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dom1971
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>August 8, 1893 : The Repeal of the Silver Act  - History of Silver - 
Vox I kind of agree with you on paper. Gold mining is a very ugly business, it uses nasty chemicals and trashes landscapes. I'm not a fan of it and I hate to think how much worse the situation would get if gold were officially money again. I'm not a die-hard gold or silver fan. What I do like about these metals is their broad and undying acceptance as a most liquid asset.

I acknowledge and accept your case that there are practical and real problems with a gold standard and using gold as money. Nobody is saying gold and silver are perfect money. What I am saying is that they are *better* money than what we have now.

You're saying that commodity-based currencies are doomed to failure due to the very real possibility of supply/demand dynamics. I say that paper money fails due to human miss-management and greed. Somebody once said "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". I would put it to you that the absolute power that comes with the ability to create money has *always* corrupted. It is simply impossible for human beings to be trusted in this regard. I believe this to be a greater certainty than the supply/demand issues that a commodity-based currency might endure from time to time.

It is also a matter of scale. While gold and silver may fluctuate in value to a degree, paper money that has lost all confidence quickly loses *all* its value. At no time in history was any man left holding a gold coin that was considered worthless. I have trillions of old Zimbabwe dollars in a drawer as a reminder that paper can easily become worthless in a very short time. The US dollar has lost 95% of its purchasing power in just a few generations - and this is our flagship paper currency which the world (for the most part) still has confidence in.

It is highly unlikely that humanity will ever discover or implement a "perfect money" so there is no point attacking any system on the basis that it cannot be perfect. We are human and we live in a human world. Money is a human concept and will likely be subject to the uncertainties and changeability that go with being human. As always our job is to do the best we can with the tools we have.

I didn't give the article any rating nor did I down-arrow you Vox. I like to learn things and the best way to do that is to listen without prejudice.



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Beginning of the headline :President Cleveland Message on the Repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act (August 8, 1893) The existence of an alarming and extraordinary business situation, involving the welfare and prosperity of all our people, has constrained me to call together in extra session the people's representatives in Congress, to the end that through a wise and patriotic exercise of the legislative duty, with which they solely are charged, present evils may be mitigated and dangers threatening the future may be averted... Read More
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