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Economists: Presidential Hopefuls Pining For Gold Standard Both Stupid And Misinformed

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The good old days.

Turns out those halcyon days of the late 19th century, propped up by a currency inviolably tied to a particular shiny object, so venerated by the Ted Cruzes and Rand Pauls of the world, and then paid lip-service to by everyone else because of said veneration? Yea, never happened.

“You can do a lot better than a gold standard,” said Michael Bordo, an economist and director of the Center for Monetary and Financial History at Rutgers University. He described the political interest in the precious metal as “pretty crazy….”

Mr. Bordo has calculated that economic volatility in the United States was significantly greater during the gold standard years, and the nation’s unemployment rate, on average, was almost a full percentage point higher.

“When people look back and say the gold standard was wonderful, they forget about the short-run swings,” he said.

The Good Old Days of the Gold Standard? Not Really, Historians Say [NYT]


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