Notable Quotable


“The first step in theorizing correctly about money is to understand that the value of money, like that of commodities, is never fixed and unchanging. Chinese philosophers who published the earlier Mohist Canons(468 B.C.~376 B.C.) grasped this crucial point. They recognized that metallic money, such as the ‘knife coins’ then in wide circulation, was valued and exchanged by weight and argued that the real value of money, despite its fixed face value, was not stable but fluctuated inversely with the prices of commodities. When commodity prices were high, money was ‘light’ or its purchasing power low; when prices were low, money was ‘heavy’ or its purchasing power high. Thus, if monetary conditions were such that the nominal prices of commodities were abnormally high, the real prices of commodities were not high but rather money was ‘light’ or depreciated.”

Joseph T. Salerno
The Mises Institute


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