By all accounts, President Barack Obama will refocus in his 2011 State of the Union address on “jobs and competitiveness.” One must hope he succeeds. But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s previews strongly suggest that both men are unaware that these two problems are essentially unrelated, and that even with continued economic recovery, Obama won’t propose the two measures that would cut unemployment sharply and start to reverse the decline of U.S. manufacturing: reversing recent extensions of unemployment benefits from 26 to 99 weeks, and negotiating the end of the dollar’s role as chief official reserve currency. Geithner regards the first as “stimulus” and the second as unthinkable.
As the chart below shows, the decline in the U.S. overall net investment position by 30% of GDP almost exactly matched the decline in U.S. net monetary reserves (U.S. foreign official assets minus liabilities). Yet by the latest figures, U.S. net private assets were in surplus by about 7% of GDP. This proves that the U.S. loss of competitiveness is entirely due to financing Federal deficits through foreign monetary authorities. The next successful U.S. president will implement both reforms.
Today’s economic conditions reflect a fiat monetary system held together by many tricks and luck over the past 40 years. The world has been awash in paper money since removal of the last vestige of the gold standard by Richard Nixon when he buried the Bretton Woods agreement — the gold exchange standard — on August 15, 1971.
Since then we’ve been on a worldwide paper dollar standard. Quite possibly we are seeing the beginning of the end of that system. If so, tough times are ahead for the United States and the world economy.
In terms of public policy, though, we favor honest money. It works out better for more people. And there is a moral dimension to the question of honest money. This was a matter that was understood — and keenly felt — by the Founders of America, who almost to a man (Benjamin Franklin, a printer of paper notes, was a holdout), cringed with humiliation at the thought of fiat paper money. They’d tried it in the revolution, and it had been the one embarrassment of the struggle. They eventually gave us a Constitution that they hoped would bar us from ever making the same mistake.
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
Rueff Restates the Quantity Theory of Money
... Rueff argued that the real problem with the monetarists is not that they focus too much, but rather too little on the supply of money; namely, they assign too little importance to the concrete mechanisms by which money is actually created. Most monetarists adopt the convention that the government can control the nominal supply of money, while demanders of money control its value. Rueff pointed out that under a properly functioning monetary system, even the nominal supply of money is determined by people’s demand for it.
"The economist defines money as a medium of exchange. It is the token we supply in order to effect payments for the goods we demand. Money is especially a standard like a yardstick – a unit of measure by which we value and price economic goods. Money units express prices which are the vital information necessary for efficient exchange. Money is surely a store of value."
Europe is still stagnant. The New York Times’ Liz Alderman wrote: “Even as signs of an economic recovery emerge in the euro zone, the human cost of the five-year downturn continues to rise. For tens of millions of Europeans, the comeback from nearly five years of economic privation and Depression-scale...
Indian culture long has held a high appreciation for gold.
The Vedic faith records four historical ages, the highest being the Satya Yuga. Per Wikipedia, "when humanity is governed by gods, and every manifestation or work is close to the purest ideal and humanity will allow intrinsic goodness to rule supreme.