Comment 26569

By geoff's two cents (anonymous) | Posted September 14, 2008 at 17:44:32

A. Smith, you really are infuriating. You ignored my definition of government and provided none of your own, which makes it difficult to converse with you. I won't bother with this section of your retort (which includes a later comment as well).

There is nothing intrinsic about value in money, except that which people are willing to invest in it. There is nothing that money is "supposed" to be. It has been most useful as a medium of exchange, and has little value to an isolated woodsman who wants to keep it in his treehouse.

When the value of money was determined by its being gold or silver, this had enormous limitations on the expansion potential of economies. People reproduce, and there simply is not enough easily accessible gold or silver in the world to accommodate their entry into the world economic system in any efficient manner. Assuming there was, there is nothing to prevent gold-rich countries from hoarding it, while otherwise intelligent, productive parts of the world languish in abject poverty.

Responsible governments do not "start the printing presses" on a mere whim to be wealthy. Read up on the hyperinflation crisis in early 1920s Germany. Then read up on how modern governments manage inflation (post-WWII), and why inflation happens. I simply don't have time to relate all of this to you.

I gave you a perfectly adequate reason why rational people looking out for their own benefit in the marketplace would take shortcuts in building homes. Read this again.

The market does not necessarily filter out idiots. Smart, wealthy people often have babies that, having never had to work the way their parents did, grow up to be idiots. These people use their earnings to isolate themselves from the travails of everyday life. They have babies, which do the same. Read H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" for a fictional rendering of this process carried to its logical conclusion.

Fittingly, given your name, your ideas concerning the inherently benign and rational character of the market are centuries old - they pre-date the industrial and urban revolution. The people intelligent enough to formulate them in the first place had never seen an automobile, a skyscraper, or electricity. They do not take into account the enormous problems faced by the existence from the nineteenth century onwards of large numbers of people living and working in a very limited amount of space. Nor does your simplistic model take into account what transpired in the pre-Keynesian days of the Great Depression - In case you haven't heard, this was a rather significant event in world economic history, and deserves your consideration.

If you're not going to debate things in a rational manner, and with no consideration for what is commonly known history of the last one hundred and twenty-five years, I don't have time to teach you, and I'm not going to give you the time of day on this forum. In which case, I suppose, you can say whatever you like. As much as I disapprove of your behavior on this forum, I refuse to encourage it by responding to your illogical, self-righteous pamphleteering. You have my word on that.

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