Making Change, Choice and a Comeback

Some things don’t change.  For centuries, for example, people have been painting still life – flowers, fruit, some food on a platter with a dead rabbit on the side.   Even Picasso tried his hand at it. “Still lifes,” however, are often a metaphor for stagnation.

But just maybe, life is stirring abroad.

A restaurant at Walt Disney World has begun to serve alcoholic beverages.   What is Mickey Mouse thinking?   The Russian army has decided to let its soldiers wear socks instead of the centuries-old “portayanki” that they wrapped around their feet for centuries.  And the Cuban government has decided to discontinue exit visas for its citizens.

What is the world coming to? Japan, for example, is considering phasing out nuclear power. In France the Greens want to phase out nuclear power completely but have agreed with Socialists to slower, more limited goals.

The world does not move quickly, however – even when the danger is clear. Psychologically, much less economically, doing something different is scarey.  It is more comforting to do more of the same even if it isn’t working than do something different that might work better.

Too often, politics trumps policy.  When politics confront policy – as it did in a 1971 when Nixon closed the gold window– is it any wonder that policy will suffer? We desperately  need economic policies that embrace both change and choice.

William Jennings Bryan, famously not a fan of the gold standard, once said: “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” Bryan never tired of making a comeback for himself and his anti-gold policies; he ran three times for president.

It’s time for a gold standard  comeback.

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Exclusive Interview With Steve Forbes, Part Two

July 23, 2014

An extended interview with prominent gold standard advocate Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Media and editor-in-chief of Forbes Magazine, and author, with Elizabeth Ames, of a new book published to glowing critical notice: Money: How the Destruction of the Dollar Threatens the Global Economy – and What We Can Do About It. This is Part Two of that interview.


Signs Of The Gold Standard Emerging From Great Britain?

by Ralph Benko

... Given Kwarteng’s current and, likely, future importance to the world monetary discourse it really would be invaluable were he to master the arguments of Jacques Rueff, and of Lewis Lehrman, as well as those of Triffin (who shared the same diagnosis while offering a different prescription).

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The Federal Reserve System's James Narron and David Skeie, career officials with the Federal Reserve System, are two eminent historically erudite figures.  Writing in the New York Federal Reserve Bank's online publication, Liberty Street Economics, they recently provided a continuation of their valuable historical "revue," Crisis Chronicles: The Collapse of the...


Paul Krugman's Projection

Ralph J. Benko  |  Jul 14, 2014
On July 6th, Nobel economics laureate and Princeton Professor launched, in the New York Times, one of his occasional polemics, entitled Conservative Delusions About Inflation, against proponents of the gold standard.  Krugman Caricature under creative commons license from DonkeyHotey As usual, Prof. Krugman is, conveniently for the position he takes, beyond lopsided...
An article headline in Saturday’s Wall Street Journalread “Rate Talk Heats Up Within The Fed.” As Journalreporters Jon Hilsenrath and Michael Derby...
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Lewis E. Lehrman

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This exclusive interview with Lewis Lehrman includes a thorough-going discussion of why he favors the gold standard, how to...
Prosperity Through Gold
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In Memoriam
Professor Jacques Rueff

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