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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5581/preface-to-what-has-government-done-to-our-money/

Preface to What Has Government Done to Our Money?

September 8, 2006 by

What Has Government Done to Our Money? is an outstanding example of Rothbard’s creative mind at work. In fact, it is probably the most brilliant introduction to monetary theory ever written, presenting both the foundation of monetary theory and exploring the role of the state in the degeneration of monetary systems. It is, like all of Rothbard’s works, a timeless and powerful statement. It leaves the reader with a completely new way to think about the relationship between money and state. FULL ARTICLE

[This article is also available for podcast or download, read by Jeff Riggenbach.]


Hurray for Rothbard & Friends September 8, 2006 at 11:29 am

A good introduction to an excellent book by a great man. Right now the world is not ready to implement Rothbard’s wisdom, but it is fortunate that we have the ideas ready and waiting for the day they may be desired. The thought preceeds the action, so the work of the friends of Austrian economics is laying a foundation of freedom that someday humanity may choose to build on. Hopefully!

Mike Sproul September 8, 2006 at 1:39 pm

Let me repeat an old comment on a similar piece of misguided Austrian monetary theory:

“Why have a gold standard, or any standard, at all? On libertarian principles, there should be no restrictions on the ability of anyone to issue a paper IOU promising delivery of an ounce of silver, a bushel of wheat, a square foot of land, or whatever. Furthermore, an IOU promising an ounce of silver could be convertible now or 100 years from now, and could be backed with 100% silver or a mixture of silver and other assets. As long as the issuers and receivers of these IOU’s understand and agree it is just voluntary trade.”

Mark Brabson September 8, 2006 at 4:47 pm

First of all, I am going to steer clear of banking policy on this thread, since we have beaten it to death on the other thread. :)

Under the system I propose, government will be totally divorced from the monetary system. Gold standard just means that gold is most likely to be the standard medium of change. That is all. If you want to use moose pellets as a medium of exchange, you may do so. Or tobacco, wheat, silver, platinum, uranium, anything at all.

Of course, gold and silver are likely to become the dominant medium of exchange, for all the classical reasons that Rothbard points out. The market will choose its preferred medium, not the government.

Instead of using the term “gold standard” I have been trying to use the term “commodity money” as generic term for market medium of exchange. It avoids objections such as Mike’s.

Alex Peak September 10, 2006 at 6:27 pm

Hopefully, the full audio-book will be made available. :)

David St. Hubbins September 11, 2006 at 4:10 pm

There is no need for the government to be involved in the monetary system at all. Banks are perfectly able to issue IOU’s, the individuals are free to accept or not to accept as payment for goods or services.

In fact, such was the case in this country. Private Banks used to issue bank notes. Depending on the quality of the bank, bank notes did not neccessarily trade at par.

This of course created informational inefficiencies, which with todays technology would likely be much less than they were 150 years ago.

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