Or The Sold Out Economists and a Half Horseman
The Renegade Economist decided to release their documentary on YouTube. After reviewing the film, I decided to delete the Renegade Economist from my blog roll and quickly decided I won’t be promoting the film except to point out what happens when funding corrupts economics. The Four Horsemen turned out to be a propaganda piece for the gold boiler room from an organization which is suppose to be a Greenback-friendly organization.
There was a time when Georgists thought of Fred Harrison and Michael Hudson as the Renegade Economist. Today, it is a brand of economics propaganda, almost completely divorced from Fred Harrison and Michael Hudson. The film did give a few seconds to Michael Hudson to promote land value taxation. So I give credit to film as having a half horseman, though the topic hardly got the attention it deserved.
The other two horsemen were fluff. I can’t even remember what they were. The first horseman was the topic of money and banking. It is this topic where the film opens up with lies about the Roman Empire in order to promote an Austrian solution, full reserve banking and gold as the legal tender. They tell the lie that monetary debasement is the reason why the Roman Empire collapsed. They didn’t gloss over the history like Austrian economists do when they make the claim. They instead rewrite facts making the claim the Roman Empire was built on a gold and silver standard and that it fell because they started to use brass filler to the silver coins or something to that effect. It was a statement so divorced from the facts that my brain short-circuited.
Rome was on a bronze and silver standard for the first 270 years. Then, in 50 BC, Rome introduced the gold coin and removed the bronze coins for circulation. It was the Crime of 50 BC, much like the Crime of 1873, when the U.S. demonetized silver and other currencies. Yes, the bronze coins were reintroduced, removed, and reintroduced soon after 50 BC because of the economic instability and destruction that followed when the cheap money that built the Roman Empire was removed from circulation the first time. There is even little physical evidence left of bronze coins being reintroduced the last time. I think someone did too much unlearning of economics.
Then, the film goes into the same boring and pointless tirade about fiat money. They even give the original latin meaning of fiat, “let it be,” instead of the actual definition of “by government decree”. As if defining fiat as a Ray Charles song is winning any propaganda wars against “fiat” money. If government declares gold to be legal tender, gold is fiat money. In my best Albert J. Nock, the State had intervened. That was the whole problem. The State setup one monopoly, the gold monopoly. It boggles my mind how supposed lovers of the free market want to corrupt the free market in gold with a State-granted monopoly.
You’d expect a renegade economist to understand this. However, this isn’t renegade economics, this is the same old funded propaganda you’d expect from the Ludwig von Mises Institute, PNAC’s Lewis Lehrman, or Bilderberg’s Ron Paul (Peter Thiel). If I remember correctly, I think they even used the blast from the past that gold was sound and honest money.
The film points out that gold has intrinsic value. That it is used for things like jewelry and for technical applications. It is true. Over half of the demand for the world’s gold supply is for these purposes, with the remaining 40% or so being used for investment. Most of that demand is from China, India, and the Middle East. The film tries to point out that gold would be ideal money because the supply of gold grows at the rate of population.
Are these economists retarded or sold out? If the world’s gold supply is being demanded for all these other things, how do you possibly think there would be enough gold supply to also be used as the legal tender of a State without causing severe deflation and massive theft and usury by gold owners? I will assume they are not retarded but assume someone pulling the purse strings of this film has a large stash of gold they’d love for the State to artificially and greatly increase it’s value.
The film even gets the definition of classical economics and neoclassical wrong as they try to smear Milton Friedman to the Hell reserved for usurers and back. These film makers with their rather amateur neoclassical gold standard rant makes Milton Friedman look like the saint of classical economics, who supported land value taxation, a citizen dividend, and a full reserve debt-free sovereign currency. Bill Still got his education about money from Milton Friedman, and Bill Still not only produced one but two excellent documentaries about money. Milton Friedman is not the poster boy for neoclassical economists, and he certainly has not been dead long enough to smear him as such.
I don’t even agree with Milton Friedman and some others who believe that money supply should be tied to population growth. I believe it is much more complicated than that. I also don’t even agree with Michael Hudson that the money supply should have a 0% inflation target. However, I’m not going to smear these economists just because I disagree with them on a couple of points.
I believe in a mild inflation rate to err on the side of caution and to act as a demurrage to encourage investment and production and to act in a way that creates a stable rate of monetary velocity. Inflation does not cost the poor people money. It doesn’t even cost people who purchase real assets, who make investments, and who produce. It only hurts those with a large stash of money. It is deflation which hurts the poor, throws people into unemployment and bankruptcy, and allows those who hold monetary units to steal from the poor and those holding assets, making investments, and producing the things that people demand. I might think economics taught in schools lack in a few areas, but they do get the basic facts straight about deflation and inflation.
I won’t even go too much into the debt jubilee solution. While the notion is cool, economists proposing it as a solution makes me cringe, especially considering it would be easy to pay off national debt by ending fractional reserve banking with a debt-free sovereign currency without taxation, without inflation, without anyone getting screwed over holding the bag, and without anyone getting angry at themselves for not maxing out their credit before the jubilee. People can also file bankruptcy.
The Renegade Economist owes the community a public and sincere apology for this documentary and a full disclosure of what happened. I think we all deserve to know who and how much was paid to corrupt the contents of the film. I suspect the gold organization featured in the film likely gave funding to corrupt the film. This film is a classical example of the corruption of economics or economists smoking too much pot as they go “cavalier” smoking away their time, funding, and credibility as economists. They expect us to believe they were just being “too cavalier” and decided on a whim to make the film disagree with the contents of the film’s accompanying book. And I am “just cranky” because I was born yesterday.
Anyway, I was completely disgusted with the film. I can’t even write a decent article I’m so disgusted. I’ve deleted the Renegade Economist. I don’t suggest that you watch the film unless you want to lose your lunch. I will suggest a blog article that I could not have written better myself even on a good day, “Citizen’s Dividends: Basic Income from your Share of the Commons.”
Speaking of which, you might be interested in this news article, “$2,800 per month for every adult? It could happen in Switzerland.”