So if sound money is such a good thing, what is stopping people from simply trading with each other in gold and silver? Why are you still being paid in fiat dollars, and why can’t you pay for gas in gold? The answer is that the government has enacted policies that provide considerable stumbling blocks to such transactions.
One of the main stumbling blocks is Federal legal tender laws, which state that government-controlled fiat currency MUST be accepted for many kinds of monetary transactions. In light of this, Gresham’s Law takes effect. Gresham’s Law states that bad money drives out good money. Meaning, if someone is forced to accept your bad money, it is to your advantage to pass it off, like a hot potato, in exchange for something of value. Any good money you have, you will hoard. Eventually, real money is driven out of circulation and under people’s mattresses, so to speak. In the absence of legal tender laws, people are free to accept the medium of exchange of their choice, and are likely to insist on payment in something of real value.
Related to legal tender laws, contracts in gold are not enforced. Meaning if two parties agree to exchange goods or services for gold, and end up in a dispute, the courts will simply settle the dispute in Federal Reserve notes. Governments should do very little, in my estimation, but it should enforce contracts and property rights through the courts. But in this instance it shirks this basic duty, when it comes to gold, as one way to keep control of our economy and the medium of exchange. One is also expected to pay sales tax on the purchase of gold. This is as ludicrous as if you paid sales tax at the bank when you converted dollars into quarters! The IRS also expects you to pay capital gains tax on gold, which is so backwards, since gains on gold really represent decline in the value of the dollar!