By Friedrich August Hayek
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Additional resources for Denationalisation of Money - The Argument Refined (Hobart Paper Special)
But on the European Continent there were many occasions in which, if people had only been permitted, they would have used dollars rather than their national currencies. They did in fact do so to a much larger extent than was legally permitted, and the most severe penalties had to be threatened to prevent this habit from spreading rapidly-witness the billions of unaccounted-for dollar notes undoubtedly held in private hands all over the world. I have never doubted that the public at large would be slow in recognising the advantages of such a new currency and have even suggested that at first, if given the opportunity, the masses would turn to gold rather than any form of other paper money.
Indeed the latter should necessarily follow from the former. I',' ! ' I can find no such evidence that anything like a currency of which the public has learnt to understand that the issuer can continue his business only ifhe maintains its currency constant, for which all the usual banking facilities are provided and which is legally recognised as an instrument for contracts, accounting and calculation has not been preferred to a deterior ating official currency, simply because such a situation seems never to have existed.
Unfortunately, however, that statement over-simplified the issue. In many circumstances inflation indeed leads to a temporary reduction of unemployment, but only at the price of causing much more unemployment later. This is exactly what makes inflation so seductive and politically almost irresistible, but for that reason particularly insidious. [7 8J the economists using a macro-economic approach to the prob lem usually neglect or underrate. This crucial damage done by inflation would in no way be eliminated by indexation.
Denationalisation of Money - The Argument Refined (Hobart Paper Special) by Friedrich August Hayek