It long appeared inevitable, but it has now officially happened: today the price of gold hit the $1,000 mark. Wondering what’s so important about the $1,000 gold price? Well, let's see what Congressman Ron Paul has to say.
The following excerpts were pulled from an article posted on Lewrockwell.com by Paul (all emphasis mine):
“Buying gold and holding it is somewhat analogous to converting one’s savings into one hundred dollar bills and hiding them under the mattress–yet not exactly the same. Both gold and dollars are considered money, and holding money does not qualify as an investment. There’s a big difference between the two however, since by holding paper money one loses purchasing power. The purchasing power of commodity money, e.g., gold, however, goes up if the government devalues the circulating fiat currency.”
“Holding gold is protection or insurance against government’s proclivity to debase its currency. The purchasing power of gold goes up not because it’s a so-called good investment; it goes up in value only because the paper currency goes down in value. In our current situation, that means the dollar.”
“A soaring gold price is a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the central bank and the dollar. This certainly was the case in 1979 and 1980. Today, gold prices reflect a growing restlessness with the increasing money supply, our budgetary and trade deficits, our unfunded liabilities, and the inability of Congress and the administration to reign in runaway spending.” (This was written back in 2006, so you can probably add the uneasiness being felt from the credit crisis.)
“Likewise, a fiat monetary system encourages speculation and unsound borrowing. As problems develop, scapegoats are sought and frequently found in foreign nations (hello China). This prompts many to demand altering exchange rates and protectionist measures. The sentiment for this type of solution is growing each day.”
Congressman Paul then gets in-depth about how the fiat system will inevitably fail, as it has throughout history (which is an interesting truth). If you are interested in knowing the details, read the complete article. It is fairly lengthy, but well worth the time to read, whether or not you agree with his ideas—it will get your mind spinning a bit if nothing else.
I don’t envision the U.S. moving to a gold standard as Paul suggests, and I’m not sure exactly how I feel about that idea one way or the other. Paul makes an interesting—and extreme—point at the end of the article that I do want to bring up:
“Economic law dictates reform at some point. But should we wait until the dollar is 1/1,000 (which arrived today) of an ounce of gold or 1/2,000 of an ounce of gold? The longer we wait, the more people suffer and the more difficult reforms become. Runaway inflation inevitably leads to political chaos, something numerous countries have suffered throughout the 20th century. The worst example of course was the German inflation of the 1920s that led to the rise of Hitler. Even the communist takeover of China was associated with runaway inflation brought on by Chinese Nationalists. The time for action is now, and it is up to the American people and the U.S. Congress to demand it.”