Quentyn Quinn Space Ranger — 9 Comments

  1. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t pass Econ 101. Hard currency is actually more volatile and harder to control than fiat currency, the inflation rates, boom/bust cycles, etc. are always harder to control when there are hoarders , motherload mines discovered, and so on. A fiat currency tends to be easier to manage interest rates, loans, to minimize the effects of cycles, and other conditions which were our lot throughout history.

    It’s not that gold has a steady, constantly intrinsic value, though the truthiness of the situation suggests that it should, gold as the value which we give it, and that can change over time.

    I’m not saying that a paper currency is intrinsically better, just more easily controllable. If we were still on the gold standard in the US, then this country would find that using gold in electronics was prohibitively expensive, computers would either cost more or work less well, and that gold wedding ring your wife is wearing would be a grandiose expense.

    I know that you are a libertarian, and I don’t hold that against you, but this is one point where many libertarians show their ignorance, since it really does require considerable research to learn the nuts and bolts of how economics really does work.

    I’m going back to lurking and just reading now. Thank you.

    • THAT’s THE PROBLEM. It’s CONTROLLABLE. Which means that someone comes in and controls it. powergrubbing and money-laundering fools can futz around with it. And they DO– because that’s what fiat currency is created for: so that thieves can try to get something for nothing!

      There have been over 700 fiat currencies in the past 5,000 years. ALL of them have collapsed– and nearly all of them in a monstrous hyperinflation spiral like that of the Weimar republic. And I can drag out charts for you showing the stability of the economy that existed in THIS country, and how inflation took off like a rocket after the introduction of fiat currency to the system. GIVING FIAT CURRENCY TO AN ECONOMY IS LIKE GIVING AN UNSECURED CREDIT CARD TO A TEENAGER. In fact it works on the same principle… buy now, give them an IOU, pay it later. And everyone lives the high life– till all their financial actions revolve around desperate kicking the can down the road as long as they possibly can, until it finally comes to a dead end.

    • While we’ve had some ups and downs over the generations, in 1942 the US dollar was roughly worth the same as in 1800. since 1942, the dollar has lost over 92% of its value. Yeah, fiat currency has done so well for us.

  2. What do you think of the concept of a monetary system devised around something tangible, useful, and can be easily acquired with out destructive mining.
    Quartz, Imagine its not gold, its not paper money, but something that can be as common as sand yet have value.
    There would be no want.
    Though honestly I hate what currency has become a means to literally enslave folks. Think about it? It has surpassed all the basic needs of shelter, food, water, clothing, and safety. With out money, you get none of these, essentially meaning that unless you commit a crime (steal to survive) or live on your own intelligence and skills, in the forests, you die.
    This system is not only broken but defies all basic human rights, accept to the privileged…
    I don’t know WHAT but something needs to happen.
    write me back if you want, i would love to have conversations.

    • What would a replicator-based society use as money? Well, basically money is whatever commodity in the economy has the most stable available supply (you can’t just whip up more, and it doesn’t break down or corrode),you can easily divide it, and is most commonly recognized as valuable by all participants. Portable, durable, divisible, fungible, limited in quantity.

      As stated earlier, there ARE certain things that cannot be replicated, or at least not easily. Antimatter, radioactive elements, dark matter, strange matter…. and by implication other weirder things that only exist in fiction (as seen in the trade expo on the Sapphire Star.) But none of those things have the properties that gold currently has…
      Ironically, I suspect gold would STILL be a major financial commodity. Gold’s atomic number of 79 makes it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally in the universe, so it would be fairly difficult and energy-costly to synthesize, even with an atomic-level replicator. (Note, the Kalufraxians did not synthesize it, they extracted it from their planet’s sea water.) and it is thought to have been produced in supernova nucleosynthesis and from the collision of neutron stars, so it would be fairly common throughout the universe and on most inhabited planets (and thus familiar to even the most exotic alien race.)

      It would be less stable in the galactic market, what with the ability to synthesize it— but it would still be hella more stable than paper bills of any sort. And I’m only guessing from what little i know of physics, but I suspect the energy costs of creating it would scale up rapidly, so while it could be produced in small amounts it probably becomes more expensive to synthesize than it would be worth. And it would still be portable, divisible, durable, and fungible (an atom of gold is an atom of gold anywhere), with the added benefit of not being radioactive or volatile. 😛

  3. Some ass on my TVTropes page is mocking this part of the story, and actually insisting that Keynesian economics and fiat currency have been “proven over the years” and “accepted economic theory,” etc….

    Proven, yeah. Proven to be the destruction of empires, all the way back to ancient Greece!

    And accepted means less than nothing. The german intellectuals thought fiat currency was the greatest– till the Deutchmark collapsed like an imploding neutron star. Commonly accepted means NOTHING.

    Some days I feel like someone trying to teach a dog how to do math….

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