Dumb and Dumber: Fox News Tries to Explain the Mint Coin Plan
I’m agnostic about the plan for the government to mint a coin and assign it a value for the purposes of paying the country’s bills once the debt ceiling is reached if Republicans in congress don’t vote to increase it. But apparently our friends at Faux are using the rumored plan to exhibit their unique brand of stupidness.
Matt Yglesias discusses:
In my wallet right now I have a bunch of $20 bills, a few $1 bills, and a $5 bill. These bills are worth different amounts of money due to the fact that they have different numerals written on them. In terms of their actual contents, there’s very little difference but a $20 bill is much more valuable than a $1 bill just because. By the same token, if you write a check for $20,000 it doesn’t need to be physically different from a $200 check except for having different numerals written on it. Coins are the same. Dimes are more valuable than nickels even though they’re smaller. It is true that several hundred years ago the value of a coin was driven by its metallic content, but this hasn’t been the case for a long time. The issue doesn’t even have anything to do with fiat money. The point of a gold standard is that you can exchange your currency for a certain amount of gold. But the currency itself is not made out of gold or anything else in particular. Mostly it’s paper. Some of it is coins. But the content of the coins is irrelevant.
The wingnut derpitude on this matter may reach epic proportions, so if you have Facebook relatives or old high school acquaintances who have had the misfortune to watch Faux’s take on this, you can try to point them to this helpful explanation.