The country’s sad economic state has renewed the cry for a return to the Gold Standard. A significant percentage of the population as well as presidential candidates are endorsing this form of monetary system. Fiat Money Systems are used by most countries (including the U.S.) which normally require tight regulation and active monitoring to thwart abuse and corruption. The recent financial crisis was caused by conservative policies that deregulated the banking industry which opened the door for unethical practices induced by greed. Wall Street’s failure to “self-police” has rekindled interest in the Gold Standard.
It is my belief that moving to a precious metal standard will not fix problems facing the people of this country (USA) or the world’s masses. It may unify currency across the globe but it’s still just another form of money significantly controlled by the wealthy few.
If we’re going to entertain the idea of changing our monetary system, let’s go all out. Let’s develop a system that empowers today’s masses and future generations. Let’s create a system that produces wealth based on conservation, cooperation and increases with the participation of many.
The basis of life is energy. Every life force needs some form of energy to exist. Therefore, a true and unifying currency would be some sort of energy unit, such as a Joule or Calorie. The value of energy is understood in the U.S., China and even aliens from outer-space would understand its worth.
I realize that this initially sounds like a wild idea but think about it for a few minutes and it starts to make sense. Keep in mind that all forms of energy are somehow derived from the Sun. Oil, coal and natural gas are fossilized ancient life forms that once received energy from the sun. Even elements used to create nuclear power owe their existence to solar activity.
This blog site (leftcoastvoices.com) will post more on energy unit currency in the near future but in the meantime, here is some information that will hopefully inspire you to think more about the subject:
- Mother Nature takes the path of least resistance because it conserves energy.
- Calories are a form of energy unit. There are 90 calories in a large head of lettuce and 540 calories in a Big Mac. The current price of lettuce is $2; therefore, a Big Mac should cost $12 in a true free-market.
- The energy from one gallon of gas in equal to 408 man hours of work. The minimum wage in CA is $8 so a gallon of gas should cost $3264.
- If energy was priced appropriately, conservation would be adopted quickly.
- If energy was priced appropriately, food would not travel the average 1500 miles it now takes to get to your dinner table. Lettuce grown in CA would not be shipped to New York.
- A monetary system based on energy will automatically promote sustainability in all aspects of human existence.
- Humans consume food energy and transform it into mechanical energy.
- People working together cooperatively are more efficient and can produce more (community).
A Gold Standard is hogwash. An Energy Standard would promote human equality, builds community, protects the environment and create a happier existence. A system like this brings to light the true cost of energy and inherently promotes sustainability through local production. Local production creates local jobs.
Of course, big business, Wall Street and the banks would never allow a conversion to a monetary system that draws attention to conservation. They need debt to create wealth.
More to come!
Roger Ingalls is well traveled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.