The world could greatly benefit from a global economic standard, including a currency that works in every country, but the problems with initializing this system would be well beyond today’s political state.
In nearly every fictional tale or story that is told, there is almost always a universal accounting system for entire worlds or even galaxies. Franchises such as Star Wars, Mass Effect, and a Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) all have standards of accounting, in the form of “credits” or gold dragons. While economic issues are not touched on very much in the first two franchises, in the TV series “Game of Thrones,” a major theme (at least in the more recent seasons, so spoilers if you haven’t watched!) is the debt that the government of the Seven Kingdoms of Westoros is in with the Iron Bank of Braavos, which lays across the narrow seas, not governed by the king. When franchises use a universal currency for billions of people begs the question: why couldn’t we implement a universal currency on earth right now? While I personally see many benefits, I also see many different costs and certain issues that could make the change impractical.
To begin, I would like to discuss the benefits. I think that having a universal currency would be a great way to unite the world in its economic endeavors and to keep debt and trade easily in line. As was discussed in class today, currency wars have been threatening, but not completely taking hold. Currency wars would be gone in a world that had only one currency, and rates would be adjusted by a council that would be able to evaluate the state of the entire world’s economy before making those adjustments. It could operate akin to the United Nations, with the larger economies having a voice in the door but not the only voices. For example, the European has six executive members and governors that represent the national banks of the member nations. This system could work as well for a world bank, with an executive committee that has the US, UK, Germany, France, Russia, Switzerland, Japan, and other large economies having a permanent seat and a few rotating seats that would come from developing nations. Benefits included for the world bank would be a much easier form of trade and people could travel all around the world without worrying about currency.
There are absolutely some problems in implementing a universal currency system, and perhaps the largest is politics. It would probably be political suicide to suggest that the United States should bind itself to the economies of third world nations. Also, it would take an incredible amount of infrastructure change to make sure that the world would not cease economic function while the change happened. Also, it would be difficult to consider what the currency would be pegged to, as so many are currently based on the dollar or other currencies. The gold standard has long been determined to be useless and the country has left that well behind, while basing the currency off of GDP or resources could turn the change into a full scale war. It would be curious to see how the currency could be changed to allow for the world to fall under one currency.