What America’s Founders Said About Gold

02 Jul

What America’s Founders Said About Gold

Meditations on Money for the Fourth of July

Today’s governing classes have abandoned the Founders’ intent to erect the new Republic on the sound monetary basis of gold and silver.  The result has been an ever-growing polarization of wealth, an endless gusher of paper money, and a mountain of unpayable national debt

Here is a collection of the Founders’ thoughts about monetary matters.  As you celebrate Independence Day with friends and family, spend a few minutes thinking about which of these observations is relevant to our situation today. 

“Specie [gold and silver coin] is the most perfect medium because it will preserve its own level; because, having intrinsic and universal value, it can never die in our hands, and it is the surest resource of reliance in time of war.”

— Thomas Jefferson

“The refusal of King George III to allow the colonies to operate an honest money system which freed the ordinary men from the clutches of the money manipulators was probably the prime cause of the revolution.”

— Benjamin Franklin

“The power to make any thing but gold and silver a tender in payment of debts, is withdrawn from the States, on the same principle with that of issuing a paper currency. Bills of attainder, ex-post-facto laws, and laws impairing the obligation of contracts, are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation.”

— Federalist Papers, #44

“The trifling economy of paper, as a cheaper medium, or its convenience for transmission, weighs nothing in opposition to the advantages of the precious metals… it is liable to be abused, has been, is, and forever will be abused, in every country in which it is permitted.”

— Thomas Jefferson

“To emit an unfunded paper as the sign of value ought not to continue a formal part of the Constitution, nor ever hereafter to be employed; being, in its nature, pregnant with abuses, and liable to be made the engine of imposition and fraud; holding out temptations equally pernicious to the integrity of government and to the morals of the people.”

— Alexander Hamilton

“Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.” 

— George Washington

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

— Thomas Jefferson