You Cannot Eat Gold

Perhaps the most absurd and stupidest argument offered by the anti-gold crowd against using gold as money is that gold has no value because one cannot eat it, wear it, or live in it. This claim can be made of paper money and especially electronic money, which is most of today’s money. It can be said of most things that people use.

Gold is eatable. When consumed, gold has anticancer properties, aids in repairing damaged arthritic joints, reduces various emotional problems, and helps blood circulation. It is used in medicines and alternative remedies. It is used to decorate expensive high-society cakes.

Gold can be used to make clothes. Traditionally, crowns of monarchs have been made of gold alloy. Ancient, and not so ancient, priests wore gold laden garments. Most wedding rings are gold alloy. A large quantity of gold is used for jewelry.

Gold can be used to build structures. A house can be built using gold bricks. Such a house would be extremely expensive and highly energy inefficient. Gold foil or sheet can be used to veneer siding or to cover roofs of buildings.

One can use the same argument about paper money: it cannot be eaten or worn or used as a building material. Like gold, it can be eaten and worn. Nevertheless, paper money has little or no nutritional value. Depending on the composition of the paper and ink, it could be hazardous if eaten. Also, like gold one can build a house with it. When paper money becomes worthless, it has been used as wallpaper.

However, how does one eat, wear, or build with electronic money, which make up the bulk of today’s money, flowing through some unknown computer at some unknown location? If one wants to use the cannot-be-eaten-or-worn argument against a type of money, they should hurled it against today’s electronic money and not against gold.

The argument that one cannot eat, wear, or build with gold is often used as an attempt to show that gold has no value in-and-of itself. The anti-gold crowd often claims that if it were not for gold’s monetary use, which it has not had since 1971, at least not formally, gold would be useless with little or no value. What is left unmentioned is its growing use in a growing electronic device market. If gold has no value beyond its monetary use, why did it not become cheaper than gravel when its monetary use ended? This argument against gold is stupid and is intended to deceive.

Written by Thomas Allen

Courtesy of Gold Standard Insitute

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