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The Value Of A Dollar
'Give me control over a nation's currency and I care not who makes its laws.' ~ Baron M.A. Rothschild

From bartering, to the use of representative money or federal reserve notes (otherwise known as FRNs, 'fiat money' or 'funny money'), every society in the world has some form of trade. Bartering is a system by which goods and services are traded directly for other, equally valuable goods and services. Representative money is paper money that is traded for the said value of gold, silver or other valuable commodity it represents, which had been previously stored in a bank or other lending institution. Fiat money on the other hand, is a medium of exchange that represents only credit and debt, which cannot be redeemed at any bank or other lending institution for goods, services, commodities, or anything else of value -- yet it is the most common of all currencies in use today.

Fiat Currencies

'It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.' ~ Henry Ford

Fiat currency in the US is made in the form of coins by the US Mint, and printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in the form of paper money called Federal Reserve Notes. It takes very little time or labor to create, issue and circulate fiat money, no matter the said value of any bill or coin. The Federal Reserve and US government get their currency into circulation by loaning it to Federal Reserve banks and the government, who are charged interest and other fees, in addition to that which was borrowed. Banks loan the money to one another and the public in exchange for the loan balance, plus interest and service fees. The government also uses this money to buy their own securities (such as Treasury bills, notes, debentures and bonds), and loans money to itself, often by selling government securities to the Federal Reserve, broker-dealers, banks and other lending institutions, which again, must all be paid back with interest.

Debt Creation

'Money is a new form of slavery, different from the old in that there is no direct and personal relationship between the master and the slave.' ~ Loe Tolstoy

All fiat currencies are essentially loans from the Federal Reserve to banks and governments, which use a nation's citizens as chattel and collateral, and their citizens' time and labor as the source of income to pay back the loans, with interest. Congress has spent more than its income every year since 1969, resulting in much of the government debt we have today. When a government spends more than it receives in taxes, it often finances the deficit by borrowing more from the public, whether by raising taxes, reducing spending (usually on public programs and services), selling government securities such as Treasury bills, notes, debentures, bonds or other debt instruments, borrowing more fiat money from the Federal Reserve, or via intra-governmental loans and transfers that are taken directly from what was supposedly set aside for public lands, programs and services. Interest is then charged in addition to that which the government borrows, and it all becomes part of the national debt, which could not exist without the creation, existence and use of fiat money.

The use and value of fiat money is regulated and manipulated by the federal reserve, federal banks and our governments -- via deflation, inflation, taxation, government and municipal bonds, interest rates or other debt and money debasement schemes. In the case of inflation, the more loans and debt there is, the more fiat money is created and put into circulation, which reduces the value of every dollar that was already in circulation, and thus increases the amount of money it takes to buy the same amount of goods and services. An item that costed $1 in 1913 for example, would cost about $22.85 in 2011, which is a loss in the value of every dollar of about 2,285% since 1913, or an average of 23% per year, due to inflation alone. There is no real limit to the amount of US coins and FRNs that may be created and added to what is already in circulation, and so, there is no real limit to the potential loss in the value of a dollar. Fractional reserve banking then adds fuel to this debt creation and money debasement fire, by allowing banks to lend $9 for every $1 deposited into their banks. Then as all this funny money is being spent, its value is continually regulated, manipulated, deflated (rarely) and inflated (usually), taxed, bought, sold, loaned and further devalued, until every penny eventually goes back to where it came from, and is either re-circulated or replaced with more fiat money.

Economic Enslavement

Our government lives off the backs of the People, as more than 90% of all government income is derived from taxes, while other government revenue sources generally include such debt and money debasement schemes as the selling of government securities (which are really loans at the People's expense), usury (which is the charging of interest on loans), inflation and market manipulations. The People on the other hand, must give up to 15-35% or more of their own income to federal income taxes (not including other federal, state, county and city taxes, etc.), another 23% to inflation (not including that lost to other money debasement schemes), and an average of 30-40% or more for basic living expenses, leaving the average citizen with roughly 2-32% of the money they earn, to spend as they wish. In all cases it is also the People who pay for all loans to their banks and government, and all interest on those loans, with their own time and labor -- whether the citizens choose to borrow and benefit from any of those loans or not. If a government loans money without value to itself and others, using the time and labor of its own citizens, with or without their consent, to create and pay for (but never pay off) those debts, what does that make its people?

Frugal Money Saving Solutions

Despite the many federal and political methods of monetary control, regulation, manipulation and debasement, the existence, use and value of any currency ultimately depends on the faith a nation's citizens place upon it. It is therefore, up to a nation's citizens, to choose the method of trade, or form of currency (if any), to accept and use between one another. If we insist upon using a certain monetary system, then we would do well to at least learn more about how that system works, so as to avoid working our lives away to pay for our own subjection to others. Though it may be difficult, it is not impossible to work with such an economic system, and there are ways to help protect yourself from being enslaved to it. For example:
  • Spend your earnings before others do it for you! If you do not learn to spend your earnings wisely, others will gladly do it for you, however they see fit, whether you agree with how they spend your earnings or not.
  • Avoid the so-called 'qualified medical savings accounts', IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401Ks and other structured retirement plans, as such accounts and plans are usually heavily regulated and funded with fiat money, which erodes savings over time, due to inflation and other money debasement schemes. The first $4000 contributed to an IRA for example, is deductible (unless you live in New Jersey, Massachusetts or Pennsylvania, where IRA contributions may not be deducted from state income taxes), but withdrawals are taxed as income again (unless you live in Pennsylvania, where IRA earnings of taxpayers of age 59 1/2 or older are exempt from state income taxes). Withdrawals from Roth IRAs are not taxed as income, but contributions are not deductible. In addition, nearly if not all structured retirement plans are also subject to capital gains taxes, and there are penalties for withdrawals before the age of 59 1/2.
  • If you are a business owner and need help from others to run it, hire people as 'independent contractors' rather than employees, whenever possible. Having employees requires withholding of federal income taxes and FICA (social security and medicare) taxes from employee wages, paying the same amount of FICA as that withheld, in addition to employee wages, unemployment and worker's compensation insurance, and in many cases, employee benefits, such as health insurance. Employers are also responsible for reporting of federal income and FICA taxes on Form 941 (Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax Return) if their employment tax liability is more than $1000, or on Form 944 (Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return) if their employment tax liability is $1000 or less. In addition to quarterly or annual federal tax returns, businesses with employees must complete a Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement) to report wages, tips and other compensation paid to each employee and send each employee a copy each year of employment. Paying ICs (independent contractors) to provide services for your business on the other hand, is much easier for tax purposes, and much more affordable. If a business hires an IC to provide services, even if those services are ongoing, it is the responsibility of the IC to pay their own taxes. A business in this case, has ICs fill out a Form W-9 (Request For Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification) for future reference of their TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) or SS number, reports business related payments made to ICs for services rendered on Form 1099-MISC, and sends a copy of the form to ICs each year services are rendered. If business related profits amounted to $400 or more than expenses, ICs and other self-employed individuals pay self-employment (FICA) and income taxes, filing annual or quarterly tax returns on Form 1040 (US Individual Income Tax Return), Form 1040 Schedule SE (Self Employment Tax) and Form 1040 Schedule C (Profit or Loss From Business) or Schedule C-EZ (Net Profit From Business).
  • Reduce taxes with non-taxable income, credits, deductions and exemptions. The more you spend on tax deductible charitable donations, business and/or investment expenses for example, the less you pay in income taxes, and the greater flexibility, freedom of choice and say you have in how your earnings are spent, the endeavors those earnings support, who it benefits and how.
  • Reduce wealth erosion from taxation and inflation by converting long-term cash savings (such as that for private educational, medical and retirement savings) from fiat currency to capital assets such as gold, silver and/or other precious metals backed accounts. Capital assets such as this are considered investments for tax purposes, so the cost to purchase precious metals, including account fees and other related investment expenses, are deductible from federal income taxes. Unlike fiat money, assets such as gold, silver and other precious metals also tend to retain and increase in value, rather than lose value over time, primarily because their value is not negatively affected by inflation or other money debasement schemes. Inflation for example, actually increases the value of gold, silver and other precious metals (in comparison to the value of a dollar). Gold, silver and other precious metals can also be withdrawn or exchanged from precious metal backed accounts (as precious metals or the chosen currency) any time for any reason, income tax and penalty free. The only time one pays taxes on savings in this form, is when the value of their deposit increases, in which case capital gains taxes apply to profits/gains over what was deposited, but not until taxes are due for the year more is withdrawn than was previously deposited. When you keep long-term savings (such as that for educational, medical and retirement savings) in the form of gold, silver and/or other precious metals backed accounts, no one but you gets to decide how, when, why and where to spend your savings. You could for example, spend educational savings on any school, profession, courses, degrees, hours, schedules, etc. you wanted. You could spend medical savings on any type of healthcare, healthcare provider, medicines, health related products and/or services, and so on -- without the typical restrictions, limitations and conditions of traditional health insurance, and without the additional non-refundable fees (such as the typical monthly service fee of about $200-800/mo + annual deductibles, co-pays, etc.). You would be the one to decide how much and how long to save for retirement, when you will to retire, how much of your retirement savings to spend each month, and so on. You could also spend as much of your savings as necessary and available on unexpected expenses or emergencies. Or you could blow all of your savings on anything you wanted and have nothing left for anything else, but again -- only you would be in the position to make such choices.
  • Avoid interest and associated charges by avoiding direct and indirect loans (including government securities and credit cards) whenever possible.
  • Reduce living expenses and the direct effects of market manipulations with an economical, sustainable, self-sufficient, independent lifestyle.
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