As presented at compendious depth in the Lehrman Institute's http://thegoldstandardnow.Org, of which I am editor; in the Bank of England's Financial Stability Report No. 13 published in December 2011; and as presented in many of my weekly columns in Forbes.Com, http://www.Forbes.Com/sites/ralphbenko/, the empirical data show the classical gold standard to have the best track record for creating a climate of equitable prosperity of any monetary regime on record.
American currencies have been considered fiat currencies since 1971. Since then American currencies have not been directly convertible to gold. Forty-two years down the road it is respectfully impossible to turn back and change our currency back to the gold standard. Firstly, we are not aware of the total amount of monies out there. Secondly, there's probably more money than what the country could afford to buy in gold.
Returning to the gold standard is not good idea because in today's age of algo-manipulated commodity trading, this could cause inflation and deflation in huge percentage swings on a daily basis. Your dollar today could have a ton of buying power, tomorrow you might not be able to buy food for your family. Gold has long been thought to be a hedge against inflation, but a hedge for only those that are already wealthy. Only the 1% would benefit if we were to got back such a standard.