Liberty Dollars?

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by Seacowboys, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Updated: 12:11 PM EDT
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    Feds Lower Boom on Alternative Money
    By Barbara Hagenbaugh, USA TODAY
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    WASHINGTON (Sept. 15) — The government Thursday warned consumers and businesses that it is illegal to use alternative money known as "Liberty Dollar" coins, which organizers promote as a competitor to the almighty dollar.
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    <!-- /PARAGRAPH OBJECT -->"We don't want consumers to be fooled," U.S. Mint spokeswoman Becky Bailey says, noting U.S. Attorneys offices across the USA have noticed a marked increase in inquiries about the coins.
    The coins' producers vowed to fight the government's decision.
    Evansville, Ind.-based National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code, otherwise known as NORFED, has been making the Liberty Dollar coins for eight years and claims $20 million is in circulation. The group says the money, unlike official U.S. cash, has a hedge against inflation because it is made almost entirely of silver and is backed by stocks of silver and gold in a vault in Idaho.
    The coins are then spent by the group's 2,500 Liberty Associates in stores run by fellow supporters or are accepted unknowingly by clerks who are unaware they are not receiving real money.
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    <!-- /PARAGRAPH OBJECT -->The Justice Department has determined that use of Liberty Dollars, which come in varying denominations, "is a crime," according to the Mint, which issued a rare public warning Thursday.
    "The United States Mint is the only entity that can produce coins," Bailey says.
    The Mint notes the coins share some resemblances to real money, such as the term "Trust in God" instead of "In God We Trust" and use of a torch in the design. Such similarities may confuse people into thinking the money is real, the Mint says.
    But NORFED says it will challenge the government, arguing it has never claimed Liberty Dollars were official money and that it has a right to offer an alternative.
    "The designs and verbiage ... are original and are not copies of any U.S. Mint currency," NORFED Executive Director Michael Johnson said in a statement.
    It's unclear how many people or businesses are unknowingly holding Liberty Dollars, which cannot be exchanged for real money at banks.
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    <!-- /PARAGRAPH OBJECT -->In a case in Buffalo, a man and his son are set to go on trial next month after they knowingly tried to buy beer at a Buffalo Sabres hockey game with Liberty Dollars.
    The Mint did not say if government officials will seek to prosecute individuals or NORFED after its warning.
    Reed Runk, part-owner of Kendall Funk & Bismark Jewelers in Chambersburg, Pa., says the store has been accepting Liberty Dollars for about a year and has sold a few as well. Runk says the store will continue to accept and sell the coins.
    "We just feel that they are something that educates people as to what the monetary systems are like in the world, that they are a fiat system, that if people lose faith in them, they will collapse," he says. Besides, "They are a good-looking coin."
  2. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

  3. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I heard the US Mint ruled them actually illegal and a crime just yesterday. Think I saw it at GIM...

    I would think that should make gift cards illegal as well. And anything else that represents value
  4. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Um... yeah.... credit cards, checks, stock certificates.... kinda interesting when you think about it.... um any tokens used for games, tokens used for lunch, casino chips, fund raising coupons, store coupons:rolleyes: .... list goes on and on....:cool:
  5. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Looks like under this section of code, use of anything but Fiat "Dollars" is a crime

    Liberty Dollars Not Legal Tender, United States Mint Warns Consumers
    Justice Determines Use of Liberty Dollar Medallions as Money is a Crime ​

    Washington, D.C. — The United States Mint urges consumers considering the purchase or use of “Liberty Dollar” medallions, marketed by the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code (NORFED), to be aware that they are not genuine United States Mint bullion coins, and not legal tender. These medallions are privately produced products that are neither backed by, nor affiliated with, the United States Government. Prosecutors with the Department of Justice have determined that the use of these gold and silver NORFED "Liberty Dollar" medallions as circulating money is a Federal crime.
    NORFED is headquartered in Evansville, Indiana, and the medallions reportedly are produced by a private mint in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. NORFED claims that more than $20 million dollars worth of Liberty Dollar coins and notes are in circulation.
    Consumers may find advertisements for these medallions confusing and should take note of several issues related to them. The advertisements refer to the product as "real money" and "currency." These medallions might look like real money because they:
    • Bear the inscriptions, "Liberty," "Dollars," "Trust in God" (similar to "In God We Trust"), and "USA" (similar to "United States of America"), and an inscription purporting to denote the year of production.
    • Depict images that are similar to United States coins, such as the torch on the reverses of the current dime coin, 1986 Statue of Liberty Commemorative Silver Dollar and 1993 Bill of Rights Commemorative Half-Dollar, and the Liberty Head designs on the obverses of United States gold coins from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s.
    However, despite their misleading appearance, NORFED "Liberty Dollar" medallions are not genuine United States Mint coins, and they are not legal tender.
    The advertisements confusingly refer to NORFED "Liberty Dollar" medallions as "legal" and “constitutional." However, under the Constitution (Article I, section 8, clause 5), Congress has the exclusive power to coin money of the United States and to regulate its value. The United States Mint is the only entity in the United States with the lawful authority to mint and issue legal tender United States coins.
    Under 18 U.S.C. § 486, it is a Federal crime to pass, or attempt to pass, any coins of gold or silver intended for use as current money except as authorized by law. According to the NORFED website, "Liberty merchants" are encouraged to accept NORFED "Liberty Dollar" medallions and offer them as change in sales transactions of merchandise or services.
    NORFED tells "Liberty associates" that they can earn money by obtaining NORFED "Liberty Dollar" medallions at a discount and then can "spend [them] into circulation."
    NORFED’s "Liberty Dollar" medallions are specifically marketed to be used as current money in order to limit reliance on, and to compete with the circulating coinage of the United States. Consequently, prosecutors with the United States Department of Justice have concluded that the use of NORFED’s "Liberty Dollar" medallions violates 18 U.S.C. § 486, and is a crime.
    The United States Mint has a Consumer Alert with photos of Liberty Dollars at
  6. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    So if a couple idiots try to use monopoly money, will the govt go after hasbro?
  7. ricdoug

    ricdoug Monkey+++

    That's what I was thinking, Bear...

    I don't think they'll win against the U.S. Mint, though. Ric

  8. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    Sounds like someone is preparing for when the mint is no longer capable of producing paper worth anything. Silver coins seem to be a good idea to me, no matter what is marked on them as long as you can guarantee the amount of silver in them. Just my Liberty Dollars worth. :D
  9. yonder

    yonder No Despot's Servant

    I agree with the idea of going back to a currency system that is backed by real holdings of valuable durable goods with a stable value.

    But this Liberty Dollars scheme is a crock on so many levels. Giving it a face value with the same name as FRN's is a big clue of what is going on.

    Really we ought to be going off of a system of weights and measures. Imagine paying for something in ounces of silver. You don't have to actually have the silver. Just a bank note that is backed by silver. The face value should be a unit of weight rather than something arbitrary.

    So when you go to buy a car, you hand over bank notes with "X" number of Gold-Ounce banknotes, "Y" number of Silver-Ounce banknotes, and possibly something less valuable for smaller denominations.

    Or better still... go metric and use grams, which allow you to get pretty fine-grained with the denominations on the bank notes.
  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I just read their web site and while the basic idea seems like a good one it dose seem to have some problems. One of the most glareing problems is that they seem to try to imply that it works both as staying useable in the market place in a dollar to dollar exchange for FRNs but that it is based on PMs (though I never saw where it said for instance if a $20 silver certificate is good for 20 FRNs worth of silver at current market value or X weight in silver, but the coins would hold value based on PM content if it is equel to face) then like those who have followed PMs over the last year or so know then if you had 20 FRNs worth of silver at the rates of say 18 months ago you now would have closer to 40 FRNs worth. So if it is based on PM weights represented by the certificates and you buy it based on the PM value then spend it at a dollar to dollar rate it would be like spending silver dimes and quarters at face value now, you loose big time, especialy if you dont spend them untill say next year. So you face the same problem you would with useing straight silve, its barter and you have to establish how much of your silver (or in this case Liberty Dollar silver notes) that item marked to sell for 25 FRNs is worth.

    On the other hand if it is based on a $100 certificate being worth 100 FRNs worth of silver at whatever the present value is in FRNs then you are useing the same rate of inflation/devaluation of the Liberty dollar certificates as you face with FRNs.

    So while I like the idea of an alternative and especialy one that is backed by PMs like we used to be, it just dosent add up to be able to be practical, unless places started marking things with 1 price for those useing Liberty dollars and another for FRNs, to use as a normal currency.

    That being said I may have to look at the prices on silver and if I have the money and their face/sale price of their coins is the same as or lower than the price of the silver content then it may be well enouph known to be useable as silver like the silver dimes. If nothing else then as long as things stay calm they should hold some value if they win and explode in value as a collectors coin if they get shut down for competeing with the FR.

    As far as how legal it would be, I could see both sides of it and think the biggest problem they have is symantics. To refer 'real money' implies to the VAST majority of the population that it is FRNs or in some way backed by the government. If you take manopoly money and convince some idiot that it is the new money being produced by the FR and try to use it then I would have to agree that that could be considered to be passing counterfit money, same way (even though it would be way below face from what I saw) if you tried to pass their 'quarter' as a FR 'quarter'. If on the other hand if no terms which could lead anyone to think that it was related to the FR or the gov and that it was simply exchanging silver/gold as payment, just like say tradeing a pile of stocks or bonds for a car or some whatever, then I cant see where it would be a problem.

    Just my own observations on it.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    That is exactly what has to be done when operating in a foreign country with FRNs. The conversion used fluctuates from day to day, and all the vendors have the current rate to hand for closing deals (buying food for example, is such a deal). And, of course, there is the beak wetting, the commission to carry out the conversion. (At the root of the hatred of money lenders in biblical times, they charged exhorbitant rates for loans and conversions.) At the end of the day, whether you have PM to trade, or cans of beans, it will be barter that carries the day. It will NOT be a bag of silver chips with some sort of fixed value, because the value is not going to be fixed. Like the system or not, it is a system, and it has worked for a while. Maybe not the best, it has vulnerabilities, but it works.

    The whole economic system is based on debt, not on some fixed Fort full of metal. If you can't sign a promissory note (mortgage, car loan, etc.) because you don't have a bag of beans to hand, you cannot afford "the good life" and we all would then live as vassals to the land owner. In effect, the sharecropper lived based on his promise to provide labor in exchange for a place to live, that is debt at it's most basic. That is a form of barter, and one we might see after SHTF. Sink your "money" into land, no more is being made.:D
  12. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I agree that it is functional and at present appears to function well along with the FRNs, all I was refering to was the same basic deal as that if you are going abroad most folks will get local currency so as to avoid the hassels of trying to get a price established in another currency.

    The current system is definatly broken but its still what most of the population uses. To me it would be kind of like trying to use Euros here at present, most/many places wouldnt accept them and those that did would likely cost you more. I like what seems to be the idea behind it theres just a couple of blanks that would need filled in for me and for it to be accepted everywhere.
  13. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member


    <!--Article source--> Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    <!--EDIT COPY BEGIN------------------------> Make no doubt about it. This is a Decisive Moment for your money and America. By the US government’s own statistics, their money – the US dollar – has lost 96% of its purchasing power since it created the Federal Reserve in 1913.
    On the other hand, the Liberty Dollar – a private, non-government currency that is neither a ‘coin’ nor ‘legal tender’ – offers Americans a legal, inflation proof way to conduct commerce and protect your purchasing power. In fact, since 1998 when the new gold and silver based Liberty Dollar was first introduced and quickly emerged as the currency of choice, it has doubled in value simply because gold and silver has doubled in value.
    But the government does not want you to choose the Liberty Dollar. In fact they are doing everything to scare you into thinking it is illegal. They want you to continue to be impoverished slaves to their debt ridden, inflation prone and government promissory notes. Do not continue to be deceived. America is still great and will remain so only with sound money – like the gold and silver based Liberty Dollar.
    So which would you prefer a currency that depreciates or a currency that appreciates in value? The US Dollar has a long history (92 years) of depreciation while gold and silver monies have a much longer history (5,000 years) of appreciation and providing price stability.
    The US Mint would have you believe that the Liberty Dollar is illegal and on Thursday, September 14 issued a warning that it was a “Federal crime” to “utter” the Liberty Dollar. Sighting 18 USC code 486 they tried to convince debt weary Americans that it was a crime to protect their purchasing power by using the Liberty Dollar as voluntary barter.
    On September 27, Marion Edwyn Harrison, Chief Counsel for the NORFED Inc. which distributes the Liberty Dollar asked Mr. Daniel P. Shaver, Chief Counsel to the US Mint: “What is the statutory, or any other, authority that confers upon the United States Mint and/or yourself the privilege, or any other right, to defame a citizen?”
    To date the US Mint has not responded to this question except to use its propaganda machine to continue defaming the Liberty Dollar. This is in stark contrast to the US Mint, Department of the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve’s previous acknowledgements over the past eight years that the Liberty Dollar is legal. In fact, just two years ago, Andrew Williams, spokesman for the Federal Reserve Board in Washington DC said: “There is no law that says goods and services must be paid for with Federal Reserve notes. Parties entering into a transaction can establish any medium of exchange that is agreed upon.” This is further supported by the US Constitution guarantee of “right to contract” and the resumption of the “gold clause” that permits the legal use of gold as payment.
    As the US Mint is unable to support its false claim, let along its own debt based money, it is no wonder that Americans are drawn to the Liberty Dollar, which is already America’s second most popular currency. Its use of a “fear campaign” has back-fired and driven government weary Americans to seek an alternative. Mike Johnson, the Executive Director of the Liberty Dollar reports that traffic to their web site is up TEN FOLD. And the volume of “currency exchanges” from the dreaded depreciating US Dollar to value based appreciating Liberty Dollar is up FIVE FOLD. Plus many of the orders contain poignant notes like: “US Mint can bit me! Send me the Liberty Dollar!”
    In a day and age when “consenting adults” can do... and will do...what they want, don’t we have a right to use gold and silver between “consenting adults”? And doesn’t the US Constitution guarantee this? Of course it does. We choose – therefore we are free.
    This is truly a Decisive Moment in our country’s history. Don’t let the government steal any more of your hard earned money by deception, inflation, or false claims. Americans are finally discovering the truth about their money and when presented with the facts, are voting with their pocket book. The Liberty Dollar stands at the ready…Our network of Regional Currency Offices with locations across America will exchange your Federal Reserve notes for gold and silver backed Liberty Dollars. Stop using the US dollar, start using the Liberty Dollar and return American to value – one Liberty Dollar at a time. Either change your money or lose it. Of course, I know not what you will choose, but as for me, give me Liberty (dollars) or give me death!"
    NORFED, since the day the US Mint posted its allegations, has attempted to contact relevant individuals within the United States Department of The Treasury, the United States Mint, and the Secret Service through our Counsel in Washington D.C. to no avail…No returned calls, letters, etc.
    We believe the most effective course of action at this time is to put pressure on the respective Federal agencies through political channels…United States Congressional Representatives. We urge each and every one of you to pick up the phone and make direct personal contact with your Representative. Sending a letter or e-mail will not be effective as most receive hundreds of inquiries every day. If you personally know your local Representative or his/her staff member(s) please leverage that relationship. We need as many Representatives of the people as possible to contact the Federal agencies mentioned and demand answers!
    Some discussion points:
    • Recently NORFED aka the Liberty Dollar came under attack through a ‘warning’ posted on the US Mint website.
    • The allegations refer to the use of Liberty Dollars as criminal, … “a Federal crime.” There has been no DIRECT contact with NORFED from any government agencies.
    • The goal of the Liberty Dollar has been to use the gold and silver backed private currency in the marketplace for the exchange of goods and services with the primary purpose of shielding hard earned money from the ravages of inflation.
    • It is the right of an American citizen to exercise freedom of choice in bartering or transacting business…two chickens for a haircut, one shoeshine for a hamburger, ten Liberty Dollars for four gallons of gasoline.
    We need our Representatives to make contact with these Federal agencies and get answers! Please lend a hand…
    Change the money – Change the country. God bless America!
    Please visit the Liberty Dollar at: or call: 800.NEW.DOLLAR.
    <!----------END EDIT COPY-----------------------------> <!--Article Footer-->
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