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Gold Standard: Perspectives in the Austrian School, The

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A detailed guide to the arguments for the gold standard and its superiority over competing monetary standards. If you want to understand the gold standard, you need to read this book.
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The world’s financial system is in a precarious state, and everywhere the cry is heard for reform. The contributors to this notable anthology argue for one particular sort of reform, a return to the gold standard. They write from the perspective of the Austrian School.

Murray Rothbard incisively criticizes another proposal for monetary reform, the monetary denationalization suggested by F.A. Hayek. He agrees with Hayek that anyone should be free to offer whatever he wishes as money, but it does not follow that what people offer would be accepted by others. For acceptance to take place, the proposed money must be taken to have value: and this, as the money regression theorem shows, can happen only if the commodity has some value in a non-monetary use. We have every reason to think that a genuine free market would gravitate toward a gold standard.

An objection to the gold standard, common among monetarists, is that it leads to waste of resources. Gold must be extracted from the earth through expensive mining operations. With a paper standard, these costs can be avoided. Roger Garrison shows the fallacy of this objection. In considering rival monetary standards, the relevant issue is the opportunity cost of the competing systems, not the physical costs of resource extraction considered by themselves. If opportunity cost is taken into account, it turns out that the gold standard would be the least costly system.

International finance is a tangled tale, but the distinguished monetary economist Joseph Salerno is more than equal to explaining its complexities. He considers the work of Michael Heilperin, one of the few prominent economists after World War II to favor a return to the gold standard. Heilperin’s work manifests great analytical ability and presents strong arguments for gold. It is weakened, however, by Heilperin’s belief that the state creates money. Had he realized the implications of the money regression theorem, he would likely have advocated a more robust variety of the gold standard.

By far the most effective political advocate of the gold standard has been Ron Paul, and in an informative chapter he summarizes his detailed proposals for monetary reform. Other contributors include Richard Ebeling on Mises and the gold standard, Hans Sennholz on Carl Menger’s monetary writings, and Lawrence White on free banking and money.

The Gold Standard presents cutting-edge scholarship on the best and most effective monetary system. If you want to understand the gold standard, you need to read this book.


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Introduction by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

1. The Case for a Genuine Gold Dollar by Murray N. Rothbard

Inflationary Fiat Paper

Hayek’s “Denationalization” of Money

The “Commodity Dollar”: A Critique

The Case for a Gold Dollar

Defining the Dollar

Which Gold Standard?

2. The Monetary Writings of Carl Menger by Hans F. Sennholz

On the Origin of Money

On the Demand for Money

The Purchasing Power of Money

The Gold Standard

Testifying before the Currency Commission

Errors of Reform

3. Ludwig von Mises and the Gold Standard by Richard M. Ebeling

Monetary Theory and the Austrians

The Work of Mises

Mises’ Theory of the Trade Cycle

Mises as Political Economist

The Gold Standard as Market Money

4. The Costs of a Gold Standard by Roger W. Garrison

The Gold Standard: Costs and Benefits

The Resources Devoted to Gold: Too Few and Too Many

The Costs of Gold and the Costs of a Constant Price Level

Costs, Resource Costs, and the Gold Standard

The Unavoidable Resource Costs of Money

A Constant Price Level versus Monetary Stability

Concluding Remarks

5. Gold and the International Monetary System: The Contribution of Michael A. Heilperin by Joseph T. Salerno

The Gold Standard and the “Mechanism of Reequilibrium”

The International Gold Standard and Domestic Economic Stability

A Critical Summing Up

6. Free Banking and the Gold Standard by Lawrence H. White

The Criteria for Monetary Success

Free Banking and Individual Sovereignty

Free Banking and Fractional Reserves

Free Banking and Macroeconomic Performance

Is Gold Necessary to Free Banking?

7. The Political and Economic Agenda for a Real Gold Standard by Ron Paul

The Political Climate for Reform

The Mises Proposal

The First Step—Gold Coinage

The Transition to a Gold Standard

Longer-Term Benefits of Bullion-Weight Coinage

Agenda for Monetary Reform

Selected Bibliography


ISBN 9780945466116
Publisher Ludwig von Mises Institute
Publication Date 1992
Binding PB
Page Length 147

Case For a 100 Percent Gold Dollar - Digital Book
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