Gold Buys Freedom
By Patrick A. Heller
There are dozens of financial reasons why it
makes sense to own gold (and silver) as
insurance against the risk of declining values
of paper assets such as stocks and bonds and
currencies (especially the U.S. dollar). Many of
my weekly essays are devoted to the financial
aspects of owning precious metals.
This week, I would like to address what I
consider the number one political reason to own
gold - individual freedom. Although I have
considered the political aspects of gold
ownership ever since I bought my first gold
coins in 1973, it wasn't until last week that I
came across a superb articulation of this
Dr. Arthur B. Robinson is president and a
research professor at the Oregon Institute of
Science and Medicine. Years ago, he took over
publication of Access To Energy (ATE), a
pro-science, pro-technology, pro-free enterprise
monthly newsletter. Since energy availability is
affected as often by political actions as
technological issues, ATE regularly covers
politics and economics. The recently released
August 2008 issue of ATE contains an essay
titled "Printing Capital." With Dr. Robinson's
permission, here are some cogent sections
related to gold:
"Most capital is stored in kind as factories,
power plants, roads, buildings and other useful
products of human effort. It can also be
temporarily stored in smaller quantities as
money - the medium of exchange ... Money is,
however, not capital.
"All sorts of things have been used as money.
Thousands of years of experimentation has
determined, however, that the best money is
silver and gold, especially gold. Gold is
convenient in many ways. One important way is
that it cannot be counterfeited and is costly to
obtain from nature. This difficulty keeps the
supply of gold approximately constant so that
prices remain stable.
"The rise of the United States as a free,
prosperous industrial civilization was greatly
facilitated by the use of gold as money ... In
addition, the great industrial productivity of
the American people - a greatness that resulted
from our freedom, not from our genetics - and
the stability of our gold-backed currency made
the U.S. dollar the world reserve currency.
Throughout the world, people trusted the U.S.
dollar as money.
"Then - the counterfeiting began. The U.S.
government ... printed new money as a way of
funding its activities. As the supply of money
rose, prices rose concomitantly.
"Printing money can be used, however, as more
than a mechanism of hidden taxation. It can be
used as a weapon against freedom.
"Gold money has been correctly called 'coined
freedom.' Even today when few Americans are old
enough to remember the use of gold coins as
money in the United States, the U.S. government
realizes that gold provides a measure of its
economic dishonesty and works through surrogates
to minimize the rising price of gold. It also
taxes gold in such a way that gold cannot serve
as a store of value ... because the gold itself
is gradually confiscated through taxation by
claiming that its price rise is 'income' or
To obtain the entire August 2008 issue of Access
To Energy or for subscription information, go to
their Web site at www.accesstoenergy.com.
I have concrete examples relayed to me
personally how gold buys freedom.
I have met a number of Southeast Asian refugees
over the years, including many who have come to
my coin shop to buy gold. In almost every
instance, these refugees were able to escape
with their lives because they owned gold to buy
their way out. The general public would be
surprised how many of these refugees still want
to own gold even though they might consider the
United States a "safe haven."
A few years ago, I bought the surviving pieces
of a hoard stored in a Dutch cookie jar. When
the Germans overran The Netherlands in 1940, the
gold coins were used to pay for the escape to
the Western Hemisphere of many of this Jewish
So, buy gold (and silver) for all the right
financial reasons. But keep in mind that some
physical gold in your possession may someday
save your life and freedom.