Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fiat money, gold and free market

There is a lot of noise lately about return to Gold Standard. There is even a presidential candidate, Huckabee, who has is as a part of his program. Proponents are saying that Gold Standard is better for free market than fiat money (i.e. all currencies today). That's totally wrong!
Gold Standard was a creation of governments, not a free market initiative. It was created in the second half of 19th century. Before that, most currencies were either based on silver or were bimetallic (sliver + gold) and were also set up by governments. If you want real free market money, just let anybody to create their own money. It actually was the case in US in the beginning of 19th century when a lot of banks issued bearer's notes. It's partially the case now, because there is no ban on creating your own money. Example: game Second Life, which has it's own currency convertible into US dollars. The only problem with private money is that it's not universal. Government created money is universal, mandated to be accepted as a legal tender. There is no ban in US on accepting something else as a tender, many shops near Canadian border accept loonies.
In short, if you don't like government money, create your own. Advertize it, promote it, make it accepted. Base it on gold, or silver, or rare shells and try to make people to use it. That's a free market approach.

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