Sunday, March 31, 2019

Money and Monetary System Basics - Upcoming in April

This blog was created to watch for any signs of major monetary system change that could directly impact the daily lives of all of us. While the blog does feature a variety of diverse views from some leading experts around the world, the real objective of this blog has always been to try and reach an audience consisting of the average person like myself that does not have an in depth academic background on these issues.

When things are going normally, most of us don't have significant interest in the kind of issues we talk about here. We just take it for granted that the monetary system will function properly in a way that allows us to carry our daily business activities. However, every now and then, we get some kind of major crisis that forces us to become more motivated to learn about what is happening and why. We know something is not right and we need to better understand what it is.

Fortunately, since the last big crisis in 2008-2009, we have avoided the kind of major crisis that could force major monetary system change under duress. But that does not mean the underlying issues have gone away. Simmering below the surface are issues that are contributing to some of great political divide we see around us. Many times we don't realize that these issues related to money and monetary systems may directly underpin clashes that on the surface seem to be political battles.

There is a growing public perception that something is not right or not fair about how our system operates that is creating a massive "wealth gap". Many younger people are more inclined to challenge the present system and we see this discontent expressed in the political arena in proposals such as the "Green New Deal". This is also creating a new debate over old ideas such as whether we should head into the future as a more capitalist system or as a more socialist system. This Economic survey of Millennials indicates they are not confident about the future of our present system (in part due to living through the impact of the 2008 financial crisis) and therefore may be more open to ideas for change.

While it may seem like these are new ideas and new debates, in many ways they are not. They are new to those who are younger because they may be hearing them for the first time. 

All of this emphasizes why it is important for all of us (younger and older) to learn as much as can about these issues. Historically, when nations have made bad choices in regards to money and monetary systems, a great amount of perhaps unnecessary suffering has followed (including being contributing factors to world wars and severe civil unrest). 

Even today, as we look around us, the following questions are quite relevant:

- Is our current monetary system just and fair?

- What is happening in places like Venezuela? What are some root causes of the problems?

-If we can create money to bail out large financial institutions, why can't we create money to help out those at the lower end of the financial ladder?

-How does money and the monetary system impact the political process?

The premise here is that before you decide what your views are on these issues, a basic understanding of some of the fundamentals would be helpful. In April, we will devote some time to articles that will provide some basics on both money and monetary systems. The articles won't be for those with advanced economic backgrounds.

These articles are especially designed for younger readers that may not have had any in depth exposure to these very important basic concepts. They are not broadly taught now in the formal education process unless you are specializing in economics. They are non partisan in nature and concentrate more on basic fundamental concepts and the fascinating history of how our money and monetary system has evolved over time. Without at least some understanding of this history, it is very hard to understand the issues we face currently and will face into the future.

If you know anyone that might benefit from this type of information (especially younger readers who may be thinking about these issues for the first time), I hope you will direct them to these upcoming articles in April here on the blog (first one is tomorrow).

I asked Dr. Judy Shelton to preview one upcoming article and she offered this comment to use here:

"I hope this kind of information reaches many young people and causes them to reflect on the importance of trustworthy money."  -- Dr. Judy Shelton

Added note: First article on Money Basics is now posted here.

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