Please note: This is a companion version & not the original book. Sample Book Insights: #1 The Fiat Standard has survived for 50 years, which makes it unreasonable to dismiss it as an irredeemable fraud on the brink of collapse. Understanding how the fiat standard works and how it frequently fails is essential knowledge for navigating it. #2 The first seven chapters of The Bitcoin Standard explained the history and function of money, and its importance to the economic order. With bitcoin showing us how an advanced monetary system can function independently of government control, we can better understand the properties required for a monetary system to operate on the free market. #3 The fiat system was not a carefully designed financial operating system like bitcoin, but rather it evolved through a process of compromise between political constraints and expedience in managing government default. #4 The fiat monetary system was a solution to the gold standard’s low spatial salability. It allowed governments to transfer value across space without having to worry about the gold standard’s constraints. But it allowed governments to exploit their citizens by giving them easy fiat tokens that they could use to pay their taxes.
The Fiat Standard is an insightful study of the history, function, and impacts of the fiat monetary system on human society, economics, and politics over the past century. What are the possibilities for the rise of bitcoin in this system?
When a pseudonymous programmer introduced “a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party” to a small online mailing list in 2008, very few paid attention. Ten years later, and against all odds, this upstart autonomous decentralized software offers an unstoppable and globally-accessible hard money alternative to modern central banks. The Bitcoin Standard analyzes the historical context to the rise of Bitcoin, the economic properties that have allowed it to grow quickly, and its likely economic, political, and social implications. While Bitcoin is a new invention of the digital age, the problem it purports to solve is as old as human society itself: transferring value across time and space. Ammous takes the reader on an engaging journey through the history of technologies performing the functions of money, from primitive systems of trading limestones and seashells, to metals, coins, the gold standard, and modern government debt. Exploring what gave these technologies their monetary role, and how most lost it, provides the reader with a good idea of what makes for sound money, and sets the stage for an economic discussion of its consequences for individual and societal future-orientation, capital accumulation, trade, peace, culture, and art. Compellingly, Ammous shows that it is no coincidence that the loftiest achievements of humanity have come in societies enjoying the benefits of sound monetary regimes, nor is it coincidental that monetary collapse has usually accompanied civilizational collapse. With this background in place, the book moves on to explain the operation of Bitcoin in a functional and intuitive way. Bitcoin is a decentralized, distributed piece of software that converts electricity and processing power into indisputably accurate records, thus allowing its users to utilize the Internet to perform the traditional functions of money without having to rely on, or trust, any authorities or infrastructure in the physical world. Bitcoin is thus best understood as the first successfully implemented form of digital cash and digital hard money. With an automated and perfectly predictable monetary policy, and the ability to perform final settlement of large sums across the world in a matter of minutes, Bitcoin’s real competitive edge might just be as a store of value and network for final settlement of large payments—a digital form of gold with a built-in settlement infrastructure. Ammous’ firm grasp of the technological possibilities as well as the historical realities of monetary evolution provides for a fascinating exploration of the ramifications of voluntary free market money. As it challenges the most sacred of government monopolies, Bitcoin shifts the pendulum of sovereignty away from governments in favor of individuals, offering us the tantalizing possibility of a world where money is fully extricated from politics and unrestrained by borders. The final chapter of the book explores some of the most common questions surrounding Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin mining a waste of energy? Is Bitcoin for criminals? Who controls Bitcoin, and can they change it if they please? How can Bitcoin be killed? And what to make of all the thousands of Bitcoin knock-offs, and the many supposed applications of Bitcoin’s ‘blockchain technology’? The Bitcoin Standard is the essential resource for a clear understanding of the rise of the Internet’s decentralized, apolitical, free-market alternative to national central banks.
The growing use of pseudo-medical arguments to justify certain policies in the name of "public health" results in what critic Thomas Szasz terms pharmacracy, an insidious tendency that is eroding our personal liberties while distorting our approach to both health care & politics. Annotation. Exposes and examines the hidden threats to liberty and the rule of law posed by "pharmacracy"--The emerging alliance of the government and the health-care system. Annotation. Szasz (emeritus, psychiatry, State University of New York Upstate Medical University) explores the development of a "pharmacracy" as the natural outgrowth of the tendency to medicalize social problems, deviance, and disruptive behavior. He describes the relationships between medical and political authority, between increased government control and increased funding for health care, and between the medicalization of individual behavior and the avoidance of personal responsibility.
Axel Leijonhufvud has made a unique contribution to the development of macroeconomic theory. This volume draws together his insightful essays dealing with the extremes of economic instability: great depressions, high inflation and the transition from socialism to a market economy. In several of the papers, Leijonhufvud brings a neo-institutionalist perspective to the problems of coordination in economic systems. The papers within Macroeconomic Instability and Coordination some of them already considered classics, deal with the questions that dominated Leijonhufvud's interest throughout his career as an economist: what are the limits to an economy's capacity to coordinate the activities of its members? How does the behavior of the system change under extreme conditions? In what ways does its performance depend upon the institutions that govern the market process?
Today, most money is credit money, created by commercial banks. While credit can finance innovation, excessive credit can lead to boom/bust cycles, such as the recent financial crisis. This highlights how the organization of our monetary system is crucial to stability. One way to achieve this is by separating the unit of account from the medium of exchange and in pre-modern Europe, such a separation existed. This new volume examines this idea of monetary separation and this history of monetary arrangements in the North and Baltic Seas region, from the Hanseatic League onwards. This book provides a theoretical analysis of four historical cases in the Baltic and North Seas region, with a view to examining evolution of monetary arrangements from a new monetary economics perspective. Since the objective exhange value of money (its purchasing power), reflects subjective individual valuations of commodities, the author assesses these historical cases by means of exchange rates. Using theories from new monetary economics , the book explores how the units of account and their media of exchange evolved as social conventions, and offers new insight into the separation between the two. Through this exploration, it puts forward that money is a social institution, a clearing device for the settlement of accounts, and so the value of money, or a separate unit of account, ultimately results from the size of its network of users. The History of Money and Monetary Arrangements offers a highly original new insight into monetary arrangments as an evolutionary process. It will be of great interest to an international audience of scholars and students, including those with an interest in economic history, evolutionary economics and new monetary economics.
In a thoroughly researched and clearly written account of the development experiences of mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, Alvin Rabushka examines three societies with similar populations but very different political and economic institutions. Rejecting one-dimensional explanations of successful development, Rabushka looks at the way in which