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The Floating Kilogram

March 22, 2011

Seal of Hillsdale College (Gold), Hillsdale, M...

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A Thought Exercise on Property Rights

There is a private college in the south central Michigan town of Hillsdale, that provides a classical liberal education to its students, independent of funding from any government. Hillsdale College is a wonderful exception amongst upper educational venues, and their educational reach extends far beyond its students.  They provide, free of charge, a monthly publication called Imprimus (In the First Place) , and you, dear reader can visit their website and subscribe to it.  I have been a reader of Imprimus for about 20 years, and I highly recommend it.

So I am on the internet, clicking around, and I end up    HERE, which is an article in Imprimus which has not yet made it in paper form to my home.  Property Rights.  I have heard of that.  I would like to know more about that.  And the author starts talking about the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, and the reference point for mass, (what non-physicists call “weight”), and how there is a scramble to define the kilogram, since the sample that has served as the reference is ACTUALLY LOSING MASS.  Hmmm.

So, is my Grocer using that *standard* when he weighs my Corn Flakes?

You really ought to visit the link to Imprimus and read the entire article,The Floating Dollar as a Threat to Property Rights because it is Seth Lipsky’s work, and it is masterfully written.  The bottom line is that users of the federal reserve notes that we get at the bank, are getting ripped off.  (Not too scholarly, eh?)  We trade our labor for pretty colored pieces of paper, and then exchange them for other goods and services, and their value, is diminished over time.  Just like the mass of the unit of measure of the kilogram.  And all of this leads back to those old, dead, white dudes like George Washington ($1 bill)  and Thomas Jefferson ($2 bill) that set up a government for our country.  And what they set up was a system for coins, with a dollar being 371 1/4 grains of silver, which matched (or was consistent with) the Spanish silver coin of the time.  They allowed for the free-market equivalent if one preferred to use gold coins.  And silver and gold coins provided for consistency.

And so if, the rapidly diminishing-in-value federal reserve notes that we currently use ever do need to be replaced, as in the confidence of the people in them is shot, kaput, perhaps we ought to consider following the lead of the dead white dudes that set up the government for our country and actually follow their lead.  It did seem to work pretty dawggone well until about 1913.  And protect and defend the rights of the people, and especially the right that they have in their property.

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