Stephen… There are some very fundamental disagreements here:

“Examining your examples of wealth creation, It’s all human labor.”

All forms of value have as their antecedent some manner in which people take raw materials and make things from them, so in the “making” perhaps I would agree. But the value of the labor and the ‘wealth’ it creates are not the same. Raw materials command a price because they are recognized as being things which can be made useful. The useful thing then commands a higher price, not because of some arbitrary value of the labor, but because of the perceived usefulness of the thing made.

A big part of what motivates my argument is the false notion that exporting a manufacturing job and importing a service job represents an equal exchange. The service sector job was brought into existence by some prior “making” (or growing) of things. When we in the U.S. export manufacturing jobs overseas in the name of so-called “free trade” we are really exporting the creation of wealth (and the dignity which people find in it as well).

“ Why you should devalue the labor of a server over any other work, I don’t understand…”

This is exactly the problem… you don’t realize that I am distinguishing wealth and value. The coffee shop is a place where various forms of value are exchanged. There is economic value in a cup of coffee and the convenience of having someone else make it. But there are social and cultural values there as well that are important. But none of this exists until an unless a farmer grows the coffee and a worker in a paper mill make the coffee cups (or a potter makes a coffee mug, etc.) So I am not all devaluing the labor of a server — I am arguing that it depends on an antecedent creation of wealth.

There are so many other good examples. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc. build a building. But our aesthetic sensibilities create demand for an architect to create value by designing the building to be attractive. And then someone offers more value in keeping it clean and otherwise maintaining it. The wealth was created by those who built the building — and various forms of value emerged as a result.

“The notion of stable currency is important, minding that for any currency to be stable, all currencies must be.”

This is incorrect, for the reasons which follow…

“The notion that commodity backed currencies can be stable is wrong, the price of any commodity fluctuates, that, and the fact that not enough gold exists to guarantee the value of our currencies, is why the gold standard was abandoned, and why no physical commodity can function in that capacity.”

When a public treasury exists as a store of wealth belonging to its people, and a currency is issued by the government and tied to that store of wealth (in the form of commodities like gold and/or silver), the price of the commodity in the unit of the currency governs both. If there is a need to increase the money supply, the price of the commodity has to be increased (devaluing the currency). With something like a gold standard this would have to be done openly and for reasons the people would be willing to accept.

Your reading of why the gold standard was abandoned is especially flawed. The “Bretton Woods” system after WWII was abandoned because the U.S. decided to create far more money than it could possibly redeem at $35/oz in gold from the Treasury. We were trying to fight a war (Vietnam) without obtaining the consent of the people to do so, and were trying to build the “Great Society” at the same time. Other countries saw this for what it was and began demanding gold in return for their dollar reserves. That dynamic is very simple to grasp. No one wants to be the next guy in line with dollars after the last of the gold is redeemed, left with worthless paper.

Gold (and silver or any other Noble metal) can function perfectly as a basis for money — if and only if the political body has the backbone to actually answer to their public for the value of that money.

And what money actually is: An option to purchase any human labor.

This is very much where the disagreement lies. The labor theory of value is flawed because it confuses value and wealth. I would subscribe to a labor theory of wealth. Wealth is created in one way and one way only — people work to transform raw materials into useful (or desired) things.

Money is not used to purchase labor, but rather to purchase the useful or desired things created by that labor. Or in other words, labor only has economic meaning if it produces something someone else finds of value. Permit me a little humor…

I can work for a few minutes picking my nose. I doubt, however, anyone will be offering to pay me anything for the fruits of my labor.

“ You appear to make the claim that public infrastructure is not created wealth, I strongly disagree. It’s clear that public infrastructure reduces production, delivery, planning, acquisition costs, and more.”

Quite the opposite… Any taking of raw materials and making them useful is a creation of wealth. But the use of public infrastructure is to allow the producer and consumer to more easily transact business… Or in other words, the value which emerges from making things is exchanged via that infrastructure. If government limited itself to the development and maintenance of public infrastructure and otherwise left the people alone to create wealth and transact value, we would be far more prosperous and UBI would not have even come up as a subject of discussion .

“We have a fiat money system, the money supply is what we create.”

Over 5,000 years of monetary history, we have had all of 50 years of fiat money.

“Creating money according to the rule of inclusion globally provides a standard process, so all money is created equal, we return to fixed exchange. Fixed exchange, backed with a relatively fixed commodity (the pledge of all future human labor,) looks far more ideal, for money.”

Your “rule of inclusion globally” assumes two things, one of which is clearly false and the second of which has never obtained in all of human history.

The first falsehood is the idea that all labor is equally valuable. The problem is that the product of that labor may not be needed nor wanted. Countries which suffer economically suffer because people do not buy their products. The solution to that problem is simple: If you want people to buy your products, you might try making products people want to buy. (I am no fan of Germany’s reckless lending, but I will say that their economic position is a function of the fact that they simply make products people want to buy.)

Secondly, the issuance of money has for all of human history been a signature of sovereignty. The idea that a group of people would subordinate this (your euphemism was “investment”) to a global body over which they would have no say has no precedent in human history precisely because it has no antecedent in human nature.

“A UBI not taken from anyone, but earned for our participation in the enterprise of money creation…that also enables access to global economic abundance, and individual sovereignty.”

Income in what monetary unit? Earned how? By labor without distinction as to the value of its output? The enterprise of money creation? If our enterprise is wealth creation, the demand for money to exchange the resulting value will take care of the “money creation” naturally and without any help from the State. Global economic abundance? That will only follow from global creation of wealth — which will be stunted by the substitution of incentives created by a UBI. Individual sovereignty? That is a function of being free to acquire a claim on the only commodities which have, throughout human history, been recognized by all as money — gold and silver.

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I am a charter member of the pocket-protector set, but old enough to make fun of them and otherwise have a healthy skepticism of tech.

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