Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Monetary Reform: The Beginning of the Beginning"

by Charles Kadlec
The @DailyReckoning

Fundamental reform of the world’s monetary system has begun. It is way too early and too amorphous to be front-page news. We are only at the beginning of the beginning of a popular effort to restore gold backed money to the center of economic activity.

Defining a dollar, or a British pound, as a fixed weight of gold was an innovation that further increased the usefulness of money. You could take currency and trade it for something you needed, or you could trade that money for a fixed weight of gold. As a general proposition, paying with paper money was no different than paying with gold, except paper money was more convenient to carry...

...Forty years ago, that order was up-ended by President Richard Nixon’s decision to sever the final link between the dollar and gold. For the first time since Sir Isaac Newton established the British gold standard in 1717, all of the world’s major currencies during a time of peace were free to float against one another and to fall in value against precious metals. The consequence has been a debasement of the dollar and all other currencies, an ever more cyclical economy, a 40-year hiatus in real wage increases for American workers and a growing fear of yet more financial crises created by monetary instability.

As a consequence, support is growing to repeal tax and other legal barriers that effectively prevent people from using precious metals as money.

In March, Utah repealed its capital gains tax on gold and silver coins it will recognize as legal tender. Twelve other states are considering similar legislation.

Then, in June, Senators Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced the Sound Money Promotion Act that would remove the 28% federal tax on gains realized in the use of gold or silver coins recognized as legal tender for use within a state.

Now, in Switzerland, efforts are underway to create an official Gold Swiss franc (GSF) with a set of coins, each with a fixed content of gold. The proposed constitutional change would permit private institutions to issue an unlimited number of coins whose appearance, content and weight of gold, and definition would be under the supervision of the Swiss government...


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