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What would happen to an economy if physical precious metals were legal tender currency?

Imagine money that had intrinsic value. How would this affect banking, government spending, saving, and consumer spending?

Better or worse than fiat money?


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  • Mar 17 2013: Actually, from a longer term environmental point of view that may not be a bad thing if we could get past the first couple of years.

    In the chaos we'd have to triage/restore the most essential systems first and it would be an absolutely fantastic opportunity to rebuild the rest on a fully sustainable basis (as measured by the Ecological Footprint system).

    I've just posted an outline of this "New Mercantilism" on another thread - I'll see if i can recover it and post it up here if you're interested. EDIT - Found it by looking up "Full conversation" and looking down the list - right there under my name. I'm new this TED game, as you will understand....
    • Mar 18 2013: I would be interested in this 'New Mercantilism.' Can you give me a link?
      • Mar 18 2013: Hi Brian, I made the term up in response to Charles Cort's comment- "It would be like Mercantilism".

        I took that to mean the phase before capitalism when trade was just starting to lubricate the move onward from feudalism. Yes, but there are aspects of modern life it would be unthinkable to lose.

        If we triage those and develop essential network functions intelligently we could the reduce our ecological impact in Europe buy a factor of 4 to bring it in line with the best guess of a sustainable Ecological Footprint. Such a deeply political process could be sustained (but only under conditions of financial implosion/duress because of the deep rooted problem of vested financial interests) through intensive advertising and propaganda - impolite but brutally honest terms we should use for for the highly necessary and highly ethical process of Rapid Education/Knowledge Delivery.

        I'd be delighted to cooperate with anyone interested in this thesis to promote the concept under the banner of "New Mercantilism" or any other banner you like - It been thoroughly thought through to the ultimate conclusion and I'm ethically comfortable with those conclusions. The idea is now complete and needs properly laying out, elaborating scrutiny, editing and development. Further research is needed on many facets of it (How to create more scientifically robust EF standards, Game theory, Marketing, Licencing issues and Maintenance and many others).

        The Internet is a fantastic medium but NM is simply set of principles which could be established with a small manual and a pencil and paper. NM is not an ideology it is an idea. As it is science based it is inevitable that it ill change as the knowledge base increases (Initial rapid growth) , and admin overheads will also increase (linear growth). Uptake, if the principles as explained become acceptable would be exponential and hopefully keep pace with the decay of the old regime, mopping up the mess.

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