A History Of U.S. Paper Money
(The notes depicted here are for illustrative purposes ONLY)
If you want to know why Gold is anathema to bankers and financial authorities, take a a good close look at these Notes. The history of the move away from Gold in the 20th century is printed right on them.
"Government is the only agency that can take a valuable commodity like paper, slap some ink on it, and make it totally worthless" Ludwig von Mises. For the ultimate illustration of the truth of this statement, we give you the German Reichsmark of the early 1920s
REAL Paper Money
1913: $50 Gold Certificate
The last of the true Gold Certificates - the Federal Reserve was instituted in December 1913. This is a completely honest and upright money. It says so right on the certificate:
What you are looking at here is a money substitute. Any holder of this certificate held title to 2.41896 troy oz of Gold (at $US20.67 per troy oz.) which could be redeemed at any bank or from the U.S. Treasury itself at any time.
Enter The Federal Reserve
1914: $1 Federal Reserve Bank Note
At the time this was issued, a "note" was well understood to be a promise of payment. Accordingly, this is prominently labelled as a "Federal Reserve Bank Note".
And what is this Note redeemable in? Here's what it says: "Secured By United States Certificates Of Indebtedness Or One-Year Gold Notes, Deposited With The Treasurer Of The United States Of America". The Note was directly redeemable in Treasury debt, but it was not directly redeemable in Gold.
It's Money Because We Say It Is
1928: $100 Gold Certificate
The last of the U.S. Gold Certificates. This certificate was discontinued in 1934 - the same year as the U.S. ceased to issue Gold coinage and made it illegal for Americans to own Gold.
While the statement that the certificate is redeemable in Gold coin still appears, there is this ominous addition imprinted on the "Gold Certificate" stamp.
"This Certificate Is A Legal Tender In The Amount Thereof In Payment Of All Debts And Owen Public And Private". "Owen" is an archaic form of the verb "owe", meaning "to be in debt".
Redeemable In What?
1934: $1000 Federal Reserve Note
As it says right on the note, "The United States Of America Will Pay To The Bearer On Demand One Thousand Dollars". But what is it redeemable in? "Lawful Money".
It says so right on the note: "This Note Is Legal Tender For All Debts Public And Private And Is Redeemable In Lawful Money At The United States Treasury Or At Any Federal Reserve Bank".
In 1934, Gold was no longer "lawful money". In fact, this note was "redeemable" in another note just like it, or 10 "$100s", or 50 "$20s", or 1000 "$1s" - you get the picture.
1963: $1 Federal Reserve Note
The U.S. probably printed more of these than any other note in its history. When they first came out, you could buy quite a lot with one. Now, the U.S. $1 Dollar bill is being phased out.
The recognition of what a "note" is is no more. There is no statement about what this note can be redeemed in anywhere on it. Nor does the Fed bother to point out that the note is "lawful money" - just try and spend anything else! The Note simply states: "This Note Is Legal Tender For All Debts Public And Private". That's it.
The New U.S. Paper Money
1997: $50 Federal Reserve Note
Here is a specimen of the new "counterfeit proof" U.S. paper currency (the "$100s" came out in 1996). As far as what is written on the note, there is not much to distinguish it from the $1 note above. The only discernible difference is the markedly inferior engraving.
But look at the portrait of Ulysses S. Grant, and then scroll up to the first example on this page. Same man, radically different "money". This is counterfeiting of a much more blatant kind than the mere copying of what is already just a piece of paper.