Ludwig von Mises Archives

A Seminar on Money

Ludwig von Mises Archives
Ludwig von Mises

From a practical point of view, the supply of money is very different from the supply of any other good. An increase in other goods, like shoes or meat, is a welcome event, but an increase in the supply of money dilutes the purchasing power of each money unit.

The world laughs at the idea of gold as money, yet the only reason that paper money is favored by governments is that the government wants to spend more without openly taxing the people, so they run the printing press. Inflation is a vicious stealth tax. Such inflation happened in 1781 during the continental revolution. Inflation of money supplies has happened during all ages, even before printing. Coins were debased, adding lesser metals to those of higher value. Money must be something that cannot be increased by government.

Recorded November 8,1969. Special thanks to Bettina Bien Greaves for making this important recording available. Note that this recording ends abruptly.