What gives money value? Today, the value of a dollar is not directly tied to the value of any other asset. Not so long ago, money was directly pegged to gold. Until 1971, one ounce of gold was redeemable at a fixed value of thirty five dollars in the U.S. Yet for governments that hoped to increase money supply for spending, the gold standard was restrictive. Gold is scarce and governments can’t simply produce more to satisfy political goals. As a result, the gold standard was abandoned by the U.S. in 1971, and the dollar became a fiat currency without a direct peg to gold. Since then, the dollar’s value has declined, and gold has risen from a fixed $35 per ounce to over $1,500 today.
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