In either case, the holders of the debased coin or fiat money are the losers. Incredible as it sometimes seems, the United States and Great Britain have already gone far down the road leading to pure fiat money. Furthermore, the present United States government appears 54 HOW TO INVEST IN GOLD COINS determined not only to maintain its “goldless” domestic money system, but to force its fiat money scheme on the rest of the world, through the International Monetary Fund or some similar agency. A new international paper currency is demanded as a substitute for gold in international payments. The fiat of an international au- thority is to be invoked to supplement the already oppressive economic powers of the individual nations. The modern neo–Keynesian economists, academic theorists and political opportunists of all grades now dream on a far grander scale than the medieval alchemists. Those deluded souls toiled for centuries over bubbling cauldrons and blazing forges, muttering incantations, mixing vile concoctions, and invoking all the black arts in futile and bizarre attempts to find a magic formula that would turn iron or lead into gold. Alchemy was one of the more notable delusions of history and one of the most persistent. It gripped the mind of Europe for a thousand years, but produced not a single ounce of gold." But the modern alchemists, the believers in the fiat-money New Economics, claim to have worked the miracle.
To them, realities are not as important as abstract ideas; real gold is not as significant as the idea of gold. Realities to this kind of thinker are finite, limited, irritating. But ideas and abstractions are infinite, limitless, and possessed of boundless possibilities. Real gold is expensive, hard to obtain; it has to be worked for, paid for in one way or another. But the idea of gold is merely an abstraction, and abstrac- tions can be created from nothingness. Mere writings on a piece of paper, bookkeeping entries, promissory notes, or engraved certifi- cates are sufficient evidence of this brilliant abstraction.