The Better Borrowing Bureau

More

The gold standard, it seems, is a sort of economic ginseng: a broad-spectrum financial snake oil that purports to cure almost any ill one can imagine. One of the interesting things emerging from the argument about the gold standard is that many of its proponents seem to believe that it will somehow force the government to spend less money, or balance its budget.

I have no idea why they believe this. Is the gold standard going to prevent the US government from issuing bonds? Will Congress have to lower tax rates in order to protect IRS agents from lower back strain? Seignorage, aka the "inflation tax" is not an important source of revenue for the federal government; it's not even a particularly important source of revenue for private banks, which collect most of it. The gold standard will not prevent the government from doing anything--except respond to changes in the demand for money.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In