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11 comments

1
Dark_Falcon  Nov 11, 2015 • 9:38:41pm

I’d argue it isn’t Republicans in general but a minority of the party. Only Cruz and Paul have pushed this issue and there were six other candidates on the stage. A more honest question the Atlantic could have asked would be:

“Why do some Republicans fond of the gold standard?” and then explain the differences within the party. This isn’t a lockstep issue, after all.

2
freetoken  Nov 11, 2015 • 11:25:47pm

It’s all magic.

3
The Vicious Babushka  Nov 12, 2015 • 4:26:32am

The Gold Standard is a Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Idea for the main reason that the U.S. possibly not even the whole world has enough gold to cover the fortunes of the Kochs and the Waltons.

4
Romantic Heretic  Nov 12, 2015 • 6:14:05am

In my opinion it’s because the simple minded people that believe in the gold standard do so because they regard gold as having ‘real value’ as opposed to the ‘fiat currency’ issued by the Fed.

The problem with that is that all values are imaginary. The only thing real about gold is its atomic number. (79) If gold had a real value there couldn’t be a speculative market in it. How can you speculate on the value of something if the value is ‘real’, that is a value that never changes?

Ultimately I think it has to do with the fact that the revolutionaries that have hijacked the title ‘conservative’ don’t like change and they don’t like imagination because imagination changes things.

5
HappyWarrior  Nov 12, 2015 • 7:43:05am

They loooooooove gold.

6
HappyWarrior  Nov 12, 2015 • 7:43:50am

Okay my Austin Powers reference aside, I think it’s because it’s another thing from the mythical past that they think worked. so let’s do it again and we’ll be peachy.

7
Jayleia  Nov 12, 2015 • 8:36:09am

re: #6 HappyWarrior

I think there’s more to it than that…people invest in gold, if, by some miracle, they do reinstate the gold standard, the people already invested in it would go from thousandaires to billionaires…or from billionaires to OMGWTFBBQaires, because there’s only so much gold available, and at current values, its only a fraction of the value of Stuff that’s available. So the value of gold would have to skyrocket.

Yes, that sounds like a REALLY bad 70s spy movie plot.

And why do you think that would dissuade the GOP? If anything, that would encourage them.

8
Great White Snark  Nov 12, 2015 • 8:47:23am

Exactly Charles.

I work in the gold biz day to day. Not usually the investment side but I have bought and sold thousands of ounces of gold for outside the biz over the years. No sales tax on investments and gold coins count above a certain amount. Real coins, not paper or futures.

We stayed the hell out of the foolish fear tactic profiteering crap that went on between when gold first cracked $1000 and then $1800 and now a paltry $1087.40 NY Ask.

It’s a modern economy, a global economy and the dated tactics of a century ago will be no help at all in 2015.

Maybe I missed the new car or some income. Maybe a bunch. But I sleep soundly. As does the whole crew here.

More at Salon
salon.com

It is no accident that lust for the gold standard is popping up in a political party that appears, on every front, to feel mortally challenged by destabilizing change. The United States is a country whose ethnic makeup is changing dramatically in a world in which new superpowers are threatening American global primacy. Good God — a black man with an Arabic middle name is president and same-sex marriages are legal in some states. Women are even allowed to vote! Ancient verities are under threat from all sides! In a postmodern, multicultural, topsy-turvy world, the gold standard is alluring for the same reason that biblical literalism, border walls and strict constitutional constructionism are hot sellers for the Republican hard right. The gold says, flatly: This is the truth, no ifs, ands or buts. It is a commandment.

9
StephenMeansMe  Nov 12, 2015 • 5:28:25pm

There’s also the fun fact that so often anti-Fed conspiracy theory is just a few ideological layers above “teh Jooz internashunul bankerz sold out ur countriez” anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

1. We should return to the gold standard, because…
2. Fiat currency is inferior to sound money, because…
3. The Federal Reserve was established to sell out the interests of Americans to International Bankers, because…
4. JEWS/ROTHSCHILDS/JEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWSSSSSS

Not that every goldbug goes all the way to layer 4, but any time “international bankers” gets mentioned I get very suspicious of the provenance of such theories.

10
sagehen  Nov 12, 2015 • 6:23:30pm

Because on a gold standard, there’s a finite amount of money in the world. The only way anybody can have more than they did last year, is if somebody else has less than they did last year.

With fiat currency (there’s a formula for how much to “create” in a particular year, to keep up with productivity growth) — everyone can have more than they did last year.

11
Jay C  Nov 13, 2015 • 11:22:47am

Heh. Ahead of the game, again, Charles: I see Prof. Krugman has gotten around to this very issue in today’s NYT

And with pretty much the same takeaway as the other cites: Republicans excel at pitching retrograde and/or counterproductive economic strategies/policies to their “base” though the use of simpleminded sloganeering and sound-bite “policies” that don’t require much thought. Beyond, one supposes, “logic” like:

Gold is more valuable than paper, so therefore gold money is more valuable than paper money. Vote Republican!!!


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