Friday, 25 May 2007

A Case for the Lowly Penny

Click on the penny above for "Citizens for Retiring the Penny"! Yes, they are a nuisance, aren't they? According to this site and other sources I have found, it costs more to mint a penny than the actual value of a penny – 1.4 cents to be exact. And we all know what you can buy with a penny – absolutely nothing. I have a little adage that I repeat rather frequently, based upon Ben Franklin's "a penny saved is a penny earned", that goes "a penny saved, isn't worth very much". (chuckle)

As my readers know (there are probably four of them), one of my platform planks is monetary reform. But I do not wish to send the penny packing. I'll explain why I think that focussing on remedies for a failing, devalued currency are misguided. I think the penny still has a place in our hearts, even if it be a small one.

The dollar is quite independent from the U.S. Constitution, which instead has a number of disability clauses that limit the powers of government in such matters. For all intents and purposes, our current monetary system flies in the face of the Constitution and violates its very premises. In other words, our "fiat" paper currency is illegal and illegitimate. The mere fact that it is not backed by anything (or redeemable) makes it nothing more than rather meaningless and valueless paper. The more paper "dollars" put into circulation, the less value such "dollars" possess, until you get to our current state of affairs. Compared to the value of the dollar in 1913, today's dollar is worth 4¢. Simple arithmetic tells us that a penny in 1913 was worth one of today's quarters. Nobody's considering eliminating the quarter dollar now, are they?

Do you know that the "dollar" is a defined unit according to the Coinage Act of 1792? "The Dollar or Unit shall be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current," that is, running in the market, "to wit, three hundred and seventy-one and one-quarter grains of silver." That is 0.773 troy ounces of pure silver. At the time of this writing, the current value of that amount of silver is about 10 Federal Reserve dollars. I commend this article to you: "How Misconstruction of the Monetary Powers and Disabilities Subverted the Founding Fathers' Intent",by Dr. Edwin Viera, Jr.. There are a good number of American citizens around today that can probably recall "silver certificates", payable to the bearer on demand – redeemable currency that was tied to the value of something tangible.

If I may take a slight deviation in our discourse, I would like to state that my entire raison d'ĂȘtre, in this life is about empowerment – personally and communally. This is oversimplification, but for the sake of understanding, I see the world composed of two philosophical camps. I try to boil things down to their roots, examine the soil, the prime motivation and underlying source of their constructs and then decide which camp they sprang from. There is the egalitarian, libertarian, free thinking, creative, empowering camp that views humanity as the pinnacle of Creation and inspires us to be more, to grow and evolve and realize our full potential. That is the camp that I struggle to align myself with. Then there is the totalitarian, dystopian, oppressive, mundane, institutional enslaving camp that views humanity as nothing more than a disposable resource (or at the most, a smart ape) and seeks to bind and shackle us with fear so that we can never break free. The world is not so black and white, but the seeds of ideas are. Ideas are the most important "things" we've got, so we'd best be careful choosing the ones we want. Our current monetary system is an abuse of power, an enslaving institution that is not worthy of us.

So it is my suggestion that we abolish our fiat currency and replace it with currency that is redeemable for silver and gold. The Federal Reserve must be abolished entirely, and banks will no longer have the ability to create money out of nothing. Why should financial institutions be able to suck the life from those who have worked, scrimped and saved for their children's futures? How come your average citizen who essentially sacrifices his very being to the betterment of society finds home ownership entirely outside his grasp? The financial bowl is only getting deeper, and those in the center can only dream their way out, while a few on the edges enjoy wealth beyond imagination, and contribute nothing while doing so. It is hardly an equitable, democratic system we currently have in place.

It is not a socialist notion to say that workers, those who actually produce things of value and provide needed services are entitled to some meaningful compensation for their work. Then why are we paid with valueless paper? Think about this. You could see your life savings quite literally snuffed out by any significant financial downturn. Is that fair? Is it equitable? Meanwhile there will be speculators, lenders and financial institutions that will make their killings. Everything is in place right now waiting for just such an event. Our government has openly defied our God-given rights and constitutionally granted liberties; they will hardly flinch at instating martial law under the guise of security. Do you think you own anything? Think again. What will happen when you cannot afford your mortgage payment? There are those inside and outside our government that are waiting for the biggest power transfer ever, and we are playing right into their hands.

I think these power elite have once more underestimated the common man. They may be in for a big surprise. However, it seems to me that preventive medicine is always preferable to invasive surgery. That is why I so much as bother to write my ideas down. It may not be much, but it is something. If we all do a little something, it can add up to a whole lot of something. Now is the time to take up our calling and make those little differences. Let's not wait until we are facing our enemy fully on his terms, herding us into rail cars bound for the work camps. So much for the lowly penny!

No comments: