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Can We Have Real Money Again?

Today we carry pieces of paper called Federal Reserve notes, or dollar bills, which we consider to be money. Or we have pieces of plastic that represent electronic money. Is that real money? We’ve seen movies where the electronic banking system is disabled and people’s money disappears like a computer glitch. It’s not real but it’s still a scary thought that our bank accounts could be wiped out with a computer entry.

US Federal Reserve Note - The "Dollar Bill"

Federal Reserve Note – The “Dollar Bill”

Are dollar bills really worth anything? Are they backed by anything? Or are they simply worth what we agree they are worth? Does electronic money really exist at all? It’s strange when you stop and think about it.

There was a time when people bartered and exchanged items of value. They carried gold and silver coins in their pockets. That was considered real money by most. It was exchanged for goods and services when two parties might not have exactly what each other needed. They accepted the value of the gold and silver because it was consider a hard asset. It took human labor to mine it, rather than a simple computer entry.

Until the early 1970s, our Federal Reserve notes were backed by gold. Instead of carrying around heavy gold coins, we could carry dollar bills which could be exchanged for gold if the holder so desired. We believed our money still had value, and as a result there was very little inflation. Then we were taken off the gold standard, and the Federal Reserve notes were no longer backed by gold. They were back by, well, the government – which really means nothing.

Is Real Money Gone Forever?

Today we see rising inflation. Sure the government and the mainstream media tell us that inflation is low, but anyone who buys food knows that inflation is not low. Look at the price of milk or eggs or bread. Food prices are going up.

Inflation is often explained to us as rising prices. But in reality it is actually the devaluation of the dollar. The government prints more money to pay the debt. There are more dollars in circulation so they buy less. Check out the debt numbers at the US Debt Clock website: http://www.usdebtclock.org/. Some of this is scary.

There has been much debate about whether or not we can ever go back to a gold backed currency. I believe it is possible. If we don’t, we’re headed for disaster. The government will continue to print more money to pay the interest on the debt until the currency collapses. Eventually there will be more value in dollar bills to burn them for heat than to buy anything, and that will be a sad day for all of us. Those who carry really money like gold and silver would be better off than those with dollar bills.

A gold-backed currency would help to get us back on track. I like physical gold. Carrying a gold coin in your pocket has a nice feeling. It is very heavy. An ounce of gold represents a lot of money in today’s dollars.

US Gold Eagle - An Ounce of Gold

US Gold Eagle – An Ounce of Gold

We Can Carry Gold in our Pockets Again

A couple years ago, I learned about an interesting alternative while listening to Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity podcast. He talked about a company called Valaurum which has invented a way to make very small increments of physical gold that can be carried in your wallet. They are called “aurums.” An aurum is a very thin layer of gold sandwiched between two layers of plastic film. The result is something that looks like a shiny gold bill.

Each aurum costs only around $10, and contains an accurately measured amount of gold. I purchased a few aurums. I thought it would be an interesting experiment to carry one around in my wallet. I’ve had it in my wallet for about 15 months now. The aurum has held up extremely well. There is a very slight separation of the films in one corner, which is akin to a small fold or tear on a dollar bill. Even so, the value of the gold in the aurum is still obvious. You can see the real gold in it.

A Peak Prosperity Aurum - After 1 Year in My Wallet

A Peak Prosperity Aurum – After 1 Year in My Wallet

I use the aurum as an educational tool. I’ll take it out of my wallet to show it to people. Most of the time I get a reaction that they would rather have a dollar bill. The average person doesn’t understand what real money is, and wants to hold on to the fake money they are accustomed to. If the occasional person is interested enough to do more research, then the aurum was well worth the $10 I paid for it.

If you want to know more, check out the links in the resource section below. Educate yourself about what real money is, and how our debt-based system is a house of cards. Maybe the aurum will catch on, and maybe it won’t. I know I sure like the feeling of seeing that shiny gold in my wallet.

Resources for this post:
Manufacturer of the aurum: http://www.valaurum.com
Real-time national debt clock: http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Jack Spirko’s Web Site The Real Truth about Money: http://www.trtam.com
Our debt-based money system explained in Chris Martenson’s Crash Course Series: http://www.peakprosperity.com/crashcourse

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