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speculation.html ß4.11.2018

Helmar Kloss

Speculation; Copyright Helmar Kloss, 2016

     Humanity has made great progresses in what concerns the invention and use of instru­ments for measuring. We are now able to measure fair­ly exactly nearly everything on earth: size, speed, amount, degrees of tempe­ra­ture, length, height, pressure, weight. Even earthquakes can be measured using a scale proposed by Rich­ter.
     Instead, in medieval times measurement was inadequate and arbi­tra­ry. Concerning the matters mentioned above and some others not mentioned medieval habits have been over­come. One of the most important preconditions for reliable mea­su­ring is the calibrated con­stancy and universal use of scales with standard units. When cubits were used this constancy was not guaranteed. And if scales are changed while measuring is done no exact results are possible. Scales ought to remain con­stant. That's why the Parisian meter was a very important invention al­though some little inade­quacy still remained be­cause of the in­fluence of tem­perature on metal. Modern methods have overcome even pro­blems of that kind.
     But while size, speed, amount, temperature, length, height, pres­sure, weight and earthquakes can be measured today in a fairly re­liable man­ner, the situation remains medieval in another very im­por­tant field, - perhaps even one of the most important. In economy still reigns medi­eval inade­qua­cy and ar­bi­trariness al­though re­nowned scientists have considered the matter for cen­tu­ries. Values, performances and pro­duc­tion out­put - i.e. the value of products and services - are mea­sured and ex­pressed in standard units that at the same time are mer­chandise, i.e. goods to be bought and sold at varying prices: the cur­ren­cies. Thus, in a globalized economy the values of pro­ducts and ser­vices vary ac­cor­ding to va­ria­bi­lity in two respects:
     First, because the va­lues of products and ser­vices depend on the balance of offer and de­mand.
     Second, because the currencies in which the va­lues of products and ser­vices are noted vary in con­sequence of changes in the de­mand for these currencies. But nobody seems to see this as problematic. In more than three centuries of thinking and research economists did not find out - as far as I know - what I have presented here.
     Why not?
     I think, the probable reason is the following: The basis of modern economy is not need but greed. There must be vested in­ter­ests of various influential persons as politicians, bankers and other pro­fiteers of the actual si­tua­tion which is a result of globalization and through which powerful speculators became again un­con­trol­lable.
     We cannot wait for measures of hun­dreds of governments to stop this boom of neoliberalism because dangerous crises will arrive soon.
     What could be done?
     The first actions should remedy the misery that money actu­al­ly has two functions: First, it serves as a measure for va­lues and ser­vices. Second, it is valuable itself and serves for storing va­lue. These two functions ought to be separated as was done for example for weighing because the value of a balance in no way influences the value of the goods weighed even if it serves for weighing gold. A fixed mea­sure without value - a kind of unit for calculation - is needed as was re­a­lized for some physical quan­ti­ties by the International Sy­stem of Units (SI).