My Two-Bit Political Awakening

by James Bovard

“Samuel Johnson may have been wrong when he declared, ‘There are few ways in which a man can be more innocently employed than in getting money.’ But for young kids, collecting coins is a less pernicious pastime than becoming a pyromaniac or Tik-Tok star. My own experience collecting, buying, and selling coins vaccinated me against trusting politicians long before I grew my first scruffy beard. … Coin dealing helped me recognize early in life that a government promise is not worth a plug nickel. From 1878 onwards, the U.S. Mint printed silver certificates redeemable for silver coins from the U.S. government. … In 1964, the Treasury Department repudiated that pledge, announcing that certificates were henceforth redeemable only for silver bullion, not coins. In 1967, Congress passed the Act to Authorize Adjustments in the Amount of Outstanding Silver Certificates. Congress ‘adjusted’ silver certificates by nullifying all further redemptions.” (01/05/22)