Man finds $46k in cash hidden since the 1950’s. Purchasing power back then equal to $420k. Inflation destroys savings, 90% of the value stolen by the government printer.

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These takes are so seriously confused about how value works in the economy.

The 1940s and 50s were a time where labor-intensive industry and massive infrastructure projects were booming. This meant that people actually had to work quite a bit to create a car, to build highways and suburbs and power-lines and all the infrastructure needed to create a new world based around automobiles and suburbs and all that, allowing for the emergence of a middle class. Labor-intensive industry was adding huge amounts of value to the economy (because only labor adds value, as Adam Smith showed), which allowed them to buy a car and much more, keeping the economy strong. The dollar was strong because value was flowing into the economy, because commodity production required a ton of work.

What’s more, the worker is also in a free market and they sell their labor power to the employer. Like anyone else, if the demand is high they can sell it high, when demand is low they can’t sell it for shit. Their work is worth less.

This is all quite clearly laid out in Smith and Ricardo, from whomst free-marketers clearly cite without reading, since they always speak of how value is “created” through circulatory channels like finance, which is quite impossible.

The classical political economist showed that fiat is the price-form of value. But it is value itself, not the price of value, that matters.

Value has been depleted through the automation of work. If it takes 1/500th the work to make a car as it did in 1950s much less value is created in the process, and there is absolutely no reason for companies to pay their few workers enough to buy a car. If there is less demand for labor and more in need of work, the company can pay as little as possible. To see this clearly you can look at how much the decrease in wages (adjusted for inflation of course) has outpaced the decrease in the price of commodities. That’s not an issue of fiat, the price-form of value, but of value itself.

Fiat was not created to inflate value, it was created to postpone the effects of a crisis in value, inherent to a world based on work where the need for work is ever diminishing. When that wasn’t enough, credit was created, to the extent the the world’s wealth has shifted almost entirely from industry (value producing) to finance (not value producing), further intensifying the issue. But these aren’t the issues for money, money and credit are temporary solutions to the issues of value itself, which is to say it is the product of labor in a world where less labor is needed every day.

So ya, I guess $420k found in a basement might be worth $420k today if we stayed tethered to gold. But minimum wage would be like $0.20 per hour. If wages rose without inflation the entire economy would collapse. In other words we would be in essentially the same situation. I don’t think enough people are finding $420k in their basements to reverse that. It is value itself that is devalued, not currency.

I’m in crypto because its the lifeboat of the rich trying to save value from itself, just like fiat and credit were, and I want to be on that lifeboat. But it will not change the central problem that a value-centered economy has.

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