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The Party of Ideas

[ 168 ] August 24, 2012 |

Finally, the Republicans — truly becoming the party of Paul Ryan with a little Ron Paul on the side — have the courage to consider some real solutions!

The Republican Party is set to call for the creation of a commission to look at restoring a link between the U.S. dollar and gold severed 40 years ago, the Financial Times reported on its website Thursday.

LGM has obtained advance copies of the platform, showing that the Republican Party want commissions to asses other important questions:

  • Does the sun revolve around the earth?
  • How many pet dinosaurs did families typically have in the first years of the Earth 6,000 years ago?
  • Do women have fewer teeth than men?  (A draft suggesting inquiry into the question of whether this gives women less decision-making capacity then men was rejected; the Republican platform has already answered that question in the affirmative.)
  • Can witches be identified by drowning?
  • Does Barack Obama have the brainpan of a stagecoach tilter?
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  • Malaclypse

    Because what an economy still recovering from a massive household debt crisis really needs is a deflationary spiral.

    Fuck me like a walrus, but these guys make GWB look sane and competent.

    • BigHank53

      On the other hand, you do have to admire the John Birch Society, even if only for their dogged persistence.

      • DrDick

        Who knew that a group that the Republicans called nuts would become the core of the Republican Party in a mere 50 years.

      • firefall

        No. I don’t have to, and I don’t. Persistence in the pursuit of lunacy is no virtue, to steal shamelessly.

    • Hogan

      Well, we all know that no currency is more stable than one based on gold. An armada in every garage!

      • wengler

        In fairness to the Spanish empire, slave-mined silver was their bane.

        • Hogan

          You know, we could probably get “slave-mined silver” added to the Republican platform.

          • i think that’s a great name for a punk band

            • rm

              No, heavy metal.

    • DrDick

      I think the problem is that they are both as dumb as Dubya and certifiably insane, which he was not.

  • NBarnes

    digby found a great quote from Ayn Rand on this one; “Gold money is a tangible value in itself and a token of wealth actually produced.”

    A token, you say? You mean, a marker that might then be exchanged for goods and services? So, if I were hungry and exposed to the elements, but had a large pile of gold in front of me, I might be able to trade some of that gold to someone else for food and shelter? And they would then… uh… well, you still can’t eat the gold, so they trade it on to someone else in exchange for goods and services, and so on and so forth.

    But that’s not money, because, according to Ayn Rand. “When you store your savings in the form of gold coins, they represent the goods which you have actually produced[.]”

    ‘Store your savings in the form of gold’ So… one would be using gold as some sort of store of value against wanting to redeem some of that value in the forms of goods and services which can fulfill needs that gold alone cannot?

    And, the final point… goldbugs would assert that script has no intrinsic value, unlike gold. Gold, as is obvious, is neither particularly useful (at least, no more so than many other trace metals used in some forms of electronics), nor can you eat it. Compare that to the US dollar; the intrinsic value of the US dollar is that the US federal government solemnly swears to accept your dollars in payment for your US taxes. You can assert that there’s no intrinsic value there because you still can’t eat dollars, but many, many people want dollars for this purpose, and to this end it is very, very easy to trade dollars for things you can eat. Easier than it is to trade gold in the same way. If that’s not intrinsic value, I don’t know what is.

    • ploeg

      Keynes deals with this with the appropriate level of ridicule:

      If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again… the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.

      The analogy between this expedient and the goldmines of the real world is complete. At periods when gold is available at suitable depths experience shows that the real wealth of the world increases rapidly; and when but little of it is so available our wealth suffers stagnation or decline. Thus gold-mines are of the greatest value and importance to civilisation. Just as wars have been the only form of large-scale loan expenditure which statesmen have thought justifiable, so gold-mining is the only pretext for digging holes in the ground which has recommended itself to bankers as sound finance; and each of these activities has played its part in progress — failing something better.

    • Gold, as is obvious, is neither particularly useful

      BUT GOLD USB CABLES

      • Warren Terra

        I can certainly understand a cable-backed system of currency.

        But we would have to fear competition from a revived Euro, a currency backed by the enduring value of Tuscan Whole Milk.

    • Heron

      I prefer a simpler, though similar, argument. If gold has intrinsic value, then why can’t you use it to pay a bear to hunt for you?

      If gold had an intrinsic generalized utility that paper money did not then, in the case you lay out wherein one is isolated in a snowstorm, you could convert it instantly into “food” or “warmth” without needing exchange, for that utility would be part of its basic properties. That you cannot proves it for what it is; a symbol, a stand-in, something worthwhile not in and of itself but as a medium of exchange based on the willingness of others to accept it, nothing more.

      • sparks

        A bear needs no inducement to hunt for you. You may not like the outcome, but the bear will be well fed.

        • Heron

          Hmm, I suppose I should have phrased that “why can’t you pay a bear to bring you food” or “…to hunt on your behalf” to avoid any humorous ambiguity.

          • mark f

            Doesn’t that question kind of hinge on factors besides method of payment, though?

            • Heron

              The point is that gold is not, in itself, valuable. If gold possessed a general, before-all-things utility, then that value wouldn’t require significant intelligence to desire than desire for food, sex or shelter does; it would be something that every living thing needs, and thus, something every living thing would find valuable. If gold were possessed of a natural utility as a “store of value” or “method of exchange”, that quality would be independent of human behavior or contingent considerations like the presence of a counter party willing to exchange goods or services. It’s barely a step up from believing in alchemy. The argument that gold has a discrete value independent of human activity assumes that gold can be exchanged for anything you want at anytime anywhere; it is basically mystical.

              • Heron

                bah terrible editing on my part:

                …then that value wouldn’t require significant intelligence to desireanymore than the desire for food, sex or shelter does..

              • mark f

                No, I understand all that. I’m just not sure that the whole bear thing makes a lot of sense. I mean, I don’t think I’m going to get a bear to do much for me even if I offer him a lifetime supply of fresh salmon and a harem of sweet, subservient ladybears, but that doesn’t tell us anything useful about salmon meat or bear pussy.

      • Warren Terra

        Who wants a bear to hunt for them? After all, you probably know where you are anyway, and what happens once the bear finds you?

        • Snarki, child of Loki

          That all depends on your position on the Right to Arm Bears, now doesn’t it?

        • Bill Murray

          if you have family, you just have to outrun one family member

          • Walt

            Best reason to have children.

      • wengler

        I think from a conservative’s point of view, it’s not that gold has an great intrinsic value, it’s that the guv’ment can’t manipulate the value the gold.

        Which is ridiculous, because of course no one knows the exact supply of gold in the world, and therefore the supposed value of gold is easily manipulated.

        • Heron

          It’s even more ridiculous when you ask a simple question; why do states in a gold system hoard gold? To guarantee their currency against price shocks, of course, which is just a positive way of saying “to manipulate the local value of gold”.

    • mark f

      Also, if you prefer gold to straight cash, homie, what stops you from using your cash to buy gold?

    • Scott Lemieux

      Yeah, the idea that gold has an “objective” exchange value that paper money doesn’t has always been a special favorite of Rand’s nutty ideas for me.

      • NBarnes

        Pretty much what you said, only I felt that that particular dead horse might be starting to reanimate due to a bite from Zombie Ayn Rand (or a bite from the Zombie Eyed Granny Starver, who was himself bitten by Zombie Ayn Rand), so I took the time to make sure that it was thoroughly re-beaten.

      • Vance Maverick

        I can see the argument that the “subjective” exchange value of gold is broader than that of paper money — less vulnerable to material and cultural vicissitudes. But that only looks like an absolute value if your mind can’t handle shades of gray.

        • NBarnes

          But that only looks like an absolute value if your mind can’t handle shades of gray.

          So, inevitably so to Randroids, who are notoriously ambiguity intolerant?

        • Dave

          All fifty?

          • I was just scrolling up to make that joke. Damn you. Damn you straight to hell.

    • wengler

      I can’t wait until those pesky scanners at the supermarket are replaced with coin scales. It’s about time we went with what worked!

    • DrDick

      Gold fetishism simply highlights the underlying insanity that is libertarianism. Gold has little or no intrinsic value. You cannot eat it, use it as fuel, or make anything useful out of it (except for a few electronics applications). Its value is almost entirely symbolic. It is valuable because we say it is and people will accept it in exchange for all sorts of goods and services. It is no different from any other form of money, be it paper dollars, Aztec cacao beans, or West African cowries.

      • NBarnes

        I would give even odds that the cacao bean industry is bigger than the gold industry.

      • Heron

        What’s even more frustrating about it is that, according to anthropologists who have researched the issue, metal money probably began as a way of counting debts, in other words, as a way of keeping track of credit. If that is the case, then the entire argument that gold and silver have value(metallists always seem to forget that copper was the primary bullion metal throughout human history) is founded on their use tracking that most invisible and relative of economic relations, the IOU. And why do the same anthropologists suspect these metals were initially used for currency? Because they were almost completely useless for anything else!

        • DrDick

          That is mainly David Graeber in his Debt: The First 5,000 Years. An interesting and provocative book, much of which is solidly grounded in established anthropological research, but which also indulges in considerable speculation, as here, and makes a few rather large leaps of faith.

          • As opposed to the historical mythology of economists, which is soundly based on as much evidence as the rest of their axiomatic assumptions.

            • DrDick

              This is not an either or proposition. Anthropology, which is my field, has disproved many of their assumptions, but there are still problems with Graeber’s book.

              • I understand that anytime you’re dealing with prehistory, a larger-than-comfortable amount of empathic imagination and ahistorical bridging assumptions are going to be necessary to construct an historical narrative from physical evidence.

                But the economists are just making stuff up, as opposed to building an argument. At that point, maybe it isn’t black-and-white, but it’s definitely either-or.

      • firefall

        Thats not actually true – a large part of its original value, which it retains, is that of decoration, i.e. jewellery. Of course, basing a currency on that is slightly less rational than basing it on the exchange of coturier dresses.

        • DrDick

          Actually it is completely true. Try buying groceries with that coturier dress. It’s value, even as jewelry is primarily symbolic. Gold and copper were originally used for jewelry because they were associated with the sun, while silver has generally been associated with the moon. The relative scarcity of gold and silver relative to copper made them more valuable because they were originally only available to elites, with whom they became associated. The same was true in Native North America and copper, which was associated with elites.

          • DrDick

            I should add that those three metals were also used as jewelry because they are soft and easily worked. Copper and gold are also commonly found in relatively pure nuggets.

    • John

      But gold actually is valuable, in the sense that diamonds are valuable, or that any other metal is valuable – it can be used for decoration and for some industrial purposes, right? And that value is independent of the existence of any government, right?

      Whereas paper currency is only valuable insofar as the government that creates it is stable.

      I’m not a gold bug by any means, but it seems to me there’s a real distinction. Especially since many governments in the past have not been stable, and have, through their policies, made their paper currency worthless.

      • Warren Terra

        It is true that a material good can have an intrinsic good that a piece of paper lacks. Still, this presupposes the notion that you’re actually trading in the medium of that material good (which is profoundly unlikely – you’d almost certainly be using paper or digital representations of that material good, and a serious economic shock could easily make these supposedly backed notes lose their value, as Argentinans discovered a decade ago).

        But there’s no reason to think gold is a useful bit of material to almost anyone. Unless you’re involved in certain types of electrical manufacture or artistic endeavor, the “intrinsic” value of gold is entirely a social construct, just like the value of greenbacks.

        And the value of gold (1) is really not stable – measure it over the last century against the dollar, or against the commodity of your choice; (2) gives really weird incentives and powers to those places where gold is sitting in the soil, especially in the Amazon basin; and (3) is at least as subject to transforming discoveries as is paper money (witness Spain in the 17th century).

        The only good thing to be said about gold as a depository of value is that it’s counter-cyclical; millions of people flee to gold for reasons that are entirely a shared delusion, so if you get there early it’s a good shelter in a storm. It’s more than a bit of an anchor in calm seas, though.

        • DrDick

          A piece of paper may also have intrinsic value in this since. An original signed copy of the Declaration of Independence, a signed letter from Washington, or an original Picasso for instance. The values of all these things, including gold and diamonds, is absolutely no different than the value of paper dollars. This is purely culturally constructed, symbolic value. It has value not in its own right, like wheat or meat, but simply because some culture says it does.

          • rea

            More important, though, money doesn’t need intrinsic value–intrinsic value is a distraction from the purpose of money. The purpose of money is to enable you to calculate how many chickens it takes to buy a cow.

            • John

              Money has several purposes. Certainly one of them is to be a “store of value”, which has nothing to do with how many chickens it takes to buy a cow.

              • Pseudonym

                So it’s a way of calculating how many of yesterday’s chickens it takes to buy tomorrow’s cow.

              • DrDick

                It is a) a measure of value (rea’s point, b) a means of exchange, c) and a store of value, but all of these uses are interconnected.

          • John

            Are food products (wheat, meat, whatever you can give to a bear to get it to do your bidding(!)) the only things with intrinsic value? Does, for instance, steel have intrinsic value? Do diamonds?

            It seems to me that it’s a little more complicated than “food products have intrinsic value, (almost?) everything else is culturally created.” There’s a lot of variation. And it seems rather perverse to compare the value of a Picasso (which I’d agree is culturally created) to the value of paper money (which is created by our confidence in the government that issues it). That’s really not the same thing.

            • DrDick

              Anything which has a practical use (food, materials to construct tools & shelter, fuel, etc.) has intrinsic value. That is, it can be used to make something you need to live or which enables you to make something which you can use for that. All money, including gold, has only symbolic value (other goods also have symbolic, as well as intrinsic, values). The real distinction is that purely symbolic value is ultimately arbitrary, while intrinsic value can be calculated in terms how much it adds to survival and productivity.

              The “confidence in the government that issues it” is exactly the same thing as the value of a Picasso (which is based on our confidence in the ability of the artist and the uniqueness of the painting). Both are completely culturally constructed symbolic values.

              • Pseudonym

                You’ve clearly never tasted my grandmother’s greenback soup.

            • rm

              There is no “intrinsic.”

      • sparks

        That should be “some few industrial/electronic purposes”. Gold isn’t terribly useful, diamonds aren’t useful above certain sizes. Neither is rare. Ornaments have no real intrinsic value and there are more rare minerals around which are much more useful to us.

        • Bill Murray

          Gold would have many more uses if it weren’t used as money and desired for ornamentation. Aluminum was in many places in Europe considered more valuable than gold until the Hall-Heroult process was developed.

      • Heron

        By the same logic paper money is still just as valuable due to the vast economic uses of paper, as well as the constituent materials “paper” money is created from. In the case of the US, that’s cotton and a whole host of other textiles. Without gold industry loses an extremely high-fidelity conductor, without paper and textiles many industries cease to exist.

    • ironic irony

      “Gold, as is obvious, is neither particularly useful….. nor can you eat it.”

      But you can drink it in a shot of Goldschlager! That has to count for something. ;-)

      • Warren Terra
        • DrDick

          And either way, you slowly poison yourself.

          • Linnaeus

            Heavy metals = bad.

            • DrDick

              As someone who lives daily with the legacy of over a century of hardrock mining, it is indeed. Pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, and children are advised to limit their intake of fish from the Clark Fork River (the river that runs through it) owing to the levels of heavy metals (mostly copper and arsenic, but others as well). fat old men like myself, however, can eat all we can catch.

  • Nom de Plume

    Can witches be identified by drowning?

    Can sheep’s bladders be employed to prevent earthquakes?

  • mds

    Does the sun revolve around the earth?

    It does if the Bible is inerrant and literally true**. So, yes.

    How many pet dinosaurs did families typically have in the first years of the Earth 6,000 years ago?

    I’m pretty sure that this one is also in the platform.

    Does Barack Obama have the brainpan of a stagecoach tilter?

    If we freely assume that Mr. Burns actually meant “Negro,” then this one is already in there, too.

    **”literally true” shall not be taken to mean “literally true” in the context of the Beatitudes, jubilee years, rendering unto Caesar, camels passing through eyes of needles, the penalty for killing a fetus, the Song of Solomon, etc., etc., etc.

    • Heron

      …camels passing through eyes of needles…

      This doesn’t really change the nature of the argument really, but a history TA of mine during my undergrad years had an interesting take on this saying. Apparently, it was common among Aramaic speakers of the time living near the port of Caesarea(as Jesus would have) to call mooring ropes “camels” due to their prickly nature. So it’s a possibility that what Jesus was saying here was not the fantastical “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle…”, but the far “Earthier” and workmanly “It’s easier to pass a mooring rope through a needle’s eye than it is for a rich man to get in to Heaven.”

      • Warren Terra

        Does this notion work once you recall that the gospels were originally written not in Aramaic but in Greek?

        • Now, I’ve heard that this was a reference to a particularly narrow opening in the Jerusalem city wall which was popularly known as the Needle Gate.

          • Malaclypse

            While that is a commonly-heard story, it is wrong.

          • mark f

            Right, and it wasn’t particularly difficult for a camel to get through, either. So really what Jesus was saying is that rich people are like the rest of, or maybe better even, and that they can get into Heaven with ease. That’s what most of us assumed by default anyway, so I’m not sure why Jesus felt the need to go on and on about it. Frankly, most of us wish he’d just shut the fuck up and get on with slut shaming and the party tricks.

            • Malaclypse

              the party tricks

              He could’ve played guitar better than Hendrix
              He could’ve told the future
              He could’ve baked the most delicious cake in the world
              He could’ve scored more goals than Wayne Gretzky
              He could’ve danced better than Barishnikov
              Jesus could have been funnier than any comedian you can think of
              Jesus was way cool

              • wengler

                If you could turn water into wine, you would also be the coolest cat at the party.

                And have you ever drunk any of that guy’s blood? Dude was loaded all the time.

                • JP Stormcrow

                  I was standing down in Jerusalem Town one day
                  singing
                  … I am the way

                  I can walk on the water and I can raise the dead
                  it’s easy…. I’m the way

                  don’t tell nobody but I kissed Magdalene
                  right on the mouth
                  I said Mary it’s okay I’m the way

                  Every son of God gets a little hard luck sometimes
                  specially when he goes around saying he’s the way

        • wengler

          Shut up. The Bible was written in American by the hand of God.

        • Lee

          I thought that the either Mark or Mattew was written in Aramaic?

          • Hogan

            Parts of the OT were written in Aramaic; all of the NT was in Greek.

      • rea

        Jesus did not, by the standards of the time, live anywhere near Caesarea (which was located in another country from Nazereth)

        • Lee

          Nazareth and Ceasarea where both parts of the somewhat autonomous province of Judea, basically the northern half of Israel with a little bit of modern Syria and Jordan.

          • El Guapo

            Brian: Excuse me. Are you the Judean People’s Front?

            Reg: F*ck off! We’re the People’s Front of Judea!

          • rea

            Not correct.

            Nazareth was in a technically independent client state ruled by Herod Antipas (the Salome and John-the-Baptist guy).

            Caesarea was the capital of the Roman province of Judea.

            • LeeEsq

              This seems to be correct.

      • Kurzleg

        I think the larger point is that you can’t bribe a camel to go through a needle’s eye.

        • mark f
        • wengler

          I thought the point was that rich people can change the meaning of the phrase so that it might be possible for them to make it in to heaven.

      • DrDick

        Regardless, it is no more possible to pass a nautical hawser through the eye of a sewing needle than it is an actual camel, if not quite as outrageous an assertion.

        • Pseudonym

          But have you ever tried passing a needle through the eye of a camel?

          • DrDick

            Perhaps not as difficult, but definitely far more dangerous to you. Those bastards kick and bite.

  • Mike

    Asses is right. Like Charlie Pierce said, they’re trying to give Paul Krugman a stroke.

    • DrDick

      And that would be the whole point, since he is one of the few highly visible public figures willing to say outright that they are delusional and lying and to document it.

  • Furious Jorge

    Does Barack Obama have the brainpan of a stagecoach tilter?

    No, but he certainly does have the sloping brow and cranial bumpage of the career criminal …

    • Can I have my calipers back when you’re done with them?

      • wengler

        Furious Jorge’s bulbous parietal means you aren’t getting them back.

        • Warren Terra

          My extensive research suggests the true evidence Dave isn’t getting his calipers back can be found on the lower part of Jorge’s temple, not his Parietal.

        • Davis X. Machina

          Is that a bump on your parietal, or are you happy to see me?

  • JP Stormcrow

    Can witches be identified by drowning?

    There is currently a subcommittee of the RNC tossing very small rocks into a pond.

    • Lee Hartmann

      Not ducks?

      • JP Stormcrow

        Are you saying Republicans are wise in the ways of science?

    • mark f

      Mike Gravel switched parties?

  • Bill Murray

    Shouldn’t there be one about women and their number of ribs?

    • Bill Murray

      and the value of pi

      • The value of pie fluctuates with the seasons. Cherry pies are very valuable right now, with the value of apple pies rising steadily….

        • Hogan

          And those pumpkin futures are going to peak right around January.

        • DrDick

          But rhubarb pies retain their value all summer long!

    • Kurzleg

      And the speed of light.

    • Karate Bearfighter

      I can’t believe they left out the commision to study fucking magnets and how they work.

      • Malaclypse

        That’s like the square root of a million. No one will ever know.

      • elm

        How does it work? I’ve tried to fuck a magnet many times but have never managed to get the hang of it.

        • mark f

          First you get a walrus . . .

  • rm

    Say what you will about the planks of the Republican Party Platform, at least they have ideas.

    • Hogan

      And not old tired ideas like single-payer, but ancient and decrepit ideas like the gold standard.

      • DrDick

        Hey, they are conservatives, you know.

        • rm

          I was attempting to Godwin and Lebowski at the same time, there. I figured they would cancel each other out.

    • Holden Pattern

      Yeah, I always agreed with Serial Adulter Gingrich that the Republicans were the party of ideas. What he never mentioned was that almost all of the the ideas they had were old, failed, stupid ideas that had been discarded decades (or in many cases, centuries) ago.

      • wengler

        Why no law ensuring that women have dowries?

        I know why. Gay marriage has destroyed America.

        • Warren Terra

          I can see the Traditional Marriage arguments for Dowries, or on the other hand for Bride Prices (which have a strong Biblical precedent, albeit along with polygamy) – but I think there’s real Second Amendment potential for a return to truly traditional marriage.

    • JP Stormcrow

      Say what you will about the planks of the Republican Party Platform, at least they have ideas it’s an ethos.

      • Joseph Slater

        Beat me to that.

      • rea

        It isn’t an ethos–it’s fuckin’ nihlism.

  • Izzy

    Jesus. Let’s have Angelina Jolie hang out in a lake and hand President Obama a sword. Then everything will be nice and legit.

    • I would watch a farcical aquatic ceremony if it featured Angelina Jolie.

      • Warren Terra

        You’re really going to place your faith in some moistened bint?

      • NBarnes

        I would watch Angelina Jolie read a phone boot, and I’m hardly alone in that. So it’s a bit of a gimme statement.

        • NBarnes

          BOOK. arg.

          • rea

            I thought you were channeling Maxwell Smart

      • mds

        I would watch a farcical aquatic ceremony if it featured Angelina Jolie.

        So, you saw Beowulf, then?

        • Warren Terra

          Doesn’t count. That was a synthetic imitation of Jolie, of which there after all are many, albeit that particular imitation was voiced by Jolie.

          Hackers would have been a better reference.

          • Hogan

            But unlike Hackers, it was a farcical aquatic ceremony.

    • Do they even make samite anymore? Let alone the purest shimmering variety necessary for transfers of extreme executive power to take place.

      • Davis X. Machina

        Nope. Too much anti-samitism.

  • Snarki, child of Loki

    I can’t believe that the GOP is giving Obama a chance to give an updated version of the “Cross of Gold” speech.

    • JP Stormcrow

      Excuse me, “Crescent of Gold.”

      • Holden Pattern

        But how can you be crucified on a crescent? Having an Islamunist preznit is really screwing with our precious stock of hoary religious clichés.

        • Warren Terra

          I get no Google hits for cresnified (or crescnified). But surely it’s only a matter of time.

        • Njorl

          Christianity would be more interesting if Jesus was thrown to the lions. I might of stayed Catholic if the rosary had a big-ass lion head on it.

          • Holden Pattern

            Aslan welcomes you.

    • mark f

      If history teaches us one thing, it’s that Americans were positively tumescent with thoughts of a William Jennings Bryan presidency.

      • elm

        According to Stoller, his candidacy was the historical high point for the Democrats.

  • jon

    I, for one, am relieved that the Republican party has finally come to their senses and repudiated the rash, radical left wing communistic actions of Richard Nixon. That’s the last time they’ll permit a Quaker, or some other fringe minority religious group to run at the head of their ticket!

  • Gooooooooold, dagnabbit!

  • Malaclypse

    Does the sun revolve around the earth?

    The Great A’Tuin would like a word with you, heretic.

    • Bill Murray

      Tubal, Jerakeen, Berilia and Great T’Phon would probably tusk a heretic or two also

  • Gold, as is obvious, is neither particularly useful

    FALSE.

    • Warren Terra

      It did manage to keep Mr. T from floating up into the air, or something.

  • Steve S.

    “the Republican Party want commissions to asses…”

    I had to read this a few times. My brain kept stopping in mid-sentence and wondering what this odd idiomatic phrase meant.

  • Manju

    They were also looking into Bimetallism, curiously enough, but weren’t sure how the Christian fundamentalists would react…as they appear quite confused.

    • Hogan

      I’m sure at least some of them are bi-curious.

      • Manju

        Sure, but the fear of Silver usually wins out. That FiveThirtyEight Blog has been pretty accurate.

        • This sudden burst of wit has made me ask: who are you and what have you done to Manju?

          • It’s always there, it’s just hidden beneath a thick layer of Robert Byrd.

    • elm

      I thought that the mixing of different materials was part of the Old Testament that Christians conveniently ignore…

  • Walt

    There are two possibilities here:

    1) It’s just a commission to humor the nutjobs in their base, or

    2) They’re really going to do it, from which we can only conclude that they are deep cover communists whose plan to destroy capitalism is coming to fruition. Nothing would revive the fortunes of communism quite as effectively as a return to the gold standard.

  • Manta

    I don’t think that the idea that we should go back to the gold standard is in the same categories of the other ideas (e.g., creationism): the other ideas contradict science (geology, astronomy, etc.), while the gold standard contradicts only economy, which is no more scientific (or fact-based) than astrology.

    • Walt

      It really is. The arguments in favor it don’t make much sense, and the historical record is grim. The evidence linking the Great Depression to the gold standard is pretty strong.

      • Anonymous

        “Pretty strong” by the standards of economy: if we used those standards in, say, medicine, we would still be debating the theory of humors and practicing bloodletting.

      • Not to mention the example of the overstretched Euro: the Gold Standard chains together economies that need to have a little slippage to work together effectively.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve read the comments and it appears for all of the frothing at the mouths they’ve forgotten that gold has been used as a medium of exchange an value for eons. Governments come and go, but gold and other precious metals values endure.

    It’s simply a matter of limited supply that give gold it’s value. All of the gold known to exist would fit in a cube of 68 feet.

    Why would anyone criticize an immutable standard such as this? 1) Simple. It is a ‘money’ that cannot be created nor destroyed since it’s an element and therefore is not subject to the political whims as our fiat money is. There can be no “monetary easing” which is a fancy term for inflating the currency.

    This is particularly troublesome for those politicians who wish to spend irresponsibly to buy votes from their constituent groups. They wish to spend and then later look for an easy way out of the debt.

    There is no mystery why this idea is not welcome with contemporary liberals.

    • DrDick

      And you are a complete idiot who knows nothing of economics or the nature of money. The very properties you mention make it a poor medium for money in a modern economy. Now if you wish to return to the Middle Ages, then it would be fine.

      • Anonymous

        We’ll meet again,
        Don’t know where,don’t know when.
        But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

        • Malaclypse

          What’s so poor about the stability of value?

          So we can add “the value of gold” to the long list of things you opine on without knowledge. Good to know.

          Again, no reasoning…just knee-jerk assertion. an actual awareness of the history of macroeconomics.

          Fixed for you, Jennie.

    • It’s the flexibility of fiat currency which makes economic growth possible. It’s the flexibility of fiat currencies that make international trade coherent. It’s the flexibility of fiat currency that keeps economic downturns from becoming civilization-ending catastrophes. It’s the flexibility of fiat currencies that keep Marxist predictions from coming true, and the wealthy being destroyed in a paroxsym of revolution.

      Oh, never mind. DrDick is right: you’re an idiot who thinks that your stash of gold coins will put you in the driver’s seat when we all start eating each other.

    • Hogan

      Natural law shows with geometric logic that the economy should be run for my benefit and no one else’s.