A few months back, I was showing the Liberty Dollars to some children, as an adjunct to a conversation about money. I really don't recall what that topic was, but the LD is a great demonstration of the concept of independent issuance. And they are so pretty!
The two children insisted on buying some, being numismatic of mind. After a few moments of indecision (should I gift them or sell them? socialism or capitalism? responsibility or rapacity?) I decided to sell the LD at the face value, that number in dollars printed on the two top corners. One child purchased a $5 note, with hard-earnt allowance, the other a $1.
And, just a week or so ago, came the announcement of the recall and replacement of the LD with new paper bearing a number twice the size. This morning, the following conversation took place at the breakfast table.
[elided discussion of counterfeiting]
"I think the Liberty Dollar is silly," suggested the 12 year old (the other is 9).
"Why is that?" I asked, in a study of emotionless pasivity.
"Because it is done on silver and dollars. It should be one or the other."
"Ah." Some conversation ensued, and I launched in: "And, there is some news about that. The Liberty Dollars might be recalled and replaced with new notes bearing a number twice as large." I'm not sure of the words I used, but I had started taking notes by this stage. I also tried to be strictly neutral - I find it best to keep secret my own opinion, except in private and obscure forums such as DGCChat, where armchair monetary architects lurk and ponder such things.
It took a while to explain the change being suggested, but we got there. "Why is that?" asked the worried 12 year old. Anything effecting her money was bad.
"Because the price of silver has gone up. Each $10 has an ounce of silver. And when they first issued it, the price of silver was $4 or so per ounce. Now it has gone up to almost $7.50."
"Oh..." More conversation ensued. Stuff about whether the note would come back, etc, to which I ventured the opinion that the new note so promised would probably come back.
Now, I am not a literary person. I don't buy that business about sparkle in the eyes, seeing people's faces light up, and all that they talk about in novels. But, at some point in the conversation, our 12 year old's eyes bulged, and her face spread wide, eyebrows, mouth, cheeks, in excitement.
She looked at me, and asked "Can I buy your $10 note?"
"Can I buy your $10 note with my $5 note and $5 of other money?"
"Ah." Our combined gears where churning here... "I'll have to think about that."
"Me too." And, she thought about it as she raced off to go and get the cup that held her allowance, in escrow, pending resolution of fines and other demerits. Today was Saturday, being the day that fines got reset, money distributed, and new trades could be made.
So much for thinking about it. The Liberty Dollar is on a roll, and is certainly popular with some.Posted by iang at April 17, 2004 01:20 PM | TrackBack