Roadmap for the 21st Century: Monetary Policy

Published December 14, 2016

Authors Peter Ferrara and Ralph Benko dispel the myth that switching back to the gold standard would be difficult to do, explain why the gold standard is great policy and great politics, and describe specifically how to present the gold standard, how to defend it against progressive hostility, how to implement it, and why it would be worthwhile to invest political capital to adopt it in the new president’s first 100 days.

Ferrara and Benko cite the gold standard’s opponents and proponents, noting both President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence have in the past expressed their understanding of, and support for, the gold standard. They explain how the United States can return to the gold standard:

Enact the Jack Kemp Gold Standard Act of 1984, which was cosponsored by Reps. Newt Gingrich, Vin Weber, Connie Mack, and others. The bill is easy to understand, easy to defend, and worth investing the political capital to enact. It is the sine qua non of restoring sizzling growth and job creation to the American economy across the board, from workers to investors.

They also describe how the Federal Reserve’s management of the currency has failed; how the gold standard has worked in the past; why the Founding Fathers supported it; and how the United States would benefit from a return to it:

For almost 180 years the American economy benefitted from a variant of the gold standard. The gold standard economy fostered what came to be known as the American Dream: equitable prosperity, which is to say rapid economic growth conjoined with economic justice, abundant opportunity for “the little guy,” including plentiful jobs and upward income mobility.


Ferrara is a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute, while Benko is senior advisor, economics, for the American Principles Project. Formal co-sponsors of the Roadmap for the 21st Centry project are the National Tax Limitation Committee and Foundation and The Heartland Institute, with supporting roles played by Americans for Tax Reform and the American Legislative Exchange Council. Deliberations for the project’s policy reports included valuable input from representatives of the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Committee to Unleash Prosperity, National Center for Policy Analysis, Goodman Institute, Galen Institute, and other organizations.