Today I was introduced to Mr. Larry Hilton, JD, MBA – the author of a brilliant piece of much needed legislation that hopefully will pass the Utah legislature, and then each and every other state in this union.
It was a pleasure speaking with you today. I very much look forward to discussing state monetary policy and sound money issues with you this evening on your radio program. By way of background, I am an attorney by training holding JD and MBA degrees from BYU. I’m the founder of Dominion Insurance Services headquartered in Alpine, Utah and licensed in all 50 states.
About a year ago a small group of concerned citizens met in my office with representatives John Dougall and Ken Sumsion to discuss proposed legislation regarding sound money. Following that meeting I made couple of presentations during the session to legislators regarding the topic. Although no bill was passed last session, the legislature did vote to slate commodity money for interim study leading up to the 2011 legislative session. Following many drafts and extensive legal research on the topic, we’ve developed the attached version which John Dougall included in the bill file he opened on this matter the day before Thanksgiving. So the Utah Sound Money Act will in fact be considered by the legislature this session.
This act is designed to reinstate a sound money option for Utahns under the authority recognized in Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution which provides that no state is to make anything but gold and silver coin tender for payment of debts. A measure such as this is long overdue in light of the fact that our current dollar has lost more than 95% of its purchasing power since Congress granted the Federal Reserve monopoly power over U.S. currency about 100 years ago. As I’m sure you know, for the 150 years of our country’s history preceding that, the U.S. dollar held its purchasing power quite nicely, being backed by for the most part by precious metals.
The bill also enables the private sector to establish intrastate commerce cooperatives which would use gold and silver coin as their internal medium of exchange. These cooperatives would also enjoy certain privacy and tax benefits designed to promote innovation and productivity within the state. In initially discussing the idea of reintroducing Utah citizens to sound money, John Dougall strongly encouraged us to consider sound money approaches that would foster economic development within the State. Hence the cooperative idea.
Under the bill, the state is authorized to contract with one or more cooperatives to transport, safeguard and facilitate exchanges in gold and silver coin. Such cooperatives would be compensated by the state for their services by way of a transaction fee which would likely run less than typical credit card company charges. So the entire program could be implemented without any upfront costs to the state. In addition, there may well be a net savings due to lower transaction costs than currently apply. The act would also recognize and protect the inalienable right of citizens to transact directly with each other in gold and silver, without any intermediary at all.
As part of the program to protect the state’s gold and silver stores, the cooperatives would be empowered to recruit and train security personnel under the Utah Defense Force Act which was passed in the 1980s, but never really implemented. Essentially, the cooperatives could create mini Fort Knox installations throughout the state. This will help with emergency preparedness — again at no additional cost to the state.
The act expressly delineates between interstate and intrastate commerce. Thus, it serves to highlight at least a portion of the line that needs to be reestablished between the federal and state governmental spheres of influence. Modeled in part after the Swiss WirBank and early economic experiments in Utah, the cooperative structure is designed to promote commerce and industry within the state. Hence making Utahs more self-reliant, sovereign and prepared for whatever exigencies may from time to time arise.
Also we have been working on a media campaign to stoke grass roots support for this measure. As part of that we will shortly be finishing a 20-minute video, entitled “Sound Money Rings True”, which is designed to educate Utah citizens regarding the need for and benefits of sound money, as well as introduce them to legislative solutions that can reinstate such currency for use within the state. We’d like to invite the entire Utah legislature to the premier showing of that film which might possibly be held at the Capitol in coming weeks.
Right now, we’re looking for endorsements from as many grass roots organizations as possible — hopefully from both sides of the aisle. This really shouldn’t be a partisan issue. Thus far, JBS, the 10th Amendment Center, Eagle Forum and the Campaign for Liberty have all voiced strong support. In fact, on Saturday, I learned that the New American will be running an article on Utah’s Sound Money movement in their on-line edition.
Essentially, we envision three coordinated campaigns that will be required not only to pass the legislation, but to make the use of sound money in Utah a reality. First, is the grass-roots campaign to legislators. We’ll also need a public opinion media campaign as well as a campaign aimed at preeminent business leaders across the state to promote early participation in the cooperative structure. For those interested in supporting the movement, we’ll be launching a website next week with details about how to get involved. That site is CitizensForSoundMoney.net
I’m anxious to hear your thoughts and ideas regarding how to make sound money a reality for Utah citizens. I look forward to talking with you and your listeners in more detail this evening.