View Poll Results: Should US Currency be pinned to a standard like weights and measures?

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  • Yes. Then money would always have exactly the same value.

    5 33.33%
  • No. Because then the government would not be able to print money it does not have.

    6 40.00%
  • Don't know. This is way to complicated for me.

    1 6.67%
  • Hmmm. What is a "standard"?

    3 20.00%
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Thread: Should the US Currency be pinned to a Standard like Weights and Measures are?

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    Should the US Currency be pinned to a Standard like Weights and Measures are?

    I am reading the 1939 edition of a book called An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. In the editor's introduction the editor summarizes one of Smith's points. Here is the quote,
    Lowering and raising the coins are unjust and pernicious operations. Copious mines abate the value of the precious metals.
    The natural sciences really blossomed when standards were created for units of measure. We don't allow the meaning of a kilogram to change from day to day. Should we have the same strict requirement for our money?
    Last edited by Misterveritis; 06-05-11 at 12:05 PM.

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    Re: Should the US Currency be pinned to a Standard like Weights and Measures are?

    I'm just curious, is this post a call for us to return to the gold standard?
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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    Re: Should the US Currency be pinned to a Standard like Weights and Measures are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Misterveritis View Post
    Should we have the same strict requirement for our money?
    .
    Abolish firstly the Federal Reserve!
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    Re: Should the US Currency be pinned to a Standard like Weights and Measures are?

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    I'm just curious, is this post a call for us to return to the gold standard?
    Not necessarily. Let's say that I agree to work for you at a rate of one dollar per hour. Today, I could buy a one pound loaf of bread with that dollar. I am agreeing to work for you for the value of that one pound loaf of bread. Now let's say the federal government prints another dollar thus reducing the value of my current dollar to one-half of a dollar. Is that any less of a theft from me than saying the new definition of a pound is 8 ounces instead of 16 ounces? Either way the actions of the federal government have diminished the value of my exchange.

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    Re: Should the US Currency be pinned to a Standard like Weights and Measures are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Misterveritis View Post
    Not necessarily. Let's say that I agree to work for you at a rate of one dollar per hour. Today, I could buy a one pound loaf of bread with that dollar. I am agreeing to work for you for the value of that one pound loaf of bread. Now let's say the federal government prints another dollar thus reducing the value of my current dollar to one-half of a dollar. Is that any less of a theft from me than saying the new definition of a pound is 8 ounces instead of 16 ounces? Either way the actions of the federal government have diminished the value of my exchange.
    A few initial thoughts that aren't particularly organized.

    1) I don't believe it to be theft in any real sense of the word, as the government is not taking anything.

    2) But yes, it is in principle diminishing the value of that exchange and the victim would be justified in feeling robbed.

    3) However, in real terms, at least in the United States, printing money is not a significant factor in inflation. Admittedly, the situation would be different in say, Zimbabwe or North Korea.

    4) There are other, much powerful market forces at work that could diminish the value of your exchange just as badly, if not worse. Would that be a justification for returning to some sort of standard? I'm not sure.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: Should the US Currency be pinned to a Standard like Weights and Measures are?

    Zero inflation is usually not desirable. A small but positive rate of inflation stimulates economic growth while still providing macroeconomic stability.
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    Re: Should the US Currency be pinned to a Standard like Weights and Measures are?

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    A few initial thoughts that aren't particularly organized.

    1) I don't believe it to be theft in any real sense of the word, as the government is not taking anything.

    2) But yes, it is in principle diminishing the value of that exchange and the victim would be justified in feeling robbed.
    Would you also agree then that the kilogram's value should float the currency does? If I am paid with a pound of bread and the government allows weights to float so that my dollar (which held constant) would still buy a pound of bread but that the actual weight of the pound of bread had dropped from 16 ounces to 12 ounces how would that be any different? And yet we do keep weights and other measures constant. But the value of our currency can be simply changed by printing more money (or any of the other variants that do the same thing)

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    Re: Should the US Currency be pinned to a Standard like Weights and Measures are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Misterveritis View Post
    Would you also agree then that the kilogram's value should float the currency does? If I am paid with a pound of bread and the government allows weights to float so that my dollar (which held constant) would still buy a pound of bread but that the actual weight of the pound of bread had dropped from 16 ounces to 12 ounces how would that be any different? And yet we do keep weights and other measures constant. But the value of our currency can be simply changed by printing more money (or any of the other variants that do the same thing)
    Currency doesn't work the same way other measurements do (and in fact, it has more purposes than just being a unit of measurement, which I think is the problem here). To your analogy, there isn't a market out there for kilogram weights, there isn't a supply and demand for kilograms, there's no "kilogram inflation." The simple answer is that it's an apples and oranges comparison. Money doesn't work the way other measurements do. And imagine what would would happen if there was only a set amount of dollars in the economy, forever (even in the face of real economic growth). That wouldn't make any sense either.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: Should the US Currency be pinned to a Standard like Weights and Measures are?

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    Currency doesn't work the same way other measurements do (and in fact, it has more purposes than just being a unit of measurement, which I think is the problem here). To your analogy, there isn't a market out there for kilogram weights, there isn't a supply and demand for kilograms, there's no "kilogram inflation." The simple answer is that it's an apples and oranges comparison. Money doesn't work the way other measurements do. And imagine what would would happen if there was only a set amount of dollars in the economy, forever (even in the face of real economic growth). That wouldn't make any sense either.
    Good points. I don't think Adam Smith was arguing for a constant amount of money so much as a constant amount of value. I agree with him on this. The government can take from me in many ways. One is to intentionally devalue the money. The one term president Obama is doing this as a matter of policy right now. Those who borrowed money from us are not going to get back what they loaned. It is another form of theft.

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    Re: Should the US Currency be pinned to a Standard like Weights and Measures are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Misterveritis View Post
    Good points. I don't think Adam Smith was arguing for a constant amount of money so much as a constant amount of value. I agree with him on this. The government can take from me in many ways. One is to intentionally devalue the money. The one term president Obama is doing this as a matter of policy right now. Those who borrowed money from us are not going to get back what they loaned. It is another form of theft.
    Forgive me, but I don't understand this sentence.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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