Objectivism favors a gold standard; on some specific principle, or is this simply a "pragmatic" safeguard against government intervention into the economy?
Additionally, what is an Objectivist view on currency? Should it be issued by a government (under a gold standard of course), or could it (or should it) be privately produced and managed? Should there be a national currency or could there be competing currencies?
Regarding the proper functions of government, refer to the topic of "Government" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon. The minting (or printing) of money is not a proper function of government. The only proper role of government in regard to money is to protect against fraud and breach of contract, i.e., to protect individual rights.
Also refer to the topics of "Money," "Deficit Financing," and "Gold Standard" in the Lexicon for additional discussion of why gold is an attractive and effective choice for use as money.
As for competing currencies, they already exist in the world today. Each country has its own system of money, although a consortium of several countries has adopted the Euro as a common monetary system.
No one should think that returning the U.S. government to a gold standard, with government still controlling the monetary system, would serve as a safeguard against government intervention into the economy. Only philosophy (widely accepted and adopted) can do that. Without a proper philosphy, the gold standard is most likely to be abolished, just as it actually was historically in the U.S. and elsewhere. Altruism creates pressure for government to spend more than a gold standard would allow; altruism then leads to abolition of the gold standard, and the gold standard, without a properly supporting counter-philosophy, cannot withstand the pressures of altruism.
answered Jul 04 '11 at 03:41
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