Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Thomas Jacob on the New Swiss Gold Franc"

The Daily Bell is has this exclusive interview with Thomas Jacob:

Daily Bell: Please tell us about your idea for a gold franc.

Thomas Jacob: Gladly. The idea is the result of my interest in free market economics and especially my conviction that a commodity money is the most effective way to curb government involvement in the economy. The idea is simply to re-introduce an additional gold-coin currency in Switzerland on the constitutional level.

Daily Bell: Is this similar to the idea of a silver libertad being pursued in Mexico?

Thomas Jacob: The similarity is that it is a legal parallel currency and a commodity money. The difference is that the Swiss gold franc will be a privately issued money. The government’s role is limited to defining the appearance and the gold content of the coins and to protecting honest business practices.

Daily Bell: Where are you with your program?

Thomas Jacob: Dr. Ulrich Schl├╝er from the biggest party of Switzerland, the SVP [Ed.: Swiss People’s Party aka Democratic Union of the Centre], introduced a parliamentary initiative on March 8 – incidentally, the same day the Utah parliament [legislature] passed their gold law.

At the same time a group of dedicated politicians and economists, including I, have founded the gold franc association to coordinate the activities to help realize the idea on a non-partisan basis.

Daily Bell: What are the next steps?

Thomas Jacob: The appropriate commission will discuss the proposal probably in the winter session. They will either accept and work on it or it goes directly to the parliamentary floor. Should they also unexpectedly have no interest, we will start a popular initiative. With 100,000 signatures the voters can vote on it directly, independent of whether the politicians like it or not.

Daily Bell: Are you hopeful?

Thomas Jacob: No, I am confident. The time is right; the issue simple. We are talking about freedom of choice in monetary matters, something that cannot be opposed in good faith. It is not primarily about attacking today’s monetary system, but giving people the freedom of choice. If today’s monetary system remains as good as today’s authorities claim it is, they shouldn’t worry – if it isn’t, we, the people, shouldn’t be forced to use it.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

"The Constitutional Tender Movement in Georgia"

by William Greene, Ph.D.

In early 2009, I was teaching a course on American Government at Gainesville State College here in Georgia. As I was going over with my students the powers prohibited of the States in Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution, we hit upon this one: “No State shall… make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”.

A student in the back of the room raised his hand, and asked, “What does Georgia use for paying its debts – money owed to the State, and by the State?”

“Federal Reserve Notes,” I replied.

“Not gold or silver coins?” he asked.

“No, not gold or silver coins. And no, Federal Reserve Notes are not backed by gold or silver coins, either.”

He raised his hand again. “Which States DO use gold and silver coins for paying State debts?”

“None of them,” I answered. “They all use Federal Reserve Notes, which were declared to be ‘legal tender’ by the U.S. Congress.”

“When did we pass a Constitutional Amendment to change this requirement in Article I, Section 10?” He had a puzzled look on his face.

My answer seemed to puzzle him even more. “We didn’t.”

It was quiet in the classroom at that point. I waited. I didn’t have to wait for long.

“How have the States gotten away with that?”

I didn’t have an answer to that question. And it bothered me...


Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Gold Standard or Nixon Standard"

by Gary North,

On Sunday, August 15, 1971, Richard Nixon unilaterally brought to an end the last trace of an experiment in international monetary affairs that stretched back over a century. He announced that the United States government would no longer abide by the 1944 Bretton Woods agreement to deliver gold at $35 per ounce to any government or central bank.

What he abolished was not a gold standard. It was a government promise standard. There was never a gold standard in the nineteenth century or early twentieth century. It was always a government promise standard. It was as reliable as government promises...

...A free market gold standard should be the result of two legal arrangements: (1) open entry into the money business, (2) the enforcement of contracts. Gold would become one common currency. So would silver, if history is a guide. The government would get out of the money business altogether. It would claim no unique authority over money. It would decide the monetary unit in which to collect taxes – nothing more. It would enforce contracts, meaning lawful voluntary exchanges in which no fraud is involved.

This would decentralize and privatize money creation. It would also privatize and decentralize the fraud of counterfeiting. It would pit bankers against bankers, who would participate in bank runs against suspected banks. It would decentralize the enforcement against fraud.

By removing monetary sovereignty from governments, this arrangement would permanently keep fraud from becoming centralized and a matter of law. It would keep the fox of government away from the chicken coop of money creation. It would make impossible any replay of the string of broken contracts, 1914 to 1971, which marked the government promises standard which masqueraded as a gold coin standard, then a gold exchange standard, then a Tricky Dick Nixon standard...


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...


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Time to Deal With Reality"

by Doug Tjaden, Director
Sound Money Center

Let’s cut to the chase. Those working to restore this nation’s constitutional foundation had better resolve themselves to three important facts.

#1. We do not have much time left. The clock is ticking and we are in the eleventh hour. Enough said.

#2. The economic and political environment this restoration project is taking place in is about turn ugly in a way nobody wants to admit. It will unfortunately, because vast numbers of people in this country hold two deeply entrenched, yet diametrically opposed, worldviews.

Progressive Socialists believe the government is the best and last arbiter of all issues – whether social or financial, local or global. The only way out of our problems, they claim, is to give the central (and increasingly, global) government more power and money. The Constitutional Conservatives on the other hand, believe big government is the problem, and the central government must be stripped of its power and money, with both being returned to the people and states.

Diametrically opposed political and cultural worldviews do not co-existed indefinitely. In this country, they have been able to for one simple reason - Perceived prosperity. Easy money (actually it’s easy credit, but that’s another subject) created an environment of economic and political stability. Historically, this is not an environment in which world changing events occur.

Those days are over. History will show they ended during the hot summer of 2011. The heated nature of the debate to raise the United States’ debt ceiling awakened millions of Americans to a painful reality. The perceived prosperity of our debt based consumption binge is over. The resulting economic instability will magnify what many have sensed for some time now – our country is politically unstable. And that IS an environment where world changing events occur.

This assertion is confirmed by a Rasmussen poll released this week showing that only 17% of Americans believe the government operates with the consent of the public. Pollster Pat Caddel called the results “pre-revolutionary.” A pretty strong statement. However an accurate one.

This country is entering a period of monumental change. Which leads me to the final fact we must resolve ourselves to.

#3. We have one chance to get it right. The collective wisdom of those who hold freedom dear must be directed in such a way as to achieve maximum return for every hour volunteered and every dollar spent working toward that goal.

As our fellow Americans awaken again to the concepts liberty and Constitutional government, we must make the case that governmental tyranny and economic chaos can only be solved by implementing both the principles of '98 and sound money. Restoring constitutional government cannot be done through the principles of '98 alone. Or by implementing the sound money alone. They must be implemented simultaneously – and immediately.

Our posterity depends on it.

I will make that case at Nullify Now! in Kansas City on August 20th. Please join us there!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"The Clock Is Ticking"

By Doug Tjaden, Director
Sound Money Center

Believe it or not, there is actually something good that came out of the dog-and-pony show over our debt ceiling. Even though Washington chose to do exactly what we knew they would – kick the can down the road – the debate has brought some facts about our nation’s financial condition into the open.

Fact #1 – we are broke. While tens of millions of Americans still believe that money from government programs can and should continue to flow without consequence, millions more are discovering that if our insane policy of deficit spending continues, it will end badly.

Fact #2 – we are on the clock. While this fact is not yet widely understood, people are awakening to the reality that because we are broke, we have a limited amount of time to truly change our ways – very limited.

The bill Congress passed provides us with a timeline showing when the U.S. dollar crisis will come to a head. This long anticipated event will happen as the United States government approaches its new debt ceiling limit of $16.7 trillion.

If you think the drama surrounding raising the limit was extreme this time, you haven’t seen anything yet. Expectations have been solidly set that by the time it comes up again, Congress will have put in place measures to once and for all, solve our fiscal problems by getting spending under control.

That is not going to happen.

Projections are already being made that the $16.7 trillion limit will be reached in 1Q13. However, Washington D.C. is notorious for making projections that are too rosy. Furthermore, our economy is rapidly moving into a “double dip” recession. That means revenues will soften as expenditures (unemployment, food stamps, etc.) continue to rise.

If the double-dip is severe, it is possible that we could reach the debt limit well ahead of schedule - near next year’s Presidential election. Consider what that means. A bitterly divided (and economically ignorant) Congress would be fighting for re-election during a full blown sovereign debt crisis. Gridlock of the most extreme nature would paralyze Washington when bold, decisive action is warranted. Not a pretty picture. Even if this scenario does not materialize, 1Q13 is only 18 months from now.

The clock is ticking people. This is it. Understanding this, each and every one of you should be moved to get involved to enact sound money laws in your state. It will be your best and possibly only protection from what is coming. You should also get serious about accumulating some sound money of your own.

Eighteen months max. The 2012 state legislative session may be your last chance to enact constitutional tender laws in time to implement them prior to some very challenging economic times. Encourage legislators and sound money proponents from your state to attend the national Sound Money Summit, scheduled for September 26th and 27th in Deer Valley, Utah. Sound money legislation will be crafted and acted upon. Details will be posted at the Sound Money Center when released!