John Steward of Jesus
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County Board of Supervisors

(Statement read and presented to the Sioux County Board of Supervisors, May 4, 1981)

Dear Friends:

This letter from one of the people of Sioux County comes to express his concern regarding the money we are using and what it is doing to us, and to ask your help in making it possible for us to exercise again our right to use real money.

I am asking you to petition the Congress and the President to resume immediately the coinage of gold or silver.

Let me try to sketch the nature of my concern. When money is itself a form of wealth, the people who work to produce wealth keep the control of the wealth, either in the form they produced, or in the form of money which they obtained through exchange. This prevents any government from taking wealth from the people without their knowledge. When real money is used, paper certificates and checks which are used as a matter of convenience are merely records of who owns the money.

When money is an artificial, abstract creation, and not real wealth, the control of wealth passes to those who are given authority to “create” such artificial money in times of “expansion” or “loose money,” “lend” it for “interest,” and destroy it in times of “contraction” or “tight money.” When artificial money is “created” in times of “boom” or credit “expansion,” producers of wealth exchange their wealth for the “created” artificial money. When the money is destroyed in times of “bust” or “contraction,” or when there is a pause in the continuous “creation” of money, many people lose their wealth through foreclosures on “loans” of artificial money which are secured by real wealth, because, unless new money is “created,” it is impossible to pay the “loans” plus “interest.” Over a period of time (in our case, many decades), the “creators” of money accumulate control of the real wealth, and those who have produced the real wealth are left with the artificial money, which loses its “value” as the process continues. Thus, people who are working to produce wealth lose their wealth without knowing what is happening, or what is causing it. Through an ingenious, disguised process, promoted by the “creators” of artificial money, with the cooperation of the legislators, the real wealth is taken from those who work to produce it,

The writers of the Constitution of the United States knew of this process because they had experienced it themselves. Because many of them farmed or worked in other ways to produce real wealth, they wanted to abolish the process. Therefore, they gave the people of the United States the right to insist that the public offices and courts of the States use real money. Article 1, Section 10, of the Constitution says, “No state shall...make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” Claims that Congress has abolished this right ignore either what the Constitution meant when it was written, or the required process for amending it.

We live in a community of people who work to produce wealth, and whose prosperity depends on their ability to keep the value of the wealth which they are working to produce. When those who work to produce are accumulating real wealth and real money, they become, like Abraham, “very wealthy in livestock and in silver and in gold.” (Genesis 13:2 NIV)

Real money has a value established in the open market in proportion to the human labor required to produce it. It is an investment of stored labor. Artificial money has a “value” established arbitrarily by those given the authority in law to “create” it.    The small effort required to produce it has no relationship to its “created” “value.” Coining one penny requires more work than “creating” a thousand dollars. The critical factor is whether the value of money is determined in the market place or by government decree. Free people use real money. Controlled people use artificial money. Totalitarian rulers make real money illegal, and establish artificial legal tender.

When real money is used, those who contribute to the production of wealth control the wealth and are thus encouraged to continue their labors. What follows is an abundance of real wealth, lower prices, and a higher standard of living for all the people. When artificial money is used, those who “borrow” the money which is “created” in times of “expansion” pledge real wealth as security and use the artificial money to purchase other real wealth. The “creators” collect “interest” and use this “interest” to purchase some of the real wealth. In periods of “contraction” or deflation, the resulting foreclosures cause many of the borrowers to lose the real wealth which they had pledged as security to the “creators” of artificial money. The “creators” of artificial money are able to participate in any speculative market with exclusive knowledge of their action in “expanding” or “contracting” the supply of money, and thus exclusive knowledge of the expected effect on “prices.” They can participate in the markets, establish the market conditions, and change the conditions periodically. It is no surprise that their payoffs are large.

As this process continues, those who contribute to the production of real wealth lose their wealth and are thus  discouraged in their efforts, while those who “create” the artificial money accumulate real wealth and are thus encouraged to do more “creating.” What follows is a shortage of real wealth, an abundance of artificial money, rising “prices", and a lower standard of living for all the people. Slowly, but surely, all those who work to produce real wealth become pawns in the hands of those who “create” the artificial money, and all people become dependent on those who disburse the artificial money, as they are conditioned to wait in line for their daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly handouts or ration coupons. When the Constitution was written, people were warned that the end of such a process would be that they would find themselves dispossessed of all the wealth which they and their fathers had worked to produce in the land which they had settled. The band of the dispossessed is now growing.

Some items on your agendas now suggest that you are becoming an agency to distribute the artificial money allotted to our people, and to enforce the conditions imposed on our people by those who disburse the artificial money. Perhaps you find yourselves giving increasing attention to that role, and less attention to your function of protecting the life, liberty, and property of our people so that they are better able to produce real wealth, and to fulfill their Christian calling to share that real wealth with the widows and the orphans.

As the network which distributes the artificial money and imposes conditions on people becomes more extensive, people will produce less wealth each year, and the storehouse of wealth will continue to dwindle. Artificial money will enable people to eat only so long as there are some people remaining who are working to produce the food. Those producing the food today report that the remaining incentive is slowly disappearing.

If our children learn how to produce, save, and invest, real wealth, then, with God’s blessing, they will live in prosperity, tranquility, and peace, as people produce the wealth which sustains life. If our children learn only how to get, accumulate, and speculate with, artificial money, then they may live in famine, violence, and war, as people desperately seek the real wealth without which they cannot live.

This letter is not meant to imply criticism of any people in our community who are participants in the process I have described. I have no reason to doubt that all of us are doing what we feel is in the best interests of our friends, our neighbors, our customers, and other people in the community. What I am suggesting is that all of us are participating in a destructive process, and that we must stop this process, None of us is to be seen as the cause of our problems, nor is any of us innocent of contributing to them. Economic difficulties are not as dangerous as the animosities among people which often accompany, them. We must promote understanding, harmony, and peace, and the productive work which makes them possible. Productive people are allies of each other, and become friends. People caught in a destructive process are threats to each other, and become mutual enemies.

This is a brief treatment of many big issues. I am willing to discuss them further privately or publicly, with anyone, at any convenient time, After reading this letter, I will give you copies of statements regarding the law, as I understand it. Please call to my attention any evidence that any of those statements are in error, I am willing to answer any questions you may have at this time.

Please put this matter on the agenda for your next meeting, and give it serious thought before then. I will give each of you a copy of a book which you may find helpful.

I thank all of you for your attention to this letter. I would not ask you to spend time on this matter if I did not believe that it is important. If we build on a foundation of earned wealth, our children will inherit houses which are built on rocks. If we build on a hope that a continuous stream of artificial “created” money will flow to us and sustain us, our children will inherit houses which are built on the sand. Some of our people already have the feeling that their houses are sinking.