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October Surprise: Can Gold Be The Panama Canal Treaty Of 2012?
Townhall.com ^ | November 2, 2011 | Ralph Benko

Posted on 11/02/2011 8:57:58 AM PDT by Kaslin

Superpollster Scott Rasmussen has pulled the pin and rolled one of his patented hand grenades under the chair of the Political Class. Rasmussen’s “October Surprise” is contained in a recent poll showing 44% of likely voters favor returning to the gold standard, 28% opposed.  That intensifies.  If the public knew that it would “dramatically reduce the powers of bankers and the political class to steer the economy” support goes up to 57%.   Opposition drops to 19%.

Reducing the power of bankers and the political class —  along with gold’s empirical record of turbo-charging job-creation and economic growth — is core for gold’s proponents.  Thus, that inevitably will become public knowledge and make gold a potentially huge electoral asset.

And there’s more.  Rasmussen’s results show that 79% of Tea Party voters (and 69% of simply self-described Republicans) would favor such an elitism-constraining gold standard.  The only solid majority opposition comes, unsurprisingly, from self-described members of the political class.  If anybody picks up on this dynamic it could prove decisive in what remains a remarkably fluid field with early contests fast approaching.

Rasmussen’s numbers strongly suggest gold is an electoral jet stream.  Fly with it and enjoy the tailwind; into it and suffer from headwinds.  More than this, Rasmussen may have uncovered a potential “Panama Canal Treaty”- scale issue for 2012.  Ronald Reagan, noting audience enthusiasm, elevated what had been a throwaway line criticizing the surrender of the canal back to Panama into a major campaign theme.  Others aspirants disdained it, giving Reagan a critical edge to, eventually, a hard fought victory.

Herman Cain and Ron Paul both are on record as supporting the gold standard.  Both are doing surprisingly well given their respective improbabilities, notwithstanding having handled the gold issue with extreme gingerness.  It can be argued that they have benefited, at least partially, from gold’s “tailwind.”

Gov. Rick Perry’s initial strong showing correlated with his well-publicized critique of Ben Bernanke.  Gold’s tailwind effect? Newt Gingrich’s climb into third place became more noticeable around the time of his widely noted call for “hard money with a very limited Federal Reserve” – a comment  widely noticed and interpreted as Gingrich dipping into the waters of gold.    More gold tailwind?

Mitt Romney has not engaged the gold standard issue, flying outside it and making it, so far, a nonfactor.  It would be uncharacteristically reckless for him to repudiate something this popular.   This smart, careful, technocrat also seems unlikely to do something as unconventional as to embrace a dollar as good as gold.  But … if he doesn’t like the feeling of Herman Cain’s or Newt Gingrich’s hot breath on his neck there might well be nothing better than a road paved with gold to gain a foothold in Iowa.  There, last summer, a famous Iowa Tea Party Bus Tour, sponsored by American Principles in Action (in which this writer participated) took the gold standard to 22 towns — to receptive audiences.

Cain has done a certain amount of equivocating on his position in favor of the gold standard.  He’s on record as for it, but now under the vaguer formulation that a dollar should be a dollar (as “a rose is a rose is a rose”), but makes demonstrably preposterous claims that a balanced budget is the means to, rather than the outcome of, a stable dollar.  That’s exactly backwards and is reminiscent of the 1970s old guard Republicans who held tax cuts hostage to a balanced budget … and who lost to Reagan.

Rep. Paul has the longest track record as favoring the gold standard, yet has refused to campaign on it.  For a man of Dr. Paul’s magnificent integrity that’s tantamount to saying that, if elected, gold does not have a place in his already ambitious stated agenda. So…those with the best claim on gold have left it unguarded and vulnerable to a shrewd claim jumper.

Romney and Cain are tied for first.  Frontrunners tend to succumb to caution.  So what about Perry and Gingrich?  Having already, arguably, felt the heady effect of the tailwind from fighting funny money Perry may have developed a feel for the money issue.  Now… add Steve Forbes’s endorsement. Perry quickly embraced the flat tax — a signature Forbes issue. Steve Forbes has not one but two signature issues.  Forbes made worldwide headlines, recently, with his prediction that we would have the gold standard within 5 years, a very good thing.

Tax cuts, apart from Cain’s controversial 9-9-9, have not differentiated the contenders dramatically.   All Republicans are campaigning against tax increases and campaigning for rate cuts.   Perry is well positioned, with Forbes’s help, to bring the gold standard, and the elimination of federal taxes on gold to allow people to construct their own golden parachutes out of the deteriorating greenback, to the fore.  Will Perry, in for a penny with the flat tax, go in for a pound…with gold?

Meanwhile Gingrich, playing the “tortoise” in this race has pulled ahead of Perry and into third place in the two most recent polls — Fox and CBS News/NY Times.  And Gingrich is a famously shrewd strategist—and interpreter of polls.  Gingrich is well equipped to register the full implications of Rasmussen’s October Surprise – maybe even this cycle’s version of the Panama Canal Treaty — and to exploit it.

Whoever digs down into the crosstabs will discover another electorally important fact.  The gold standard, potentially key to energizing caucus and primary voters, is an asset for the general.  This isn’t a desperate primary season expedient which can return to haunt.    Rasmussen:  “The majority of voters across nearly all demographic groups favor the gold standard if it would dramatically reduce the power of central bankers and political leaders over the economy.”  A majority of African Americans, most of them enthusiastically, support the gold standard.  A majority of Union members (including this columnist, a member of the AFL-CIO) support the gold standard too.

Gold splits the Democrats’ base  There are two major elements of the left.  One is made up of elitist, doctrinaire, souls such as Paul Krugman.  These are almost all white males of the privileged class: its patriarchy.  These, the left’s nomenklatura, almost all ridicule gold.  They also, not surprisingly, are a minuscule minority…even of the left.

The nomenklatura have the prestigious platforms –- media, academic perches, money, prestige awards.   But they don’t have the votes.  Most of the left is made up of humanitarian populists, such as organized labor and ethnics who comprise the “social democratic” left.  They are far more concerned about jobs, opportunity, and policies of “rising tide” prosperity than with arcane (and dubious) neo-Keynesian dogma.  These — as the Occupy movement is telling us loudly with its many calls for the gold standard — and as Rasmussen now has quantified in his October Surprise — strongly tend to favor gold.  The ethnic and labor left leadership is more attuned to the mood of their own, pro-gold, rank and file than are the patrician nomenklatura.

Neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Obama adopted the kind of economic policies designed to create a robust economy and the jobs that come with that.  The Republicans for years have been calling (correctly so) for tax rate cuts and the Democrats have grudgingly gone along, but the jobs do not come.  Why not? As compellingly pointed out by Forbes.com’s own John Tamny: the villain is rotten  monetary policy.

The gold standard is the, well, gold standard of monetary policy.  As noted enthusiastically by The New York Sun and by my colleague Rich Danker in Forbes.com a recipe for how to get there has been laid upon the table by Lewis Lehrman, chairman of the Lehrman Institute (whose website this columnist edits).

Will one or more of the GOP candidates read Rasmussen’s report, parse the implications, consult the gold standard experts, and upset this race?  Many gold standard savants are being snapped up: Forbes, now a Perry advisor; Jim Grant, Ron Paul’s announced pick for Fed Chairman; Forbes.com columnist and my co-author of a booklet on the gold standard, Charles Kadlec, a Herman Cain advisor. World-class gold cognoscenti remain, at last report, unpledged, including Lehrman, Sean Fieler (investor and philanthropist who chairs the nonprofit pro-gold American Principles Project which this columnist advises professionally), Atlas Foundation’s Judy Shelton and Professor (and Forbes.com columnist) Brian Domitrovic, among them.  The intellectual infrastructure for gold – the knowhow — is there.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial
KEYWORDS: gold; goldstandard

1 posted on 11/02/2011 8:58:02 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Well,all that gold better be in Ft. Knox...maybe Geraldo can do a special when the open the vault.


2 posted on 11/02/2011 9:02:51 AM PDT by ken5050 (Cain/Gingrich 2012!!! because sharing a couch with Pelosi is NOT the same as sharing a bed with her)
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To: Kaslin

Well,all that gold better be in Ft. Knox...maybe Geraldo can do a special when the open the vault.


3 posted on 11/02/2011 9:02:54 AM PDT by ken5050 (Cain/Gingrich 2012!!! because sharing a couch with Pelosi is NOT the same as sharing a bed with her)
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To: Kaslin

Well,all that gold better be in Ft. Knox...maybe Geraldo can do a special when the open the vault.


4 posted on 11/02/2011 9:02:56 AM PDT by ken5050 (Cain/Gingrich 2012!!! because sharing a couch with Pelosi is NOT the same as sharing a bed with her)
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To: Kaslin

Well,all that gold better be in Ft. Knox...maybe Geraldo can do a special when the open the vault.


5 posted on 11/02/2011 9:03:01 AM PDT by ken5050 (Cain/Gingrich 2012!!! because sharing a couch with Pelosi is NOT the same as sharing a bed with her)
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To: Kaslin

Well,all that gold better be in Ft. Knox...maybe Geraldo can do a special when the open the vault.


6 posted on 11/02/2011 9:03:08 AM PDT by ken5050 (Cain/Gingrich 2012!!! because sharing a couch with Pelosi is NOT the same as sharing a bed with her)
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To: ken5050

“Holy multi-post, Batman!”


7 posted on 11/02/2011 9:04:24 AM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: Kaslin

Have this bunch look into Ft Knox: http://www.history.com/shows/brad-meltzers-decoded/episodes/decoded-season-2#slide-4


8 posted on 11/02/2011 9:05:19 AM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: Kaslin

Its gold, and its also ELIMINATING the FED.

The Federal Reserve is the cornerstone of progressive Govt. It allows Gov’ts to print money to fund their various schemes, and it allows politicians to pick winners and losers.


9 posted on 11/02/2011 9:15:25 AM PDT by PGR88 (I'm so open-minded my brains fell out)
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To: JDW11235

Using an old laptop today..it’s acting up..driving me cazy..


10 posted on 11/02/2011 9:17:28 AM PDT by ken5050 (Cain/Gingrich 2012!!! because sharing a couch with Pelosi is NOT the same as sharing a bed with her)
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To: ken5050

Geraldo?? Isn’t this the guy that in a blatant and racist act changed his name to be more appealing to Latinos??
Jerry Rivers doesn’t quite sound latino enough I guess.


11 posted on 11/02/2011 9:37:21 AM PDT by eyeamok
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To: Kaslin

Do any of these gold-standard types ever look at the whipsaws the economy used to make? We see a 5% decline in economic activity and all hell breaks loose. In the “good old days,” that wouldn’t even register. These are declines in economic activity; the declines in actual dollar amounts of the GDP would be far larger in the gold-standard age:

2007-2009: -5%
1929-1938: -26%
1923-1924: -22%
1920-1921: -28%.
Panic of 1907: -29%
1895-1897: -25%
Panic of 1893: -37%
1882-1885: - 33%
1873-1879: -34%
And check out this Depression far worse than the Great Depression!: -52%!!!

The problem is that a soaring price of gold, which happens during a recession, inhibits spending. Decoupling dollars from gold allows spending to continue despite the soaring price of gold. Worst still, gold could soar for no good economic reason, just speculation.


12 posted on 11/02/2011 9:39:04 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

The -52% GDP was 1836-1843.


13 posted on 11/02/2011 9:39:39 AM PDT by dangus
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To: PGR88
We shouldn't “eliminate” the Fed. We should nationalize it.
14 posted on 11/02/2011 9:48:37 AM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: ken5050
The last time fort Knox was audit was 1972. It was still there, however it has not been audited since. It hold other things other than gold. It was rumored to house raw morphine and other medical medication for war time. it also was the home of copies from the nation archives.
15 posted on 11/02/2011 9:57:35 AM PDT by man from mars
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To: ken5050

I think this is a Guinness world record for multiple posts!


16 posted on 11/02/2011 9:58:56 AM PDT by doggieboy
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To: ken5050

I gotcha, I was just funnin’ ya, we all have those days, lol.


17 posted on 11/02/2011 10:05:55 AM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: eyeamok

It’s an allusion to when Geraldo made the big hype about opening up Al Capone’s secret, never-before-found vault, that was supposed to be full of secret treasures, and there was a big hype and when they opened it on live, national TV, I think it had a soda can, or the likes.


18 posted on 11/02/2011 10:08:17 AM PDT by JDW11235 (I think I got it now!)
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To: jiggyboy; PA Engineer; blam; TigerLikesRooster; Cheap_Hessian; CJinVA; Jet Jaguar; ...

gold bug ping


19 posted on 11/02/2011 10:15:26 AM PDT by OneLoyalAmerican (In God I trust, all others provide citations.)
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To: dangus

“Decoupling dollars from gold allows spending to continue....”

And that, is the problem, it allows governments to grow bigger, only a sound currency keeps governments SMALL.

We want a smaller government, and sound money is the way to do it. The mechanics of HOW to do that, I am not knowledgeable to say, but the current system is about to fail.

The dollar is being devalued to save the banking and the elites system. And WE the taxpayers, are going to get screwed. Why do you say we should do nothing to protect ourselves and our families?


20 posted on 11/02/2011 10:19:28 AM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: OneLoyalAmerican

People want sound money. How to get there should be the debate, not this phony “gold bug” divisiveness.

Do you deny that the policy of the FED is to DEvalue the current dollar? By at least 50%?

Do you?


21 posted on 11/02/2011 10:22:12 AM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: man from mars

I doubt that they checked for tungsten back then.


22 posted on 11/02/2011 10:23:44 AM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: ken5050

That has got to be some kind of record.


23 posted on 11/02/2011 10:27:44 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: dangus

“Decoupling dollars from gold allows spending to continue despite the soaring price of gold”

That and your other arguments against a gold standard are awesome. Im glad that the way of protecting myself from such things is to have the dolar lose 96% of it’s purchasing power since we created the federal reserve and fiat money.

Losing a few percentage points of my buying power every single year is awesome! I cant wait for my grandkids to experience buying a 50 dollar candy bar, and driving it home in their million dollar car, to their 15 million dollar house as they cash their 15,000 dollar weekly paycheck as a fast food worker!


24 posted on 11/02/2011 10:33:39 AM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office)
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To: martin_fierro

I’m using an old laptop today..amnd something’s sticking..it’s driving me nuts...


25 posted on 11/02/2011 10:34:26 AM PDT by ken5050 (Cain/Gingrich 2012!!! because sharing a couch with Pelosi is NOT the same as sharing a bed with her)
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To: ken5050

Don’t feel too bad, I know that happened to me once, and it was over ten. But I don’t know if it was a record or not.


26 posted on 11/02/2011 10:38:31 AM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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Gary Hopes for Yellow in Our Near Future

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27 posted on 11/02/2011 11:09:19 AM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: dangus
The problem is that a soaring price of gold, which happens during a recession, inhibits spending.

Another way to say this is that under a gold standard, prices decrease relative to gold & gold-linked money, and savers are rewarded. Having been a prudent person over the years, I don't really see the problem.

28 posted on 11/02/2011 11:10:44 AM PDT by slowhandluke (It's hard to be cynical enough in this age.)
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To: TruthConquers

Greetings TruthConquers:

The gold bug ping list, initiated by FReeper jiggyboy, is not divisive in purpose.

Specifically, we discuss the role precious metals play as a medium of wealth preservation and exchange. And view gold bug pings as another opportunity to exchange our thoughts in the marketplace of ideas.

While some of us on the ping list may only agree to disagree; all enjoy digesting these news and opinion articles when the topic covers precious metals.

Cheers,
OLA

FReepmail if you want on/off the gold bug list.


29 posted on 11/02/2011 11:46:43 AM PDT by OneLoyalAmerican (In God I trust, all others provide citations.)
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To: TruthConquers

Hello TC:

Seems the purpose of the FED is preservation wealth. Who’s wealth? Now that’s an interesting question. Current FED policy was tried elsewhere, it failed then and will again.

To me, it seems like Cloward and Piven’s overwhelm the system strategy is taking an international toll. Was Glenn Beck correct with his predictions of mutually assured economic destruction (MAED) on an international scale? Another interesting question.

If Beck is incorrect about MAED, we’ll just have some food, some cash, a mix of wealth preservation instruments and barter exchange items stocked up. Like good Boy Scouts, we’re prepared.

If MAED is happening before our very eyes. I won’t be like Katrina’s Nawlins folks waitin’ for guberment. Been there, done that; in the role of government helper. It was very ugly.

Cheers,
OLA


30 posted on 11/02/2011 12:24:32 PM PDT by OneLoyalAmerican (In God I trust, all others provide citations.)
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Why stop at deomcRats? The same case could be made for the
RINO nomenklatura, almost all ridicule gold.


31 posted on 11/02/2011 12:44:09 PM PDT by OneLoyalAmerican (In God I trust, all others provide citations.)
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To: ken5050

Thought of all that gold really gets you excited, doesn’t it?....{:-)


32 posted on 11/02/2011 11:43:01 PM PDT by SuperLuminal (Where is another agitator for republicanism like Sam Adams when we need him?)
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To: ken5050

Sure it is, wrapped around those tungsten bars...


33 posted on 11/02/2011 11:45:34 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: slowhandluke

That’s great if by saving, you mean buying and burying gold. If by “saver” you mean someone who has invested through a bank, or in American real estate or in the U.S. stock market, you pretty much would lose all your savings. Because by “saver,” you mean “investor,” and by “investor,” we mean someone who’s a “buyer”, buying something they didn’t need in the hopes of being able to sell it later.

It’s the buyers who get screwed.


34 posted on 11/03/2011 7:30:01 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

You seem to trust the phony stats that self-serving politicians have implemented.

Inflation and unemployment are about double what they are reported to be, using Carter-Reagan standards that weren’t so fudged.

GDP numbers are similarly fudged to make recessions look much milder.


35 posted on 11/08/2011 5:30:16 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Author of BullionBible.com - Makes You a Precious Metal Expert, Guaranteed.)
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To: Beelzebubba

Regardless of the accuracy of the numbers, the scale is so shockingly vast that I think I make my point.

I’ll concede this: I believe GDP numbers are real, but I believe they measure the wrong thing. The six trillion dollars simply printed by the government and laundered through deficit spending are counted in the GDP. Government spending, especially *deficit* government spending should not be counted in the GDP. The decline in the private sector’s GDP was probably in the double digits in FY 08-09 alone.

Three measures to the truthfulness of a statistic: Validity, Accuracy and Precision. The GDP numbers are ACCURATE in that if the measurements are repeated by another study, they’d probably yield similar results. (Of course, they’re not THAT accurate; they always need to be adjusted over subsequent quarters.) But they’re not terribly VALID if they are intended to measure economic health, since they include deficit spending as ‘growth,’ whereas it is a measure of stealing wealth from the future.


36 posted on 11/08/2011 9:19:03 AM PST by dangus
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