Jul

22

 But, first, a reminder of why this is the best time of year if your team still has any chance at the wildcard. After beating two of the best starting pitchers in baseball, deGrom and Thor, the Giants go up against a starting pitcher with an E.R.A. of 11.34. He shuts them down without a run for the first 5 innings and they lose 11-4. As Joaquin Andujar, marvelous player and a great wit, once said: "There is only one word for baseball: 'Anything can happen".

Contrary to the Federal Reserve anime fairy tale (thx, Kim), there has never been only "money". The archaeology of artifacts and accounting records always finds at least two different kinds of cash: (1) the currency that the people with edged weapons (now guns), official uniforms and titles collect from people for tribute, taxes and bribes; (2) the currency that other people with edged weapons (now guns) who can't be bullied will accept as payment

I am a Constitutionalist on this question because Washington, Morris and the majority in Philadelphia never let the common sense of experience be defeated by theory, even one as useful as Adam Smith's. Hence, these provisions in Article I Section 8 for enumerating the powers of Congress: To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures; To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States; For the Constitution's authors and the people who voted to ratify its words as Supreme Law, the labels for these two kinds of money were (1) legal tender and (2) free exchange. Coin, both American and foreign, could serve as either or both monies. But, evidence of debt and property ownership in whatever form would be Securities. When Washington warned his countrymen about foreign entanglements, he was talking about money as much as war. Grant said the same thing 3 generations later, when he advised China and Japan, "to avoid foreign debt and the ruin of war that always comes with it". Both men knew, from direct experience, how empire was always and everywhere a corruption. They also knew how it got started. Countries that found a technological advantage - in arms, transport, manufacture and/or agriculture - would quickly accumulate international exchange. Those accumulations would get spent - on wars and on distributions to the politically important, which could include "the people". (Pericles will always survive as a hero of Athens, in spite of his disastrous wars, because the newly-discovered and productive silver mines worked by slaves showered the demos with MMT free money.) The amounts not spent would be "saved". Since "saved" money, whether legal tender or international exchange, could only gain profits beyond arbitrage by being invested, successful empires quickly found themselves lending or directly spending money abroad. That automatically raised the question: what money would be used to reward the investors back home? The easy and obvious answer for imperial investors was to have payments done in a currency that was both legal


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