’s John Tamny: The 21st Century Case For Gold is “Excellent and Very Important”

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John Tamny, Political Economy Editor at, calls George Gilder’s new monograph, The 21st Century Case For Gold, published by the American Principles Project, “an excellent and very important read.”  Tamny:

“Thank goodness for Steve Forbes” is a frequent refrain among the small number of economics writers who support the dollar’s revival as a stable measure of value. Respected by serious people on the left and right, and among the various “Schools” of economic thought, Forbes’s strong support for gold-defined money lends the movement an air of credibility that otherwise wouldn’t exist.

Add George Gilder to what is a short list of grand names lending support to good money.  Readers interested in what drives Gilder’s thinking on the matter can access his new book The 21st Century Case for Gold: A New Information Theory of Money here.  It’s an excellent and very important read.

To read the full review, here.

And you can download a free and complete electronic version of The 21st Century Case For Gold here.

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 in Action’s Senior Advisor, Economics. Continue Reading

Ending Government Abuse of Money

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Richard Rahn, a Cato Institute senior fellow, has just read George Gilder’s “The 21st Century Case for Gold,” and he’s fascinated:

What is money? The coin and currency that you have in your pocket? The balances you have in your checking, money market or savings account? How about the value of your stocks and bonds? The government (mainly the Federal Reserve) provides numbers about the money supply — M1, M2, M3 and M0, which only goes to show that there is no simple definition on which all agree.

The economist-technologist-philosopher George Gilder, who has written many bestselling and provocative books, including “Wealth and Poverty,” “Microcosm,” “Telecosm,” “Sexual Suicide” and “Knowledge and Power,” has now produced a remarkable essay titled, “The 21st Century Case for Gold: A New Information Theory of Money.” In sum, Mr. Gilder argues that money is information, and that at some point a bitcoin-like non-government money will emerge on the Internet whose price will merge with that of gold, becoming bitgold.

Mr. Gilder notes that there are seven international units and measures, all grounded in basic constants of physics. These metrics are the second of time, the meter of extent, the kilogram of weight, degrees Kelvin of absolute temperature, the ampere of electric current, the mole of molecular mass, the candela of luminosity. These units cannot float because the metrics provide the basis of all industry and construction. He argues “the second of time” is the most basic because it is immutable and irreversible.

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Making the 21st Century Case for Gold

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George Gilder is a prophet. He’s been right repeatedly about almost every issue—from sex to Israel to economics—and now he’s back to tackle the most important — yet least debated — issue of our time: money.

Why is money—specifically, the value of our currency—so important? Why is it important to get right?

Many economists believe there is only one factor to worry about when it comes to monetary policy—inflation. But that’s not true — there are plenty of factors to consider. Here is one: Since the U.S. government officially abandoned a gold-backed dollar in 1971, workers’ wages have largely remained stagnant, creating an ever-widening gap between the rich and everyone else.

In his new book, The 21st Century Case for Gold: A New Information Theory of Money, Gilder argues that we need to abandon our failed discretionary money-printing policy in favor of the gold standard. Gilder writes about the inefficiencies of global currency markets and the chronic instability that has defined modern finance. He makes the case that gold is not the archaic monetary system that its critics claim it to be, but instead is the most technologically sound monetary system available—the only system that will work in a 21st century global economy.

Gilder describes a trip he took to China in the late 1980s with monetarism’s most prominent advocate, Milton Friedman. Friedman urged Chinese leaders to get control of their money supply, arguing that, with a stable money supply, economic growth would inevitably follow.

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Gilder’s “New Information Theory of Money” Fixes the Meaning of Money

George Gilder’s new monograph, “The 21st Century Case for Gold: A New Information Theory of Money,” offers a revolutionary alternative to today’s “deeply flawed understanding of the nature of money.” Drawing attention to the relationship between money and information, Gilder redefines and contextualizes the role of money in the 21st century as an information carrier in an information economy. Money is a “measuring stick” of economic activity, and nothing does this job better than gold.

Information is key to enterprise and innovation. “Money,” Gilder says, “is the channel that carries the information to investors, workers, small businessmen, major corporations and entrepreneurs.” Tampering with money distorts the information conveyed to people and organizations. That carries unintended consequences.

One such outcome is the all-too-cozy relationship between government and banks. The Federal Reserve has lured banks away from innovation and into the world of “proprietary trading” — the get-rich-quick plans that define the “new Wall Street.” Constantly changing currency allows banks to “thrive by serving government rather than entrepreneurs.” This does wonders for the profits of large financial institutions but robs the productive sectors of the economy of financial capital. The “new Wall Street” does not produce learning and hurts the truly productive members of society.

Because floating money creates big problems for an information-based economy, Gilder proposes an old solution with a new twist: defining the value of the dollar as a fixed weight in gold. Gold has long been the ideal monetary element for a number of reasons like its low melting point, resistance to decay, and natural relative scarcity. Continue Reading

George Gilder Demolishes Myth About Gold Standard

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What if the gold standard is not an antique but, rather, a “timeless classic” (as termed in a speech by Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann in September 2012)?  High tech guru George Gilder deploys cutting-edge science to show why this is so, based on Shannon information theory. Gilder’s analysis is neither eccentric nor anomalous.

The intellectual pedigree of the classical gold standard runs through two of the greatest scientists in history: Copernicus and Newton. Nicolas Copernicus, in his Essay on the Minting of Money eloquently lays out the scientific foundations of the classical gold standard.

Sir Isaac Newton, as Master of the Royal Mint of Great Britain, created what became the modern classical gold standard. This was a fact well known by President Jefferson, as astutely noted by Dr. Judy Shelton in erudite commentary to her definitive edition of Jefferson’s Notes on the Establishment of A Monetary Unit. Under the Newtonian gold standard, with variants, the world economy thrived for almost 200 years.

The gold standard also was one of the few things that both Jefferson, and his arch-rival in Washington’s cabinet, Alexander Hamilton, fully agreed. The gold standard’s intellectual provenance, both in deep scientific history and among the founders of America, really is impeccable.

Copernicus and Newton, of course, are figures from the deep past. Jefferson, slightly more contemporary, was extolled by President Kennedy at a dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners when he greeted them as “the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

Copernicus and Newton, timeless classics, remain appropriately revered as two of the greatest members of the scientific pantheon.

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The Return of the Money Thinkers

The dry spell is over.

That’s the argument of Forbes columnist Nathan Lewis, in reaction to a new book by George Gilder on the 21st Century Case for Gold.  Lewis points out that after decades of policy irrelevance, the money team is getting a whole new class of A-listers to defend reform and end the floating currency system.  “The long era of monetary ignorance,” he says, “is finally passing.”

But why does Gilder stand out among the best pack of intellectuals “since about 1910”? Lewis explains:

Gilder’s new work is especially important because Gilder was not, historically, a gold standard advocate. The “supply side revolution” of the late 1970s and 1980s was Classical at its heart, and boiled down to what I call the Magic Formula of Low Taxes and Stable Money. A political consensus formed around Low(er) Taxes, but there was a lot less consensus regarding money, with most conservatives following Milton Friedman’s “a floating, managed currency with less inflation than the Keynesians” formulation.

… Thus, I think it is particularly significant that Gilder, who traveled to China with Friedman in 1988, has embraced what has always been a cornerstone of the Classical or Libertarian vision of good government – a currency as stable in value as possible, which, in practice, means one that is “as good as gold.”

Lewis sees Gilder’s new book as a sign that economists are abandoning Friedman’s stance defending floating currency and a new alignment behind gold to halt wage stagnation.  He ends the piece with a prediction that real monetary reform isn’t far off:

I sometimes say: “If Milton Friedman were such a great economist, he wouldn’t have been a Monetarist.” Now George Gilder explains why, and a great number of other important things too.

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Steve Forbes’ “Blunt Truth” About Money

Steve Forbes (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

I had the pleasure of attending an event in New York City last week for the unveiling of George Gilder’s new book, The 21st Century Case for Gold: A New Information Theory of Money. The book is cutting edge and definitely worth the read.

One of the speakers at the event was Steve Forbes, the former presidential candidate and current Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Magazine. Steve is one heck of a speaker, and he spoke positively about George Gilder’s new book:

I think the significance of what George has done…He has given [monetary policy] a wider perspective. The blunt truth is: you can get taxes right, you can get regulations right, you can get spending right, but if you don’t get the money right—if you don’t get monetary policy right—you will be in trouble.

Forbes went on to argue that common wisdom was dead wrong on monetary policy:

If prevailing economic theories are wrong, inevitably civilization will have threatening crises as we have today. George understands—and will be able to convince other people to understand—that money is not, in and of itself, wealth. It is not a tool to guide economies like central planners envisioned. Economists have it backwards—the proverbial cart before the horse.

Forbes then suggested that Gilder’s book will have an impact on the currency debate:

This is a turning point. And this is why it’s so exciting to have somebody with George’s brilliance make this journey. Not understanding at the beginning, but understanding that something’s not quite right to say, ‘money controls everything.’ And then to take this journey, and be able to relate it to high technology, to the Bitcoin, to the Millennials. 

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Huckabee’s Economic Populism

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (photo credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Over at the National Journal, Josh Kraushaar makes the case against smartypants politically dismissing Mike Huckabee in a column tellingly called “Mike Huckabee’s Message is as Formidable as Jeb Bush’s Money”.

Kraushaar’s point: While other GOP candidates repeat well-rehearsed talking points about regulation, taxes, and energy, Huckabee is looking for ways to distinguish himself from the pack by a distinctively populist-sounding economic message.  First, he is pointedly taking Social Security privatization and/or a reduction of benefits for retirees off the table. “If Congress wants to take away someone’s retirement, let them end their own Congressional pensions—not your Social Security,” as Huckabee said during his announcement speech.  He has since defended this view elsewhere:

“I’m thinking, wait a minute, didn’t the government take that out of my check for all these years involuntarily?” Huckabee said. “But why would you punish the recipients who played by the rules that they were forced to play by?”

Secondly, as Kraushaar notes, “He slammed free trade agreements for reducing the cost of wages, saying he’d ‘like to think the U.S. government would stand up for the U.S. workers rather than let them take it in the backside.’”

Huckabee is politically smart to look for ways to distinguish himself in a crowded field, and he is also right that both the morally and politically correct response to our extended economic crisis hurting average workers is a populist economic message. The Democrats are increasingly driving working class whites into the GOP coalition, and it makes sense that someone would attempt to rise to lead this faction (Rick Santorum is also competing for this space).  Continue Reading

George Gilder on the Power of Money

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An article published last week by the New York Business Journal covered George Gilder’s recent appearance at the OnFinance conference. During his remarks to the conference’s attendees, Gilder endorsed the use of bitcoin in no uncertain terms:

“I think bitcoin should be conceived, first, as a new infrastructure for the Internet, a new transactions layer that the Internet drastically needs today,” Gilder boldly declared during the daylong OnFinance conference held by AlwaysOn, the San Francisco-based media and events company aimed at entrepreneurs and the VC industry.

Gilder has an impressive résumé in the field of economics which lends credence to his remarks. He is noted as “being former President Reagan’s ‘most quoted living author’ because of his support for supply-side economics,” as well as for being the author of “Wealth and Poverty,” a 1981 bestseller. The article goes on, covering more of Gilder’s remarks:

Bitcoin is a controlled solution, Gilder said, one that puts the power of money back into the hands of its users.

“We have a major movement around the world to change this system. We have the emergence of the blockchain and bitcoin, which I think represents a fundamental new way to think about money,” said Gilder, who has invested in the bitcoin company Rivetz.

Gilder wasn’t worried about the declining value in bitcoin — today, one bitcoin is worth about $237, significantly less than its high point of $1,150 in 2013 — as he compared bitcoin with gold, a valuable commodity that’s certainly had its own ups and downs.

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