Episode 831: The Golden Rules : Planet Money Planet Money joins the gold rush 170 years late. And the rules are still about the same. How did that happen?
NPR logo Episode 831: The Golden Rules

Episode 831: The Golden Rules

Julia Simon
Gold pan
Julia Simon

In 1872, Congress passed The Mining Act, a law designed to make mining on U.S. land easy and cheap. The government wanted to encourage westward expansion. They wanted people to head out, find minerals, get rich, and settle down.

The Mining Act of 1872 is still in place, and getting the rights to dig up gold in the US today isn't all that different than it was during the Gold Rush.

Today on the show: How has this system stayed the same for almost 150 years? And why is this country giving away its gold on public land. And its silver, and platinum, and copper....

Music: "Cowboy Country," "Last Oil in Texas" and "Slide by Slide."

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