As Master of the Mint, Sir Isaac Newton played a critical role in the establishment of the classical gold standard that would endure for almost 200 years. Newton was a seminal scientist, but he is not the only towering savant to participate in the creation of sound money.
Nicolaus Copernicus first established that the Earth goes around the Sun, overthrowing the ancient and then prevailing Ptolemaic view that the Sun goes around the Earth. It was one of the great breakthroughs in science. Copernicus, among other things a physician, was a polymath. He made a significant impact in monetary theory with a treatise on the reform of Prussian coinage.
It is at least somewhat ironic that those who seek to discredit the gold standard often take rhetorical refuge in the words of Creationist William Jennings Bryan and others of an unscientific turn of mind.
The cosmology of Copernicus and Newton’s Laws of physics are works of the most rigorous minds in history. The insights of these thinkers on monetary theory are equally sound—as demonstrated in the laboratory of history.
As Herman Hupfeld wrote in 1931 — and as made famous by Sam in Casablanca — the fundamental things don’t change as time goes by.
As stated by Leszek Zygner of Nicolaus Copernicus University:
Copernicus wrote three versions of his treatise on the reform of Prussian coinage in the years 1517-26
This document was produced with Bishop Fabianus Lusianus and members of the cathedral chapter of Warmia in mind and was to support their arguments in debates on monetary reform held during assemblies of the Estates of Royal Prussia (Stany Prus Królewskich). The treatise consisted of two parts. In the first Copernicus discusses general issues related to the theory of money and formulates inter alia a law of bad money driving out good. In the second he focused on the current monetary situation in Royal Prussia and in particular on the decline in the value of Prussian coinage, enumerating its types and explaining the reasons for the decrease in value of individual coins. …
Copernicus was the first to explain the reason for the decrease in the value of money caused by gold and silver coins being made into an alloy with copper in the minting process. He also presented quite a detailed analysis of the debasement process in relation to Prussian coinage, referring to how the good coinage issued by the Teutonic State gradually decreased in value in the aftermath of the Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg). …
An analysis of Copernicus general views on monetary issues show that he was a follower of the metallist theory of money; he saw the source of the value of a coin in its metal content. For him a coin was a marked (stamped) piece of gold or silver which is used as payment for commodities being bought or sold according to the legal tender laws passed by the issuer, namely the state or the ruler. According to Copernicus all kinds of money have their value (valor) and their estimated value (estimatio); while the value of a given coin depends on the amount and quality of the metal bullion of which it is made, its estimatio is its nominal value set by the overall authority in the country.
Will America start prospering again — as it has not prospered for over a decade? Likely yes. But not without a fight. Now that Jim DeMint has raided Steve Moore from the Wall Street Journal that card might be Heritage Foundation vs. the White House. Could be big.
John Holdren, now Obama’s White House science advisor, 40 years ago termed America “overdeveloped.” Holdren co-authored a 1993 book, Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions, with Anne and Paul Ehrlich reportedly saying that, “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States….” (Emphasis supplied.)
As a soldier of France, no one knew better than Professor Jacques Rueff, the famous French central banker, that World War I had brought to an end the preeminence of the classical European states system and its monetary regime, the classical gold standard. World War I had decimated the flower of European youth; it had destroyed the European continent’s industrial primacy. No less ominously, the historic monetary standard of commercial civilization had collapsed into the ruins occasioned by the Great War. The international gold standard -- the gyroscope of the Industrial Revolution, the common currency of the world trading system, the guarantor of more than one-hundred years of a stable monetary system, the balance wheel of unprecedented economic growth -- all this was brushed aside by the belligerents.
Publisher's Note: Originally released in June/July of 1991, this detailed report discusses Jacques Rueff's economic theories and applies them to modern economic events.
By John D. Mueller
Reply to Polyconomics - Part 1
Having demonstrated that the World Dollar Base “works,” and having explained in detail why it works, we turn finally to answering Wanniski and Goldman.
Wanniski delegates most of the Polyconomics’ attack on LBMC to David Goldman. Strange to say, it is necessary to answer Wanniski and Goldman separately. This is because their arguments against LBMC’s monetary approach are not only different, but mutually exclusive.
"Commercial banking grew out of the desire (inspired by the profit motive) to conserve cash (gold) and by means of credit to provide financial elasticity and growth in the commercial process of exchange. That is, all producers (sellers) who desired true money (gold), instead of the short-term secured credit bills – promissory notes of their customers (the buyers) – could, through the mediation of goldsmiths-turned-bankers and bill-merchants-turned-bankers, obtain real money by discounting their bills of exchange for gold with the emerging commercial bankers of early modern Europe. The combined institutions of stable money and secured credit enabled commercial civilization to make of the entire world the only closed economy."
For years, Castro’s Cuba has exported communism. The exports continue but the economic crows have come home to roost...even while Cuba’s economy floats only because of the generosity of Venezuelan oil exports.
Ironically, as Cuba has fallen apart, admirers of its economic mismanagement have kept the country from going bust. Keith...
Argentina is floundering. Brazil is struggling. Colombia is growing. Colombia is now the third largest economy in Latin America, according to Capital Economics. The Wall Street Journal’s Darcy Crowe and Taos Turner wrote recently: “After Argentina’s economy dwarfed Colombia’s for decades, economists say the trend reversed in January as the...