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Comment: Re:Duh (Score 1) 315

by palfreman (#36567504) Attached to: Microsoft Exploits Firefox 4 Uproar, Beats IE Drum
Exactly. The Mozilla folks have no idea how foolish they are being about this. They have just rendered their browser a "legacy app" on the corporate desktop. It makes it very problematic for Linux desktops, as they can't simply switch to IEx. It may not affect their market share right away, but in the long term it renders Linux desktops an unsellable propositions.

Comment: Re:Pick your poison. (Score 1) 476

Hmm. So post civil-war US, with a long period of deflation, was very bad for the US economy? No, that is what got America from being a backwards third-world land of hill farmers to the great industrial power it became by 1900. Did hard money do Britain any harm? No, the industrial revolution started there, with gold and silver in circulation as money and two centuries of prices trending down. Small amounts of inflation are harmful too, just not as much as big inflation.

Comment: Re:Pick your poison. (Score 1) 476

It is still a substantial transfer of wealth from the real economy to holders of new money who have not had to make anything in exchange for it. It also discourages real savings, which are necessary for real investments. For example, look at the greatest phase of American growth. All of it under either a silver standard or a gold standard. All of it with falling prices. Same with the industrial revolution in Britain, with gold guineas and silver shillings. Same with Rome and silver denarii. History is also littered with examples of empires that have declined as they debased their currency - Rome later on 20th Century Britain, and America today. Only really the Russians managed to build a great empire while having nonsense money under communism.

Comment: Re:Pick your poison. (Score 1) 476

It's because nobody is that old, the original ones being issued near the end of the 18th century.

Just to be pedantic: the Thaler was first minted in Joachimsthal, Bohemia, in 1518. A Thaler is called a dollar in Spanish, and the Spanish version of this coin, minted in the Spanish empire's silver mining colonies in America, were the first American currency. A US dollar was a Spanish dollar of the same size and weight minted in the US much later - 1858 I think.I guess there might have been a few US ones minted before that, but the Spanish one was the "real" one for a very long time and was in main circulation. Arguable what is called a US dollar today is not, from the point when they went onto the gold standard with $5 quarter ounce gold coins, and the paper dollar since 1934. Dollars are supposed to be silver.

Comment: Re:Don't feed the trolls (Score 1) 476

Not true. There is no point in collecting taxes in dollars unless the government can buy with them. If the US government has to chose between keeping to the current US legal tender laws or effectively abolishing all taxes in real terms, they will forget the US dollar overnight. That is what happened in Zimbabwe.

Comment: Re:Don't feed the trolls (Score 1) 476

If they can make it as scarce and unfalsifiable and liquid as silver or gold, they are in with a chance. But I doubt it. Use of something as a means of exchange normally follows from its use as a desirable commodity. It doesn't just become desirable by being in limited supply. False scarcity like this as a failure rate of 100% in the long term. Too tempting to fiddle it ultimately, whereas going and panning in the river or shovelling dirt for mining is really difficult and unfiddleable.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin is imaginary (Score 1) 476

That is called chartellism and it is unfortunately a fallacy. If the government creates enough money to make it valueless but demanded tax payments in it, then all a government would succeed in doing is abolishing all taxes. The use of a currency for tax collection follows from its use as a means of exchange, rather than causing it.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin is imaginary (Score 1) 476

But if they make enough new dollars it will be very easy to pay any amount of tax and still not have transferred any real value to the government. Currencies are used because they are a medium of exchange in business. Not because you have to pay taxes in a particular one. That follows from their use as a medium of exchange - if the government couldn't exchange them for real goods, the money would be no use to them.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin is imaginary (Score 1) 476

Nah. It doesn't matter what currency a commodity is traded in. They are all substitutes for one another at current exchange rates. A lot of prices are quoted in US dollars out of convention, but that doesn't mean people are really keeping a bit stock for real use. I've seen that in the Middle East a lot - businesses quoting in dollars but settling in the local currency.

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers

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