Willard, if you want to expand your horizon and think about viable alternatives that actually solve global economic woes then read the book "Web of Debt" by Ellen Brown. Check out her website: http://www.webofdebt.com/
There is a common fallacy that fiat currency is the root of the problem for all of these financial and economic disasters presently. Currency is merely what government deems to be legal tender and it can be anything such as gold coins, paper dollar bills, or sticks. The real issue is the creation of global central banking and the act of usury which is charging interest on money loaned out. Money gets created and there is only enough to match the principal amount created, but there is never an equivalent creation of money on interest charged so someone/thing will eventually have to assume debt to cover this ever escalating interest since there was never enough physical money creation. This is what forces mankind to be in competition with one another since some will end up as bag holders in the end. That is why the system is considered to be one giant Ponzi system and is assured to fail over the very long term because that is the very nature of it.
The gold standard or gold linked/backed currency merely serves to reign in the power hungry self serving governments that exist only to retain power and control or act in the interest of the 1%. So you are correct in pointing this out within a flawed system. But it did nothing to create prosperity or economic growth since the very moment when economies require capital the golkd standard restricts it. In fact there was more unemployment and economic contraction when early America was forced to change from a purely fiat currency not controlled by central banking to the European banking system backed by gold. That was the real reason for those American civil wars because central bankers did not want to lose control and had to crush any competing "rogue" currencies by the colonists.
One should also ask the proverbial question "why is man so obsessed with gold'? From what I can dig up it really does not make any sense to me why gold is chosen to be so precious and revered. I researched into early civilizations of humans and it has always been that way but no explanation given. Researching even further into the origins of humans, once you get past all of that hogwash about Darwinism and evolution, you get to read about many myths among various civilizations and they all exhibit a common theme. And that is it alludes to man being a genetic experiment creation by the Gods (i.e. extra-terrestrials) and they were deemed to be Gods since they obviously possessed superior knowledge, technology, and powers. Gold mining is also very ancient and dates back several HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of years and the evidence is there in some archeological findings in Africa. So my theory is that the Gods either had some functional usage for gold or held it in very high regard for non-functional purposes and humans observed this and it would be logical to assume they merely copied this same behaviour to also treasure gold but they never knew why it was.