George Phillips, New York Congressional Candidate, Campaigns on the Gold Standard

Campaign poster for Republican presidential candidate William McKinley, 1900.
Campaign poster for Republican presidential candidate William McKinley, 1900.

George Phillips, campaigning for the Republican nomination for Congress in mid-state New York, recently featured the gold standard as part of his economic platform. As reported by Binghamtonhomepage.com, Phillips stated in a high profile speech:

I think Fed policy is at the heart of inequality. Wall Street, the wealthiest have gotten wealthier because of this soft money policy. They’re getting returns on these bonds and doing massive investments. Main Street is struggling.  We can’t get this economy going. The Fed has tried to do too much. We need to return to stable money and gold.

Phillips hereby aligns himself with the two GOP presidential front runners, both of whom have praised the gold standard:

Donald Trump:

In a GQ video interview, the billionaire said he would support … the gold standard.

“Bringing back the gold standard would be very hard to do, but boy, would it be wonderful,” the billionaire continued. [“We’d have a standard on which to base our money.”]

Ted Cruz, to Rick Santelli, on CNBC:

I think the Fed should get out of the business of trying to juice our economy, and simply be focused on sound money and monetary stability, ideally tied to gold.

Gold standard proponents are on strong ground. In a white paper issued by the Bank of England in December 2011, Financial Stability Paper No. 13, the gold standard and Bretton Wood gold-exchange standard outperformed the Federal Reserve Note standard in effect since August 15, 1971 in every respect measured.

The gold standard’s track record is one of much better economic growth and job creation, fewer and shallower recessions, better job growth, lower inflation, and fewer banking and currency crises. According to Forbes.com contributor Charles Kadlec:

When compared to the Bretton Woods system, in which countries defined their currencies by a fixed rate of exchange to the dollar, and the U.S. in turn defined the dollar as 1/35th of an ounce of gold:

  • Economic growth is a full percentage point slower, with an average annual increase in real per-capita GDP of only 1.8%
  • World inflation of 4.8% a year is 1.5 percentage point higher;
  • Downturns for the median countries have more than tripled to 13% of the total period;
  • The number of banking crises per year has soared to 2.6 per year, compared to only one every ten years under Bretton Woods;

As to the Congressional race, according to Ballotpedia:

New York’s 22nd Congressional District is a battleground district in 2016. Incumbent Richard Hanna (R), who began serving in Congress in 2011, chose not to seek re-election in 2016, leaving the seat open. Several Republicans have declared at this time: Claudia Tenney, George Phillips, Aaron Price, and Steve Wells. Democratic candidates David Gordon and Kim Myers have declared as well. The primary elections will take place on Jue 28, 2016. The general election will take place on November 8, 2016.

Phillips is a member of the NRCC’s Young Guns Program in 2016. The Young Guns program “supports and mentors challenger and open-seat candidates in races across the country.”

Also according to Ballotpedia, the unemployment rate in NY-22 remains at a painfully high 8.4 percent. The U.S. Department of Commerce reported today that the U.S. economy grew during the first quarter at an anemic 0.5 percent annual rate.

Thus it is encouraging that credible candidates for federal office — Phillips, Cruz and Trump — are promoting the gold standard. The gold standard historically has the best track record of getting the economy, job creation, and economic mobility moving upward, upholding the American Dream of the opportunity to achieve economic security, and even affluence, by hard work and merit.

Ralph Benko, internationally published weekly columnist, co-author of The 21st Century Gold Standard, lead co-editor of the Gerald Malsbary translation from Latin to English of Copernicus’s Essay on Money, is American Principles Project’s Senior Advisor, Economics.