Springingtiger's Blog


The Cow Standard
January 22, 2013, 22:14
Filed under: Politics, success | Tags: ,

The other day I dreamed of cows and beans, as one sometimes will. I dreamed I lived in an agrarian economy where people used barter to meet their needs. I had a cow and a cow was worth, in exchange, one thousand beans, but who can use a thousand beans at once? I wrote credit note to the value one thousand beans and anf persuaded a fellow farmer to exchange them for a cow, on the understanding that should he wish to redeem them, he could do so against my cow. I used the milk from the cows to meet my expenses as I accumulated more cows. Soon everyone was using my credit notes because they were so convenient.

I had always wanted a tractor, but tractors cost ten cows. I realised that it was highly unlikely that every credit note would be called in at once, so I issued credit notes and bought a tractor thus fixing the value of a tractor at ten thousand beans.. It occurred to me that I had now issued more notes than I could technically cover; however I controlled most of the cows the supply depended on me, so I declared the value of a cow to be fifteen hundred beans, the other cow owners were happy to go along with me. It had the effect of devaluing tractors against cows.

My fields were full of cows, too many to count. I realised that as long as people knew I had plenty of cows they would be content to carry on spending bean notes, in fact because of their convenience they would not want to stop using them. I put guards on my farm, no one could get near the cows, but as long as they believed the bean notes had value, they had value regardless of how many cows I had in my fields. So I decided to start a hamburger business, because a cow converted to hamburger is worth a lot more beans.

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