Nathan Lewis

Fellow, Center on Wealth & Poverty

Nathan Lewis is the author of four books on economic topics, including three about the gold standard. He has maintained a website on economic topics since 2005, at He has fifteen years of experience in the asset management industry, in research and portfolio management. Today, he is the editor of the Polaris Letter, an investment newsletter.


Time to Take Sound Money to the Federal Level

The idea of “Sound Money” — this means using gold and silver as money — has been persistently popular among the states for over a decade. Beginning with Utah in 2011, one state after another has removed barriers and impediments to using gold and silver, and digital or other alternatives based on gold and silver, in a monetary role. With over 40 states now having passed some kind of Sound Money legislation, it is now time to take on the federal government. Representative Alex Mooney (R), of West Virginia, recently introduced the Monetary Metals Tax Neutrality Act, HR 8279, into the US House. The bill aims to repeat, at the federal level, what has already been accomplished in many states.

Zimbabwe’s Central Bank Starts Africa’s Path to a Gold Standard

This month, the Central Bank of Zimbabwe launched a new gold-based currency, the first gold-based currency from a government since Richard Nixon effectively ended the world gold standard system in 1971. As long as the Central Bank of Zimbabwe adheres to some important principles, and doesn't play politics, it should be fine.

Life After Capitalism Highlights The Way Forward For Economists

Life After Capitalism is full of new ideas with great potential to advance the study of economics out of its current stagnant ruts. Among other things, it may help bridge the cultural divide between business innovators and policy wonks. Readers will find new vistas and horizons in every chapter.

The BRICs Go For Gold

After months of debate about various currency and commodity baskets, a Russia- and China-led consortium has apparently settled on using gold as the basis of a planned new international currency system separate from the US dollar and euro.

What’s Being Done to Reduce Wealth Inequality in the US?

Wealth inequality has grown in recent years. There are nearly 1,000 billionaires in the U. S. and the wealthiest Americans have never been richer. In contrast, poor and working-class Americans have seen their incomes stagnate and fall. Discovery Fellow Nathan Lewis joined NPR to discuss what can be done to reduce wealth inequality in the United States.

“Taxing All Income The Same” Done Right

“Taxing all income the same” is the right idea. Without it, we are lost at sea where every possible stupidity can be justified by “fairness.” This is the principle of Uniformity, and it should be the basis for our tax system of the future.

What Is “M2,” And Why Should We Care About It?

Of the various “monetary aggregates” (at one point, I think over thirteen were identified), “M2” is perhaps the most commonly referenced. It is supposedly important. But why? To answer that, we have to first figure out what it is.

What’s Wrong With Turkey?

Unfortunately, Turkey has a long history of currency failure, so it would be no surprise if the country were to stack up some new failures today. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. In the past, mostly before 1970, the Turkish lira had long stretches of reliability, and perhaps Turkey will aspire to greatness again.

What’s Wrong with “Neoliberal Economics”?

As a member of the “supply side” branch of modern classical economics, I might be labeled a “neoliberal economist” by some. But, there are important points at which common “neoliberal” economics fails badly, and which give rise to much-deserved criticism.

Rationalizing Tariffs

Economic Nationalism tends to boil down into two basic policies: tariffs, and limited immigration. Sometimes, in the past, it has meant currency devaluations, but today that is not really proposed. On a broader basis, it means that economic policy should result in positive outcomes, for the whole of the population.

Prescription Drugs Should Be Almost Free, And Actually, They Already Are

For a long time, people have been debating drug prices in the United States. This is stupid. Today, about 90% of all prescriptions are for generic drugs. Probably, the percentage should be higher than this (it is 97% in China). Generic prescription drugs should be like Tylenol — almost free. Actually, they already are almost free.

We Are Going To Have A Much Smaller Federal Government

The original Federal government of the Constitution was framed on the principle of a limited government of “Enumerated Powers.” In other words, it would handle a short and definite list of responsibilities. All other functions of government would be the responsibilities of the States.

Demographic Collapse #2: Ponzi Schemes

I have been arguing that a decline in population (“demographic collapse”) need not be a bad thing. If per-worker productivity remains high, or better yet rises considerably, then individuals and the society in general will remain wealthy and prosperous.

Interview With Dmitriy Balkovskiy

Dmitriy Balkovskiy, a Russian businessman, published my first book Gold: The Once and Future Money (2007) in the Russian language. This worked well: Not long after, Russia’s largest television station, Channel One, sent a video crew to my house in Upstate New York to interview me for a big documentary on the world monetary system.

“Money Printing” in the 1960s

I was going to do something on the last years of Bretton Woods, involving William McChesney Martin at the Fed, and Presidents Johnson and Nixon. But, to do this properly would take some serious research, which I never got around to. (It would make a nice book.) So, today — the fiftieth anniversary of the official End of the Bretton Woods system on August 15, 1971 — we will instead take a step-by-step approach, piecing together little clues along the way.