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Steve Jobs and free banking

As a child, I watched The Jetsons, a 1960s cartoon comedy series that followed the lives of an American family in a high-tech future. Nearly 50 years later, when I thought that future would have arrived, robot maids do not do our cooking and housecleaning, we do not work three-day weeks, and our cars do not fly through the air. There are ways in which our world closely resembles the world of The Jetsons, though: we can communicate easily all over the world, by text, voice, or video; and we can retrieve information and music almost instantly from vast storehouses.

Steve Jobs helped to make those futuristic dreams a reality, not just for a few people, but increasingly for everybody. Asian peasants and African cattle herders have cell phones; in a decade they will have knockoffs of the iPad as well. I am writing these words on an Apple Power Mac G5. It is both the most powerful and the cheapest computer I have ever owned. I paid $50 to buy it as surplus from a company that was upgrading its computers last year. The G5 was a technological marvel when Steve Jobs introduced it in 2003, but it is worth little more than scrap metal today. That is a breathtaking pace of progress.

The future of free banking is inextricably linked to the computers, cell phones, and other personal electronic devices that Steve Jobs did so much to envision, develop, and popularize. If there is a way to bypass central banking, it will use the networks of these devices, as some people are already trying to do. Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Jobs was indeed a great man.

    As for "The Jetsons".

    Yes I liked the cartoon show as well.

    Please take my advice – and avoid the film.

    It reverses the pro technology, pro free enterprise spirit of the show

    With the statists who have so undermimed long term economic growth (have prevented the high tech economically advanced world that should have existed by now) and the vile "Greens", humanity does indeed face terrible foes.

  • Paul Marks

    If anyone thinks my language about the "Greens" is too harsh….

    Please let me remind anyone who thinks my language is too harsh, that these "Greens" are the people who complain about C02 emissions and then campaign AGAINST nuclear power.

    Their lack of rationality is equal to that of the the German political party that they grew out of – the party that died in 1945.

  • CEOs don't produce everything that companies deliver, and Steve Jobs is hardly more responsible for all the wonders that Apple has delivered than Al Gore is responsible for the Internet, but I hope he rests peacefully anyway.

    You're exactly right about the potential of computers and communications technology to revolutionize money and banking. Only one thing can stop this revolution, the state, and even the state can't stop it ultimately.

  • Paul Marks

    Martin comparing Steve Jobs with Al Gore is harsh.

    Sorry but there would be no Apple Computers without Steve Jobs – and there certainly would be an internet without Albert Gore jr.

    Sure the CEO does not do it all – but a rotten CEO drags down the whole company (and it sometimes does not take long).

    One of the most scary, nonpolitical, things I ever heard Warren Buffet say was that the American economy was basically "automatic" that it did not really matter who ran companies, or even what the overall tax and regulation conditions were (although the second point is political).

    Warren Buffett may be a great businessman (although he has never actually created an enterprise that produces goods or services, or even managed one – and there is also the question of how much of his success is due to his poltical connections), but he is just so wrong on this.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way the state (i.e. organized violence) can, unfortunatly, stop just about anything. Even destroy civilization itself.

    Also computers and communications technology are not the key to sound finance – they are just tools, which can be used for good or ill.

    Sound finance depends on basic principles – such as not lending out money you do not really have (i.e. using book keeping tricks to lend out money that nobody, not you and not anyone else, ever really saved).

    The basic principles of banking (indeed the basic principles of economics generally) do not change with new technology – they do not change with time and space.

    The universal status of BASIC economic law (of principles) was the central point that Carl Menger made in the "War of Method" with the German Historical School. It is not just the Marxists are mistaken – it is every group of people who thinks this or that piece of new technology changes the basic principles of economics (it does not).