Gold and silver is money. Everything else is just debt. Only a durable and generally accepted commodity extinguishs debt. If you owe me and I agree to let you pay me with fiat then the debt has not truly been extinguished. It has simply been moved to the Federal Reserve. If fiat was disciplined by metal as things stand today gold would weigh less that it’s paper equivalent so all you said about shipping gold is moot (but mostly silly since even paper money is a miniscule portion of currency). Until 1971 the function of gold was mostly to settle trade imbalances between large players in the market and was very seldom used as currency. Silver was more commonly used as currency and even then was somewhat rare compared to bills of laden or fiat. Metal doesn’t replace fiat currency, it just disciplines it since no one can produce enough gold cheaply enough to disrupt the ratio between its fiat money supply and ounces of gold in the world. It really is no mystery why Central Banks around the world have been accumulating more and more gold in recent years. If you trade with a Chinese fellow and you already have more Yuan than you want then you simply require him to tell his gold billion bank to allocate a portion of his gold to you. No shipping, no fuss, and you still use dollars to buy a milkshake.
Cheap oil supported the production growth required to sustain our current monetary system and its ever-expanding debt levels which at this point will obviously never be paid. As George Bush said,” The era of cheap oil is over.” Peak debt and peak oil go hand in hand. Oil at $50 bankrupts the oil companies and oil at $100 crashes the economy. The huge US military presence in the world is required not only to keep the oil flowing, but to make sure trade balances with Saudi Arabia ( and all international trade balances for that matter ) are settled in dollars. The world is ripe for a monetary reset. When it happens, my friend, it won’t hurt to have a few ounces of gold on hand.