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Terry McIntyre
I hope to see the end of faith-based fiat currency. We need a genuine convertible currency which can be freely adopted or rejected by consumers on its merits.

If we open up the maze of monetary laws, if we stop trying to manipulate the money supply this way and that, people will return to genuine gold, silver, and other coins as a base for their exchanges. Paper bills and electronic transfers will rest on that base. Perhaps we can take a hint from British history: at one time the Pound Sterling was literally one pound of silver sterling. That standard lasted for hundreds of years. A new standard should be based upon a defined weight - such as grams of .999 gold.

We need to stop trying to control the price of money. One of the problems with bimetallism was the attempt to establish a fixed rate of exchange between gold and silver. Due to Gresham's Law, when one of metal becomes more abundant relative to the other than the fixed exchange ratio would indicate, the other disappears from circulation. Historically, governments have used such fixed ratios to disrupt the trade of other nations and to benefit their own.

Businesses and governments should be free to pick an accounting unit - it might be grams of gold, for instance - and price their wares accordingly. If a customer offers silver - as they might for small purchases - the current spot rate can be used to adjust prices, just as Mexican shops often accept either pesos or dollars today.

With electronic transfers so common today, the adjustments would be easy to incorporate. In fact, given electronic transfers, it is easy to make payments in micrograms of gold -- too small for coinage, but not too small for electronic book-keeping.

In any case, convertibility to a tangible standard is the key to a sound financial system. We should be free at any time to convert our bills and bank balances to a physical commodity, such as gold or silver. That should be an inalienable right, honored by banks everywhere.

Such a standard, which curbs inflation, will curb the voracious appetites of governments, but this is not an undesirable outcome. Genuine improvements in productivity and living standards spring from people who are left free to make voluntary, mutually beneficial exchanges within a stable monetary and legal regime. The past century has seen a great oversupply of government, and a deficit of economic freedom. May our children and grandchildren enjoy the benefits of an honest, stable specie-based economy.

Terry McIntyre
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