For decades our government, as well as most every other economy, has been using a monetary system without a commodity based reserve...like gold for example. The money we use is known as fiat money and is literally "created" out of thin air. While I am not an economist I am a business owner, tax payer, and concerned citizen of/for our republic. The "crisis" we are seeing world wide is, according to what I understand from studying Mises, an inevitable fact of government interventionism causing the boom-and-bust economies we are experiencing...and will continue to experience (unless a change is made) until the economy is severely damaged or destroyed. Mises noted in The Theory of Money and Credit (published in 1912):
It would be a mistake to assume that the modern organization of exchange is bound to continue to exist. It carries within itself the germ of its own destruction; the development of the fiduciary medium must necessarily lead to its breakdown.
Further, Mises noted in Human Action:
There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandoment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.
In that light I would suggest that anyone interested in this topic watch the video (part one is linked...part two is also on youtube) and read the information in the links below...the information may help explain how we got to where we are:
Tom Woods: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lRpJ1GLm5Q
Thorsten Polleit: http://www.mises.org/story/3386
The Mises Intsitue link: