Friday, September 13, 2013

#50.2 Money Series on Riegel by Dennis Riness – Part 2

Source (no longer available) - November 14, 2012   UPDATE SEE BELOW

The Question of the Quantity of Monetary Units

Riegel entitles Chapter VII of Private Enterprise Money “Each Issuer’s Limit” referring to how many monetary units each person participating in the Valun Exchange shall be allowed to issue. His answer is basically “three month’s income.” This design parameter creates a circularity, or positive feedback loop, and will result in a spiralling, inflationary bias in the system. As production proceeds, profits are made and, by this logic, the money supply should be allowed to grow. An ever greater money supply results in ever greater prices and as long as everyone is just allowed to issue three month’s income as the money supply expands, the system performs correctly, right? Wrong.

[This “inflationary bias” is either temporary or negligible even if the allowances are for far more money to be “allowed to issue” than three month's normal income per A member. Remember, much that present economics teaches is based on the present structures and has no applicability to any future structures as they develop. People save money when they assume that the monetary system will maintain its integrity and fidelity and therefore their saved money does not contribute to prices in the open market, so the inflation argument is moot at best. So what if there is a market for their extra money in the finance businesses that shall invariably arise within a new monetary system? Most people will hold onto their own money rather than automatically allowing it to be risked as is presently the case in every bank. Austrian economics cannot be separated at all from the present banking model and therefore is suspect throughout its analysis. Why waste your time? We will never stand for just another money in just another aspect of the same banking system. Never!]

Riegel calls for a system wherein each individual can create money to the extent he can produce a marketable commodity or service. This is a mistake on Riegel’s part and is rooted in his failure to distinguish between creating money— which is all he ever addresses— and making money by a productive pursuit. Making money (as opposed to creating money) and paying interest are deeply connected; and making money— making a profit— is not explained by Riegel and hence he cannot explain the paying of interest.

[Ah ha! I have you, Dennis! Interest is a matter of a loan of money and does not occur in a Riegel system as it exists in the present system. Usury is the demand to be returned of that which was never created. If the ultimate value in a trade is not represented finally in a good or service, then the transaction probably involves usury, the taking back of interest in that which was never created, clearly theft. The Austrians never criticize interest, they extol it, because they are usurers! Until you wake up to their bunk, you'll never understand freedom.]

Riegel cannot see where the “extra” money is to come from to pay the interest. Since he cannot explain this, it follows that he cannot explain where the profit comes from when a business is profitable i.e. making money.

[They are not related at all! The sales price, the amount of money a seller uses as a basis for all the expenses that went into bringing whatever to market -a cost accounting exercise- determines the probable profit margin ahead of time and creates no new money that is not backed by the value in whatever was sold plus inventory however that is depreciated. Interest plays no role in it at all and is a deception of all those involved in the present fraudulent banking system which the Austrians are themselves part of! I know of this from personal experience as for years I defended the position of the banks and thought that perhaps only some fix would solve their problems. Nope. The source of the problems is the basis of interest itself.]

There are many others today who also fall into this trap and argue that all interest is inherently destructive to an economy and should be outlawed. But then how does one explain “making money” or “making a profit”? If a business is making money, it is bringing in more money than it is spending to make that money. So where, one must ask, does this “extra money’ come from? Riegel does not even think to ask the question.

[Riegel has answered this question but he did not explain it very well. Basically what Dennis is asking is where does the extra money come from that allows the businessman/farmer/retailer whatever to make a living? It comes from the money allowed to be created by a credit clearing community and springs into existence when that businessman sells something. Not all money created is destroyed by clearing the credit (money spent) by selling something (money received) right away, so that's where all your extra money comes from. It is issued by the poor (impecunious was the word Riegel used) and becomes the basis for the profits of the wealthy. Riegel's money creation conception is almost infinitely elastic, except that whatever is purchased was not decided by some government edict and therefore called into existence, therefore distorting markets for labour and resources.]

In Chapter VIII of Private Enterprise Money, “How the Unit is to be Determined,” one might assume Riegel gets to the main question of how many monetary units should be in the system. The problem is, he never discusses this limit but spends the entire chapter wrangling with the question of what shall be the correct exchange ratio of the Valun and the US Dollar when the Valun system is launched on day one. It is one of the major failings of Riegel to never figure out that the important parameter that needs to be established in any monetary system is the total number of monetary units in the system.

[NO, Dennis! This is actually an irrelevant consideration. Just ask yourself who but a banker is concerned with the total amount of money in a system that they may take advantage of making more money on money? You're falling into the trap of considering money a commodity when it isn't. The amount of money in the system will actually float close to zero, as that's what credit clearing accomplishes, therefore it is of absolutely no significance whatsoever how much money is in such a system at any given moment. What is of consideration then is how much money may be attracted to earning returns in the financial sector that will develop as part of a fully functioning VEN and that too will depend ultimately on the amount of credit allowed each A member.]

This issue will be discussed in the article on Alexander del Mar’scontribution to money theory.

[We haven't seen it and at this date can perhaps safely infer that Dennis truly lost heart as he either didn't get or failed to understand the simplicity and implications of Riegel's basic ideas. We hope he eventually does.]

Riegel, over the span of three books and a journal article listed above, is very wobbly on this most important design parameter and anyone trying to build a monetary system based on Riegel’s notions on this point will run into nothing but trouble. This system needs to be Bounded. There is no substitute. It makes no difference whether we divide the range between the freezing point of water and the boiling point of water into 100 degrees and call it Centigrade or into 180 degrees and call it Fahrenheit. The important parameter is that we decide on 100 degrees or 180 degrees, either one works as well as the other, and fix it for all time and “get on with it.” It is the same in the monetary world. I shall be arguing in the conclusion to this series that we need to set the number of monetary units in the system to a fixed number per participant in the system, and fix it there for all time— the exact number does not matter, that it is fixed matters: more to follow.

[Again Dennis, this does not matter at all unless you're a usurer interested in money as a commodity, which under a Riegel system, it isn't. Sorry you don't yet get it.]

Riegel proposes a tactic that will work well if he has the correct amount of money issued in his system. He calls for parity on day one. This means the new monetary unit, the Valun, will exchange for exactly one US Dollar on day one. 

[yes, that was Riegel's original intention on at least 3 different occasions when the 3 dollars were very different in purchasing power. We've chosen a different Figure 1 for our proposal.]

After day one, he allows the marketplace exchange rate to “drift,” that is to find its own level: the exchange value between his new monetary unit and the established monetary unit his system is competing with will be determined by voluntary market action. This drift in “foreign exchange” is precisely what is needed. It is the marketplace sorting out the relative purchasing power of the two competing monetary units. Riegel is absolutely correct on this point: set a parameter on day one and then let the marketplace sort it out.

[This is exactly what we did when we began our experiment on November 2, 2011, an easy day to remember. On that date we fixed a Value Unit at one one-thousandth of 1 troy oz. of gold bullion, 1 oz AU = 1,000 Value Units. By comparison, at 10 September, 2013, a troy oz. of gold bullion would purchase only 785.12 Value Units.]

This policy of parity-on-day-one will minimize the difficulty of the calibration phase of those learning the new monetary unit if the total units going into circulation are close to the total units presently in circulation in the old monetary units on a per person basis.

[IRRELEVANT! And you are not getting it!]

If the new monetary units are not close to the old monetary units in total numbers per person, the marketplace will sort it out in time but with a great number of miscalculations by those participating in the changeover. Speaking metaphorically, if the new units turn out to be more like Fahrenheit when everyone has been used to working in Centigrade, mistakes in reckoning will happen, but only temporarily.

[Our proposal allows the market to determine what a Value Unit is worth in comparison to other currencies simply by changes in their prices for silver and gold, which shall both be convertible under normal terms of a foreign exchange, as that's exactly what it will be. But no Value Unit will be a fraction of some hypothetical total of all possible Value Units created, because Value Units are created and destroyed all the time so there can't be any hypothetical maximum number (an attempt to make them into commodities rather than appliances).]  

Distribution of the Money-Creating Power

Riegel correctly argues that “only he who can produce” is rightfully the one “who can create money.” In fact, he argues that to restrict the producers from the ability to create money is to hobble the system to the point of failure. Riegel argues that restricting the producers from money-creation, renders a system wherein the producers would not be able to buy the products of their own production. Although the argument smacks of Marxism in its phraseology, Riegel is on the right track. “Money cannot meet modern needs by descending to the people; it must rise from them.” 1-viii

[We also need to steer quite clear of the automatic association of “producer” with only those who make or grow new things, as the market naturally includes those who resell that which is used, etc. And Riegel's ideas only sound Marxist due to the obvious perception that everything depends upon human labour to obtain any value whatever, whereas in the prevailing political culture, it has been customary to regard the rewards of capital as entirely justified when they clearly have never been and are still not. We also have to recognize that at no time in history has any producer ever produced money. Money has been the province of the state and the banks and to assume it was ever otherwise for the last few hundred years anyway is ... not supported by historical facts.]

He is calling for the widest-possible distribution of the money-creating power and rejecting the present system wherein the state has sole money-creating power. This is a call for a true revolution if there ever was one. I call this concentration of the money-creating power in the hands of the few “mal-distribution.” Subsequent articles in this series will demonstrate that it is mal-distribution that is the real problem in a monetary system, not the lack of, or over-abundance of, monetary units. Riegel has the desirability of a widespread money-creating power very much correct.

[Thanks. Now you can dispense with the Austrians, all of them as they are known liars, and can concentrate on making the VEN a reality. Concerning mal-distribution; this is one factor arguing against a Weimar meltdown because when any currency is in fewer hands it circulates less. How else then would an economy fail? It would literally rot and stuff would go on sale with no money to buy it, people would only stand for so much until a political revolution would result. One cannot consign entire generations to oblivion without an inevitable backlash. Either by Weimar meltdown or deep depression, deflation and revolution, the elite's days are numbered. Our message has remained the same; “come out of her, my people.”]

Failing to Address the Gold-Is-Money Issue 

While Riegel’s criticism of commodity-money rests on his definition of money— which is utterly original and brilliant— he never addresses the Austrian School’s point of view that gold is a commodity for sure but is valued in a different way as a medium of exchange by the marketplace and hence gold has a valuation-as-money that is different from its valuation-as-commodity. 

[Yeah, they sort of grudgingly think the same of silver too, but heads up, Dennis. David Astle covered this and many related issues in his Babylonian Woe. Read it!]

Understanding the dynamics of gold-as-commodity versus gold-as-money will take a stronger analysis than what Riegel has served up. It will even take a stronger analysis than what the Austrian School has served up. 

[Why? All you need is to know the real history of gold (and silver) as money to realize that the Austrians are liars when it comes to how gold and silver “gained acceptance by the marketplace” as this was not a free choice, ever! Gold and silver were imposed by FORCE on the market by traders and governments (which is why their heads are frequently on their coins). Therefore, all claims by the Austrians and their willing dupes to the effect that gold and silver have or should have any intrinsic value other than their uses in industry is deception, lies and ultimately bunk. There is no good reason whatsoever why a dozen eggs in some place should reflect the changing prices set by precious metals brokers in far off cities of a troy ounce of gold.] 

This seminal issue will be addressed in subsequent articles in this series on money. 

[Really, Dennis, don't waste your time.]

As a further preview, my criticism of the Austrian school and its devotion to the “gold-is-money” idea is that the ultimate issue will be that gold can never shed its property of being a commodity even though it is also being used as money and this problem is in addition to the inherent problem of mal-distribution that comes with any commodity-based system, especially gold. 

[Ah, but that's just one side of their preordained dialectic, the other being their paper securities markets. Either side is theirs, not yours or mine. Riegel's perspective was just enough outside the box to start constructing something else.] 

The Austrians hold “gold-is-money” as the premier virtue of a monetary system when the truth is that it is the Achilles’ heel of such a system. Too frequently in economic history the commodity side of gold has swamped the monetary side of gold and we have market action that is the equivalent of the tail wagging the dog— more to follow.

[Take a thorough look at this blog and our proposal and you'll no longer need to bother with chasing old fables.] 

Assessing Riegel


Riegel does not understand interest and his system suffers for it. He never acknowledges that interest is a valid, necessary component of economic interaction among humans. 

[NO IT IS NOT unless you are describing someone paying a different price for the same thing, which is of a different order of things than money issued as a result of a loan at interest, which is usury.]

Interest arises naturally from the human Value Hierarchy: preferring present goods over future goods. The Austrian School calls this preference originary-interest and it is a natural phenomenon. Riegel does not seem to realize that interest is a natural phenomenon and will not go away. Interest is not the product of some devious minds creating an artificial mechanism to plunder others. 

[Yes it is, read Gertrude Coogan on this, she makes the points very well.] 

Interest is a phenomenon that arises naturally from human action which is based on the most fundamental proclivities we all have.

[This too is a fundamental lie. Interest asks the borrower to pay back that which was never created, therefore he is obliged to begrudge it from someone else. The ultimate beneficiary of all lending is the lender, who as their accordion like puff and pull credit policies always indicate, ends up owning that which was not his. Interest lies at the base of this great deceit and should be exposed for all to see, recognize and understand, including you, Dennis!]

Riegel fails to incorporate interest into the design of his monetary system and thus his system will simply not work since it ignores this most fundamental human dynamic. Interest provides an indispensible feedback signal to steer the market and enable savings and borrowings to be balanced, when it is left alone to find its own level.

[All that is baloney too, Dennis. What we advocate is that the finance function is forever divorced from the transaction clearing function as it presently exists in banks. Pools of liquidity (savings) will either build up or be traded into the system and will be attracted to finance as perceptions that people would be willing to pay more to have something now, the Austrians' time preference, emerge. These finance operations will have to operate under 100% reserve requirements and assess and handle their own risks. If they make too many bad loans they will go under without adversely affecting the rest of the system, thus correcting a flaw in the present system. There will also be auxiliary methods of buying and selling debt and both credit contracts and labour contracts are addressed and described. Other than that, the mark-ups the retailer gets for getting product from a wholesaler to market are inevitably resolved as residing in either the product or the labour required to bring that product to sale.]

The statists never leave it alone and have always used the setting of interest rates as a major tool of their “social engineering”— read plunder.

[The statists use any pretext possible to extend their power as they believe that somehow they are better than the rest of us and deserve to govern the rest of us even though their powers of prognostication and records of successful, efficient or even virtuous action are often far lower than average. Go figure.]

The State

Riegel never quite gets to the realization that the state is not just inept as he assumes throughout all his work, but that it is parasitic.  

[One likely assumes, since Riegel clearly hoped bankers would help him and even expected them to see things his way, that his blinders extended to the state too. The conversation concerning just what the state must be and how that is to be worked out has not yet been convened and it needs to be; if the state does not do certain things, what exactly must the state do? We need to start asking among ourselves once again.]

The state is parasitic to the core and one of its principal means of plunder is to extract the lifeblood of the citizenry through its control of the monetary system by means of controlling the interest rates and the quantity of money in the system.

[I wonder, does Dennis include within the state the private Federal Reserve system which actually sets the interest rates? All other central banks everywhere are just the same. We would identify them as the rotten core of the parasitic state aparat. The state issues, it therefore buys, it therefore buys what it wants, not what you or I want, it therefore is in a position to requisition, loot, take, absorb, drive out of business, etc. all in its path. It has FORCE to accomplish its will. Not only is the state as currently constructed parasitic, it breaks the first principle which does not excuse any of us from recourse to violence, and it encourages others to become parasites simply to reduce the normal political pressure from allowing limited liability corporations (their creations) from destroying the average person's ability to compete.]

Riegel’s view is much too benign to correctly analyze the situation. Monetary systems have been used as a means of exploitation for centuries. The successful monetary system of Freedom shall reverse this long, troubled history of the manipulation of the monetary system and instead deliver an agency that will guide the economy of the future by fixing the quantity of monetary units in the system on a per capita basis and letting the marketplace, through the auction process, determine interest rates.

[Pardon me but these are both obtuse and unnecessary! Interest rates for any finance operation will be determined by LOCAL issues by each financial operator. There will be no “agency” to guide (a Soviet) anyone or anything. These issues will develop entirely by market forces and there is I repeat absolutely no need to predetermine how much money will be created.]

The monetary system of the future will be an agency of symbiosis and will live out the immortal words of Andrew Galambos: “Total Capitalism demonstrates not only the Morality of Profit but also the Profitability of Morality.” Those who bring about this symbiotic, monetary system will be the true benefactors of mankind and incidentally, and justifiably, make themselves very wealthy.

[Capitalism is basically the demand that idle money earn a rate of return or yield. It is the other side of the same coin as collectivism, sorry. Capitalism has nothing in common with free enterprise and earning an honest living. I wish Dennis and countless others would begin to get a few things straight, such as what really constitutes wealth, which is simply anything capable of producing an income and nothing else. Neither gold nor silver can therefore represent wealth. All they represent is themselves in the market for precious metals. People with a lot of money are called rich but they may not necessarily be wealthy. Making money on money without providing a good or service is something we will want to expunge from all future monetary systems as far as possible. There are easy ways of doing it. One simply makes clear and enforcible rules and enforces them, state or no state. Our Value Exchange Network (VEN) shall above all things be private in every sense of the word.]

Riegel is naïve regarding the viciousness of the political state. He assumes throughout all his work that some far-sighted entrepreneurial types like himself will one day just establish an alternative monetary system and proceed to develop it in competition with the state’s monetary system and eventually replace the state’s monetary system through old-fashioned market competitiveness.

[There never ever was such a thing as “ old-fashioned market competitiveness.” We have never known a truly free market and there are perhaps some reasonable limits to the existence of a perfectly free market. We covered some of the facts concerning markets as they are well known around the world in our paper on markets. There shall probably be more.

The truth is that back before 1954, Riegel and the rest of the American public could pretty much be counted upon to accept the legitimacy of their national government, despite the clear facts elucidated over the years that indicate exactly the opposite is true, so of course Riegel was naïve. Most people still are, though these days we usually describe them as asleep rather than naïve.]

The truth is that long before the state allows one of its three main meal-tickets to be usurped i.e. inflating the money supply—the other two being direct taxes and mortgaging the future—, it will come down on that threat with whatever physical FORCE is necessary to destroy the competition. There will be no “due process” or any other formality. The principals of an alternative monetary system will be assassinated in short order and with no apology given. There is a strong case to be made that two United States presidents, Lincoln and Kennedy, were assassinated for starting to make a move toward the door that would lead to the demise of the established money-power interests. For a much more comprehensive description of the present monetary system, how it was set up and how it is manipulated for the insiders, see G. Edward Griffin’s The Creature from Jekyll Island, but be prepared to hear the echo-chamber refrain that only a commodity such as gold can be money.

[That “echo chamber” is the other side of their dialectic. Whatever the state may think, there was a time when it did not exist and no matter how impressive a bank building might be, banks have also failed. There never are any guarantees. Institutions and people in trouble scramble for the precious metals believing that we will all be forever fooled into thinking they have any special value, when they don't. The same has gone for diamonds, which aren't really scarce at all.

Yes, the state may seem an all powerful monster that may even become a sufficient idol for worship, but people abide while states do not (else the planet does not and civilization itself is in jeopardy, which it always is). We do not know when, though there are in place many scenarios right now that could provide the impetus, but the present monetary system shall certainly fail as it is built on fundamental frauds, as have all its predecessors back through time as they were just the same going all the way back to ancient Babylon. We know not when, but fail it shall and the process could come relatively quickly too, within days.

Most monetary systems die as a result of a Weimar meltdown in hyperinflation which proceeds over a few months or even a year or so; the bad notes of the regime become toilet paper and what purchasing power people might have tried to store up in them is destroyed. Of course there is always silver and gold and during such a catastrophe people tend to dump inflating paper currency and buy precious metals and yes they are commodities, so they will continue to be worth something, but they aren't money in Riegel's sense of money.

The Austrian side of the dialectic is wrapped up with the decisive role of the brokers for precious metals in London and elsewhere that determine the lowest possible market price for these metals (their spot prices). What no one ever acknowledges when they champion precious metals is that their value is determined by brokers not by supply and demand and furthermore these factors claim more of these metals than anyone else and ultimately, we can assume, make their claims, or fail, and what then? If precious metals reflect the worthlessness of a Weimar melted currency, they become objects of priceless status to most people and shall not trade (circulate) openly in commerce as money. They would have become far too expensive to use for that.

By the way, the obvious reason Gresham's Law always applies is that everyone knows (which proves Riegel correct once again) that the best money to use is the cheapest, which when it appears drives everything more expensive into ... collections.

All state issued fiat currencies are just the same, illegitimate money issues masquerading to the gullible public as the real thing, which is not gold and silver coin. These state issued fiat currencies all fail and all become inflationary by nature and by the design of the central bankers who place governments in the position of hostages to their perpetual debt. The interest charged for the use of their money is drawn back from money that was not created (usury on a grand scale, looting from everyone). Various gimmicks imply that for such a system to work and not produce inflation that the state must tax back what it spends (since as Riegel said we don't want to buy anything from the state). Obviously this is a machine devised by madmen. There is and will be many better alternatives, but ultimately the strongest design shall prevail.]

The Need for Protection

Riegel is also naïve regarding the protection of his own monetary system. A fully developed protection system is required by all participants in a successful monetary system: those who create the system and those who use the system. Riegel not only fails to deliver a protective system for his monetary system, he does not even see the need for such protection. Physical FORCE is a necessary component of a successful monetary system but the key is how to deploy it so that it is directed toward those who would use the monetary system to plunder— which is what we have now— and those who would try to steal from the system such as counterfeiters. Riegel is totally silent on these issues and yet they are fundamental.

[Very well, we have again stepped into the breach by suggesting in our proposal that restrictions on certain business forms and certain well known practises, including a total and eternal divorce of transaction clearing from finance functions, plus an automatic feedback system for all labour and credit contracts, would provide much needed protections. Our proposed exchange notes would all be quite diverse since each independent exchange (IE) could have its own obverse designs, all reverse designs would be roughly the same and all sizes of notes would be uniform throughout the system. Diversity would frustrate counterfeiters, plus there will be other simple tests to determine a note's validity. Per current law in most places within the US, none of our exchange notes would ever trade for a dollar or less. We have also proposed (not possible without reversing current laws in place against them) that sub-units of a Value Unit would be in coins useful as weights for measuring precious metals as well as offering a future for coin operated vending as all our coins would buy more than their dollar counterparts.]

Without that second agency— which I reluctantly define as Government— to keep the monetary system honest for all, the system will fail.

[No it will not, at least not from that cause. There are many private businesses which have been in private hands for centuries. There is no special reason to regard a government as any more trustworthy for offering protection than a private association enforcing its own rules. Need I remind Dennis that anyone who knows anything about dealing with “the mob” knows this.]

Riegel is a prototype anarchist in this regard: unable to see a need for the administration of physical FORCE to regulate the system for all concerned and confusing the Administration of Physical Force with the political state that we have now.

[Excuse me! Who, that is not wide awake these days is not making this exact connection? I remind our readers that anarchy merely means “without a ruling class” and does not automatically imply chaos as it is believed. Now as always, it will be rational self interest that will hold civilization aloft, not what flavour of state despotism we happen to be living under.]

Perhaps this is why many anarchist-types are now being drawn to Riegel’s work; being “birds-of-a-feather” and deluding themselves that their utopian systems just don’t need the administration of physical FORCE to function properly. If you find yourself in this trap, start by getting on board with the differentiation between the initiation of physical FORCE— Coercion— and the use of physical FORCE for protection.

[We understand the difference, and most people do. What's with this “birds of a feather” anyway, Dennis? Are you jeering us?]

Grasping Riegel

As simple and straight-forward as Riegel’s concept of money is, it has proven difficult for many people to grasp.

[It isn't difficult, it's easy and obvious.]

These Luddites are typically the types that do not grasp a principle in any academic discipline.

[Luddites?  That's a jeer!  But so what? Prove to me beyond any shadow of doubt that any “academic discipline” per se is really worth a shit! These days, better ideas are produced by college dropouts. And furthermore being possessed of a “dizzying intellect” is not going to help anyone make a better life for themselves or anyone else.]

For me it is as if I am standing on the shore of a lake and trying to explain to someone who has no clue about the principle of buoyancy that it is possible to build a boat that will float on the water that is made out of a material such as steel which will not float on the water in its compacted form. But properly formed, it can be made into a ship hull that will float. All the while this person thinks I am crazy when “everyone knows” that a boat must be made out of a material that will float, such as wood. These are the same ones that cannot grasp that money is not gold or any other commodity.

[Yes, perhaps. The metaphor is acceptable.]

It is true that Riegel did not serve up a Bounded System; his system was lacking the items discussed above. But the objections to Riegel’s monetary system always come from the mistaken view that “money must be a commodity,” not from a viewpoint about a system of exchange lacking essential components. The gold-bugs listen for one idea only: gold is money; and not hearing that, their thinking process shuts down. It is analogous to them saying that the football scoreboard must display the score in numbers made out of gold. Electronic numbers are just fiat numbers and not the real thing and hence the score of the game is not right. It’s the score on the playing field that matters, not that the scoreboard has numbers made out of gold. They simply do not get it.

[It's particularly difficult given the educational system most have been subjected to. They got many other foolish ideas spread far and wide the same way. Now, many years after one was in school, these same unchallenged ideas surface as suspect and most people don't know why and most favour something reactionary like, “why can't we just reverse the clock and go back to a time in the past that was better, when things worked better,” etc. There was no such past. It was all screwed up back then just as well. Doing the same over and over again is insane, so why are we doing it?]

Riegel’s Legacy

I shall close by letting Riegel speak for himself. {My comments in brackets.}
From the Introductory to Private Enterprise Money (1-v) entitled: Money or Your Life 

The life of modern man depends upon his mastery of money. {Amen}

Our political money system is breaking down and must be displaced by one that serves the needs of modern exchange. Otherwise our civilization will perish. {Amen}

As technological improvements tend to specialize and confine each man’s production, the need for the exchange of products increases and, therefore, man’s dependence upon money makes the mastery of this vital agency more and more imperative.” {Amen}

The two lasting contributions of Riegel are:

1) money is a pure number, however stored, and never a commodity and
2) the money-creation power must be as widely distributed as possible. 

[I'd add a third; the Value Unit however called begins as a Figure 1 and thereafter stands apart and independent of all it measures, and yes, though the specifics Riegel had in mind (value is always compared with value in an exchange) nevertheless money does measure value and settles the terms of barter after they are resolved and the deal is made.]

These insights by Riegel are greater than those of Copernicus. Copernicus discovered the true position of the sun. Riegel discovered the true nature and origin of money— and the ramifications of Riegel’s work go far beyond those of Copernicus in human affairs.

[On this point I certainly agree!]

On these magnificent concepts…. we build. Let’s go to work.

Dennis Riness
May 5, 2012

We remain open to any worthy correspondence and comment.

David Burton

[16 May, 2014: UPDATE I thought you might like to know that this man has been arrested for organizing a tax evasion scheme involving a phony "church." 
Man Gets 13 Months for Role in Tax Evasion Plot

Thank-you and duly noted.  This blog's proposal does not involve tax evasion so if anyone had that in mind they are advised to look elsewhere.]

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