Keynesians and followers of the Chicago School are quick to dismiss those who argue for hard currency as “gold bugs.” We who understand the impact of monetary manipulation, however, have both history and logic on our side. While no medium of exchange is without its challenges, there are significant advantages of commodity currencies over the current fiat scheme.
Arguments against a commodity currency, like gold or silver, while numerous, are generally without merit. For example, the claim that not enough gold exists in the world to accommodate a return to the gold standard implies that there is a optimal amount of currency. However, as Ludwig von Mises explained in Human Action:
As the operation of the market tends to determine the final state of money’s purchasing power at a height at which the supply of and the demand for money coincide, there can never be an excess or deficiency of money.
Others claim that the price of gold is too volatile to allow it to be used again as a medium of exchange. However, the fluctuation in the money price of gold is at least partly due to monetary manipulation. Absent this, there would be little reason for a commodity media to fluctuate dramatically.
The real reason that commodity currencies are no longer used is related to that last point: they severely limit the ability of governments to inflate. With paper currency, governments can monetize their debt to fund international adventurism, war and the like.
Those who accumulate power spend much of their time protecting what they have while seeking more. In the state, the means of protecting existing power often comes through development of a myth of authority. In the U.S., such a myth is created and propagated within public education, the news media, and a plethora of agencies supposedly tasked with dissemination of truth. One such agency, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was recently exposed for the data manipulation long asserted by those wary of state power.
The only thing surprising about this revelation is its novelty. After all, the state has a long track record of failure and inefficiency. Yet elusiveness and obfuscation seem to come natural to those operating within the ineptitude generally associated with government agency. Had such skills been utilized to improve efficiency or increase effectiveness, many ills of the state might be overcome or eliminated. However, such potential does not really exist within governments.
It is the nature of bureaucracy to fester; success requires repeat performances. It’s much easier to practice failure, particularly when someone else is paying the cost. As long as we accept government rule, we accept lies, inefficiency, and perpetual disappointment cloaked in success.
The Fabian Society, a socialist movement from the United Kingdom, approached the spread of democratic socialism through gradual adoption and reinforcement of their principles. This is the method through which socialist policies have often been spread over history, particularly here in the United States. By monopolizing the school system and, subsequently, higher education, progressives have slowly inched the U.S. toward fully adopting socialism.
Similarly, progressives have used this approach in the spread of environmentalist dogma, particularly where assertions of “man made climate change” are concerned. Most people, progressive or otherwise, will tell you that cyclone activity is dramatically increased in recent years and global temperatures are at record highs. While the number of named storms may have increased, this is due largely to improved and sustained tracking methods. Similarly, recent record global temperatures represent fractions of degrees over previously recorded levels; the history of the world is scientifically proven to exceed billions of years during which time recorded temperature levels encompass a small fraction of a percent.
Regardless, the uninformed assert that hurricanes and wildfires are symptoms of an earth poisoned by human tampering. While mankind undoubtedly impacts the environment, much like any other inhabitant of this planet, the assertion of unique detriment is a tool of environmental Fabians seeking to exert the same control sought by progressives.