The Constitution And Paper Money

by Dr. Clarence Carson, FEE.org

The United States Constitution does not mention paper money by that name. Nor does it refer to paper currency or fiat money in those words. There is only one direct reference to the origins of what we, and they, usually call paper money. It is in the limitations on the power of the states in Article I, Section 10. It reads, “No State shall . . . emit Bills of Credit . . . .” Paper that was intended to circulate as money but was not redeemable in gold and silver was technically described as bills of credit at that time. The description was (and is) apt. Such paper is a device for expanding the credit of the issuer. There is also an indirect reference to the practice in the same section of the Constitution. It reads, “No State shall . . . make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts . . . .” Legal tender laws, in practice, are an essential expedient for making unredeemable paper circulate as money. Except for the one direct and one indirect reference to the origin and means for circulating paper money, the Constitution is silent on the question.

With such scant references, then, it might be supposed that the makers of the Constitution were only incidentally concerned with the dangers of paper money. That was hardly the case. It loomed large in the thinking of at least some of the men who were gathered at Philadelphia in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention. There were two great objects in the making of a new constitution: one was to provide for a more energetic general government; the other was to restrain the state governments. Moreover, the two objects had a common motive at many points, i.e., to provide a stronger general government which could restrain the states.

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Government Monetary Policy vs Freedom

by Rep Ron Paul

I’ve discussed just a few benefits of sound money in the last two weeks, and contrasted them to the perils of fiat currency.  Sound money keeps government spending in check, keeps trade fair and honest, which reduces the temptations, and many underlying causes, for governments to wage wars.  It also gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your savings will be able to sustain you in your retirement.

So if sound money is such a good thing, what is stopping people from simply trading with each other in gold and silver?  Why are you still being paid in fiat dollars, and why can’t you pay for gas in gold?  The answer is that the government has enacted policies that provide considerable stumbling blocks to such transactions.

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Sound Money and the Constitution

by Rep Ron Paul

Last week I discussed how sound money contributes to peaceful relationships around the world.  It is not gold, in and of itself that excites me, but the many benefits of sound money.  Another benefit is financial security.

Can sound money give you financial security?  There is something very comforting in knowing that what you earn today will retain its purchasing power in the years to come.  Indeed, the same silver dime that bought a loaf of bread in the 1960’s can still buy a loaf of bread with its precious metal content – which is worth about $1.00 today. 

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