Top Pro & Con Arguments

Con

A gold standard would increase the environmental and cultural harms created by gold mining.

In the first quarter of 2019, mining one ounce of gold cost $1,000. The average wedding band contains three to seven ounces of gold. [123] [124]

All the human labor used for mining, refining, and storing gold is time and energy diverted from the real economy. The direct costs associated with a fiat paper money system (paper and printing costs) are much lower because a paper bill only costs between 7.7 and 19.6 cents in Apr. 2020. [125]

Returning to a gold standard would create increased demand for gold and mining activity would increase. Many gold mines use a process called cyanide leach mining that creates large-scale water pollution and massive open-pit scars on the land. Producing one ounce of gold creates 79 tons of mine waste. [55] [56]

Further, nearly 50% of global gold mining occurs on indigenous lands, where the communities’ land rights are often violated. [56] [57] [58]

In Brazil, the Yanomami, a tribe of about 26,700 people who remain relatively isolated, are being threatened by illegal gold mining on their reservation in the Amazon rainforest. In addition to forest destruction and poisoned rivers, the Yanomami saw two of their communities wiped out by the flu and measles brought in by illegal gold mining operations in the 1970s. In 2020, COVID-19 was brought by miners. [126]

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