The Local Currency Thread

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Cloudfire's picture
Cloudfire
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The Local Currency Thread

 

I came across an interesting piece of news about a man arrested for starting a local currency in North Carolina, and a search of the forums did not reveal an appropriate thread for posting it. So, I thought it might be good to start a basket for local currency related news and discussions. For reference, my search did find the following threads relating to specific examples of local currencies:

http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200906050015/NEW...
http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/successfull-local-currency-example/1...
http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/north-carolina-town-starts-use-its-o...

 

And here is the article about the man arrested in North Carolina:

http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/200906050015/NEW...

 

 

investorzzo's picture
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Re: The Local Currency Thread

Even Ron Paul had his own currency that the Feds shut down. I don't think Ron Paul had anything to do with it thou.

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Re: The Local Currency Thread

Well it's not really a surprise when you think about it. The Constitution granted only the Federal Government the right to issue currency.

Article 1 section 8. Bolded. Hate to say it but anything else is unconstitutional (and I hate having to defend the very people who do the mashed potatoes daily on the Constitution)

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;--And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Cloudfire's picture
Cloudfire
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Re: The Local Currency Thread
Gungnir wrote:

Well it's not really a surprise when you think about it. The Constitution granted only the Federal Government the right to issue currency . . . .

Article 1 section 8. Bolded. Hate to say it but anything else is unconstitutional (and I hate having to defend the very people who do the mashed potatoes daily on the Constitution)

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; . . . . . .To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures; . . . . .

I'm no lawyer, but the constitution does not grant the Fed the right to print money . . . . . . yet it does, . . . . . . and I don't know, offhand, of any statute forbidding other currencies . . . . . . . The wording of the article is a bit ambiguous, but it almost sounds like they're charging him as though he were attempting to counterfeit. . . . . . "uttering and passing coins resembling genuine U.S. coins and intended for use as money, mail fraud and selling and possessing Liberty Dollar coins with intent to defraud".  What the heck is "uttering" . . . coins?

 

Cloudfire's picture
Cloudfire
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Are Local Currencies Illegal?

 

Does this mean that, to be in compliance with Chris' rule against advocating illegal actvities, we must refrain from verbally supporting local currencies?

 

 

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Re: The Local Currency Thread

I've been following this story for some time.  I wrote my congress critter about this when they raided the mint. 

Liberty Dollars were circulating in many states, not just NC.  Putting a $ symbol on the coins was probably their biggest mistake.  The profit motive didn't help matters either.  Seniorage for their coins was way beyond reason.  The Feds seized a lot of bullion at Sunshine Mint, which is where the coins were produced, and I suspect a lot of people will be out of luck for whatever they bought. 

http://www.libertydollar.org/

http://www.norfed.org/

The thing that baffles me is why all the companies that advertise the old "replica" coins on TV wouldn't be charged as counterfeiters.  Heck, those look like the real deal! 

Uttering means to pass a forged or counterfeit document as real.  Counterfeiting is the act of producing it.  So, if I gave you a counterfeit bill, and told you it was, and you tried to spend it, you could be charged with uttering.  But unless they could prove you produced the bill yourself, you probably wouldn't be charged with counterfeiting.

 

Cloudfire's picture
Cloudfire
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Re: The Local Currency Thread
Ragnar_Danneskjold wrote:

I've been following this story for some time.  I wrote my congress critter about this when they raided the mint. 

Liberty Dollars were circulating in many states, not just NC.  Putting a $ symbol on the coins was probably their biggest mistake.  The profit motive didn't help matters either.  Seniorage for their coins was way beyond reason.  The Feds seized a lot of bullion at Sunshine Mint, which is where the coins were produced, and I suspect a lot of people will be out of luck for whatever they bought. 

http://www.libertydollar.org/

http://www.norfed.org/

The thing that baffles me is why all the companies that advertise the old "replica" coins on TV wouldn't be charged as counterfeiters.  Heck, those look like the real deal! 

Uttering means to pass a forged or counterfeit document as real.  Counterfeiting is the act of producing it.  So, if I gave you a counterfeit bill, and told you it was, and you tried to spend it, you could be charged with uttering.  But unless they could prove you produced the bill yourself, you probably wouldn't be charged with counterfeiting.

 

Thanks, RD, for the clarification ... It's too bad that this case had such bad fallout for those holding the coins, as it will bode ill for other local currencies, I fear. . . .

accelbell's picture
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Re: The Local Currency Thread
Gungnir wrote:

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

This video has a great summary of the US dollar, with particular attention on the wording of the constitution and the bills themselves:

Part1:

Part 2:

cannotaffordit's picture
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Re: The Local Currency Thread

 What about so-called "alternative currencies" that don't actually involve any instrument, i.e. coin, paper or whatever, but is a "membership" system, done through a sophisticated computer software and is essentially a bartering arrangement?  We have one, called Fourth Corner that has been operating primarily in the NW for about 3-4 years, currently has upwards of 700 members and is growing steadily.  It uses a term called "Life Dollars" which are the equivalent of $10 US.  What's interesting is the huge shift in attitude that people in the program have toward each other - no trying to beat anybody out of something, but actually being very generous toward each other in the various transactions, which now number in the many thousands.

We all think it could be a way to survive, and get the stuff you really need, when the US$ becomes virtually worthless.

Cloudfire's picture
Cloudfire
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Re: The Local Currency Thread
Ben A wrote:

It uses a term called "Life Dollars" which are the equivalent of $10 US.  What's interesting is the huge shift in attitude that people in the program have toward each other - no trying to beat anybody out of something, but actually being very generous toward each other in the various transactions, which now number in the many thousands.

We all think it could be a way to survive, and get the stuff you really need, when the US$ becomes virtually worthless.

First, I really like the fact that you're finding that the "edge" has been taken off of the profit motive with your local currency.  That's an inspiring, and unexpected finding. . . . .

I'm no attorney, but I wonder whether you might be better off using a word other than "dollar" to designate your currency, to avoid the accusation that you are "fraudulently" claiming a value that displaces US dollars.  Also, I wonder if it wouldn't be safer, legally speaking, to peg your currency to a commodity other than the dollar.  Just a few thoughts . . . . like I say, I have no legal background, but it seems that the folks in the article crossed the line when they implied that there is some kind of interchangeability between their currency and the US dollar. 

cannotaffordit's picture
cannotaffordit
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Re: The Local Currency Thread

 Excellent ideas cloudfire.  I'll definitely pass them along to the administrative "team."   Thanks.

cannotaffordit's picture
cannotaffordit
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Re: The Local Currency Thread

 Excellent ideas cloudfire.  I'll definitely pass them along to the administrative "team."   Thanks.

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Re: The Local Currency Thread


The advocates of a fiat governmental currency monopoly have not explained how they justify prohibiting private currencies. Their silence implies there is no moral or economic justification for prohibiting voluntary exchange with whatever barter or money terms the parties desire. The Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution states, in its entirety, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” This recognizes that the people have rights even if not specified in the Constitution, and that these rights existed prior to the Constitution and do not come from government. These are common-law rights and natural rights. The fundamental natural right is to do anything that does not coercively harm others. There is therefore a natural and common-law right to engage in voluntary exchange, which is also a Constitutional right under the Ninth Amendment.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/16397479/FederalGovernmentContinuesItsMoneyMonopoly

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