Steve Forbes: How To Bring Back America

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Steve Forbes has a message for a nation dominated by increasingly short-term decisions made on Wall Street and in Washington D.C., and by ever greater economic, financial and currency instability.  As long as America continues moving away from sound money; away from sound financial and economic policies; and, ultimately, away from freedom, its future grows more dim.  The dot-com and housing bubbles followed by the 2008 financial crisis and the most severe economic decline since the Great Depression serve as powerful lessons.  A future of bigger government, higher taxes, more burdensome regulations, less consumer choice and more unrealistic government promises requires more and more Federal Reserve play money.

Steve Forbes has a quintessentially American policy prescription rooted in American history.  The answer to America’s economic problems is—and has always been—new wealth creation.  New wealth creation doesn’t come from the government or from the Federal Reserve’s printing press.  New wealth creation is what happens naturally with stable money based on the gold standard, lower taxes on individuals, a simplified tax code, reduced bureaucracy and free markets.

 

Interview: Steve Forbes: How To Bring Back America

The Hera Research Newsletter is pleased to present an incredibly powerful interview with Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media.  The company’s flagship publication, FORBES, is the leading business magazine.  Combined with international and licensee editions, FORBES reaches more than 6 million readers worldwide.  The Forbes.com website is a leading destination for senior business decision-makers and investors with more than 30 million unique visitors per month.

Hera Research Newsletter (HRN): Thank you for joining us today.  With the U.S. economy struggling to recover from recession and financial crisis, what policies would you recommend?

Steve Forbes: The only way to recover is to stabilize our money, have a gold backed dollar, simplified tax code and return to a free market.

HRN: You advocate the gold standard?

Steve Forbes: If there’s any better system to ensure a stable value for money, it’s yet to be found.  For nearly all of America’s first 200 years, the dollar was linked to gold.  Since we went off the gold standard, we’ve had more and more financial, economic and banking crises.  For example, if the Federal Reserve hadn’t started to print so much money ten years ago, we wouldn’t have experienced the housing bust or the commodities boom or the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.  Eventually, events become a persuasive teacher.

HRN: Don’t we need a flexible money supply?

Steve Forbes: That’s like saying that changing the number of minutes in an hour would be a great tool to increase productivity in the economy.  Manipulating weights and measures, whether it’s the number of ounces in a pound or minutes in an hour, is a false way to think that you can achieve prosperity.  All gold does is serve as a yardstick to measure the value of your currency.

HRN: Doesn’t increasing the money supply help to stimulate the economy?

Steve Forbes: The only way to increase prosperity is through innovation and productivity.  Attempts to manipulate the value of money invariably fail.  We’ve had numerous devaluations, and not once has it created lasting prosperity.

HRN: Under the gold standard, would there still be a lender of last resort to backstop the banking system?

Steve Forbes: The gold standard doesn’t prevent lending during a panic.  The Bank of England pioneered acting as a lender of last resort in the 1860s under the gold standard.

HRN: Wouldn’t the gold standard prevent financial innovation?

Steve Forbes: No.  Financial innovation has been with us for hundreds of years in terms of new financial instruments to meet expanding needs as the global economy becomes more complex.  Many of the innovations of recent years, however, have come about in response to the instability of the dollar and other currencies, which has increased volatility in currency and commodity markets.  New instruments have been designed either as insurance against volatility or to take advantage of it.  If you had stable money, there would be much less hedging and financial speculation.

HRN: Can governments function under the gold standard?

Steve Forbes: Certain countries feel free to spend money whether they have it or not.  Fiat money, which can just be printed up, has disguised the real cost.  We would never have experienced the kind of government borrowing we’ve had in recent years if we’d had stable money.  The gold standard would keep the government honest.

HRN: Doesn’t government deficit spending smooth over recessions?

Steve Forbes: The bottom line for the U.S. is that a weak dollar means a weak recovery.  Stability is good for the economy.  The simplest thing to do is to re-link the U.S. dollar to gold.

HRN: Wouldn’t that tie the hands of the Federal Reserve?

Steve Forbes: Tie their hands to do what, further harm to the economy?  I don’t think that’s such a bad thing.

HRN: Isn’t the price of gold volatile like other commodities?

Steve Forbes: The reason to return to the gold standard is that gold maintains a stable, intrinsic value over time.  Stable money meets all conditions.  Gold doesn’t change in value.  Currencies change in value.  Gold is Polaris.

HRN: How would re-linking the U.S. dollar to gold work?

Steve Forbes: You simply peg the value of the dollar to gold.  Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you peg the dollar to gold at $1,600 per ounce.  If gold goes above $1,600, you tighten up on money creation.  If it goes below $1,600, you ease up.  You keep it around $1,600 by tightening or easing up on money creation.  The gold standard doesn’t preclude a booming economy having more money or a stagnant economy having less money.

HRN: Isn’t the gold standard deflationary?

Steve Forbes: No.  The gold standard is neither inflationary nor deflationary.  It’s like the mile: There are 5,280 feet in a mile; it’s a fixed length.  That doesn’t restrict the number of miles of highway you can build.  Between 1776 and 1900 the U.S. grew from a small, agricultural nation of 2.5 million people to a nation of 76.2 million people, and it became the greatest industrial power on earth.  The money supply went up about 160-fold while the dollar was pegged to gold.

HRN: Wouldn’t the gold standard severely limit leverage in the financial system?

Steve Forbes: If you’re a worthy borrower, you can borrow at the market interest rate; if you’re an unworthy borrower, you have to pay a higher interest rate or you can’t get money.  The gold standard would have prevented the wild lending and money creation we’ve experienced in the last few years, which has led to disaster.  You can see it in the housing bubble and in the European government debt bubble.  None of these things could have happened had we had stable money.

HRN: Is the Utah Legal Tender Act, which makes gold and silver legal in Utah, helpful?

Steve Forbes: I’m in favor of the states trying to get away from the Federal Reserve’s play-money approach.  The key is for the next President to institute a gold-linked dollar policy.

HRN: Do competing currencies make sense?

Steve Forbes: The idea of a parallel currency is a perfectly good one.  People would come to prefer a dollar based on gold rather than a dollar based on politicians.

HRN: Do you also suggest using silver as money?

Steve Forbes: The Chinese and other cultures have used silver as money, but silver doesn’t maintain its value the way gold does.  Over time it takes more silver to buy an ounce of gold.  About 120 years ago it took 15 ounces of silver to buy 1 ounce of gold.  Today it takes more than 50 ounces.  That’s why the U.S. moved away from a bi-metallic standard to the gold standard.  One metal becomes more valuable than the other at different times.  Silver is better than fiat money, but there’s only one gold standard.

HRN: Would the gold standard help the U.S. economy to recover?

Steve Forbes: In the 1980s, when we had very high unemployment and a stagnant economy, the way out was through a strong dollar, lower income taxes, entrepreneurship and new wealth creation.  Remember, the values of assets go up when people see a future.  They don’t today.

HRN: We didn’t have the gold standard in the 1980s.

Steve Forbes: Ronald Reagan killed the terrible inflation of the 1970s and sharply reduced income tax rates.  Reagan wanted a return to the gold standard, but none of his advisors believed in it.  Inflation was effectively killed by high interest rates.  Deregulation was pushed forward, and America roared.  In 1982, the Dow bottomed at 776; over the next 18 years it went up 18-fold.

HRN: You advocate cutting taxes?

Steve Forbes: Yes, and we should put in a flat tax.  The advantage of the flat tax is that it enables people to focus on real things.  Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which defines the character of the American nation, is all of 272 words.  The Declaration of Independence is a little more than 1,300 words.  The Constitution of the United States and all of its amendments are a little more than 7,000 words.  The Bible, which took centuries to put together, is a mere 773,000 words.  The U.S. federal income tax code—with all of its cross-references, descriptions of amendments and effective dates—is probably now in excess of 4,000,000 words.  Nobody knows what’s in it.  Last year the IRS announced that Americans spent 6.1 billion hours filling out tax forms and $300 billion on tax preparation.  This is a huge waste of resources and brain power.  Not to mention that it’s a corrupting influence.  It’s a huge source of government power, and it brings out the worst in us.  The sooner we get simplicity—and a flat tax would give us that—the more energy we can devote to productive pursuits.

HRN: How could the U.S. transition to a flat-tax system?

Steve Forbes: Since people get hung up on their deductions, we would institute a flat tax and give people the option of filing either under the new, simple system or the old, horrific system.  If you’re a masochist and want to punish yourself, you can file under the old income tax system.  If you want the simplified one, you can go with that.  I think 99% of Americans, out of sheer convenience, would quickly switch to the new system.

HRN: You mentioned deregulation.  How would that help the U.S. economy?

Steve Forbes: Take health care, for example.  We don’t have a free market in health care.  There’s a disconnect between patients and health care providers.  If you go to a hospital and ask how much something costs they’ll look at you strangely because they think you’re either uninsured or a lunatic.  How many hospitals put the prices of procedures on their websites?  It’s like going into a restaurant and having no idea how much anything on the menu costs.  It’s a crazy system.

HRN: How would you go about deregulating health care?

Steve Forbes: First, we should repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—which is an abomination.  Patients should have more choice.  The insurance companies don’t compete freely for business.  We should allow people to shop nationwide for health insurance.  I live in New Jersey, which has a lot of senseless regulations.  Why can’t I buy a health insurance policy in Pennsylvania that costs less?  We should equalize the tax treatment of health care expenses.  If you’re a business or are self-employed, you should be able to deduct the expense.  And individuals should be free to go into the market and pay with after-tax dollars.  We should make it easier for small businesses to form a collective to buy health insurance.  There are a lot of simple things that could be done.

HRN: Do free markets really work?

Steve Forbes: Free markets, with sensible rules of the road, can do all the things that big government advocates say the government does but that it really can’t do.  Free markets enable people to move out of poverty and break down barriers between ethnic groups and between nations.  Free markets increase cooperation and foster a sense of humanity.  Everything that big government says it will do, you get more from free markets than from government bureaucracies.  Which one has a better future, FedEx or the U.S. Post Office?  Do you want food stamps or paychecks?  Big government makes a lot of promises, but it’s short sighted.  Government is about meeting its own needs at the expense of the nation, and it’s immoral.  Free markets have gotten a bad rap, which happens to be the subject of my new book.

HRN: The Federal Reserve recently announced that it will extend its “Operation Twist” program by $267 billion through the end of 2012.  Will that help the U.S. economy?

Steve Forbes: No.  The more Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke messes up, the more he’s hailed as a savior.  The Federal Reserve’s programs—quantitative easing 1 and 2 and Operation Twist—are just fancy words for printing up more money.  It’s a bunch of smoke and mirrors.  They’ve done a lot of damage already, and they’re continuing to.  What they’re doing is dangerous.  Not only has the Federal Reserve created a lot of money and vastly expanded its balance sheet but, along with the U.S. Department of Treasury, it has dramatically shortened the maturity of U.S. government debt.

HRN: What do you mean when you say that the Federal Reserve has done a lot of damage?

Steve Forbes: By keeping interest rates artificially low, Chairman Ben Bernanke is cheapening the dollar, which punishes savers and harms future investment.  It distorts financial markets and misdirects investments into things like creating the housing bubble.  It subsidizes government borrowing at the expense of the rest of us.  It’s the equivalent of a cut in pay for workers.  Let’s say you’re earning $20 per hour and the government cheapens the dollar; then, in effect, you’re making $15 per hour.  It violates contracts and undermines social trust.

HRN: What should Chairman Bernanke do instead?

Steve Forbes: Other than resign, Chairman Bernanke should realize that the gold standard works and that when you deviate from it, you create more and more uncertainty.  He should re-link the dollar to gold.  Doctors used to treat patients by bleeding them.  Bernanke just keeps bleeding the economy.

HRN: Thank you for being so generous with your time.

Steve Forbes: Thank you.

 

Hera Research, LLC, provides deeply researched analysis to help investors profit from changing economic and market conditions.  Hera Research focuses on relationships between macroeconomics, government, banking, and financial markets in order to identify and analyze investment opportunities with extraordinary upside potential. Hera Research is currently researching mining and metals including precious metals, oil and energy including green energy, agriculture, and other natural resources.  The Hera Research Newsletter covers key economic data, trends and analysis including reviews of companies with extraordinary value and upside potential.

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Sat, 07/07/2012 - 15:58 | 2595234 LMAOLORI
LMAOLORI's picture

Here's a Forbe's Article that's even better

It's Not Libor Stupid, Central Banks Are The Problem

http://www.forbes.com/sites/shahgilani/2012/07/06/its-not-libor-stupid-central-banks-are-the-problem/

The rotten heart of finance A scandal over key interest rates is about to go global

http://www.economist.com/node/21558281

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 16:26 | 2595285 FEDbuster
FEDbuster's picture

Max Keiser suggesting Greece tell the banksters to fuck off, drop the Euro and go to a silver backed Drachma.  Classic Keiser worth the ten minutes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KpfEXMWWJA

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 16:40 | 2595311 engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

The rich are in power and will never let the people have a Gold Standard because it would not benefit their interests. A Gold Standard is an honest monetary system and would not allow the rich to rape, pillage and plunder. It would bring the rich to level ground with the people and the rich would actually have to work for a change. It will never happen unless all the military morons wake the fuck up.

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 17:14 | 2595366 The Monkey
The Monkey's picture

Good luck Steve. Both of your choices this year believe in extending credit until the US EXIM bank is full of subprime and the 30 year treasury is sitting at 1%.

No change in paradigm. Lever up to an even bigger top.

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 19:16 | 2595521 ghenny
ghenny's picture

Steve Forbes is his old man's bad joke on the rest of us.  He has no idea what true free enterprise or creating something yourself is.  He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and inherited his launching pad from Daddy.  His empire is run by othes because Stevie has no clue and is happier running around preaching the puritan ethic which he has never had to truly deliver on.  He would have wound up toast if he had to earn everything from scratch.  He parrots a bunch of discredited economic eyewash and never appears to have thought or done anything original himself.  He has zero crediblity with people who have done it the hard way and less than zero credibility with people who have to deal with such arrogant and undeserving scions of plutocrats in their jobs every day.  He has no interest in seeing the common man succeed and has his position in life purely because his father did the heavy lifting.  What a joke.  He is the worst advertisment for free enterprise I can imagine: a legacy plutocract trying to preach to the rest of us.  Again once more for the road: He would starve if he had to start from scratch.  He is the best ad I can think of for punitive inheritance taxes.

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 19:38 | 2595553 Quinvarius
Quinvarius's picture

What specific point in this article do you disagree with?  You have not made a single point for or against the article.

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html#hominem

See?  You have no point.  You chose the most ignorant propaganda technique out there.  A child would ignore you.

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 22:09 | 2595743 BigJim
BigJim's picture

In a hurry? Not sure you've got the time and energy required to get through the usual ignorant Statist anti-gold drivel you know you'll encounter below? Please allow me outline the main ad hominems you will have to endure as you make your way down the page:

1: "Steve Forbes is rich! So why should we believe anything he says about the gold standard???"

   Of course, if he'd been poor, I'm sure the trolls' angle would be: "If he's so smart, why ain't he rich? What does he know? Why should we believe anything he says about the gold standard???"

2: "Steve Forbes is rich! But not as rich as his old man! So why should we believe anything he says about the gold standard???"

    Of course, if Steve had spent all his time making even more money, he'd be accused of being insanely greedy... "Jeez, he's already a billionaire! And still he wants more! Why should we believe anything he says about the gold standard???'"

3: Steve Forbes was born rich! So why should we etc, etc, etc"

  Of course, if Steve Forbes had acquired his vast wealth through buying and selling products, the angle would be "He made his money exploiting the little guy! So why should we believe anything he says about the gold standard???"


The problem here isn't Forbes, wealthy or otherwise. The problem here is that he has advocated returning to the gold standard, and deployed some excellent new analogies, and that pisses our trolls off very much indeed. Enjoy the threads! But have a bucket handy - some of the stupidity is pretty nauseating.

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 22:34 | 2595791 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

I'm not a troll, rather, I take a systems analyst approach.  How does the monetary system operate?

It is more complicated that "gold good, paper bad."  It would be nice if it were that simple, but it isn't.

Please don't get your knickers in a twist, but so long as RANK CRIMINALS run any system, gold or otherwise, THE COMMON PERSON IS DOOMED.

The criminals ran the gold backed monetary system in Edison's day and it left a bitter taste in his mouth...

"Gold and money are separate things, gold is the trick mechanism by which you can control money. That is the root of all evil."
~ Thomas Edison

Compounding the problem now, the criminals are the ones with the vast majority of gold.  They could easily confiscatea and criminalize physical gold in the hands of those they deem "Muppets."

Really?  That gold system alone is gonna save us?

IMHO, the banksters will likely sell a "gold backed" international, cashless currency as the "solution" to the engineered bankruptcy of America and the world.  Or, they might actually tie our debt dollar to gold and then use gold as the excuse to bust the economy in a deflationary death spiral so they can steal all our assets.

UPDATE 4-World Bank chief surprises with gold proposal

http://af.reuters.com/article/metalsNews/idAFSGE6A70A720101108

The point being - no system will save the ignorant common person from a bunch of criminals at the top.

This has been known since Plato's day...

The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.

 

Weapons of Mass debt

http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/3173359/wmdebt-graph-2-pdf-october-1-201...

 

Debt Money Tyranny

http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/3325954/debt-dollar-tyranny-2-54k?tr=77

 

The Ultimate History Lesson: 
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL463AA90FD04EC7A2

The Ultimate history Lesson Commentary:
https://www.tragedyandhope.com/th-films/the-ultimate-history-lesson/comm...
Sat, 07/07/2012 - 22:45 | 2595815 Precious
Precious's picture

I think the first step for Mistah Forbes would be to fire all the closet communists that have subverted his fathers legacy on the editorial and writing staffs.

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 22:55 | 2595825 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

s/b It is more complicated than "gold good, paper bad."

Anyway, Steve Forbes is a liar.  He knows darn well that debt grew faster than GDP since 1980 through the collapse in 2008.

He doesn't want you to know this, so he doesn't tell you.

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?get_gallerynr=3115

Third chart down...

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?singlepost=2958798

Yes, Forbes knows EXACLTY what he's doing...  and it isn't in your best interest as explained in previous posts (search my name - this isn't an ad Hominem attack, but I don't want to repeat ad nauseum.

  The Ultimate History Lesson:   http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL463AA90FD04EC7A2

The Ultimate history Lesson Commentary: https://www.tragedyandhope.com/th-films/the-ultimate-history-lesson/comm...
Sun, 07/08/2012 - 09:08 | 2596070 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Disagreeing with Steve Forbes, or disliking him, or even disagreeing that gold backed money is a good idea, doesn't make one a troll. What makes one a troll is employing sophistries, examples of which I described above - to whit,  ad hominems.

I find it interesting that you have assumed I was referring to you, despite the fact that up until now I haven't addressed you, or any of the points you made about the Money Power, which actually I respect as a hypothesis and possible map of how things will play out..

  ...Anyway, Steve Forbes is a liar.  He knows darn well that debt grew faster than GDP since 1980 through the collapse in 2008.

How is he a liar? Where has he said debt has grown slower than GDP between 1980-> 2008? Unless I accidentally skipped a section.... it does begin to appear you're actually a troll, too!

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 09:16 | 2596082 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Yep, just reread the interview. I see no assertion that debt didn't grow "faster than GDP since 1980 through the collapse in 2008"

WTF are you talking about?

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 14:24 | 2596508 Canaduh
Canaduh's picture

Anyone know how the Forbes family amassed their initial fortune?? Bueller?

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 02:17 | 2597976 rocker
rocker's picture

They increased by agreeing with Cheney when Cheney said, "Deficits don't matter"

At that time he said with his 'Cantor Smirk' "The economy will grow out of it." Said on the Scudlow Show.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 09:29 | 2596090 michigan independant
michigan independant's picture

 but in reality, they don’t.

http://www.deflation.com/the-roving-cavaliers-of-credit/

 

 

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 13:30 | 2596439 GernB
GernB's picture

I fail to see your point. You're argument appears to be against a gold standard because it won't fix everything? Lets not fix anything then because there will always be a way around every fix.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 15:31 | 2596621 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

"What specific point in this article do you disagree with?"

With the Forbes family, quinvariously, no such point is ever required, their lifelong perfidy speaks for itself.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 11:12 | 2596204 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Why so many downvotes?  It's true--the only entrepreneuers we hear about are the ones who had nothing to lose--Gates, Jobs, Zuckerburg--all had well off family to back them up.  The stakes for failure were, what?  Getting bailed out by their parents.  The American dream is already dead.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 15:20 | 2596595 GernB
GernB's picture

You focus too much on the ones you hear about. Every major city has thousands of small business owners, many of which started with nothing. Many of whom would now be considered rich. Its true it's not like the 80s when everyone and thier brother was starting a business, but the American dream isnt dead its just severly wounded.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 15:30 | 2596615 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

"He has no idea what true free enterprise or creating something yourself is."

Much thanx, ghenny, much thanx.

Stevey F and his old man and the rest of the effing Forbes family (including John Forbes Kerry, that poser claiming to be a dem) should simply be used for target practice, they way they love using others.***

That godawful phoney bullcrap list of the world's richest is such baloney on top of all their other baloney.

***Ruth Paine, a relative to both the Forbes and Cabot families, ingratiated herself with the Oswalds, obtain Lee Harvey Oswald a job at the Texas School Book Depository.

 

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 17:22 | 2595378 mendigo
mendigo's picture

I find it hard to believe that you really believe that.
The gold standard only serves to put more power in the hands of the wealthy few - if you are one of those than your positon is very logical. Gold is a tangible thing which is easily horded and hidden - who will have possesion of the bulk of it if/when tshtf? As you well know, if it serves the purposes of the cb's who serve the few, then even your little stack will be taken if/when necessary. The weathly few are afraid of paper money (or even better electronic currency) because it can be printed away if even the commoners somehow momentarily gain power.

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 20:42 | 2595642 BigJim
BigJim's picture

  Gold is a tangible thing which is easily horded and hidden... then even your little stack will be taken if/when necessary.

Hmmm. No contradiction there!

   The weathly few are afraid of paper money (or even better electronic currency) because it can be printed away if even the commoners somehow momentarily gain power.

Hahaha!  That's why 99% of the political Establishment hate gold, right? Because they're hoping the commoners will gain power, and... er... print away their wealth.

Congratulations. I think you've just hit a new low in anti-gold trolling, which is quite an achievement around here. You, sir, are not just stupid;  you are heroically stupid.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 01:53 | 2595915 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

Really?

I sympathize where you're coming from, I really do.  I get that the vast majority of the gold in the world resides in the hands of those who have collected it through usary, and that those who hold the gold will benefit the most- at first, at least.

Here's the thing, though.  No matter how rich you are on paper, sooner or later it becomes necessarity to buy toilet paper and restock the pantry. Those everyday necessities are the legitimate province of the common man.  Eventually, and by that, I assume a long period of time- that hidden gold would have to be paid to those who engage in productive endeavor.  No matter which tangible commodity, whether it be wheat or gold, is chosen, eventually it will lead to relief for the average person.  That may take a hundred years, given the scope of the theft we've all been subjected to, but at least there is a light at the end of that tunnel.

To be fair here, I hate gold.  You may ask why, but simply put, it is because I don't have much of it.  I live in an area, and come from a people, where frugality is the rule of everyone surrounding me.  In 1964, when they stopped coining 90% silver as pocket change, almost everyone started throwing that change into jars in sheds and in the back of closests.  As far as I know, almost no one held gold, but everyone has a "wierd" old relative with a coffee can full of mercs hidden away somewhere.

If we're going to hit the reset button, as we need to, why not reward the poor grandchildren of mechanics and farmers that have waited patiently for better than 40 years by making silver the standard?  Hell, even stainless steel would be fine with me.  Gold is nice and all, but using it as backing is just licking the hands of those who caused this mess in the first place.  We absolutely require money that is based on something more tangible than fiat, which is where I take exception to your post, but that money need not be gold- it could be anything from frogs to BTUs, for all I care.  

The important thing, perhaps the only thing, is that money should not be created at whim or by decree.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 06:14 | 2596005 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

"No matter how rich you are on paper, sooner or later it becomes necessarity to buy toilet paper ...."

Or we just debase your currency to the point where all that fiat you keep hoarded in your mattress serves the purpose better.

I hope Uncle Ben hurries up and does the next round of QE in time for us to have a few extra bucks to chuck in the wood burning stove for heat this winter.

Forward!

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 09:38 | 2596097 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 If we're going to hit the reset button, as we need to, why not reward the poor grandchildren of mechanics and farmers that have waited patiently for better than 40 years by making silver the standard? 

Well, he does say he's in favor of competing currencies. So there's no reason why silver couldn't be monetised that way, and find its true market value.

But you're a little confused about money. What makes gold the commodity most suitable for money is that the stock is much, much greater than the flow. Silver is now used in a wide range of industrial processes and the flow is a significant proportion to the remaining (and dwindling) stock, and, once it's been used, the vast majority of it is economically unrecoverable. It's gone.

Don't get me wrong, I think silver is a great speculative opportunity; I own quite a bit myself.  And I hope all your 'weird' relatives and friends hit the jackpot when its price is no longer suppressed and their foresight is finally rewarded.... but that may not happen until a major reset.

Which brings me to

    Hell, even stainless steel would be fine with me. 

I should have mentioned there are other commodities besides gold where the stock is greater than the flow. Pebbles, for instance. Ignoring their non-fungibility for the moment, the problem with using pebbles is that unless you want to drive around with a pickup truck full of them them every time you want to buy your groceries, it's not practical as money - there's just too much of it. The same applies to stainless steel. It fails the scarcity test identified by Aristotle all those years ago.

I suggest you acquaint yourself with the ideal properties of money:

    http://www.gold-speculator.com/gold-investing-101/4476-aristotles-qualit...

Some of those characteristics are not as important as they were back then.... durability, for instance, is less of an issue now because our money would, in the main, merely represent an amount of the underlying commodity, rather than be the commodity itself.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 10:32 | 2596160 zhandax
zhandax's picture

I get that the vast majority of the gold in the world resides in the hands of those who have collected it through usary

You also realize that the US's 8000 tons of it was 'handed over' to the federal reserve for safekeeping, but can be taken back just as easily because it belongs to the people of the United States as their lawful currency.  It could be reclaimed in one of two ways and one is charter revocation.  This is the same gold which formerly circulated as coinage pre-1933.    The most cleansing act of a gold standard is to place it in everyone's hands.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 11:14 | 2596209 aerojet
aerojet's picture

You're wrong--the way things work right now, the Fed creates new money out of thin air which the wealthy have first access to and nothing ever trickles down to regular people.  If we had sound money, the oligarchs would either have to spread the wealth or they would quickly experience a French Revolution type end.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 15:33 | 2596623 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

This endless drivel about the Gold standard is by idiots who have no understanding of anything, or are complete fraudsters.

It is the hierarchical control of money as credit to the super-rich, and as debt to the rest of us that is of paramount importance.

All else is bullcrap.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 23:19 | 2597750 bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

the gold standard doesn't exist in a vaccum. it's part of the creditor debtor balance. 

if you go on the gold standard, you cannot expect any measure of success without a full overhaul of the bankruptcy system to allow for expedited bankruptcies and a total federal plan for the expediting foreclosures and refinancing and repurchasing housing. 

 

in addition to this you need to overhaul state creditor/debtor laws and basically put in place a national standard for state wide debt clearance. this is truly the stuff of biblical proportion in terms of forgivance of debt. 

 

after this is all and done the entire banking system is mostly out of business and ---there may be a chance for the fed to reboot itself. for this type of socialist action to actually happen a tremendous amount of social inertia must be in favor of it. but this is precisely the type of inertia that could sweep into power a communist dictatorship, which would of course nationalize the PRIVATE banking of the states. this would be a truly horrific outcome. the treasury should be able to conduct its own PUBLIC banking which is now captured by the fed , however, should the private banking system be taken fully by government control, you will looking at a french revolution style outcome where the 'people' have a disastrous economy for decades until full scale capitulation to private banks comes back. this is the pattern of history. as a jew, i have read about the history of 'my people' which has frequently been tied to the greedy behavior of a number of jews ===the ones who are bankers and lavish their communities with gifts====while these communities may be culpable for some actions-----the history of governments is such that they eventually need to attract foreign capital. you can only attract so much freely lent foreign capital with a publicly owned back. look at russia. their only 'investors' were the soviet block countries who were forceed to 'lend' at the butt of a gun. 

this is why empires don't work so well to begin with. the more you push the world , the more the world pushes back on you. when empires crumble, they inevitably torch the banks and bankers as they usually should, but it is part of a greater set of decisions where the crumbling regime is usually replaced by fanatics who themselves are also 'human' and prone to self dealing and delusions of grandieur. the power of the people must be de-centralized and this can only happen with many PRIVATE decision makers that have a system of law to allow for them to make legitimate loans that CAN fail, while posing no systemic risk to the system. 

that said, the problem we have now is the central bank has the treasuries ballz in a vice. this is what the next decade will bring to europe and to the U.S. and everyone knows higher interest rates are coming to the u.s. after they finish with europe unless there is a war that precludes the existance of 'interest rates' all together, where the u.s. government basically forces americans to buy war bonds by stealing their social security and other investments. 

so perhaps, i am putting the cart before the horse. 

the question is then------what does the u.s. government do if it cannot stop the banks from destroying the monetary/taxation system by hyperinflating or by hyperdeflating . what if the 'money' control system stops responding to efforts of manipulation----the other system which relies on  non-voluntary (non-money-based)  transaction based becomes the issue---that system being the system of government violence and decree---what does the government do with the barrel of its gun. 

 

as mao  is supposedly misquoted to have said--and maybe is more machiaveli---all political power comes from the end of a gun. that is only the case , after the system of credit collapses, and it's getting there.

 

zeev. 

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 19:15 | 2595520 Seer
Seer's picture

Exactly!  It's how fucks like Forbes got his money (inflation - wealth transfer).

Further, let's ask Stevie boy if he's got a clue on the exponential function: his mantra is, as is for all TPTB- GOWTH (at all costs).

TOne of the oligarchy suggesting "fixes," ha ha!...

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 23:00 | 2595829 i-dog
i-dog's picture

That's a most uncharacteristic outburst from you, Seer! ... and it's inaccurate!

1. Forbes got his money from his father's and grandfather's incredible success in running newspapers and magazines (a service industry, not a resource and labour exploiting industry).

2. As long as populations continue to grow, so must economies continue to grow. That should be self-evident and is quite separate from the issue of interest growth and exploitation growth! We must first stop population growth before we can even begin to address the other issues.

3. He is very rich, but he is not part of the entrenched American criminal oligarchy. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water ... give him a hearing and don't be blinded by pop ideology.

So .......

A. We must return to a sound economy that produces ... producing for internal consumption and producing for external trade.

B. We must reduce the costs of running the economy ... reducing the size and cost of government and reducing the income expectations of everybody within the economy. The external debt must be reduced, not increased!!!

C. We must remove the central bank monopoly and primary dealer cartel. Sound money requires not only a gold and/or silver standard, but also open competition between means of exchange.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 10:22 | 2596145 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

US citizens have this special knack: presenting a point and a few seconds later, destroying their own point.

Populations growing doesnt go hand in hand with growing economy. How? By reducing the expectations of everybody within the economy.

By the way, as Malthus stated, in US citizen economical environment, a non growing population also requires a growing economy.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 15:34 | 2596625 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

So true....

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 11:15 | 2596214 aerojet
aerojet's picture

How is big media not resource and labor exploiting?  Last I looked, journalists were never making bank.  A living wage might be more likely. 

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 00:50 | 2597908 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Steve Forbes, self-made man, not.  He inherits money for a living, and like most in his class, is probably not at all interested in the prosperity of the other 99%.  As far as innovation = prosperity, I dunno.  The digital and technical innovations of the last 30 years have done nothing but devaste the middle class, as their jobs become automated or off-shored out of existence.  Can someone explain to me how going on the gold standard could change this?

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 21:21 | 2595702 killallthefiat
killallthefiat's picture

Do you think that Steve Forbes represents the will off the people?  Is he a modern day William Jennings Bryan? </sarc>

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 15:35 | 2596628 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

Negative, Forbes is a modern day sack of sh*t.

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 17:27 | 2595384 vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

A-FUCKING-MEN Steve Forbes! Your rhetoric is good today, irrespective of many of your positions of yesterday.

The day when investing in productive real (ie not gamed, not fake fed printed) capital and industy is a day when a) current system CRASHES and b) we commence road to recovery.

Sat, 07/07/2012 - 19:18 | 2595525 Seer
Seer's picture

WRONG!  It's NO different than what HAS been happening.  He, and all the other big rollers, makes his money by (slight) shifts in the economy.  He's just looking to force another shift so that he can suck more off of the people...

Again, the ONLY thing that these fuckers can do is promote growth, for it is growth that keeps them sitting on their thrones.

FUCK FORBES!

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 07:53 | 2596038 Bob
Bob's picture

Hey, how can you hate the player? 

I remember quite clearly that he was THE primary media business celebrity pushing for elimination of Mark to Market accounting as the solution to the "global financial crisis." People listened because he is a rich fuck and rich fucks have proven they know what they're doing, rah, rah.  Otherwise, nobody would be listening to him now . . .

Mark to Myth has worked pretty good, hasn't it?

Yup, Steve Forbes is a very special guy. 

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 11:17 | 2596216 aerojet
aerojet's picture

The problem is, we're at the end of the growth cycle, just like Japan.  The Boomers are played out.  Most of them will be eating dog food or leeching off relatives for their remaining years.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 15:37 | 2596634 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

Oh wow, aerojethead, you have a real knack for repeating the same tired drivel over and over again.

Think much for yourself lately?????

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 11:27 | 2596222 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

Seer, you see nothing. Forbes and others that can actually see understand the difference between free markets and centrally planned economies.  I could explain the differences to you, but your state educated mind simply couldn't appreciate it, and i'll not waste my time. Then you have the great wisdom to disdain him for promoting growth, what do you suggest then, contraction? 

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 11:37 | 2596255 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Nice handle.

You know, when you are looking for depletion of resources as US citizen do, at one moment, it no longer be a question of suggesting.

When resources are gone depleted, they are gone depleted.

When you live in an abundant environment (as US citizens have inherited from previous human beings), you might suggest to work short hours to make a decent living or work long hours to make a magnificent living.

When you live in a scarce environment, suggestion is suddenly off, you have to work long hours, often not make any decent living.

And when you live in a depleted environment, well, welcome to the future, as brought to you by US citizens.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 12:57 | 2596391 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

When resources are gone depleted, they are gone depleted. Yes, this statement has merit, but the thing you and others miss is something called 'innovation'.  When men are free to discover and invent, then they usually do.  And as far as the US having abundant environment, there are plenty of other countries with even more abundance of recources, just less freedom to unlock them. So its people remain poor(probably like the country you live in). And if things continue as they are in the US, then this freedom will soon be gone here also, point being is that politics play as much a part of the standard of living of its people as its resources.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 19:10 | 2597130 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

ahh yes the "age of discovery" tale,

When men are free to discover and invent, then they usually do.  And as far as the US having abundant environment, there are plenty of other countries with even more abundance of recources, just less freedom to unlock them. So its people remain poor

the freedom to discover, and invent patents to resources, and freely suck the host country dry as that patent or resource is sent back to amrka, whose population is less than 6% of the global total, and uses 45% of the world's resources, while the "leader" installed in the "discovered" resource country is handsomely rewarded for exporting the resources while the nationals continue to suffer poverty.

when "men are free to discover and invent" we appear to get opaque "financial" market theft, drones and nanotech designed to oppress humans, biowarfare, GMO foodstuff, toxins "hidden" in the human environment. . . exploitation and dis-ease.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 22:39 | 2597667 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

It seems to give you great pleasure to mock freedom and Liberty. Hope you receive as much pleasure in your soon coming slavery.

Mon, 07/09/2012 - 00:58 | 2597916 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Yes we are all waiting for the innovations that get rid of fossil fuel dependencies, how's that going so far? The US has sqaundered many of its resources already, oil, timber, etc.  The low hanging fruit was picked long ago, and it's becoming more problematic to steal the resources of other countries by bribery, cunning and violence. Meanwhile China is out there cutting deals with everybody, as unlike the US they actually plan decades ahead.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 15:38 | 2596637 sgt_doom
sgt_doom's picture

TrulyDeceiving --- where exactly are these mythical "free markets"?

The rest of us rational thinking people only see rigged crapola from the banksters.

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 22:44 | 2597656 TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

It's quite obvious, even to those of us who aren't rational thinkers (if they think like you then it's a complement to be irrational) that there are barely any free markets left.

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