I’ve mentioned Mackey Chandler’s April series more than once here. I liked it enough that I’m now reading his other works. Just now I’m enjoying his 2011 novel Paper or Plastic, an unusual first contact story in several ways. A moment ago I encountered this passage, in which a very human alien is explaining aspects of her world to the Earthman who’s harboring her:
“A lot of people work for the government, so their script is issued by the government, but there isn’t a big supply of it for everybody to use like here. Some agencies and companies print them with an expiration date and if they aren’t cashed in the credit goes back to your account and the note is void, so there isn’t a bunch of it out there floating around. You can’t save them up. Some you have to sign, to validate where you spend them.”
“That all sounds like it is intended to avoid a hot economy. Restricting the money supply always keeps a lid on development. But, Dear God Martee, don’t tell our government anything about perishable banknotes. They’d embrace the idea, but forget the part about the unused value going back in your account. It would just be another hidden tax on people who let them expire.”
Sound like anything you’ve heard proposed recently?