Pinocchio and "fifty shining gold pieces fresh from the mint."

The Adventures of Pinocchio  is a classic children's story, by Carlo Collodi, about a wooden puppet who gets turned into a real boy. 

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

The story can be taken as a very elegant metaphor for the gold standard. 

The puppet-boy known for the lengthening of his nose when he tells lies finally finds his integrity. La Fata dai Capelli turchini -- the fairy with turquoise hair -- to whose recovery he devotes his hard-earned money -- rewards him.  She does so by turning him into a real boy.  And by converting the the base money in his pocket to gold: "fifty shining gold pieces fresh from the mint."

 "My dear Pinocchio, the poor Fairy is lying in bed at the hospital!"

"At the hospital?"

"It is only too true. Overtaken by a thousand misfortunes, she has fallen seriously ill, and she has not even enough to buy herself a mouthful of bread."

"Is it really so? Oh, what sorrow you have given me! Oh, poor Fairy! Poor Fairy! Poor Fairy! If I had a million I would run and carry it to her, but I have only five dollars. Here they are—I was going to buy a new coat. Take them, Snail, and carry them at once to my good Fairy."

"And your new coat?"

"What matters my new coat? I would sell even these rags that I have on to be able to help her. Go, Snail, and be quick; and in two days return to this place, for I hope I shall then be able to give you some more money. Up to this time I have worked to maintain my papa; from today I will work five hours more that I may also maintain my good mamma. Good-bye, Snail, I shall expect you in two days."

The Snail, contrary to her usual habits, began to run like a lizard in a hot August sun.

That evening Pinocchio, instead of going to bed at ten o'clock, sat up till midnight had struck; and instead of making eight baskets of rushes he made sixteen.

Then he went to bed and fell asleep. And whilst he slept he thought that he saw the Fairy, smiling and beautiful, who, after having kissed him, said to him:

"Well done, Pinocchio! To reward you for your good heart I will forgive you for all that is past. Boys who minister tenderly to their parents and assist them in their misery and infirmities, are deserving of great praise and affection, even if they cannot be cited as examples of obedience and good behavior. Try and do better in the future and you will be happy."

At this moment his dream ended and Pinocchio opened his eyes and awoke.

But imagine his astonishment when upon awakening he discovered that he was no longer a wooden puppet, but that he had become instead a boy, like all other boys. He gave a glance round and saw that the straw walls of the hut had disappeared, and that he was in a pretty little room furnished and arranged with a simplicity that was almost elegance. Jumping out of bed he found a new suit of clothes ready for him, a new cap, and a pair of new boots, that fitted him beautifully.

He was hardly dressed when he naturally put his hands in his pockets and pulled out a little ivory purse on which these words were written: "The Fairy with blue hair returns the five dollars to her dear Pinocchio, and thanks him for his good heart." He opened the purse and instead of five dollars he saw fifty shining gold pieces fresh from the mint.

He then went and looked at himself in the glass, and he thought he was some one else. For he no longer saw the usual reflection of a wooden puppet; he was greeted instead by the image of a bright, intelligent boy with chestnut hair, blue eyes, and looking as happy and joyful as if it were the Easter holidays.

Fiduciary currencies, such as Federal Reserve Notes, imply, with their meticulous engraving, integrity.  But they are not "real," they are artificial.  The dollar has lost 85% of its value since the last remnants of the gold standard were repudiated on August 15, 1971.

The gold standard has proven itself, in the laboratory of history, as having integrity -- no lengthening noses there.  The gold standard, properly established, is real.  And, as a source of prosperity for working people, has "a good heart." 

And there are signs that la Fata dai Capelli turchini may be preparing to return to America and may yet provide "shining gold pieces fresh from the mint."

"Try and do better in the future and you will be happy."