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The End of Money Hardcover – Mar 1999


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Discovery Institute (Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963865420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963865427
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,355,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Roy on 14 July 2000
Format: Hardcover
Rahn has made a bold attempt to predict the impact of technological and financial innovations on the economy and society in general. The technological developments are the Internet, electronic money, and freely available cryptographic software of a very high standard, specifically PGP. Other commentators have also speculated on the problems these with cause to governments in raising taxes, fighting money laundering etc. However Rahn takes into account not just technological developments but also an innovation of a purely financial nature, namely securitization.
In principle, almost any kind of asset can be turned into money by securitization. Probably the most highly publicised example is "Bowie bonds" which are backed by royalties from songs. David Bowie was the first to raise money in this way, hence the name. Throughout history governments have yielded to the temptation to allow their currencies to be debased. In the past people had to put up with this but Rahn suggests that the technological and financial innovation will effectively give people other choices.
Rahn concentrates on the US in his book, which is natural enough - after all as well as being his own country it is the world's most influential! However he does make many references to Switzerland, particularly in connection with that nation's long experience of bank secrecy, and is also very critical of the tendency of many Americans to think that what is illegal in the US should be illegal everywhere and conversely that what is legal there should be legal everywhere. He points out that the American legal system imposes a big burden on American business and society and that other countries should be suspicious of attempts to export US law.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Serious & interestinganalysis of money and financial freedom 10 Feb 1999
By David R. Burton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book examines in depth and with clarity the implications of the electronic revolution on the institution of money. It shows how the electronic revolution is likely to make governmental attempts to monitor financial transactions less and less successful. It shows the tax system will have to adjust to compensate for the new electronic reality or tax evasion will be rampant. It also makes the case that greater financial privacy and a more limited government will bring greater happiness.
The book explains the latest in encryption technology in plain English and looks at other technological innovations such as smartcards. The book is a fine book and should be read by anyone with an interest in the areas of monetary policy, taxes or finance. This book expresses a unique and compelling vision of what our financial futures will look like. The quibbles that I have with the book are fairly technical. While I agree with the author that the advent of strong encryption technology and other financial innovations will in time make it very hard for governments to tax financial transactions, I think he does not sufficient emphasis the fact that if government simply shifts its tax burden onto physical capital, it will affect the rate of return on the financial assets that represent legal claims on the physical assets. This book is unique and powerful and right. It makes arguments that desparately need to be heard if we are to make the right choices in the years to come
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
advanced economics for the pro & the simpleton like me 6 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Rahn explains advanced concepts of economics in a format that the beginner and simpleton, like me, can understand and use. It is an easy four hour read, is a primer in economics and is must reading for anyone who thinks the way of spending money will continue just like it is at this time. The big question is whether government will grow up in time not to get in the way of the monetary changes and whether you and I will be able to spend our money as we wish without Big Brother's nosing in. What Dr. Rahn fails to point out is that the concepts expressed in his book are basic to our constitution and to our freedom. If we do not take heed, we stand to lose both. It is must reading for every citizen.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Bold and Intriguing Forecasts 14 July 2000
By Roy Davies - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Rahn has made a bold attempt to predict the impact of technological and financial innovations on the economy and society in general. The technological developments are the Internet, electronic money, and freely available cryptographic software of a very high standard, specifically PGP. Other commentators have also speculated on the problems these with cause to governments in raising taxes, fighting money laundering etc. However Rahn takes into account not just technological developments but also an innovation of a purely financial nature, namely securitization.
In principle, almost any kind of asset can be turned into money by securitization. Probably the most highly publicised example is "Bowie bonds" which are backed by royalties from songs. David Bowie was the first to raise money in this way, hence the name.
Throughout history governments have yielded to the temptation to allow their currencies to be debased. In the past most people had to put up with this but Rahn suggests that the technological and financial innovation will effectively give people other choices.
Rahn concentrates on the US in his book, which is natural enough - after all as well as being his own country it is the world's most influential! However he does make many references to Switzerland, particularly in connection with that nation's long experience of bank secrecy, and is also very critical of the tendency of many Americans to think that what is illegal in the US should be illegal everywhere and conversely that what is legal there should be legal everywhere. He points out that the American legal system imposes a big burden on American business and society and that other countries should be suspicious of attempts to export US law.
One of my major quibbles is that the title is a bit misleading since what Rahn is describing is not really the "end of money" but its transformation and the end of coins and banknotes. Even that is questionable since the developments he foresees are most relevant to the comfortably off. In many countries the poor will remain a large section of the population for many years to come and I expect many of them will want to continue using hard cash.
However this is a thought-provoking an fascinating book which should help us to anticipate the problems and the opportunities changes in the form of money pose for society.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is the route to FREEDOM 31 Mar 2001
By Chris Athanas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, so you have your guns, you've studied the law and you've got your gold and 10 years of food stashed.
Guess what?
It's not necessary. Not now. Not anymore.
No violence, no protests, no writing your congressman.
This is a revolution that is happening one person at a time, anonymously, securely, privately and instantaneously. Each individual voluntarily removes his energy from the system that is enslaving him.
The government will simply lose revenue until it can only function within its justified duties, which is the protection of the property and lives of its citizens.
This book shows the convergence of multiple truly revolutionary technologies that will give us back our freedom and force government to adjust to this new world. This is the way we will return to true freedom.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Should be required reading for all Americans 7 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Richard Rahn explains money concepts and how it relates to your everyday life in a simple and concise manner. He conclusively argues for the abolution of taxes on capital and why unprincipled politicians will fight to keep them. He demonstrates with examples how some countries have prospered by keeping or eliminating taxes on capital while those who didn't have fallen behind. He is most persuasive on the issue of financial privacy as a human right and without it we are at the mercy of a totalitarian government. Very easy to read.
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