Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaigns helped make the gold standard respectable. The Texas Republican has advocated tirelessly for a gold-based "honest money" economy.
But an NPR report exposes the underside of a gold-backed system. In Nigeria, it's killing children. Lead from illegal gold mines there has sparked what Doctors Without Borders has called the worst case of environmental lead poisoning in years.
Demand for gold has risen with the economic downturn of the last several years. Gold prices shot up from $600 an ounce in 2006 to a record of nearly $1,900 an ounce in 2011.
On top of that rise, moving to the gold standard would increase demand for the metal exponentially. If so, human tragedies such as in Nigeria would likely follow in other gold-producing regions.
Most arguments against the gold standard focus on the wonky side. Usually its mainstream economists contending that economic recessions can be largely mitigated by increasing money supply during economic downturns. Humanitarian and environmental arguments against gold may also now be on the rise.
So because children are exploited to mine gold instead of diamonds and since humans have valued gold even when the authorities don;t want them to... we shouldn't have a value for our savings that is somewhat independent of the moneychangers?
President Obama likes to compare himself to FDR... FDR seized gold... by executive order.
I don't know enough about gold standard to have an opinion, but on the basis of this story alone I do think that if we were to go to a gold standard possibly worsening the problem we need to have a plan to make this better. We need to consider our economy, but we need to consider people as well.
@Cheenoguy-- You have just demonstrated one of the common traps that liberals fall into. What you are seeing is a manifestation of child exploitation. A detail in this case is that they are being exploited to mine for gold instead of diamonds. They are being exploited in an industry that David Mark could then lift out of its context and drop into the middle of the debate about whether our money should be based on something of value or whether the status quo of "floated" currency is preferable. IOW- David Mark is preying on your emotions about a tragic situation in Nigeria to push his liberal agenda about the US economy and try to label Ron Paul as a supporter of child labor.
@Bobolinsky You are falling into a common mind trap for conservatives, presuming liberals all have the same viewpoint. I will try to repeat myself one last time in a more specific way. I am not saying dont go to the gold standard because of the child exploration here or any other reason. I am simply saying that if someone wants to go to the gold standard part of that plan should include a plan to insure that going to the gold standard won't make the exploitation worse. Not even necessarily insure just a plan that attempts to insure.
What do you mean? Gold was the basis in the civilized world for centuries. The USA just got off of it in 1973. The only reason gold tripled, as you say, is because evil governments want to manipulate money, to steal it, as in running off useless paper money and not having the s#it to back it up. It's basically an easy formula to follw: print more paper = gold up, print less = gold down. The more B.S. that you Dream up (you pretend you have more assets, and you don't) the less stable your monetary system is. Gold is the true BASIS for ACTUAL wealth of the country. And as for a "a planetary monetary system", screw that - hardcore. America first and foremost!! We need to go by the Gold standard (as Romney/Ryan are for) the rest of the world needs to do what THEY need to do. Hasn't this EURO crap shown you all anything?
certainly not. it can deflate even more rapidly. in 1980 the cost of gold, after a couple of years of inflation reached $850 a troy oz. suddenly, over night, the bottom fell out of the gold and silver market and the prices died on the vine.
@dances-weebles Wasn't that the "hard adjustment" due to making up B.S.(and printing out s#it loads of $$$ and speculative B.S.) in the government prior to R. Reagan (Nixon1973- Carter1979). Then R.R., stabilizing the dollar, cut out the B.S.-which brought gold falling?? The highs and lows WASN'T the gold's fault - it was the MF'ing politican's fault. Greedy a$$s. NOTE: once the B.S. stops - the gold maintanes a steady level and will continue that way, just as the history of gold's monetary values Proves over lengthy centuries being in use.
@RadAuthNat not really... the shift from teh bi-metal standard began decades before, and finally in 1971 or 72 nixon dropped the gold standard completely. what r.r. did was practically destroy the u.s. economy.
@dances-weebles No way. R. Reagan strenghtened the economy. That's, I thought, well-known. We were in a bad economic slump with J. Carter. R.R. brought us out of it. A Great indicator of that IS that gold went down. He strengthened the dollar, by cutting out the B.S. manipulation. A strengthened dollar CAN NOT OCCUR during a bad economy. In fact, when I came home from the military, my in-the-sticks little town had 6 new factories (that have mostly shut down after NAFTA passed - they started shutting down in 2nd half Clinton era.). I paid LESS TAXES during his administration (the only time after that was 2nd term Clinton - rehashed Reaganomics).
Hmmm. The value of gold shot up because the value of the dollar went down! If we suddenly went to the gold standard, the value of gold would go where? UP..UP.UP.. Great, instead of having valueless dollars in my pocket, I would have (maybe) an ounce of gold !! And who would be hurt by going to the gold standard....the middle class and the poor (well, maybe just the middle class because we don't have a gold "grill"....bahaha). And besides, I remember when we were on the gold standard. Inflation/wages were fairly stable BUT it took you many years to save up to buy anything. Think the (X and Y) generations have the "patience" to wait years to buy their I-Phones??
if we were on a gold standard today the artificial inflation of the price of gold would lead to the deflation of the value of the dollar. a dollar would be worth much less gold, and then when the bottom falls out of the gold market once again the dollar will be worth much less than it is today.
No, no, you're looking at it wrong. Gold and the dollar are not like equal or anything; the dollar is JUST PAPER MONEY. Look at gold's track record over the centuries. It has been more stable than ANY other mode of standard. And was used as the standard for centuries in all civilized countries. The ONLY REASON FOR THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF GOLD (OF THE LAST FEW DECADES) IS THE IMPROPER MANIPULATION BY EVIL GOVERNMENTS WANTING TO STEAL MONEY. The USA got off the gold standard in 1973, with the intention of NOT being bound by ACTUAL limitations of how much money they could take from the people. Now, they just dream up s#it and print out more $$$! But, TRUE, if you go back to the gold standard, it will be a "rough" ride because you have to make HARD ADJUSTMENTS TO GET IT BACK INTO PROPER PRESECTIVE. Then everything will be good (cause it would be equalled out) and your countrie's monetary system will be alot better off in a long run plus, to make it short, you'll be more finacially sound than any other nation.
@RadAuthNat Does anyone think that there will ever be anything "but" evil goverment? Look at the history of the U S and see how many times goverment has screwed over the people. Goverment has NO dicisipline and because of that we the people will always get the short end of the stick.
I think what this article shows is that if you want the gold standard you have to have a plan for how to deal with this and how it will get worse if you go to the gold standard. I don't think it is a argument killer to the gold standard, but rather something that must be addressed so that, if it is best for the economy, we don't increase the inhumanity of the industry.
I don't think it's a possibility anymore. Most Americans don't even understand the concept. I do believe it was Nixon that took our currency off the gold standard back in 1971 or 1972. Forty years of that kind of damage can't be undone easily.
Sorry Ron Paul. There just isn't enough gold in the world to back the US currency, much less the currencies of foreign nations. One has to remember that the total currency of a nation must grow by 4% per annum to take into account credit purchases. What we would, in fact, get are gold certificates issued by banks that say they are redeemable in non-existent gold. That is a polite way of saying "inflation". It may be a nice idea but it wouldn't work to solve the problem.