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The question enormously fascinating: Is there any gold in Fort Knox? Google the question, and you’ll get approximately 1,320,000 responses; apparently, a lot of people really want to know.
In this video clip, Mises Institute Chairman Lew Rockwell is interviewed by Judge Andrew Napolitano, the host of Fox Business News’ “Freedom Watch,” which was canceled in 2011 despite top ratings.
“Fort Knox” is the common name for the United States Bullion Depository, located in Fort Knox, Kentucky, where a large portion of U.S. official gold reserves are alleged to be stored.
Although the question sounds like the set-up to a joke, the topic is no longer taken lightly, as the public grows increasingly aware of the precarious state of the Federal Reserve’s dollar—which is not backed by gold stored in Fort Knox or anywhere else—and the need to curtail government free-spending.
The Federal Reserve has rejected requests from both parties and both houses of congress for an audit of its money printing and money lending activities that arose because of legitimate concerns about the devaluing of the dollar and partly out of plain old suspicion. There has been resistance to any attempt to conduct third-party audits of gold, but as we explain in Gold Audit Fails to Discover Who Owns What, the largest concern is not that it isn’t there, but rather the selling and leasing of gold that is already owned by other parties. This is called repledging, rehypothecation, or simply—fraud.
When Napolitano asked Rockwell if there was any gold in Fort Knox, he responded:
Rockwell goes on to say that since we don’t know how much gold is in Fort Knox then it simply makes good sense to do an audit and find out. However, the Fed resists such an audit, which begs the question, why do they resist? Rockwell continues:
But the bigger issue than how much gold remains in U.S. reserves, according to Rockwell, is that the dollar is not backed by anything more tangible than public confidence, offering the U.S. government limitless opportunity to continue deficit spending.
Asked to speculate on what the world would be like had we remained on a gold standard, Rockwell says that, throughout history, during the long periods with gold and silver money
As Rockwell reminds us, gold is history’s free market money of choice for a reason. Our modern fiat currency system is designed to continually erode human wealth by means of inflation, shifting resources from working, saving individuals to government and the financial sector. A currency constrained by the natural limitation that it must be backed by a tangible, limited asset would mean greater wealth and wellbeing for all of us.
“If young people go into agriculture today, they’re probably going to be much more successful & prosperous than if they go into finance” Rogers says. “In my view it’s going to be great for the next 30yrs.”
Will green lithium technology raise the Bolivian people out of poverty? Or will incompetent government management spoil lithium’s promise?
That idea that liberty is more closely linked to security than it is to freedom from government intervention is still really important in the way we think about liberty today.
“Unlike a bank with a govt-sheltered monopoly, no private bank in a free banking system can attract customers if it makes risky strategies, like holding inadequate reserves or making risky investments...”
PBS Hawaii roundtable: Native Hawaiian leaders share their diverse views on the democratic process, sovereignty.
“The $17 trillion is an almost unimaginable number,” Napolitano says.”It’s almost incomprehensible what that amount of cash would look like. It would fill several football stadiums, even if they were in $100 bills.”
“Economics is a set of eye glasses, and when you put them on you bring the world into sharp relief,” Boettke says.
The way the monetary system works, Connell explains, is the government makes a currency note and says, ‘This is money.’ Just like McDonald’s makes nuggets and says, ‘This is chicken.’ McDonalds is selling “fiat chicken.”
If the government came in and slashed the price of oil or steel, “that actually wouldn’t be doing anybody any favors”—the price is “not communicating the genuine scarcity of that particular commodity, and so the market can’t allocate it properly.”
“When people get at each other’s throats, the rich and the poor, the left and the right, and so on, and you have a basic breakdown, that becomes very threatening…. I worry about social elements.”
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