Silver vs. Paper discussion in Coeur d’ Alene

Karen Laramie, the motel manager at the La Quinta Inns & Suites facility on Sherman Avenue in Coeur D???????? Alene, Idaho is a bright, cheerful, accommodating and friendly woman who talked with me at the front desk as I made sure I was checked in for a second night. It was Thursday, January 19th, 2012, and the day had not gone as planned by my associate as we had less appointments than she had desired and the snow was not promising great attendance numbers for our introductory JBS meeting at a local home later in the evening.

For the time being, I was stranded at the motel without a car as my co-worker had her car at her home across town preparing for our evening meeting while I worked on e-mail replies, my expense report, and my weekly sales report in the motel????????s well-lit breakfast room.

No one needed a weatherman to report to them that a winter storm was socked in over Coeur d’ Alene. A motel employee constantly drove a small John Deer tractor along the motel driveway to clear snow while I croaked a question to Karen. I had acquired laryngitis the day before and was also trying to recover before our evening John Birch Society Open House meeting.

Outside the motel window the powdery white-blanket of trillions of snow-flakes continued to pile up on the Idaho landscape to a depth that might already have reached eight inches. A few travelers were driving along Sherman Avenue, some skidding as they made turns. There were almost as many snowflakes, I thought, as dollars owed by our federal government for entitlements, wars and debts.

Karen made change for me so I could buy something from a vending machine in the motel and thus began a conversation about money, the nature of money, and a little bit about the history of money. I handed her a ??????One-Hundred-TRILLION-Dollars?????? bill that I have carried in my wallet for years so she could see for herself the results of a hyperinflation of currency that took place in the unfortunate country of Zimbabwe in Southeastern Africa.

She was surprised at the loss of value that was indicated by my explanation of how too much currency had been created in order for the corrupt, socialist government of Zimbabwe to spend, spend and spend until it had devalued its national currency into useless paper with perhaps less value than toilet paper.

When she returned my 100-trillions-dollar bill, I handed her a one-ounce silver bullion round that I also have carried through numerous airport screening points across the United States. ??????Would you believe that one-ounce piece of shinning silver is worth more than one-hundred trillion Zimbabwe dollars??????? I asked her. She held it up and looked at it, weighing it in her hand.

She replied, ??????What is the hundred-trillion worth now???????

??????It wouldn????????t pay for breakfast,?????? I said, ??????In fact its really just a collectors item now, an item that a John Birch Society friend of mine in Montana gave to me a few years ago so I could use it as a visual aid when I????????m discussing inflation with people at speaking events.??????

??????Unlike gold or silver coins or bullion,?????? I explained to Karen, ??????the paper money of Zimbabwe,?????? which I was putting back into my wallet, ??????like many other forms of paper-money before it, has lost all of its purchasing power as the supply of currency for the country of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe money supply was inflated so horrendously that it was devalued to a point of zero value as a medium of exchange. The money was printed in huge denominations and enormous supplies in order to supply the government of Zimbabwe currency with which to pay for all of its socialist share-the-wealth programs.??????

After that I explained to her the relative value of our Federal Reserve Note ??????dollars?????? compared to silver. She was too young to have ever carried U.S. silver dollars, half-dollars, quarters, and dimes in her pocket as I had when I was a boy in Utah. I told her about that form of precious-metal money and how it traded one silver dollar for one ??????certificate of deposit?????? paper-dollar in that time four decades ago when the Federal Reserve System paper-currency was still redeemable in silver coin.

While I can not say that Karen was fascinated by what I was telling her she listened attentively enough and I believe she found the silver bullion-round in her hand to be interesting, heavy, and pretty.

I told her how the Federal Reserve System in cahoots with Congress had been inflating the supply of American currency just as had been done in Zimbabwe to accommodate federal government spending and those Americans whose pensions, insurance plans, and savings were denominated in the paper Federal Reserve Note monopoly-dollars had seen a steady erosion of the purchasing power of those so-called ??????dollars?????? in their accounts. A legal-dollar????????s value was long ago established to be 371.25 grains of silver like the then often used ??????Spanish milled dollar?????? in 1792 by The Mint Act of Congress in compliance with the United States Constitution.

The implications of what I was telling her seemed to strike home a bit. She volunteered, ??????My dad saved some in silver like this.?????? I hoped I was setting her to thinking.

??????Which would have been smarter to save in,?????? I asked, ??????Silver coins and bullion or the unredeemable paper money of the federal reserve??????? She gave me a quizzical look.

??????Well, Karen, when I was young you could trade a silver dollar, just under an ounce of silver, for a dollar in the paper money. Now an ounce of silver is over thirty of those paper dollars, so you can see the relative loss of value in the paper money can????????t you??????? She nodded in reply. ??????Then, you can see I would have been thirty-times as smart to have saved in silver than these paper Federal Reserve Notes.?????? She nodded again, and frowned, perhaps a bit concerned by the implications for her and her family.

There wasn????????t really an opportunity to share with her more about money, about the constitutional provisions regarding money in Article One, Section Eight and found in Article One, Section Ten of the Constitution, but perhaps before leaving Coeur d???????? Alene, I????????ll get a chance to share that information with others at the evening John Birch Society meeting. For all others, I suggest reading the excellent article ??????A CRISIS OF DOLLARS AND SENSE,?????? by Edwin Vieira, Jr. that was published years ago in THE NEW AMERICAN magazine. http://www.thenewamerican.com/economy/economics-mainmenu-44/627


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