US Citizens Deserve a Choice in Money

This petition does not seek to mandate a gold standard, impose a Federal Reserve managed gold system for a gold backed currency, or place any restrictions on the existing currency management powers of the Federal Reserve. Instead, we simply petition President Donald J Trump to sign an Executive Order that allows a choice in currency consistent with the spirit and intent of the Constitution.

Although President Nixon unilaterally suspended in 1971 the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold, the Constitution does not grant either Congress or the President the power to demonetize gold and silver or impede their use as currency. Yet, these precious metals have in fact been restricted and discriminated against: 

  1. They are not permissible currency under various money transmitter laws, and;

  2. They are discriminated against by US tax policy.

In combination with the lack of US dollar convertibility, these factors of discrimination effectively demonetize gold and silver, impeding their use as money in day-to-day commerce.

Advances in financial technology and digital payment platforms have enabled precious metals to be used interoperably with central bank currency in online transactions; therefore, there is no better time to remove the remaining impediments that hinder gold and silver so they can freely circulate in commerce as transactional money again.

There is little impact to government policy if people do not choose gold or silver for their savings or use them as currency, but there are benefits for U.S. citizens who desire a sound and immutable money for their wages and savings. Regardless, any choice of currency should be made by the people, not by the latest fashion in economic theory as dictated by a central banking monopoly.

While the macroeconomic merits of using a sound and immutable currency – such as gold and silver – may be debated, there should be no discrimination, either explicit or implicit against those citizens who unilaterally choose to use constitutional money

Federal Reserve Notes as United States dollars have objectively proven to be an unsatisfactory currency for individuals and businesses. The purchasing power of the US dollar continues to decline ever lower. While at the same time, even with no official government support or use in global monetary systems, gold and silver have preserved purchasing power for savers and wage earners in marked contrast to the currency of any central bank.

Before 1971 the federal minimum wage was $1.60 per hour, or 1.42 grams of gold per hour based on the gold price at the time of President Nixon’s “temporary” suspension.  By 1985 the minimum wage was $3.35 per hour, but only 0.32 gold grams per hour in purchasing power. Today the Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but just 0.19 gold grams in purchasing power. So while minimum wages have increased in nominal U.S. dollar terms more than four times, their purchasing power for goods and necessities has declined to just 1/7th of what they previously commanded, an eye-opening 87% decline in the purchasing power of the US dollar compared to gold.

The same 1.42 grams of gold that was the minimum wage in 1970 would today equate to more than $54 per hour, which would enable individuals even being paid a minimum wage to maintain an adequate standard of living. Gold preserves purchasing power to acquire the necessities of life - education, health care, housing, food and energy. The cost of all of these necessities are consistent over time when measured in gold, but appreciate exponentially in U.S. dollar terms. 

Interest paid on savings would have recovered some of this purchasing power for any dollars saved, particularly in the 1980’s and 1990’s when interest rates were higher, but it has become harder to save any dollars for spending in the future. A greater portion of one’s wages is needed to keep up a reasonable standard of living in the face of rising prices. 

As a measure of our Nation’s economic accounts, the state of our Union demands higher standards, not lower standards for money. Looking back, it’s hard to think of another product that has become so objectively worse over the past two decades than central bank managed currency. Looking forward, it’s time to Make Money Great Again.