Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Incredible Shrinking Dollar

Here is an interesting article about how the U.S. dollar is continually shrinking - now being worth around 1/1200th of an ounce of gold. That's quite a drop from 1933 when the dollar was worth 1/20th of an ounce of gold. This was just before the federal government made gold illegal for American citizens to own and pulled all the $20 gold pieces out of circulation.

If any other standard weight or measure were to continually get smaller and smaller by government tinkering, we would be marching in the streets. But this is exactly what the U.S. government and its puppet, the Federal Reserve, has been doing for nearly a century.

If you think about it, the dollar is no different than the gallon or the ounce. It is a standard of measure. And it is "legal tender" - meaning we "must" use it. The Constitution actually defines money as gold or silver. But since 1913 - one of the worst and most tragic years in our erstwhile republic - the dollar has been subject to outright manipulation by the Federal Reserve. Since 1971, all ties binding the dollar to gold have been severed.

And now it is worth whatever the Fed says it is. And it isn't much.

This manipulation is why the dollar routinely shrinks. Prices always go up. This is why government handouts are often doled out on a sliding scale according to COLAs - "cost of living adjustments." In fact, we're so accustomed to it, that when comparing prices over time, we have to "adjust for inflation" by measuring in "2010 dollars" or "1980 dollars" or some such. Why don't we ever speak of "2010 ounces" or "1980 gallons"?

It's because those measures don't change. But the measure of money does.

This is an example of the "dishonest scales" that are an abomination to God according to Proverbs 11:1. The manipulation of the U.S. dollar by big government and big banks is nothing less than a criminal enterprise. And guess who pays. Every time you see prices rise, you can answer that question. Inflation is nothing more than a hidden tax. It is indeed "taxation without representation." And inflation is not prices going up - prices naturally go up and down depending on the market. Inflation, rather, causes prices to rise because of the devaluation of the money used to measure the cost of an item.

In other words, if we changed the definition of a "quart" from 32 ounces to 31 ounces - and kept redefining it as one less ounce every year, a gallon (4 quarts) of milk would actually get smaller and smaller. Think where it would be headed in 20 years. And if the government actually did this, we would all be scratching our heads and demanding that they quit messing with us and making it harder to figure out how much to buy and how much to spend. We would be trying to figure out who is making money off of the sliding scale. But when they do it with money, we accept this as normal.

But in our real world of technological advances and competition, naturally falling prices (due to market forces) often cover up the manipulation of the dollar that is going on - but when the economy sours, that camouflage disappears. The emperor's nakedness is there for all to see. Rising prices garner our attention. And we finally start asking "why?"

I think this is what is happening now, as fortunately, more people are asking questions. Thanks to the public's outcry and Congressman Ron Paul's remarkable persistence, there is a popular and bipartisan bill in Congress to audit the Fed for the first time. Of course, powerful forces are also arrayed against shining any light into the process of why our money is being literally sucked out of our wallets. The federal government is the Fed's greatest benefactor. They are the ones stealing from us when the dollar continuously drops in value over time. The federal government borrows directly from the Fed to finance its deficits, and it "pays back" the loans in inflated money. It's a racket the Mafia could only dream of.

The bill to audit the Fed may or may not ever make it into being a real law with teeth (I suspect it won't) but the real blow for liberty and the first step to making government honest - or at least obedient to the Constitution again - will be to once and for all slay the dragon, make the dollar a sound and reliable measure, and "End the Fed!"


Past Elder said...

Reminds me of a story -- years ago when I was getting into the financial world and studying for my Series 7 ("stockbroker's licence") the teacher said here is now to counter those who think investing is risky but savings accounts are safe -- what if I called you up and said, hey, have I got a place to put your money for you, now, it's lost value every year for decades straight now, but don't let that bother you, it's a completely safe investment. Would you buy it, no, except that's just what you do when you "invest" in a savings certificate.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

We do sort of do this in the grocery store -- a "can" of soup now isn't quite the same as it was 40 years ago. The amounts in a "can" or "jar" have been shrinking. Hence a lot of homemade recipes from 50 years ago + are now off kilter.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Eric:

Breyers Ice Cream did something similar a few years ago, changing their container from 2 quarts to 1.75. They recently shrunk it again to 1.5 (while keeping the container almost exactly the same size in a kind of optical illusion).

It's annoying, and more than a little deceptive. But the box clearly states its volume in ounces. And, you can see the difference between Breyers and Blue Bell (which is still a half gallon, and markets itself that way).

Can you imagine if the *ounces* were changed gradually each year? That's what the Fed does with the dollar. And, there is no guarantee that the gradual decline in the dollar will continue at the same gradual rate. In other words, if we have hyperinflation thanks to the temptation to print money like maniacs (in other words, like government officials), it's just too bad for anyone who has saved or invested. You will simply be wiped out.

And thanks to "legal tender laws," we can't introduce competing currencies or even privately demand payment in gold or silver for most business transactions.

It's especially intriguing to see the graph showing the dollar's value since 1790 to present. It was more or less the same until 1913, and then it began to plummet.

A dollar today is worth about three cents in 1913 money.

And the kicker is that our founders warned us about this. We have the examples of the Continental Dollar, the Weimar Mark, and even today's Zimbabwe Dollar - and we still don't learn.

I guess that's why government schools don't teach about the Federal Reserve or Austrian Economics.

But you can only stifle the truth so long. I guess we could paraphrase Jesse Jackson when it comes to the Fed: "End it, don't mend it!"