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Reblogged:Beware the (Self-Appointed) Watchdog!

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Encountering a 2011 article about a billion dollar coins gathering dust in vaults, I found the following whopper of a quote from the then head of a nonprofit:
Image by United States Mint, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
Leslie Paige, who represents watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste, says the government should withdraw the dollar bill from the market and force Americans to use the coins.

"I think Americans will definitely embrace the dollar coin if they're just given the opportunity," she says.

As for the Harris Poll showing Americans don't want dollar coins, Paige says, "I suspect that they just don't understand what the up sides are," including the fact that coins don't need to be disposed of as bills are.
And I suspect that Paige either does not know or does not care that government coercion is the direct antithesis to opportunity.

I have characterized such groups as examples of "the pork buster fallacy" because:
Such grassroots efforts as "Pork Busters" form when enough people become outraged at such things as that infamous "bridge to nowhere" -- and yet nobody challenges the massively larger larceny cum vote purchasing that is the welfare state, and which makes such relatively penny-ante outrages possible at all.
I now understand that I might have been too charitable when I said that: Here we have someone channeling the outrage at ridiculous government initiatives en route to advocating even more heavy-handed abuses of government.

If the people one is trying to persuade are merely ignorant, the answer is to improve one's persuasion efforts, not to sic the government on them.

But the issue of whether the one dollar denomination of our country's fiat currency should be a bill or a coin is a non-issue in the face of the question of whether the government should be involved in banking or issuing currency at all. (I agree with Harry Binswanger that it shouldn't.)

I would say that, so long as the government is improperly engaged in a sphere -- like banking, or education, or pollution control -- it should be run as conscientiously as possible regarding expenditures. That said, we should never allow a concern for frugality to eclipse our vigilance against the propriety of those uses of government.

Let's spend our precious time arguing instead for free banking, private education, and private property, and recognize that advocates of "cost-effective," efficient tyranny are not our allies just because they might "help" us by making our pockets jingle a bit more.

-- CAV

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