Monday, September 7, 2009

Mankind's savior, the International Division of Labor

Money makes the division of labor possible, and the use of money among the world's people makes that division international in scope. Murray Rothbard:
The nineteenth century saw the benefits of one money throughout the civilized world. One money facilitated freedom of trade, investment, and travel throughout that trading and monetary area, with the consequent growth of specialization and the international division of labor.
But there's a catch: government has to stay out of the way:
It must be emphasized that gold was not selected arbitrarily by governments to be the monetary standard. Gold had developed for many centuries on the free market as the best money; as the commodity providing the most stable and desirable monetary medium. Above all, the supply and provision of gold was subject only to market forces, and not to the arbitrary printing press of the government.

The international gold standard provided an automatic market mechanism for checking the inflationary potential of government. It also provided an automatic mechanism for keeping the balance of payments of each country in equilibrium.
With the world's money about to enter its fifth decade as fiat paper money of no redeemable value, while being manipulated by the few, for the few, the division of labor and civilization are increasingly threatened.

Writing in 1938, Ludwig von Mises said:
The gold standard was and is still the best and even the only practical solution to an international organization of triangular trade. That it no longer works is not due to inherent defects or to a change in the conditions it presupposes. It is simply the consequence of the fact that governments no longer wish to let its mechanism work. They combat the international division of labor and they therefore intend to destroy the most important tool of international trade. It is not the breakdown of the gold standard, and it is not the unsatisfactory state of the world's monetary system which necessitate a policy of trade restrictions for monetary reasons. On the contrary. The gold standard and the world's monetary system collapsed because the governments destroyed them purposely for the sake of doing away with international trade.

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