no third solution

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What Does a Libertarian Economy Look Like?

July 24th, 2010

Quoth the Faux Capitalist, on libertarianism and “Austrian” economists:

For me, a libertarian is someone who believes that limited government is the most likely to protect the liberties of the people whom it governs, and that shouldn’t necessitate an economic system based on a scarce resource such as gold.

Any economy (I do not prefer the term “economic system”) is not “based” on currency. It’s based on the exchange (often consisting in currency) of scarce resources. Some resources happen to be more scarce than others. Historically it is those resources, in particular the precious metals, that have been chosen as monetary commodities. This is so for a number of reasons I need not explain at present.

So it’s a gross misunderstanding, I think, to characterize the Austrians as gold-fetishists (although there are certainly some worthy of that). In fact, it’s not advocacy of an “economic system”, but rather a belief that in the absence of any coerced “system”, a free market settles upon a common medium (or perhaps, media) of exchange.

Anyone who advocates an “economic system” based on anything other than freedom and exchange is not a libertarian.

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no third solution

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