No disrespect was inferred. I have no issues with an opposing viewpoint. In fact, I welcome it, as I may learn something new or, at the very least, different viewpoints can be explored.
I guess it boils down to how you define “money”. In the strictest definition, money must be readily accepted as a method of payment. Yes, Bubba might trade you a 1982 Ford Bronco for gold bars, and Mr. Clements might trade his fully-paid house for gold coins, but that is an example of barter. Those would be exceptions rather than the norm, thus showing that gold is not readily accepted as means of payment. Bubba will also give you a trade-in value on your old Crown Vic, but that doesn’t make the Crown Vic money.
If you mean money in the sense that it is fungible, stores vaule, and is a unit of accounting, then yes, you could call it money, but like I said…try convincing Safeway to accept gold Eagles at spot price to pay for your groceries. If they did accept them, they would accept them at the face value, so a 1 oz silver bullion coin from the US Mint would be accepted as $1, 1 oz gold coin would be $50, and 1 oz platinum coin would be $100.
Don’t get me wrong: I think precious metals are a wonderful way of saving wealth, and yes, in a SHTF scenario I think they will have a role to play, but if you’re going for SHTF storage of wealth, I highly discourage the purchase of gold coins or bars. If you want to buy gold, then buy simple rings, bracelets and necklaces, even broken ones. I think silver and copper will be more useful than gold. Taking an ounce of gold to the post-apocalyptic trading center would be a very bad idea, unless you’re buying a truck maybe. Taking some scrap gold, or a few silver coins, or even some salt in a bag, might serve you better. But at that point, does that make salt money? Salt was used as a measure of trade for thousands of years before gold was.
You say gold has intrinsic value, but does it, really? In the end, it is only as valuable as the parties in a trade transaction agree to give it. You can’t eat it, can’t build shelter out of it, can’t forge it into a practical weapon…what is it’s intrinsic value? How does a seller know he is getting actual gold, and not some other yellow metal, or how does the seller know the purity of the gold? How many people know how to acid test gold? In that light, wheat, spices, and textiles are more valuable as money (and have also been used as a measure of trade hundreds or thousands of years ago).
I know this seems like a debate on semantics, but I think it’s important. Our economy is going to crap, and as a nation we need to get smarter on how it works. Again, precious metals do store wealth very well, but that only fulfills part of the requirements of being money.
Thanks for the civil debate, btw!