Sixpence None the Wiser

Originally Published In:

Fairfield County Weekly (2/19/2009) Link

What is life going to be like when we stop using dollars? Will we revert to bartering? Will we adopt euros or yen? Will we hoard gold? Or will we just roll wheelbarrows full of American currency to exchange for something more valuable — like toilet paper?

The trillions of our dollars that the government is spending on bailouts (or "stimulus" plans) will eventually result in the collapse of what had once been one of the strongest currencies of all time. Thanks to them, we are now in a state of permanent debt. They've sold us out, and not even to the highest bidder. They've sold us out to any bidder.

Whoever holds government debt owns a piece of your current wealth and your future income. They will tax us for all of eternity to pay interest to foreign countries. In time, the dollar will be worthless, and then what will they demand from us to pay the debt they put on our heads?

Connecticut has been under an imposing central government and a bad currency system before. Three centuries ago, the price of a commodity depended on how you were going to pay for it. Madam Knight, a traveler, wrote in 1704 that merchants exchanged goods for four types of payment: "pay," "money," "pay as money," and "trusting."

"Pay," she wrote, "is grain, pork, beef, etc., at the prices set by the General Court that year." Yes, we had price controls, because people didn't have enough good currency to pay their taxes, and the state established exchange rates to take payment through animals and vegetables. And, of course, the fixed prices were too high, just as the fixed price of sugar is currently too high, forcing us all to consume high-fructose corn syrup.

Which led to "pay as money," a system whereby the the sale would not be used to pay a merchant's taxes, so the cost was "one-third cheaper than as the Assembly in General Court sets it," Madam Knight wrote.

Nothing beats good hard "money," of course, for which they used Spanish dollars because British currency was banned by act of Parliament.

And, lastly, "trusting" was a loan from the merchant to the buyer, as they would agree amongst themselves.

"When the buyer comes to ask for a commodity," writes Madam Knight, "sometimes before the merchant answers that he has it, he says, 'Is your pay ready?' Perhaps the chap replies yes. 'What do you pay in?' says the merchant."

Once the buyer answers, the price is set. For example, how much for a six-penny knife? "In pay, it is twelve pence; in pay as money, eight pence, and in hard money, its own price [value] six pence."

Perhaps it is time to get ready for a repeat. Trillions of dollars don't get spent by governments without systemic damage to the people.

We don't farm anymore, so what will they do to us now? Will they start collecting taxes through land? Will they just confiscate our property when we don't measure up, or even if we do, but they can sell our land to someone else for a profit?

When she completed her journey through Connecticut, Madam Knight founded a school in Massachusetts before finally moving to retire and die in New London (the now-infamous town of eminent domain). One of its students was Benjamin Franklin. His speech on the last day of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 foresaw everything.

"I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such," he said, "because I think a general government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other."

Our course of years is over. Soon a Benjamin Franklin will be worth little more than a George Washington. And they will come for your assets, because your money is no good here anymore.

Somebody has to pay these trillions of dollars. Did you think it was going to be them?

40 Comments from the Fairfield County Weekly

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Posted by Rome Mubarak on 2.19.09 at 20.32
U.S., European Bond Sales ‘Crowd Out’ Emerging Debt, RBC Says
Emerging nations will face increasing difficulties in renewing maturing debt or sourcing for new funds to finance their stimulus spending and balance of payments deficits, Chamie wrote. Asian governments have unveiled more than $685 billion worth of stimulus measures to buffer their economies from the worst global recession since the 1930s.

Twenty-four of the world’s 26 most-active emerging-market currencies fell against the dollar this year. The Polish zloty and Hungarian forint were the biggest losers, falling more than 20 percent. The South Korean won fell 16 percent and reached its lowest in three months this week.

Korean banks have $24.5 billion of foreign debt maturing in 2009, of which $10.4 billion will fall due this month and next, Bank of Korea said yesterday. The one-year cross-currency swap rate, a gauge of the availability of dollars, slumped to a record minus 2 percent yesterday.

Dude we are in a global debt deflationary spiral, the more debt they add the worse this gets sucking down all assert prices, Debt has to be paid back with interest, defaulted or restructured. Being the US government will not allow the defaults to occur and instead is shifting them to the taxpayer. The dollar will keep getting stronger along with gold due to OTHER countries residence fleeing their collapsing currencies.

Posted by Kevin on 2.19.09 at 20.53
Great article. By any objective measure, we are already slaves to the state because of payroll withholding for Income, Social Security and Medicare taxes. Even if you have no assets to come after, if you work as an employee they've got you by the nuts. There's only one way to throw the chains off, and it's not by maintaining the status quo and obeying our enslavers in D.C.
Posted by Sean on 2.19.09 at 20.55
The Japanese, so it was told, were once alarmed by waking the "sleeping giant" of America. That was at a time when the Americans decided that a "foreign element" was fighting against them. Now, of course, that foreign element is the group of Elites running the US govt (both foreign and domestic Elites). These Elites will soon find, I believe, that they have roused the sleeping giant as the Japanese did. When that awakening comes, there is going to be Hell to pay.
Posted by Scott Harmon on 2.19.09 at 21.26
Maybe it's time to re-read/study the Constitution and see if these people have indeed usurped it. If they have, they need to be recalled/removed from office and "reset" the clock. Better than resetting the currencies and living like chickens in a henhouse waiting for them to come and take our eggs...or...our lives. Time is running out.
Posted by MiBu on 2.20.09 at 2.01
All this has been preached by the Austrian economists --and ignored by the Keynesian politicians and media. Read Ron Paul's "Revolution: A Manifesto" for a very, very concise look at how the political class has sold us out...and how to unshackle the chains. Hint: liberty.
Posted by JPE on 2.20.09 at 3.52
Americans will learn to appreciate the taste of blood . . . when Americans get mad, . . . utter slaughter. Fearful times are coming, let us to be equal to them, and master them!
Posted by lamuerte on 2.20.09 at 4.25
Highly recommended for its originality and direct application to our times is E.C. Riegel, FLIGHT FROM INFLATION, now out of print but often available from used book services. It's also online (go to and click on "Library"). Riegel was the first to predict the global inflation we're experiencing today and also one of the first to advocate separation of money and state. He outlines a nonpolitical alternative for carrying on exchange when all currencies have gone to zero.
Posted by Spencer MacCallum on 2.20.09 at 4.36
If/When it gets to the point where the government tries to seize real assets like land and other property, it will find that people are much more willing to actually defend those things than they are when the govm't is simply yanking ones and zeros out of their paychecks. Folks in the US are still, by and large, heavily armed and will not be disarmed, so once the dollar hits bottom and breaks through to the basement, that's when you'll see the collapse of the American State....
Posted by Tim on 2.20.09 at 4.56
The author writes

"Thanks to them, we are now in a state of permanent debt. They've sold us out, and not even to the highest bidder. They've sold us out to any bidder. "

I'm going to have to disagree with this. We are the ones who keep rewarding these guys who have given us this state of permanent debt. We've sold OURSELVES out.

It's easy to scapegoat others, but if you want to point fingers, look in the mirror. Not only have we not penalized these guys for operating the federal pocketbook in ways that you and I as private citizens would NEVER be allowed to, we're REWARDED them by re-electing them time and time again.

We get the government we deserve.

Posted by Jim Smith on 2.20.09 at 5.28
It is too late to try and fix the system by working within the system. The only solution is a new system, hopefully (in my opinion) one that has the same emphasis on natural rights as the present Constitution, but with a better method of enforcing its terms.
As for the present debt, repudiate it. All those investors who bought bonds based on the faith and credit of the US will have to find out that they misjudged how great that faith was. The same with Social Security, Medicare, governmental pensions, etc. Sorry, but the fact is WE DO NOT HAVE THE MONEY or the productive capacity.
Dissolve the Fed. Dissolve the government. Kick out the politicians. Form a new government(s). Repudiate the debt. If we are lucky --- very lucky -- it will be as pleasant as the dissolution of the USSR. More likely there will be much blood in the streets.
Put simply, there is NO WAY to solve a screwup of this magnitude without massive pain. Get used to the idea. Make your plans now.
Posted by jason Calley on 2.20.09 at 5.29
Jim Smith is sooo, absolutely right. The "people" get what they deserve.
Posted by Anthony Teamson on 2.20.09 at 6.33
The Bolsheviks in Washington (on both sides of the aisle), and the half-breed clown we have for an illegal and unconstitutional president (he is not a natural born citizen), need to be eliminated. ABORT OBAMA AND EVERYONE IN WASHINGTON, NOT BABIES!!
Posted by Don Smith on 2.20.09 at 6.55
Those responsible for our situation do not want money. They want TITLE. Even if you "own" your property, you have to give up TITLE if you can't pay the taxes. This applies not only to the US, but other countries, too. The sociopaths only win because we let them. 99% of the American 330-million head sheep ranch allow the sociopathic 1% to shear them. It will stop, but not without high cost. You might say we've been in a 400yr economic war, and the end of it doesn't look good for decent folks.
Posted by Edward Ulysses Cate on 2.20.09 at 6.56
Cudos to the Author. Also to Jim Smith & Jason Calley, for their comments & thoughts. I couldn't agree with all of you more.
It's really sad to witness the ending of our government in this way. But maybe it's just that time. Maybe it has to happen and nothing could have prevented it considering the Human element that's involved.
If the dissconnected Government that we have, can be fixed, I think that it would be worth the effort to try. Because like one of you said, to start over is going to be bloody, and so it should be as a last resort.
Up here in N/E Arizone, it still pretty peacfull but I don't expect it to remain that way for long.

Posted by james armstrong on 2.20.09 at 7.10
"And they will come for your assets, because your money is no good here anymore."

I believe if this were to begin to happen, they will be repaid in commodities, lead in particular. 62 grains at a time.

Posted by Rod on 2.20.09 at 7.37
Unbacked fiat money, yet another infringement on our rights by the gov't. Add it to the ever-growing list of violations:
They violate the 1st Amendment by opening mail, caging demonstrators and banning books like "America Deceived" from Amazon, Wikipedia and Facebook.
They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns during Katrina.
They violate the 4th Amendment by conducting warrant-less wiretaps.
They violate the 5th and 6th Amendment by suspending habeas corpus.
They violate the 8th Amendment by torturing at Gitmo.
They violate the entire Constitution by starting illegal wars without declaration.
Impeach them all (both parties) and save this great country.
Last link (unless Google Books caves to the gov't and drops the title):
Posted by Pete on 2.20.09 at 8.24
I am loathe to post revolutionary 'free specch' on a forum such as this.

Being a real live combat veteran, I remember quite clearly seeing a Cobra Gunship, 'working an area' one footbal field wide, and three footbal fields long.

Not a square inch was left unscathed. Everyone and thing in that area was turned into blood soaked shredded wheat.

That said, holding gold in a secret and secure place is good. Stocking up on food and particularly water is even better. Having silver coin for barter even better.

Having a shotgun is the best, but only if you are absolutely certain that you will 'fire for effect', when whatever 'goon-squad' extant, comes a-knocking at your door, to loot you.

Many posters on forums such as this one forget or don't realize, that the job title of miltary or para-miliitary forces includes dying while doing their work. Even less realize that kiling without having to work themselves up to it, is also part of that job title. Killing efficiently and without emotion is their singular and primary function.

Posted by Fellow Traveller on 2.20.09 at 8.28
Although I hardly disagree with the essay and with many of the comments, I see no problem with the "national debt" because it is figured in US dollars and those are readily produced. Then, we (collectively) will do what the federales say because we are easily led.
As to those who suggest that we get "our guns", may I suggest pitchforks? Pitchforks are awesome tools for all kinds of activities and are also symbolic.
There is a lot of anger noted in the comments and the anger is probably is justified! However, the people in positions of political power are probably not really evil - just incompetent and subjective self -promoters.
Posted by Buddy on 2.20.09 at 8.32
were getting a whole new global system money, new governments, new laws and a New Reality'....that's why we see all of the chaos...this system and this reality is dying as a new system and a new reality is birthing...and here's the proof!
The "Big Picture"

3 part investigative report....these are NASA Deep-Space Photos & Hubble Space Telescope (HST) photos:

Posted by thomas on 2.20.09 at 10.43
The ultimate result will be a collapse of the federal government, a repudiation of the debt by various states, and then a general secession movement leading to a break-up of the U.S.
Posted by Xenophon on 2.20.09 at 10.53
This is a timely article. Our situation is described for us in Genesis 42-47, when Joseph, Pharoah's head bureaucrat, after "the money failed" accepted as payment for food all the people's livestock, land, enslavement. A few people were allowed to stay on their land as sharecroppers.

If you think you are a slave now, wait until your grocery bill is in six figures. Don't bother looking for a Moses to lead you. You can find your own desert to wander in.

Posted by Freddie Facet on 2.20.09 at 10.53
"Buddy", don't get near me in a foxhole. You are quite a gullible fellow.

There are three kinds of people: 1) Evil - Barack Obama. 2) Stupid - most other Democrats, and a majority of Republicans. 3) WIshing They Could Colonize Mars - Libertarians.

Get a gun.

Get some gold.

Plant a garden.

Things change.

Posted by Larry on 2.20.09 at 10.54
A new dawn is fast approaching as our institutions (finance, government), technology (oil dependence), and culture (hopelessly divided with no commonality of opinion) are all failing. Add to this the evident climate change (note that I did not say "global warming"--that may/may not be man-induced) and our future will be vastly different in 5 years or less than today. Either embrace it or fear it.
And get ready for the North American Union (that's why Obama was visiting Canada yesterday). Can you say "Amero"?

Posted by Lightseeker on 2.20.09 at 11.40
"It's easy to scapegoat others, but if you want to point fingers, look in the mirror. Not only have we not penalized these guys for operating the federal pocketbook in ways that you and I as private citizens would NEVER be allowed to, we're REWARDED them by re-electing them time and time again." -Jim Smith

Jim has hit the nail on the head. American people have given a whole new meaning to complacent... should it have occurred to us that something was wrong when, for the past eight years, our Constitution and Bill of Rights have been systematically dismantled as a result of the 'Patriot Act'? Should we have been disturbed when our own President announced that our Constitution was a "God damned piece of paper"? Is it not the duty of every American soldier to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic?! Did we get angry when our government began its campaign of printing dollars that had warranted by actual work, knowing that it would devalue the dollars we currently hold? No... we demanded that our government do these things. We let it happen; encouraged them to do the only thing they know how to do. We didn't support Ron Paul, who said we needed to stop depending on the federal government and start doing things for ourselves... and get involved in our own local governments to more properly manage the situation. We chose to elect the guy who had the most to give away... the one who said he'd take care of everything. We deserve everything we get, or have to give up. Until we can all understand the word 'liberty' and realize how it needs to fit into our lives, we will continue to make these mistakes over and over again.

Posted by kirk adams on 2.20.09 at 12.49
"Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Ron Paul!
Posted by Al on 2.20.09 at 15.06
This article is more Republican bull. Deflation not inflation
is what we face!
Posted by Mike Hansen on 2.20.09 at 15.08
Personally, I'm stocking up on ammo and toilet paper.
Posted by Rupert Capra on 2.20.09 at 15.11
Posted by Rayme on 2.20.09 at 16.47
In responding to the fact that Americans have been too docile. Look at the fluoride in the water, they say it's to prevent tooth decay but it doesn't. What fluoride does is makes people docile, even Bush refused to drink the water. Also look at our food, notice all the chemicals listed under the ingredients, many literally dumb down America. Vaccines are another dumbing down tool, heavy metals found in them are neurotoxins, look it up. MSG kills brain cells, it's still on the market under five different names. Don't get me started on prescription drugs, my parents are now on diabetes medication and now sound like they are drunk all the time and liquor is the only thing they don't consume. How did America let our government get so corrupt, you only have to look at the FDA's war on nutrition. Lastly many Americans think that we fought for our independence due to no taxation without representation. Another Lie! When Briton taxed tea, Americans were okay with it since tea was imported. The merchant class fought back once they realized that every one had to pay the tax except one corporation. This was seen as grossly unfair since many small businesses would not be able to compete against someone who didn't have to pay the tax. We fought for our independence because we were against corporatism. Notice how Walmarts move in and large number of small businesses go out of business in the area, that was what our founding fathers (all merchant class) fought against to win our Independence.

Posted by RAYME on 2.20.09 at 17.05
Dump your dollars for canned food and hardware items, in bulk. Buy ziplock bags to package your bulk items like screws and nails into packages of 5 to 10 pieces each, for bartering purposes. Stock up on essentials that are cheap now, like salt and sugar in 50 pound bags.
Posted by Mr. Saltina on 2.20.09 at 17.17
If only the south would have one the war. At least it would have gotten rid of the general welfare clause of the constitution.
Posted by Rob Lee on 2.20.09 at 17.28
won**** the education system sucks down here,
Posted by Rob Lee on 2.20.09 at 17.29
All you warrior wannabees, with your gleeful visions of an apocalyptic future and bartering baggies of nuts and bolts for...well, really, what? Food? Fuel? Your co-authors here with their M-16's and decrepit AK's claim they have that covered - I presume they plan to take what others grow? Perhaps to many viewings of Mad Max are at work here, but perhaps there's a totally different thing going on. Maybe you're all fat cowards. No I don't mean afraid to own a gun or maybe even shoot it. I have guns too, I don't see them as a solution. So - when I go to the town meetings, you know who I never see there? The folks with the basement full of supplies and ammo. I never see any of you doing the actual hard work of self-government, which is participation. I'm a volunteer firefighter, one of only 8 left who bother to respond and drill - where are you tough guys when you're needed at the station? There's a lot of kids around here with nothing to do and we have a building that needs renovation so we can build a community center. We can't get enough people to do a work day. Where are you tough guys? Home cleaning the guns? OH - yeah - and the local gun club, I'm a member there too. Lots of folks with fancy .50 BMG's and 1911 pistols on their belt - yeah, they can't be bothered to help manage the gun clubs, they just want to shoot and go home, can't be bothered with the boring parts of running the organization. Now the land we shoot on is being re-zoned because nobody was around to defend it at the town meetings. You want a revolution? OK. Start it. Show up, take part in what you community needs, the rest of the country will take care of it's own and if we do that, we'll be OK. But most of all, grow up and start taking on the hard part of living free.
Posted by mtf on 2.20.09 at 19.37
The federal reserve which is no more "federal" than federal express is the main cause of all our problems. Get rid of it and let the free market set interest rates! A real free market void of any government manipulation would be so great!

Two things each one of us need to do to get the word out to the sheeple that they are getting their throats cut on a daily basis.

1)each person shows 2 people the clips about the fed. reserve on so they know what is really happening.

2) those 2 people that are now educated show 2 more people what they have learned.

After that maybe people will understand the fraud that has been put on us for the last 80 years.

Ive done my part to spread the wisdom of our founding fathers....have you????

Posted by Jim Phair on 2.20.09 at 20.12
we're looking at some dark times ahead, maybe people should put some practice in :
FallOut" target="_blank">">FallOut 3 at least they'll know whats coming.
Posted by Fall Out on 2.21.09 at 0.19
Wow! All the bible thumpers, survivalists, and New Age wack jobs are out in full force! You don't need an extraterrestrial influence or the second coming of Jesus to explain why we are doomed. We are responsible, and we won't be saved by any actions but our own. Most of these posts are sensible, but read the links that people add and you will realize mental illness is alive and well.
Posted by madmarc on 2.21.09 at 5.05
All of us "CrAzY" conspiracy "theory" "nuts" are starting to sound pretty "sane" all of the sudden ... ARE WE NOT? People have been talking about the FEMA camps, martial law, suspension of the constitution, the North American Union etc. for years and everyone assumed that we were all "CrAzY". I get so tired of having to tell everyone "I told you so (yawn)". WWIII is coming, depression, hyperinflation, yada, yada, yada... Now that the honest and reliable people at MSNBC and FAUX News are making "official" statements that it is ready to "hit the fan" everybody is acting surprised that is has come to this. These people have had these things in the works for years. Uncie Sam has been controlling, practically facet of everybody's lives since the 50's.

It's a big, giant, mega suprise that outsourcing all of our manufacturing to places like China, Mexico, Vietnam, etc. didn't benefit everyone like we thought it would. They told me in school that dumping half of Mexico on my head would be a big help? They are just doing the jobs that those "lazy" Americans don't want to do. I though that celebrating all non-Americans ethnic diversity and culture was a good thing? You mean that dumping heaps of "free" money on illegal aliens while treating war veterens and the elderly like dirt is a bad thing??? (tilts head like confused cow right before it gets shot)???....????

I must admit that I kind of feel happy inside when I think about it. Most, not all, but the majority of Americans are about to get EXACTLY what they voted for. The majority of people here sat around drinking their beer or sucking on their crack pipe thinking that Mr. McCain or Obama was going to lead them down the road to Shanghai.

Since I have uncommon sense and know that everything we say and do is being monitored, I would like to be one of the very first to volunteer for the job of gassing all of these morons at my future home. I used to work at Pizza Hut so I also have experience operating a gas oven. I am more than willing to stand by my fellow Americans the same way that they have always stood by me. I realize that the 100+ year old technology of the would around us may be helpful to hold the looters back for a few days, but is a total joke compared to the things that they are about unleash upon us. See you at camp! ;-)

Posted by completely nutz on 2.21.09 at 22.40
Few people are aware that on September 13, 1982 the sole sponsor, Senator Peter Rodino of New Jersey successfully received congressional approval of the repeal of HJR 192 and the President signed the repeal into law. The Public Law 97-258, and 96 Stat 1074 "Schedule of Laws Repealed" clearly shows that Vol. 48, page 113 of June 5, 1933 (HJR-192) is hereby repealed!

What most people do not know is that it was HJR 192 that gave "legal tender" status to the FRN's as prior to HJR 192, the FRN's could only be circulated exclusively between BANKS as commercial paper! See Federal Reserve Act.

After HJR 192 was passed June 5, 1933, the FRN's became "legal tender" status and were circulated to the general public without the banks having to fulfill their fiduciary duty of redeeming the paper FRN's with "Lawful money", gold coin. The Repeal of HJR 192 now requires the banks to have their reserve in gold and silver coin. They do not, hence all banks are essentially bankrupt! They can not redeem paper for "lawful money". Now with the repeal of HJR 192 the 7th Amendment guarantee of trial by jury in a common law court, (ie: Article III court) has been restored in full, as the common law requires "Lawful money" for common law courts to adjudicate. The commercial tribunals serving the corporate governments with the enforcement of commercial government contracts are essentially gone but the fraud continues as long as the people accept the frauds.

The paper FRN's that are now circulating have no value whatsoever, except that the uninformed sheeple "accept" them thinking that they are money approved by congress when in fact, cogress repealed that former approval when HJR 192 was repealed. Thus the current financial chaos is a result of the peoples ignorance. They all want something for nothing and capital can only be created by LABOR ! (Not printing presses) See Article 1, Section 8, Clause 5, constitution for the united States of America.

I look forward to the complete collapse of this fraud and the sooner the better.

Posted by Dick Marple on 2.22.09 at 14.22
americans cheered when bush launched his war against iraq, thus immediately handing iraq to iran -- but americans still think they won -- bush fooled americans into thinking the war cost them nothing: he not only kept it off budget, he cut taxes as well, producing colossal fiscal deficits: above all, by not bringing back the draft, bush emboldened the chickenhawks -- then bush bailed out his wall street pals as americans slept -- obama's stimulus programs will only make things worse, but it's no excuse for vilifying him, as the chickenhawks do -- chickenhawks think it's great that bush wasted all that blood & money in iraq & they're too ignorant to grasp the role such waste has played in undermining american businesses -- both republicans & democrats support the federal reserve coupled with fiat money, which enabled americans to live beyond their means & to make war without seeming to need to pay for it -- now that things are falling apart, all that american chickenhawks can do is show what what bigoted fools thay are
Posted by herbert de turbot on 2.23.09 at 0.13

hi there

hi there