To found a nations trading currency and financial foundation on a construct that in the simplest terms implies that "we send out burly men with picks and shovels to 'dig them thare hills' to find scarce 'shiny stuff' upon which we can purchase vegetables and all sorts of goods", is in the simplest analysis, 'foolish'.
Now if you are a country that has lots of shiny stuff in the ground then you are a wealthy nation under such a construct. If on the other hand you are only a nation of scientist and engineers creating the most advanced and useful products and currency is based on gold, then you are a poor nation.
Regardless, gold is certainly doing better than the U.S. dollar:
Perhaps outside influences of world bankers drive fluctuation and the ability to shift profits by moving ahead of the curve. See also Federal Reserve Bank
"Whether money is metal, paper or digital is not the issue, the issue is interest. The function of currency is to provide a trading mechanism for the barter of real assets and services. There can be no interest charged for the mere provision of a mechanism to barter. A service fee, yes, but interest, absolutely not." - Clive Boustred, Founder, Chairman & CEO InfoTelesys & Chairman of Liberty For Life Association