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Last updated on: 3/13/2017 12:53:56 PM PST

Should the United States Return to a Gold Standard?

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PRO (yes) Comments (5)

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  • +5 +9 -4 Anna May. 26, 2014
    "it will back us up if the economy breaks down again."
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  • +3 +3 0 David Chamberlain Jul. 2, 2016
    "BIG problem with this question: no useful definition of "gold standard" is given. In US history alone, there were many different "gold standard" systems, both in law and in practice. Are we talking about a quantity-peg, i.e. fixed money supply determined by gold reserves? Or a value-peg, i.e. fixed price per oz of gold? The only practical system, and the only one that ever worked in the past, is the value-peg. However, it's clear that many of the arguments and comments are referring to the quantity-peg. It is only the lack of a precise "gold standard" definition that makes these straw-man arguments seem relevant.

    Note that the value-peg does allow variation in the supply of money, which is necessary in a changing economy to avoid both deflation and inflation. The value-peg does NOT strictly require that the government hold any gold reserves or exchange currency for gold (although it should.) Therefore, an argument such as "there is not enough gold" is generally irrelevant."
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    • 0 0 0 James Ashby Oct. 21, 2016
      "By definition the amount of money in the world is never an issue, people decide what a standard of value is worth, not how much there is. What is at issue is the value of things, and the only reason to have fiat money is to have distorted values of things. No need to look far for distorted values, for waste of resources. Does the whole environmental movement result from anything but fiat money? Should a free country be a nation of tenants and homeless people? House construction is largely old knowledge and readily available materials, no reason why most people who want should not be absolute land-homeowners. The horse comes before the cart, buying and selling comes before borrowing and lending. Any reason for the cart before the horse, the United States government's endless, futile attempt to make the world revolve around borrowing and lending, but fiat money? Etc., etc.

      A gold dollar has far higher value than fiat money, the homeless dollars originating unearned that no fiat-money supporter will take personal responsibility for, that can only be deployed at all via such dictionary-defying ideas as changing the amount of money. Gold dollars are for prices, not price controls."
  • +1 +6 -5 James Ashby Sep. 26, 2014
    "Yes. Fiat money is a price-control scheme as impossible as all the rest, no one decides what anyone else transacts for. The price-control idea of "elastic currency" in the 1913 Federal Reserve Act compromised the gold dollar, has been destroying the dollar's value ever since. Gold dollars originate earned, have to be earned by everyone, unite government's interest with everyone's, with the promotion of commerce, freedom, minimization of government. Earning money comes before lending it, but fiat money's unearned origin leaves only debt for fiat money to promote. Gold dollars are for earning and saving, the work ethic not the debt ethic, a much higher standard of living and value of the dollar."
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  • 0 0 0 Eric severance Sep. 10, 2016
    "I do believe we should return to the gold standard but i fear it will not happen until some disaster is brought on by our use of fiat currency. Seems that the us government would rather have war then consider the gold standard. War with anyone that challenges the us dollar. I will end with this. Return to the gold standard before you get us into a war you can't win."
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  • -5 +2 -7 Daniel Counts Mar. 28, 2015
    "Returning to Gold Standard would not be easy, but I still think it is the best course. Gold is blamed for past crisis when it is not really the gold but more so monetary policy and manipulation by central banks and government with respect to Gold that caused past crisis. The argument that there is not enough gold in the world to match the money supply is not valid. In past gold standards, there was only about 30-40% of gold to money supply, which of course we are well short of this too, which means to return to a gold standard, the price of gold would have to increase substantially. So the problem is NOT the amount of gold in the world, the problem is the price of gold if we return to the gold standard. If we wait on returning, the gold price would have to go up even more because of the loose money printing policies."
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CON (no) Comments (2)

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  • +7 +11 -4 the thinker Dec. 30, 2013
    "there is only so much gold on earth"
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    • +2 +2 0 David Chamberlain Jul. 5, 2016
      "This comment and unfortunately many of the replies all demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the gold standard. A gold standard is a value-peg. It does not require a specific amount of gold to be kept in reserve. The notion that at some point in the past every dollar was "backed" by an equivalent amount of gold held by the bank is completely false.

      We could return to a gold standard today, using only the reserves the government already has, and it would not require any change in the value of the dollar or the price of gold. The price of gold in dollars would simply stop changing.

      Reference: "Gold: The Once and Future Money" by Nathan Lewis"
    • +1 +2 -1 Daniel Counts Mar. 28, 2015
      "not valid, there is plenty of gold, but the price of gold will have to increase. Not a strong argument."
    • +1 +3 -2 James Ashby Sep. 26, 2014
      "Fiat money is no change in the amount of money in the world, it's only an exemption granted some citizens from having to earn their dollars the same as everyone else, drastic reduction of the dollar's value."
    • +1 +3 -2 reply Jun. 10, 2014
      "That's what makes gold valuable. Money is just an arbitrary piece of paper. The value is determined by the people. It has no real value and could crash at any time. Gold is in limited supplies and is actually valuable. It can stabilize our currency and give it weight."
    • 0 0 0 Josh Reeves Sep. 5, 2016
      "I think you miss the point, sir. The fact that there is only a limited supply of gold on earth is exactly why it works so fluidly. If your dollars are determined by a ratio to grams of gold, that is a constant. The amount is irrelevant because we should just set the worth according to percentages of whatever we have. What the gold standard does is provide a check for the people against the government. The government cannot just print millions of new bills and reduce the worth of our money without consent. We can have, in circulation, only as much money as we have gold. This also helps extremely with the government's habit of deficit spending because it would mean us having to send gold and therefore decrease the value of our dollars. Thanks"
  • -5 +1 -6 billy Feb. 18, 2016
    "there is not enough gold on Earth."
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