Debatable Money

It is 2117 AD, June 14. I am excited about the debate. The topic is about the quaint idea of anonymous money and if it should be brought back into widespread use.

The proponents argue that with scarce, precious metal coin money, there is a huge demand for it, that spurs enterprise. They dismiss the current private money token system as uninspiring and decadent. They cite the slowdown in engineering and innovation. They also argue that the scarcity of money is offset by the velocity of transactions.

Of course the opponents have generations of experience and examples to shoot down those arguments. In our private money token system, only productive people and businesses have the power to create the medium of exchange with which to trade for their output. In other words, there is always a proportional balance between the marketplace of goods and services, and the abstract tokens used to purchase them. As more laborers and producers enter the marketplace, so do the monies needed to buy them. Likewise, if the marketplace contracts, so does the supply of money tokens (i.e., private promissory notes, coupons, database entries, etc.) In a coin money system, the volume of money exists independent of the whole set of goods and services.  This greatly impairs the ability of new laborers and enterprises to trade. Worse, the scarcity of money tokens tampers with equitable trade, forcing some to lose for no other reason than that the money is not available to facilitate trade.

There is a rumor that the proponents will raise the ugly word : usury, as another “benefit.” Few, in polite society, would dare express that in public, let alone argue for its acceptance. Anyone who can do exponential math knows that usury is unsustainable in a finite money token system. It requires an infinite supply of money to function over any long term. The past economic “booms” and “busts” were symptoms of that pernicious practice. The proponents argue that if the interest was denominated in private money, it would be fine. Of course, that isn’t really usury, but it is still suspect in the minds of most people. No sane person would now embrace the notion that it was acceptable to charge a fee, in money, for the use of money.

Without usury, there are no bankers engaged in selling “credit” for profit, and no pressure to acquire money tokens at all cost. Businesses no longer operated as if in a war for market share. Cooperation was superior to confrontation and competition. There was no pressure to find creditors or investors to back new ventures and enterprises. Frankly, it has fueled great prosperity – the production, trade and enjoyment of surplus usable goods and services.

Historians have noted, that with the eradication of anonymous money, the criminal and predatory elements no longer could operate. How can you sell stolen property when you lack the private note that establishes your ownership? Or how can you mug someone for their pocket money, when those unissued notes and product coupons can’t be used to buy illicit substances or fund criminal activities? There is no need to “launder money” if there is no money to launder.

And without “money madness” to spur people to “make money” instead of be prodigious producers, there are no “get rich quick” scams, schemes, or predatory practices. Everyone knows that money or wealth, by itself, is worthless, if there is nothing to buy or trade with it.

The simple fact that if everyone was issued a billion billion money credits, more than they could ever spend, civilization would collapse. Who would do the work, produce, transport and provide the goods and services ? Everyone would be “set for life” – and promptly die in the chaos that follows.

People are not that stupid anymore. They know that the real treasure is found in the creative, productive, innovative and prosperity generating people – the foundation of happiness – and the prerequisite of any charitable giving.

It should be an entertaining debate, in any event.

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