George Gilder is most recently the author the ground breaking The Scandal of Money: Why Wall Street Recovers but the Economy Never Does. He is a founding fellow of the Discovery Institute and a senior fellow at the American Principles Project, which sponsored this book.
Gilder is also the author eighteen other well-regarded books including Knowledge and Powerand Microcosm. After the publication of Wealth and Poverty, he became Ronald Reagan’s most frequently quoted living author.
In the following clip — from a speech Gilder gave at FreedomFest 2016 — he explains how money, just like all forms of measurement, must be ultimately based on time:
But this is the great moment of opportunity as well as being a scandal. The opportunity has created again the efflorescence of the theory that began with Kurt Godel in 1931 when he showed that any logical system is necessarily dependent on propositions which can’t be proved within the system itself.
I think money is a logical system like that; it has to have roots and value outside of the system itself. Money cannot be part of what it measures. Money is not a commodity. This is the only relevant error I see in Austrian economics — that money is somehow a commodity.
…Money is [not a commodity], it is a measuring stick and it is necessary for a flourishing economy. It too has to be finally based on time. You can’t escape time; you can’t get away from time. When you try to do it, you just confuse everything. The horizons of the world economy shrink. You have flash boys conducting meaningless trades in nanoseconds, the middle class foundering, and generally, the kind of world stagnation which we see.