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Understanding money

“Understanding money is the key to restoring a sound economy,” wrote Congressman Ron Paul in Mises and Austrian Economics, his personal view on the great economist and the theories of Austrian economics that Mises helped formulate. Likewise, understanding money is the key to being able to withstand the chaos of currency debasement and inflation.

It seems odd that one would state that “understanding money is the key.” After all, doesn’t everyone know what money is? Actually, no.

Those who sat through college Econ. 101 may remember that money is a medium of exchange, a store of value, and unit of value used to measure relative worth of goods and services. But, I can almost guarantee, that the average person does not know why gold and silver are the ultimate forms of money. Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, while discussing why dollars are poor money, provides little insight into the importance of basing a monetary system on hard assets.

The best writings on money and the importance that gold and silver play in sound monetary systems are by students of the Austrian School of economic theory, many of which are affiliated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama. Visitors at the Institute’s website will find a plethora of publications about money and economics, so many that their heads will spin trying to figure out which to choose.

Luckily, Bob Murphy, a holder of a Ph.D. in Economics from New York University and an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Institute, just wrote an excellent piece for about money and the Federal Reserve System. (You really can’t get away from discussing the Fed when discussing today’s money.) In his piece, Murphy lists some of the excellent books on money and economics, with links to sources where they can be purchased.

Murphy’s piece is well worth the time it takes to read. Further, read a few of the books recommended, and you’re on your way to becoming educated about money. Then, you, too, will know why “understanding money” is the key, not only to a sound economy but also to avoiding losing “the fruits of your labors” to currency debasement and inflation. At CMIGS, we like to think we do our little part by explaining why gold bullion coins are the best investments for the times.

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