The problem with the gold standard is that the fluctuation in the supply of gold due to mining activity actually used to cause destructive boom and bust cycles. (It was also a problem when people turned in their gold for cash an...d vice versa.)
Before we had a Federal Reserve we had a man that served the function of Federal Reserve. His name was JP Morgan. He had to bail the country out on more than one occasion.
I explained this in great detail on my radio show the Saturday before last. Here's the way too short version. The issue is the way money and banking works. When you make a deposit, some is held back for reserves, then it is lent out. When it goes into the financial system, some of it eventually returns and a reserve is held on that, etc. That is the velocity of money. This happens multiple times. The problem is that people are easily spooked and will pull money out of financial institutions in order to make sure they don't lose everything. (See "It's a Wonderful Life" on a TV near you.) We had bank failures more than every ten years prior to the 1900s.The Fed was just one element in a long list of culprits in the real estate collapse.
Overborrowing, government meddling, investment speculation, poor regulation, low interest rates, and a host of other issues caused the problems.
Gold has gone up for the same reasons it went up in the 70s and early 80s. Fear of the messes that government can cause. When the problems got bad enough, people voted for the right kind of change and we experienced great growth. I fundamentally think that government has to be reduced to managable levels and spending must be put into check. I think the best way is to reduce government spending growth rates. When the economy then grows faster than government, the debt issues will take care of themselves.