The Constitution doesn't give us liberty, rights, or property, it protects us from those who would take it away from us, we learned. Without property, we would all be slaves, and the less property we have, the less free we are. Since property is something that can usually be seen, handled, and documented; the property of money is very important. Government, in violation of the Constitution, can and does take our property, and tax us on what remains. It is bad enough for government to confiscate our money property by taxing us, but the most insidious confiscation and robbery of our money property, is when government debases it through inflating it with the printing press. This is a tax, to which the citizenry, in 99% of the cases, wouldn't even understand. A history of currencies shows that all of them have failed, and taken their users' life blood from them, and without their either consent, or ability to stop it, other than by getting out of them. I won't go into the devaluations of the Mexican pesos in 1982 and 1994, the British pound in 1967, the collapse of the Thai baht, Indonesian rupiah, South Korean won, Brazilian real, or the Russian ruble. Maybe the euro and dollar will be added in the future. Who knows?
Governments throughout history, have usually been pretty bad at managing their affairs, both domestic and foreign. At one task, they have always been extremely good, and that is devaluing their own currencies. Currency devaluation, either deliberately, or due to miss-management, and wild proliferations and spending, have been part and parcel of all governments throughout recorded history. In ancient kingdoms, before the printing press, the king would decrease the amount of gold or silver in the coinage, clip the coins, or make them smaller, while insisting that they have the same value. Neither kings, rulers, or governments can ever get enough of the money they issue, because they are always poor managers, and just love to spend. If they don't get enough from taxes, they simply get funds by devaluing the money. Both result in economic collapse, be they kingdoms, republics, oligarchies, democracies, or republics. All eventually end up in the refuse heap, due to economic collapse, or military overthrow. The military overthrow, most often is the result of bad economics and debased money.
When governments devalue the currency of their citizens, they are stealing their property. They do this by legislating "legal tender" laws, which simply means that the citizens are forced to use the devaluing money issued by that government. Tom Paine wrote a lot. Among his works, was an essay titled "Attack on Paper Money Laws," and in this essay, he wrote, "The fundamental principles of civil government are security of our rights and persons as freemen, and security of property. A tender law, therefore, cannot stand on principles of civil government, because it operates to take away a man's share of civil and natural freedom, and to render property insecure."
Ludwig von Mises, the great Austrian economist wrote about sound money, "The postulate of sound money was first brought up as a response to the princely practice of debasing the coinage. It was later carefully elaborated and perfected in an age which - through the experience of the American continental currency, the paper money of the French Revolution, and the British Restriction period - had learned what a government can do to a nation's currency system." Mises believed that sound money was equally as important as a constitution, or bill of rights. Having ones property secure, money wise, is just as important as securing ones residence, automobile, or other valuables. After all, if ones' money is not secure, and ones' government is debasing it on a continual basis, isn't this almost exactly the same as stealing from you? Making it bluntly clear, I ask you simply: Isn't the United States Government, as headquartered in Washington DC, and being manned by 535 Senators and Representatives, and one President, actually stealing you blind, aside from taking your money with hundreds of taxes, both above board and hidden?
Hans Sennholz wrote in his "In Search of Monetary Stability," that no money is inherently stable, but is subject to man's valuations, just as is any item in any market. Values of all items on any market can vary as to supply, desirability, season, transportation, and even storage capacity and cost. Sennholz noted however, how well precious metals have served throughout the ages as a relatively stable means of exchange. He wrote, "The only stable money, in the long run, is the money of the market: It is non-political money. Real stability comes with the removal of government control over money." Throughout history, gold and silver have been real money on which to back a currency, and guarantee its convertibility into, upon demand of the holder. No such currency exists in the world today, for the first time in history. Mises wrote about sound money, that it, "Still means today, what it meant in the nineteenth century: the gold standard."
Article one, Section Eight of the Constitution, grants Congress the power to coin money. Money is property. One of the purposes of this, was to eliminate the various states from issuing their own money. By having one money for all states, it would enable trade between the states to happen. Before the Constitution, there was Delaware money, Maryland money, Virginia money, New York money, etc. All had various values, and made it virtually impossible for trade to exist between the states. It all worked out extremely well, admittedly with a few hitches, for close to 150 years. It all started to unravel with FDR's enlarging the government to a degree the Founders would have considered absurd and impossible. FDR began the welfare state, and it was all downhill after that. In 1964, America saw the last 90% silver dimes, quarters, and halves. Richard Nixon removed the last vestige of gold backing in 1971, and this allowed unlimited printing of unbacked paper money.
What you possess is your property. No government has the right to take your property, or devalue it. If you lived on a farm, and had a large water tank for personal and farm use, and someone punched a small hole in it, your water property would have been stolen by the vandal who pierced your tank. Yesterday, we went into a local Mexican fast food restaurant. Behind the counter was a man, who took orders and cashiered. The fellow before us had a large order of $15.00 The man behind the counter pushed a couple of buttons which showed $15.00, but the final amount which was recorded as the sale, was zero. He took a $20 bill, gave a $5 bill in change, and issued the food. The clerk stole $15.00 from the store's owner. He would later remove the $15.00, put it in his pocket, and the drawer would show that all had been accounted for. This is known in the retail trade, as "knocking down." It is stealing. That clerk stole the property of the store's proprietor, and decreased his profits. When a government prints its currency by the hundreds of billions of units, the large number of the units decreases their value, and this is known as inflation. The citizenry, as usual, is very stupid about basic economics, and simply thinks that, "prices are going up." They don't realize that just like that clerk, who stole $15.00 from the store's owner. Your government is stealing your property from you, by debasing it While you still have the same or more "dollars," they are constantly buying less, and are worth less. Your sustenance is being robbed, just like governments throughout history have done to their subjects. Without fail, this has resulted in the currencies going to zero sooner or later, because they have no intrinsic value, or convertibility to a valuable substance, such as gold or silver. Dollars are convertible into more dollars, and nothing more. We have legal tender laws, which are a license to steal. It is happening on a daily basis, and no lock can stop it. The only way to stop the theft…is to get out of that legal tender, and into real money. Protect yourself.
May 12, 2005
Don Stott has been a precious metals broker since 1977, has written five books, hundreds of columns, and his web site is www.coloradogold.com