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Well, I may be missing everything, which I usually am, but I think that any time you back your currency with a particular commodity, you're heading for a problem, and the type of problem depends on access to the commodity.  In the late 19th century, the US government effectively tied its hands in addressing the serial recessions of the era by holding to a gold standard when there wasn't enough gold to go around, and a lot of what was available was being hoarded.  The situation didn't improve until the influx of bullion from the Yukon and Alaska strikes, and it wasn't really resolved until we abandoned gold and started backing the currency with the economy in general, which everyone had access to and a stake in.

If a state is actually going to redeem currency with real estate, there either has to be enough to go around to cover broad redemption, or redemption needs narrowed down, probably a lot.  If you go with a narrow system, a few holders would have real redemption rights, subject to use and commons rights held by everyone else.  Hence my feudalism reference.  If you go with broad redemption, you need a lot of fractional interests and derivative instruments that will be traded around but that are ultimately limited because the amount of real estate is limited (Even the US ran out of land to give away, and it didn't really take that long.).  Hence my fear of a bubble, especially when the derivatives get loose and it all starts going the same way mortgages did.

My other concern with broad redemption is that it will become narrow, which seems to be the tendency.  Mere mortals get shoved out by ever bigger players.  Witness the banking industry and securities markets, or on the real estate side, tribal lands here in the US after P.L. 280 and termination policies or council housing in the UK after Thatcher.

by rifek on Thu Oct 20th, 2011 at 01:42:57 PM EST
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