Last updated on: 2/4/2013 | Author:

Paul A. Heise, PhD Biography

Professor Emeritus of Economics at Lebanon Valley College
Con to the question "Should the United States Return to a Gold Standard?"

“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.”

“The Gold Standard Isn’t Good as Gold,”, Nov. 21, 2012

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor Emeritus of Economics, Lebanon Valley College, 2004-present
  • Columnist, Lebanon Daily News
  • Adjunct Professor, Franklin & Marshall College, 2005-2006
  • Professor of Economics, Lebanon Valley College, 1991–2004
  • Assistant Professor, St. Anselm College 1988–1991
  • Associate Professor, Cooper Union College, 1985-1986
  • Assistant Professor, Frostburg State University, 1981–1985
  • Former trade negotiator, US Department of State
  • Former advisor on domestic economic development and adjustment, Executive Office of the President (Carter Administration)
  • Former Democratic candidate, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
  • PhD, Labor and the History of Thought, New School for Social Research
  • MPA, Multinational Corporations and Labor, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • MA, International Economics, Georgetown University
  • BS, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
  • None found
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should the United States Return to a Gold Standard?