The Credit Monster

King Offa of Mercia is credited with being the first British king to use the mint as a political tool. He gained control of the mint and started striking his own coins under tight regulations. This meant that each coin had a fixed amount of metal and was clearly identified as having come from his mint. Forgers and coin clippers were killed and raw gold, silver and copper had to be sold to the mint in order to be used as a means of exchange. Offa profited from this through something called seigniorage.

It’s a good starting point when thinking about credit money. Imagine you were a shylock in this age and you lent 100 sceat to a local farmer. He agreed to pay you 110 sceat after the harvest. Now, let’s assume he had 100 sceat of his own, but needed your 100 to cover his costs until he could sell his crop. The harvest comes in and he sells his crop at a profit so he can pay you the original 100 plus the vig. Now, the two of you have 210 sceat. In effect, your lending just created 10 sceat out of thin air.

That’s always a hard thing for people to accept, as the number of sceat King Offa was minting did not change. The number of sceat in circulation therefore did not change. Where did the extra money come from? In a hard money world, the amount of currency is fixed or close to it. Credit activities therefore can only work if someone is now short ten sceat in order for you and your farmer client to have acquired the ten sceat in your transaction.The only other option is they magically appeared somewhere or were counterfeited.

This was and is the inherent problem of hard money. When the amount of currency is fixed, the economy can only grow at the expense of someone else. The boom town that is producing pottery is getting rich at the expense of some other town. The money in the latter is moving to the former. At some point, the flow of money into the boom town runs dry and that town goes bust, its money then flowing out to some other boom town, maybe even the bust towns that it had exploited in the boom times.

This may work fine if overall human productivity never changes. In the feudal age, human productivity did not change much and growth was glacial. When human ingenuity is high and we have a shift in technology, then hard money becomes unworkable. There has to be a way to increase the amount of money in circulation to reflect the increase in capital stocks as a result of increased productivity. The solution was fiat money backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing authority.

In theory, this solves a huge problem in human development. It removes the penalty for innovation, by allowing the money supply to grow as human ingenuity increases human productivity. It also discourages hoarding and encourages investing. Hiding gold under the barn does no one much good. Investing the gold in new ideas and projects increases the stock of capital. A cheap way to make bricks means more public works projects can be constructed, thus increasing overall wealth.

The problem, as the libertarians and gold bugs will tell you, is that government always resorts to debasing the currency, by printing up more of it when they over extend. The Romans debased their currency to the point of worthlessness. Medieval monarchs did the same thing during times of war. In the 30 Years War, Ferdinand II paid his armies with debased currency and when it came time for them to pay their taxes, they paid with the worthless currency, thus transferring the problem back to its source.

Fast forward to our time and we are in a age of credit money. Cars are bought on credit. Homes are bought on credit. Business relies on lines of credit. Of course, global finance is all about credit, especially complex credit like derivatives. It is so complex, in fact, that no one really know how much credit is out in the world. Put another way, the supply of money appears to grow itself as needed or at least as needed by the people with the right to grow it. How did Puerto Rico rack up $50 Billion in debt? It’s a mystery, but it happened.

It is too bad that all of the economic historians were killed, as it would be interesting to compare our current age with the Free Banking Era, which lasted from 1837 to 1864 in the US. It was a period of panics and short recessions. The Civil War brought with it the National Banking Act in ’63 and then the Long Depression, which lasted from 1873 to 1879. This was a period somewhat analogous to our own in that national banks functioned like the Federal Reserve, operating as the bank of last resort.

It’s not a perfect analogy, but something worth considering when thinking about where we are now and where we may be heading. Wildcat lending and money creation eventually led to government intervention, which ultimately led to a collapse now known as The Great Depression. The outcome of the Great Depression was the national government once again taking control of the money supply and the velocity of money through bank and security regulations. Maybe that’s the end of this cycle too.

A half dozen years ago, James Rickards wrote a highly readable book on the history of money and currency wars. In it he offered up one possible outcome of the inevitable currency war that may have already started. He suggested that a global currency based on a basket of energy products could become the reserve currency of the world. That makes some sense as the world runs on oil, gas and coal, but that sounds a lot like hard money. Every country will be tempted to flood the markets with oil, gas and coal.

Another possibility is a global central bank that functions like the Fed, but with a mandate limited to maintaining a steady money supply and regulating global banking. This idea has been kicking around for a while and relies on the expanded use of special drawing rights. This fits in neatly with the overall push for global governance, independent of popularly elected governments. That’s a clever way of saying it will be the financial hub of the post-democratic world.

It’s hard to know. People in the 19th century knew the system was broken, but getting the political class to fix it was hopeless until the world collapsed. Even then it took the leveling of Europe and Asia by the US to get a new system in place. That suggests we are headed to some sort of cataclysmic denouement to the credit money system. A global collapse followed by a world war with nukes, drones and space weapons probably puts us back to using colored beads in a barter economy, but maybe it will be for the best.

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Member
One quibble. There were no sceats created “out of thin air”, they were paid by those who bought the crop – they would have paid 210 sceats for the harvest. Originally 200 sceats paid for the initial seed, wages, etc. so 10 sceats moved across some line. They didn’t appear out of thin air but came from elsewhere. Consider if I “borrow” 50 litres of olive oil to prune my olive tree orchard, and it produces 60 litres. 10 from “thin air”? Also silver is being mined and turned into more sceats, which changes the silver and money supply. More… Read more »
Cicatrizatic
Guest
I think you are right that it is very likely that we are headed for a “cataclysmic denouement to the credit money system.” Our money enters the economy thru banks, who create the money in the form loans, which, by double-entry bookkeeping, are simultaneously logged as an asset of the bank (loan) and a liability of the bank (deposit). The textbook explanation of banking – that banks wait for deposits and then lend out 90% of their deposit base – is simply false. It is the reverse: banks create deposits, and find reserves later. Most people are shocked to learn… Read more »
anotherguy
Guest

Impossible, since money is debt.
Money is credit (is debt).
This is neither a good nor a bad thing, it just is.

Member
“This was and is the inherent problem of hard money. When the amount of currency is fixed, the economy can only grow at the expense of someone else. The boom town that is producing pottery is getting rich at the expense of some other town. The money in the latter is moving to the former. At some point, the flow of money into the boom town runs dry and that town goes bust, its money then flowing out to some other boom town, maybe even the bust towns that it had exploited in the boom times.” I’d argue this isn’t… Read more »
Member
Lending represents a placeholder. The 10 sceat was indeed created, however due to speculation of a crop coming in. Think of it as a bet, a bookie mark (sorry if I used wrong bookie terms, I don’t bet like that). Now the 10 sceat credit will create a need to find hard money and some prospected wil fill it and credit wil be destroyed as hard money or other assets come in to replace it. That in turn allows more money to be borrowed and growth happens. If the harvest didn’t come in then the Shylock is forced to grab… Read more »
Joey Junger
Guest
Scott Adams has been flogging the idea of the “confusopoly” for awhile now, that many things (like the credit industry, derivatives, and of course healthcare) aren’t necessarily complex by design, but to ward off not only laymen, but any kind of oversight by someone who might realize the level of theft involved. Maybe it’s true. The thing that really puts me off of Keynes is Paul Krugman, and his sort of smarmy, snarky personality combined with his own sort of messianic self-regard. His blog (and his book) are called “The Conscience of a Liberal.” He’s celebrating himself for his virtuousness… Read more »
Shimshon
Guest
I get the “kill all the libertarians” argument you made a few days ago. I even expressed agreement with it. But that doesn’t mean some ideas that are considered libertarian don’t have merit. Hard money has merit. And your arguments against are like a pastiche of Keynesian tripe, probably none of which was true on further investigation. The so-called Long Depression, for one (a time of unparalleled changes and improvements in living standards, even to this day; prices decline naturally in a period of increasing productivity and “fixed” money, and is viewed in hindsight as a sign of a Long… Read more »
Member
Relatively fixed money supplies backed by specie are inherently deflationary during times of great economic growth. This would leave the farmers and small business owners holding loans (that they took to take advantage of the growing economy) that they could never pay back in deflated currency. Waves of foreclosures and bank failures would follow. This was understood even circa 1900, hence the Cross of Gold speech and the push for coining more, higher denominated silver coins. So economic theory predicts deflation and depression as an outcome of rapid growth in a hard money economy. Contemporary observers acknowledged that this was… Read more »
lab guy
Guest

So how is deflation bad? I’ll never understand why if I pay less for something over time that is a bad thing. The 19th century was a 100 years of progress for the average man partially thanks to the money system imperfect though it may have been in some ways.

A.B. Prosper
Guest
Deflation is bad for people who are debtors and for short terms speculative consumption. Debtors end up owing more and consumers put off larger purchases while waiting for lower prices. The things is though, the former is best dealt with by discouraging lending as immoral and the later by realizing that serious deflation is really a non problem as it doesn’t happen enough to worry about Now as to the root of the real problem, its actually a variation of the classic Marxist Crisis theory regrading surplus production, In order to keep the economy moving we must produce but efficiency… Read more »
RabbiHighComma
Guest
“A global collapse followed by a world war with nukes, drones and space weapons probably puts us back to using colored beads in a barter economy, but maybe it will be for the best.” Your concluding sentence reminded me of my favorite talk radio show – Armstrong & Getty, 650 KSTE Sacramento. They began calling their 6 o’clock hour “the dour hour” because they kept slipping into apocalyptic discussions as they awoke to some new horror. One of the hosts would inevitably break the tension by exclaiming, “Good Mornin’!” in a cheezy, over-enthusiastic 70’s radio dj voice to highlight how… Read more »
Tim Newman
Guest

King Offa of Mercia is credited with being the first British king to use the mint as a political tool.

Although he is more famous for keeping a lesbian by his side to keep the Welsh at bay.

UKer
Guest

Being no economic expert (can barely balance my own housekeeping) isn’t the whole point of credit is that the debts are not called in all at the same time? Equally the system works because people want to postpone such calling in until they need it in possibly years ahead? If there are invisible-but-unclaimed sceats then it is just a promise, nothing more and providing promises keep being made, then everyone is happy(ish)

Whitehat
Guest

When you talk of money, ie. the level of the money supply, you need to think in terms of verlosity (money changing hands) rather than a fixed sum.

A circlating flow like a water feature, hence the reason its called currency.

Anonymous White Male
Guest
Yes, the unpleasant reality of “money”. Hard money has always had the problem of its actual existence. While new gold and silver mines could increase present amounts, the usual alternative was to invade another group of people and steal what they had. The actual substance that becomes “legal tender” is not as important as the need to tax the excess out of circulation. If you want to maintain the integrity of your economic system, you cannot have too much or too little of something. Too much, inflation. Too little, no economic growth. The key is to determine how much does… Read more »
Nulle Terre Sans Seigneur
Guest

As far as I recall from commentaries I’ve read by Lawrence White and George Selgin (I really ought to refresh on my econ), the “wildcat” free banking era of the United States was marked by restrictions on branch banking and by capital requirements for holding a certain percentage in state bonds, many of which were de facto junk.

The global central bank almost made it in 1944 — there was the Keynesian proposal for the International Clearing Union. I’m thankful it didn’t come to pass, personally.

karl hungus
Guest

none of this accumulated national debt is ever going to be paid off. and that is fine with me, as I didn’t lend it and I don’t care if it gets paid back. now soros and bezoros may care about these debts, and may be affected by the collapse of the financial system, but fukk them anyhow.

Drake
Guest

“The problem, as the libertarians and gold bugs will tell you, is that government always resorts to debasing the currency, by printing up more of it when they over extend.”

Anyone who has been paying attention will tell you that. Career politicians just can’t stop themselves. Those votes won’t buy themselves.

anotherguy
Guest
anotherguy
Guest
anotherguy
Guest
anotherguy
Guest
dc.sunsets
Guest
FOFOA looks like a goldbug site to me. FWIW, the “problem” with “money” is people discuss it using conflicting definitions and conflicting premises. Gold is not money now. It’s a commodity whose price is expressed as $/oz and changes in that ratio matter to tax calculations. Money is the only “thing” where rising value vis-a-vis products in the marketplace is not a capital gain. It happens so rarely that no one cares about it, but given that we face a credit collapse of unprecedented size, the possibility that “money” rises greatly in purchasing power is important. After all, that $20… Read more »
anotherguy
Guest
Then you haven’t understood what you read at FOFOA site, if anything. A gold bug is most certainly the opposite of FOFOA. from a recent post of his: “The present world gold market negates the true value of gold by removing the “real demand” that “gold settlement” creates! Break the mechanics of this market and you will find that gold is the most valuable currency in today’s currency arena. Many investors, today think that the answer to this dilemma is for traders to take delivery and cause a short squeeze. My friend, in this arena, taking delivery means settling in… Read more »
anotherguy
Guest

Oh, and gold is not a commodity and money is credit. Full Stop.

dc.sunsets
Guest
The current system went off the rails in 1981. Pivotal events (IMO) were: 1. Removing any commodity standard (like a 12″ ruler) from US money in 1964 (silver) and 1971 (gold, for foreign settlement.) 2. The end of a secular bear market in bonds in 1981. 3. The initiation of a bull market in social mood in 1982. 4. The social mood rally morphed into a once-in-300-years mania around 1995. Since 1981, every dollar borrowed became two dollars: one cascaded (with monetary velocity) through the GDP economy, and another became a receivable, an ASSET, in the debt market. Every time… Read more »
Member

Fiat money works divinely in an ideal world with virtuous politicians and honest citizens. We do not live in such a world. The end will be catastrophic. Then, we will begin again.

james wilson
Guest

The catastrophe is not the end, the catastrophe is that this has not ended. Without predicting that cream will rise to the top, and acknowledging that shit too floats, the list of benefits that the end of popular democracy and fiat money would bring about have by this time become incalculable.

Guest
Guest
“There has to be a way to increase the amount of money in circulation to reflect the increase in capital stocks as a result of increased productivity. The solution was fiat money backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing authority.” To be succinct, the problem of our time is that the issuing authority with which we have vested full faith and credit (i.e., the US Treasury) is also the legal authority and the taxing authority. The full faith and credit in the issuing authority is backed by force of arms, not by risk analysis performed by rational… Read more »
Al from da Nort
Guest

Serious question: So we can look forward to the reintroduction of debt slavery during the collapse, then_?

I guess the answer depends upon the relative power of the bondholders (Cloud/Wall St.) vs. the debtors (plebs/Dirt People) once the process is underway. No wonder the Cloud folk are terrified of Trump. They know the Great Haircut is coming_!

No wonder the Cloud hates the 2nd Amendment with a puzzling passion.

Guest
Guest

Al, if you are an American you are living in debt slavery NOW. All in, many Americans are paying 50% or more of their income to taxes. America is an open air debtors’ prison. Don’t believe, me? Stop paying your taxes and watch how fast the IRS yanks your passport.

The collapse represents the end of debt slavery. This will be a good thing for productive people.

Member

Irwin Schiff decided to trade the open air prison for the club fed version.

dc.sunsets
Guest
I don’t know if men have ever lived in the absence of some kind of slave/master relationships. To me, the goal is to maximize happiness (properly understood, which is the rub, since vice is not happiness and we’re drowning in vice now.) I want order, safety and a degree of self-direction, the priority of which depends on how much of each I’m offered by the environment (which is largely whatever my neighbors consent to.) I used to rail at taxes. I now rail at debt (which is the fraud of unpayable promises.) I suppose in the end, I rail at… Read more »
Alzaebo
Guest

The collapse represents the Cloud Collectors calling in their bust out, seizing all, not a Jubilee. That’s my prediction.

coyote
Guest

Mr. Z-man: this is a great short essay- but it misses something about the “vig”. the whole usury thing (the vig) is the exact point of the sin. Aristotle wrote about it long before the Catholic church made it a deadly sin for a thousand years. The real gotchas come with compound interest. oy vey. babylonian woes indeed.

coyote
Guest

Forgot to to mention: productivity was around during the feudal period: lots of wonderful cathedrals, in many small towns. think of the time and effort and “money” it took to build those monuments to our faith. The myths of the middle ages are too many. Where are all the cathedrals today? hmm. Brussels? City of London? Wall Street?

Karl Hungus
Guest

some of those cathedrals took over 100 years to complete. which is not really being very productive…

A.B. Prosper
Guest
They were very good ways to encourage skilled labor and served as a jobs program while giving society something of lasting benefit . Good for mind, body and soul. The WPA and CCC under Roosevelt did something similar for the US and it was of tremendous benefit to us. Still is. No matter what any Libertarian-Autistic types think every functioning human society has economic regulation and welfare of some kind. Any society above cavemen has some kind of make work or government projects In fact the more efficient the private sector gets the , the bigger the State will get… Read more »
Alzaebo
Guest

100 years of economic activity

dc.sunsets
Guest

Are you asking, “Where are the monuments constructed under the mythology of today?”
Lincoln Memorial
Jefferson Memorial
Washington Memorial
Every public school curriculum
90% of every university campus
The Taj Mahal buildings that house banks, insurance companies and (increasingly) hospitals.
Wall Street, NASDAQ, ICE, LSE, etc., etc.

What amazes me so is that few people realize these and more are simply temples to mass-minded mythology. They are all metaphorical bamboo “cargo planes” of the cult to which we all belong.

Dutch
Guest
Fiat currency and credit accommodate and fuel economic expansion. They can also accommodate sloth, when the money supply expansion and credit extended do not go towards productive increases in the broader economy and productivity. Between other priorities in our immigration policy, the expansion of the economy through EBT cards and monster pension payments that tend to just sit in a virtual pile somewhere, and the broad extension of credit to things that have no real future value (cars and worthless college degrees), we encourage slothful economic behavior with our credit and money expansion policies. When the debts are called in… Read more »
dc.sunsets
Guest

Monetary expansion most occurred via Uncle Sam, and so industries largely paid for by Uncle experienced a massive influx of money demand, so tens of millions of people pursued education, credentials and licensing in the fields of medical services, higher ed, welfare-state administration, and the Military industrial complex. This is why Americans pay so much for all these things, because supply is warped by such artificial (non-organic) demand. When that demand cannot be sustained, all those people (capital) will be trapped in unproductive, unemployable silos. It’s going to be UGLY.

lab guy
Guest
I’ll never believe the nonsense that hard money or gold standard failed because of any inherent fallacies. Even the greatest money printer himself, Alan Greenspan, acknowledged that it basically worked pretty well. There was a guy who started the private money Liberty Dollar, but was shutdown by the corrupt government scum who accused him of counterfeiting. He had an actual currency backed by silver. But the government does not like competition when it comes to thievery. Whether hard money or not, it is always an issue when the government seizes control of the money creation system. I’m certainly worse off… Read more »
Ursula
Guest

When TSHTF, is there even a remote possibility of a jubilee?

Also, what about a system like Bitcoin replacing the current? Any chance or impossible since it doesn’t allow manipulating and skimming and leaves out politics?

Dutch
Guest

It will be more messy than that, but a repudiation of debts (default with a lack of collateral to claim, along with a depreciation of the terms of repayment–the Dollar) is a jubilee of sorts, just not evenly applied or orderly in nature.

dc.sunsets
Guest

For every debtor there’s a creditor (or several.) We err when we think it’s only the Fat Cats who will lose out when their bonds crater (or are repudiated.) In fact, it’s everyone who will lose (although the pain will not be spread evenly, of course.) Even if you don’t count on Social Security in the future, or a pension or an insurance payout, what if your parents do? Will you let them starve? Many people will face a completely new set of problems, just as large or larger than now, when this entire system falls.

Hans Solo
Guest

The trading of goods and bartering is entirely missed in this article. You can create and transfer wealth through barter. The creation of currency to create a medium of wealth transfer was a civilization advance. But the the growth of is not limited to the amount of currency, it includes things of value.

Karl Hungus
Guest

barter economies are pretty small scale. not really applicable to today’s economy.

Doug
Guest

Yes, but isn’t that the crux of the whole problem to begin Karl?
The leviathan is too big, not the barter economy too small.

Doug
Guest
Invite you to see my comment below Hans. What do you think? I think what you and I are saying is far more viable then common convention and wisdom lets on to. In some ways I think many of us as a society are so far removed for so long in time and experience, provincialism and bartering, components of agrarian living, are inconceivable, because they have to be lived to fully grok the complexities and benefits. That is what I am actually experiencing daily, I’m living proof, with the fruits to show for it. Regardless of what convention or theory… Read more »
Member

Good use of Infogalactic. Keep up the good work.

Member

There seems to be enough expert opinion here to entirely and perfectly reform the world’s banking system.

Doug
Guest

That is a wonderful thing to say Fred_Z.
Your more right than you could imagine I think.
Imagine if that was possible?
Be something else.

Doug
Guest
It sure seems like Montesquieu’s proposition that the geographic size of an area strongly influenced its form of government, extends to other components of the system of nation states and their activities like fiat. I’ll use myself as an example, because I don’t see anything difficult with “hard money” on the truly local level, (and increasingly local-local-local is the viable and sustainable alternative to the leviathan on many levels, of for no other reason it is so far removed from provincialism). So I fabricate something in my little metal working shop from raw materials, or harvest berries from bushes I… Read more »
Ryan
Guest
One of the fascinating things about Medieval Britain was their money system. The currency consisted of dozens of different kinds of coins minted at various times and places throughout history. Roman coins, Greek coins, what have you. Transactions, though, were calculated in Pounds and Shillings. The thing is there was no such thing as a Pound, it was an entirely theoretical unit of value. A agrees that B’s cow is worth 3 Pounds and then buys it with 1 Pound worth of flour and 2 Pounds worth of ancient Roman coins. A more recent example comes from the Brazilian financial… Read more »
Tom
Guest

Is this some new slant to discredit Libertarians again?
It is amusing to see you struggle with even the most basic of libertarian concepts.

Tom
Guest

Alternative ending:
Without the loan from the “Shylock” no crop is produced and 14.5 peasants starved.
The end

A.B. Prosper
Guest

Or the alternate ending, the money lenders are executed horribly and the king steps in to assist his people using the grain his taxes were paid in and giving it under his reciprocal feudal obligations to his peasants

The crop goes fine and the king being wise collects only a tiny bit extra each year till paid back.

people who actually perform useful services (food producers and the military) get paid and fiscal parasites are kept in check.

Tom
Guest

Kings are awesome! So many wise ones throughout history!
Like this one:
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-21/sound-money-debate-exposes-ignorance-politicians-again
(Don’t be that guy.)

A.B. Prosper
Guest

I’m not a monarchist but I’m deeply suspicious of fiat money and think usury is outright immoral. Lending as a whole ought to be discouraged as well.

All that aside, when it comes to economics, not even economists with year of experience can agree on anything. Your educated guess is quite literally as good as mine although about the only thing that seems to be factual , is central planning doesn’t work

Member

I like the Hayek solution. Abolish legal tender laws while leaving everything else be. The currency competition will keep central banks honest, or at least keep them from inflating too much for fear of people refusing to trade with their currency.

Alzaebo
Guest

Another plus: they couldn’t afford war loans from outside lenders.

When people say, “the U.S. paid off 120% worth of GDP after WWII!”-
I say, “who did they pay?”

Sam J.
Guest
One thing we should make clear is the complete stupidity of the present US monetary system, unless you’re the FED. ALL money created in the US is based on debt. If we pay off the debt then we would have…no money. It’s absurd. It’s my belief that the SDR is a scheme to cover up this absurdity by kicking it upstairs to the exact same absurd system but calling it something different. Of course the people who run these scams have it made. They can create money from thin air and for the privilege of doing so they charge us… Read more »
Sam J.
Guest
There’s a guy who ran for President last time who has some excellent ideas. This guy invented Moprtage Backed Securities. https://web.archive.org/web/20160126102250/http://www.scottsmith2016.com/#scott-smith-home-1 The thing is they are a plan that’s been worked. We need to address “what comes next”. How do you replace the money supply from a debt based system? How do you tax income or what do you tax? This guy has a plan and while I’m not sure all of it works it’s damn interesting. It cuts taxes of most people, replaces the banking system and ends all US debt in five years. He’s not some crazy person… Read more »
MauserMedic
Guest
A key benefit of a fixed hard currency supply is the difficulty in expanding it (introducing impurities into the hard currencies to mislead the masses as to actual content of material aside). A fixed amount of money, which is a portable representation of wealth, is not a problem because that fixed ounce of gold will buy more or less of a commodity based on demand and scarcity. It’s the commodity availability and demand that expands and contracts; that fixed amount of hard currency will buy more or less of a given commodity, rather than increased demand causing a shortage of… Read more »
Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
As I am now back north in your “fly over country” crossing from Colorado into Wyoming. As I came up the back roads of I’m amazed at the level of poverty which seems to dominate these small towns. Towns like Guffey, CO has wooden shacks with wood burning stoves. But just a few miles up the road in Breckenridge, the employees at the hotel where I stayed couldn’t afford to live in the same town (…the hotel manager explained the situation, so I got this first hand when I asked what the “affordable housing tax” on my bill was for).… Read more »
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