Editor-in-Chief at Vox.com and Policy Analyst for MSNBC
Con to the question "Should the United States Return to a Gold Standard?"
"[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."
"The GOP Has Picked the Wrong Time to Rediscover Gold," washingtonpost.com, Aug. 24, 2012