Although I've devoted many essays here to exploding myths about historical private currencies, there's one I've yet to directly challenge. That's the belief that such currencies only thrive in the absence of official alternatives. Otherwise, the argument goes, people would drop private currencies like so many hot…

(Previous installments of "The Keynesian Myth" are here and here.) Balancing Act As Richard Adelstein (1991, p. 177) observes, far from taking Keynes's advice that he ratchet-up the federal government's deficit spending, "Roosevelt held fast to the ideal of a balanced budget and remained the chief opponent…