Utah Monetary Conference
October 1, 2011
Happily, I was invited to a conference just last week in Utah, celebrating the passage of a law to permit the introduction of an alternative, gold/silver based currency. This is actually a big deal, and if we see some follow through from other states (I think eleven others have had similar proposals which have not yet passed into law), then we might see some gold currencies in actual use in the U.S. not too long from now. The lawmakers of Utah deserve a big congratulation. I met a few of them and they are actually quite sophisticated about these things. The conference was also an opportunity to bring together a lot of the “gold guys” not only in the U.S. but from Europe and Asia as well, where there are efforts to introduce parallel gold-linked currencies especially in Switzerland and Malaysia. Investment-themed conferences are not too uncommon, but one with a focus on public policy is something new on the scene. It was important for people to meet each other and talk about what they are doing. I was surprised that there were so many people working on various practical applications, such as types of gold-linked electronic payment systems.
Here’s a schedule of the events. As you can see, it was a pretty big production. Unfortunately, this is a premilinary schedule. There were a lot more speakers and panelists than are listed here, plus political activists, congressmen from the Utah state legislature and also from other states where there is interest in these developments, and many other excellent participants. Maybe I will be able to list a finalized schedule later.
Here is my presentation for the conference:
At the conference, we signed a “Utah Monetary Declaration,” which states:
WHEREAS, money, as a medium of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of measure promotes economic activity, growth and productivity by facilitating specialization and trade, the accumulation of wealth and its long-term investment, as well as accountability in setting prices, tracking progress, and settling accounts;
WHEREAS, natural money – precious metal coin – by virtue of its inherent qualities of recognizability, measurability, uniformity, divisibility, durability, portability and scarcity has reliably retained its purchasing power, notwithstanding periodic fluctuations, over the centuries and millennia of human history, serving as an effective medium of exchange and store of value often without any governmental declaration to require, legitimize or perpetuate its adoption and operation as such;
WHEREAS, sound money, by retaining stable purchasing power over time, best serves societal needs by substantially reducing the uncertainty of inflation risk for creditors and deflation risk for debtors as well as encouraging saving and investment among the general populace and benefiting the economic zone in which it circulates by stimulating the economy and by attracting foreign capital and commerce to the region;
WHEREAS, history attests that monopolistic monetary systems frequently engender currency debasement, resulting in serious consequences such as lost purchasing power, inequitable wealth redistributions, misallocation of productive resources, and chronic unemployment, and that, as the cornerstone of a free market and society, the right to choose, whether between suppliers of goods and services, political parties and candidates, or between alternative media of exchange, effectively promotes the general welfare;
WHEREAS, for the equal protection of all people, rich and poor, the open circulation of complementary and competing currencies should be fostered and promoted by every sovereign state, including those of The United States of America pursuant to their monetary powers (expressly reserved in article 1, § 10 and in the 10th amendment of the United States Constitution) to monetize gold and silver coin as an alternative, voluntary medium of exchange, and as an effective check and balance against debasement of the national currency by the national government which is constitutionally precluded from demonetizing state legal tender, through disparate tax treatment, discriminatory regulation, the threat of suppression and seizure, or otherwise;
NOW THEREFORE, we the undersigned hereby declare and affirm that:
1. As an essential element of true liberty and of the pursuit of happiness in a free society, all people enjoy the inherent and unalienable right to lawfully acquire, hold and use as a medium of exchange whatever form or forms of money they may prefer, including especially gold and silver coin.
2. All free and sovereign states bear the moral, political and legal obligation not only to refrain from debasing their own currencies (except under the most exigent circumstances) and from erecting barriers to the unfettered circulation of monies issued under the authority of their sovereign trading partners, but also to affirmatively defend and protect against fraud, counterfeiting, uttering, passing off, embezzlement, theft or neglect by requiring full transparency and accountability of all state chartered financial institutions.
3. No tax liability nor any regulatory scheme promoting one form of money over another should apply to: (a) the holding of any form of money, in a financial institution or otherwise; (b) the exchange of one form of money for any other; or (c) the actual or imputed increase in the purchasing power of one form of money as compared to another.
4. Except in the case of governmentally assessed taxes, fees, duties, imposts, excises, dues, fines or penalties, the authority of government should never be used to compel payment of any obligation, contract or private debt in any specific form of money inconsistent with the parties’ written, verbal or implied agreement, or to frustrate the intent of contracting parties or impair contractual obligations by invalidating the application of a discount or surcharge agreed to be dependent upon the particular medium of exchange or method of payment employed.
5. The extent and composition of a person’s monetary holdings, including those on deposit with any financial institution, should not be subject to disclosure, search or seizure except upon adherence to due process safeguards such as requiring an adequate showing of probable cause to support the issuance by a court of competent jurisdiction of a lawful warrant or writ executed by legally authorized law enforcement officers.
We hereby urge business leaders, educators, members of the media, legislators, government officials as well as judicial and law enforcement officers to use their best combined efforts to reinstate and promote the legal and commercial framework necessary to establishing and maintaining well-functioning, sound monetary systems based on choice in currency.
The signatories hereto concur in the general principles expressed in the foregoing declaration notwithstanding specific reservations some may have as to how such principles should be interpreted and applied in practice.
Here’s the text of the actual Utah state law:
9 This bill recognizes gold and silver coins that are issued by the federal government as
10 legal tender in the state and exempts the exchange of the coins from certain types of
11 state tax liability.