When I was a senior in college, I wrote the second-longest essay of my life -- and it wasn't for a class. It was for a cash prize of $5,000.
In December 2009, I heard about the Atlas Sound Money Project Essay and, broke as the economy, I jumped for the cash prize. I did not win the first prize. A kid from Dartmouth did, if my memory serves me correctly. I also did not win the one of the two second prizes ($1,000), or one of the three third prizes ($500).
I had to choose between the following topics:
I choose the last one.Essay Topics:- “Money and the Free Society: Can Money Exist Outside of the State?”
- “The Ethical Implications of Monetary Manipulation”
- “Monetary Policy and the Rule of Law in the United States”
But cleaning up my desk this evening (how it surfaced to my desk 4 years later, I have no idea), I decided to discard the paper I had notes on and preserve the memory through this blog post.
Here are the books I used to write the 20-page essay, which was supposed to be "accessible to the educated laymen, but rigorous enough as to be used in college and university courses." That had my writing style written all over it.
These aren't the only sources I used. I also completed Robert P. Murphy's "Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism," some excerpts from some newsletters I was receiving at the time, and more. Besides the Murphy book, only other books I read in their entirety for this essay was "The Alpha Strategy" (which I have offered free of charge since November 2009), "Gold Wars," "Honest Money." I skimmed through the Sowell Book. I probably didn't cite the Faustino Ballve book nor the How the Fed Works book.Economics Reading List for Sound Money Essay-The Alpha Strategy-How the Fed Works (50 pages)-Essentials of Economics-Gold Wars-Honest Money (Esp. Biblical Monetary System)-Housing Boom and Bust
I also have some handwritten notes on this paper, such as "banks are good - fractional reserve isn't," "sell back gold to the public," "FDIC out of commission," "FED = Insurance Agency," "prevent recessions," "prices of goods will fall," "gov = tax in gold," " = pay in gold," and "no government mandate for gold-only. Gold is standard, but other metals are usuable (sic)." Corresponding page numbers were in parentheses next to these notes.
The Atlas Foundation's original blog post announcing the competition was published on December 2, 2009. The deadline to submit the essay was January 15, 2010. You can read the blog description here.
I'll publish the essay on a later date.