After the Monopolists Currencies
[Feb 18, 2012]
When I was a kid, we were told that wireless phones were dangerous. Bridges could open, that was one scary scenario. So we were stuck with the wire phones allowed by the monopolist telephone company, phones we could get only through the licensed vendors.
When I was a kid, we were told that TV-channels with advertisements were dangerous. Kids would be targeted to buy bad toys and choke, that was one scary scenario. So we were stuck with the two monopolist “public” TV-channels, TV-channels that helped us watch terribly boring but politically correct stuff.
When I was a kid, there were lots of monopolies like these. Pharmacies, radio, domestic airlines, train services, hospitals, childcare are just a few.
Now that I’m kind of grown-up, many of these monopolies are gone, replaced by various government regulations, mostly some semi-monopolist or half-corporate schemes. Interestingly, very few of the scary things we were told about did actually materialize. Bridges didn’t open because of wireless phones, few kids choked because of the TV-ads, and so on.
Instead, once the monopolies fell, they were replaced with things we couldn’t even have imagined. An ordinary cell phone today is better than the best stationary computers only 20 years ago. TV has to some extent been replaced by other kinds of media and the format itself has also developed a lot.
There was simply no way we could have foreseen the development in any of these areas of fallen monopolies. The only thing we could know a priori was that it couldn’t get any worse than sticking with a monopoly. Moreover, forcing people to buy from a certain provider is morally wrong, end of story. The problem wasn’t mainly about lack of competition, but the threat of force used to maintain the monopolies.
There is however a couple of major monopolies left that few seem to target. My focus today is on the monopolist fiat currencies.
Now that I’m kind of grown-up we are told that personal freedom to use the currency you like is dangerous. Inflation would be terrible, as would deflation, and there are many other scary scenarios, and a monopoly is supposedly needed. So we are stuck with our monopolist currencies, allowed only to get a hand on them via licensed providers called banks.
But the fiat currencies will fall, no doubt about it. They always have, and always will. So what will replace them? What would things look like 20 years after such events? We really can’t know. We only can say we would be better off without the monopolies in this field as well. They are morally wrong, forcing people to use currencies so bad nobody would use them without the threat of force. After all, why maintain a monopoly if everybody would use the currency anyway?
But there is something else we know. We know that people throughout history have been in similar situations. What to use as currency if chosen freely? Basically, just about anything has served as means of exchange, from beads, shells and tally sticks to cigarettes, silver and copper. But there’s one thing better suited for playing the role of unit-of-account, the unit-of-account people always have preferred when they have been allowed to choose freely.
Yes, you already know what it is. Yes, you already know how to prepare for what comes after the monopolist currencies fall. You just have to be aware and act in the best way you can. Not much else you can do, I suppose.
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