Nixon and gold and the future – comment by Roger Ellman

Aug 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Economics, Politics

Nixon and gold and the future

[ As commented on the World Future Society article “Richard Nixon, futurist: how good was his foresight regarding the end of the gold standard?” ]   Gold coin

I would summarize Nixon’s removal of the dollar from the gold standard as handing the control of the value of currency in “toto” to mere mortals or rather “mere politicians”

It was a quick knee-jerk way of trying to solve an apparent problem with little understanding of the problem being solved and limited “future-possibilities” (result of the action) thinking.

Given the nature of fiat currency there can never be any likelihood of stability of the means of exchanging value (money) – there will always, eventually be a politically prudent reason to change the value of a currency using monetary mechanisms at a government’s disposal (or that of an authority a government have handed that power to).
This is true except in the utopian eventuality that governments and monetary authorities will in future be populated with truly Wise Men and Women – showing greater wisdom and understanding of economics than any such group existing now and undeterred by political expediency, political pragmatism or any form of popularity contest.

We may not ever return to a gold, platinum or “number of inhabited planets”, or “tons of lithium crystals mined in the universe” – standard. However if we do not, the future of bad management interrupted by lucky periods or vice versa, will continue.

Mere mortals – may be not so “mere”. But “mere politicians” always here!

Best wishes
Live long and prosper!
Roger Ellman

Photo by sweetone

 




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