Re: Future currency

From: R. W. (
Date: Thu Jan 11 2007 - 12:09:34 MST

Right now there is nothing backing our currency but faith and hope. This means our entire economic system is based upon the promises which we make to each other. Credit worthiness is an abstract measure based upon some real world behavioral patterns which estimates how well a person will possibly keep a promise. Take a look at any dollar and it will say this note is legal tender for all debts public and private. A debt is simply a promise you make to someone. That "legal tender" note means that the US -- i.e. American Citizens agree that this paper and derivatives of this paper are backed by our confidence in each other to fulfill promises we make with each other and foreigners.
  Personally I feel that if all that backs money is promises and the democratically elected government is there to enforce fulfillment of our obligations to each other, that's all that is needed to perpetuate an economy. Ignorance of what money really is -- a meme -- perpetuates an unoptimized economy of boom and bust cycles with erroneous and intentional latency created between the supply and demand of capital to give the illusion of scarcity.
  "Credit" is a deliberate misnomer. You don't receive credit. You are given debt. Debt in full excess of whatever it is you may wish to possess. You are given the opportunity to be indebted to whoever creates this ephemeral "money" which is literally created out of thin air with nothing but ignorance backing it. They sell you an illusion so you can get "stuff" and then once you pay they have more credited illusions to give some other sucker. You then have the "stuff" which cost you your life and sweat multiple times in excess of what it's worth and the buck is passed on to the next idiot generating a financial "bubble". Eventually someone has to pay the bill and the bubble bursts eroding people's confidence in the system -- (someone or someone's makes a killing off of the debacle) -- and the vast majority of people either take their faith out of the system through pulling their money out of banks and/or funds or suffer in abject ignorance. Eventually, through
 compound interests and boom and bust cycles recreating illusionary poverty; all of the fungible promises will seem to end up in the hands of the few people able to perpetuate the con. But since it's a meme based upon consensus, the consensus can change and a new more efficient game can be played. Monetary policy is the last ditched effort to control the tidal waves of abuse which go on daily. I don't believe it will be able to bridge the abuse gap forever.
  I don't have a problem with money. I disagree with the undemocratic/feudal creation of it. If we as citizens are the one's obligated to fulfill promises to each other and indebt our selves to something, I believe that something should be our entire society and our nation not some
  hidden entities who create this illusion out of thin air. It's a con if we are required to devote our lives to someone or something which we have no say over. It's call debt peonage but a better term would be debt slavery.
  Everyone has already bought into the idea of fungible promises, we need to take a step further by using market intelligence generated by the general population with some designated weight of votes given to specialists and experts of any particular field. Using society as a vast classification system determining the energy value of a given product, process or service will give a clearer picture of reality and a greater value to both the capital market and democracy. I don't believe it is instead of the long con of boom and bust cycles where the vast majority of society gets raped. I believe with the high literacy rate and education level of the majority of people in this country that we can solve any problem available if we can integrate our intelligences. We don't have to become borg, but we have the capacity through the internet and technology to generate clearer pictures of reality and the ability to make better decisions if we simply put will into action.
  I believe this architechure is already available. I see it everyday with google and e-bay. Toyota has applied this concept to designing their vehicles and have become one of the best companies on the planet. The concept of aggregating human knowledge for a computer to process and then providing relavent information based upon the opinions of the constituents is already available.
  Since we are composed of energy, bound by energy and make all of real transactions based upon the utilitization of energy, it would seem that the concept of energy would be the ultimate fungible meme.

  It should be the visible national democracy which determines the supply of money and not the hidden oligarchy. Money will become useless without confidence in it.
  How much capital is in the United States? I don't think it's actual value is a metric of M1,M2,M3, etc. It's a measure of our capacity to solve problems, fulfill needs, fulfill wishes, and fulfill our obligations to each other. The capital market should represent the true intrinsic human value associated with our aggregated individual capacities -- all of which are represented by energy.
  IMHO, we only trade two real commodities -- time and energy. Time is perishable and should represent a cost in lost opportunity but only relative to the amount of energy which could be realistically applied during the time alloted. Every other commodity, service, product or process should be initially assigned an energy cost based upon consensus of the entire populace willing to participate with weighted votes per commodity, service, product or process given to professionals within their field of expertise.
  In order to accomplish any of this we would need to create an entirely new market for the demand side of the economy.
Chris Hibbert <> wrote:
> Energy is certainly fungible.

Coal, gas, wind, geothermal, and hydro are not interchangeable.
Different consumers need particular forms of energy. Some electric
consumers could convert to natural gas, but not at a moment's notice. A
ship at sea or a car on the road can't make use of electricity on the
grid. The driver could trade in her car to get more flexibility, but
that doesn't make gas and electricity fungible.

> As for it being storable, that's what credit is for. You don't store
> energy. You store a record of the transaction, and a debt.

That's a useful idea, but it's not relevant in deciding whether energy
would make a good backing for money. In order for a commodity to be a
good foundation, one of the standard desiderata is that it be storeable.
You can store credits for milk as well, but that doesn't make milk
a good store of value.

Maybe you want to argue that the modern reliability of credit and
ubiquitous information about credit-worthiness make it less important
that commodities used to back currencies should be storeable.

> Information seems problematic. Energy is better, in that it /is/
> fungible; one joule is one joule is one joule.

In the long term, possibly, but not in the short term in which consumers
of power need to buy the kind of energy that their current equipment


Currently reading: Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope; Robert
Pape, Dying to Win: the Strategic Logic of Suicice Terrorism
Cass Sunstein, Infotopia; Sherri Tepper, Six Moon Dance;
Chris Hibbert
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