Government Monopoly Money vs Personal Choice in Currency
The comments above & below is an edited and abridged synopsis of an article by Richard M. Ebeling
For more than 200 years, almost all of the free market advocates have assumed that money and banking were different from other types of goods and markets. From Adam Smith to Milton Friedman, the presumption has been that competitive markets and free consumer choice are better than government control and planning—except in the realm of money and financial intermediation.
This belief has been taken to the extreme over the last 100 years, during which governments have claimed virtually absolute and unlimited authority over national monetary systems through the institution of paper money.
At least before the First World War the general consensus among economists, many political leaders, and the vast majority of the citizenry was that governments could not be completely trusted with management of the monetary system. Abuse of the printing press would always be too tempting for demagogues, special interest groups, and shortsighted politicians looking for easy ways to fund their way to power, privilege and political advantage.
Ebeling discusses the gold standard and the monetary rules of the game; political paternalism and monetary central planning; big government, big spending and the monetary printing press; political demagogy, fiscal burdens and the dangers of inflation; the bankruptcy of the welfare state and redistributive dependency; hyperinflations and opting out of government monopoly money; and the road to choice in currency.