Econ 201: Everything You Need to Know about Gold
Daniel Altman is Big Think's Chief Economist and an adjunct faculty member at New York University's Stern School of Business. Daniel wrote economic commentary for The Economist, The New York Times, and The International Herald Tribune before founding North Yard Economics, a non-profit consulting firm serving developing countries, in 2008. In between, he served as an economic advisor in the British government and wrote four books, most recently Outrageous Fortunes: The Twelve Surprising Trends That Will Reshape the Global Economy.
Gold is in fashion these days thanks to uncertainty in the global economy and worries that the United States and other countries will devalue their debts through inflation. Gold is valuable, and it almost always has been.
Ron Paul, the Congressman and presidential candidate, has even suggested that the United States return to the gold standard, which would require backing each dollar issued by the Treasury with a fixed amount of gold. That might stop the government from minting tons of cash, but what else would it do to America's economic future?
Economist Daniel Altman points out that it would leave our monetary policy vulnerable to random external events like the discovery of rich, new gold mines. It would tie our hands and deny us the flexibility we need to navigate the rapidly changing markets of the 21st century.
Daniel Altman on why the Gold Standard isn't such a good idea:
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The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.
- Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
- The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
- Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Be glad your name isn't attached to any of these bad ideas.
- Some inventions can be celebrated during their time, but are proven to be devastating in the long run.
- The inventions doesn't have to be physical. Complex mathematical creations that create money for Wall Street can do as much damage, in theory, as a gas that destroys the ozone layer.
- Inventors can even see their creations be used for purposes far different than they had intended.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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