Well, I hear tell it’s official: They’re going to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. Then supposedly, move the portrait of Andrew “The Architect of the Trail of Tears” Jackson to the flip side, effectively making the proverbial “double-headed coin” of nickel-and-dime bunco scams a reality. But why should we expect less than this from the United States government?
I suppose this move will satisfy the need to have chicks on the money. Every progressive will feel swell and celebrate over quinoa crunch and circle the Priuses for an LED “bonfire” and sing-along. Ok, that’s cool and all, but what’s this going to cost? Aside from that, considering the fact that fiat currency is itself worthless, how about we put Bozo the Clown, Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, and Foghorn Leghorn on the money instead? Personally, I think that would be a more appropriate choice. When I read this in what the government palms off as “news”, I was reminded of the history of the very region of the United States I live in.
I live in what was “The Old West” before it became the “New West” of golf courses in deserts and Segway dork pedestals, I suppose. However, many people think the Old West was all Roy Rogers and Marshall Dillon. Wrong. The real Old West was nothing like that. Be that as it may, we had a brilliant visionary ahead of his time named Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith. Soapy Smith came from the proud Old West tradition of con artists, bunco-steerers, snake oil salesmen, patent medicine frauds, bogus mining company stock, salted gold claims, flim-flam men, rigged faro games, crooked sheriffs, land swindles, smelter scandals, and railroad investment scams.
Soapy ran a scam known as “The Prize Package Soap Racket”. Here’s how it worked: Soapy would buy several bars of soap and unwrap them, saving the wrappers. He would set up a stand at a busy intersection in some Western town like Denver, or Creede, Colorado. He would then start hawking his “wares” of soap, extolling the virtues of his soap. He would take out a wallet and pull out dollar bills, twenty dollar bills, and a single one hundred dollar bill. He would then wrap the bills up into bars of soap and tell everyone they could win these prizes for only a dollar. Now, of course, Soapy used sleight-of-hand to palm the money-laden bars where they would be “won” by shills in cahoots with him. They would loudly exclaim, “I won! I won!” and wave a twenty dollar bill. Soapy would say no one has won the hun-doe yet and, predictably, people would line up for the chance.
The truth was, no one actually won any money besides his shills. They were all in on the scam with him, members of the “Soap Gang”. People like Texas Jack Vermillion, for example. Yeah, you thought he was a great guy in the movie “Tombstone”, right? Again, the “Old West” of Hollywood wasn’t the real deal. But here’s the thing we can learn from the Federal Reserve Note Prophet Soapy Smith: Fiat currency is a sophisticated Soapy Smith racket. Think about it. The government waves a twenty dollar bill, telling you it’s worth twenty dollars. In fact, it’s not backed by a bar of silver or gold. It’s not even backed by a bar of soap! By the time you get that twenty dollar bill, it’s worth probably ten in terms of spending power. Plus, if you earned it by working, the government steals part of it back, calling it “income tax” which is another Old West scam known as the Mining Company Stock Swindle.
The Mining Company Stock Swindle works as follows: Some skilled flim-flam men would print up bogus mining company stock then head to the East looking for rich investors, saying they had a huge gold strike out in Donkey Junction, New Mexico. They’d even take the investors out there to see the salted claim, which they made by loading shotgun shells with gold nuggets and firing them into boulders. They told the investors they needed money to sink a shaft to get at the mother lode. But the stock never paid dividends. Instead, the investors would always be assessed for more mining equipment to sink more shafts, build a smelter, and blah, blah, blah. By the time they figured out it was a scam, it was too late. The swindlers were already printing up stock for yet another mining scam. Remarkably, sometimes the same people that fell for the previous stock scam fell for it a second time from the same crew! Of course, we can see this is exactly what income taxes are. We’re assessed for the military we need to “defend us” and so on and so forth when, in fact, there aren’t any enemies besides the ones the government makes up. We could even call it “The Middle Eastern Country Building A Nuclear Weapon Scam”.
So, the government tells us this twenty dollar bill is worth twenty dollars, but before you even earn it, they’ve already helped themselves to their cut and you’re left with a fifteen dollar bill if one existed. But because it’s fiat currency, that fifteen dollars are worth about eight bucks. Basically, the twenty dollar bill of today is worth about what a buck was worth back in the Old West. The twenty dollar bill is the NEW American dollar bill. How so? In the mining towns of the Old West in the 1880s, a hard rock miner earned about $3 to $4 a day. A day, not an hour. These were good wages for the era, which they had to pay considering the danger of the work. Cave-ins, premature dynamite blasts, missed shots hit by drills then blowing up, runaway elevator cages, and that was just for starters. So the wages were $3 to $4 a day. But this money was backed by gold and silver. Some of it was silver. That’s why those mines were there in the first place.
Am I saying the government is Soapy Smith? Yes, my apologies to Soapy Smith. I submit that we do not need Harriet Tubman on the twenty dollar bill. We need Soapy Smith on the twenty dollar bill. That would be the correct person to represent the “Federal Government Fiat Currency Racket”. Of course, the government gets this fiat currency back through taxes and we’re left with the soap to take a bath with. Literally. If we can afford the soap in the first place. I think people are getting all in a lather for the wrong reasons if you’ll pardon the pun. It doesn’t matter WHO is on the money—the WHAT of the money is the false-face hiding the empty chair.
How can we even be sure the money a bank says exists, actually exists as a physical reality and not as a bunch of numbers on a computer spreadsheet? Do we really believe banks are like Scrooge McDuck and have vaults three stories high full of this paper money? I doubt it. Wasn’t that partially what the Wall Street Whoopsie was back in 2008 and 2009? I think computers say this money exists, but it doesn’t. The push to go to electronic currency means you can literally create money out of thin air. Does anyone realize that’s never been done before in human history? Oh, but we’re America! We can do it! Right, the America of Soapy Smith.
It’s worse than just fiat currency not even backed by bars of soap. The paper money itself does not exist as tangible, physical objects. I bet if an audit was done, the fiat paper dollars and metal coins probably add up to, oh, about one-quarter of the actual money the government and Federal Reserve says exists. In other words, if Scrooge McDuck hasn’t got that thirty billion dollars in a vault, but only on his iPad, then he goes to the bank to get the paper money, it does not exist. I daresay an EMP attack would pauperize the entire nation.
Think about it. If the money does not even exist as pieces of paper, then there is no limit to the amount that can be “printed”. A currency like that could plummet to no buying power whatsoever literally overnight. It’s happened before. What, this won’t happen to us? Right, we’re America. We’re progressive, we’re putting Harriet Tubman on money not worth the proverbial plug nickel. Well, I suppose people can feel good about that. Though why that is, I cannot understand. It’s like selling your spot in a lifeboat on the sinking Titanic. For paper money. “I’m rich! I’m rich! I’m—gurgle, sputter, cough, gurgle…”