“When a government compulsorily overvalues one type of money and undervalues another, the undervalued money will leave the country or disappear from circulation into hoards, while the overvalued money will flood into circulation.” – Gresham’s law, Sir Thomas Gresham
When gasoline prices are rapidly approaching $5 per gallon, it is no secret that U.S. money does not buy what it used to. Even if we use the CPI-U, which significantly underestimates historical inflation, the value of a dollar in 2012 is approximately one-twenty fifth of a dollar in 1913, when the Federal Reserve was first given the responsibility of ensuring stable prices. How a relentless increase in prices is somehow equated with price stability remains a mystery to everyone not working for the Federal Reserve or seated in Congress; if this performance is considered successful, one can only wonder what would constitute failure.
The more casual formulation of Gresham’s law is “bad money chases out good.” This is what we have increasingly seen in the United States. While the devalued Federal Reserve dollar notes are of increasingly little value, they have nevertheless been increasingly replaced by credit dollars, which are of no intrinsic value whatsoever. In fact, there are now six credit dollars for every dollar that is deposited or in circulation, as Gresham’s law would lead one to expect. Credit money has chased out cash.
This monetary debasement is not the only devaluation that has taken place over the last century. Dalrock, an influential Christian writer on intersexual relations, noted the similarities between the monetary and the marital in an article titled “Debasing Marriage”:
Men looking to marry face the same kind of dilemma ancient merchants used to face. Feminists and their enablers have slowly shaved off the value of marriage for men. Marriage for men no longer means:
being the legally and socially recognized head of the household
an expectation of regular sex
legal rights to children
These changes began with the 19th Amendment and women’s suffrage in the early 20th century. Now, less than 100 years later, they have reached a critical point with the transformation of marriage from a private, religious ceremony recognizing the union of a man with a woman into a licensed, government-approved relationship between two or more individuals of either sex. Neither homogamy nor polygamy have yet been fully enshrined in what presently passes for law throughout the country, but the historical trend is perfectly clear. The only serious question is whether homogamy or polygamy will be the first anti-Western form of relationship to become broadly accepted throughout American society.
Advocates of homogamy often ask how government recognition of homosexual relationships will have any impact on normal marriages. Setting aside the specific answer, which is that the recognition of homogamy has already led to the elimination of the legal terms “husband,” “wife,” “father” and “mother” in some jurisdictions, the more problematic aspect is the way a modified form of Gresham’s law can be observed to apply to modern society.
Call it Dalrock’s law. When a government officially overvalues one type of relationship and undervalues another, the undervalued relationship will decline and become less societally influential, while the overvalued relationship will become more common and more influential.
The government overvaluation of homosexuality is why 4.4 percent of the characters on U.S. television are now sexually abnormal, more than double their actual percentage of the general population. The government devaluation of marital relationships is why marriage rates have been methodically declining across the West, why birth rates have fallen to sub-replacement levels, why the economic growth rates of the 1950s are, at present, demographically impossible and why social programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are mathematically doomed.
The Romans did their best to halt both monetary and marital debasement. The Lex Iulia de Adulteriis Coercendis and the Lex Papia Poppaea laws introduced by the Emperor Augustus were both intended to strengthen marriage and raise the birthrate, and Rome survived in the West for another 467 years. Unfortunately for the West in general, and the U.S. in particular, our leaders appear determined to continue to debase marriage and reduce the birthrate, which will only speed up the ongoing process of societal decline and fall.