The US Government confiscated private gold in 1933. Let me repeat this as it is very important to note; The United States Government confiscated the personal private gold supplies of it's citizens in 1933. At the beginning of the worst economic crisis in the history of our country, our fearless leaders figured that the best step to ensure the wealth of the citizens was to steal the wealth of it's citizens.
It is also important to note two things that the government did not do. First of all, they didn't confiscate all of our personal food supplies. Secondly, they were nice enough not to break all of our legs rendering us incapable of working. This is important to note because many Americans are preparing their own safe havens for their families and themselves in the event of another major collapse. A safe haven in this case, is simply something that is going to keep you fed. Seeing as how the government doesn't have a history of confiscating our food, nor physically preventing us from working in exchange for food, but they do very specifically have a history of taking our gold right at the beginning of a collapse, why then would we think that owning gold is a safe haven for our wealth?
As an investment rather than a safe haven, gold is no better off. Any good investor will tell you to buy low, then sell high. That option doesn't exist with gold right now because gold is already high. “Buy high, sell high” is not something you'll hear an investor say, unless he is selling pot. In any case, the price of gold is extremely high compared to historical trends. With that trend being caused by the weakness of the dollar, and with the dollar having already lost over 97% of its original value and not having much weaker it can get before it collapses, like any bubble, the price of gold can't go up drastically further either.
To put this in perspective, consider the real estate bubble. On top of federal legislation, the housing bubble was aided in no small part by unnaturally low interest rates. Mathematically, interest rates couldn't have gone much lower before the banks would have been paying you to borrow their money. If the driving factor of the bubble is near its mathematical limit, then the bubble is near its bursting point.
In the gold market, we are at such a point. We aren't finding wonderful new uses for gold every day which has driven up it's value. Gold's value has been driven up by two main factors, Glenn Beck's doomsday radio show, and a weak dollar. Although I don't disagree with Glenn's hysterics, I tend to think the weak dollar deserves more of the blame. With that said, because the dollar cannot get much weaker until it loses any value at all, gold, as an investment, only makes sense if you've already owned it for several years.
So here is what we are left with. If you buy gold now, and the economy collapses as you and I suspect that it will, then the government is very likely going to confiscate your gold just like they did before, leaving you with nothing. If you buy gold now, and the Ron Paul Revolution turns the tide of the nation, audits the Federal Reserve and reverses their inflationary effect on the dollar, then the price of gold is going to plummet, and you will lose your shirt. In short, if you buy gold now, your likely outcomes are to lose your gold, or lose your shirt. Neither option is going to feed your family.
So what is the safe haven? To begin with, it is food. Beyond that, your safe haven is capitalism, or your means of production, or your means of working for food. Although gold holds its value as a medium of exchange better than paper, it is still only a medium of exchange. Gold is not the wealth being exchanged.
Even in communist China, capitalism is difficult to extinguish for this very important reason; governments can fool liberals into thinking it is justifiable to steal an individual's money, but they rarely have the guts to steal an individuals food, or ability to work. When your safe haven exists as money, whether it is gold or paper, you make it easier for the government to rob you of the fruits of your labor. When your safe haven is food, and your ability to work for it, then it won't matter if we switch to a seashell standard, you'll be able to provide the necessities.