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Pro & Con Quotes: Should the United States Return to a Gold Standard?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)

Craig K. Elwell, Specialist in Macroeconomic Policy at the Congressional Research Service, stated the following in his June 23, 2011 article, “Brief History of the Gold in the United States,” available at

“The U.S. monetary system is based on paper money backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government [fiat money]. The currency is neither valued in, backed by, nor officially convertible into gold or silver…

A gold standard uses gold – directly or indirectly – as money. In a pure gold standard, gold itself is used in transactions, with all prices in essence expressed in terms of the amount of gold needed for purchase…

A monetary system can also be regarded as a gold standard if representations of gold are used in exchange… Typically, people think of paper currency as part of a gold standard if the notes are ‘backed’ by gold, that is, if there is for every note outstanding a certain quantity of gold stored as ‘cover.’…

For paper to represent gold, it must be regarded as equivalent to a given quantity and purity of gold. In general, this equivalence is achieved by ‘convertibility,’ the commitment to exchange the notes for gold on demand… a paper money system in which notes are convertible on demand by the issuer into gold of a given weight and purity is regarded as a gold standard.”

June 23, 2011 - Craig K. Elwell

Michael D. Bordo, PhD, Professor of Economics at Rutgers University, stated the following in his article “Gold Standard,” available at (accessed Nov. 11, 2013):

“The gold standard was a commitment by participating countries to fix the prices of their domestic currencies in terms of a specified amount of gold. National money and other forms of money (bank deposits and notes) were freely converted into gold at the fixed price… The United States, though formally on a bimetallic (gold and silver) standard, switched to gold de facto in 1834 and de jure in 1900 when Congress passed the Gold Standard Act. In 1834, the United States fixed the price of gold at $20.67 per ounce, where it remained until 1933. Other major countries joined the gold standard in the 1870s. The period from 1880 to 1914 is known as the classical gold standard. During that time, the majority of countries adhered (in varying degrees) to gold…

Between 1946 and 1971, countries operated under the Bretton Woods system. Under this further modification of the gold standard, most countries settled their international balances in U.S. dollars, but the U.S. government promised to redeem other central banks’ holdings of dollars for gold at a fixed rate of thirty-five dollars per ounce… Finally, on August 15, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon announced that the United States would no longer redeem currency for gold. This was the final step in abandoning the gold standard.”

Nov. 11, 2013 - Michael D. Bordo, PhD

PRO (yes)

Pro 1

Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States, in an interview with GQ, a video of which is available on under the title “Donald Trump Weighs in on Marijuana, Hillary Clinton, and Man Buns,” (uploaded Nov. 23, 2015), stated:

“Bringing back the gold standard would be very hard to do, but boy would it be wonderful. We’d have a standard on which to base our money.”

Nov. 23, 2015 - Donald J. Trump

Pro 2

Alan Greenspan, PhD, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, in a June 27, 2016 interview with Michael McKee and Tom Keene for the Bloomberg Surveillance podcast, available from the Bloomberg YouTube channel under the title “Alan Greenspan on Brexit, U.S. Economy, and Inflation,” stated:

“If we went back on the gold standard, and we adhered to the actual structure of the gold standard as it existed prior to 1913, we’d be fine.

Remember that the period 1870 to 1913 was one of the most progressive periods, economically, that we’ve had in the United States. And, that was the golden period of the gold standard…

I’m known as a ‘gold bug’ and everyone laughs at me, but, why do central banks own gold now?”

June 27, 2016 - Alan Greenspan, PhD

Pro 3

Ron Paul, MD, former US Representative (R-TX), stated the following in his Oct. 2, 2012 article, “Gold Is Good Money,” available on The Daily Bell website:

“Why is gold good money? Because it possesses all the monetary properties that the market demands: it is divisible, portable, recognizable and, most importantly, scarce – making it a stable store of value. It is all things the market needs good money to be and has been recognized as such throughout history. Gold rose to nearly $1800 an ounce after the Fed’s most recent round of quantitative easing because the people know that gold is money when fiat money fails…

Fiat money is not good money because it can be issued without limit and therefore cannot act as a stable store of value. A fiat monetary system gives complete discretion to those who run the printing press, allowing governments to spend money without having to suffer the political consequences of raising taxes. Fiat money benefits those who create it and receive it first, enriching government and its cronies. And the negative effects of fiat money are disguised so that people do not realize that money the Fed creates today is the reason for the busts, rising prices and unemployment, and diminished standard of living tomorrow…

As the fiat money pyramid crumbles, gold retains its luster. Rather than being the barbarous relic Keynesians have tried to lead us to believe it is, gold is, as the Bundesbank president put it, ‘a timeless classic.’ The defamation of gold wrought by central banks and governments is because gold exposes the devaluation of fiat currencies and the flawed policies of government.”

Oct. 2, 2012 - Ron Paul, MD

Pro 4

Lewis E. Lehrman, MA, Chairman of the Lehrman Institute, stated the following in his Oct. 2012 article “A Road To Prosperity,” available at

“Gold, a fundamental, metallic element of the earth’s constitution, exhibits unique properties that enabled it, during two millennia of market testing, to emerge as a universally accepted store of value and medium of exchange, not least because it could sustain purchasing power over the long run against a standard assortment of goods and services…

To choose or to reject the true gold standard is to decide between two fundamental options: on the one hand, a free, just, stable, and objective monetary order; and on the other, manipulated, inconvertible paper money, the fundamental cause of a casino culture of speculation and crony capitalism, and the incipient financial anarchy and inequality it engenders.

Restoration of a dollar convertible to gold would rebuild a necessary financial incentive for real, long-term, economic growth by encouraging saving, investment, entrepreneurial innovation, and capital allocation in productive facilities…

In a free market and its banking system, grounded by the rule of convertibility to gold, new money and credit may be prudently issued only against new production or additional supply for the market, thus maintaining equilibrium between total demand and total supply. Inflation is thereby ruled out.”

Oct. 2012 - Lewis E. Lehrman, MA

Pro 5

Charles Kadlec, MBA, member of the Economic Advisory Board of the American Principles Project, stated the following in his Sep. 12, 2011 article, “The Price of Abandoning the Gold Standard,” available at

“Forty years ago [in 1971] President Richard Nixon severed the final link between the dollar and gold. We have been living with the consequences of that colossal error ever since…

Since 1971 real economic expansion has averaged 2.9% a year – more than a full percentage point slower than the 4% growth rate during the post-World War II gold-standard period.

When compounded over 40 years, 1% slower growth under the paper dollar system has had a mind-boggling impact on our incomes and the size of the economy. At 3% growth the U.S. economy is about $8 trillion smaller than it would have been had we continued to experience the average growth rate prior to Nixon severing the link between the dollar and gold. That implies that median family income today would be about $70,000, or nearly 50% higher than it is today.

The dollar we use today is worth less than two dimes in buying power compared with the pre-Nixon dollar. And with little reason to believe that the dollar will maintain even this paltry value, the average American family is left with no meaningful way to save for its children’s education or its own retirement…

We have paid dearly for Nixon’s colossal error. But this abhorrent deviation from a sound dollar can be corrected. The country – and the world – awaits the political leader who truly understands that making the dollar as good as gold is vital to the prosperity, security and liberty of the American people, and who can therefore lead the country and the world forward to a 21st-century gold standard.”

Sep. 12, 2011 - Charles Kadlec, MBA

Pro 6

Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, stated the following in his Oct. 22, 2012 article “Gold Can Save Us from Disaster,” available at

“A new gold standard is crucial. The disasters that the Federal Reserve and other central banks are inflicting on us with their funny-money policies are enormous and underappreciated. An unstable dollar is wreaking havoc on our capital markets, depriving us of money for productive enterprises and future enterprises while subsidizing government debt on a scale never before seen in U.S. history. The zero-interest-rate policy destroys capital by punishing savers and enabling the central bank to allocate where capital goes…

What the Fed is doing through its binge buying of bonds is enabling Washington to consume our national wealth. Instead of creating new wealth we are beginning to destroy that which exists. No wonder tens of millions of people feel – rightly – that their real incomes are declining and their financial situations are coming under more pressure. In real terms the stock market is lower today than it was in the late 1990s, and even in absolute terms it still isn’t where it was in 2007.

Can we move forward on a gold standard before a real catastrophe à la the 1930s results?…

Currently the federal government wages a virtual jihad against any attempt by individuals or companies to create gold-based monetary instruments for commercial transactions…

The combination of getting a serious debate on the gold standard going and sweeping away our legal tender laws barring competitive domestic currency would hasten the day that we’ll once again have a gold-based currency like that which did our country so much measurable good for 180 years.”

Oct. 22, 2012 - Steve Forbes

Pro 7

Ralph J. Benko, JD, Senior Economic Advisor at American Principles in Action and Editor and Advisor to the Lehrman Institute’s, stated the following in a Mar. 18, 2013 email to

“Monetary policy reform is a rapidly rising issue. ‘Good money’ is important for generating a climate of equitable prosperity. The empirical data show the classical gold standard to be the ‘gold standard’ of monetary policy. The Bank of England, in 2011, issued Financial Stability Paper No. 13. The Bank of England found that the fiduciary dollar standard badly underperforms in every major category, including economic growth, inflation, recessions, and banking crises.

Some still labor under the mistaken impression that the gold standard is a recipe for austerity and caused the Great Depression. This ignores the fact that there was no gold standard in 1929!

The classical gold standard was invented by two icons of science: Copernicus and Newton. Their work in astronomy and physics still stands the test of time. So does their monetary work. There is abundant evidence that attaining 4% growth, generating millions of new and better jobs as well as expanding the tax base and bringing in trillions of dollars of new revenue with which to balance the federal budget, can best, perhaps only, be achieved by adopting a 21st century gold standard.

Time for a fresh look at gold.”

Mar. 18, 2013 - Ralph J. Benko, JD

Pro 8

Herman Cain, MS, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, stated the following in his May 13, 2012 article, “We Need a Dollar as Good as Gold,” available at

“A dollar should be defined – as it was prior to 1971 under the postwar Bretton Woods system – as a fixed quantity of gold.

However imperfect a gold standard may be, it remains the best among all alternatives. The empirical data for both the classical gold standard, which I favor – and even the flawed ‘gold-exchange’ standard, as we had under the Bretton Woods system – are impressive. Economic growth was stronger, unemployment rates lower, the price level more stable, and recessions less frequent and less severe than under the present system.

I realize the Washington establishment goes ballistic at this suggestion. Gold is kryptonite to big-spending politicians. It is to the moochers and looters in government what sunlight and garlic are to vampires. The American people are another story. Nearly half (44%) support a return to a gold standard, according to an October 2011 Rasmussen Report. That support soars to 57% when respondents know it will ‘dramatically reduce the powers of bankers and the political class to steer the economy.’…

The political establishment will fight this idea viciously, because gold convertibility strips them of power and places the trump card over monetary policy with the people. If you thought the establishment attacked me over 9-9-9, wait until you see how they react to a classic gold standard. The vampires will be out in full force.

The debate over sound money has moved from whether we need it to how we get there. The pieces are moving in the right direction, and we have an opportunity to make the dollar once again as good as gold.”

May 13, 2012 - Herman Cain, MS

Pro 9

Judy Shelton, PhD, Co-Director of the Sound Money Project at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, stated the following in her Aug. 1, 2011 article “Gold Standard or Bust: Fixing the Dollar Before It’s Too Late,” available on the Weekly Standard website:

“What gold brings to the monetary table is discipline. If individuals suspect that money is being issued in excess of levels warranted by legitimate economic needs and growth prospects, they can exchange their currency holdings for gold at a pre-established, fixed rate. Gold convertibility ensures that the money supply expands or contracts based on the collective assessment of market participants – as opposed to the less-than-omniscient hunches of central bankers. Gold provides a self-correcting mechanism for irrational exuberance; as credit begins to flow too freely, as equity values or commodity prices appear frothy, the astute observer at the margin cashes out in gold. Monetary central planning gives way to the aggregate wisdom of the free market.

A gold standard brakes runaway government spending. It allows individuals to defeat governments that dilute the value of money…

Under a gold standard, money regains its primary purpose as a vital tool of free markets instead of serving as a corrupted instrument of government policy. Genuine economic growth – as opposed to the money illusion of artificial wealth reflected in bloated equities or housing prices – is no longer sacrificed to monetary policy encumbered by the fiscal failures of government…

One could say, of course, that a balanced budget is no panacea either – but it imposes needed discipline on fiscal decision-making. In the same way, monetary policy needs some discipline to prevent the dollar from being the default mechanism for enabling government mismanagement. Gold convertibility would signal that we intend to maintain the integrity of our currency. It’s all about trajectory and confidence; sound money makes it real.”

Aug. 1, 2011 - Judy Shelton, PhD

Pro 10

Brian Domitrovic, PhD, Chairman of the Department of History at Sam Houston State University, stated the following in his Sep. 2012 article “The Gold Standard: The Foundation of Our Economy’s Greatness,” available on the American Principles Project website:

“From the first full year that the Constitution’s outline of the gold standard took effect, 1790, until 1913, the year the Federal Reserve came into existence and the serial dismantling of the gold standard began, the United States economy increased in size, in real terms, by just about 150-fold. This record of growth, which amounted to 4.0% year in and year out, was so large, so unprecedented, and so long-lasting, that not only did the United States roar by all other countries in terms of overall output over the course of this extended period, the U.S. economy was over twice as large as its closest rival, Germany…

Today, as our nation struggles to get out of a five-year cycle of recession and pseudo-recovery, and as Keynesian remedies make their last, desperate play for relevance and legitimacy, the question of gold has naturally arisen in many quarters… The moment for gold seems to be arriving—and none too soon…

There is one conclusion that we are prepared to draw after two long experiences under different monetary regimes that make up this nation’s history. This is that the era of superior macroeconomic performance was that of the gold standard. The runs of growth were larger, more consistent, and accompanied by greater price stability if not gentle deflations proper to an economy making major productivity advances…

Growth, stability, suppleness through crises, and few negative side effects: these were the criteria invented in the twentieth century to grade economic performance. The results are in. Gold fulfilled these criteria with flying colors in the long era prior. And as our fiat-money Great Recession lingers after five years, we are correct to judge the entire era of the non-gold American economy to have failed to live up not only to the best standards of economics, but to this great nation’s proven potential.”

Sep. 2012 - Brian Domitrovic, PhD

Pro 11

Nathan Lewis, principal of Kiku Capital Management LLC, stated the following in his 2007 book Gold: The Once and Future Money, available at

“The best system, as always, is the one that maintains the greatest stability of currency value, over a week, month, year, decade, or century. It should also be easy to implement and cause no disruption on its introduction. As for accomplishing this task, even today there are no serious challengers to a gold standard, not even in the form of a proposal, and certainly none that have weathered the test of history. There is no reason to discard the hard-won knowledge of generations of human experience. The hard-money system of the future will be based on gold, just as were the hard-money systems of the past…

A return to hard money would eliminate, as much as is possible, the monetary distortion of the price information that guides the actions of the citizenry. Success and failure would once again be determined by relative merit in the market economy, not by erratic changes in the value of the currency. Capital would be deployed more accurately, and productivity would increase…

As the political tide flows away from soft money and toward hard money, when the wheel has turned once again as it has so many times in the past, the economic intelligentsia will sense the change and produce a flood of rationalizations about why the world needs a gold standard, just as they now produce a flood of rationalizations about why the world does not.”

2007 - Nathan Lewis

CON (no)

Con 1

Russell A. Green, PhD, Will Clayton Fellow in International Economics at Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, in a Feb. 23, 2016 briefing for the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy titled “Gold Standard or Fool’s Gold? Should the U.S. Consider Returning to the Gold Standard?,” wrote:

“Whether based on theoretical or historical comparisons, the gold standard appears less likely to deliver superior price stability than the current system. Rather, money supply would be determined by the vagaries of the global gold market, which would only coincide with domestic economic needs by chance. Even if gold markets were perfectly stable, the gold standard would likely induce a damaging level of deflation.

It was precisely the unwillingness of the U.S. to undertake such a destructive monetary policy that lead to the 1971 collapse of the ‘gold exchange standard’ operated under Bretton Woods. Instead, the money supply continued to grow to support moderate inflation, which undermined the tie to gold.”

Feb. 23, 2016 - Russell A. Green, PhD

Con 2

Ben Walsh, Business Reporter at the Huffington Post, in a June 19, 2016 article for the Huffington Post titled “Donald Trump Would Wreck the U.S. Economy,” wrote:

“The gold standard might sound good – who, especially Donald Trump, doesn’t love gold and standards? – but it’s one of the worst economic ideas ever. This is a harebrained policy that no other country uses and not a single surveyed economist thinks is a good idea…

Under the gold standard, a dollar is worth a certain amount of gold. And since gold is a commodity whose price swings wildly, a central bank like the Federal Reserve would have to raise and cut interest rates based not on how well the economy is doing, but on what’s going on in the gold market.

It’s a good way to run a modern economy into the ground.”

June 19, 2016 - Ben Walsh

Con 3

Paul Krugman, PhD, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, stated the following in his Aug. 26, 2012 article “Golden Instability,” available at

“Say this for the GOP: by resurrecting the very bad, no good, truly awful idea of a gold standard, they’ve given us something to talk about…

[A]nyone who believes that the gold standard era was marked by price stability, or for that matter any kind of stability, just hasn’t looked at the evidence. The fact is that prices have been far more stable under that dangerous inflationist Ben Bernanke than they ever were when gold ruled.

I’d like to offer a different take. There is a remarkably widespread view that at least gold has had stable purchasing power. But nothing could be further from the truth…

[There is] a pretty clear (and economically understandable) relationship between the real price of gold and the real interest rate: when real rates are low, real gold prices are high.

And when are real rates low? High inflation can do that, as it did in the late 1970s; but so can a severe economic slump due to a deleveraging shock, as in recent years.

What does that tell us about how a gold standard would work? Faced with the kind of shock we’ve just experienced, the real price of gold would ‘want’ to rise. But under a gold standard, the nominal price of gold would be fixed, so the only way that could happen would be through a fall in the general price level: deflation.

So if we’d had a gold standard operating in this crisis, there would have been powerful deflationary forces at work; not exactly what the doctor ordered.

The truth is that returning to gold is an almost comically (and cosmically) bad idea.”

Aug. 26, 2012 - Paul Krugman, PhD

Con 4

Ben Bernanke, PhD, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, stated the following in his Mar. 20, 2012 lecture “The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis: Origins and Mission of the Federal Reserve,” available on the Federal Reserve website:

“[O]ne of the strengths that people cite for the gold standard is that it creates a stable value for the currency. It creates a stable inflation, and that’s true over very long periods. But over shorter periods, maybe up to 5 or 10 years, you can actually have a lot of inflation, rising prices, or deflation, falling prices, in a gold standard. And the reason is that in a gold standard, the amount of money in the economy varies according to things like gold strikes. So for example, in the United States, if gold was discovered in California and the amount of gold in the economy goes up, that will cause an inflation, whereas if the economy is growing faster and there’s a shortage of gold, that will cause a deflation. So over shorter periods of time, you frequently had both inflations and deflations…

I think though that the gold standard would not be feasible for both practical reasons and policy reasons. On the practical side, it is just a simple fact there is not enough gold to meet the needs of a global gold standard and achieving that much gold would be very expensive. In a modern world, the commitment to the gold standard would mean that we are swearing that under no circumstances, no matter how bad unemployment gets, are we going to do anything about it using monetary policy… So I understand the impulse but I think if you look at actual history, you’ll see that the gold standard didn’t work that well and it worked particularly poorly after World War I. Indeed, well I won’t go into it, there’s a good bit of evidence that the gold standard was one of the main reasons that the depression was so deep and long. And a striking fact is that countries that left the gold standard early and gave themselves flexibility on monetary policy recovered much more quickly.”

Mar. 20, 2012 - Ben Bernanke, PhD

Con 5

Barry Eichengreen, PhD, George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley, stated the following in his Sep.-Oct. 2011 article “A Critique of Pure Gold,” available on The National Interest website:

“GOLD IS back, what with libertarians the country over looking to force the government out of the business of monetary-policy making. How? Well, by bringing back the gold standard of course…

Envisioning a statute requiring the Federal Reserve to redeem its notes for fixed amounts of specie [gold] is easy, but deciding what that fixed amount should be is hard. Set the price too high and there will be large amounts of gold-backed currency chasing limited supplies of goods and services. The new gold standard will then become an engine of precisely the inflation that its proponents abhor. But set the price too low, and the result will be deflation, which is not exactly a healthy state for an economy…

Proponents of the gold standard thus face a Goldilocks problem: the porridge must be neither too hot nor too cold but just right. What temperature exactly, pray tell, might that be? And even if we are lucky enough to get it right at the outset, consider what happens subsequently. As the economy grows, the price level will have to fall. The same amount of gold-backed currency has to support a growing volume of transactions, something it can do only if the prices are lower, unless the supply of new gold by the mining industry magically rises at the same rate as the output of other goods and services. If not, prices go down, and real interest rates become higher. Investment becomes more expensive, rendering job creation more difficult all over again.

Under a true gold standard, moreover, the Fed would have little ability to act as a lender of last resort to the banking and financial system. The kind of liquidity injections it made to prevent the financial system from collapsing in the autumn of 2008 would become impossible because it could provide additional credit only if it somehow came into possession of additional gold. Given the fragility of banks and financial markets, this would seem a recipe for disaster. Its proponents paint the gold standard as a guarantee of financial stability; in practice, it would be precisely the opposite.”

Sep.-Oct. 2011 - Barry Eichengreen, PhD

Con 6

Frederic S. Mishkin, PhD, Alfred Lerner Professor of Banking and Financial Institutions at Columbia Business School, stated the following during the Mar. 13, 2013 Intelligence Squared debate “America Doesn’t Need a Strong Dollar Policy,” available on the Intelligence Squared Debates website:

“I’m not a big fan of the gold standard…

[W]hen we actually look at the technology of actually producing stable inflation, the idea that in fact we should go back to the horse and buggy and go back to the gold standard, I think doesn’t fly.

[T]he variability of inflation was much higher during the gold standard period than we have now. Now what did happen in that period, and one of the problems here was, that you [were] actually very much affected by acts of God.

So indeed we actually had a deflationary period… from 1880 to about 1896, because they couldn’t find any gold. Then we had the Klondike and South Africa and actually there was inflation, because there were huge amounts of gold found in the ground…

During the gold standard, the price level went up, went down. Now you are right, that over very long rises, over a 40 year period, there was no change in price level. That’s the good news. The bad news is, that horizons are not 40 years. As Keynes said, in the long run, we’re all dead…

During the gold standard era… [w]e had financial crises about every 10 to 20 years…

[T]he period of the classical gold standard… was not a period of high growth.”

Mar. 13, 2013 - Frederic S. Mishkin, PhD

Con 7

Paul Heise, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Lebanon Valley College, stated the following in his Nov. 21, 2012 article “The Gold Standard Isn’t Good as Gold,” available at

“All the fear-mongering about the debt and the deficit, all the inflation scares of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing, and all the wrong-headed ignorance about bankruptcy and collapse of the dollar are based on the outmoded and archaic economic model called the gold standard…

If America were on the gold standard, there would be real constraints on spending, since the U.S. Treasury would only be able to spend what it could borrow or collect in taxes. The Federal Reserve system, in the same way, would only be able to supply money in proportion to the gold it has backing that currency…

The funny thing is, mainline economists, pundits, politicians and even President Barack Obama and the U.S. Treasury are all acting as though we were on the gold standard and that we were bound by all of those constraints. We are not…

The United States of America is a sovereign country that has a fiat currency. The Federal Reserve can say, Genesis-like, ‘let there be money’ – and money appears…

With a fiat money, the Federal Reserve can create and loan trillions of dollars to the business community when those dollars are needed in the midst of a financial crisis, as in 2008. The U.S. Treasury can run fiscal deficits of whatever size is needed to put the unemployed to work…

Thank God we are not on the gold standard. If we were, all of those horrible fears would be justified. We would have to institute austerity budgeting, deleverage credit, increase taxes and tighten the money supply…

With a fiat currency, we can and should create the buying power necessary to put all the people to work, increase national output and make everyone better off. Issuing this money will not cause inflation unless we are already at full employment. Those 23 million are idle resources who, despite nasty claims to the contrary, want to work.”

Nov. 21, 2012 - Paul A. Heise, PhD

Con 8

Douglas Irwin, PhD, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College, stated the following in his Nov. 10, 2010 article “Hindering Recovery, Fostering Protectionism,” available at

“The United States should avoid anything that remotely resembles a gold standard. Fixing the exchange rate against gold diverts the focus of monetary policy away from ensuring domestic economic stability to maintaining an arbitrary exchange-rate target. That is the wrong approach when the economy is still suffering from the aftermath of the recent financial crisis.

The Federal Reserve should be free to take whatever actions it feels necessary to promote economic growth and ensure stable prices without having to worry about the exchange rate. If the dollar depreciates against other currencies and other countries do not like it, so be it…

The United States should remain committed to a flexible, market-determined exchange rate regime to ensure its monetary independence and prevent the outbreak of damaging and counter-productive protectionism.”

Nov. 10, 2010 - Douglas Irwin, PhD

Con 9

Matthew O’Brien, Associate Editor at The Atlantic, stated the following in his Aug. 26, 2012 article “Why the Gold Standard Is the World’s Worst Economic Idea, in 2 Charts,” available on The Atlantic website:

“After a 32-year hiatus, the [Republican] party’s official [2012] platform will include a plank calling for a commission to look at the possible return of the gold standard. There might be worse ideas than this, but they generally involve jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge because everybody else is doing it…

Economics is often a contentious subject, but economists agree about the gold standard – it is a barbarous relic that belongs in the dustbin of history…

It prevents the central bank from fighting recessions by outsourcing monetary policy decisions to how much gold we have – which, in turn, depends on our trade balance and on how much of the shiny rock we can dig up…

Why would anyone want to go back to the bad old days? The gold standard limited central banks from printing money when economies needed central banks to print money, and limited governments from running deficits when economies needed governments to run deficits. It was a devilish device for turning recessions into depressions…

Prices would have to fall a great deal if we adopted the gold standard today. In other words, it would turn the imagined problem of price stability into a real problem of price stability. And, of course, this ensuing deflation would send the economy into a death spiral due to still high levels of household debt.”

Aug. 26, 2012 - Matthew O’Brien

Con 10

Ezra Klein, columnist at the Washington Post and policy analyst for MSNBC, stated the following in his Aug. 24, 2012 article “The GOP Has Picked the Wrong Time to Rediscover Gold,” available on the Washington Post website:

“[I]n 1981, amidst a serious inflation problem, Reagan created a commission to study a gold standard. You couldn’t have picked a more sympathetic president, or a more sympathetic moment, to the gold standard. And they still rejected it.

Now fast forward 30 years. There’s no inflation problem. The head of the Federal Reserve was originally appointed by George W. Bush and is credited by most observers as having headed off a potential Great Depression through creative monetary policy. And so what does the Republican Party want to do? Well, according to a draft of the party’s platform, they want another Gold Commission…

The problems with the gold standard are legion, but the most obvious is that our currency fluctuates with the global price of gold as opposed to the needs of our economy…

Today, inflation is about as low as it’s ever been, and if you look at market expectations… it’s expected to stay low. Moreover, we’ve just come through a financial crisis in which the entire global economy might well have collapsed if the Federal Reserve hadn’t stepped in as the lender of last resort after the credit markets froze. We’ve been watching as the euro zone dissolves amidst fears that the European Central Bank won’t act as a lender of last resort…

Unlike 1981, in other words, when the gold standard made a kind of superficial sense as a response to our problems, 2012 is a moment when a gold standard would clearly have worsened our problems. Dramatically.”

Aug. 24, 2012 - Ezra Klein

Con 11

Gregg Hilton, Director at Next Generation Ventures, stated the following in his May 29, 2011 article “The Case Against Gold: Why Ron Paul Is Wrong About the Gold Standard,” available on The DC World Affairs Blog:

“Long ago the gold standard made sense for America, but not today. Its advocates want to turn the clock back to the ‘Roaring 20’s,’ but the economic growth of that decade had little to do with the gold standard and it ended in disaster. America has now been off the gold standard for 40 years and its many flaws have been forgotten. There are excellent reasons it was rejected by right wing icons such as Milton Friedman…

Many economists believe adopting a gold standard could decrease the U.S. monetary supply by about half. This would cause massive deflation and could threaten an economic collapse…

There is not enough gold in the world for it to be a medium of exchange…

Using gold and silver is not going to prevent the government from making bad monetary decisions or creating more debt. The government could still spend too much and it would still have to contend with compounding debt and interest…

Gold advocates claim it would give America a fixed monetary base, but gold flows can create huge swings in the broader money supply. Gold would not result in a stable monetary base. There has been a decades long search for price stability, but there are no stable commodities.”

May 29, 2011 - Gregg Hilton