The campaign for monetary reform is underway. “We will return to the gold standard within five years,” according to Lewis E. Lehrman during an interview with Judge Napolitano on FreedomWatch on August 18, 2011.
Mr. Lehrman should know. He is leading the charge, reminding his fellow Americans of our shared western history and the vision that our Founders set forth in the Constitution.
In a remarkably short period of time, the United States grew from thirteen ill-managed colonies into the most prosperous nation the world had ever seen. During most of this period, our monetary regime—the gold standard—inspired confidence and trust in market mechanisms, encouraging long-term savings and investment and heretofore unseen economic growth.
That is, until one hundred years ago.
With the creation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913, the Bretton Woods system of the post-Second World War era, and Nixon’s rescission of the gold standard in 1971, a century of decline in the dollar’s value ensued. At the outset of the 1980s, President Reagan inherited a suite of economic problems. Although he seriously entertained the idea of a return to the gold standard in the 1980s—even requesting and reviewing a plan on how to restore convertibility of the dollar to gold—fiscal restructuring, in the form of an overhaul of the tax code, took center stage.
The monetary reform plan was never carried out.
The wild volatility over the last forty years, especially during the economic downturn of 2007-09, provides further evidence that only a dollar as good as gold will restore long-term price stability and lay the foundation for long run economic growth.
America and the world need a true gold standard more than ever. Is America still courageous enough to lead the world in reestablishing financial order? Let’s hope so—the true gold standard is our last best hope.
Will America start prospering again — as it has not prospered for over a decade? Likely yes. But not without a fight. Now that Jim DeMint has raided Steve Moore from the Wall Street Journal that card might be Heritage Foundation vs. the White House. Could be big.
John Holdren, now Obama’s White House science advisor, 40 years ago termed America “overdeveloped.” Holdren co-authored a 1993 book, Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions, with Anne and Paul Ehrlich reportedly saying that, “A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States….” (Emphasis supplied.)
As a soldier of France, no one knew better than Professor Jacques Rueff, the famous French central banker, that World War I had brought to an end the preeminence of the classical European states system and its monetary regime, the classical gold standard. World War I had decimated the flower of European youth; it had destroyed the European continent’s industrial primacy. No less ominously, the historic monetary standard of commercial civilization had collapsed into the ruins occasioned by the Great War. The international gold standard -- the gyroscope of the Industrial Revolution, the common currency of the world trading system, the guarantor of more than one-hundred years of a stable monetary system, the balance wheel of unprecedented economic growth -- all this was brushed aside by the belligerents.
Publisher's Note: Originally released in June/July of 1991, this detailed report discusses Jacques Rueff's economic theories and applies them to modern economic events.
By John D. Mueller
A Rueffian Synthesis
LBMC’s integrated approach to economic forecasting can fairly be called “the Rueffian synthesis.” It would be more modest to call it “a” Rueffian synthesis, since that would allow for other Rueffians who might conceivably quibble about our application of Rueff’s ideas. But it appears that, apart from LBMC, there are no other Rueffians in the world – even in Rueff’s native France – using Rueff’s ideas as a basis for economic prediction.
"Commercial banking grew out of the desire (inspired by the profit motive) to conserve cash (gold) and by means of credit to provide financial elasticity and growth in the commercial process of exchange. That is, all producers (sellers) who desired true money (gold), instead of the short-term secured credit bills – promissory notes of their customers (the buyers) – could, through the mediation of goldsmiths-turned-bankers and bill-merchants-turned-bankers, obtain real money by discounting their bills of exchange for gold with the emerging commercial bankers of early modern Europe. The combined institutions of stable money and secured credit enabled commercial civilization to make of the entire world the only closed economy."
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Argentina is floundering. Brazil is struggling. Colombia is growing. Colombia is now the third largest economy in Latin America, according to Capital Economics. The Wall Street Journal’s Darcy Crowe and Taos Turner wrote recently: “After Argentina’s economy dwarfed Colombia’s for decades, economists say the trend reversed in January as the...