David Hines
Print for prosperity
By David Hines
April 24, 2009

Whenever you hear ordinary people discuss economic stimulus, someone is likely to suggest that rather than give money to corporations, each citizen should be given a million dollars. Government Keynesians never take such suggestions seriously. Why not? It makes as much sense as their proposals.

If printing money backed by nothing is the solution, there's a much better way: Let us print our own money.

This plan would save the government a fortune in printing costs. It would be a wonderful economic stimulus, tremendously increasing demand for paper, ink cartridges, printers, computers, and copiers. Meeting the demand would put a lot of people to work.

Sure, there are problems to overcome. For example, who would go to work to make or sell all that stuff when they could stay home and print money? President Obama could assign military personnel to man the unworked sales counters and factories, assuming they haven't gone AWOL in order to print and spend their own million-dollar bills. He might have to re-institute the draft, ensuring a labor force to serve those who are printing the money. He surely wouldn't get enough volunteers.

Such a system would grind to a halt if everyone is printing money and nobody is supplying paper and ink. The government's current system, also, must grind to a halt. Printing money produces nothing of real value. My plan has the advantage of working through the inanity more quickly, so that a real resolution can be attained.

From the president to the welfare recipient, people confuse money with wealth. Money is no more wealth than a tape measure is waistline. Money is merely a measuring stick. Changing the inch markings on the tape measure, making them further apart, does not mean that you have suddenly become slim and buff. Neither does inflating the money supply mean that we have become wealthier.

A person who has stocks of food or bolts of cloth has wealth even before exchanging any of the commodity for money. A person who has money but nobody willing to exchange real goods for it has no wealth. A Zimbabwe dollar won't buy you a piece of bubble gum. At the rate the Fed is printing, the US dollar shall not fare much better.

But at least with a full ink jet and a stock of paper we could live well today, right?

© David Hines


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David Hines

Born in a mill town, David Hines has seen work as a furniture mover, computer programmer/analyst, and professional musician... (more)


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