Friday, August 24, 2012

Politics just got even more surreal than usual

The FT carried a story about the Republican party setting up a commission to consider putting America back on a gold standard.

While this is obviously a sop to the Ron Paul supporters and, even if Romney wins and even if such a commission is established, it won't mean anything since the commission will only have the power to make recommendations. As any student of economic history can point out, the gold standard almost certainly contributed to exacerbating the depth and duration of the Great Depression and other economic contractions that preceded it). While the chances of America readopting a gold standard are about zero, the mere fact that the issue has been raised at all speaks volumes about the politics of the party that puts such a proposal on its agenda.

I maintain that "none of the above" should be an option on all elections.

Of course, if it did happen, the price of gold (as measured in dollars) would skyrocket, gold mining shares would go through the roof and the pace of environmental destruction would accelerate as more mining projects become economically viable, there would be the inevitable rounds of regulation as countries competed to build their gold reserves and, most likely, regulations restricting ownership and export of gold and, possibly, outright confiscation.

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