Who Can Use Sound Money?
Depending on your age, your parents may well have used sound money for a good portion of their lives. Certainly, their parents did. From the passage of the Free Coinage Act of 1792 until the enactment of the Coinage Act of 1965, an ounce of silver cost exactly $1.29. That's because until 1965 a dollar was defined as 371.25 troy grains of silver and one troy ounce contains 480 such grains. The 1965 Act began the process of replacing the silver coin Americans had been using for 173 years with the base metal tokens we use today. The result was predictable. Now, at the beginning of 2011, a troy ounce of silver costs just over $30 dollars. That represents more than a 95% loss in the dollar's purchasing power in less than 50 years.
So who can use sound money today? Well, with:
- the private ownership of gold having been outlawed in America from 1933 to 1971,
- silver coin having been taken out of circulation,
- treasury notes and silver certificates redeemable in specie no longer available and
- Federal reserve notes (today's dollars) backed by nothing but debt
there's not a lot of convenient sound money options available to Americans today. Sure, the U.S. mint does produce gold and silver American Eagles. So technically U.S. gold and silver coin still exists. But because their legal tender face value is set at a fraction of their actual market price, their use as money is highly impractical. Any other gold or silver coin is treated as taxable private property, making it unworkable as a widely circulating currency.
Lone activists who have attempted, none the less, to reintroduce gold and silver specie as quasi currencies have been swat teamed and indicted by federal agents. So really citizens' only practical options are to either wait on Congress to reverse its hasty retreat from sound money, or to look to the sovereign States of the Union to fulfill their Constitutional duty to not "make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payments of debts." U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 10.
Under federal law (and common sense) gold and silver coin, legally recognized as "currency", cannot be demonetized by taxation and, therefore, becomes practical for day to day use, so long as protected by the police powers of a sovereign State.