James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A World Without Banks?

This is my latest at the Partial Observer. Excerpt:
Why shouldn't Al give his extra money to Bob?

I'm not saying that Bob has a right to Al's money, or deserves it, or that governments should take the money from Al to give to Bob.

But I am asking. why should Al address a theoretical future need for himself and ingore Bob's real, present need?

Al's future need is theoretical for at least four reasons. First, Al could die later today, which makes the future irrelevant. Second, perhaps Al will make a good income in the future regardless and doesn't need to save money today. Third, money is only a means of exchange: what Al would really need in the future is what he needs today: food, clothing, and shelter. If, due to calamities of varying kinds, food and resources are lacking in the future, then the money one saves now won't mean much then. No sense having money if there's nothing to buy. Last, there is no reason to assume the value of today's money won't decline drastically in the future, wiping out the purchasing power of one's savings. Wars, regulations, over-spending, and other crimes of the government can quickly destabilize an economy and currency.