We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"Since the discouraging fiasco in the Garden of Eden, all the world has been a place conspicuous in its scarcity of resources, contributing heavily to an abundance of various sorrows and sins. People have had to adjust and adapt to limitations of what is available to satisfy unlimited desires. Some individuals and societies have been much more successful than others in thus making do.
The study of economics deals with this yoke of scarcity and the modes of behavior intended to minimize the pains and maximize the gains of getting along—behavior which is restricted and channeled, sometimes helpfully and efficiently but often hurtfully and wastefully, by the social ground rules and institutions we adopt and have had imposed upon us.
To survive (much less to prosper a bit) in this vale of tears has required enormous, unrelenting effort. The vast variety of economic activity—bidding and offering in the market, producing and consuming currently, and saving and investing for the future—typically entails coordinated decision making and labor. But even seemingly simple operations of production and distribution can require contributions by many people, most of whom never meet or directly communicate with each other and are located in scattered corners of the world.
Consider this book. Thousands of people—in addition to the authors—contributed to placing this book in your hands. Some made paper; some made ink and glue; some edited the manuscript; some printed, warehoused, promoted, and distributed the product. No single person completely planned and supervised all that, and no one was a specialist in performing each of the myriad tasks. Yet, you have the book."
From the opening paragraphs – of Armen Alchian’s and William Allen’s Universal Economics (2018; Jerry Jordan, ed.)
The documentary argues that a return to the gold standard is what's needed to have reliable money. Today, most economists disagree. But "In Money We Trust?" will give you a new appreciation for how important it is that we get this right.
Standards are important things.
When you don't have them, you can easily debase what you're using (whether it's money or ethics).
The main arguments 'against' a gold standard are "how much would you peg to an ounce of gold" and "can the amount pegged be changed?"
The first answer is "it depends" (requires some work to determine) and the second should be "No" but never is (which essentially means it's still fiat currency, but a little harder to debase).
The main argument FOR a fiat currency is that growth of the economy makes a gold-based currency very limited as the economy starts to hit 'escape velocity' (as many economies did long ago when we entered the industrial era).
However, the Austrian School is less concerned with what currency is pegged to or at what amount and more concerned with "Is there competition between currency options?" In other words, ANYTHING can be money, as long as those utilizing the currency agree on the terms and standards of the money itself.
That is why stock is, frequently, 'money' in business transactions between corporations. Stock is by no means currency in the traditional sense. However, it can be A currency, if both sides utilizing it agree that it is.
Once you've reached that point, the underlying money supply has expanded dramatically - and has fulfilled the role that people think a fiat currency is needed for. Only without debasing the standard or engaging in corrupt practices to benefit a few wealthy cronies.