A "real" Dollar

Discussion in 'Financial Cents' started by melbo, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    This is what it should have stayed...
  2. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    :lol: [LMAO] :cry:
  3. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    ...and all it would take now would be about 3 old dimes.
  4. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Silver Certificate.... "Silver on Demand".... [winkthumb]

    By the way.... did you know that most deposit accounts at your bank are considered "Demand Deposits"?......

    Ever try to withdraw a large amount... "on demand"?...... [LMAO]

    Read the fine print on your account agreements.... :D
  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member


    Please Define 'Dollar'
    Dr. Paul Hein

    Monetary Realists, knowing not so much what they've been taught, but what they've learned with their eyes open and ears tuned, see things clearly, without peering through a haze of misinformation masquerading as knowledge. Like the boy in The Emperor's New Clothes, they make observations which seem to cause frustration and annoyance to those public figures to which they are directed. A case in point is the word "dollar," the definition of which has been sought by Monetary Realists for decades.

    Some years ago Paul Volcker, of the Federal Reserve, was lecturing in St. Louis. A Monetary Realist ( not your author ) was in attendance. At the conclusion of Mr. Volcker's remarks, questions were invited, and the Monetary Realist asked, "Mr. Volcker, in your remarks you used the word "dollar" twenty-six ( or whatever ) times. Can you tell me what a dollar is?" There was a remarkable silence. Volcker said nothing. The silence grew protracted; it was embarrassing. "Well, sir, can you tell me what the yen is, or the mark? You mentioned them as well." The silence continued. Eventually, the host made some excuse and hustled Mr. Volcker from the stage.

    Over twenty years ago I wrote a letter to the head of the St. Louis Federal Reserve and asked another simple question: is our money tangible? If so, I asked, what are its physical characteristics? If not, how can you tell if you've got it? A brief note was received in reply, stating, in effect, that due to the "technical nature" of my question, the president ( of the bank ) was unable to answer at this time. He hasn't answered since.

    On discovering the ease with which federal officials can be reached via the internet, I recently decided to try again, and on September 6, 1998, sent this message to the Treasury Department: "How is the word "dollar" defined in U.S. Law? Can you give me the citation? Thanks." The answer received was from "Customer Assistance," and read, "Thank you for your recent inquiry. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ( OCC ) examines national banks to assure their safe and sound financial condition and to ensure their compliance with federal banking laws, rules, and regulations. The dollar is defined as a currency bill and monetary unit of the United States, equal to 100 cents. This Office does not have information on the specific cite in the federal regulations. You may try contacting the Federal Reserve Bank at 202-874-4700. We trust this is responsive to your inquiry."

    Well, not quite. I replied, on September 14: "Dear Customer Assistance: Thank you for your letter. You write that the dollar is a currency bill. Does that mean it is an IOU? An IOU for what? You also say it is a monetary unit. A unit is a standardized amount used in measuring. What does the dollar measure? Of what is it a unit? Thank you." This time I received a response from an actual person with a name, Angela Willis, a Customer Assistance Specialist. ( Customer Assistance@CAG@COC ) "Thank you for your recent inquiry. Please contact the Federal Reserve Bank for any other questions you may have. Thank you."

    I responded: "I would like an answer from the government. Isn't the Federal reserve a private bank?" Ms. Willis replied: "Thank you for your recent inquiry. The Federal Reserve Bank is the central bank of the United States Government. It was founded by Congress in 1913 to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. We trust this is responsive to your inquiry."

    Wow! Talk about pulling teeth. I tried again: "I'm sorry, but your answer is NOT responsive. The question was, and is, "what is a dollar?" Don't refer me to a private banking cartel for the answer to what surely must be defined in U.S. Law. After all, if there is no definition of the dollar, how can a person measure his income in dollars and swear to the government that the answer is "true, correct, and complete?" Congress is given authority to regulate the value of the dollar. What is its value? Don't tell me it's 100 cents, and then define the cent as 1/100th of a dollar. Please try again. It's a simple question, isn't it? Thanks."

    Ms. Willis, was, I fear, losing patience with me. "Thank you for your recent inquiry. We have tried to direct you to the agency that could be most responsive to your inquiry. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency regulates national banks. This agency does not have regulatory authority over actual currency, although our name may make you think otherwise. If you have issues dealing with the national banking system, please feel free to request our assistance. We will not respond to any other inquiries regarding the definition of a dollar."

    In other words, the U.S. Treasury either doesn't know, or won't tell, what a "dollar" is. Moreover, in taking this evasive stand, it tries to distract the questioner with irrelevant references to the Comptroller of the Currency, and a disingenuous disclaimer that it ( the Treasury ) has no "regulatory authority over actual currency."

    Back in 70s I asked the dollar question to the Internal Revenue Service. After all, you must swear to the value of your income in "dollars," testifying that your evaluation is "true, correct, and complete," under penalty of perjury, although, having taken no oath, you couldn't have committed that crime. Surely, therefore, the IRS would know what a dollar is. How else could it determine the accuracy of the return? The reply from the IRS was remarkably straightforward: "The term "dollar" is not defined in the Internal Revenue Code." I wrote back, requesting a definition from any portion of the United States Code, and am still awaiting the reply.

    About the same time I wrote a letter to the president of my bank, and asked him what a dollar was. He sent me a very nice, rather rambling letter, in which he concluded that he really couldn't tell me, but if I found out what it was, would I let him know?

    It is experiences such as these which give Monetary Realists, and others, I am sure, grounds for the gravest cynicism about economic matters. The silly platitudes mouthed by President Clinton about the Russian economy, for example, deserve nothing but contempt. When a people work for "money" which is so ephemeral as to defy description, measured out in units which cannot be defined by the country's monetary authorities, the problem transcends political parties or economic policies. The rot is in the roots, not the branches.

    In the days of tangible money, or sound money, or even just plain money, as opposed to "credit," the dollar was easy to define: 412.5 grains of standard ( 90% pure ) silver in coin form. The 412.5 grain figure was an average; the coin weighed 416 when minted. When, through wear and tear, its weight fell below 409 grains, it was no longer a dollar, but could be used in trade for a value in proportion to its weight. In general, banks culled out the worn coins and returned them to the mint to be recast. What a simple system! A bank official, asked to define "dollar," could do so in a sentence, without reference to the Comptroller of the Currency, or bank regulations, or "authority over actual ( sic! ) currency." Moreover, he could do so without making a fool of himself by attempts to mislead, confuse, or deceive. He wouldn't even have to piously reiterate "Thank you for your inquiry" every time he gave a long-winded response that had nothing to do with the inquiry.

    Money is one of the basics of society. Is it extreme to suggest that without sound money there cannot be a sound society? And if the money is inherently dishonest, what does that say of the people who issue it, or even of the people who accept it?

    Dr. Paul Hein

    November 14, 2002
  6. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Lowest Buy it now on ebay is $2.25 each plus $1.50 for shipping the first and .75 each additional....

    If you can find a buyer.....

    Bank would give you one electronic dollar, one paper dollar, 2 fifty cent pieces, 4 quarters, 10 dimes, 20 nickels or 100 pennies.... for that nice Silver Certificate.... [winkthumb]
  7. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    I'd disagree.......the silver certificate is merely an "IOU" for a dollar.....though closer to a dollar than the crappy Federal Reserve Note of today, is still isn't one.....just as a Registration Title of a Chevy truck actually ISN'T a Chevy truck, for example....you can hold the paper in your hand, and even sell it.....but you can't drive it to town.

    It says, in effect "we the Treasury actually have a dollar here if you want to come trade this paper in for one"......and of course, they reniged on THAT promise on the late 60's so the Silver Users Association could get the last of the govt pile of silver they had been working on since WW2.

    A dollar, by the coinage act of 1792, and subsequently ammended, BUT NEVER REPEALED, is 371.25 grains of fine silver, or 1/20th of an ounce of gold.
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    A dollar, by the coinage act of 1792, and subsequently ammended, BUT NEVER REPEALED, is 371.25 grains of fine silver, or 1/20th of an ounce of gold.

    I would LOVE to have a bunch of silver notes and be able to actualy have them honored at that rate. [LMAO]
  9. Bogie

    Bogie Monkey+++

    If you go to the US Treasury in Washington and request Silver coins for your Silver certificates, they treat you like you're some sort of a nut.
  10. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Well, the government reniged on that promise in 1967 or 68 ( Can't remember the exact date, but I remember seeing it happen, and didn't understand the significance of it at the time)

    Merely ANOTHER in a long list of promises broken by a government when it becomes inconvienient to keep honoring them......and why we should never assume any rule, law or treaty isn't subject to change.

    White men really DO speak with forked tongues.
  11. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Its always been about "Thick Smoke and Dirty Mirrors"...

    People can justify just about anything depending on the circumstances, their position and their power....
  12. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Was just thinking as read your post, any ofthe old indian chiefs could have revieled that little secret LONG ago. Dont think theres a single treaty that has been honored by the US gov.
  13. Ardent Listener

    Ardent Listener Monkey+++

    Did you try it? If so, good for you.
  14. Bogie

    Bogie Monkey+++

    I did try it once Ardent after getting treated as I did I went and researched the fact the Nixon did away with the ability of that in 1971:mad:

    But with this talk about dollars there is a good show on the History Channel Saturday 7-29 at 6PM DecodingThe Past series "Secrets of the Dollar Bill" I caught the last few min tonight & have set the Tivo to record it
  15. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    [​IMG] Real money! [stirpot] :D
  16. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    "Define a dollar" Was that the St. Louis monetary realist guy (now deceased)?

    I never really knew about it, but it turns out his daughter Sherri is a good friend of my wifes, she's been to visit several times, then once when I was bitchin about the government, she told me about her dad. Small world huh :)
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