Gold’s Return as Money
By Alasdair Macleod
February 17, 2023
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To confirm gold’s price stability, we can go even further back to the time of Diocletian, who produced his edict of maximum prices in 301AD. The circumstances were that the purchasing power of the denarii coin was falling due to its debasement. From the edict, we find that a gramme of gold was fixed at 216 denarii, giving us a conversion value for goods listed in the edict for comparison with today. From this, we know that in today’s currency pork was about $4 a pound, sea fish about $8 a pound and a dozen eggs $3.32. Vin ordinaire was $2.96 for a 75cl bottle, and good quality wine $11.10 a bottle. Beer was $3 a litre. Clearly, prices for staples which we still consume were similar to today, irrefutable evidence that gold valued as money is stable even over thousands of years.
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The gold standard did not collapse. Governments abolished it in order to pave the way for inflation. The whole grim apparatus of oppression and coercion — policemen, customs guards, penal courts, prisons, in some countries even executioners — had to be put into action in order to destroy the gold standard. Solemn pledges were broken, retroactive laws were promulgated, provisions of constitutions and bills of rights were openly defied. And hosts of servile writers praised what the governments had done and hailed the dawn of the fiat-money millennium. — Ludwig von Mises
I always use my three silver dimes for a gallon of gas in the Sixties to demonstrate that the “dollar” has lost its purchasing power due to inflation. That and “penny candy” which has long since disappeared.
I can’t translate what $3 per liter of beer equates to, money wise BUT, (and there is always a BIG butt), I do know that a liter is about 33 fluid ounces. That’s about two 16 ounce bottles that I pay 6$ each for at the local tavern.
So in 301AD two bottles would be 3$ and today it’s 12$.
So when the politicians and bureaucrats tell you “what inflation?”, you can tell them %$^#&@( themselves.