When money was made out of a relatively rare mineral, gold, it seemed practical and reasonable to shut the stuff away in vaults and issue IOUs instead. That is how the Dutch gained control over Britain’s industrial development by hoarding the gold Spain stole from the Americas. Then, after a goodly amount of time, it became obvious that if people credited the certificates, if the issuers proved reliable, then keeping the mineral stash was an essentially useless enterprise. Richard Nixon terminated it officially in 1972. The dollar was liberated from artificial ties to gold and the banksters suddenly realized they needed limits on how many coursed through the economy, if they were going to continue demanding a “cut” for lending the currency (they get for free from the Treasury) out. So, the bankers recruited the assistance of Capitol Hill to limit annual disbursements to whatever had been collected as revenue the prior year. Any excess disbursements have to be borrowed from the banksters and their friends, the hoarders. So, that is the unholy alliance between the capitalists and the denizens of Capitol Hill. If it is all shrouded in a fog, remember that until fairly recently talk about money was considered tabu. In my youth women were not allowed to have any, unless some male relative, father or spouse, approved. Fifty years ago a car salesman would not show me a car unless I brought my husband along. Having been raisedy a single-parent- by-choice, much about American culture came as a surprise. The theory is grand, but the reality comes up short.
P.S. I asked Richard Nixon in a letter whether he considered the effect abandoning gold as the currency standard would have on countries such as South Africa and Russia, which still have a plentiful supply of the mineral in the ground. He answered that he had not given it any thought.