Thu Sep 12th, 2013 at 02:13:02 PM EST
A hat tip here to my friend John Rogers, who has spent a great many years in the trenches working on community currencies.
HG Wells wrote A Modern Utopia in 1905 in which he imagined an economic system that preserved gold as the medium of exchange but NOT as the standard of value, which instead would be based on energy units. Entertaining and interesting!
This from Chapter Three (my bold)
"Moreover, one may imagine Utopian local authorities making contracts in which payment would be no longer in coinage upon the gold basis, but in notes good for so many thousands or millions of units of energy at one or other of the generating stations.
Now the problems of economic theory will have undergone an enormous clarification if, instead of measuring in fluctuating money values, the same scale of energy units can be extended to their discussion, if, in fact, the idea of trading could be entirely eliminated.
In my Utopia, at any rate, this has been done, the production and distribution of common commodities have been expressed as a problem in the conversion of energy, and the scheme that Utopia was now discussing was the application of this idea of energy as the standard of value to the entire Utopian coinage."
Wells envisaged electricity currency and an electricity standard, but as I have pointed out recently, a unit of energy may have manifestations other than electricity, and an energy standard is independent of the variations of energy currencies whose relative values may be priced by reference both to it, and the relative locations of issuer and user.
The application of least energy cost principles leads - as the Danes demonstrate in practice - to completely different outcomes to the application of least fiat unit cost principles.