Friday, July 9, 2004

A Primer - Part II

Roosevelt 1933...

Going back to pre-1933, we find the ubiquitous $20 gold piece (consisting of 1 ounce of gold) with a value of...$20 dollars of purchasing power.

The US was in trouble due to the Great Depression and the economists of the day were at a loss to solve the problem so it was decided the government had to "finance" the recovery by printing massive amounts of dollars. (Actually, one must wonder what type of solution this actually is since it's simply a hidden tax on everyone through inflation and increased taxes never help to pull an economy out of a recession / depression.) The problem was that gold was a reliable barometer for measuring inflation and if inflation was perceived to be on the rise (which it surely would) everyone would cash in their paper dollars for gold. So in the wisdom of the government, the decision was made to outlaw gold ownership by U.S. citizens.

Check out The Gold Confiscation Of April 5, 1933

It became clear to governments that they could not afford to allow people to own and keep their gold. Murray Rothbard explains

"Government could never cement its power over a nation's currency, if the people, when in need, could repudiate the fiat paper and turn to gold for money."

After the gold confiscation, the U.S. government immediately revalued gold at $35 per ounce. So that same $20 gold coin that was just relinquished by the good, law abiding citizens would now cost $35 dollars to repurchase...if it were legal to do so.

See this link for a detailed explanation:

Whatever Happened to Sound Money?

From the link...

"As James Bovard observes, "citizens had accepted a paper currency based on the government's pledge to redeem it in gold at $20 per ounce; then, when Roosevelt decided to default on that pledge, he also felt obliged to turn all citizens holding gold into criminals." [10] Roosevelt also condemned them as selfish traitors.

One day later Roosevelt reduced the gold content of the dollar by 41%, raising the price of gold from $20.67 per ounce to $35.00 an ounce. The devaluation resulted in a $2.8 billion "bonus" for the government." An especially tidy sum in those days.

This is clearly on of the most blatant and manipulative examples of the U.S. government reneging on a promise to it's citizens.

And, by the way, today that one ounce of gold in a $20 gold piece is worth about $400. It's interesting to note that, in the early 1900s, one could by a nice dress suit with that $20 gold piece and today they still can get a nice dress suite for the value of that $20 gold piece or $400. So gold hasn't gotten more expensive, rather the purchasing power of the dollar has declined...dramatically, thanks to the Federal Reserve.