Re: a member’s post 49365 of 6/8/23
|I have always thought the importance of the government-minted gold “standard” was just as with the standardization of the meter/gram/litre (or yard/stone/pint). The minted coins were of a reliable and standardized purity. Without this, everyone would need to test the purity every time they paid for something. Iron ore is by nature of variable purity and is bought as such. Smartphones either work or they don’t. But 18K v 22K v 24K makes a big difference.
People could obviously still trade with whatever they wanted.
The principle of government acting pre-emptively to prevent fraud, where there is no “probable cause,” is behind the regulatory state. Compare:
– since some people might accept fraudulent coins, the government has to regulate coinage
– since some people crossing the border will perform criminal acts, the government has to regulate immigration
– since some people use guns to initiate force, the government has to regulate guns
– since some people would be swindled by quacks selling snake oil, the government has to license doctors and run a Food and Drug Administration
– since some people would put up shaky buildings that would fall down on the neighbors, the government has to enforce a building code
– since some people will publish falsehoods and libels, the government has to regulate speech
All of these are preventive law. They are evil and must be completely abolished. The role of the state is to retaliate against crimes that are occurring, have occurred, or are objectively being threatened (by specific individuals who are acting wrongly).
Incidentally, there is no problem of fraud regarding gold coins. Anyone can verify the gold content of a coin by several methods, including that used by Archimedes (density-measure).
In the early U.S., private banknotes were often counterfeited, and services existed to list the discount rate to apply to given brands of bank, dependent upon that bank’s solvency and the prevalence of counterfeiting.
The same applies to weights and measures. There is zero justification for government to maintain standards. All government-maintained standards are inferior to private ones. The ounce? The liter? The standard can be specified in the contract (“by the standards set by J.P. Morgan” or the like), and one’s remedy is the courts.
There’s no difference in objectivity between “ounce” and “tomato.” Does the government have to set aside a standard tomato and a standard shoe, book, screwdriver, apartment, credit default swap, so that the parties know what they are contracting in?
Government is the police, the military, and the courts. The police and military have no role in defining anything, and the courts merely interpret whether there was or wasn’t fraud; they don’t maintain any national bureau of standards. That bureau should be abolished.