Chapter 2

The Gold Standard: A Standard for Freedom1

At one time the case for the gold standard was practically self-evident—undisputed by most economists and appreciated by both laymen and professionals. Today, however, the case for gold is buried under decades of propaganda, misconceptions, and myths. It has been only recently that the case for the gold standard has begun to surface from under the policy makers’ anti-gold debris. Consequently, gold is once again gaining the attention and interest it so rightly deserves.

Today’s free-market advocates of the gold standard differ from past advocates. For example, free-market advocates do not exclude silver or other commodities from their concept of a gold standard. Indeed, they do not even insist that gold must be money. The case for the gold standard is actually the case for market-originated commodity money, and the case against government-regulated fiat money. It is simply an extension of the case for free markets that respect the rights of individuals, and the case against controlled markets that violate the rights of individuals.

To be concerned with the gold standard is to be concerned with a free economy, regulated by the values and choices of individuals, rather than a controlled economy in which the values and choices of individuals are regulated by government. This concern for an individual’s freedom to express values and exercise choices is derived from a deeper concern for justice and for an individual’s right to property. ...

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