Monday, 12 April 2010

Money is the only unit of measure without a fundamental constant

Money is the greatest economic invention of all time. Money did not exist and was not discovered. Money was invented over a long period of time. Money is not the same as constant real value during inflation. Bank notes and coins are physical token instances of money. Money is a monetary item which is used as a monetary medium of exchange and serves at the same time as a monetary store of value and as the monetary unit of account for the accounting of economic activity in a country or a monetary union.

All three basic economic items - monetary items, variable items and constant items - are valued in terms of money. The European Monetary Union uses the Euro as its monetary unit. The US Dollar is the monetary unit most widely traded internationally. The Rand Common Monetary Area which includes South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho employs the Rand as the common monetary unit or functional currency.

An earlier form of money was commodity money; e.g. gold, silver and copper coins. Today money is generally fiat money created by government fiat or decree.

Money is a medium of exchange which is its main function. Without that function it can never be money. The historical development of money led it also to be used as a store of value and as the unit of measure to account the values of economic items.

Money is the only unit of measure that is not a stable value under all circumstances. Money is only perfectly stable in real value at zero per cent inflation. This has never been achieved over a sustainable period of time. All other units of measure are fundamentally stable units of measure, e.g. inch, centimetre, ounce, gram, kilogram, pound, etc.

Kindest regards

Nicolaas Smith

Copyright © 2010 Nicolaas J Smith