Gold Standard Debate (from 2020 Primaries thread)

Discussion in 'The Red Room' started by Captain Conspiracy, May 16, 2019.

  1. Captain Conspiracy

    Captain Conspiracy Making Frogs Gay Again

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    Assuming I could get all of this done, I’d go back to the gold standard, eliminate the federal minimum wage, eliminate the Federal Reserve and allow the Treasury to make monetary policy, reinstate the glass-stegal act and promote saving, for starters.
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  2. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Which would do what, exactly?
    According to various estimates, if the minimum wage was paged to inflation, it would be anywhere from $15/hr to $22/hr. Are you saying that if we got rid of the Federal laws about minimum wage it would be higher than it is now? Please explain the logic of how current law is keeping it so low.
    Which would do what?
    You mean the same government body which is being ran by a guy who is being sued by Sears? Because he allowed billionaires to loot the company at the expense of ordinary folks?
    You mean the act which said that banks should be heavily regulated? I couldn't agree more. Odd that a Libertarian and a leftist would agree that the solution to our current problems would be more government regulation, rather than less, don't you think?
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  3. Bailey

    Bailey It's always Christmas Eve Super Moderator

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    How exactly would you do that?
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  4. tafkats

    tafkats That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo! Moderator

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    And for that matter, why? Is there any evidence that the gold standard is in any way superior, aside from the fact that for some reason it gives the Randroids a woody?
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  5. Captain Conspiracy

    Captain Conspiracy Making Frogs Gay Again

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    Because it means our money is tied to gold and we can't just print money out of thin air.
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  6. Captain Conspiracy

    Captain Conspiracy Making Frogs Gay Again

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    Do you think libertarians never accept any regulations? Separating the banks makes it so they're not "too big to fail" and the next time there's a collapse, we won't have to bail them out. Why a libertarian would do that? Because I realize we'll never get a libertarian response to the banks collapsing, which is Kirk's response to Spock when he tells Kirk that the Klingons will die. I think you know the answer. It's the only way.
  7. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Which is meaningless because you can still print more money, it’s just not able to buy as much gold.
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  8. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    I notice that you didn't answer my other questions. And if it's "the only way," shouldn't that tell you something about at least some aspects of libertarian philosophy? What's the point in attempting something that you admit to be impossible? Tilting at windmills might make for some interesting reading, but it's not an effective way to govern a country.
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  9. Captain Conspiracy

    Captain Conspiracy Making Frogs Gay Again

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    People once thought it was impossible to go to the moon, what's the point in attempting?
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  10. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Not intelligent people who were well-informed on the matter. And again, you ignore my other questions.
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  11. Order2Chaos

    Order2Chaos Ultimate... Immortal Administrator

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    That's not how a gold standard works.
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  12. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Actually, it is. Gold has no intrinsic value, merely what we assign to it (oddly enough, in dollars). If the government says that every dollar is worth (for example) 1 troy ounce of gold and will only print as many dollars as it has troy ounces of gold, there is no law (as in physics) which says that the government can't then later decide that the dollar is only worth half a troy ounce of gold.

    The simple truth is that money is a concept which we've created that makes it easier to exchange goods and services. We arbitrarily agree that money has meaning and value, but in, and of itself, it has none.
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  13. Order2Chaos

    Order2Chaos Ultimate... Immortal Administrator

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    That wouldn't be a gold standard. That would be two, breaking one for another.
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  14. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Okay, why don't you edumacate me on what a gold standard is, and how it's impossible for the government to do what I said.
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  15. Order2Chaos

    Order2Chaos Ultimate... Immortal Administrator

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    A gold standard is the government keeping the money supply equal to a single given multiple of the mass of gold it owns. When the government changes that multiple, it is no longer on that gold standard. If it allows that multiple to change continuously, it's on no gold standard. If it changes the multiple to another number, it's on a different gold standard. Example: 1869(IIRC)-1933, with gaps for the free silver era, the US was on a gold standard of $20.64:1 troy oz. 1933-1971, the US was on a $35:1 troy oz. gold standard (albeit one not redeemable by its own citizens, only foreign banks). These are two different gold standards. They are not, collectively "the gold standard". For the government to print money in excess of that ratio would be to put it in violation of the law (and in danger of default if people figure it out). Obviously that can happen, in the same way that the government can search your home without a warrant, but that doesn't invalidate the existence and reliability of the 4th amendment.
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  16. T.R

    T.R Don't Care

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    Google is your friend..
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_standard

    The entire point of getting off the gold standard was so that the feds could manipulate the currency. You can't do that on a gold standard.
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  17. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    But still on a gold standard.
    But, again, a gold standard.
    Point being, you can still claim you have your currency backed by gold, even though you change the ratios.
    Well, if we're going to get all technical about it, what matters is the amount of currency the government puts into circulation, not how much they print. Each year, tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars worth of currency are lost/destroyed (outside of what the Fed does with worn out bills). A government could (and almost certainly would) print enough bills to replace a large percentage of those lost. That would adhere to the letter of the law (that the government can't have more bills in circulation than the ratio to gold allows), even if it did violate the spirit of the law.

    Almost certainly would happen. We live in a society in which people race headlong into disaster, simply because they know that the short-term gains (see the crash of '08, for just one example) will give them more money/power. Maybe not immediately, but sooner or later some unscrupulous bastard would do that.

    There's a reason why nations have abandoned the gold standard. This article claims that in 2012 there was one nation which was still on the gold standard (or should I say "a gold standard"). It's not really clear if it's Lebanon or Mongolia, either way, it predicts that
    As of last year, neither Mongolia or Lebanon had cracked the top 25 richest nations in the world list. And last year, the guy who claimed that Mongolia would soon be very rich says that nobody's on the gold standard. (But really, shouldn't it be a gold standard, since the government can pick the particular ratio of gold to paper money? I mean, the US could go with $50 to one troy ounce, while a country like Japan could go with $100 to one troy ounce and they'd both be on the "gold standard," even though they didn't have the same ratios.)

    If the gold standard (And again, I say, if every nation can set its own ratio of currency to gold, then shouldn't the term be "a gold standard"?) is so superior to what's commonly called "fiat-currency" (as if there's any other kind), then shouldn't have Mongolia or Lebonan rocketed to the top of wealthiest nations and not abandoned the idea of the gold standard?

    Before you answer that, if you're going to play the something-something-they-were-forced-into-it-by-outsiders game, you can just stop right there. Because that is an admission that money is a fiction, no matter what form it might take, that we all agree on. If there was a genuine, intrinsic value of having a (or should it be "the"?) gold standard currency, then there's nothing that fiat-currency nations could do to erase that. Or to put it another way, you know how folks like to claim that vaccines are harmful, yet unvaccinated folks tend to come down with all kinds of nasty fucking diseases? If the anti-vaxxers were right, we wouldn't see that shit, and if the "gold standard" (whatever that might mean, since one can be on "the gold standard," then change the ratio of money to gold, thus leaving the standard, yet still remaining on it, because reasons, or whatever) folks were right, then either Mongolia or Lebanon would have become an economic powerhouse by now (depending upon which one of them was still on the gold standard in 2012) since everybody else has gone to fiat-currency. Yet that hasn't happened. So, your reason for this is?
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  18. Order2Chaos

    Order2Chaos Ultimate... Immortal Administrator

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    Sure, but that's not what anyone who seeks a return to "the gold standard" means.
    See above. That's not what anyone means when they say they want a gold standard. If I want a circle, and you give me an ellipse, and tell me that's fine because a circle is an ellipse, well, I don't have to take you seriously that it's a circle.
    :dayton: Pointless pedantry. I said in the very first sentence that it was about maintaining the money supply ratio; preventing printing new paper money to replace what gets destroyed would be Flashlight levels of moronic, and no one who supports having gold-backed paper money at all would ever call for that.

    "The government will never adhere to its lawful restraints so we shouldn't restrain it by law" is your argument here. The gold standard is just that - a lawful restraint on the government's sovereign ability to change the money supply. It's kinda pessimistic, but it does make a fantastic argument for the fight for the second amendment.

    But judging by the remainder of the post I'm quoting, you don't have the foggiest idea what that might be.
    You're treating a shitty blogger and huckster on a site for men with fragile masculinity and deep insecurities as an economics source?? Jesus fuck, no wonder you don't know anything about the gold standard. You're as bad as Captain Conspiracy in your sourcing. I expected better from you. FFS, at least start with Wikipedia.
    Countries set the ratio of the currency they print. It's nonsensical for Japan to set a price for dollars in gold. They would set a price for yen. At ¥100:1 troy oz, an implicit exchange rate of ¥2:$1 is then created. If they set a price for dollars in gold which was different from the US's price (either explicitly, or implicitly by setting an official exchange rate that was not ¥2:$1), it would create an arbitrage opportunity which investors would immediately take, causing both a) gold to flow into or out of the country from/to the US for the duration of the difference, and b) dollars to flow the other way (mostly that one, because paper is easier to transport than gold). If one were to try to artificially prop up one's currency relative to another, one would need strict capital controls. The entire Warsaw Pact and East Germany in particular did this fairly successfully during the cold war. The same principle applies without a gold standard too - officially fixed exchange rates without corresponding controls on the money supply lead to arbitrage opportunities - see George Soros's attack on the British pound in the 90s.

    I was right, you don't know why we went off the gold standard.
    Mu. The premises of your question are wrong. Neither were trying, despite your shitty source trying to sell you on an investment kit that included misinformation in its sales pitch. Lebanon has been in or between war zones for the last 45 years. Mongolia hasn't been rich since Kublai Khan (slight hyperbole). Having gold reserves gives them collateral for access to international credit markets which would otherwise be wary of them. They are not, nor are they aiming to back their currency by gold, any more than the US is despite having billions of $ worth of gold in Ft. Knox.

    Only fools think (and gold investors say) that being on a gold standard is about the country becoming rich, so to argue that it doesn't as a reason against one is to argue against a strawman. It's about fiscal and monetary discipline and a lawfully predictable money supply. It's a guarantee by law that savings can be lost to inflation at a very low maximal rate (depending on how much gold is mined). It keeps national debts smaller. Specie-based (rather than paper-based) regimes also provide insurance for personal monetary wealth in case the country outright fails, because gold is good in every country*, but the disadvantages of having to carry around coins probably outweigh that. A paper-based gold standard no more (and no less) makes a country rich than anti-corruption laws and other restraints on government power do. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something. Yeah, Congress can change gold standards, but that's a very visible instant tax on all savings and cash, and there's popular accountability for it via elections. There's no accountability for Federal Reserve policy, or pre-gold standard Department of the Treasury policy (monetary policy changes were never a winning presidential election issue IIRC).

    *in theory, because (also in theory) demand for luxuries like gold jewelry are unlimited. There is less dispute about this than there should be, IMO, particularly given the industrial uses of gold that have appeared in the last few decades. Even modern goldbugs (who aren't themselves invested in gold) have considered a basket of commodities rather than just gold.

    Now, if you want to argue that popular accountability isn't a good thing, and that the macroeconomic flexibility fiat money offers outweighs the benefits of the gold standard, okay do it! You want to argue that the risks of fiat money in the modern era are overstated, that inflation is actually good and hyperinflation isn't really a risk today (*waves to Venezuela*), and that we don't need the fiscal and monetary discipline that the gold standard provides, okay do it! You want to argue Bitcoin renders the gold standard obsolete, okay, do it! But leave your huckster sources and the strawmen they provide at home.
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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  19. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    That's nice. Tell me, when the Founding Fathers wrote "All men are created equal" did they mean women, immigrants, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and ethnic minorities? Some of them might have subscribed to that idea, but many of them certainly wouldn't have. Yet, the rational of us in the 21st Century certainly agree that all persons should be considered equal. Even if that's not what any of the Founding Fathers would have intended.

    Economists talk about "economic man" and state that such an individual will behave in such-and-such a manner, problem is actual people don't. So, you can say that people talking about the gold standard mean one thing, but that doesn't mean it will actually happen.

    And governments are always completely honest when it comes to issues.


    And 10 years ago, if someone said that one day people would be calling for Nazis to march on American streets, people wouldn't believe it, and yet it's happened.

    Hmm. Do I go with a comment about asking Native Americans what they think of the government following lawful restraints, or do I point to the pro-torture memo which the Bush administration used to justify waterboarding? Of course, I could just stay with things dealing with financial matters and point out that the government is currently working dismantling the few restraints that Dodd-Frank put in place.

    Yeah, because guys with guns are a serious threat to a tyrannical government which has tanks, bombers, and nuclear weapons. Assad used poison gas against his own people, do you think that a government willing to murder its own people wouldn't hesitate to carpet bomb a city that was in revolt?

    Well you certainly don't seem to be providing any more information on the subject.
    Not really. It was just the first thing that came up in a Google flail that wasn't bogged down in long blocks of text talking about hypotheticals or other aspects I wasn't interested in. What I wanted was a simple answer to the question: Are any countries still on the gold standard? I didn't want to read a long dissertation of what the gold standard was, just wanted to know if someone was still using it.

    Bite my shiny metal ass. If some assgasket huckster is all-in on having the gold standard, then maybe, just maybe, the idea that it's a good thing ought to be really closely examined.
    Talk about pointless pedantry, you knew what I meant.
    So, one would think that if this offered greater opportunity for people to get rich, then countries would stick with it.

    I don't disagree. But how many of the people hawking the idea of going back to the gold standard do you think share that guy's ideas? Because I've never encountered anyone who could be considered a credible economist pushing for nations to return to the gold standard.

    Yet, economic growth is how we measure the health of an economy. The more growth there is, the healthier it is. The US economy has grown dramatically since it went off the gold standard. Would the same be true if the US had stayed on the gold standard? I don't know, I doubt if anyone really knows, but what we have is working (in at least some ways), and I'm disinclined to abandon the idea without real-world evidence showing things would be better for most people if we went back to the gold standard. People's lives are at stake, and if you fuck it up, a whole lot of people could die (or find themselves living in abject poverty). If you've got empirical evidence that the gold standard is better, then I'm all ears. If not, then don't expect to find me supporting the idea.

    Inflation is a funny thing. When it's applied to other countries, lots of free-market/Libertarian-types seem to love it. When Greece's economy imploded they were all saying that Greece should go back on the Drachma, deflate their currency (which is just another way of talking about inflation) and then use the cheaper Drachma's to pay off their debt. You suggest that America should do something similar, and they go off the fucking rails about what a bad idea it would be.

    And your assumption, again, relies on the idea that an opportunistic politician wouldn't be able to get the laws changed. Or that people would care about the consequences of those laws being changed. People vote against their own interests all the fucking time! Look at the goddamned Log Cabin Republicans! They still support Trump! You've seen the reactions to the Mueller Report (and you've read it). Need I remind you how you described it?
    And yet not only do we have folks here saying that Trump & Co. did nothing wrong, but we also have a Congress which in many ways is failing to react to the report in the manner which is called for. As I see it, there are two possibilities for why this might be: Either you're wrong in your interpretation of the Mueller Report, or we can't always rely on the government to follow it's own laws. I mean, shitfire, impeaching the President is spelled out in the fucking Constitution, while the gold standard isn't. I mean, I think you'll agree that if a special prosecutor (or counsel or whatever investigative body one might care to think of) had turned in a report about Obama like the one Mueller turned in on Trump, etc., the Republicans would have impeached and removed Obama so fast that Mueller would have barely been able to hand the report over before it happened. Yet we have not only folks in Congress claiming that the report cleared Trump, but also millions of Americans as well.

    Even if your idea that being on the gold standard would do all of those things is true, politicians would, as they did in the past, find a justification to move us back off of it.

    Which may, or may not, be a good thing. Are you going to argue that in a World War II-type scenario that a large national debt is a bad thing? How about when it comes to dealing with global warming?

    This argument always just fucking kills me. Gold is not something the majority of Americans are used to dealing with as a medium of exchange (unlike paper currency) and while cryptocurrencies like BitCoin are new, they also work in very familiar ways. Gold, to modern Americans, does not. For starters, how many Americans have a way to check and see if something is legitimately gold? Yeah, sure, I know what a touchstone (outside of the metaphorical meaning) is, but I don't own one. I don't know anyone who has one, and because our educational system is crap in this country, I can safely say that a majority of the folks I deal with in real life have no fucking clue as to what one is, outside of a metaphor (if they're even familiar with that). Oh sure, they might know that gold laden with impurities will turn their skin green if they wear it long enough, but that's hardly a quick test.

    Cash, at least in the US, is quickly going out of favor. I'm blue-collar and poor, I almost never carry cash on me because even the vending machines at work take debit cards. Off and on, between the years 1988 and 2006, I have worked jobs where I've handled money, the amount of silver coins (as in pre-1964 coins) has steadily declined. That might sound like an odd thing to bring up, but an easy way to tell if a coin is solid silver is to fling it at a hard surface and listen to it ring. I know what a pre-1964 silver coin should sound like because I've done it. If silver coins aren't in common circulation, what are the odds that many people younger than me know this? I would assume that the same is true of a gold coin, but because I've never had one, I've no idea what one would sound like if I tried to ring it. I can guess, but that's it.

    Do you remember our discussion about a society after there'd been a total economic collapse and the use of gold? You pointed out that there was a reason that gold coins were referred to as "pieces of eight"? I'd heard the term before, of course, but I'd forgotten exactly what it meant. Pirates, once I'd gotten past a certain age, weren't really my thing (unless one was talking about software), so it wasn't something that sprung to the top of my head. I won't claim to be a representative sample of the US population, so maybe I'm the lone idiot. I don't know, but lets just say that shit hits the fan, and you show up at my chicken shack wanting to buy a chicken with a gold. You have a gold coin at current US value would be worth $1,278.90, because it's one ounce. Now, you and I agree that nearly $1,300 is way too much for a chicken. So you offer to cut up the coin and give me a small piece of it as payment. If you give me 1/8th of the coin for the chicken, that works out to be $159.87 for that bird in current US dollars. Does that sound reasonable to you? It doesn't to me. Since I can get a whole chicken at my local grocery stores for less than $10, I'm going to say that even under adverse conditions, paying that much for a chicken is unlikely. Granted, my circumstances are going to be different than those experienced by a lot of people, since I live in a somewhat rural area and I know people who raise chickens for a living (reminds me, I need to see if Al has heirloom turkeys or your standard domesticated variety). With a majority of Americans living in urban areas and not having $400 available to handle an emergency, things would no doubt be very different for them.


    So what you're saying is that a gold standard currency really isn't necessary for a country to be prosperous. Do I have that right?

    Remind me again about what Trump said his tax plan would do to his taxes, and what it actually did after it was passed.

    Whelp that just seems to end your whole argument for the gold standard, even if there were merits to it. If the electorate doesn't give enough of a shit about changes to things like the gold standard (however one might call an economic policy that) to pick a Presidential candidate based on that, then the idea that it is somehow better than what we have now is utter bullshit.

    In a situation where a country's economy has collapsed (think civil war, massive sanctions by foreign powers) how many people are going to be focused on luxuries compared to how many people who are going to be worried about getting enough to fucking eat? A Serb engineer, when Western governments were starting to cutoff Yugoslavia economically, converted a Yugo to run on producer-gas. That's how fucking desperate they were. ("Blade Runner meets the 14th Century" is how one NPR reporter described it.) I've known refugees from places like Iraq, Kosovo, and the Sudan (to name but a few) and none of them have said anything about gold being important to their survival or getting out of where they lived when shit was getting ugly. It was all non-profit organizations which helped them out. Both in surviving in their native country, as well as getting them out. Now, granted, folks outside of the US have larger amounts in savings than the typical American, but that doesn't do you much good when the local separatist movement has blown up every bank and many of the ATMs near you.

    Hmm, let's see here, I've already pointed out that leaving the gold standard has allowed the US to have massive economic expansion. In looking at the Wikipedia entry for why nations abandoned the gold standard, I'm not seeing anything saying that this was a mistake. I mean, this seems to pretty much put paid to the idea of the gold standard
    Explain to me how this is wrong.

    Nope. I'm on record that BitCoin is fucking garbage. I'm sticking to it.
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  20. Order2Chaos

    Order2Chaos Ultimate... Immortal Administrator

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    The gold standard is about the government following a rule, not individuals. It is useful to know what that rule is before discussing its pros and cons. You are jumping straight to "but the government won't follow the rule so I don't care if I don't know what it is, and also it's bad." Your argument is bad. I've omitted the next section because my response is the same.

    I misread your original reply here; my :dayton: was unwarranted, and I apologize. I mean, you're still wrong - printing replacement paper money is perfectly in keeping with both the letter and the spirit of a gold standard - but you were not being pedantic, just wrong.

    Any of these arguments go double for the fiat system we have now, treble from the lack of accountability on the part of the Fed. Right now we are relying entirely on the good will and self-interest of 12 unelected bureaucrats who come through a revolving door to the largest banks, and have nothing to stop them from printing money and giving it to themselves. That's so much better.

    About ½ of the countries on earth peg their currency to another currency, mostly the US dollar (66) and Euro (25) (not including the US or Euro-area itself). From a monetary perspective, within each of those countries, that's equivalent to a gold standard (with the biggest difference being the YoY variability of US dollar creation potentially being higher than that of gold mining), and indeed most of those pegs to the dollar are a legacy of the Bretton-Woods gold standard - they would have stayed on it if the US had (a few pegged later, a few are petrodollar countries). The US only got off it to try to inflate its way out of the fiscal problem of paying for the Great Society and Vietnam without raising taxes more.

    And you can't do that if you don't know what the hell it is, and pretty much nothing you've posted so far indicates you do.

    They did, more or less. See above.

    Don't know and don't care. But since currency pegs are pretty damn similar for the country establishing the peg, I don't think they're as far off as you think.

    I can't give you evidence for benefits of what your incorrect idea of what a gold standard is, because at this point, I don't know what the hell that actually is, and you won't listen to anyone telling you that your idea of what it is doesn't seem to match anyone else's. Ask the 66 countries pegged to the dollar how they enjoy the stability that offers.

    You're conflating so many different things here it's just a mess. First, it was not libertarian types suggesting Greece should get off the Euro and print money; they were the ones recommending austerity instead (there were probably a few anti-EU libertarian types who wanted Greece to get off the Euro, but strictly for devolutionary reasons - they weren't calling for inflation afterwards). Second, that's precisely the opposite of what Captain Conspiracy (not me) suggested. This is yet another example of why I think you don't know what you're talking about. What we have now, unchecked control of our own currency, is precisely what the nationalists who wanted to go back to the Drachma and inflate were calling for.

    It sort of is - the states are prevented by Article IV by making anything but gold or silver legal tender. The framers clearly wanted to leave the option open for a fiat system if one was needed -- at the federal level only -- but they had all just been through the revolutionary war and seen the effects of inflation in the continental dollar, and the decidedly negative effects it had.
    At their peril. The political lessons of stagflation -- the election of Carter, the loss of 50 Republican seats in the House and 5 in the Senate despite the Republicans going along with impeachment -- would not be forgotten so fast as you think. And then after even more inflation, the election of Reagan.

    It might also have made government think twice about invading Iraq, and then we'd have the debt capacity to deal with climate change.

    :shrug: I'm fine with gold-backed paper (or gold-threaded paper? That might be interesting) or gold-backed digital dollars, but you can also dilute the gold with silver, copper, and/or nickel to get usable masses in a reasonable coin. It's not like you go around checking your quarters (or, I bet, most of the bills you handle) to make sure they're not counterfeit. Besides which, even on a return to a specie standard, it wouldn't happen overnight. All those lost techniques would come back.

    Necessary, no. Helpful, yes. More helpful at keeping it that way than getting it there in the first place.

    Remind me what happened to the Republican majority in the House.

    They care enough to pick Congresscritters based on it (more accurately, on the knock-on effects it has).

    Reasonable arguments that a gold specie standard isn't important anymore, but it doesn't diminish the benefits of a gold exchange standard.

    But less massive than whilst on the gold standard. 1946-1973 saw a real GDP expansion of 2.763x. It took until 2011 to increase another 2.763x, 11 years longer. (Source)
    It's not, but the causal arrow is more convoluted than "go off gold standard -> profit!". In between is coming clean about how much money had been printed since WWI, at least in Britain, so markets had the information they needed to function again. Frankly I don't know enough about Scandinavian monetary policy and economic history to say one way or the other what happened there, but I'd be shocked if it was that simple either.
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  21. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm reminded of the Louis Black routine where he talks about how people describe the government like it's a building or something. The government is human beings, and if human beings can't have common sense, how can the government?

    You also fucked up the whole quote thingie. But please, explain in simple words why I'm wrong. Because if I am, I want to correct that.

    I am firmly of the belief that it is possible for a society to prosper without the need for innocent people suffering. I may be wrong about the methods by which this is accomplished, but it seems to me that it ought to be possible for everyone to do well, without anyone having to live a life that consists of them doing things that lead to people sacrificing things like their long-term health for short-term gains, as we so often have now.

    Show me a real-world example of the alternative. I am not claiming that our current system is ideal, far from it. I can point to any number of nations which have higher standards of living and the like than the US has. All of them, however, are not on the gold standard (or some variation thereof). If you want to convince me that they're wrong, then you've got to provide evidence of this. So far, you haven't.

    Mind you, I'm willing to admit that those nations might have gotten a few things right, while getting other things wrong. However, without a discussion about specifics, we can't really go all that far.
    Okay, help me out here. What's wrong with the Great Society? I mean, the rest of the industrialized world has the government picking up the tab for healthcare, and they seem to be doing okay in terms of things like longevity and quality of life (as well as infant mortality) when compared to the US.

    And yet, nothing you've posted has been real-world based examples of why fiat currency (like there's any other kind) is bad. Its all been something-something-gold-standard. Meanwhile, as I've linked to,, when the Great Depression happened, it was those nations not on the gold standard which recovered faster.

    This doesn't mean, of course, that a "floating currency" is better. After all, it doesn't matter two-shits if the unemployment rate is low because people are working multiple jobs to barely scrape by. I would much rather live in a world where a person, regardless of their income, could have what we would call a decent life (ie not worrying that they could be bankrupted by a minor medical condition) by working 40 hours a week at a job. You and I will both agree, I think, that it'd be absurd for someone making minimum wage to have a house where the master bedroom was some 6,000 square feet, but I think you'd also agree that it's insane for someone making minimum wage to worry about how they can afford a blood pressure drug which costs ~$10/month. Speaking from experience, I have had such worries.

    This would imply that there were countries still on the gold standard (or "a gold standard"). That doesn't seem to be the case. You mention "petrodollars," but that's not the same thing since there's been more oil extracted than there has been gold.

    Beg your pardon, but this doesn't seem to me to be a justification for returning to the gold standard. Where am I wrong?

    Am I wrong when I say that these countries would rather be pegged to a floating currency like the US dollar than a "stable currency" like one backed by gold? I mean, the US dollar might not be ideal, but if it's the best the world has to offer, then doesn't it make sense for them to do this? Which again leads to the question as to why folks abandoned the "gold standard" (however one might define it).

    If you're serious about this, then PM and I'll give you the passwords and site you need to find people (with money) who were saying such things. Suffice it to say that I know of folks who were hovering like vultures, as Greece's economy imploded, waiting for things like property values to drop so that they could buy up real estate for the simple purpose of extorting money. These people were pushing for the idea that Greece should go back to the Drachma, run up all kinds of debt, then devalue their currency and use that to pay off their debt. More in my next post as it's getting hard to sort out who said what at this point.
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  22. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    And? Here we are in the 21st century, where not only has no state issued a gold backed currency, neither has any nation. Odd that. Today's big deal is cryptocurrency. Something-something-what-did-you-say-about-such-things-when-compared-to-gold-or-US-money?
    Remind me again, when did the US get off the gold standard? Was it when Carter was elected? Or was it some time before that? And what did Reagan do about tax rates that Carter didn't do? Is it possible that incomes haven't kept pacec with inflation? When did that start? And who or what do you think is resonsible for that and why?

    :rotfl:

    Yeah, if John Bolton and Dayton were on different planets. The Iraq War was a dick waving thing, and if you disagree, I'll be happy to point you to a source from the 1950s which explains it (and if you don't want to pay to read the book, I'll be more than happy to buy you a copy of it).

    That's nice. How long do you think that it will take for such a change over to happen? Bear in mind that at our current rate of progress things are likely to get ugly n the next 12 years or so.

    You're going to have to provide real-world examples of this.

    It went away before much of the tax plan impacted the average citizen. Almost as if people agreed that there were things more important than the simple profit and loss statements to be found on a balance sheet.
    Do they? I mean, states where Republicans control most everything tend to be lower ranked than those states where Democrats dominate things on the state and local level. Why do you think that is?

    Okay, what are the benefits of a gold specie over a floating currency?

    And yet, the US went off the gold standard in 1933.

    You know what? I don't give a shit about standards if it means I don't have to worry about what it's going to cost me to go see a doctor. As of right now, I can name any number of medical problems that I have that I'd like to see a doctor about, but I don't bother with because they don't seem to be immediately fatal. Mind you, I have a so-called "gold plated" insurance plan, and people who make more money than I do have the same plan, but they bitch that they can't afford to see a doctor. How are we better off than other countries in the industrialized world? What is it about the gold standard that would make things better than what we have now, or in those countries which have socialized medicine? Can you answer that?
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  23. T.R

    T.R Don't Care

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    The monetary standard that a country uses doesn't have jack shit to do with health care.

    Look, I can understand not wanting to go back to the gold standard. I have my own reservations about it. But stop with these ridiculous strawman scenarios.
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  24. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Well, save for the fact you never seem to see anyone who is in favor of the gold standard arguing for things like Universal Health Care. It's possible that some are, I've just never seen it. If you can point me to someone who wants both the gold standard and UHC, then please do so.

    :yes: And if the goldbugs could give us some real-world examples of why the gold standard is better, I'd appreciate that.

    Strawman? Hmm. Okay, I'll bite. Name a country which is either on the gold standard or doesn't have socialized medicine, that has a longer life expectancy than the US. I think we can both agree that the former doesn't exist, let's see about the latter. Also, if you could point me towards people in favor of both the gold standard and UHC, I'd like to see it. I assume that such people exist since just about any kind of person you can imagine exists, but I've yet to encounter them.
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  25. Captain Conspiracy

    Captain Conspiracy Making Frogs Gay Again

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    Gold standard seems to suggest otherwise.
  26. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Where’s the proof? Show me real world evidence, not hypotheticals.
  27. Captain Conspiracy

    Captain Conspiracy Making Frogs Gay Again

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    @Order2Chaos already did. From 1945-1975 or something like that when GDP was at it’s highest, ever.
  28. Ancalagon

    Ancalagon outta my way Administrator Formerly Important

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    Fiat currency is bad because the money only has value because people say it does!

    Yeah, but gold only has value* because people say it does.

    But, but.... uh... people all over the world have been saying gold has value for a long time! So it must be true!

    People all over the world have been saying gods exist and run the world for a long time. As their societies have progressed most drop it though, kinda like how they all dropped the gold standard.

    *outside of some specific electronic situations. And in general copper is close enough that it works in the vast majority of cases. Gold would have to drop significantly, SIGNIFICANTLY, in value to have much use in manufacturing but then the entire point is defeated.
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  29. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    And yet, those countries which were on the gold standard took the longest to recover from the Great Depression, and the US left the gold standard in 1971 (though some folks would argue that this actually happened when FDR was in office). Four years before the end date you've given. Additionally, during that period of time, the US was taxing the wealthy at a vastly higher rate than it is now. How do you know that it wasn't those tax-rates on the rich that were responsible for the high GDP?
  30. Captain Conspiracy

    Captain Conspiracy Making Frogs Gay Again

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    You’ve already proven you are ignorant on the gold standard and won’t except anything other than a tax and spend policy so it’s useless to try and answer your question. You’ve got it set in your mind that taxing the rich and being fiscally irresponsible is the only way. I don’t blame you, our politicians have been doing and saying this for the past 100 years.