Posts tagged Economics

Monday Lazy Linking

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Friday Lazy Linking

The Money Monopoly vs. Aesthetics and Good Taste

New U.S. $100 Even Uglier. Daring Fireball (2010-04-22):

Why are we making our money ugly? We’re ruining one of the greatest visual brands in history.  ★ 

Good lord.

John Gruber, linking the story at Daring Fireball, asks "Why are we [sic] making our money ugly?" I don't think it's hard to explain. The answer is that "we" (you and I) aren't doing anything to the U.S. Federal Reserve notes, because we don't design them and we don't have any meaningful market choice about what kind of money to use, either. The "visual brand" here is a brand in a completely uncompetitive market.

The people who do exercise effective choice over the design of U.S. government monopoly money (Treasury, the Fed, and the Secret Service) have no need to work to attract customers; their work is solely concerned with confining customers. Hence they have no incentive to be concerned with keeping their "visual brand" strong or attractive; the incentives point towards just making it as complicated and inelegant as possible, in order to make the design hard to counterfeit. Money that was produced in a competitive market, and which relied on customer choice rather than government fiat as its basis for value, has typically been attractive and well-designed.

Scratching By (Cont’d): The Government Land Cartel Vs. Costs Savings and Urban Living

Regulation of the Day 130: Roommates. OpenMarket.org (2010-03-30):

In New York City, it is illegal for four or more unrelated people to live together. At least 15,000 New York homes openly flout the rule. The ranks of lawless hooligans cut across lines of class and race. According to the New York Times, violators “include young actors and ponytailed...

Yet another way that government intervention and Land Monopoly creates sprawl, ratchets up fixed costs of living, and artificially transfers money from working folks to landlords and "developers."

Countereconomics is already making inroads; but 15,000-odd people in New York City is only the first baby step towards freedom. A real free-market city would look nothing like the cartelized, rigidified land-grab sprawl created by the rigged markets and pervasive interventions by local governments that we have today.