Monday, June 8, 2009


I came across an interesting article this morning about a man arrested for devising a bartering program which used real silver as a method of exchange. According to the article (Asheville man charged in alleged Liberty Dollar fraud scheme), over 70 local businesses agreed to take part.

There's just one problem with this; it is illegal for precious metals (silver, gold, etc.) to be used as a medium of currency, and even though the program was using the coins as “barter” and not “legal tender”, some toes were getting stepped on.

The best quote from the article:

“People understand that there is only one legal currency in the United States,” said Owen Harris, special agent in charge of the Charlotte office of the FBI. “When groups try to replace the U.S. dollar with coins and bills that don't hold the same value, it affects the economy.

“Consumers were using their hard-earned money to buy goods and services, then getting fake change in return.”

There are three things that jump out to me in that quote. The first is the phrase stating that 1 ounce silver coins “don't hold the same value” as Federal Reserve Notes. It’s a very true statement, because they don’t hold the same value; silver is actually worth something (and always will be).

Secondly is the statement that “it affects the economy”. It certainly does; it puts real money in the hands of real people. Real money that won’t lose value and cannot be manipulated by untouchable, unaccountable entities (i.e., the Federal Reserve, corporate entities, banks, etc.).

Third is the statement that customers were “getting fake change in return”. You just have to laugh at this one. Silver, a precious metal that cannot be created out of thin air is “fake”; a piece of paper that is worth nothing and can be created in any quantity on a whim is “real”.

I won’t give you my conclusions as to why gold & silver can’t be used as currency; if you have any amount of concern & curiosity you can easily figure it out for yourself. And if you're more concerned with who will be kicked off American Idol this week, what would be the point of telling you at all?

What’s interesting to me about this incident is what precedent it sets for “bartering” in the future. We know that we can’t use silver and gold as currency. With this incident we now know that we can’t use silver and gold for “barter”. How far down does the line get drawn?

I raise chickens. You have a milk cow. I need milk. You need eggs. Can I still trade 2 dozen of my eggs for a gallon of your milk?

Maybe for now. I mean, seriously, how could anyone stop us from doing that?

Depending on what happens with the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in the years to come, the answer may be that you & I simply don’t have any chickens or cows to barter with at all.

We’d both have to buy our milk & eggs. With legal currency, of course.

That may sound a little extreme, but then again, I’m sure there was a time when people would have laughed at you if you’d told them that there would come a day when gold & silver couldn’t be used as money.


MamaHen said...

The day is coming, that is for certain.

Kimberline said...

That was ~really~ interesting. I saw the header for the article that you mention, but didn't have time to dig into at that time. I'll go back and read it now.

For our silver anniversary on June 2nd, my husband gave me a silver coin. He paid a lot of money for it and purchased it at a bank. I didn't really question that he paid WAY more than face value for it because it was after all in a very nice round case. Someone needs to make a bit of money for putting it in the nice round case, right? What I did question was that they charged him tax for buying a coin. When I mentioned my curiosity about tax charged for purchasing what is 'supposed' to be money, he suddenly stopped, looked at me and said "That IS weird!"

I am sure he thinks this coin will have increased value in the future. He looks at it and sees money. I look at it and see medicine. I am looking at it as a potential piece of silver to be immersed in a solution with electricity applied in order to create colloidal silver. I'll probably keep it in my herbal medicine chest against a time when I may need colloidal silver. That day may come as well!

Diane N. said...

"And if you're more concerned with who will be kicked off American Idol this week, what would be the point of telling you at all?"

Your quote here captures much of my feeling about trying to talk with most people about issues of freedom & the Constitution. Many people don't care, and don't think; others think as Obama tells them to. So few understand and fewer are really upset about what's happening to our country.

Jason West said...

Very nice, cogent argument.

And I couldn't agree more.

Bill O said...

My understanding of the govenments' (State and Fed) aversion to barter is that they cannot track it and they want their income and sales tax. Barter is just to hard for big brother to trace. I expect if you look into it you will find many rules/laws around bartering. I may have to do this in my copious free time.