Congressman Alex Mooney's Bill Defines the Dollar as a Unit of Gold

This story came out in March, but I just now caught it. I salute Mooney for wording the legislation correctly.

HR 5404 A bill to define the dollar as a fixed weight of gold was introduced to the Committee on Financial Services on 22nd March 2018 by congressman Alex Mooney.

Here is the actual HR5404 Bill.

Key Item

"Effective 30 months after the date of enactment of this Act – (1) the secretary of the Treasury shall define the dollar in terms of a fixed weight of gold, based on that day's closing market price of gold; and (2) Federal Reserve Banks shall make the Federal Reserve notes exchangeable with gold at the statutory gold definition for the dollar."

That is how it must work. Mooney did not make the mistake of setting a price for gold. He correctly defined the dollar as a unit of weight.

Thoughts

Supposing HR5404 gets signed into law in 6 months, that would mean that the US would need to transfer to a gold standard by Spring 2021. The mere passing of this bill would send gold rocketing over the next few years and, assuming the US gold stocks are intact, it would neutralise the national debt. While there is no mention of the national debt in the bill, this is clearly a major benefit of a gold standard to the US administration. However, as the gold price rises against federal reserve notes, so does everything else, which means the public worldwide would suffer crippling inflation if they hold FRN dollars and other fiat currencies.

The price of gold would certainly skyrocket, but it is not necessarily so that national debt would be extinguished. However, it is clear that any countries that do not have gold reserves would be severely punished.

Let's Talk About Gold

Congressman Mooney wrote this Op-Ed for the WSJ: Steel and Aluminum? Let’s Talk About Gold.

I believe in free trade, but I still understand why President Trump is imposing tariffs on steel, aluminum and a range of Chinese products. America’s industrial workers have suffered for a long time, and Mr. Trump is fighting to create middle-class jobs.

President Trump has rightly blamed bad trade deals, particularly those with Mexico and China, for contributing to this meltdown. But the Federal Reserve deserves a share of the blame, too, since its inflationary policies priced out U.S. manufacturers from global trade. Since 2000, their prices have risen nearly 50%, compared with about 25% for German competitors—mirroring the domestic inflation rates in each country. As a result, manufacturers fled the U.S., much the way American families have fled high-tax states.

My constituents in West Virginia get little of the upside from the Fed’s money creation and most of the downside. They don’t benefit from speculative investment returns, but they do lose their jobs and homes when the local plant decides to close because it’s too expensive to compete from the U.S.

The current Federal Reserve system benefits elites. The gold standard is equitable and puts “we the people” in control of the money supply. That’s why it was part of America’s founding and has been a key to the country’s long economic success.

On Thursday I introduced a bill that would return the dollar to the gold standard—the first such attempt since Jack Kemp’s Gold Standard Act of 1984. Under this legislation the Fed would still exist, but it would administer the money supply rather than dictate it. Instead the market would be in charge, the supply and demand for money would match up, and prices would be shaped by economics rather than the instincts of bureaucrats.

Like President Trump, I believe that success is again possible for Americans who go to work every day and build things. Mr. Trump’s vision of how the American economy could and should work resonated with voters in 2016. Returning to the gold standard is a way for the president to deliver on his promise of American working-class prosperity.

Backwards But Correct

Mooney has the trade story wrong, yet, his solution is correct.

Bad trade deals are not at the heart of the problem. Rather, severe problems began the moment Nixon closed the gold window, ending convertibility of dollars for gold.

That is the source of the trade deficit, not bad deals.

Explaining Balance of Trade

“Our Currency but Your Problem”

The source of global trading imbalances, soaring debt, declining real wages, and the massive rise of the 1% at the expense of the bottom 90% is Nixon closing the gold window.

At that time, Nixon’s treasury secretary John Connally famously told a group of European finance ministers worried about the export of American inflation that the “dollar is our currency, but your problem.”

Balance of trade issues, soaring debt, declining real wages, and the demise of the US middle class are now our problem.

The Fed, ECB, Larry Summers, Paul Krugman, Donald Trump, and economists in general, cannot figure out what caused the problem. Instead, Bernanke, proposes a “savings glut”, and Larry Summers proposes “secular stagnation”.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Comments
No. 1-19
RonJ
RonJ

"Rather, severe problems began the moment Nixon closed the gold window, ending convertibility of dollars for gold."

Severe problems lead to closing the gold window. Everything is cyclical. Glass-Steagall was designed to prevent 1930 from ever happening again. What happened? it was dismantled. It got in the way. In 1971, the gold standard got in the way. It was dismantled.

In 1913 , the FED was designed to do X. Then World War One happened. X was changed. If WW1 had not happened, the FED's original design could have gone on far longer.

Ambrose_Bierce
Ambrose_Bierce

You can't game them, they print worthless fiat and use it to buy gold to back their worthless fiat and then sell it to YOU. They hold all the aces, unless you want to move the underground economy and barter, which I hope you like Bitcoin, because it will drive these cockroaches back into their hole. You make Bitcoin, you own it.

hmk
hmk

James Grant wrote a book about the 1921 depression and claimed it was over and done with a lot quicker because of the gold standard. The gold standard doesn't prevent depressions but according to Grant the free market resolves it more efficiently when on a gold standard. I don't have an opinion on the gold standard but I do believe the main reason we have this debt problem is because of unrestricted govt deficits. Even without a gold standard having the govt live within their means would solve a lot of the current and future issues we will face.

SpiderPig
SpiderPig

Agreed. The closing of the gold window was directly linked to other countries letting the market determine the value of gold in their currencies and creating the opportunity to make money on the arbitrage between the official exchange rate of the dollar (ozt of gold) and the price of gold in another country. This will repeat on any currency based around a limited commodity, traded on a global basis. The gold standard is really complete government price setting with regards to a specific commodity.

baldski
baldski

We were on the gold standard in 1929, 1920 - 1921 depression, Panic of 1907, Panic of 1893, and Panic of 1873. So tell me how the gold standard would prevent panics and depressions?

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