ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Money Explained in Practical Terms

Updated on December 29, 2017

Money, Money, Money


Practical Economic Education: Read "Money" by Steve Forbes

A Cure for Financial Illiteracy

Most Americans don't truly understand money--its acquisition, disposition, or function. In fact, even the people who should understand it cling to harmful false beliefs about money--including those who control our banks, teach our future economists, and advise our government officials and political candidates. Steve Forbes' objective with this book is to educate all of us with the truth about money.

What is Money, Really?

Money is supposed to be a unit of measurement, like inches, meters, grams, or amps. Unfortunately, the fiat "money" in use today does not measure very well because the value of a dollar has no constant, objective, standard measurement. Fiat money is backed by nothing except the "good faith and credit" of the issuing government. This means the government can inflate the currency at will.

If you want to know why the economy is so messy, just think of what would happen to other systems if the measurements they used changed daily. Could you design an electrical system if the value of an amp changed periodically? How could a pharmacist dispense the correct dosage of a medication if the value of a gram was changed daily or based on a majority vote of pharmacists each week? Yet every day, people are making economic decisions about retirement, starting a business, or buying a house without any assurance of what value their money will have next week or ten years from now.

How Does Monetary Policy Hurt People?

In a nutshell, Forbes maintains that debasing a currency debases a society. Weimar Germany after World War II is a perfect example of a society in chaos because of hyperinflation. Lenin knew that the best way to overturn a society was to make its currency worthless. Keynes also made that observation, although that apparently did not inform Keynes' own policy recommendations. The United States embraced Keynes' policies of government interference and "stimulation" through most of the past century and it appears Lenin really knew what he was talking about.

Stable money, e.g. a gold standard, facilitates commerce because people know what money is worth and have confidence it will not be made worthless by their government. When a dollar is worth a set amount, people can freely trade value for value without having to guess about inflation rates or worry about which political party will appoint the new Federal Reserve Chair. Unstable money turns every transaction into a gamble--and those without political power generally lose the most.

A Pearl of Wisdom from Steve Forbes

Money is a tool that facilitates transactions but does not create them. ~Steve Forbes

Can Things Get Better?

Steve Forbes offers hope for the future. He suggests several different options for creating a stable dollar once more. For each option he gives his honest assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of that approach. He answers the questions of the skeptics, just in case they actually care to read this excellent book. (I doubt they will, as socialists and crony capitalists rarely question themselves, believing they hold all the answers already.)

I wish I shared his hope and optimism, but I am naturally pessimistic when it comes to humans--especially those kinds of humans who aspire to hold political power over other humans. I fear the constitutional restraints on political power are so eroded that we are destined for decline, just like other great civilizations that lost their moral fortitude and became dependent on an overbearing government. For my children's sake, I hope I'm wrong and Forbes is justified in his optimism.

I received an advance electronic review copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Economics for Those of Us without a Ph.D.

Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy
Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy

Thomas Sowell is a Ph.D., but he makes economics eccessible even for the non-mathematical person. He includes math in an appendix for those like me who want to see it.


Your comments are welcome here:

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)