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Phil Denniston: Free Markets, Education, and The Gold Standard

Tom Welcomes author and economist Phil Denniston. Phil discusses the inadequacies of his economics education and how economic problems around the year 2000 caused him to question it. The bursting of the housing bubble lead him to study and learn from a more rational school of economic thought. All the world’s problems come back to the bubble-bust cycle and debt.

Capitalism is a spectrum and our system has elements of free markets, but it’s not truly free. We set the price of money, and price fix many markets. All of which create distortions. We have cronyism, where markets are controlled by interests of the highest bidder. The types of people we need in government aren’t likely to want the job.

A lot of economic activity occurs due to the price fixing of money. We blow up asset prices and create bubbles. This maintains zombie companies that shouldn’t be around any longer. Capitalism requires failure, but that doesn’t happen as often as it should. The result is stagnation and eventually recession or depression.

Every dollar today is created as a loan. Debt is principal plus interest, and more dollars will be needed to repay it. We have to have endless growth within a finite world. A lot of conflict comes back to the money system. Our current system is the aberration, in normal economic times money is tied to something of value. Free markets always choose a backed system. Government intervention in the system can only make things worse.

A return to the gold standard will never occur until they are forced into this solution. When things blow up, there will be only one way to restore confidence, which is a backed currency. Hopefully, we actually have the gold reserves the U.S. government claims. Collapse will bring short to medium term pain.

Humans are herd animals, and we fear being cut-off from the rest of the tribe. It’s important to train yourself to think differently and apart from the propaganda. Group think can be dangerous, and it’s key to stand up for what you believe in. Focus on what you can control.

Time Stamp References:
0:00 – Introduction
1:04 – Economics Journey
6:06 – Those In Charge
9:40 – Fed Distortions
13:42 – The Economic Endgame?
17:56 – Inherent Flaws
19:43 – Systems & Government
27:15 – Realigning Incentives
29:35 – Better Bedtime Stories
34:29 – Madness of Crowds
36:52 – Concluding Thoughts
38:49 – Wrap Up

Talking Points From This Episode

  • The problems with the current fiat debt based financial system.
  • Why control systems create asset bubbles and market distortions.
  • Importance of commodity backed currency systems and the dangers of following the herd.

Guest Links:

Phil Denniston is founder and CEO of, better bedtime stories revealing the secrets of the debt-based fiat money system using the principles of liberty, sound money, Austrian Economics, and Natural Law. Phil holds a BA in Economics from the University of Colorado. With, Phil married his two passions: Understanding what’s behind the curtain in finance, markets, and geopolitics, and using that nightly ritual building memories with your children to teach them how the system really works. Phil is also a contributing author for

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