? There's your metal coin.

  • ||

    Okay, the ink loophole has made me officially want to kill myself.

  • KPres||

    What about Bitcoin?

    http://bitcoin.org/

  • anon||

    There's a lot of concern in the bitcoin community about the legality of it.

    Since it's an electronic currency, it's not covered currently; I don't put it past congress to quickly remedy that should Bitcoin become more common of an exchange medium.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I believe its the "Necessary & Proper Commerce Welfare Clause", also known as the "we have the guns the & fuck you, that's why" clause.

  • np||

    Bad link to Hayek's Choice in Currency

    LvMI source

  • ||

    So I'm a huge advocate of competing currencies. But that said, I think the benefits are a little overstated. Most people with money sitting around will invest it. That will receive the market rate plus or minus some spread. Many equities do a great job of passing inflation on. As long as we have liquid capital markets, you as an individual can avoid a lot of the problems of monetary inflation.

    Now, that's not entirely true, and clearly a lot depends on the stability of the dollar, but alternatives that retain their value exist.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Behold our [GLORIOUS] FUTURE on Ebay.
    Both funny and sad... and true.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBa.....500wt_1413

  • plu1959||

    OT: Shelby Steele: The Exploitation of Trayvon Martin

    Before the 1960s the black American identity (though no one ever used the word) was based on our common humanity, on the idea that race was always an artificial and exploitive division between people. After the '60s—in a society guilty for its long abuse of us—we took our historical victimization as the central theme of our group identity. We could not have made a worse mistake.

    It has given us a generation of ambulance-chasing leaders, and the illusion that our greatest power lies in the manipulation of white guilt. The tragedy surrounding Trayvon's death is not in the possibility that it might have something to do with white racism; the tragedy is in the lustfulness with which so many black leaders, in conjunction with the media, have leapt to exploit his demise for their own power.

  • ||

    Let's play our favorite game, Idiot or Troll!

    Lara Spenzak Wrote:

    Trayvon may have shot simply because he looked like President Obama. If so, this will certainly be a hate crime with political overtones. When Republican fail this November to defeat President Obama, I fear there could be more violence.

    1 Recommendation
    Link Track Replies to this Comment

    What does the audience say? Is this an idiot or a troll?

  • WTF||

    Is this an idiot or a troll?

    Yes.

  • ||

    Idiot, because the way it's written, it sounds like Trayvon had a gun.

  • T||

    Idiot. They really do fear the violent rethuglican under the couch cushions.

  • ||

    That's just projection.

  • T||

    There's a lot of that in the gun control debate. Whenever people start braying about self-control, it's usually a sure sign they have so little that choice terrifies them.

  • ||

    It's exactly the same with drug warriors.

  • anon||

    Hah!

    I was thinking about playing 9-ball while reading this. When the table's wide-open, the choices of what to do with my run paralyze me. I need to get around that.

  • Soc Indv Sparky||

    Wasn't that a Dr Seuss character once?

  • plu1959||

    "I'm the Rethuglican! I speak for the social Darwinists!"

  • plu1959||

    I'm gonna go with "idiot."

  • ||

    Lara Spenzak Wrote:

    Trayvon may have shot simply because he looked like President Obama. If so, this will certainly be a hate crime with political overtones. When Republican fail this November to defeat President Obama, I fear there could be more violence.

    1 Recommendation

    America, fuck yeah.

  • Loki||

    I've gotta go with idiot.

    Due to the lack of grammar as well as the lack of insults (preferably a real word with "tard" appended to the end) aimed at any other commenters who disagree with her.

  • Enough About Palin||

    When people are killed in the Trayvon Martin riots, can Al Sharpton be sued for wrongful death?

  • Enough About Palin||

    When people are killed in the Trayvon Martin riots, can Al Sharpton be sued for wrongful death?

  • Old Mexican||

    There used to be private currencies. A businessman who sold iron and tin made coins that advertised his business. The Georgia Railroad Co. also produced its own currency.


    I rememeber that, throughout the second half of the 19th Century, Mexican silver pesos were used in many parts of the U.S. as currency, being prefered to the US dollar because it was more readily accepted.

    The reason for legal tender laws is obviously the necessity to keep the credit expansion process alive, the requirement to pay taxes in FNRs being just one way the government helps the fraudsters of the Federal Reserve in our detriment.

  • ||

    I have a question about that OM. Even though the silver Mexican Pesos has intrinsic value, wouldn't an influx of them drive down the purchasing power of currency overall? Take gold back paper currency, for instance, which has intrinsic value via gold and worth a certain amount, and then introducing another currency, the silver peso and then flooding the market with say, gold doubloons, for argument's sake. Even though all those currencies have intrinsic value (at varying amounts), wouldn't that cause all the currencies to drop in value proportionately with the sheer volume of currency, thus decreasing their purchasing power overall?

    I seem to remember that a similar conundrum happened to U.S. Grant, being a stupid drunk hoodwinked by his Sec. of Treas. and causing him to dump a buttload of gold reserve and essentially crashing the value of gold overnight so the crooks couldn't cash in on their currency manipulation scheme.

  • Randian||

    There is no such thing as "intrinsic value". Just my gold $.02

  • William Bruce||

    Unless I have misunderstood your choice of vocabulary, the equation of exchange (MV = PT) can sort this out, at least conceptually. Your question would need to address the other variables in order to have a single answer: What is happening to the velocity of money and the number of transactions? If money is created through a proportional increase in the number of transactions (T, Q, or y), then P need not change. In this hypothetical case, is an increasing number of transactions accompanying the increase in the money supply? What is happening to the demand for silver and gold? Moreover, what are the particulars of the specie standard(s), and how is the banking system regulated?

  • ||

    I apologize William, I did ask the question clumsily, but you understood my diction. I may be using the term "intrinsic value" (meaning the actual value of a given thing) incorrectly, but goes to illustrate the larger point, which you succinctly addressed.

    In the hypothetical case, I am assuming an increase in transactions, as an influx of competing currencies would denote an assumption of an increase in the exchange of money for goods and services. I am assuming there will be an increase in the demand for silver and gold, as those precious metals' scarcity denotes their marketable value, and thereby increasing it. The standards, meaning purity of the currency, how much of what stuff makes the currency, thereby determining intrinsic (or inherent) value. Regulation of the banking system, including the regulation of credit markets and its effect on currency devaulation, is at the heart of OM initial comments, and sparked my question of how competing currencies could move markets to actually de-value the currencies overall via an introduction of differing currencies all at once.

    I'll put some values to the equations, and then I should have a more concrete answer. Thank you, William.

  • Soc Indv Sparky||

    I'd like to take a moment to introduce everyone to his Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I. Probably the coolest guy to ever live in San Francisco.

  • ||

    I knew about him, but I didn't know that he had such awesomely named dogs.

  • advancedatheist||

    "The Federal Reserve prints so much money that since it opened its doors in 1914, the dollar has lost more than 90 percent of its value."

    Talk about a meaningless statement. Our money in 2012 can buy goods and services which didn't even exist as ideas in 1914, so what does the "value" of dollars then and now even mean? The richest man in the world in 1914 couldn't have bought for any amount of gold the generic, healthy life-extending statins and blood pressure lowering meds which cost literally pocket change per month in 2012; and back then a lot of successful businessmen died in their 40's and 50's from cardiovascular diseases which we can treat cheaply now (something we can't say about our failed "war on cancer"). You also have to work substantially less to earn the money to buy the sorts of goods available a century ago, as Brad deLong shows in his paper "Slouching Towards Utopia? The Economic History of the Twentieth Century," which you can find online quickly through a google search.

    Oh, and BTW, I've never heard an Austrian economist explain the Price Revolution a few centuries back, when gold lost about 5/6ths of its purchasing power, despite the Austrian propaganda about gold's allegedly spooky ability to "store value":

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_revolution

  • ||

    Obviously those things are all due to inflation. Q.E.D., faggots.

    I've never heard an Austrian economist explain the Price Revolution a few centuries back

    You mean that one time when Spaniards stole all the gold from Peru and brought it to Europe? No, I'm sure no Austrian economist has any idea what happened.

  • R C Dean||

    The fact that you can buy things today that you couldn't buy in the past has absolutely no bearing on the buying power or value of currency.

    It just means you have more stuff you can spend that currency on, whatever its value.

    In 2007, you couldn't buy an IPad. Does that mean that there is just no way we can talk about a decline in purchasing power since 2007?

  • ||

    Obviously, you moron.

  • Randian||

    I've never heard an Austrian economist explain the Price Revolution a few centuries back, when gold lost about 5/6ths of its purchasing power, despite the Austrian propaganda about gold's allegedly spooky ability to "store value":

    Uh, when you discover more of something, the value goes down?

    You don't need an Austrian economist to explain that to you; it's Econ 101 Supply and Demand.

    Of course, the point about not permitting the government to control currency is a political one about how powerful it makes government, NOT that gold is somehow "magic". It's that when something is scarce and not replicable, it ensures government won't just inflate away profligate spending at our expense.

    As they say, hth.

  • Ska||

    Herpes trumps hemorrhoids?

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Too many muddleheaded strawman arguments and red herrings in there.

    Are you denying that gold has stored value better than a dollar since 1914? If so, please explain. If not, then welcome to Austrian Mysticism.

  • sarcasmic||

    In 1914 $20 would be redeemable for an ounce of gold.

    Today $20 will get you one one hundredth of an ounce of gold.

    I can see how that would be meaningless, considering that there's no meaningful difference in value between an ounce of gold and one one hundredth of an ounce of gold.

  • anon||

    Man do I want to find that guy that will exchange gold for gold at a 100:1 ratio.

    You fuckers will never see me again if that happens.

  • ||

    cardiovascular diseases which we can treat cheaply now (something we can't say about our failed "war on cancer")

    CVD =/= Carcinomas, on this planet or on Mars. Totally different disease processes, etiologies, and TX regimens/interventions.

    Of course there is going to be a cost differential in CVD and cancer.

    Oh, and rates of most types of cancer have fallen, successful remission has never been higher and most types of in situe carcinomas are no longer the potential bankrupting death sentence they used to be. Does cancer still suck? Yes. War won? No. Way more manageable? Yes.

    QFT, moron.

  • T||

    Dude, leave him alone. He spent all his time in the advanced atheism classes, learning about non-existence and non-being. He can't be expected to know hard stuff involving math and science.

  • ||

    I've never heard an Austrian economist explain why you have to be such a dick all the time.

    *runs away sobbing*

  • ||

    I think I love you, Groovus.

  • William Bruce||

    I might as well pile on here...

    If you take the price changes of that "revolution" and annualize them, you get numbers that would horrify modern central bankers as being dangerously "below target."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ha, trampoline bear. It must be sweeps week on Fox Biz.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The sledgehammer episode. In very bad taste considering Gallagher's health problems.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Megyn is putting the idea in ABC's head to get into the 24 hour cable news business.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Boom, C-SPAN takes it on the chin from Megyn for being boring as shit.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Megyn in Chains.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No Tucker, more Megyn!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Who could possibly say it would be unreasonable to look into the pasts of a rival news organization's staff? Obviously no self-respecting leftist.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The progessive debate style is to forceable silence its opponent.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Glenn Beck is going to try to convince Stossel that the internet is the wave of the future? Good luck.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Ugh. Luntz.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Someone should have confirmed Frank's hairpiece fitting.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    They can't ALL be the most important election in our lifetime.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Luntz is vying for his own show here

  • Bee Tagger||

    They edited out the part where Luntz concluded Stossel wanted to vote for Herman Cain.

  • Bee Tagger||

    It's almost like Bernie Goldberg's career depends on there being bias in the news.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If liberals want to get their biases validated, why did Air America go tits up? Oh, that's right. Al Franken.

  • Bee Tagger||

    None of the Fox higher-ups must watch Stossel. Luntz and now Goldberg are feelin pretty footloose and fancy-free.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Stossel and all his friend watch MSNBC

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    On the flip side, I wouldn't go bragging about watching MSNBC.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Echo chambers have a very pleasant sound.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Live from one of the dharma stations

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The Tearduct.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Watch out, Stoss. That goatee means alternate universe Beck sneaked in.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Evil Beck wears white coke-bottle glasses with a black goatee

  • Bee Tagger||

    WHAT IS THAT CLOCK COUNTING UP TO?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Time to punch in 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Glenn doesn't even OWN a TV.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Stossel's comedic timing suffers without a prop in his hand. Take this break I've given, please.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The children's show exposes George Soros' grandkids.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Gutfeld has an earpiece. He's listening to the news in it. Huey Lewis and the News.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Time magazine readers and Daily Show watchers have an overlap?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This just in: Greg Gutfeld wants Sandra Fluke to get cancer. Media Matters, GO!

  • Bee Tagger||

    Red Eye tapes early? That's the last time I express sympathy for Nick's sleep schedule.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Stossel destroyed that paper. He just created a journalist job.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I could watch hours of Bill O'Reilly and Barney Frank screaming at each other.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ABC acting like Stossel was the only one in the room with a political view, Fox not so much. Good points.

  • joy||

    I doubt whether it has ever done any good except to the rulers and their favorites. All history contradicts the belief that governments have given us a safer money than we would have had without their claiming an exclusive right to issue it. pet new era

  • MorinJulio||

    my best friend's mother got paid $16389 last week. she is working on the internet and bought a $471600 home. All she did was get fortunate and put to work the guide uncovered on this site (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/yUZD8

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