George Gilder, occasional contributor to The Pulse 2016, appeared on the McAlvany Weekly Commentary Podcast last week to talk about his new book, The 21st Century Case for Gold: A New Information Theory of Money. The book tackles key questions about monetary policy and the inequitable allocation of money throughout our economy.
In his podcast, McAlvany asked Gilder, “Why gold? Why now?”
“Money is a measuring stick, not a magic wand that the Fed can wave to summon economic growth and turn money into real wealth,” Gilder replied. “Money has to be a measuring stick and a measuring stick cannot be part of what it measures. The reason gold has been the classic monetary element through the millennia is that it is separate from what it measures. That’s because it is pegged to the time it takes to extract it, and time is the one thing in the universe that can’t be changed.”
“When the government controls money it can determine who gets the money — who gets it first, who gets it most, and how much it’s going to be worth,” Gilder continued. “But when government controls it, it becomes capricious and it stultifies the decisions of players in the economy, shrinks the horizons of economic activities, and deters the long term investment of capital and capitalism.”
Gilder expands on this point and makes a principled case for the gold standard by covering a variety of topics, including Milton Friedman’s greatest “error,” money supply and velocity, the perils of high-volume trading and floating currencies, Bitcoin and how it mimics gold, and why the gold standard is superior to targeting based on a basket of commodities.