That's been addressed a million times, maybe more. Competing currencies and back to the standard of weights and measures system as per the Constitution.
I'll gladly let relative newcomers read page 7 of the following thread and decide for themselves whether there's any truth to the right-wing mantra that the only "alternative" to enslaving mankind within a prison of debt is to crucify
mankind upon a cross of gold (or a cross of gold and silver): http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=98465.240
"[Andrew] Jackson and Van Buren removed the monetary power from the private bankers but did not re-establish it in the hands of the nation. Instead, Van Buren organized the Independent Treasury System, establishing 15 sub branches of the Treasury to handle government moneys in 1840. From December 1836 the government moved toward making and receiving all payments in coinage, or truly convertible bank notes....Once the state bank notes were no longer accepted by the government, their circulation was cut back dramatically.
"This was the closest our nation has ever come to implementing a real gold/silver standard. Operating under the commodity theory of money, Van Buren, who truly cared for the Republic, helped bring on the worst depression the Nation had ever seen, starting in 1837. It was reportedly even worse than that caused by the 2nd Bank of the U.S. in 1819. Bad as the state bank notes were, they had still been functioning as money!"Those who proclaim that no gold and silver money system has ever failed should consider that whether you are a laborer, farmer, or industrialist, the money system's success or failure is not measured by the value of a piece of metal. When your job, your farm, or factory has disappeared in a monetarily created depression, the system has failed!"
[Emphasis added]A REFUTATION OF MENGER'S THEORY OF THE ORIGIN OF MONEY Here below is a two page summary plus communication with the Austrian School
A challenge to the Austrian School of Economics and the Ludwig Von Mises Institute. Of much more general importance than it sounds, obeisance is universally paid to Menger's 19th century re-incarnation of John Law's theory of money, by present day Austrian economists. Menger's origin theory is also at the base (often explicitly) of much so-called libertarian thinking and writing today. For example Robert Nozick uses it to launch his book Anarchy, State , And Utopia, (p.18) one of the Libertarian's "bibles".
This paper most likely deals a "death blow" to this core thesis of the Austrian School, as formulated by Carl Menger, the school's founder. In effect the Austrian's are left without a viable theory of money. It would be difficult to imagine that one could be provided by Von Mises confused and self contradictory book THE THEORY OF MONEY AND CREDIT. The understandable reluctance of "Austrian gatekeepers" to address this issue are documented below.
The paper challenges Menger on three grounds:
Though it is generally assumed that Menger's theory is at least in part derived from historical evidence, the paper demonstrates that its derivation is entirely theoretical, by showing that all the historically based evidence cited by Menger, is 180 degrees counter to his theory. The paper points out the inappropriateness of attempting to divine an historical event or process with only deductive logic.
The paper points out that even within the framework of Menger's scheme, there are two fatal flaws. First the circularity of his reasoning in determining his causes of liquidity, which arises from his use of the "development of the market and of speculation in a commodity" as a cause of liquidity, when in fact it is a definition of liquidity and even Menger uses it as such. The paper explains the crucial difference. This is not quite an example of what has been called "Weiser's Circle". Second, the paper points out that within Menger's scheme, it is not liquidity, but volatility (or lack of it) which is much more important.
The paper shows that some of Menger's closely held general views of the stability of gold and silver and their universal use as money, are simply false. In addition the existence of the millennia long dichotomy in the gold-silver ratio between east and west, which Menger seems to be unaware of, appears sufficient to doom his theory.The paper presents some of the factual evidence gathered by William Ridgeway, in the ORIGIN OF METALLIC WEIGHTS AND STANDARDS; by A.H. Quiggin in A SURVEY OF PRIMITIVE MONEY; by Paul Einzig in PRIMITIVE MONEY; and by Bernard Laum in HEILEGES GELD; all as an indication that an institutional origin of money, whether religious or social, is much more likely to have occurred than Menger's assumed market origin.
]Byron Dale on why the gold standard is not the panacea that Austrian Schoolers blindly insist it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E0UPBtmTb0
(part 1 of 3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9FWECWWN5o
(part 2 of 3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM7D3mnUSI0
(part 3 of 3)Webster Tarpley on the aristocratic origins and leanings of the Austrian School: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuHCAXtjZ6Q
(part 1 of 4) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlJT-5w21IY
(part 2 of 4) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxe-LlAO_cQ
(part 3 of 4) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl5jOUvIcuI
(part 4 of 4)
As to the question of so-called "competing" currencies, allow me to repeat an explanation I've given elsewhere
concerning this issue:
Thanks to the educational efforts of monetary reformers such as Ellen Brown
, Richard C. Cook
, Byron Dale
, Bill Still
and Stephen Zarlenga
, millions of people are now aware of just how disastrous the gold standard in all its variants has consistently proven to be in the past, and of how finance oligarchs have historically promoted this system while demonizing debt-free Greenbacks.
As an apparent consequence of this, it has in recent years become fashionable among many public relations-savvy Austrian Schoolers to avoid even mentioning
the discredited gold standard, and to instead peddle the notion that if we simply turned money creation entirely over to the (euphemism
alert!) "free market," then we would finally have a “sound” money system, and, as a result, all of our monetarily-caused economic problems would magically "correct" themselves.
Yet there's a fatal flaw with this idea that its advocates either can't or won't see: once the government declares commodity-backed currencies A, B and C good for the payment of taxes and commodity-backed currencies X, Y and Z not
good for such payment (or not as
good), from that moment on the value that the former three have relative to the latter is determined more by government "fiat" than by the forces of free market "competition" -- at which point they cease to be "competing currencies" in any meaningful sense of the term.
Of course, despite the obligatory lip service they pay to the Constitution, many if not most Austrian Schoolers are in fact anarcho-capitalists
, and so the likely response from the more intellectually honest among them would be that there shouldn't even be
This "no government" fantasy is particularly delusional, because they simultaneously advocate the very sort of land tenure system
that invariably and inevitably gives rise
to oppressive "governments" in the first place:
In process of time, the robber, or slaveholding, class -- who had seized all the lands, and held all the means of creating wealth -- began to discover that the easiest mode of managing their slaves, and making them profitable, was not
for each slaveholder to hold his specified number of slaves, as he had done before, and as he would hold so many cattle, but to give them so much liberty as would throw upon themselves (the slaves) the responsibility of their own subsistence, and yet compel them to sell their labor to the land-holding class -- their former owners -- for just what the latter might choose to give them.
Of course, these liberated slaves, as some have erroneously called them, having no lands, or other property, and no means of obtaining an independent subsistence, had no alternative -- to save themselves from starvation -- but to sell their labor to the landholders, in exchange only for the coarsest necessaries of life; not always for so much even as that.
These liberated slaves, as they were called, were now scarcely less slaves than they were before. Their means of subsistence were perhaps even more precarious than when each had his own owner, who had an interest to preserve his life. They were liable, at the caprice or interest of the landholders, to be thrown out of home, employment, and the opportunity of even earning a subsistence by their labor. They were, therefore, in large numbers, driven to the necessity of begging, stealing, or starving; and became, of course, dangerous to the property and quiet of their late masters.
The consequence was, that these late owners found it necessary, for their own safety and the safety of their property, to organize themselves more perfectly as a government and make laws for keeping these dangerous people in subjection
; that is, laws fixing the prices at which they should be compelled to labor, and also prescribing fearful punishments, even death itself, for such thefts and tresspasses as they were driven to commit, as their only means of saving themselves from starvation.
These laws have continued in force for hundreds, and, in some countries, for thousands of years; and are in force today, in greater or less severity, in nearly all the countries on the globe.
The purpose and effect of these laws have been to maintain, in the hands of the robber, or slave holding class, a monopoly of all lands, and, as far as possible, of all other means of creating wealth; and thus to keep the great body of laborers in such a state of poverty and dependence, as would compel them to sell their labor to their tyrants for the lowest prices at which life could be sustained.
The result of all this is, that the little wealth there is in the world is all in the hands of a few -- that is, in the hands of the law-making, slave-holding class; who are now as much slaveholders in spirit as they ever were, but who accomplish their purposes by means of the laws they make
for keeping the laborers in subjection and dependence, instead of each one's owning his individual slaves as so many chattels.
The key point here is that a group of private individuals presuming to "own" all the land comes first, and the "government" (or, more accurately, the State
) into which they organize out of common interest comes second. (Whether they actually call it such is irrelevant.) That's the inevitable
result of allowing the concept of "private property" to be applied to the Earth on which all
must live yet which none produced
in the same unlimited, unconditional
sense that it's applied to the products of human labor. http://geolib.com/sullivan.dan/commonrights.html
the inevitable result of turning the power of money creation (as the Austrian School would have us do) entirely over to private interests:
“Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money."
-- attributed to Sir Josiah Stamp, Director of the Bank of England (appointed 1928)
The typical Austrian School reaction to this is to shamelessly engage in hysterical fearmongering
about the presumed evils of government-issued currency. Yet one could just as easily posit all sorts of ridiculous fearmongering scenarios concerning government-controlled police and government-controlled armies as a way of scaring well-meaning yet gullible readers into embracing the stateless utopian fantasy world of the Austrian School, wherein -- according to those who promote this quasi-religious fairy tale -- a mystical, God-like entity euphemistically called the "free market" magically keeps privately
controlled police and privately
controlled armies from terrorizing, oppressing and enslaving the masses.
Fortunately, most readers aren't quite so gullible. They know that keeping the police and military in public rather than private hands is, if nothing else, the far lesser of two evils; and that the reason certain public institutions have become so corrupt and oppressive is that they've been, in effect, "privatized" to one extent or another (case in point: the "Federal" Reserve
), and that the solution, therefore, is not to mindlessly throw the baby out with the bathwater, but to reclaim from
these private interests our rightful control over our own government.