This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It was with great interest quickly turning to chagrin that I launched into the editorial on the Utah Sound Money Act that appeared in Monday's Tribune ("Gold fever: Ignore Utah Sound Money Act," Opinion, Jan. 3). The newspaper's thinly veiled attempt to recast the stark reality we all experience every day into the fictional "establishment spin" too many in today's media faithfully recite, frankly fell flat.
For example, pointing to the rise in the price of gold without acknowledging the unprecedented expansion in the U.S. money supply, which more than doubled over the time period cited, came off as either disingenuous or embarrassingly ill-informed. Further, chiding bullion markets for "volatility," without conceding the smoothing effect that the true monetization of gold and silver coinage has on the precious metals demand curve, lacked honest conviction, to say the least.
Consider, for example, that dating from the passage of the Free Coinage Act of 1792 until the enactment of the Coinage Act of 1965, an ounce of silver cost exactly $1.29. That's because until 1965 a dollar was defined as 371.25 troy grains of silver and one troy ounce contains 480 such grains. The 1965 act began the process of replacing the silver coin Americans had been using for 173 years with the base-metal tokens in use today.
The result was predictable. Now, at the beginning of 2011, a troy ounce of silver costs just over $30. That represents more than a 95 percent loss in the dollar's purchasing power in less than 50 years. And yet, in the face of the undeniable slow-motion heist Americans have been subjected to, The Tribune's editorial board would blithely deny Utahns a sound money option to function alongside the debased monetary system the Federal Reserve monopoly thrusts upon Americans today?
I suppose they would likewise castigate our elected state representatives should they even consider taking action to fulfill their express constitutional duty to not "make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts" (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 10).
The true irony is that the passage of the Utah Sound Money Act could actually become the best thing to happen to the U.S. dollar since 1965. If embraced by even a small, critical mass of the citizenry, it might well begin the process of putting the brakes on our national leaders' very bad, very dysfunctional habit of creating gobs of money out of thin air whenever they feel the need to further fund the pitiful welfare/warfare state they envision for America.
I wonder if The Tribune's luminaries have ever considered that perhaps the sanity that sound money brings might arrest today's global flight from the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency?
Just a thought.
Lawrence D. Hilton is a Utah attorney and insurance salesman who authored the Utah Sound Money Act, draft legislation that would allow Utah residents to mint their own gold or silver coins and require that government agencies accept gold for transactions.