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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Cowen Rejects Gold Standard

In this blog post Tyler Cowen rejects a gold standard because of (a) the socialist calculation debate and (b) we now control central banks. (For example, I just called up Ben and insisted on price stability in '08. That was terrible, back in the days when central banks were controlled by the fat cats, and when inflation was high.)

It would be one thing if he rejected a gold standard in favor of gold as money (i.e. no gov't currency at all). But that's not his position.

6 comments:

  1. Brian N.5:51 AM

    That post is horribly naive.

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  2. Typical Cowen. Maybe one day libertarianism will become the radical, revolutionary ideology it was meant to be, but not so long as we read apologists like Cowen.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the way he just makes wild assertions as if they are self-evident.
    "One five or ten percent deflation is enough to crush the economy and indeed the whole gold standard idea."
    This seems reasonable on the face of it, but:
    1. It's comparing apples to oranges. With a currency that's not debt based, deflation doesn't spiral.
    2. I think by "the economy" he means "the elite corporations, banks, governments". Deflation of the sort a gold standard might induce wouldn't really harm most people at all. Now he might counter that the rest of us rely on these elite to provide us with employment, goods, etc. But the fact that we do is itself (at least in part) a product of our current monetary system, it's not a given.
    If capital becomes more widely distributed (through savings replacing debt-based financing) there's no reason to believe that there will be LESS overall capital to apply to labor, but much more likely the opposite.

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