Skip to main content

Why beer should be our currency

I recently wasted 123 minutes of my life by watching Zeitgeist Addendum on Google video. I really wish I could unwatch it, although the fancy light show and zealous editing were rather impressive. It was like watching a sermon, with one logical fallacy after the other causing my eye to twitch nervously. To repent, I listened to lots of Nevermore.

West African voodoo altar
A West African Vodun altar. Voodoo is the process currently used in the fractional reserve banking system to create money.

Problems with the fractional banking system


Zeitgeist Addendum briefly explains the fractional reserve banking system. I'm not familiar with this particular system but a cursory glance at their source shows they neglected to portray what happens in the event of inflation (the Wikipedia page claims that their source is Modern Money Mechanics). I'm not sure how accurate their description is, but they take their description as representative of all monetary systems, and thereby apply their critique of fractional reserve banking to any given monetary system. They conclude that the world would be a better place if we did away with monetary systems entirely - including bartering - and everyone just lived in Cloud Cuckoo Land where AI robots gave us our daily bread. What did I say about Far-fetched Artificial Intelligence THeology (F.A.I.T.H)?

American dollar bill
Fiat money. The only difference between this and toilet paper is the face. Toilet paper causes you to make a different face.

Fiat money: the real deal breaker


The real problem of money is that the value of currency is not allowed to fluctuate according to the laws of supply and demand for that currency, or that the value of currency is not pinned to that of a particular commodity (such as gold), depending on who you talk to. Both these are a result of fiat money, or currency with no intrinsic value.

Fiat money means that the only value difference between toilet paper and bank notes is that bank notes have faces printed on them. Conversely, the problem with currency that has intrinsic value - namely commodity money - is that it has intrinsic value so it tends to disappear for ulterior purposes other than buying goods. Control over the value of currency and monitoring supply and demand for currency is thus difficult, not to mention the fact that the sources of the commodities used for currency (such as gold or silver) may run dry.

panopticon prison venus project socialism communism
The original design of the Panopticon, by Jeremy Bentham.

You may like to believe that the answer lies with the Venus Project, a Panopticon where there will be no government except the government run by spambots that ensures everyone gets dished their daily bread, that nobody trades or starts their own monetary system or that nobody digs their way out with a spoon (damages the commodities, you see). Or you may like my proposal:

gravity tap beer
A new world order banker hard at work in the new world order central bank.

Using beer as a currency solves the problems of the monetary system



  • Beer solves the problem of having a currency that has no intrinsic value. As a product that obeys the laws of supply and demand (or the laws of whichever cartel currently controls liquor supply, depending on who you talk to), the price of beer may fluctuate from here to kingdom come but it will still have intrinsic value.

  • Beer solves the problem of using a commodity which has a source that may become depleted. If you want to see people fix problems of a sustainable water supply quicker than Tiger Woods's whores climbing out of the Woodswork, see them run out of beer. The source for beer would never run dry.

  • Beer solves the problems of fractional reserve banking. Because beer has intrinsic value and because beer may become spoilt if you are savage enough to let it become expired, there is no way a bank (or brewery) can supply more beer than the demand.

  • Beer as a currency solves problems of inflation. Inflation is the rate at which money loses its value. According to monetarists, inflation is caused by more supply for a given demand. Thus, in our current fractional reserve banking system, inflation is largely a result of reserve banks printing too many faces on toilet paper. In a system using beer as currency, if our inflation is a result of supplying more beer than the current market demand for beer, we simply declare a public holiday and consume the excess supply until we're happy with our supply and demand equilibrium.

  • Beer has use value and each beer contains a fair amount of labour hours, so even Marxists should be happy with its use as a currency. For once, Marxists are satisfied as they can have their cake and eat it too.

  • Beer may be produced by anybody. How do you control the value of beer? The answer is that you taste it! If someone's beer tastes crap, you don't trade with them until they learn to make decent beer. Thus, beer as a currency would increase the average knowledge of science and the average level of skills in any given community. Even if people over produce, beer has built-in protection against inflation because it is perishable.

  • Beer would solve the problems of fraud. It's hard enough to embezzle millions of a currency that consists primarily of electronic numbers or paper with faces printed on it, but it's damn near impossible to embezzle a couple of tonnes of beer. Besides, the beer is perishable and everyone could make their own beer so go ahead and try to steal gallons of currency and see how far you get before someone notices their beer missing.

  • Beer would solve the problems of exchange rates. This is because everyone knows Americans can't make beer for shit. As we have seen, using beer as a currency would force America to outsource their federal bank in order to acquire decent currency and proper brewery skills to ensure that their currency - that is their beer - is on par with the rest of the world's currency. Similarly, since countries with the best breweries/central banks have incentive in trading with other countries of lesser brewing skills, they will be forced to impart some of their superior skills onto those lesser countries like America. Thus, international beer tasting would ensure that beer-making skills more or less even out, ensuring a world-wide standard for currency.



beer processing
The new and improved process of creating currency, if beer were to be used as currency. As you can see the process is greatly simplified.

Did I mention that beer is perishable? It truly makes me sad. Nevertheless, I'm glad that I solved the world's financial crisis. You're welcome. Skål!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fist bump the Trump

I must confess that I did not follow this election as it unfolded, because I have no skin in this game. I only became interested when I saw the crocodile tears on Facebook.

What fascinated me more was that the Trump supporters came out of the closet for the first time to voice their opinions. Virtually none of these Trump supporters espoused racist, misogynistic or any of those kind of deplorable views. Most of them were just pointing fingers at the know-it-all Clinton supporters.

What characterised this election? Rather than enlightened liberals waging a culture war with backward rednecks and hayseeds, three things characterised this election for me:
Shared hubris: Our candidate is bad, but the other candidate is even worse. Both parties seemed to espouse this sentiment.Joe Sixpack's Revenge: Based on voter turnout and based on for whom the largest voting group voted, this election was the revenge of the average American. That is average American by sheer number. Nobody bothered t…

Why has outrage come to dominate platforms like Twitter?

This question was posted on twitter by Sarah Britten Pillay. I shall try to answer that here, or at least address some of the topics surrounding this notion.

What makes a platform like Twitter more outrageous than the next? A brief summary of my thoughts on the topic: It would be interesting to contrive some outrage meter that could detect outrage levels in a piece of text.Plenty if not most of social media outrage is manufactured as a distraction.Outrage that isn't manufactured can be analysed by means of kin selection concepts from biology.If you aren't entirely sold on the sociobiology idea, then the balance of risk and incentive from game theory can also shed some light on the rationale behind social media outrage. Outrage levels are too damn high I do agree that social media platforms tend to be filled with more outrage than others, but as far as I know there is no means of detecting or measuring outrage. The need exists for some outrage quotient or some method of classify…

White tears the most valuable currency but not as valuable as fauxtrage

This formerly glorious publication which I shall not even bother naming has also fallen into the habit of censoring its comments section, at least when it comes to white tears. Fortunately, I could still save this obviously far superior comment from the rather myopic agitprop from whence it came. I know it is superior because the quality of your commentary is inversely proportional to how long it stays unscathed. That's why the sanctimonious finger-wagging op-eds rarely get deleted, but the comments rarely last long.
Anyone - black or white or of any other pigmentation persuasion - with a Rhodes Scholarship can but only cry White Tears. Someone with a Rhodes Scholarship is in the very lap of privilege, the likes of which not even the majority of pale South Africans born with a silver spoon will ever see. That is why it is not uncommon to see their ilk waiting on tables instead of whipping their slaves on their ill-begotten land, which they refuse to give up, you see.
A similar campa…