I have read James Howard Kuntsler books with great interest, including his novels. "The witch of Hebron" and other are set in a post industrial world where the the economic conditions we participate in are long gone. In this world, money has been demoted to a status similar to barter today. No one has faith that the dollar has any intrinsic value and it is worthless in commerce. The only remnant of our current money is what is called "junk silver", in other words, American coins that were minted before 1965 that actually had inherent value due to the percentage of precious metals in them. These coins were 90% silver if they were dimes, quarters, half dollars or silver dollars. One is not likely to find them in circulation today because they have been hoarded and removed from circulation due to their much higher intrinsic value.
I wonder how can the idea of these units of value being distinct from other forms of money be recognized by a culture so that they are acceptable in a world where all have lost faith in fiat currency. I think it has to start now in order to get the idea across. I look at Ebay for this form of money and see the going prices range, for example, in a 1964 dime going for between $1.65 to $2.00. On average, a silver dime has about 18 times it's face value now. If precious metals become a refuge for people who fear inflation, deflation, currency controls, government confiscation or any other form of loss of faith in the current money system, this value will rise. But it is not so much a rise in the value of precious metals as it is a decrease in the actual value of money. A silver dime is more valuable in terms of its purchasing power only because the dollar buys far less.
I am am offering to start a barter system right now. A basic commodity, biodiesel for transportation fuel or for heating, is available in western Massachusetts at my company for going market rates. I sell to individuals for home heating oil, to farmers for tractor use and to anyone who uses a diesel type fuel for their truck or car. This is a certified, road legal fuel made from recycled used vegetable oils by American industry. It is appropriate for all #2 fuel users. In 1964, the last year that coins had any inherent value, you could buy this fuel for approximately 25¢ per gallon. As a demonstration that inflation since then is not so much due to the scarcity of resources driving up costs, as it is about the value of money plummeting due to Fed policies and the destruction of monetary value, I am selling this fuel for 25¢ per gallon from now on. The stipulation is that to obtain these early 1960's prices, the money needs to be from this time too.
this is not a sale, it is not a limited time offer, it is an attempt to start learning to do without the almighty dollar as I believe it will soon start to do without us. I see these units of value as a true alternative, not entirely unlike "valley dollars" or other alternative currencies. But it will take practice to learn to use them, to appreciate them, to dig them out of the coin jar and to see them as something akin to barter. We need to start now to find an alternative to our monetary system. Let me know if anyone finds this viable.