Irving Fisher quote

For all you gold bugs.

Tell me Irv didn’t get it!

“The U. S. is headed toward a period of business depression, probably beginning within the next two years, which may exceed that which preceded the War. . . . The only thing that will save us is a new gold policy or the discovery of a new process or additional gold fields. If the fall [of gold production] is not prevented by design or accident we shall throttle business, wringing out all profits and experiencing all the evils of deflation.”

— Irving Fisher, Time Magazine, Jan. 20, 1930

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20 Responses to Irving Fisher quote

  1. RDG says:

    The US space program originated under a gold standard.

    Reply

    strawberry picker Reply:

    Les Johnson – a big time rocket scientist with Nasa told me it takes lots of gold to make spacecraft parts and foils and such. As we expand into space we will need to mine lots of that shiny metal off the rocks and other stuff spinning around out there. I can see lots better uses for the shiny metal in our technology than in our money. I think there is a little bit of gold in many computer memory parts, now isn’t it better to have 7 billion humans with computers that have gold in them than 7 billion humans with coins in thier pocket that have gold in them? An ipad and iphone are far more useful to me than a golden lump of metal weighing down my trousers.

    Reply

    RDG Reply:

    “…7 billion humans with computers”

    And about 5 billion will use their computers and their guaranteed Government ELR credits to purchase Government lotto tickets, games, and porn. The FIAT gang is left with 5 billion dysfunctional people.
    The goldbugs move on to lets say building better machines to study gene regulation. Which side do you suppose is better equipped to ultimately solve the growing overpopulation problem?

    Reply

    strawberry picker Reply:

    “nd about 5 billion will use their computers and their guaranteed Government ELR credits to purchase Government lotto tickets, games, and porn.”

    I know many people that sit around playing online poker, and online scrabble and watching youporn. You and I and many others are using our computers to sit around on these MMT blogs and chat, we don’t get paid for it, are we any different?

    “The goldbugs move on to lets say building better machines to study gene regulation.”

    I just watched a show on PBS this morning about kids with immunity problems and new gene therapies that give them a better life.

    ” Which side do you suppose is better equipped to ultimately solve the growing overpopulation problem?”

    I have long thought it is inevitable most governments will have to limit personal liberties to control birthing policies of sada mosler and her peers – ala china. Bill Gross is recently talking about demographics challenges that cannot be overcome – not of overpopulation, but declining population in the developed world. I tried to do my personal part and have as many babies as possible, but none of the females around me were up to it and kept aborting. Les Johnson of Nasa thought we are going to expand into space long before people all over the globe accept central bodies telling them how many babies they can and can’t have and that overpopulation wouldn’t be so bad – our technology and desire to explore would open up the moon and mars and space stations to give us more space – we still have underground cities, floating cities, underwater cities, and we still have lots of land to build on – I don’t think overpopulation is so bad, I can walk out my front door and only have to breathe in a little pollution – it doesn’t kill you immediately. Besides Larry Summers with capandtrade is going to make sure only the least of humanity gets exposed to the evils of our growth. ALl the pollution is going to countries whose life expectancy is less than 30 years old anyways, so they will die of something else long before the pollution.

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    Go to places were there is chronic overpopulation in terms of persons per square mile. They develop a different spatial perspective. Resources are no problem either, It’s resource use that that counts, including externalities, both positive and negative. It’s a no brainer to harness the sun’s energy. It’s free and super-abundant, at least for a very very long time. And due to negative externalities, clean water and air are becoming scarce. Bucky Fuller started talking about this fifty years ago, saying that humanity needed to adopt what he called “design science” to do more with less. He was an architect. Think land architecture vs. naval architecture, vs. aeronautical architecture, vs. aerospace architecture.

    strawberry picker Reply:

    In coastal florida areas that I have lived, around 2700 persons per square mile, very condensed. And still most of the structures are only 1 story, We still have lots of room to build up into the sky, down into the ground (but in florida the ground is at sea level so no basements much), and out into the ocean. Being hooked up to city water and sewer is a nightmare, sand often comes out of the faucets, and sewer gas that stinks to high heaven often comes up out of the plumbing in bathtub and showers.

    “They develop a different spatial perspective.”

    I remember many canadians were VERY angry when the asians were coming over and buying old houses to demolish them and construct these gargantuan homes with massive amounts of space inside, they got tired of so little space and tiny closet apartments back home.

    “And due to negative externalities, clean water and air are becoming scarce.”

    This chick at my local gym only drinks bottled water, but her dental bill was astronomical, no flouride in her bottled water. She said yah, but she won’t die from stomach cancer from that flouride either when she gets old. If it aint one thing, it’s another.

    Yah I read lots on buckminster, people are just too short sighted and narrowminded it seems – we keep rediscovering the wheel monetarily and in so many other ways. There was a guy in germany wanting to do the “atlantropa” project to give us lots of new land to develop on.

    Philip Dick, that guy took too many drugs. I tried to be around people like him, all my girlfriends were on drugs, weed, heroin, alcohol and they all kept wanting to rob me so they could get more, I don’t like drug users anymore. I wonder if people liked being around Dick and his habit. I am addicted to sugar, but I have never robbed anyone to support my candybar habit.

    beowulf Reply:

    The US space program originated under a gold standard.

    Nazi Germany was under the gold standard? :o)

    Reply

  2. Unforgiven says:

    Ah yes, and we’ll all be going to debtor’s hell when the Chinese finally demand payment in gold ingots and diamonds at whatever exchange rate they set. But we don’t have enough of course, so we’ll have to borrow tin cups from our Chinese Overlords (against our already huge debt) and stand on the street corners begging for alms from those that had to foresight to own gold. They of course will simply spit on us and say “I told you so” as they spirit away with a new roll of razorwire to protect what they’ve so prudently collected. At the end of the day, when the Chinese Overlords come to collect what is in our tin cups, we will have nothing to offer but headlice and a promise to do better tomorrow. We sigh, tie a tighter knot in the waistband of our hole-ridden underware, lest it hobble us on our way back to our makeshift cardboard homes (also owned by the Chinese). Our children ask us “did you pay off any of the debt today, or will we end up having to do it? Daddy, please don’t make us pay all that money, please!!!!”

    The next day, Congress convenes in a decrepit shipping container (also owned by the Chinese) and at the end of the session resolves only to send another plea to the goldbugs to bail us out. A plea that sadly, will never make it through the razorwire.

    If only we had listened.

    Reply

    Min Reply:

    Yup. The Chinese will rue the day they invented flying money. ;)

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    fortunately all china can demand for a $10 bill is two $5’s

    And they can give the fed wire instructions to shift its dollars from its reserve account at the fed to its securities account at the fed
    or to shift its dollars from its reserve account at the fed to someone else’s

    and if the fed’s computer goes down, it can all be lost

    Reply

  3. strawberry picker says:

    The goldbugs should be ashamed, from mish to schiff and all the rest. A top 1930’s yale economist advocating the only way to save the country was to dig holes in the ground in one place (goldmine) to bury back in the ground in another place (fort knox) (sigh)

    I am with you Warren, in mind, body, soul and spirit, there are lots of people that want to work, but they just need some direction of how to apply thier energies and efforts. Government policy that does public good is golden. Digging holes for gold is not the way. Startgate atlantis cities with high speed maglev trains, modern airports with new jet airplanes, new cars with AI driving systems that self navigate, 100% solar energy cities, underground cities, moonbases, etc etc there are so many directions to throw our surplus labor into. The liquidationists scare the bejeezus out of me, all that lost human effort and labor that could advance our future. Why is there so little political will to have large government programs to pay people to build stargate atlantis societies? Obama has come to florida and helped with solar farms and with a high speed train from orlando to tampa, so there is hope! We just need this infrastructure subsidy everywhere – who here doesn’t want stargate atlantis cities? Even Mish will look like a fool if he argues against that.

    Reply

    Mr. E Reply:

    Agreed.

    Also, it strikes me how non-self reliant the gold bugs are. They essentially rely on some fairys to sprinkle gold around the world as the only viable store of value. MMTer’s rely upon honest humans to moderate spending and abide by the rule of law.

    Reply

    beowulf Reply:

    SP, Warren will only disappoint you I fear. You need to track down the famous architect Jacque Fresco, I believe he’s in Florida. Fresco has determined that dramatic and impractical buildings are even more dramatic and impractical on water. I don’t mean waterfront, I mean floating. And yes there are maglevs (also, of course, floating).
    http://drexfiles.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/the-futurism-of-jacque-fresco/

    Reply

    Calgacus Reply:

    Why is there so little political will to have large government programs to pay people to build stargate atlantis societies?
    The debate between those who want Stargate Atlantis societies versus Star Trek societies versus Star Wars versus Babylon 5 societies … is so vehement that nothing ever gets done … — so we end up with neoliberals who give us a Philip K. Dick society. :-)

    Reply

    Tom Hickey Reply:

    Don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    Reply

    zanon Reply:

    Definitely laugh Toms Hickey:

    We are so far from Philip K Dick society it is funny.

    Calgacus Reply:

    We are so far from Philip K Dick society it is funny.
    Yes, that is what characters in a Dick novel always think at first. :-)

  4. Karl says:

    My reading of that line (and I think Warren’s point) is that Fisher is advocating adjusting the gold standard or hoping that some event dramatically increases the amount of currency or, in this case, gold in circulation. Basically it’s a more round about way of hoping that the public’s desire to save is financed by magically putting more gold into circulation (something hard to do with gold, but as I’ve learned here, not so tough for the US government to do with fiat currency). He’s talking about deflation causing a deep depression based on the current policy, that sounds like something I’ve read here before…

    Reply

    WARREN MOSLER Reply:

    right, he was saying that since the US was on a gold standard, it was doomed to a depression unless it somehow could increase the available gold supply

    Reply

    strawberry picker Reply:

    Warren I will expand on this MEME even further care of tom hickey, and I will throw in a little neil degrasse tyson as well. What we are ultimately trying to expand, with more money, weather it be fiat or gold money, is productive human beings right? As I asked you years ago, and continue to not understand to this day, where are the MMT policies regarding birthing? You can expand the gold supply or the fiat supply, but if you don’t have a national policy that requires sada mosler and her peers to have lots of babies, then all the MMT memes in the world are pointless if you don’t have a thriving expanding population of humans to learn them eh?

    Reply

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