Architect of a school of economic thought regarded by many as just a notch above quackery, John Maynard Keynes of Britain once called the gold standard a “barbarous relic.” An honest and time-honored medium of exchange such as gold (or paper money redeemable in gold) stood in the way of Keynes’ snooty preference for lots of government spending and easy money.
Henry Hazlitt was an infinitely better economist and closely associated with FEE for decades. He picked Keynes apart virtually line by line in his definitive 1959 tour de force, The Failure of the New Economics. If you’re an economics major and your professors never told you about it, consider demanding a tuition refund.
Keynes and Hazlitt knew each other but agreed on little. In 1931, in fact, Hazlitt invited Keynes to participate in a series of articles around the theme, “If I Were a Dictator.” You can see the reply from Keynes here.
I knew Hazlitt personally and called him by his nickname, “Harry,” as did others among his many friends. I cherish the letters from him in my personal files. He was so much more than a fine economist—an exceptional journalist, a scholarly but accessible gentleman, and a brilliant moral philosopher as well.
Hazlitt authored more than two dozen books, most notably the classic Economics in One Lesson, available free from FEE. In his 1978 volume, The Inflation Crisis and How To Resolve It, he noted that far from barbarous, gold served many nations extraordinarily well. It was the world’s chosen money for centuries. The unprecedented explosion of economic growth in the 19th Century was accompanied by sound money tied to gold, punctuated by brief calamities when politicians abandoned it. Governments don’t like it because they can’t print it, pure and simple. As Hazlitt wrote in The Inflation Crisis,
It is the outstanding merit of gold as the monetary standard that it makes the supply and the purchasing power of the monetary unit independent of government, of office holders, of political parties, and of pressure groups. The great merit of gold is precisely that it is scarce; that its quantity is limited by nature; that it is costly to discover, to mine, and to process; and that it cannot be created by political fiat or caprice. It is precisely the merit of the gold standard, finally, that it puts a limit on credit expansion.
In the long run, just as Keynes predicted, Keynes himself was indeed dead. But gold as a reliable medium of change lasted far longer than he ever did. It may re-emerge one day to replace the barbarous paper inflation his legacy helped to create. Wouldn’t that be ironic, if not entirely predictable?
Americans are once again feeling the pain of runaway expansion of money and credit that a gold standard would never have allowed. We hear almost daily, nonsensical pronouncements about price inflation from the very “barbarous relic” people who are responsible for it. Jerome Powell, chairman of the inflation factory known as the Federal Reserve, took a short break from the printing press to assure us that the Fed “understands the hardship it is causing” and that his paper money machine is “moving expeditiously” against it. He’s counting on us being sufficiently gullible and miseducated to thank him for his “inflation-fighting” efforts. Count me out, please.
So gold is barbarous but unbacked, inconvertible, irredeemable paper money cranked out by elitist officialdom is not? So sound and stable money is bad but fiat money belched out by political appointees is good? Where did such nonsense come from?
I have a few more questions for Mr. Powell and his barbarous relic associates.
What is government-issued fiat money made from? Angel breath? Divine manna from monetary Heaven? Of course not. Its digital form is composed of ethereal ones and zeroes while its physical and familiar form is made from trees. Trees!
When and where in history did a tree—or any tree derivative—emerge naturally and voluntarily as a reliable medium of exchange? Never and nowhere, except when it was issued as a kind of “receipt” for the real thing.
Opponents of the gold standard want us to believe that gold is old-fashioned, that a more “enlightened” perspective is that money shouldn’t come from a hole in the ground. Think about that. They are telling us that money should instead come from—drum roll—trees!
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Hmmm. Which sounds more dependable—a gold standard or a tree standard? On this important matter, go with your gut feelings.
As price inflation eats away at our savings and livelihoods, it’s time we re-think money and monetary policy. We should compare the record of the gold standard with that of our present tree standard. We ought to take a closer look at all the false promises of the tree standard advocates, from Keynes to Powell. Toward that end, I offer readers a list of excellent FEE articles, below.
- Why Experts Get the Gold Standard Wrong by Lawrence H. White
- The Gold Standard Didn’t Create the Great Depression by Germinal D. Van
- How To Return to the Gold Standard by Bettina Bien Greaves
- How the United States Conquered Inflation After the Civil War by Lawrence W. Reed
- Toward Radical Monetary Reform by Lawrence W. Reed
- When Money Goes Bad edited by Lawrence W. Reed
- America’s Money: A History edited by Lawrence W. Reed
- A Tale of Two Gold Standards by Lawrence H. White
- No Shortage of Gold by Hans F. Sennholz
- Gold and Money by Warren C. Gibson
Lawrence W. Reed is FEE’s President Emeritus, Humphreys Family Senior Fellow, and Ron Manners Global Ambassador for Liberty, having served for nearly 11 years as FEE’s president (2008-2019). He is author of the 2020 book, Was Jesus a Socialist? as well as Real Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courage, Character, and Conviction and Excuse Me, Professor: Challenging the Myths of Progressivism. Follow on LinkedIn and Like his public figure page on Facebook. His website is www.lawrencewreed.com.
This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.
Most “Conservative” News Outlets Are on the Big Tech Teat
Not long ago, conservative media was not beholden to anyone. Today, most sites are stuck on the Big Tech gravy train.
I’ll keep this short. The rise of Pandemic Panic Theater, massive voter fraud, and other “taboo” topics have neutered a majority of conservative news sites. You’ll notice they are very careful about what topics they tackle. Sure, they’ll attack Critical Race Theory, Antifa, and the Biden-Harris regime, but you won’t see them going after George Soros, Bill Gates, the World Economic Forum, or the Deep State, among others.
The reason is simple. They are beholden to Big Tech, and Big Tech doesn’t allow certain topics to be discussed or they’ll cut you off. Far too many conservative news outlets rely on Google, Facebook, and Twitter for the bulk of their traffic. They depend on big checks from Google ads to keep the sites running. I don’t necessarily hold it against them. We all do what we need to do to survive. I just wish more would do like we have, which is to cut out Big Tech altogether.
We don’t get Google checks. We don’t have Facebook or Twitter buttons on our stories. We don’t have a YouTube Channel (banned), an Instagram profile (never made one), or a TikTok (no thanks, CCP). We’re not perfect, but we’re doing everything we can to not owe anything to anyone… other than our readers. We owe YOU the truth. We owe YOU the facts that others won’t reveal about topics that others won’t tackle. And we owe America, this great land that allows us to take hold of these opportunities.
Like I said, I don’t hold other conservative sites under too much scrutiny over their choices. It’s easy for people to point fingers when we’re not the ones paying their bills or supporting their families. I just wish there were more who would make the bold move. Today, only a handful of other major conservative news outlets have broken free from the Big Tech teat. Of course, we need help.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
Our network is currently comprised of six sites:
- NOQ Report
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- Freedom First Network
- Based Underground
- Uncanceled News
- Our Gold Guy
We are also building partnerships with great conservative sites like The Liberty Daily and The Epoch Times to advance the message as loudly as possible, and we’re always looking for others with which to partner.
Some of our content is spread across multiple sites. Other pieces of content are unique. We write most of what we post but we also draw from those willing to allow us to share their quality articles, videos, and podcasts. We collect the best content from fellow conservative sites that give us permission to republish them. We’re not ego-driven; I’d much rather post a properly attributed story written by experts like Dr. Joseph Mercola or Natural News than rewrite it like so many outlets like to do. We’re not here to take credit. We’re here to spread the truth.
While donations are the best way to help, you can also support us by buying through our sponsors:
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- MyPatriotSupply: Stock up on long-term food, survival gear, and other things that you’ll need just in case things don’t recover and we keep heading towards apocalypse.
We know we could make a lot more money if we sold out like so many “conservative” publications out there. You won’t find Google ads on our site for a reason. Yes, they’re lucrative, but I don’t like getting paid by minions of Satan (I don’t like Google very much if you couldn’t tell).
Time is short. As the world spirals towards The Great Reset, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going. Our promise is this: We will never sell out America. If that means we’re going to struggle for a while or even indefinitely, so be it. Integrity first. Truth first. America first.
Thank you and God Bless,
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