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Fool’s Gold at the Olympics

Posted by
July 30, 2012
in Blog

by Butler Shaffer

A news story (link added -ed.) informs us that a “gold” medal at the Olympics contains 1.34% gold.  It wasn’t always this way.  In 1912, the gold medal contained 100% gold.  In 1913 the Federal Reserve Act was enacted, and while there is no apparent causal connection between this legislation and the content of medals, it is interesting to see a parallel development. A gold medal that has steadily gone from 100% gold to 1.34%, finds a similar path in the decline of the value of the dollar: a 1913 dollar is, today, worth about 5 cents.  The size of the gold medal has greatly increased – quantity as a substitute for quality – leaving us to ponder whether, with a continuing rise in its price, gold will soon be eliminated completely from this enlarged medal. In a world in which political systems are able to bamboozle Boobus with the empty appearance of things, the Olympics may find it useful to craft this medal entirely from iron pyrite, a bright, yellowish mineral.

Read more at the LRC blog…

image: flickr.com/kcxd