Here’s the link to my book. It’s pretty sweet.
Rothbard wrote an especially good long essay on American banking from the 17th century to the War of Southern Independence.
The Euro is sorta like a gold standard, but worse.
how could the government tax people with competing currencies (assuming we need taxes)
Aside from the point that Bob doesn’t want any taxes at all, the government would do it just as usual. He tells you to pay an X amount in currency Y, and maybe he allows to pay in several different currencies so also a W amount in currency Z (just depending on market exchanges ratios) etc..
Also there would not be that many different currencies around, as competition in money is quite eliminative. (How eliminative would be a really good question, but I have not yet read anything from anyone actually really digging into this question, well maybe it is in Bob’s new book).
Of course it also depends on what you think constitutes a different currency. Are two notes issued by different banks, but backed by a (maybe different) definite amount of gold different currencies? Not really are they?
Well the traditional way is to demand that tax be paid in one particular currency, then let people figure out how to achieve that.
However, if government wanted to try and be reasonable about things, they could set some exchange rates each year for tax purposes and accept a range of currencies. The incentive of the taxpayers would be to pay in the currency where the market rate was better than the official exchange rate… thus the incentive for the government would be to try to keep official rates close to market rates for that reason.
With some taxes (like a transaction tax for example) there’s an automatic conclusion that you take a fixed percentage of whatever currency the transaction was settled in. This might not work too well for land taxes.
E.g. look at Montenegro, the small Balkan state is not in the Euro System, but just uses the EURO as currency. So the government just determined to take taxes in EUR.
BTW: They used the DeutschMark before and even the USD shortly before they started using the EUR.
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