Gold Standard, Precious Metal Coins Prompt Strong Opinions
As speculation to establish a gold standard gains momentum, economists are increasingly opposed to the idea, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, the increasing trendiness of using gold and silver coins as legal tender is viewed as a first step toward that end, and at least 12 states are presently dealing with legislation for those purposes. Both movements, using precious metal coins as legal tender and re-establishing a gold standard, have their base in opposition to the monetary policies of the U.S. government. Supporters of the gold standard view it as a method of compelling the government to curb spending and inflation. Those who endorse using gold and silver coins for purchases are demonstrating distaste for the dollar's decreasing value. "The centerpiece of U.S. monetary policy for the last hundred years has been the constantly depreciating dollar," according to Larry Hilton, a businessman cited with propelling the law Utah enacted last month. "Sometimes, just as a citizen, you have to stand up and say this is a problem." The Deseret News reports questions arise over whether a coin is worth what the inscription states or the daily value of the precious metal as reflected by the coin's weight. Economics professor Perry Mehrling of Barnard College in New York said the strong movement for silver and gold coins as legal tender is driven by "distrust and anxiety" for the financial system and stability of the government. Carnegie Mellon University economics professor Allan Meltzer said the gold standard, if enacted, will not endure as it has not in the past.
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