The Faithful Hound

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The solution to all the world's problems

The three word answer? Abolish paper currency. If there were no paper money and all financial transactions were conducted directly between personal, institutional and governmental bank accounts then there would be no scope for money to change hands without leaving a trail.
Politicians could not accept bribes in secret, criminals would not be able to steal or profit from illegal activity, charitable contributions could not be siphoned before they reach those in need, terrorists would not be able to get their funding without exposing their patrons. In short, the world will be a better, though slightly big-brotherly, place.
Certainly there are pitfalls. All the fringe illegal activities that we indulge in will be curbed. No buying soft drugs, no bribing the maitre de for a good table, no friendly gambling, no prostitution (not that I advocate it, but I'm pro free market on everything), no cheating on your taxes and no underage drinking. And if you're a beggar - tough break pal, get a job.
But I think that it's a small price to pay for an incorruptible government, a dis-incentivized criminal population and the disappearance of black money from the third world.
Sure the logistics are massive, but technology makes it easier and cheaper than you would think. Every human being would have to have a centralized bank account and a small hack-proof wirelessly accessible memory device to store their account information. When a financial transaction has to be made, the payee would enter a passcode into his device to view his account balance, select the paid party's device (in a similar manner that bluetooth enabled cell-phones currently recognize each other), select the amount to transfer, confirm the transaction and he's done. The device synchs up with the central bank using the nearest Wi-Max network and everything is squared up.It will be a large initial cost, especially to get the technology and infrastructure in place in the poorer parts of the world, but once it's done the rewards will more that pay for themselves.
Why am I rambling on about this? I just spent half an hour rummaging through my desk drawers to come up with the change I needed to get my afternoon sugar rush out of the office vending machine. When I got there I found that one of my coins was a Canadian quarter that the machine disdainfully returned to me while keeping the rest of my money. Time to move on I say. I've had enough.


  • At 10:31 AM, Blogger km said…

    No buying soft drugs

    We'll always have hard drugs.

  • At 11:29 AM, Blogger wildflower seed said…

    You'll want to see this video. As to your fiath in free markets, I invite you to read and understand radical, but IMO practical, alternatives such as Participatory Economics. Start here, if you will.

  • At 1:59 PM, Blogger Revealed said…

    Heh! Talking about money, though, its such a ridiculous concept, isn't it? I know (or at least I think) that we don't have the gold reserves for all the money floating around. So basically they're just scraps of paper with some ink on them and we keep trading them around for really expensive stuff. If an alien landed on earth and scrutinised our finances betcha it'd be good for a laugh.

  • At 6:27 PM, Blogger Tabula Rasa said…

    heh heh heh. great oaks from little acorns etc etc.

  • At 8:46 PM, Blogger MockTurtle said…

    @km: I don't pay for my hard drugs, I just raid my grandma's medicine cabinet.

    @ws: Very instructive video. Thank you. I read through some of the writing on Participatory Economics, but didn't get very far. I doubt my grasp of economics is strong enough to intelligently debate the existence of a federal reserve or reverting to a gold standard. I will probably have to wait until we meet again so I can pick your brain on the topic.

    @revealed: Makes you think of the exercise of boiling a frog slowly, doesn't it? You start down a path making small incremental changes and before you know it you're neck deep in something you barely recognize.

    @tr: True, and the nuts don't fall far from the nut tree etc.

  • At 1:52 PM, Blogger kavi said…

    came across this on scout's blog "Cobain opted out of the world when he realized that it owned him."
    Just wanna say: Wow!

  • At 12:09 PM, Blogger ozymandiaz said…

    All money should be abolished. It was a really bad idea in the first place. Unless of course you are the one who has it all, or moreover, printed with your picture on it.
    Otherwise it is but a form of subjugation...

  • At 8:22 AM, Blogger sattva said…

    mt, thak u so much for yr wishes over at mine...2007 is going to exciting for me, i hope it shines for u.

  • At 4:01 PM, Blogger MockTurtle said…

    @kavi: Thanks
    @ozy: Very true - some exceptions though.
    @sattva: Congratulations again and a happy (if sleepless) new year.

  • At 2:02 PM, Blogger Szerelem said…

    We should just abolish money period. :D
    Imagine all the free lunches - it would be an Economists nightmare.

    Also, Happy 2007!Have a great year!

  • At 4:03 PM, Blogger MockTurtle said…

    @szerlem: Back to the barter system? Well, what's the harm.
    A happy new year to you too.


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