A return to the gold standard by the United States within the next five years now seems likely, because that move would help the nation solve a variety of economic, fiscal, and monetary ills, Steve Forbes predicted during an exclusive interview this week with Human Events.

“What seems astonishing today could become conventional wisdom in a short period of time,” Forbes said.

The only probable 2012 U.S. presidential candidate who has championed a return to the gold standard so far is Rep. Ron Paul (R.-Tex.).  But the idea “makes too much sense” not to gain popularity as the U.S. economy struggles to create jobs, recover from a housing bubble induced by the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies, stop rising gasoline prices, and restore fiscal responsibility to U.S. government’s budget, Forbes insisted.

An encouraging sign for Forbes is that key lawmakers besides Rep. Paul are recognizing that the Fed is straying well beyond its intended role of promoting stable prices and full employment with its monetary policies.

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