The gold standard is not important as an isolated gadget but only as an integral part of a whole economic system. Just as "managed" paper money goes with a statist and collectivist philosophy, with government "planning," with a coercive economy in which the citizen is always at the mercy of bureaucratic caprice, so the gold standard is an integral part of a free-enterprise economy under which governments respect private property, economize in spending, balance their budgets, keep their promises, and refuse to connive in overexpansion of money or credit. Until our government is prepared to return to this system in its entirety and has given evidence of this intention by its deeds, it is pointless to try to force it to go on a real gold basis. For it would only be off again in a few months. And, as in the past, the gold standard itself, rather than the abuses that destroyed it, would get the popular blame. - Henry Hazlitt, "What You Should Know About Inflation"
So if, as it should, the American government decides to return to a full gold standard, its first step must be to bring inflation to a halt. Without this preliminary or accompanying step any attempted return to gold would be certain to collapse. And once again the gold standard itself, rather than the inflation, would probably be discredited in the popular mind.