@ CK MacLeod:

I also included he word variant to modify "orthodoxy", perhaps too weak a word to convey Buchanan's innovation. (Also, maybe this is a contradictory formulation, can there be a variant of orthodoxy?)

At any rate, the orthodoxy is that money is, should be, commodity based. Buchanan's innovation is change this to: money should function as if it were commodity based. But the indended result is the same (same in the sense of what is frequently claimed for commodity money) even if the mechanism is innovative.

The other orthodox aspect is as a cri de coueur for US sovereignty and world pre-eminence. It strikes me as kinda Panama Canal-y. (I problably shouldn't include this since if this makes no sense as stated, I'm probably not going to be albe to explain it for a while.)

OK "back door" is a poor choice of words.

Still, comparing it to the current workings of the Fed seems to undersell it a fair amount. So, let me rephrase:

If Buchanan means anything, he means a fundamental change in our financial system. Otherwise, what's the point?

This would constitutionalize a variant of conservative orthodoxy that the country does not have a consensus in favor of. It would be operated by a structure beyond the majority control. (The dynamics of demographics of the country probably not in favor of current conservative orthodoxy) If it did ever get enacted, it would be very difficult to overturn.

Again, otherwise, what's the point?

I am making the argument conservatives make about "activist judges" usurping the legislative branch's role.

Honestly, both of you know a lot more about all this than I do. And I'm amazed that I seem t be making as much sense (comparatively speaking) as your reactions suggest.

But this seems to me not a silver bullet, but a can of worms.

I guess I'm assuming that Buchanan's proposal is intended as a back door method for Rex's view. Otherwise, what's the point?

I do agree that this proposal has something of flavor of the parts of the Constituion that are "beyond that of democratic majoritarian politics" to protect "the minoity " the fathers were so fond of. But I don't see that as a good thing.

"Majoritarian politics" and politics are not the same thing. The Senate, Electoral College and the Court are quite enough that's beyond that of democratic majoritarian politics for me. This strikes me as a rear guard actin of conservatism to at least blunt the force of the demographics running in a less conservative direction.

@ CK MacLeod:


And if the United States should constitutionalize the dollar, along the lines suggested here, there would be little or no concern about the adherence of other countries to the dollar’s continuation as the international unit of account


There's already more than a little concern about the role of the dollar with China last year proposing a gradual move away from the dollar, citing among other things the Triffin dilemma.

Buchanan's remark simply brushes the issue aside without giving any justification for his confidence. In fact he does not refer to globalization directly at all. The large and growing interdependence of the national economies of the world is a fact that can't be simply brushed aside. Without some discussion of this, this idea seems incomplete at best.

@ Rex Caruthers:

Clearly it is controversial. Otherwise that's what we would be doing.

My point is that " stable predictable money" is possible only in a trivial sense. Yes we can order that a dollar is worth a specific quantity of silver, or whatever, but the real economy will accomplish the effect of fiat money through other media of exchange. Except such a system produces higher highs and lower lows with less predicability.

In any event, I guess I'm Troskyite about this, ie I don't think "stable predicable money" is possible in one country. The globlalized economy depends on fiat money and the US no longer has the critical mass to bend the world economy to its will.

@ Rex Caruthers:

What you do with Valuable stable money is put it in long term investments like new corporations that grow,and make one rich for a lifetime,not a few years or months.

Like tulips or cornering the gold market?

Predation is fundamental to all ecconomic activity, and certainly the free market.

I don't pretend to understand how all this is supposed to work, but my gut tells me you are promising way too much here.

Selfishness and altruism are both necessary, but each is not sufficient alone. If you want to argue that this proposal produces the right mix of the two impulses, let's hear it.

You also seem to be saying this proposal will turn back the clock on globalization. I just don't see that as possible.