What was the Gold Standard? Why do I use an image of an old $20 bill as my avatar / image?
The gold standard did two things that people in power and governments severely dislike: 1) it limited their power and reach and 2) it placed power and independence in the hands of the regular people.
Money backed by gold can't be printed, because gold can't be arbitrarily printed or created. This limits the ability of governments to create war and exercise power over institutions or people. The reason why the US gov't has devolved into a rapacious empire is because there is practically no limit to any cost. Wars all over the planet? Not a problem. Prisons out of control and a Police State to monitor the Herd? No problem. Big Business wants to capture a sector of the economy by creating a regulatory thicket to block the little guy? No problem as gov't will create a department and enact legislation to crush small independent people. How much will all of that cost? Doesn't matter as the Federal Reserve will create the debt, monetize it and it is now "paid" for.
If you had the ability to open your browser, go to your bank account and move the decimal place around, or add numbers as you saw fit - you'd be thrilled. The idea is a silly one, but that is what the FED can, and does, do.
How it came to be that way and how to find out more - see below:
- The Creature from Jekyll Island, G. E. Griffin
- What has Government Done to Our Money? by Murray Rothbard
- A History of Money and Banking, by Murray Rothbard (links to a PDF download)
- Pieces of Eight, by Edwin Vieira
- The Case for Gold, by Ron Paul and Lewis Lehrman