I have long been puzzled by the appeal to return to a gold standard. Yes, I know that gold has been the traditional repository of value throughout the centuries. But what makes gold intrinsically valuable? Is it its lovely yellow hue? Its soft, malleability? The fact that it doesn’t rust? Or is it that, along with these nice features, there is simply a limited supply that inhibits inflation? A currency that is backed by it should therefore not be inflatable. That too is true, but this all seems too simplistic.
The wealth of the world is continuously increasing in line with its population, increases in productivity, scientific knowledge and technology. So why should a fixed amount of currency representing a rapidly changing store of value be a good thing? Wouldn’t that result in massive deflation as world economies expand? This begs the question, what is wealth? Is it money? Obviously not. If we were to assume that gold is money, would it BE wealth? No, it is only a medium of exchange that symbolically represents wealth. Money is simply used to grease the wheels of commerce. It is an intermediary tool used to move in and out of different forms of real, tangible wealth.
Wealth is actually food, water, shelter, clothing, cars, trucks, trains, planes, fuel, electricity, farms, manufacturing and production capacity, washing machines, blenders, microwave ovens and even electronic gadgets that people value for making our lives more pleasant.
It’s a very long time since I studied macro economics in graduate school, so I’ll admit to being a little rusty. But I was fortunate to have an excellent professor who had held a fairly senior position at the Fed, but had rejected it in favor of a libertarian philosophy. He was an avid follower of economics Nobel Prize winner, Milton Friedman. I learned that control (expansion and contraction) of the money supply is the primary means of manipulating economic power and that power is currently under the exclusive control of a highly centralized and private banking system. As an inexperienced, young student, I lacked the practical perspective to understand the implications of what I was learning. Some 35 years later, I’m beginning to get it. Ok, so I’m a slow learner.
To the extent that a person is reliant on a money supply that can be manipulated at the whim of another private entity, whether that is in the form of gold, paper currency, electronic blips on a computer, tulips or puka shells, we have lost the ability and freedom to manage our own lives. We are unwitting serfs in a modern feudal system shell game. We are sheep in a farm being repeatedly sheered through intentionally created boom/bust cycles of inflation/deflation and a villainous system of usury.
Is there a means of escape? Yes, but it is an inconvenient one. People the world over are so conditioned to value convenience and comfort above all else that few would be willing to take the prescription. I know a little about the value we place on convenience. I personally created the business plan and negotiated the deal for 7-Eleven Thailand with the CP Group when I worked for the Southland Corporation. 7-Eleven is the world’s largest operator of convenience stores. Thailand, with about 6,000, now has the 3rd largest number of 7-Eleven stores behind the US and Japan.
Can you guess the ultimate convenience I am suggesting we need to ween ourselves from in order to gain back our freedom and stop the theft of personal wealth?
Contact me to explore the answer.
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