Langlade County wanted to invest in gold, has ‘concerns’ about fiat currency

I feel like this story is not being appreciated for how hilarious it really is:

Some Langlade County supervisors who were interested in buying U.S. gold coins with the county’s surplus funds will have to find a more conventional government investment.

In a formal opinion Wednesday, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen agreed with the supervisors’ own lawyer that gold coins are not a type of investment allowed under state law for public funds.

The county’s finance committee apparently felt that under today’s economic conditions, county funds invested in U.S. currency would lose value. (…)

(Corporation Counsel Robin) Stowe said “committee members expressed concerns about the ever-increasing U.S. government debt on the value of county surplus funds held in the form of a ‘fiat’ currency with no intrinsic value, whereas U.S. gold coins have an intrinsic value as a precious metal.”

Crank goldbuggery as a governing strategy. So good.

Just to be clear what we’re talking about here: Gold as an investment strategy is basically 100% dependent on widespread economic anxiety. That is why it spikes during panics. Gold prices are also very volatile and, oh by the way, dependent on things like mining practices in Australia.

So, yeah, it’s a bad investment for an individual. And it’s a ridiculously, hilariously bad investment for a government, for which stability and predictability is the name of the game.

And p.s., government — unlike, say, Glenn Beck — does not actually benefit from widespread economic anxiety.

Like, what was Langlade County’s actual plan? U.S. economy collapses in a Greece-like meltdown but the wise and far-sighted planners of Langlade County are exempt from the apocalypse because they got smart and invested in gold in 2013?

The republic has collapsed, but long live the Sovereign Nation of Langlade County!

File this under “J.B. Van Hollen saves local legislators from themselves.”

Related: This is kind of fun.

About Robert Mentzer

I am the opinion editor at Daily Herald Media.
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