Posts Tagged ‘Greenbacks’

Gary northIn his February 1, 2012 article, Ben Bernanke: The Official Counterfeiter, Gary North says of U.S. Notes:

They were taken out of circulation in 1971, the year that Nixon took the country off the gold exchange standard. Today, we still see these words on Federal Reserve Notes: “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.”

The Federal Reserve’s Notes looked very much like the Treasury’s greenbacks until the U.S. Notes were taken out of circulation.

And they still do look like the Treasury’s greenbacks, since United States Notes are still valid legal tender, despite being taken out of circulation by the government (but not all private individuals) in 1971.

Here, he is giving the false impression that U.S. Notes are as irrelevant as currency in the United States since 1971 as a Roman coin with Caesar on it.

The U.S. Treasury Department states, as of April 29, 2012:

Both United States Notes and Federal Reserve Notes are parts of our national currency and both are legal tender.

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Gary North speaking at the Mises Institute aft...Gary North, in attacking Ellen Brown for her support of government-issued credit, has repeatedly referred to her as a “Greenbacker.”

He states, without reference, that she is “a Greenbacker by confession.

It’s ironic that North got on his high horse and claimed to have discredited her book, Web of Debt, by pointing to errors in it, yet failed to do research into his own bogus claim that she is a Greenbacker.

The Greenback movement refers to those who supported the issuance of interest-free paper money at the federal level during the Civil War era and in the subsequent years of the late 19th century.

Had North done even the most basic amount of research — which he claims Brown failed to do regarding some of her claims — he would’ve come across her proposal (on page 455) for:

A bill to update the Constitutional provision that “Congress shall have the power to coin money” so that it reads, “Congress shall have the power to create the national currency in all its forms, including not only coins and paper dollars but the nation’s credit issued as commercial loans.”

Calling for a constitutional amendment to make Greenbacks constitutional means that Ellen Brown is not a Greenbacker, since she is saying that the Greenbacks that were issued at the time were unconstitutional, and would be unconstitutional if issued today, until an amendment is passed.

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Crystaline Gold

In response to Ingo Bischoff, a regular commenter on their site, in the comments section of their article, Central Banks Won’t Produce Natural Interest, the Daily Bell responded:

Ingo, you are a well-learned man. But it is impossible to have a substantive conversation with you within certain parameters because of your gold obsession. Even Rothbard, who was fairly fanatical about gold, admitted that “money” is what societies make of it. Money is gold, sure … but it’s also been salt, beads and remains silver despite your pooh-poohing of the “people’s metal.” When you start with the insistence that the “only” money is gold, then whatever flows from this flawed proposition becomes increasingly incomprehensible. Which is too bad. You have a lot to offer …

But they conveniently failed to respond to his criticism of their claim that “Greenbackerism” is making a comeback, when he said:

Greenbackerism making a startling comeback… ??? That certainly is news to me.

Greenbacks were the most successful paper currency ever put into circulation. They were continously issued for over a hundred years from 1864 until 1971. That they have been issued since is startling news to me.

Things are getting interesting at The Daily Bell now, with a gold-loving, apparently learned student of the monetary system conceding that the Greenbacks were successful, despite the oft-repeated protestations of former Daily Bell associate G. Edward Griffin and others. I previously wrote how during their interview with Ingo Bischoff, he undermined their basis for a free market in money, saying such a thing doesn’t even exist.

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Michael Badnarik

Michael Badnarik, 2004 Libertarian presidential candidate and “Stepfather of the Constitution,” was asked the following question by a caller on his October 2, 2008 radio show (at 48:44):

During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln printed Greenbacks in order to finance the army of the North and to pay his soldiers and buy goods. Couldn’t we do the very same thing? Couldn’t we abolish the Federal Reserve and the fractional reserve banking system and go to constitutional money printed by the Treasury and controlled by Congress, which would, we would not have to pay interest on that debt, and we could pay our debts without the interest applied? Wouldn’t that solve the whole problem?

Badnarik responded:

That’d be a step in the right direction, I think.

Despite being a hard money advocate, notice how he didn’t take exception with United States Notes being unconstitutional as he has with blatantly unconstitutional acts like the USA PATRIOT Act, 2001, and the Military Commissions Act, 2006.

For where some people get the idea that interest-free fiat money is constitutional, see my articles: The “necessary and proper” clause: it’s not meaningless, and The Constitution doesn’t prohibit both the states and federal government from issuing fiat money.

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