Oct 312007
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Pull a dollar bill out of your wallet and take a close look at it. What is it worth? $1? Why? After all, it’s simply a piece of paper (cloth for the finicky out there). You only believe it’s worth $1 because the government insists that it is worth $1 and you have faith in the government. More importantly, the people and businesses where you hope to spend that $1 have faith in the government. So, what do anarchists do about money? Excellent question.

According to Greg Goebel’s A Short History Of Money, the first paper money was introduced by Kublai Khan in 13th Century China. It only lasted about 150 years. The fact is, mankind has survived (and performed commerce) for the vast majority of its history without government money at all. Returning to Goebel’s article we learn,

Pacific islanders used cowrie shells; Aztecs used cacao beans, the main ingredient of chocolate, though it seems a bit unlikely that this was the origin of the modern term of “bean-counter” for an accountant; livestock was common among herding cultures; slaves were sometimes used, too, but they were much harder to control than cattle and so not as popular; and many cultures used salt, including the Romans for a time, leading to the modern term “salary”. Incidentally, after World War II cigarettes were used as a medium of exchange in many countries then in very poor condition, and it is said that in Italy “penny candy” was commonly used as “small change” even into the 1970s.

Most likely modern man would return to using silver and gold as the primary medium of exchange. In order to avoid the need to carry large sums of coins, private companies (read: banks) would likely issue paper money for day to day transactions. The value of these paper notes would vary based on the amount of faith the interested parties had in the issuing organization.

Personally, I’ve started collecting actual silver coins and bars from eBay. I decided to go primarily with silver U.S. coins for two reasons: 1) I can’t afford gold, and 2) the percentage and weight of silver in U.S. coins is fairly well established and widely recognized. Of course, I then read a post at FSK’s Guide To Reality called Protect Your Gold and Silver Coins, and now I’m a bit more concerned. FSK addresses the very genuine concern of precious metal coins becoming worn (and thus devalued) through repeated exchanges. Fortunately, he also proposes some simple and practical solutions for these very problems. I suggest you read his post, it’s both short and to the point (unlike most of my posts 😉 ).

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  8 Responses to “Doing Away With Fiat Currency”

  1. I’ve got a nice blog with a handful of readers, only 100. I think I’ve got good content; do you think I could turn my blog into a serious source of income? I notice you write about this on your blog; do you have any serious advice for me?

  2. I love your Guide To Reality! Definitely worthwhile content for anyone interested in liberty and freedom.

    As far as monetization goes I’m still struggling through this as the site makes clear. The reason I post so much in the “earning” categories is that I’m constantly looking for ways to actually generate more than a candy bar’s worth of revenue.

    Check my September Revenue Report and upcoming October revenue report to see exactly how (and how much) I’m earning online and from whom.

    The standard blog revenue system is still Google Adsense. In October I earned a whopping $7.13 from them. 🙄 Part of the reason my revenue is so low there is that the blog isn’t focused, but I don’t really mind.

    The only thing I’ve found that consistently generates anything close to real income is the sponsored posts. That’s why you see so many of them. With the PR update I’m now on track to generate more than $1000 per month from those alone. More on that in an upcoming post as well.

  3. I forgot to check back here.

    Well, $400 in revenue in a month is better than nothing, but probably not minimum wage based on the effort you spent. I do pretty well in my regular slave job, so I doubt I can become a “pro” anytime soon. I’d probably have to get over 10,000 readers/week before I could seriously start considering that.

  4. You might want to start doing “Reader Mail” posts like I do. I forgot to check back and look for replies to my comment.

  5. Considering that $400 came in the first month I was trying to monetize this blog I’m pretty happy with it. My November earnings (as opposed to actual revenue) will easily break $1000 and if revenue keeps increasing at its current rate I should reach my goal of $2500/month ($30,000/year tax-free) some time next summer.

    And I’m doing it with far fewer than 10,000 unique readers each week.

  6. I’ve considered it, but with so many disparate topics and so few commenters/emailers I don’t think it’s a waise move at this point. I do, however, offer a couple of differnet ways to subscirbe to my comments so you’ll get an email when a new comment has been added.

    The little blue button on the bottom of the reply box will lead you to cocomment.com which allows you track replies to your comments on any blog that uses CoComment. Though it’s possible your script blockers aren’t allowing it to be seen.

    Additionally, you can check the little box labeled “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” directly below this reply box and above the Save button.

  7. […] Doing Away With Fiat Currency […]

  8. Yes, I did go thru’ the book ‘A short history of Money’ to know some basics about the currency and it’s history. Collection of Silver Coins is good in both the ways. I prefer buying Silver to Gold in these days of recession.

  9. Dollars were once pegged to gold, which means that for each dollar in circulation, there was an equivalent value of gold sitting in a vault somewhere. That being said, a dollar is only worth a dollar if the government can actually pay you if something goes wrong

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