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Senate to vote on teaching gold standard

Posted April 28, 2015
Updated April 30, 2015

NC Flag, Legislative Building, Raleigh

— The state Senate will vote Wednesday on whether to add the gold standard and other conservative principles to the state's high school curriculum.

Senate Bill 524, sponsored by Sen. David Curtis, R-Lincoln, builds on a law passed in 2011 requiring the addition of a "Founding Principles" curriculum to the state's history standards.

The curriculum, a model bill from conservative free-market think tank American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, requires students to receive education on the nation's "Founding Philosophy and Principles" as found in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.

"We have some concerns about how DPI implemented the course," Curtis told the Senate Education Committee Tuesday, referring to the state Department of Public Instruction.

He said his bill "adds a few more principles, but it mainly instructs DPI to make sure every student takes the founding principles course before they graduate.

"If this is not implemented properly, we may have to add another course," he added.

The five principles to be added to the curriculum are as follows:

  • "Constitutional limitations on government power to tax and spend and prompt payment of public debt"
  • "Money with intrinsic value"
  • "Strong defense and supremacy of civil authority over military"
  • "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none"
  • "Eternal vigilance by 'We the People'''

"Money with intrinsic value – is that in the Federalist Papers?" asked Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake.

"Yes, it is," Curtis replied, with agreement from Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph.

In fact, it is not. A search of all 85 letters that make up the Federalist Papers turns up no mention of money with intrinsic value. It is, however, taken verbatim from the ALEC model bill.

"Money with intrinsic value," a concept known as the gold standard, is the practice of backing government currency with a commodity owned in sufficient quantity to guarantee the value of all paper money in circulation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt began the process of decoupling U.S. currency from the value of gold in 1933 in response to the Depression, and the severance was completed by President Richard Nixon in 1971. Few countries still use the practice today.

The change to "fiat" money – money that isn't backed by a government-held commodity – allows governments to more easily control the supply of currency in circulation. That's a favorite topic of conservative pundits such as Glenn Beck, who distrust the Federal Reserve system and recommend the buying of gold and other commodities as a hedge against inflation.

3 Comments

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  • Terry Watts Apr 29, 2015
    user avatar

    A set of standards introduced by teachers, governors, and educators is seen with suspicion... A set of standards introduced by profiteers, hawks, and pundits is not... Welcome to the NCGOP!

  • Wayne Boyd Apr 29, 2015
    user avatar

    I'm old enough to remember being on the gold standard, I remember even seeing a few gold coins and silver was still used up into I believe it was the mid 60's.
    I admit I'm not the sharpest tool in the drawer, but every day on TV I see where this company is begging me to invest in gold.
    Why would this company be begging me to trade my dollars that they are claiming are becoming more and more worthless for their precious gold?

  • Jimmy Jordan Apr 28, 2015
    user avatar

    "Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value -- zero"

    People actually believe you can print Federal Reserve Notes (Dollars) from a private incorporated bank, on interest, AND create wealth. It's astonishing. Enjoy your never ending debt a,no the never ending inflation tax that crush the poor. But don't worry both Democrats and Republicans will be voting for the exact same monetary policy AGAIN.