We Must Return to the Gold Standard

Our sagging economy proves that it's time to stop conjuring dollars
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2010 4:44 PM CST
In this March 13, 2008 file photo, gold coins and bars are shown at California Numismatic Investments in Inglewood, Calif.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut, file)

(Newser) – There was a time when money meant something, but now—as evidenced by the Federal Reserve’s “plan to conjure $600 billion to support the sagging economy”—“dollars can be conjured.” In fact, writes James Grant in the New York Times, “in the digital age, you don’t even need a printing press.” And that’s not right. It’s time for the return of the gold standard, last in place from 1880 to 1914. “In its utility, economy and elegance, there has never been a monetary system like it.”

Anyone could exchange national currency for gold, thereby putting the power in the hands of the people: By choosing currency or gold, “the people tell the central bank if it has issued too much money or too little. It’s democracy in money”—as opposed to what we have today, wherein “the mandarins at the Federal Reserve ... decide what interest rate to impose, and what volume of currency to conjure.” Yes, it would take time and quite a bit of effort to reinstate—but once it starts working, “Other countries, thunderstruck, would then have to follow suit.” Click here for Grant’s entire plan.

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