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Poll: New Currency Petition

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So, I've started a petition on the White House's "We the People" website. Basically, I'm asking the government to look into alternative types of currency as a means of solving some of society's problems. I'm not saying how it should be done (tried that once... it wasn't very popular); I'm just saying that the current way of doing things has too many flaws, and we can come up with something better.

URL removed - mod edit

Not that its not a noteworthy endeavor but how do you change currency? Whatever you swtich too will have to be radically changed, and can mean that money becomes inflated/our trade value absolute shit. and I dont really see how changing it will fix anyhitng. Something i was taught by an econ professor was scarcity exists and all things are. There's nothing in this word tangible that isnt finite in some way.

Say you swtich to make it... I dont know, shells. all tahts going to change is we'll use Shells instead of dollars and pretty much have hte same problem.

Total signatures on this petition
1

So this is basically advertising spam, right?

Also I think OP you misunderstand what currency is. It's been created and standardised for a reason. It's in essence a bartering chip. It needs to be finite because it represents value. If one form of currency is infinite, it also has no value. It's a social norm in a way; your currency is accepted and is worth something. That's why people use it. If you start messing around with either one of those things, bad things happen.

From your petition: "Many of society's problems stem from money; particularly the fact that money is a finite resource. Preventable diseases are untreated due to lack of funding. Scientific development is likewise limited. Numerous crimes are committed using untraceable cash transactions. Poverty largely exists because the more money one obtains, the less there is for everybody else; thus, the richer some people get, the poorer others become. It is not our intent to redistribute wealth or otherwise punish those who have legitimately earned a good living, but rather to protect impoverished and hard-working people from an undignified quality of living brought about by circumstances beyond their control."

I am all for revamping the monetary system (releasing money to the free market) but you are way off base here. I don't think you understand the fundamental difference between "money" and "wealth." Your statement, "the more money one obtains, the less there is for everybody else" is simply false. Wealth is the ability to consume desired goods. Money is a representation of wealth. Making more money inflates, or decreases the amount of wealth represented by a single unit of currency. Creating more money does not actually increase the amount of wealth in an economy (except by a very marginal amount if* the money is backed by a useful commodity). The best way to protect impoverished people is to create a money supply which stores and contains wealth rather than endlessly depleting and eroding wealth.

I get what you're trying to do, but you should perhaps do a bit of economics.

dwharmon:
I'm just saying that the current way of doing things has too many flaws, and we can come up with something better.

Unfortunately no, I don't think we can.

The world resolves around cash.

"Most of the world's problems stem from money."

Yes. And those problems will prevent any form of other currency or any form of the abolishing of money from ever happening.

OP, you're going to have to tell us what alternative you propose at some point, otherwise this discussion will just be vague grumbling about the current system not being very good.

If you can't say what the changes should be you are wasting your time. There's nothing here to discuss other than you being unhappy with something that you can't even express.

dwharmon:
So, I've started a petition on the White House's "We the People" website. Basically, I'm asking the government to look into alternative types of currency as a means of solving some of society's problems. I'm not saying how it should be done (tried that once... it wasn't very popular); I'm just saying that the current way of doing things has too many flaws, and we can come up with something better.

If you're interested and/or want to sign, the link is below.

Petition

Without any idea of what to replace it with, this is a hollow gesture at best. And I'm not expecting you to come up with every little detail of economic policy alone, as that's a sort of unfair thing to do, but you're basically saying "We should find something better than what we got now", which, again doesn't mean anything.

Like, duh? Isn't that true of everything?

Danny Ocean:
I get what you're trying to do, but you should perhaps do a bit of economics.

dwharmon:
I'm just saying that the current way of doing things has too many flaws, and we can come up with something better.

Unfortunately no, I don't think we can.

Even if we acknowledge that the situation can be better, saying "Shit is bad" doesn't really merit a lot of discussion.

Klepto:
The best way to protect impoverished people is to create a money supply which stores and contains wealth rather than endlessly depleting and eroding wealth.

That is nonsense, having a manageable amount of inflation each year is positive, as it provides an incentive for people (especially those sitting on a ton of money) to not tuck their money away under their fancy mattresses but rather put it to some productive use, whether investing it themselves or lending it out so someone else can do something productive with said money. The poor are only hurt if wages and government assistance aren't adjusted for inflation.

Money is the physical representation of work. You receive money for work or products of work that are considered valuable by other people. The break down in the system is when we don't respect that work side and start feeling entitled to other people's work/money.

micahrp:
Money is the physical representation of work.

Really? Why aren't the sweatshop kids running the world then? And the people who work two jobs to make ends meet yet barely manage to support their families? Why aren't they getting their due then?

Pain Is Inevitable:

Klepto:
The best way to protect impoverished people is to create a money supply which stores and contains wealth rather than endlessly depleting and eroding wealth.

That is nonsense, having a manageable amount of inflation each year is positive, as it provides an incentive for people (especially those sitting on a ton of money) to not tuck their money away under their fancy mattresses but rather put it to some productive use, whether investing it themselves or lending it out so someone else can do something productive with said money. The poor are only hurt if wages and government assistance aren't adjusted for inflation.

You are making the very same error the OP is. Money is not wealth. If rich people bury their money in their backyard, the wealth it represents doesn't disappear. Rather, with the money units effectively removed from circulation, the value of all other money increases. Though even more importantly, the idea that most rich people are going to put their money under a mattress instead of invest it, even in low yield bonds, is ridiculous. Inflation actually discourages investment/savings because it hurts creditors. Of course the group that is hit the hardest by this is poor people since they are most likely to dive into their savings for low level consumption, yet their savings are constantly eroded.

Vegosiux:

micahrp:
Money is the physical representation of work.

Really? Why aren't the sweatshop kids running the world then? And the people who work two jobs to make ends meet yet barely manage to support their families? Why aren't they getting their due then?

Because their work is not very valuable. It's about output, not input.

-Actually, on the second thought, I'm staying out of this one-

Vegosiux:
-Actually, on the second thought, I'm staying out of this one-

Fair enough. As an individual who has never and will never work a day in his life, I was prepared to argue until the day I die. (sarcasm)

Ok, so I'm gonna have to do a little explaining here. The way I see it, things function in a circular process. people earn money by working > people spend money to acquire goods and services > spent money is reused by companies to pay people for working. This system works fine in theory, but because everybody strives to make more money, a lot of it ends up being taken out of the system or held up. This in turn diminishes the ability of people to acquire goods and services, and companies are required to make pricing and staff decisions that further hurt employees and consumers in order to maintain growing profit margins.

The problem here is really human nature, but since we can't fix human nature (at least not in any legal and/or moral way), we have to look at altering the system in such a way that human interference is minimized - hence the use of a limitless, yet valuable form of currency. Personally, I think cash and coinage is just an unnecessary middleman in the process. You could shorten the thing to: you work > you acquire goods and services > companies continue to exist because they provided goods and services, thus you keep working. In effect, your work is your currency. With all the technology at our disposal, we should have no problem utilizing people's employment as a basis for making purchases and vice versa. Best of all, a person's value can be tied to their value as a human being, not as an asset to Corporation X. Obviously, several changes would have to be made to accommodate this system, but this is just a basic concept. I didn't say anything specific in the petition because I'm trying to stay open to other, possibly better ideas.

By the way(and I mean no disrespect to anybody), the study of Economics is man-made theories about a man-made system. God himself(or herself, whatever you believe) didn't declare that human transactions had to be conducted the way they are, and the global economy is not universal, scientific law. Economic theory is a flawed attempt at understanding what many of us would admit is a flawed system. The argument that my idea is inherently meaningless because it doesn't follow economic theory is completely missing the point.

Vegosiux:
-Actually, on the second thought, I'm staying out of this one-

That's for the best. He's now saying putting God into his economic argument and saying that the study of economics doesn't matter to his currency debate.

This has become tremendously sad.

dwharmon:
Ok, so I'm gonna have to do a little explaining here. The way I see it, things function in a circular process. people earn money by working > people spend money to acquire goods and services > spent money is reused by companies to pay people for working. This system works fine in theory, but because everybody strives to make more money, a lot of it ends up being taken out of the system or held up. This in turn diminishes the ability of people to acquire goods and services, and companies are required to make pricing and staff decisions that further hurt employees and consumers in order to maintain growing profit margins.

You are contradicting yourself. If money was taken out of the system, the amount of money would fall --> less money supply but equal demand = deflation.

The only proper way to store large amount of money is through banks. Banks then reinvest the money that is deposited in it making the money flow again.

Personally, I think cash and coinage is just an unnecessary middleman in the process. You could shorten the thing to: you work > you acquire goods and services > companies continue to exist because they provided goods and services, thus you keep working.

Money is basically a medium of trade. Because you can use money everywhere everyone will accept money as payment. If we didn't have money then we would have to trade "my cow of your two goats", but what would happen if didn't want my cow? then I would have to trade my cow to someone else, so that I could trade that for your goats. That is a WASTE of time.

Alright, so you create a brand spanking new currency. You spent a lot of resources and money to rebuild our printing machines, made the economy spend all kind of money and resources rebuilding every device that accepts dollars, lost our rights to the universal currency, most likely crashing the world economy as everybody dumps the now worthless dollars, trying to be the last person to holding the hot money potato for...

Umm...

Why do we need a new currency? Just creating a brand new currency for the US will not change the problems with the current one, only creating new ones. It just seemed like somebody skipped a step and asked the big WHY question your supposed to ask before you DO.

dwharmon:
Ok, so I'm gonna have to do a little explaining here. The way I see it, things function in a circular process. people earn money by working > people spend money to acquire goods and services > spent money is reused by companies to pay people for working. This system works fine in theory, but because everybody strives to make more money, a lot of it ends up being taken out of the system or held up. This in turn diminishes the ability of people to acquire goods and services, and companies are required to make pricing and staff decisions that further hurt employees and consumers in order to maintain growing profit margins.

Thankfully, money being stuffed into mattresses already has a natural way of being replaced, instantly! Deflation. Money stuffed into a safe makes all the money being spent worth more. Just doesn't happen because the new money printed replaces any money lost, which is why we have constant inflation.

The problem here is really human nature, but since we can't fix human nature (at least not in any legal and/or moral way), we have to look at altering the system in such a way that human interference is minimized - hence the use of a limitless, yet valuable form of currency. Personally, I think cash and coinage is just an unnecessary middleman in the process. You could shorten the thing to: you work > you acquire goods and services > companies continue to exist because they provided goods and services, thus you keep working. In effect, your work is your currency. With all the technology at our disposal, we should have no problem utilizing people's employment as a basis for making purchases and vice versa. Best of all, a person's value can be tied to their value as a human being, not as an asset to Corporation X. Obviously, several changes would have to be made to accommodate this system, but this is just a basic concept. I didn't say anything specific in the petition because I'm trying to stay open to other, possibly better ideas.

"Hello Microsoft, I want to get one your newer laptops. Well, I will wash your car for 30 hours... oh, you already have some interns that do that? Well, I could shine your shoes for 70 hours... Oh, got interns on that to... How many toilets will I need to unclog? 234, alright! I will be right over... your headquarters is in Silicon valley and your factories are in Hong Kong? Did I mention I live in Ireland?"

Economy based on "work" is a nearly impossible thing to quantify. Some jobs have more economic worth than others. Shoe shiners do not compare well to aircraft engineers. You would need computerized systems just to store records of hours worked, have to keep track of every single job worth money in the ENTIRE country (say goodbye to your privacy!) You know what is a quicker, easy, and extremely low tech way of showing billions of people's work is worth compared to all the rest?

Money.

By the way(and I mean no disrespect to anybody), the study of Economics is man-made theories about a man-made system. God himself(or herself, whatever you believe) didn't declare that human transactions had to be conducted the way they are, and the global economy is not universal, scientific law. Economic theory is a flawed attempt at understanding what many of us would admit is a flawed system. The argument that my idea is inherently meaningless because it doesn't follow economic theory is completely missing the point.

God is a theological construct that has never had a singe scientific piece of evidence indicate it's existence, yep your decrying economics as "flawed?"

Klepto:
You are making the very same error the OP is. Money is not wealth.

You are right. It is a form of wealth.

If rich people bury their money in their backyard, the wealth it represents doesn't disappear. Rather, with the money units effectively removed from circulation, the value of all other money increases.

We are pretty much in agreement about that.

Though even more importantly, the idea that most rich people are going to put their money under a mattress instead of invest it, even in low yield bonds, is ridiculous.

If there was no inflation, or even deflation, then the idea of putting your money under your mattress wouldn't be so stupid. After all, in such a situation the value of said money would be constant or even increase without any of the risks involved in investing said money, whether it is a bond from a government that could default over debt limit shenanigans or a bank that could go bankrupt.

Inflation actually discourages investment/savings because it hurts creditors.

It hurts creditors and benefits debtors, yes. In the current economic situation, where there is a huge glut of cheap credit thanks to debtors electing to prioritize paying down their debts rather than take on more of it, it makes a lot of sense to increase inflation because their actions are driving down spending in an already depressed economy. Which is really, really bad because one man's spending is another man's income. Basically, what I'm arguing is that the faster we can get private debt down to a level where people will start borrowing and spending again, the faster the depression will loosen its grip.

Of course the group that is hit the hardest by this is poor people since they are most likely to dive into their savings for low level consumption, yet their savings are constantly eroded.

Poor people are also most likely to live from paycheck to paycheck, and have minimal savings left over after their necessary expenditures (including, you guessed it, down payments on debt) have been paid. I'm sorry, but I will have to repeat what I said in my original post here: "The poor are only hurt if wages and government assistance aren't adjusted for inflation."

Klepto:
Inflation actually discourages investment/savings because it hurts creditors. Of course the group that is hit the hardest by this is poor people since they are most likely to dive into their savings for low level consumption, yet their savings are constantly eroded.

It's funny you should say inflation discourages investment/saving, because economists don't agree with you. The Western world has not been aiming for mild (2-5%) inflation rates in the whole postwar period out of a perverse sense of self-harm.

Steady, mild inflation rarely hurts creditors, because creditors can set the interest rate on the loan to counteract inflation. It is a boon to investment, because it erodes the value of money "stuffed in mattresses", so makes it more attractive to put it out there as investment. The obvious way to illustrate this is the contrast with deflation: if you make money simply by having unspent money, you just stuff it in a safe to sit idle, and wait. Similarly, those who want to borrow capital to do economically useful things like start and expand businesses don't like borrowing money when their debt increases in size over time.

And the poor are most certainly not the hardest hit by inflation. You see, the poor (like, the bottom quintile) don't usually have any significant assets whatsoever, including saved money. They lead a hand-to-mouth existance. And in fact, as wealth increases, almost no-one has much of their assets in money. It tends to go into pensions and houses, then various investment schemes, with most people merely holding enough back for emergencies or to blow on the yearly holiday; but it's a tiny proportion of their wealth being subjected to inflationary devaluation.

This is why I didn't provide any specifics in the beginning. I put my ideas out there, and everybody seems more interested in tearing them down and arguing semantics than in actually providing their own ideas and solutions. If you disagree with my idea, that's fine. I never said this was the end all, be all of economic solutions.

If you want to offer your opinion on how to make a stable economy where poverty is not accepted as a normal part of life, I will be glad to look at it. That is my challenge to everybody. If you can accomplish that through modifications to the current system, even better.

What I will not accept is that everything's just fine the way it is because you understand it and can manipulate it to suit your needs. If you are co cold and callous as to not care about the well-being of others, then I'm glad we disagree because I would not wish to be associated with any such person.

dwharmon:
I put my ideas out there, and everybody seems more interested in tearing them down and arguing semantics than in actually providing their own ideas and solutions.

If someone provides a bad idea I am not going to spend hours thinking of a different solution before I shoot down the bad one.

I may not know how to fix an engine, but if someone suggests melting it I'm not gonna bother to provide an alternate solution before saying no.

While I like the idea of some form of digital money that opens up a whole new avenue of paying for things with some type of credit card like device it's not gonna happen any time soon. There is too much risk involved with hackers or identity theft.

Vegosiux:

micahrp:
Money is the physical representation of work.

Really? Why aren't the sweatshop kids running the world then? And the people who work two jobs to make ends meet yet barely manage to support their families? Why aren't they getting their due then?

No one has ever argued apples and oranges more than you just did. Plus, bonus points for standing on the hardships of "sweatshop kids" to make your non-point. Should've played the race card for a perfect liberal trifecta.

Because money is what it is doesn't have anything to do with how much money "sweatshop kids" have.

SimpleThunda':
The world resolves around cash.

"Most of the world's problems stem from money."

Yes. And those problems will prevent any form of other currency or any form of the abolishing of money from ever happening.

This. The only people with the clout to end monetarism are the primary beneficiaries of monetarism, and since everyone in the developed world is raised to be a Good Little Capitalist these days, that's not even seen as a problem by most.

Huh, I actually feel almost honored and damn important if people enter a thread just to take a stab at me without actually making a point. But, as the captcha says, I'm only human.

harmonic:

Vegosiux:

micahrp:
Money is the physical representation of work.

Really? Why aren't the sweatshop kids running the world then? And the people who work two jobs to make ends meet yet barely manage to support their families? Why aren't they getting their due then?

No one has ever argued apples and oranges more than you just did. Plus, bonus points for standing on the hardships of "sweatshop kids" to make your non-point. Should've played the race card for a perfect liberal trifecta.

Because money is what it is doesn't have anything to do with how much money "sweatshop kids" have.

Money is not the physical representation of work and he pointed out a good example of how it is not.

Dijkstra:

harmonic:

Vegosiux:

Really? Why aren't the sweatshop kids running the world then? And the people who work two jobs to make ends meet yet barely manage to support their families? Why aren't they getting their due then?

No one has ever argued apples and oranges more than you just did. Plus, bonus points for standing on the hardships of "sweatshop kids" to make your non-point. Should've played the race card for a perfect liberal trifecta.

Because money is what it is doesn't have anything to do with how much money "sweatshop kids" have.

Money is not the physical representation of work and he pointed out a good example of how it is not.

A) No, he did not. He complained about poor people being poor. That has nothing to do with what currency is. We're not saying that money is a physical representation of how much work you do, but simply, work. Power, force, value. This is easy easy stuff.
B) How would you define currency, then?

Vegosiux:
Huh, I actually feel almost honored and damn important if people enter a thread just to take a stab at me without actually making a point. But, as the captcha says, I'm only human.

Happy to oblige. I like to leave no ignorance unpunished.

harmonic:

Dijkstra:

harmonic:

No one has ever argued apples and oranges more than you just did. Plus, bonus points for standing on the hardships of "sweatshop kids" to make your non-point. Should've played the race card for a perfect liberal trifecta.

Because money is what it is doesn't have anything to do with how much money "sweatshop kids" have.

Money is not the physical representation of work and he pointed out a good example of how it is not.

A) No, he did not. He complained about poor people being poor. That has nothing to do with what currency is. We're not saying that money is a physical representation of how much work you do, but simply, work. Power, force, value. This is easy easy stuff.
B) How would you define currency, then?

He didn't complain about it, he pointed out that it is not a representation because if it were they would have more. And it is not a physical representation of work if whether you have it or not has nothing to do with whether you worked. It's easy easy stuff when you're not trying to stick your ideology in. It represents some sort of value. Value is not the same as work in the least bit. You can work and get no money, you can get money with no work. If you get money though, the only thing you have is something that is valuable in the eyes of society.

Dijkstra:

He didn't complain about it, he pointed out that it is not a representation because if it were they would have more. And it is not a physical representation of work if whether you have it or not has nothing to do with whether you worked. It's easy easy stuff when you're not trying to stick your ideology in. It represents some sort of value. Value is not the same as work in the least bit. You can work and get no money, you can get money with no work. If you get money though, the only thing you have is something that is valuable in the eyes of society.

Sigh.

The word "work" in the currency sense does not mean "labor." The paper doesn't walk around and physically do stuff. Different people have different value to their labor. Other people will pay them the perceived value of said labor. A surgeon's labor is very valuable because of how rare the skill is.

My opinion on what currency is has nothing to do with ideology. You only say that because you're trying to fool less intelligent people into agreeing with you.

Basically, you're saying that everyone should be paid the exact same amount of currency based on how much time they do manual labor, no matter what labor, no matter for what purpose. Okay then.

harmonic:

Dijkstra:

He didn't complain about it, he pointed out that it is not a representation because if it were they would have more. And it is not a physical representation of work if whether you have it or not has nothing to do with whether you worked. It's easy easy stuff when you're not trying to stick your ideology in. It represents some sort of value. Value is not the same as work in the least bit. You can work and get no money, you can get money with no work. If you get money though, the only thing you have is something that is valuable in the eyes of society.

Sigh.

The word "work" in the currency sense does not mean "labor." The paper doesn't walk around and physically do stuff. Different people have different value to their labor. Other people will pay them the perceived value of said labor. A surgeon's labor is very valuable because of how rare the skill is.

Value. Yes. Work. No. See, you managed to learn from what I wrote and started using the right word.

Basically, you're saying that everyone should be paid the exact same amount of currency based on how much time they do manual labor, no matter what labor, no matter for what purpose. Okay then.

You're pretty damn biased if you read me arguing over what currency is and then make up some shit about me advocating what people should be paid when I said nothing about it. So... what's with that? Are you that biased or just not very good at reading?

Dijkstra:

You're pretty damn biased if you read me arguing over what currency is and then make up some shit about me advocating what people should be paid when I said nothing about it. So... what's with that? Are you that biased or just not very good at reading?

Accusing someone of lacking reading comprehension is the last refuge of someone who has no argument, and says nothing of substance.

It's called inferring. The only practical application of your definition of currency is hours of labor = a static amount of currency.

Currency's ability to do work and a human being doing labor are not the same thing. If I invest a million dollars in a company, a lot of work just got done without any labor.

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