Mike Pence? Full disclosure: I served as head of the Super PAC seeking to draft Pence into the 2012 presidential race. Having long been persuaded of Pence’s superior leadership qualities, I’m even less objective than usual.
We called Pence “The Conservative Champion” and for good reason. Then, in 2012, Pence made the right decision: to run for governor of Indiana. That was an opportunity for distinguished public service. As it happened, it was also a perfect boot camp for the vice presidency.
One of the reasons that Pence showed himself extraordinary may have faded from general memory. It has not faded from mine. Nor has it been forgotten, or forgiven, by the left, who are now highlighting this, much to my delight. In 2010 Pence gave a major speech at the Detroit Economic Club. As the center-left ThinkProgress.org then reported:
The first item of Pence’s five-point for the economy is a “sound monetary policy.” Pence elaborated that he believes a return to the gold standard could create such a policy:
PENCE: Before I move on, I’d like to note, in the midst of all that’s happened recently — massive borrowing and spending, QE2 — a debate has started anew over an anchor to our global monetary system. My dear friend, the late Jack Kemp, probably would have urged me to adopt the gold standard, right here and now in Detroit. Robert Zoellick, the president of the World Bank, encouraged that we rethink the international currency system including the role of gold, and I agree. I think the time has come to have a debate over gold, and the proper role it should play in our nations monetary affairs. A pro-growth agenda begins with sound monetary policy. (Emphasis supplied by ThinkProgress.)
Donald Trump’s signature promise is to “make America great again.” Trump knows that “it would be wonderful” to restore the gold standard. He has a firm intuitive grasp of why: “We’d have a standard on which to base our money.”
America is struggling through 16 years of economic sluggishness at only maybe half the growth rate of our gold standard eras. Since President Nixon “closed the gold window” on August 15, 1971 – a window cynically smashed by President Johnson — median family incomes have stagnated. The rich have disproportionately prospered.
The American Dream requires prosperity and justice for all. The loss of one or two (or, to hark back to Kennedy, three) percent of annual economic growth may not seem like much. But thanks to the power of compounding (which Albert Einstein famously never called the strongest force in the universe) the American economy now is only two thirds as big it would have been if it had remained on trend line.
This is a big deal. The American Dream lies buried in these ruins. Let’s resurrect it.
Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics.