It Took a Generation to Forget About Gold

Jan 23, 2023 | Monetary Education

There were two Executive Orders among thousands that had the most impact on the lives of the public. From 1933 to 1974 the United States Government implemented the removal of gold as money from the minds of the Americans ultimately shifting the paradigm of the monetary system. People no longer saw the right to hold gold in their possession as an ordinary act of savings, and it had become a criminal act that was punishable by law.

The signing of Executive Order 6102 on April 5, 1933, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the initiation of creating a cashless society for the American people.  This was proposed to the public as a way of helping the country get its financial stability back during a time of great distress.

This law prohibited the hoarding of gold coins, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States. In conjunction with the statute under which it was issued, the effect of the order was to criminalize the possession of monetary gold by any individual, partnership, association, or corporation.

The Great Depression created a great mistrust in the banking system, and the public knew that the only way to avoid the pain and suffering as much as possible was to withdraw their gold from the hands of the people that caused the crisis. The banks were then being put under much pressure to maintain reserves while also having to honor the withdrawal of their depositors’ funds from a failing system.

The fractional reserve model, which consisted of lending to borrowers from money that wasn’t present in the vaults, in the form of newly issued credit, exposed the commercial banking system as the actual fraud.

Since the creation of the Federal Reserve Banking System in December of 1913, the United States money’s redefining was playing right into the hands of the formation and dominance of what would later be considered the too big to fail banks on Wall Street. 

Once gold that could be viewed was out of the way, the Federal Reserve Bank could then be the leading supplier of their monopoly notes that the public would have to accept. The signing of Executive Order 6102 was the official order that removed the constraint on the Federal Reserve, which prior too, was prevented from increasing the money supply. The moment the law came into existence, our central bank began flooding the planet with their product (Federal Reserve Notes), and it hasn’t stopped since.

The shift of the American paradigm away from the importance of sound money, i.e., gold, to the building of faith in paper money started officially in 1933. During the next 40+ years, the United States of America would experience the formation of what Austrian economists would consider the booms and busts of an expanding economy. The furthering of the industrial revolution presented the working class with a feeling of ever-increasing prosperity as the standard of living and quality of life improved.

In the public’s hand, this mental shift away from gold appeared on the surface like growth and development in the economy. It was actually the increase in the supply of Federal Reserve Notes, and the American public was more than happy to spend and save them. They forgot about the need for gold to keep the Government and Central Bank in check.

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Those that participated in this new economy, minus gold, adapted to the role of just using paper money very well. The American people bought into reality a new that gold was gone and that the economy still could function even if they just used Federal Reserve Notes as the only medium of exchange. During the time, the remaining United States Treasury Notes in circulation were being used less, and Silver Certificates were on their way out the door in 1968 as well.

The plan to remove gold and silver away from the American public was achieved by the early 1970s just as President Nixon pulled the international redemption of Federal Reserve Notes away from gold. The public’s minds had officially shifted from the importance of gold and silver as a store of value, (i.e., purchasing power), ultimate insurance, and privacy from the monetary and fiscal malfeasance of politicians and bankers.

It had been forty years or an entire generation since Executive Order 6102 was implemented. By this time, everyone born only knowing gold and silver as money was either retired or deceased. The Baby Boomers (the generation born between 1940’s-1960s) would now lead the way into a solely paper money and the digital age of the word ‘Dollar’ being considered just a Federal Reserve Note. The passing of time and an expanding economy had removed entirely the awareness of gold and silver as money from the American psyche. Not much longer after this domestic paradigm shift did the United States Government released the redemption of the Federal Reserve Notes for gold on the international stage. Instead of nations using gold to purchase energy in the form of oil. Nations now needed dollars to buy petroleum from Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries.  This new scheme labeled the Petrodollar System, was put in place, and now the reintroduction of gold was fitting. This time gold wasn’t marked or referenced as a monetary item but instead as a commodity.

In the winter of 1974, President Gerald R. Ford signed Executive Order 11825, repudiating Executive Order 6102. It had been exactly 41 years and eight months since gold was removed by law from the people’s hands in the form of money. This new law came into effect as the banking system and other financial institutions shifted the usage and role of gold exclusively into a financial product. The implementation of gold and silver as commodities rather than money was the new paradigm that the people would have to get used to.

This transition of monetary metals to commodities has proven to be the most excellent tool the United States Government and Federal Reserve Bank could have ever created. The removal of gold for forty years as money and the reintroduction of gold as a commodity has been more than enough to wipe clean the role of gold as money in the public’s mind.

This collaboration between banks and politicians in our monetary system has impacted the personal finances and investing done by the American public for the last 84 years. Today, an overwhelming majority of the population doesn’t even acknowledge or recognize gold or silver as money.

There is a small remnant of people that know their history and therefore take advantage of the opportunity to save and redeem their Federal Reserve Notes while there still worth the exchange. The moment the public is reintroduced to gold and silver as money will be the time when paper money and digital money become worth even less in purchasing power. At that point, those who knew their history and took action will be benefactors of what has turned out to be the most significant generational wealth deception in United States history.

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