Gold is in the news this week, with the transparently silly Weiner complaint
about Glenn Beck advertising gold. The complaint has no legal basis, since the same gold companies advertise on nearly all radio shows, left and right.
Thinking about this, I noticed an interesting parallel. In modern times, the gold-bug types are usually Libertarians or Randians. This political correlation is fairly new, but certainly strong.
Big-L Libertarians put the power of the Contract above all. They think the world can get along without governments if we'd only respect Contracts. Regulations should be replaced by lawsuits.
Horrible vision ... the ideal Randian heaven is Somalia, where no regulations ever interfere with raw bloody force. Even if you take it less literally, we're already on the way.
Since we're talking about people named Rand (ahem)
let's look at Regulation vs Contract in medical practice.
Proper regulation would kick out bad doctors without hassling the good ones. Instead, we have the random threat of lawsuits. No matter how carefully you practice, you're equally likely to get hit. Result: Massive cost imposed on the whole profession, passed on to the customer, tremendous profit to lawyers and insurers, and the bad doctors keep on killing people.
And the Rand types misunderstand gold in a similar way. They see gold as a solid natural measure of wealth, a natural contract, while "fiat money" is airy and variable, an arbitrary product of government laws and regulations. Wrong again. Gold is no more natural than paper money. When gold was the most common tender, its value was controlled by governments just as paper money is now controlled by governments. Governments could pour more coins into the system or pull them out of circulation, just as they now do with paper money. Without a government guarantee of some kind, neither
material has an intrinsic value.
Our problem is not paper money; our problem is that the Federal Reserve has been taken over in the last 20 years by servants of George Soros whose job is to kill America. The Soros servants could do this with gold or silver just as easily as with paper.