I once again subjected myself to a House Subcommittee hearing; this time I was pleasantly surprized.

Yesterday the House Subcommittee on Financial Services, held a hearing titled “Sound Money: Parallel Currencies and the Roadmap to Monetary Freedom”.  There were an excellent group of witnesses, some intelligent questions from the committee members and testimony from Mr Rob Grey of The American Open Currency Standard that you don’t want to miss.

While I am ignorant of the inner workings of House Subcommittees, this hearing was chaired by Representative Ron Paul, and I am going to guess that he is largely responsible for the excellent witnesses and the intelligent and well informed discussion during the hearing. Thank you Dr Paul.

The witnesses were:

Dr Richard Ebeling, Professor of Economics, Northwood University

Mr Nathan Lewis, Principal, Kiku Capital Management LLC

Mr Rob Gray, Executive Director, The American Open Currency Standard

The highlight of the hearing was absolutely Mr Gray’s statement. I have attempted to give you only the highlights here, but so much of it was so entertaining that I had a very hard time editing it. The complete statement can be found here on the American Open Currency Standard’s website.

“Allow me to clarify: we do not consider AOCS Approved medallions produced and traded in our private barter marketplace ‘competition’ to the US Federal Reserve Note. Because “fair competition”, as one would find in the “free market”, assumes the existence of a level playing field, the existence of a standard set of rules. Those players who wish to compete honestly do so by relying simply on the merit of the value they bring to the market.

No fair challenge can be made between honest men and thieves. Let me be clear that when I say thieves: I refer to the current private central bank and the men in government who allow it to exist.

… We are realizing the power we have in ourselves and the everyday choices that we make to either empower some soulless collective or our own families. We are realizing that we simply need to withdraw our time, energy, and money from banks, politicians and corporations that do not serve our interests.

… As for practical issues to overcome in the issuance and circulation of complementary currencies, there are plenty. In a voluntary system, those that participate in the trading of private currencies must deal with the possibility of counterfeiting, fraud, scarcity, acceptance, accounting, storage and other issues, all without the luxury of big brother holding a gun to anyone’s head to ensure their success.

… Issues arise and are worked out by the market with only one light to guide them: the mutual exchange of value. No guns, no laws, no force: just the willingness to think outside the box and act on principle.

… Complementary currencies are not new, in theory or in practice. Further, private currencies circulated long before governments erected themselves to interfere. What’s new, however, is the public’s apathy towards you and your policies. You’ve managed for the last hundred years somehow to convince the citizenry that you’re relevant. Now, just recently, we’re beginning to see the tides change on this. And once it catches on, you’ll be rendered completely obsolete.

The greatest hurdle you will face over the next few years is trying to convince “we, the people” that you are still necessary in spite of your failures to get the job done. Sure, some will continue to rely on you for hand-outs; it’s what they’ve known their entire lives and they will be slaves right up and to the point of their own destruction.

… To that end, I’m here today to propose a solution. My understanding of this subcommittee is that you desire to be part of the solution. You want to believe you’re doing something good for the country. Today, the greatest gift you can offer to the people you clearly represent is to introduce, not to the legislature but directly to the public, what I call IR 1207 – Individual Resolution 1207 – commonly referred to as  ’Ignore the Fed’. Store your wealth in silver. Bank with a non-fractional bank that pays real money on deposits. Use the card services network to satisfy dollar obligations. Do not try to compete with the federal reserve system: ignore them. This country has succeeded in doing away with two central banks already over the course of its history – it is learning to do the same again.

… Since the creation of the Federal Reserve and Congress’ abdication of their responsibility, the dollar has lost 98% of its value. I don’t suspect anyone would call that stellar job performance. I must be blunt and say that, as employees, Congress, you have not been successful in your charge to “…coin money and regulate the value thereof…” and therefore your services in this area are no longer needed.

… I ask you to leave the Fed their money and leave the people our silver, gold and copper. Do not push to redefine whatever representations we choose for our wealth as ‘money’. Let the Fed do what it wants with their ‘money’, so long as they leave us alone. I warn you: ‘honest money legislation’ is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The record of Congress over time has proven that it will make a miserable failure of this aspect of human survival as it has so many others.

The greatest thing this Congress can do is exactly what you’ve done so far: nothing.

The bottom line is simple: humanity is not going to wait for permission to survive. Things that cannot go on forever… won’t.  The market will move on – with or without you. And, based on your rate of success to date, our preference is without you.

 

While upstaged by Mr Grey, both Dr Ebeling and Mr Lewis delivered excellent statements.

Dr Richard Ebeling is a Professor of Economics at Northwood University which is a private institution dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, the free market, and limited government.

Mr Nathan Lewis is Principal of Kiku Capital Management LLC and author of Gold: The Once and Future Money.

Both of their statement can be found here, along with a link to the webcast video.

Update:

Youtube video of Mr Grey’s statement http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14fl2hVHI7Q