Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Imagine No Possessions

Michael Moore says of the money of wealthy Americans: "That's a national resource, that's ours." Let's take this claim to its logical conclusions.

Any good that is described as being a "national" or "public" good is ours in name only - in reality, it is the government's. Public schools. Public transportation. Public buildings. All the government's.

Fiat currency does not have any inherent value. Currency represents shares of goods and services produced by its owner, just as stock represents shares of a company's net assets. NBC paid Jay Leno $20 million during the comic's last years at Tonight. Since money is just a voucher, whoever owns the voucher owns whatever it can be redeemed for.

US Dollars can be legally redeemed for all lawful goods and services. Everything Leno buys. Everything Leno can legally buy. The services NBC bought from Leno. Everything in the hands of both rich and poor. All the government's.

When I say "the government," I mean the federal government. Article One, Section 10 of the Constitution bars the states from issuing legal tender other than silver or gold coin. States can't own fiat money it can't print. It can't own gold or silver either, since federal currency is redeemable for those commodities. So if a state issues gold coins, the coins really belong to Washington.

If someone steals one of Leno's cars, who does the law authorize to file charges? The owner? Not according to Moore - in his eyes Leno is just a custodian. To be consistent with his property rights philosophy, Moore should be demanding that this change, that the courts recognize all property crimes as federal crimes.

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