General Question

damien's avatar

Why not just print more money?

Asked by damien (2399points) June 28th, 2008

If the government needs more money for schools, roads, hospitals, etc. Why don’t they just print more?

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13 Answers

chaosrob's avatar

They kind of do, up to a point. The problem is that if you add more money to the system, each dollar is worth slightly less, and it takes slightly more of them to buy anything. Eventually you devalue your currency so much that you cause inflation, and the costs of things increase out of control.

marinelife's avatar

For the same reason that you can’t just create money to buy more stuff. The value of the money has to be tied to something that you hold.

In the case of our government, they are currently running a deficit. They can do that when you can’t because they have the prospect of future income from taxes, lots of land, etc. as valuables.

mirza's avatar

because it causes Inflation.

beast's avatar


Those Somalians have it so easy. (look at the map on the Wiki page)

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Henry Ford once said “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning”.
The Federal Reserve is the biggest scam in the world.


What point is that? The debt is up to $12 Trillion. It used to be $5 Trillion. This money essentially came from no where.

The best example of devaluing of the dollar can be seen in the price of gas today. The price of oil in dollars has quadrupled and the price of gold in dollar has quadrupled. That means that if our government followed the constitution, and actually had money backed by gold or silver, like the founding fathers told us to, we wouldnt have $4 a gallon gas right now.

You probably never heard of Ron Paul, but he ran for president this year and was comletely blacked out from the media due to his “extreme” views, but hes been talking about this exact problem affecting us and sure enough, here it is.

Heres a great little fact about JFK and the federal reserve. The bankers have run this country for a long long time.

paulc's avatar

Woah, digg flashback from a few months ago. Freaky.

mirza's avatar

@Chris: as much as I dislike/disagree with your views on economics, I have to applaud you for your passion for supporting someone

chaosrob's avatar

@chris Leaving the dollar coupled to a hard commodity like gold seriously limits the supply of capital. There would be insufficient resources to invest in growth, and this country would essentially be a century behind where we are today as a result.

Your suggestion that a hard currency would somehow have contained the escalation of crude oil wellhead prices is unsupportable, if not outright laughable. Market liquidity in dollars has almost nothing to do with the factors driving oil prices today. I’d be very curious to see a credible argument otherwise.

Re: Ron Paul’s economic theories, I can only suggest that anyone who’s still curious do some research. As far a I can see, his approach would have moved us back to a century, to an era of rampant poverty and robber barons. No thank you.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Growth, growth, growth, growth. growth. What does that mean? By growing, do you mean that things are easier and we get to work less? Is it growth, when my uncle had the very same job as me, and could raise a whole family on his own, and now both parents have to work to get by?

Hard currency and oil?? Here ya go.
Also, watch C-Span like I do everyday and Im sure some crongressman will disagree with you about the value of the dollar raising the price of gas. Its common sense, value of dollar goes down, price of goods go up.

Here is the definition of robber barons from wikipedia:
Robber baron was a term revived in the 19th century in the United States as a pejorative reference to businessmen and bankers who dominated their respective industries and amassed huge personal fortunes, typically as a direct result of pursuing various anti-competitive or unfair business practices. The term may now be used in relation to any businessman or banker who is perceived to have used questionable business practices or scams in order to become powerful or wealthy.

So if Ron Paul got into office as President, this would happen? Funny, I thought that it was happening as we speak. Rampant poverty?? Give that 2 years.

We need to back up a little and take a couple steps back. Things are so screwed up here. There is terrible organization. Everyone wants quick solutions from government instead of actually looking at what the real problem is. Government IS the problem. Everything our government touches turns to crap.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Did you guys like George Carlin??? ttp://

chaosrob's avatar

In your uncle’s youth there were 4 billion fewer human beings on the planet. Demand for resources and infrastructure has grown exponentially.

Poverty was in decline through the previous three decades, until the Bush 1 era, really.

Your Wikipedia reference is correct, but fails to communicate the scope of the problem from that era. Anticompetitive business practices were supressed and reversed under Roosevelt and subsequent progressive administrations; libertarian demands for the removal of these regulations would make the problem worse, not better.

Much of government has been incredibly successful, raising safety, quality of life, security and opportunity for millions of people. Your assertion that “everything” the government does is bad is just willful ignorance.

jerv's avatar

@chaosrob I think you also would benefit from reading this article regarding population growth, scarcity of resources, etcetera.

Also, by ”...libertarian demands for the removal of these regulations…”, are you calling many of the Conservatives I’ve seen/heard Libertarians? Was Bush-43 a Libertarian?
(I’m curious. I am honestly a little puzzled by that statement.)

As for the relationship between market liquidity and oil prices, the two are not totally separate, but neither are they as intertwined as @chris6137 seems to think. But there is at least a glimmer of truth to it since real wages (income increases versus inflation) have remained effectively flat for the majority of Americans over the last few years. Sadly, trying to figure out that relationship is like trying to put a number on the monetary value of human capital, which puts it only a small step above nailing jelly to a tree as far as futility goes.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Excellent answer! You are 100% accurate, and have outlined some of my own reasons for becoming a Libertarian. When people realize and the worthless scraps of paper we call “money” are backed by nothing whatsoever, there will be all hell to pay! I’m buying silver, since I can’t afford gold, most of it in circulated silver-content coins. : )

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