General Question

psyla's avatar

Can the economy be strengthened by issuing Treasury Certificates based on work rather than gold?

Asked by psyla (2544points) January 19th, 2009 from iPhone

If the US created one billion Treasury Certificates & payed infrastructure construction workers with them, would this reverse the economic decline? Lincoln financed the Civil War by doing this and Hitler crushed runaway inflation in Germany by doing this. Doesn’t it make sense that money should be based on work performed rather than gold in a vault?

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8 Answers

eambos's avatar

Our money isn’t even backed by gold anymore. Its value comes from a promise from the government.

psyla's avatar

Sounds like credit to me as in ” a promise to pay”. So we’re all paying for things by promising to pay for them and never really ever paying for anything?

steve6's avatar

Nice question. Is it utopian?

psyla's avatar

Actually replacing the “promissory note” US dollar with a Treasury Certificate based on hired work would insulate the US from foreign economys dependent on gold-based currency. We would have our own independent money. The infrastructure construction workers would get paid for their work & spend the Certificates buying things for their families. The “US dollar” would become strong, but it’s not a Utopian solution because it wouldn’t help the rest of the world that still used the old financial system, dependent on loans & debt transactions.

laureth's avatar

Since not everyone’s work is valued the same as every other person’s work, how would you make a standard?

psyla's avatar

Workers would get a different rate of pay much as we do now, based on education required and demand for workers. Lincoln financed the Civil war by doing this. Depression-Era Germany owed foreign bankers three times the total value of all assets in the country! Hitler simply ignored this debt and created a billion Deutch Marks set aside to pay hired infrastructure workers. The workers spent the Marks in the local economy. Germany became so strong, they were taking over the world!

psyla's avatar

I am not pro-Hitler but he was a genius at creating a thriving economy in a depression ravaged country.

laureth's avatar

It sounds like you’re saying two different things. First, you suggest a new kind of scrip based on work instead of gold (not that ours is baced by gold currently). To base a money system on something, you have to know how much one unit of the money is worth – for example, the value of a dollar would be a certain amount of gold. To have a money system that is backed by work, each dollar would have to be valued at a certain amount of work. But a babysitter’s hour of work is not valued the same as a CEO’s hour of work, so what I’m asking is how you would define a dollar’s value when it’s backed by work.

Then, later, you say that it would be used to pay for people to work at different rates. That is not “backed by” work – that’s just money used to fund projects, much like we have now.

Which do you mean?

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