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War_Hamster 5 points ago +7 / -2

We should have a national Aaron Burr Day.

Prudentwait 4 points ago +4 / -0

If Hamilton and Burr could see the country today, they'd both team up against our entire national leadership.

War_Hamster 4 points ago +5 / -1

Hamilton wanted this exact cronyism system we are living under.

He tried to install the British Mercantilist system and gave us our first central bank.

He would be celebrating.

Prudentwait 2 points ago +3 / -1

Mercantilism is when a country exports more than they import. America was strongest when we were mercantilist. And the central bank is no better or worse than the rest of the banking system in this country. Our money is fake anyway.

War_Hamster 4 points ago +4 / -0

The key component of Mercantilism that Hamilton loved so much was that it allowed those closest to the seat of power to benefit financially at the expense of everybody else. It required a central bank using the European model of being able to multiply the money supply.

Another aspect, and this is where the modern version differs, is that they assumed that there was a finite supply of "real money", namely gold and silver. The goal, then, was to accumulate more gold and silver than your competing nations.

All money is fake. It is a representation of value and only works if all parties agree on that value. But it's a lot better than barter.

richmomz 2 points ago +2 / -0

Mercantilism is where there's significant government intervention in the markets. The goal of that is to ensure that the balance of trade favors your own country (ergo, a trade surplus) but it doesn't always end up that way.

You can certainly have a trade surplus under a free-trade system as well, but that's typically only possible with poor developing nations or where a country enjoys some unique economic benefit that other countries lack (rich natural resources, or industrial/technological capabilities that can't be duplicated elsewhere).