The New York Sun launches, with Judy Shelton's op-ed this evening, a series on the 50th anniversary of the collapse of the monetary system that had been established at Bretton Woods at the end of World War II. That system, centered on America's promise to redeem dollars presented to it by foreign governments at a 35th of an ounce of gold, was far from perfect. Yet its collapse, in the summer of 1971, opened up a new and far more dangerous moment -- the era of fiat money.
We regard the drama of money without a definition in specie as among the most newsworthy stories of our time. This is not a view widely shared among the bien-pensant economists and politicians. It turns out that inflation has a vast constituency of those who count as a virtue fiat money’s ability to enable the expansion of government and the funding of the socialist state. All the more compelling is the current crisis.
Our own introduction to this story began at a newspaper called the Berkshire Courier, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where we landed in the summer of 1965. One of our tasks was to operate the stapling machine in the job printing shop, where we bound the newsletter of one of the heroes of the struggle for honest money, Colonel E.C. Harwood of the American Institute for Economic Research. We became an avid reader. .........Continue Reading