It was the late novelist and philosopher Robert Anton Wilson who said: “Convictions make us convicts.”
It’s a generalization. Some convictions are timeless. But there are many convictions that people cling to despite decades of mounting evidence to the contrary. Among that group are people — including at least one presidential candidate — committed to going back to the gold standard because they believe it to be the elixir that will solve all of our economic problems.
Yes, there are shiftless peddlers of gold who tout the yellow metal as the only meaningful asset in a post-apocalyptic economy. These are hucksters. These are not the people I’m writing about. I’m referring to those who continue to ignore stubborn facts, such as that the Great Depression came to pass while an international gold standard was in place, or that a recent poll of economists found precisely zero support for the restoration of the gold standard.
Why gold? Wasn’t that an ar