The “gold standard,” which prevailed in the developed world for many decades, simply means that some fraction of a country’s paper currency has to be backed by – that is, convertible into – gold. In the US that fraction was 40%.
Scholars of the Great Depression typically blame policymakers of the 1930s for failing to do four things:
Subsequent to the Global Financial Crisis, US GDP has grown, in the aggregate, 37%. During the period of the Great Depression, US GDP grew, in the aggregate, 40%.
Not that anyone cares, but in these pages I’ve been highly critical of the “unconventional” policies pursued by every central banker on the planet since the Financial Crisis.
It was now late winter of 1971 and I was running the traffic division at the 226th MP Company at Fort Benjamin Harrison, outside Indianapolis.
Sergeant Duke Hock was a legend in the Army while I was still in grade school. He was Jack Reacher before Lee Child was born
So there we were, in late 1970, having graduated from the US Army Military Police Correctional Specialist Academy, the best-trained prison guards in the world. We had been assigned to one of the worst prisons in the world, the stockade at Long Bình, Vietnam, better known as the Long Bình Jail, or LBJ.
A few weeks ago, in a post about J. D. Vance’s book, Hillbilly Elegy, I mentioned in passing that I was convinced that having spit-shined my Army combat boots may have saved my life. I didn’t elaborate, and since then several dozen people have inquired about that brief aside. So here’s the story.
Just to make it simple, let’s define Europe’s “illiberal democracies” as those countries where elected leaders profoundly disagree with the liberal, inclusive, affluent worldview of the EU’s political classes.
I mentioned last week that I recently visited Switzerland, Austria and Hungary, and that if we think things have gone nuts in the US, we have no idea.