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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Why I think Virginia's Look at Minting It's Own Money Is a Good Idea

Here's the story.

Basically, Virginia is getting fed up with the Fed and wants a gold-based money system. So they are looking into it. They haven't done anything yet, but they are looking into it.

I honestly don't know much about this sort of thing. Having dollars backed by something real, like gold, sure does sound like a good idea. Because as it is now, a "dollar" is just an abstraction. Today, if you have $100, the number of those dollars will remain the same but over time those dollars are likely to be worth less and less and less.

That is why an ounce of gold costs more and more dollars. It's not that the "value" of gold is increasing - I am willing to bet than an ounce of gold today buys pretty much what an ounce of gold bought years ago - but that the value of the abstraction called a "dollar" is decreasing.

So, a gold standard sounds like a good idea.

But there is one sentence in that story that put me squarely behind Virginia's plan.

“He’s descending into serious la la land,” House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mark Sickles told FoxNews.com
Sickles said this of Robert Marshall, a member of Virginia's state legislature. When a Democrat resorts to ridicule such as this as his strongest argument, you have to believe that the thing being ridiculed is a good idea. "La la land." Waste of money. Money that could be spent on education and the unemployed. And Virginia's (current) bond rating is great. BUT - what is it about the idea ITSELF that makes it a bad idea? The person who proposed it is in "la la land."

Bernanke also thinks it's a bad idea. That view has a little more credibility. Then again the proposal would basically make his very lucrative and powerful job obsolete.

So, Virginia's plan is sounding better and better.

And what does this have to do with bioethics? Oh, not much. But I do notice a similar tactic in bioethical decisions as that used by Mr. Sickles. 

Ridicule. A thing is unethical if some loudmouth can ridicule you for it.

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