Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Gold Commission 2, Don't Make Me Laugh

Gary North writes:

There is talk of a plank in the Republican Party's platform calling for a gold commission. The commission will study the possibility of re-establishing a gold standard.

The likelihood of a positive recommendation coming out of such a commission is as likely as a positive report of another commission to study the feasibility of restoring the Articles of Confederation.

I did a Google search on these terms: "gold commission," Republican, platform. I got 20,000 hits.

That's not too bad. I always like to see public interest in the restoration of gold as the backing for the U.S. dollar.

But there is a lot of deja vu about this. We have been down this yellow brick road before. It is nothing but gold-painted bricks all the way to the Emerald City: Greenback heaven.

In 1980 Senator Jesse Helms persuaded a Democrat- controlled Congress and Jimmy Carter to sign into law a call for a gold commission. Under those circumstances, you can imagine how seriously the President took the bill. But Carter was trounced by Reagan later that year. This offered hope to the more naive gold bugs within the camp of the faithful.

Under Reagan's Secretary of the Treasury, Donald Regan, plans went forward. In March 1982, the Gold Commission began meeting. The Secretary of the Treasury filled the commission with anti-gold Keynesians and monetarists – followers of Milton Friedman – who also favored the Federal Reserve. There were only two pro-gold standard members: Ron Paul and Lewis Lehrman. Out of the Gold Commission came a majority report, which opposed the gold standard, a minority report by Paul and Lerhman, and a detailed history of the legal foundations of the U.S. dollar by Austrian school legal scholar, Edwin Vieira. You can download all three documents here.


  1. North is 100% right. The Republican party is bought off by the big Wall Street financial interests who benefit from fiat money and who won't allow a return to a gold standard. Also, Ron Paul himself in his book, End The Fed, and elsewhere hasn't advocated per se a return to a gold standard (though he would definitely see such a move as preferable to what we have now). He instead has focused on the idea of competing currency legislation that would repeal the taxes and the legal tender laws that support the current fiat money system. Even a gold standard gives the government a monopoly over money that can be manipulated, and history has proven that government can't restrain the urge to manipulate the currency even when you have a gold standard. It is better to break the government's monopoly over money though the use of competing currencies like gold, silver, and bitcoin.

  2. As many of us know, J.F.Kennedy offered a competing currency with a silver certificate in 1963. Five months later he is dead. L.B.J. ends that currency quickly.