Here is a scary chart of the value of the dollar in terms of gold with 1970=100. As you can see, since we officially went off the gold standard (Nixon unilaterally took us off in 1971) the value of the dollar has plummeted by 98%. What's even more amazing is that by the end of 1979, the dollar had already depreciated by 95% versus gold. Looks like if you allow a government to print at will, it will:
Coincidentally, this money printing allowed almost unlimited deficit spending, in fact, as this graph shows (with the red line being the official real GDP growth rate and the blue line being real gdp with the annual increase in gross federal debt subtracted) around the time we went off gold was when we really stopped being able to grow without deficits.