Gold & Silver Get Slammed on Positive Economic Reports

June 9, 2024

Later on in today’s program, we have an important update on Money Metals’ efforts to enact pro-sound money laws across America. Six bills have become law this year, making 2024 the most successful year for our sound money efforts so far. So, stick around for an interview with our own Jp Cortez, coming up after this week’s market update.

Well, gold has been the headline performer in the first half the year – breaking records and commanding attention. But in the second half of 2024, silver may be set to steal the show.

Silver has been quietly outperforming gold since February. Silver prices surged to an 11-year high last month.

The junior monetary metal still has a long way to go in order to reach a new all-time high above $49 an ounce. Even if it doesn’t achieve that feat in 2024, it could still set a new record for a year-end closing price.

After silver spiked to $49 in early 2011, it slumped the rest of the year to finish disappointingly back below the $30 level. If silver can have a decent second half of the year, or better yet build on what did it did in the first half, then it will have established a new precedent and a strong base for a further bull run ahead.

Today, though, the monetary metals are seriously taking it on the chin – and what was looking like a positive week is now well into the red. As of this Friday recording, silver is off big here today, checking in at $29.50 an ounce – erasing all of yesterday’s healthy gains and then some, and now shows a loss of 3.6% since last Friday’s close.

Silver’s pricier cousin gold was knocking on the door of $2,400 again yesterday after a nice advance but is now off 1.2% for the week to bring spot prices to $2,319 an ounce. Platinum is off 6.9% to trade at $977. And finally, palladium is down 2.7% for the week to come in at $947 per ounce.

Metals markets got a bit of a boost on Thursday from weaker than expected jobs numbers that sent the U.S. Dollar Index declining. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of Americans filing for unemployment rose to exceed the consensus estimate.

However, today’s Nonfarm Payrolls report reversed things sharply as the May number was up 272,000, rather than the consensus forecast of only 190,000. The outperformance seemed to erase the unemployment number that was reported earlier in the week that gave a boost to metals.

Of course, bad news for Main Street isn’t necessarily bad for Wall Street. Anything that increases the odds of a Federal Reserve rate cut could carry bullish implications for stocks – at least in the short term.

But long-term investors shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that nominal stock market highs necessarily represent real underlying strength. The S&P 500 has lagged behind both gold and silver year to date. In other words, stocks are losing value when priced in terms of sound money.

The U.S. dollar continues to depreciate at an elevated rate, making it difficult for the Fed to justify cutting rates. But dovish Fed officials may be encouraged by the European Central Bank, which opted this week to reduce its deposit rate by 25 basis points.

The ECB’s first rate cut in five years didn’t hurt the euro or trigger any sort of safe-haven buying of Federal Reserve notes. In fact, the U.S. dollar drifted lower versus a basket of foreign currencies. Perhaps currency traders are expecting America’s central bankers to soon follow suit with a rate cut of their own.

A pivot toward monetary easing would please Wall Street cheerleaders and Biden administration mouthpieces. Stock market bulls are looking for another excuse to push valuations even higher. And Joe Biden is desperate to get whatever polling boost he can from a stimulus injection into the economy.

The White House and its allies in the media act perplexed that voters generally aren’t happy with the way the economy is performing. They insist that Americans should be grateful for Bidenomics and the fact that inflation has come down.

The official rate of inflation may be lower now than it was a couple years ago. But prices themselves haven’t come down. They continue to rise. And they are rising at a faster rate than they were when Biden took office, despite his repeated claims to the contrary.

A relentlessly rising stock market is a symptom of the problem. And for that matter, so is soaring precious metals prices, today’s pullback notwithstanding.

In the event that the economy rolls over, the stock market could finally do so as well. It’s already starting to weaken in real terms.

Economic stagnation plus high inflation is a terrible environment for conventional financial assets. Under stagflation, though, gold and silver can shine as alternative assets that help stabilize and boost investor portfolios.

Well now, without further delay, let’s move right to our interview on Money Metals’ sweeping advocacy efforts undertaken on behalf of our customers – and all Americans…

Mike Maharrey and Saleha Mohsin

Mike Maharrey: Greetings. I'm Mike Maharrey, a reporter and analyst here at Money Metals, and I'm here today with Jp Cortez. He is the executive director of the Sound Money Defense League. Hey, Jp, how are you today, buddy?

Jp Cortez: Hey, Mike, I'm doing well. So great to be on with you again.

Mike Maharrey: Absolutely fantastic to talk to you. I'm excited to talk a little bit about sound money and how we can get more of it. Before we really roll into the discussion, I'd like for you to just take a minute or two to give a brief overview of the Sound Money Defense League, what you do, and how you do it.

Jp Cortez: Yeah, thanks, Mike. I'm actually happy to announce that the... I guess this is our 10-year anniversary. The Sound Money Defense League turns 10 in 2024. So we are a national public policy group, a nonpartisan group focusing on remonetizing gold and silver as money. More than any other reason right now, the reason that gold and silver are not money is because of the taxes that surround their use and their purchase. So the first thing would be to eliminate these taxes. This is the single biggest point of friction that exists more than whether or not states have bullion depositories more than whether or not they've reaffirmed legal tender status or anything like that, the actual practical obstacle in the way of people using gold and silver as money are the taxes that surround its use. So we go state to state and to DC a little bit, working on legislation that eliminates these taxes, in many cases, the sales tax, the capital gains tax when you sell it.

In some cases, there are other business-related taxes that are levied on precious metals dealers that we've also fought against. And it's more than just the taxes, though. That's obviously a big part of our project and what we're focusing on. But on top of that, we've also, like I mentioned earlier, some of the bullion depositories, some of the legal tender laws. We've also worked in states to pass anti-CBDC language, which is becoming ever more popular both on the state and federal level. So it's a pretty robust group. I'm happy to say we've had a ton of success in the last 10 years passing legislation like this, being an educational platform.

One of the things that I've said, and I like to say is there are, I believe, more than 8,000 elected legislators around the United States on the state level. Most of them have never even really heard the term sound money. They've never really considered what money is, what value it provides, why we use it. And so to be able to not only remove the legal hurdles in using gold and silver as money but also to educate the people that are ostensibly ruling and guiding our lives. It's been a great platform to do that with, and I'm super happy with the work we've done here over the last 10 years.

Mike Maharrey: Yeah, it's fantastic. Such important work too. And it's interesting you're talking about the taxes on gold and silver, and I'm going to ask you to speculate a little bit because obviously, we can never know the motives of people that are in power. Governments like anything that's a revenue source. So that's obviously one reason we see these taxes. But do you think it's fair to say that at least part of it is intentional to create a barrier toward using sound money and to allow the Federal Reserve to maintain its monopoly on money?

Jp Cortez: To address the first thing you said, I think you're absolutely right that in most states they see taxes as streams of revenue, and I suppose that's what they are. And states and politicians in certain states tend to be less willing to give up some of those streams. And unfortunately, the issue with that is that it's a very static way to do this kind of analysis. One of the points that I make when I'm testifying before these committees across the country is: To end the tax on gold and silver investment items, gold, silver coins, round, and bullion, could actually end up increasing the state's revenue. The reason for that is because a lot of these conventions, the coin shows they won't do business in a state that has tax laws that fly in the face of what the coin dealers and coin believers are doing there. So not only are you losing... Right now there are currently five states in the country that still charge this tax. Of those five, all of them are completely surrounded by states that have already eliminated this tax.

Mike Maharrey: Right. You're talking about sales tax in this case, right?

Jp Cortez: Of course, of course. Yes. Excuse me. So in those cases, the state is losing revenue because people are simply driving across a border or going online to buy their precious metals. But in some cases, these politicians are, maybe they lack the foresight or there is a little bit of hardheadedness, and so they can't see that by removing the tax on investment items, there's a chance that you end up with a higher tax base or a higher revenue than you would just off of the sales tax on the metals.

As to whether or not they're doing it intentionally, I don't think so. I think that in many cases, like I was saying earlier, state politicians don't even really recognize the connection between... As far as they're concerned, the reason we're not using gold and silver is because the gold standard failed in the '70s, and the US government saved us fortunately, and that's why we're not using gold and silver. And I think a big part of that is... Well, obviously I believe that to be incorrect, but I think more of what's happening there rather than an intentional goal of state politicians to demonetize gold and silver is, I think a more reasonable explanation would be to look at the IRS that has unilaterally by rule decided that gold and silver are collectibles and they are to be taxed as such. And I think when a governing body or regulatory body like that from the top makes that sort of declaration, it is very easy for the states to fall in line with the ruling of that regulatory body.

I think that's mostly what it is. And we see that when we're testifying before these committees, when we're mobilizing our grassroots. This issue, the issue of at least taxes on gold and silver, it doesn't really have a lot of pushback. There isn't a group on the other side arguing for why these taxes should be the case. I think in most cases, this is simply something that politicians have never really clearly thought about, have never really had explained to them. And so I guess that speaks to why the educational part of what we're doing is so important as well. We're not necessarily going into a battlefield and fighting bloody fights with people who are diametrically opposed to what we're doing. In some cases, it's a question of mere education, and sometimes that can carry the day.

Mike Maharrey: So basically you're fighting ignorance in a lot of ways.

Jp Cortez: I would say that's exactly right. And I don't even mean that offensively. Because the idea of money and its true purpose and sound money especially has just escaped the American zeitgeist. It's simply not there. There is no cultural touch point for gold and silver and why they're valuable the way there is for example, in Asia. In Asian countries where you have brick-and-mortar stores that are selling gold and silver on every block, you've got demographics becoming younger and younger, people in their twenties and thirties who are regularly investing and buying gold and silver. That's just not something you have here in the States. So yeah, a lot of this is a reeducation that has to take place.

Mike Maharrey: Yeah, absolutely. I did an article a few weeks ago about... There's a convenience store, the biggest convenience store chain in South Korea sells little gold. They're small grams of gold, and you can get them for the equivalent of about a hundred dollars for the smallest thing. And people are eating it up. And as you mentioned, particularly young people, it's their way to save. They can save using gold and silver with just a little bit of money. Which goes to your point, when you levy tax on top of that you're disincentivizing. And I think people forget about that. Politicians think about taxes as, oh, we're raising revenue. They forget about the disincentives that they're creating whenever they do things like this.

Jp Cortez: Absolutely right. And I think another point to that same point, there is the disincentive of the tax, obviously, and that creates a lot of friction as to why people don't use it. But even the regulatory nature or the paperwork essentially that is required to... Okay, I bought a couple of Silver Eagles on this day. Did I buy them all at the same price? Okay, but now I'm going into my grocery store to buy a carton of milk. So what did I buy them for? What is my cost basis? It becomes a regulatory procedural paperwork nightmare. And that in itself is enough to disincentivize people that don't have any financial finesse or understanding of this system. No, these people wouldn't do that. So it makes it unworkable as money.

Mike Maharrey: Right. Very good point. So you mentioned that a lot of this does come from the top. You've got the IRS, and I know from work that I've done on the state policy level, there's a lot of follow-the-leader when it comes to government stuff. So if you've got the Feds doing something, states tend to fall in line. So why do you focus your work primarily at the state level when the root of the problem is Washington, DC?

Jp Cortez: As we both know, that is where the problem lies. The Federal Reserve and federal policies are ultimately the source of the monetary dysfunction that we're seeing and that we have seen for decades. The reason that we decided to focus more on state projects, half of it or part of it, is simply because that's where you can make a difference. In the case of DC, if you call your senator about an important bill, an aide might pick up. That aide may or may not give the congressman your message. They may or may not get back to you. But ultimately you'll be filed away. But that's not the case when you're calling the state board in Lincoln, Nebraska, or in Nashville, Tennessee, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Those places, their individuals, constituents have real power through the halls of their state capitol building. And so that kind of participation makes a difference in these legislative battles.

One of the primary tools that we use when we're working these bills is the grassroots mobilization, and that's leveraging Money Metals who has a large customer list of interested people in this topic all over the country. And asking them to act and making it very easy for them to do so by providing the information and the key dates on legislative hearings or key votes, that's ultimately what wins these legislative battles. That's ultimately what gets these things across the finish line. And we've found that there's been great success on the state level. I think as far as the federal level is concerned, we've had champions for sound money. Congressman Alex Mooney in West Virginia now has been that for almost a decade. And then before that, obviously Ron Paul, the champion, the father of the sound money movement. He was an excellent voice for sound money in DC. But man, look at what we have to show for that.

There haven't been sound money bills passed that are meaningful on the federal level. There hasn't been a hearing on this since what the old Ron Paul hearings that we all regularly rewatch on YouTube where he's asking Bernanke whether or not gold is money and stuff like that. So for all of our efforts on the federal level, there really isn't a lot of progress or victory that has happened there on that level. And so instead of focusing on what is a gridlocked institution where people are maybe more focused on making a name for themselves or developing a brand than they are serving their constituents. We've found that the federal level, it's not a good place to spend time and resources, it's not a productive place for time and resources. But on the state level, that is absolutely not the case. Just in the last 10 years that we've been doing this, it's almost doubled every year in our existence the amount of states that not only introducing this kind of legislation but passing it.

This year we're up to six states that have passed sound money legislation. Just earlier this week on Monday, I was in New Jersey testifying on a sales tax bill, so hopefully that'll be the seventh one. That bill passed out of committee unanimously. So hopefully New Jersey will be the seventh state victory of the year. So we've found that not only is the opportunity for legislative success higher in the state level, it's also a bigger audience. These 8,000 elected officials that I was telling you about earlier, those are the ones that make decisions that affect all of our lives. So yeah, I could go to DC and knock on AOC's door and beg her to hear me about sound money, but man, there are limited time and resources and it just doesn't make sense to waste time in a swamp that, as far as I'm concerned, is already a lost cause.

Mike Maharrey: Yeah. I hope that no matter what folks that are listening right now, no matter what else they take from this discussion, I hope that they take this point away that we can have much more impact if we're involved in political activism at the state level. And my experience absolutely dovetails with yours. I specifically remember a conversation I had a number of years ago with the state representative in Kentucky where I used to live. And he flat out told me that during a legislative session, he has gone through complete sessions without hearing from a constituent on a specific piece of legislation. As a result, if he gets 20, 30, 40 phone calls on one specific bill, it gets his attention because otherwise, they're basically operating in a vacuum. So you're absolutely right.

I think also from a strategic standpoint, we can make changes from the bottom up. And we've seen this, I think with marijuana policy. No matter what you think about marijuana, the states have led the way, they legalized marijuana for medical use first and then recreational use. And today we're starting to see that tide turn in DC where they're feeling that political pressure coming up from the bottom. And I think we're close to making changes. So I hope-

Jp Cortez: And you're totally... I'm sorry. Mike, you're totally right about that man. And someone who's been in this space for as long as you have and the invaluable work that you and the Tenth Amendment Center have done, just a shining example of the 10th Amendment is there for a reason and rights not exclusively granted to the federal government fall on the states. And so marijuana being a great example of it started with one state and two states, and they were maybe kind of kooky at first, but then eventually you hit a critical mass and suddenly people in DC are saying, "Wait, what is going on here in these states?" That is the hope, I guess, that we're doing that or that we accomplish that one day on the federal level. I think we're already starting to see it.

Congressman Mooney introduced one of these capital gains bills that we've been working state to state to introduce and pass. Mooney introduced it this year on the federal level to eliminate nationwide all federal capital gains taxes just in one foul swoop. We're seeing the percolation start to come up in DC and that just encourages us to work the states even harder.

Mike Maharrey: So you've talked about the educational aspect of this. Do you feel like people in general are starting to become more aware of the problem with our money and the need for some kind of sound money solution? Is there kind of a grassroots movement that's starting to grasp this?

Jp Cortez: I think that describing it that way is perfect. There is a grassroots movement here that didn't exist 10 years ago. And you can look at the reasons as to why. Because as much credit as I want to give the Sound Money Defense League, the reason we weren't talking about sound money 10 years ago isn't because we weren't around, the environment was different. Central banks were doing different. At the time, they were willingly printing money. Interest rates were kept artificially low. We were in the boom part of the cycle. And during the boom, you never start to question your priors. You don't do that. You just enjoy the boom while you're there. But then when you go over that hill and you reach the bust part, people start waking up to, hey, man, I may not understand monetary policy and I may not understand how quantitative easing works, but I understand what it is to walk into a grocery store and suddenly be unable to feed my family of four.

And I think that that's one of the big things that the Biden administration and the economist cheerleaders that surround that administration what they fail to realize. Because these economists are telling you and they're showing you their fancy graphs and they're telling you all about their fancy regressions, and they're telling you, "Wow, look. No, the economy is fine, it's the vibes that are off. Don't believe your lying eyes, look at what my chart says," without understanding the reality of these humans having to go through every day. And they feel this pinch, they feel that basic necessities are becoming harder and harder to secure. I think many people, like you said, are waking up to this idea. And maybe we haven't... And now at this point, now that they've awoken, the goal is to shine a light on the true culprit. Because to be sure the Biden administration and the entire machinery that surrounds it, they're all telling you not to believe what you're experiencing when you walk into a grocery store or pay your power bill. They're telling you that inflation isn't a problem, that inflation is actually going down.

Mike Maharrey: And it's good for you.

Jp Cortez: Yeah, that inflation is good for you. Or they're telling you, one, that it didn't exist at first, then they told you it was transitory, then they blamed the supply chain. And now I think most recently... You had an excellent piece on this recently, the greedflation pivot.

Mike Maharrey: Yes, greedy corporations.

Jp Cortez: Yeah. It's not the fault of the money managers that are literally controlling any of this, it's the CEO of your local grocery store that should be crucified for these markups. Now, one of the great things that I love, you may have seen this, the Federal Reserve of St. Louis recently published a report pretty much saying that that Biden administration greedflation explanation for the rise in prices is unconvincing, that markups are at no higher level than they were before during previous recoveries like the one we're in the middle of. That the issue here is not the fault of corporations and their markups. So even central bankers at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco are saying that the Biden's most recent pivot is unconvincing.

So like we were saying earlier, this is an education thing, and the enemies that we're facing, the central bankers and the money managers and the technocrats that believe that they can mathematically create a perfect economy, those guys and gals are going to put every ounce of effort they have into maintaining their monetary monopoly. Whether that means they have to lie or cheat or steal or damn or malign other people and other industries and capitalists or whoever comes next, they are not going to show any pause to do that. So that explains, or I think that really highlights the importance of this education. Because if you're one of the people that believe what the government says, if you're one of those people who believe that the government is looking out for you and has your best interest in mind, it will be very easy to be fooled by what comes next because you won't know who the true culprit is. And that culprit is the government.

Mike Maharrey: Yeah. I say that all the time. They're going to point every which way but really they should be looking in the mirror. But they're not going to do that. They're not going to take the blame or shoulder the blame and really-

Jp Cortez: No. They lack self-awareness.

Mike Maharrey: Yeah. And it comes down to the fact that really this is a matter of power for the political class. And I've talked about this extensively on my own podcast and in the writing that I do here at Money Metals, the fact that this monetary malfeasance that I like to call it is a benefit to the government. If you didn't have the Fed creating all of this money, if you didn't have the Fed manipulating interest rates and basically putting its big fat thumb on the treasury market, the federal government wouldn't be able to borrow and spend to the extent that it does. So this is literally the politician's source of power, so they're not going to let go of it easily or willingly. And that's why the work that you're doing that we're doing at the Tenth Amendment Center, that's why it's so important because otherwise it's not going to change. They have no incentive to change. We have to push again from the bottom up to drive those changes.

Jp Cortez: Exactly. You're exactly right, Mike. And I think we sort of sometimes talk about government spending in an abstract way. It's just kind of a homogeneous bucket of spending, and that kind of is what it is. But man, we're talking about enabling wars all over the world. The work you've done you know better than almost anyone. You can't fight several wars outside of your barrier, out of sight of your borders if you can't fund all of those wars. That is the linchpin that makes all of this possible. If you want to look at it as a question of economics, or you can look at incentives, you can look at it very kind of mathematically, or you can look at it like, man, for many decades now, America has been very willing to spill blood and treasure to fight wars of choice, not defending our borders, but all over the world.

And man, if you look at the incentives or if you look at how is this enabled, what is it that allows this process that the elites are fighting wars that the people don't want to fight, that the people maybe in some cases don't even know that they're fighting or paying for, what process is it that enables this? And it's the money, it's the Federal Reserve, it's the monetary monopoly that the government has. So ending that it's constitutional but it's also a moral and ethical imperative.

Mike Maharrey: Yeah, I agree completely. So here's the $64,000 question. It's very important to do this policy work that we've discussed. Obviously, when we can repeal and eliminate taxes, it lowers barriers, it creates an environment where people can use sound money transactionally. We live in a world where the technology is available to do that. You don't have to worry about carrying one-ounce gold coins around and how do I make change because a lot of this stuff can be done by electronic means. We have products like Goldback that are effectively almost... They're not paper, they're actually physical gold that has been put into a very small form that can be used for everyday purchases. So we have these things that are developing, the question is how do we get people to walk through this door that we've opened and actually start thinking outside of the fiat currency box?

Jp Cortez: I think the transactional currency industry that exists today, both in... You mentioned specific physical products, there are also digital products like this. There are also crypto products that sort of do the digitalization or tokenization of gold. I think that they face an uphill battle, not just in education, because yeah, in many cases, people don't even know that these things exist, but they also face an uphill battle in the sense of economic law. Gresham's law saying that people don't willingly spend their good money If they can spend bad money. And so long as there's a paper dollar that I can spend to pay my taxes and to buy my groceries, I personally am not super excited or super willing to spend my good money, my sound money, my gold. So for that reason, I think the industry faces an uphill battle just educationally, and then trying to... You're trying to combat human instinct.

But I think that for what we do and the way the Sound Money Defense League is concerned, one, I think it's not necessarily necessary for gold and silver to have these things back in use in America. That doesn't necessarily mean that someone has to be able to buy a whopper with a gold coin. People adopting their own gold standards and being able to save and invest in gold, so unlocking its power as a savings medium I think that in itself is a huge benefit to the people of that state, of that country. And I think that we're seeing that. There are in some cases, people wanting to use their gold and to spend their gold at the grocery store. But I think more than not, the influx that we're seeing in the purchase of gold on the retail side.

I wrote, or excuse me, I read an article by you highlighting the Costco phenomenon that we're seeing. That stuff is not necessarily people saying, oh man, I'm buying this gold so that next week when I come to Costco, I can use it to buy my groceries. These people are saying, man, hang on. Something funky is happening with the money. And gold and silver for thousands of years have been a stable form of savings. Maybe I should get some of that. So it's almost more insurance. So for the same reason, you would buy a fire extinguisher in some cases. So I think that is a big part of why people are buying it. And obviously, the news all around the world. You got central banks buying gold and silver all over. You've got now BRICS nations, a real concerted effort to reestablish a gold-backed currency that is being pursued all around the world. So I think there are a lot of reasons why people might buy gold and silver as it's a nonpartisan saving.

And for the Sound Money Defense League and our efforts here, there is so much brainpower and so much money and so much bandwidth that are being pointed to, or people want to devote them to innovations in money. As a space, this is a space that is ripe for innovation, a space that has been stifled by the monetary monopoly that the government has with the Federal Reserve Note. And so to remove all of the briar and the brush and all of the things that stand in the way of people innovating in these spaces, that for my money is one of the most important things we can be doing.

And then from there, man, we're all free marketers, we're all capitalists here, let the market decide. I don't really know which one of these digital gold or physical gold or fractional gold, I can't say which one of these is going to win, quote, unquote, "in the end," but I know that if you let the market decide and you clear all the disincentives and all the static in the way of people innovating and using this stuff, I think that will point us in the right direction. As someone who believes in sound money, I ultimately believe that sound money will win out.

Mike Maharrey: Yeah, brilliant, brilliant answer. There's an economist, or he's passed away unfortunately, but William Greene and he actually proposed the idea that you could reverse Gresham where you have a situation where the good money starts to drive out the bad because the bad money becomes so bad and so useless that people begin to say, we're going to use this alternative. And that can't happen, as you say, as long as you have all of this interference and static and barriers in the marketplace. And I agree completely. Take down the barriers and then let the best thing win. And of course, you and I both believe that that best thing is going to be sound money as opposed to government-created fiat, but that's why it's so important. I think you answered that question perfectly.

Before we close out, I wanted to give you a little bit of a moment to talk about the Sound Money Index that the Sound Money Defense League puts out that rates states. And if you could talk about, first off, where can folks find that and find out how their state rates, and maybe just a little bit about what makes a state a good sound money state as opposed to a bad one.

Jp Cortez: Yeah, of course. So the Sound Money Defense League is a report that the Sound Money Defense League in conjunction with Money Metals Exchange puts out every year where we rank all 50 states using a number of different criteria. I believe that's 14 now. We have 14 different indicators that determine who has the most pro or most anti-sound money policies in the state. And those policies or those indicators can include things like tax policies, that is to say, sales tax, capital gains tax. It also considers the state tax rate relative to average all around the nation. It considers things like whether or not a state has reaffirmed gold and silver as money, whether it has established an in-state depository or not, whether it has bolstered its state reserves in physical gold and silver or other state funds. So it's a very robust scorecard that we put out every year.

I'm looking forward to this year's upcoming index because like I mentioned earlier, this has been one of our most successful legislative year in the 10 years that we've been in existence. So I'm excited to see the rankings shake up. So for example, Utah, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, and Alabama are the six states to this point that have already passed sound money legislation. That movement, this proactive passage of sound money, we are expecting this to shake up the rankings. In some of these cases, Kentucky, Wisconsin, those are states that have been towards the very bottom for many years because they've charged high rates of tax, because they charge the sales tax at all on gold and silver. And as we remove some of these, we're seeing several states kind of float up towards the top.

For example, Tennessee is one that it took us many years. Surprisingly, it took us a long time to get a sales tax exemption passed there. But after a multi-year campaign, as soon as we got that first one passed, the floodgates opened, and then they ended their capital gains tax and then they empowered their state treasurer to invest in gold and silver and it kept going. So we're seeing Tennessee, for example, that has established itself as a sound money powerhouse. Utah is another great state. As you know. Ken Ivory out in Utah in 2011 introduced and passed the original sound money bill that sort of created this model of sound money and what the states can do to protect it. Utah this year passed another bill that empowers their state treasurer to invest physical gold in specifically designated funds. We're expecting major shakeups in this next year's ranking.

And you can find that on the Sound Money Defense League's site Sound Money Index there's a tab at the top banner, you can find it. You can also find it at moneymetals.com, I believe it's /sound-money-index. You can type this into your Google Search, Sound Money Index, and it'll be the first thing that comes up. We're very proud of the report that we put out every year. It's authoritative, it's very robust. Honestly, we've had people reach out to us and tell us, "Hey, I moved. I uprooted my entire family and moved based on the results of your most recent report." In the case of Wyoming, there are mince refiners who have spent thousands, millions of dollars creating the infrastructure for their business based on the rankings of the Sound Money Index. So we're very proud of it. We're very happy to be heading this report, and we're very excited to see what the most recent, or excuse me, what the upcoming scorecard will show.

Mike Maharrey: So what are some things that folks that are listening can do to support the work and get involved if they want to?

Jp Cortez: You can find our information soundmoneydefense.org. There's a donation form there that... Well, we're very grateful for any donations that come in. I also want to reiterate something that you said earlier. Anyone within the sound of my voice, please understand that your voice is still heard in state capitals. So what we do when we mobilize our grassroots, which is one of our strongest tools, our most powerful tools, we make it very easy. We give you the names, the emails addresses, the phone numbers for any key legislators, for any upcoming votes, or anything like that. So if you're interested in participating in any of these battles, I strongly encourage you to join our mailing list. We ask for some basic information so that we're able to categorize your information by state. And that way we know, for example, if there's a key hearing in New Jersey. And our list is divided by states, so we're not blasting emails, people in Kentucky having to get emails about legislation happening in Louisiana or anything like that.

So we ask you to sign up and then take the action. In many cases, it's a simple link that's like click here to email all the legislators on the committee. It's a pre-filled out email. It's already written for you. You just add your name and your district hit send. This takes less than five minutes in many cases to have a real impact, something that can actually make a difference to pass these laws. So I encourage everyone to check us out, soundmoneydefense.org. Again, moneymetals.com is where the index is hosted. And then I'm on Twitter. You can find me @JpCortez27. My contact information is also on the Sound Money site. So if anyone hears this and is in a state where maybe the policies aren't great or you look at the index and you see, wow, my state is towards the bottom, how can I help? What can I do? Please feel free to contact me. We're happy to work with people in state to get this legislation passed.

Mike Maharrey: Fantastic. And as you mentioned, there's a bill to repeal, excuse me, the sales tax in New Jersey that is working its way through the legislature right now. So if you're in New Jersey, right now is an opportunity to make your voice heard in your state capital there.

Jp Cortez: That's exactly right. And yeah, so please participate. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a bill... Actually, this is a bill that was already passed by the state legislature. Earlier this year, we passed it through the entire state assembly and the state senate without a single no vote through any of the committees or on the floor before the bill reached Governor Murphy's desk, and it was pocket vetoed unfortunately. He claimed that there's a fiscal reason. His office said that the loss to the state in revenue would be too high. And so that was his reason for vetoing the bill.

So almost immediately, within a week of that governor's veto, we had new bills introduced, identical bills to the ones he had just vetoed and going through the process. We've already passed them out of the first body. They made it over to the assembly. We had a hearing earlier this week, and now the bill will be heard before another committee, the Appropriations Committee, and then again by the assembly before hopefully making it back to Governor Murphy's desk where he'll get to try again to get it right this time. So yeah, if you're in New Jersey, please, I encourage you to participate. I encourage you to make your voice heard because you do have a voice.

Mike Maharrey: Well, I really appreciate you taking time out of your day. I know you're busy. I know you've been traveling. I think you were just up in New Jersey as you mentioned, and so I really appreciate you taking the time and helping folks understand the importance of sound money and what you can do. It's very empowering to know that, hey, there is something that I can do. And I think that's something that you've communicated very effectively. And we'll definitely have you on again. And maybe as we get closer to the beginning of the legislative session next year, we can talk a little bit about what's upcoming. But again, really appreciate it. Appreciate your work and appreciate you. Thanks for coming on.

Jp Cortez: Yeah, thank you so much for having me on, Mike. It's always so great to talk to you. I'm looking forward to talking to you again. Keep up all the great work you're doing. I love opening my phone or checking on moneymetals.com and seeing whatever brand-new nugget of gold that you're bringing with your latest article. So keep up the good work as well.

Mike Maharrey: Nugget of gold. I see what you did there. Have a good day. We'll talk to you soon.

Jp Cortez: Sounds great, Mike. Thank you.

Well as you just heard, there are so many exciting things happening on the sound money front these days, and I can assure you Money Metals will continue to do what we can collectively to lead the way on this issue.

It’s exciting to see all the policy successes that have been achieved in recent years across so many states, a lot of that thanks to you, our customers, for all of the grassroots pressure that you’ve helped us put on politicians to get these bills pushed through.

Well, that will do it for this week. Be sure to check back next Friday for our next Weekly Market Wrap Podcast. And remember to tune in as well to the Money Metals Midweek Memo, hosted by Mike Maharrey. To listen to any of our audio programs just go to MoneyMetals.com/podcasts or find that on whatever podcast platform you prefer.

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Mike Gleason is a Director with Money Metals Exchange, a national precious metals dealer with over 50,000 customers. Gleason is a hard money advocate and a strong proponent of personal liberty, limited government and the Austrian School of Economics. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason has extensive experience in management, sales and logistics as well as precious metals investing. He also puts his longtime broadcasting background to good use, hosting a weekly precious metals podcast since 2011, a program listened to by tens of thousands each week.


The first use of gold as money occurred around 700 B.C., when Lydian merchants (western Turkey) produced the first coins
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