Gary North on current economic affairs and investment marketsGary North -- Specific Answers
HomeContact MeTell a FriendText SizeSearchMember Area
Gain immediate access to all of our current articles, the question-and-answer forums, dozens of free books, and article archives. Click here for details on how to join.

About This Site
Academic Gaps
Capitalism and the Bible
Clichés of Protectionism
College Finances
Debt Management
Ellen Brown: Critique
Federal Reserve Charts
Gary North's Free Books
Get Published Here!
Gold Price & My Report
Keynes Project
Price Index (U.S.A.)
Questions for Jim Wallis
Remnant Review
Social Security/Medicare
Sustained Revival
Tea Party Economist
U.S. Debt Clock
Yield Curve
Your YouTube Channel
Gary North's Miscellany
Budgeting for Wealth
Business Start-Up
Career Advancement
Digital Tools
Education That Works
Evernote: Free Notes
Federal Reserve Policy
Fireproof Your Job
Goal-Setting for Success
Great Default
Inheritance Strategies
International Investing
Investment Basics
Job and Calling
Keynesian Economics
Marketing Case Studies
Precious Metals
Real Estate
Safe Places
State of the Economy
Stocks and Bonds
Video Channel Profits
War With Iran
Members' Free Manuals
Our Products
Contact Me
Tell a Friend
Text Size
Your Account
My 100% Guarantee
Privacy Policy
Terms of Use

This site powered by MemberGate

Historical Error #30: Gold's Price Rose in the Nineteenth Century.

Gary North
Printer-Friendly Format

Ellen Brown says that advocates of a gold coin standard argue that it would keep prices stable. But only government-issued fiat money will do this, she says.

Goldbugs maintain that a gold currency is necessary to keep the value of money stable. [Web of Debt, p. 359]

Goldbugs do not argue that a gold coin standard will keep prices stable. This all depends on whether the society is productive or not. If it is, prices will not remain stable. They will slowly fall as output increases. Or, as we might say, "The same amount of money is chasing more goods." Or, better yet, "Sellers of ever-larger quantities of goods are chasing the same amount of money."

Murray Rothbard was the major spokesman for a gold standard among academic economists. Here is what he wrote in his book, The Case Against the Fed.

Suppose that a precious metal such as gold becomes a society's money, and a certain weight of gold becomes the currency unit in which all prices and assets are reckoned. Then, so long as the society remains on this pure gold or silver "standard," there will probably be only gradual annual increases in the supply of money, from the output of gold mines. The supply of gold is severely limited, and it is costly to mine further gold; and the great durability of gold means that any annual output will constitute a small portion of the total gold stock accumulated over the centuries. The currency will remain of roughly stable value; in a progressing economy, the increased annual production of goods will more than offset the gradual increase in the money stock. The result will be a gradual fall in the price level, an increase in the purchasing power of the currency unit or gold ounce, year after year. The gently falling price level will mean a steady annual rise in the purchasing power of the dollar or franc, encouraging the saving of money and investment in future production. A rising output and falling price level signifies a steady increase in the standard of living for each person in society. Typically, the cost of living falls steadily, while money wage rates remain the same, meaning that "real" wage rates, or the living standards of every worker, increase steadily year by year. We are now so conditioned by permanent price inflation that the idea of prices falling every year is difficult to grasp. And yet, prices generally fell every year from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the latter part of the eighteenth century until 1940, with the exception of periods of major war, when the governments inflated the money supply radically and drove up prices, after which they would gradually fall once more. We have to realize that falling prices did not mean depression, since costs were falling due to increased productivity, so that profits were not sinking.

Second, she says this:

Greenbackers agree on the need for stability but question whether the price of gold is stable enough to act as such a peg. In the nineteenth century, farmers knew the problem first-hand, having seen their profits shrink as the gold price went up. [Web of Debt, p. 359]

Problem: gold's price did not rise. It remained just under $19 from 1834 to 1900. You can find the year-by-year information on the site of the National Mining Association.

Here is a chart of the dollar price of gold in the USA.

It took me about ten minutes to find these sources with Google.

So, she does not know what gold standard advocates teach about gold and consumer prices. She does not know anything about the price of gold in the United States in the nineteenth century.

Ellen Brown is an utterly incompetent researcher, or else she is just trying to put the shuck on the rubes: her readers.

For a detailed critique of Ellen Brown's economics, go here:

Printer-Friendly Format
 Tip of the Week
Sign up for my free
Tip of the Week
Verification Characters:    Type     J  4  L  1  E     here   

Tip of the week archives
On what this icon
means, and how it
can help you,
click here
 Q & A Forums
General Q&A Forum
Advertising and Resumés
American History Topics
Backyard Food Gardening
Banking and Politics
Blog Sites and Web Sites
Books Worth Reading
Bumper Sticker Slogans
Business Forum
Buying Smart
Christian Service Forum
College -- The Cheap Way
Education Alternatives
Food Storage
For Women Only
GNC Benefits
GNC Testimonials
Gold and Silver
Great Default Forum
Health and Diet
Health Insurance
Investments Forum
Iran War
Job, Calling, and Career
Leadership Development
Legacy Building
Less Dependent Living
Local Political Action
Non-Retirement Forum
One Good Idea
Police State
Public Speaking
Real Estate Forum
Remnant Review Forum
Safe Places Forum
Taxation Policy
Typographical Errors
Video Production Basics

Reality Check
 Discussion Forum
Search Discussion

Recent Forum Posts
• insurance
• Foreigners Stop Buying Treasury IOU's
• Technical Analysis
• Blood Moons Tetrad
• 60 mins piece, stock market rigged! Why Invest.
• 60 mins piece, stock market rigged! Why Invest.
• Sean Hyman Absolute profits secret calendar
• Investment Portfolio - Inverse Funds
• DowJones Ind Avg is a hoax
• Digital textbooks
• Joint Venture Oil & Gas Investing
• Trading Or Gambling?
• 5 year return on investment in Stock Market
• Bottom for Mining Stocks?
• Home Equity Loan for investment
• RIch Buy Real Estate, Poor Want Gold
• HUD bringing a bit of Chicago to Dubuque
• Buying a home/ putting it in child's name
• CNNFN Rent rate tool
• proposed elimination of 1031 exchange
• Business card for real estate
• Buy rentals in NW Indiana
• Market and Timing
• Housing Advice Sought...
• Too many Eggs in one basket???
• edit
• Sit On Two Mortgages?
• Motivated sellers
• Recommendations for Pre-Approval for Mortgage?
• Rental properties in hurricane country
• Middle Class squeezed out of Chicago
• An Article on Chile
• 5 Amazing, Cheap Places to Live as an Expat
• Oil Field Job Security
• Moving to TriCities Area
• PJ ORourke on the Baby Boom
• Is Vegas DOOMED?
• Second Passport- Mexico?
• Radiation dangers to US,World Confirmed
• Safety in numbers? Questions…..
• Best in Asia?
• Simple Exercise
• Coming to an airport near you ...
• S.W. New Mexico not looking so safe...
• I take it Retirement Armageddon is not available
• Post Retirement Career
• Social Security - when to start collecting
• 401K Risk
• Detroit Retirees Fight 83% Health Care Cut
• Lump Sum Early DROP
• Underfunded pensions
• 401k strategy
• Can I Avoid Medicare Entirely?
• Looking for a Financial Planner/CPA
• How to calculate retirement needs
• Two IRA questions:
• Rentals
• Why?
• Teaching in non-retirement
• Desert Tortoises
• Creating a Post-Retirement Consulting Career
• Christian Nation novel
• On Law Enforcement and Government
• MC = MR: True but useless?
• Ruppert Article
• Up from Slavery
• Don't accuse customers of cheating
• Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews
• Money Banned
• Question about gold not being ultimate asset
• Gary has wisdom
• help finding a decent rehab center
• Rodent Congressmen
• Evernote and Moleskine team up to create smart bus
• free service?
• How to quit my full-time job
• Fair joint ventures?
• Intern to Equity Holder
• Oil field business ideas?
• Turning Over Tables on Craigslist
• This might be crazy. Maybe not. I don't know.
• Best Ways of Starting an Online Business
• Copyright Law for Textbook Problems
• Help Needed with Music Appreciation Course
• Engineer starts rubber band braclet business
• Is my USP unappealing?
• Startup of a Daycare
• Last payment
• Employee Death