Economics, the dreadful art.
In a world of dreadful art, why add more to it?
A reader asked for a follow-up post to the DABs economy article, with specific questions.
How does the DABs economy relate to the US economy?
Is our dollar tanking because of a competing currency?
How would fiat currency relate to a digital economy? (Which we seem to be headed for by 2030.)
I did not study economics, the dreadful art.
I just studied art.
Nevertheless, our senior seminar class in college, taught by a Hungarian man who had escaped Europe during WW2, attempted to teach us the economics of art, wisely starting off by saying that we should not be afraid to flip burgers.
From an artist’s perspective, then, it’s a question of what has value.
Value is determined by:
The buyer: what they’re willing to part with to get something.
The buyer’s mood: if they think things are going well and are willing to part with their own valuable item in exchange for another.
Availability: how much something is in demand, and whether or not there is a shortage of supply for something highly in demand.
Culture: what a group of people are told is to be envied, owned, or desired.
Exchange methods: what methods are available to exchange one thing for another (currency, barter, services)
These are not the definitions of an economist, mind you, but an artist. I still think of value in these ambiguous terms, not in fiscal terms.
If I was concerned with fiscal terms, I’d not have gotten an art degree.
The dollar only has value if it’s backed by something people want. When we left the gold standard, the emergence of the petro-dollar seemed to make things stable again.
I’m currently investing in postage stamps because their value is forcibly increased about every two weeks, it seems.
But now, with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) supposedly creating a new currency that’s backed by gold, and with Saudi Arabia now accepting payment for their oil by other forms of currency and not just the dollar, suddenly, the dollar doesn’t have as much value.
In the DABs economy, that joyful distraction that enabled us to creatively avoid actual work and successfully reduced productivity while hiding that fact through the use of complicated spreadsheets, the only way I could ensure that the DABs money wasn’t replaced by SethBux was simple:
I was a former pastry chef so I upped my treats game.
You could only buy my treats with DABs.
This is the petrodollar approach. All it would take is another great treats maker to come in and say they’d take either currency.
Then there was the tulip craziness during the 1600s where the rare and unique tulip bulbs were so desired that the price went sky-high, kind of like Beanie Babies.
So in answer to that reader’s questions about currency and economy, I have no idea. Baked goods seem to work.