The boll weevil, scourge of Southern farmers for decades, has apparently fallen on hard times. The Delta Farm Press reportedlast month that just three weevils found in Mississippi’s extensive network of insect traps over the past growing season.
That’s a far cry from years ago, when the boll weevil decimated cotton crops across the region, even after farmers began spraying for the pests.
“You could keep them from wiping you out, but you never could get rid of them,” one old-time Mississippi farmer recalled. “It wasn’t anything to walk out in a field and see 10 to 12 on a single bloom.”
And any bleeding-heart types out there who worry about the impact of the weevil’s erradication on the environment can always travel to Enterprise, Ala., to visit the Boll Weevil Monument.
An online piece in the National Review is calling for the U.S. to move to a “modernized international gold standard.” Authors Lewis Lehrman and John Mueller state there are major conditions for the reform to be successful:
“First, the gold values of all national currencies must be properly chosen to preclude the deflationary mistakes of the 1920s and 1930s. This requirement now suggests a gold price not less than $1,000, but a more precise calculation will be necessary when the reform is to take effect. Second, existing foreign-exchange reserves must be removed from the balance sheets of national monetary authorities by consolidating them into long-term government-to-government debts that will be repaid over several decades…”
Benefits of such a move including ending “the chaos of floating currencies” and the massive debt which is a feature of the reserve-currency system the U.S. employs, they argue.
Why this should matter to the average American is that governments in countries that don’t employ gold standards can print as much money as they want, eroding wealth through inflation. For worst-case scenarios, think Wiemar Germany, post-World War II Hungary and, more recently, Zimbabwe.
While the Gold Standard is an intriguing idea, don’t expect to see it implemented in our lifetimes. Much like our current federal tax code, too many individuals and businesses have too vested an interest in the reserve-currency system to allow the U.S. to return to any form of bimetallism.