Critique of “What Has Government Done to Our Money?”

Image of book "What Has Government Done to Our Money" and the author Murray N. Rothbard
This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series What has government done to our money?

A few years ago I was discussing the nature of money and the economy with someone whom I seemed to fundamentally disagree with on some basic tenants of what money is and how money works.

He asked me to read a book titled “What Has Government Done to Our Money?” to help me understand where I was going wrong.

I found the book online in an epub format (the link is above), downloaded it to my Nook, and read it.

This series is a critique of what I read.

Two important concepts

The book seems to be built on two common concepts in which the author of the book seems to disagree with some prominent economists and anthropologists who have studied the origin of money.

Concept #1: The origin of money

The book assumes money was created as a “bottoms up” phenomenon. Anthropologists tell us is not the case (more of this in the next post).

Concept #2: The free market

The author also uses the phrase “free market” to mean “free from government interference”, without regard to the fact that (according to economist Michael Hudson) when Adam Smith used the phrase in his book on The Wealth of Nation (which was the world’s first book on economics), he meant something quite different.

The rest of this series

Is a detailed response (analysis is definitely too strong a word) to ideas expressed in the book that I’ve learned are out of sync with which some prominent economists tell us, but most of these “issues” seem tied to the two concepts identified above.

It starts with an examination of the two common and important concepts.

Then continues with a section by section response to the ideas presented.

Series NavigationThe origin of money >>

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