Opinion

What ‘Spocking’ Tells Us About Our Money

There are a lot of creative people in the world. The latest example of artistic creativity is “Spocking” Canadian money:

Canadians are paying a strange sort of tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy — they’re drawing his most famous character, Spock from “Star Trek,” over a 19th-century politician on their banknotes…. It looks as if the fad goes back further. Apparently, Canadians have been turning Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the country’s first French-speaking prime minister, into a Vulcan for years.

But the Bank of Canada is unimpressed.

According to the BBC, Canada’s central bank, which is responsible for the notes, confirmed that the practice was not illegal but said people should not be doing it anyway: “The Bank of Canada feels that writing and markings on bank notes are inappropriate as they are a symbol of our country and a source of national pride,” Menard told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in an email.

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The last sentence about the bank notes being “a symbol of our country and a source of national pride” made me laugh. All of today’s “bank notes” and Federal Reserve Notes are a joke. They are pure fiction.

Here’s a sample:

“Spocking” happened soon after Leonard Nimoy’s death in 2015.

Spocking is an appropriate thing to do to Canadian and United States currency since the value of the currencies are as fictional as Nimoy’s character.

  1. When a government issues fiat money (paper) not backed by a commodity like gold and/or silver, the limiting commodity (gold and silver) is “driven out,” that is, people hoard the good money because they perceive it to be more valuable.
  2. For example, silver coins were widely circulated in Canada (until 1968) and in the United States (until 1965 and 1971). The two governments debased their coins by switching to cheaper metals as the market value of silver rose above that of the face value. The silver coins disappeared from circulation as citizens retained them in anticipation of a rise in value in the future.
  3. Dimes and quarters stopped being minted in 1964.
  4. The Kennedy half-dollar was struck in 90% silver in 1964. The following year, this was changed to silver-clad, with the silver content lowered to 40%. In 1971, the circulation coinage composition was changed a final time, eliminating the silver, and using the copper-nickel clad standard common to the dollar, quarter, and dime.
  5. There is no silver in any circulating United States coin.
  6. Silver is trading around $15.85 per ounce. Silver dimes contain 0.07234 ounces of silver making their value around $1.15.
  7. In 1980, silver was selling for $48.70 per ounce making a dime’s value $3.52 in 1980 dollars!
  8. “Paper money” (actually a blend of cotton fibers) was used to represent held gold or silver.
  9. Instead of people carrying large numbers of gold and silver coins, they could trade in certificates that were redeemed for real money — silver and gold.
  10. Here’s what a $10,000 gold certificate looked like: “The Thousand Dollars in Gold Payable to Bearer on Demand as Authorized by Law.”
  11. “Historically, gold certificates first appear in London and Amsterdam, by goldsmiths who housed their customers’ gold bullion in their vaults. The certificates certified the amount of physical gold the owner was storing with the gold professional and before long, the certificates were being used like cash in daily transactions.
  12. In 1933, our government declared that owning gold was illegal! “The United States Treasury adopted the gold certificate practice in the mid-1800s until 1933, when the Emergency Banking Act was implemented, making privately held (with the exception of jewelry) illegal.”
  13. Because it’s easier to print and digitize money than dig gold out of the ground, politicians gave voters the impression that governments create prosperity.
  14. A gold/silver-based economy, something Article 1, Sec. 10 of the Constitution requires, was designed to keep our government from debasing the value of money: “No State shall … make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts….”)
  15. As a result, we now have a total public debt of $22,000,000,000,000, with some $30 billion in debt added in February 2019 alone.

This is me as Galileo or Galileo as me in 1977 while I was a student at Reformed Theological Seminary:

 

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