It makes sense really. If you treat money as an item that can be infinitely printed and whose value can be debased, that can be borrowed without end and it will only stimulate the economy, why not go to the next logical step by endorsing forgery?
That’s exactly what the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, minus Ezra Klein, has chosen to do in “Why Britain should stop wasting money designing coins and let the forgers win”. It sounds like Slate, but it’s really the WaPo.
The counterfeiter might buy an apple, say, without spending any real money. But there will be more apples left in the bushel for me when I want to buy one. And if there aren’t, perhaps there is a warehouse full of apples somewhere that a farmer hasn’t bothered to haul to market for lack of demand. I can’t really claim that the counterfeiter is harming me at all. The grocer won’t increase his prices very much if he has more apples to sell, since he will want to sell them to me at a price I can afford.
Counterfeiting is not simply a victimless crime in these conditions. It could conceivably be a service to society at large. The counterfeiter pays the grocer, who pays the farmer, who might be able to hire new employees or invest in new equipment, and everyone is better off.
Remember these are the people running our society now. They can’t conceive of long-term consequences. Only short term consequences.
Like them, the forger is just putting more money into circulation. And like them, the money is worthless.
Libertarian critics of former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke often complain that his response to the financial crisis was simply to print money. In a sense, that’s correct. Under Bernanke, the central bank engaged in a program called quantitative easing to flood the depressed economy with new cash in exchange for banks’ financial assets.
… Indeed, many economists believe that the best approach for a government faced with a financial crisis is simply to create more money out of nothing and distribute it among the citizenry, essentially making all of us into forgers.
This, if nothing else, consistent. It’s also completely indistinguishable from a parody of Paul Krugman which is what makes it so wonderful. Prog economics now officially defies parody. Or embraces it.