The dollar has seen some tumultuous years of late. With financial crises and recession, unprecedented actions have been taken to stimulate the economy. Results from these activities have been mixed as unemployment is still stubbornly high and prices across the board are on the rise.
With concerns about the future at a fever pitch, many states across the U.S. are considering new laws to allow residents to use gold and silver for legal tender.
Arizona is the latest state to take this initiative.
Just this week, the Grand Canyon state moved one step closer to once again allowing gold and silver for legal tender purposes. The Arizona House passed its bill this on Monday 4/12 and sent its version to the Senate for approval.
When the bill clears the state Senate, Gov. Jan Brewer has stated she will sign it into law.
Bill sponsors maintain the bill isn’t designed to immediately change how residents pay for groceries, utilities and other necessities. Rather, primary sponsor Sen. Chester Crandall explains that the bill provides “a lifeboat for Arizona so that we can construct a Plan B” if the U.S. dollar fails.
Opponents of the bill claim it will wreak havoc with merchants not equipped to accept both dollars and gold and silver coins. Supporters counter that it’s entirely up to the merchant as to whether they accept gold/silver, but did include an exemption for the state’s Department of Revenue.
Arizona is following Utah’s lead in establishing gold and silver as legal tender, which in effect opens up an alternative way for visitors and residents to trade for goods and services.
Other states considering similar measures include: Colorado, Kansas, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Why are states doing this?
Lawmakers in state capitols across the country, as well as an increasing number of ordinary Americans, worry over actions at the Federal Reserve and how Washington is affecting the value of the dollar.
“The legislation is about signaling discontent with monetary policy and about what Ben Bernanke is doing,” explains college political science instructor Loren Gatch in an interview with Bloomberg.
Since the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008, the Fed’s balance sheet has grown by over $3 trillion. This of course has led to devaluation in the dollar, which many are concerned will have devastating consequences if not addressed.
“People know that something is wrong with the dollar,” explain former presidential candidate and magazine publisher Steve Forbes. “You cannot trash your money without repercussions.”
It will be interesting to see what other states follow Utah and Arizona’s lead by allowing gold and silver coins be used for legal tender. This of course is revolutionary in that it gives Americans a choice in what they use to pay for things.
What are your thoughts?
Do you support state-level efforts essentially making gold and silver legal tender?
Do you think states with these laws in place will fare better if the dollar ultimately collapses?