Anti-Gold Conservatives

by: Gary North

Within the American conservative movement, opponents of the gold standard – any form of gold standard – have always dominated the leadership. Newcomers may be unaware of this.

The average political conservative today is suspicious of the welfare state. He opposes price inflation. He wants “sound money.” But his knowledge of money and banking is limited. Until Ron Paul’s 2007–8 run for President, the average conservative voter had heard little about the Federal Reserve System.

Discussions of the FED are usually limited to the financial media. Debates are limited to whether the FED is wise in holding to, or changing, the federal funds rate. Few readers of the “Wall Street Journal” or viewers of CNBC could tell you exactly what the federal funds rate is, why it is important, or how the Federal Reserve controls it.

Discussions of the Federal Reserve in the mainstream media are also limited to policy matters. No one raises the fundamental issue of why and how it possesses the legal authority to set the federal funds rate, enforce banking rules, and control the money supply – sort of. No one argues that the Federal Reserve is the most powerful private agency that is covered by a veneer of public accountability. No one raises the issue of why the Web addresses of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks end in .org, but the Board of Governors ends in .gov.

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