Let it Shine

Money versus Gold

The free market chose gold for a reason

First thing is to get the facts straight. Claims based around non-facts should be dropped. At least 2 big 'facts' are not facts as stated in the article. The hyper-inflation of the 1970s and deflationary pressure that started in the late 1990s were a result of a breakdown of this monetary measuring stick, a shrinking and growing of the ruler. In the US and most OECD countries, inflation was lower in the 1970s than it was at the beginning of the 1980s. Having close to 10 percent annual inflation is not considered to be hyperinflation. Episodes of hyperinflation are those which have annualized inflation rates of over 100 percent. Gold being the most sensitive to monetary changes, it illuminates future price changes. First its price changes, then the other commodity prices follow, and the effects of monetary changes filter down through an economy at an uneven pace and with uneven results. This is a false statement. Changes in the prices of gold is a very bad predictor of changes in the inflation.

Rant on Dems/GOP. Collect self-righteous points. Wooble-wooble. BORING.

Gold is not a government-mandated currency. It was the currency that the free market naturally arrived at. Talk about government "policy" to correct inflation is pointless, as if we allow money to be under the control of government, there will always be inflation.

The point about gold isn't that it is perfect. Gold can be inflated by debasement. That's what kings used to do to inflate the money supply and redistribute wealth to themselves. They'd start coining "gold coins" that were only 50% gold instead of 100%, then would demand that everyone use that as currency exchangeable with pure gold coins. To insure this, they used lethal force.

Gold, however, does make it harder to inflate the money supply, whereas fiat money -- which is inherently worthless -- can be printed up at will.

Of course, a free market gold standard would not necessarily mean we'd all be carrying around gold coins, though over $300 an ounce of gold, it would hardly be inconvenient. An ounce of gold is about 500g, not a lot of weight. However, bank notes would have their place in a free market system, where the gold standard would preside. They would simply be offered as redeemable in a certain weight in gold (see the Liberty Dollar).

The concerns about possible inflation of gold in the modern world, or debasement of coins, are mis-placed. Firstly, in a libertarian world, there would be no kings capable of forcing everyone to use their debased gold coins, so that form of inflation would be impossible. Most likely, a bank-note system redeemable in weights of pure gold would preside, with free market companies being paid to provide audits. If a bank promises to redeem 1 bank note in 1 ounce of 99.8-100% gold, and they redeem it in 90% gold, the individual has been defrauded, and could sue them in court. As for the possibility of natural inflation of gold via the discovery of more gold, that is also an unlikely worry, as gold is being taken from the monetary supply and placed into jewlery and electronics components nearly as fast as it's being discovered.

The real harm of our current fiat-money scheme is several-fold. Firstly, when the government prints out more fiat money, that is nothing other than wealth redistribution: socialism. Money is redistributed from those the government does not favor to those the government does favor. The individuals who benefit are the first ones to use the inflated money, before the market responds to the inflation with price-increases. Secondly, inflation causes the business cycle.