If Kristol seriously thinks there were no asset price bubbles or market panics before FDR took us off the gold standard, then he really needs to think harder. Like how did FDR get elected? And why did he take us off the gold standard?
But beyond the specific facts, it’s the logical structure of the argument that’s insane. Economic growth is a key predicate for an expansive welfare stare. So it’s completely true that if you just started throwing out the key institutional features of modern market economies that you’d strange big government. But you’d be strangling big government by destroying the economy. Why do this? It’s like economic conservatism as a religion, with small government a totem to worship at.
I’ve come across many people who bristle at fiat currency, but I find that bristling a little bristling. The world has been functioning this way for a long time and I find it quite difficult to imagine going back to asset-based currency. So, let’s try to do the best with what we’ve got. And, really, I don’t understand gold bugs–gold is a commodity just like any other: it has value because people want it. There’s nothing intrinsic about it’s value, so there’s no point tying the monetary value of everything to it.