'Virginia in the Vanguard': California and Texas should also cast coins

“It’s starting to look like Virginia could yet emerge in a leading role among the states in respect of monetary reform,” say the editors of the New York Sun. “The lower chamber of its general assembly has passed a bill to underwrite a study of the feasibility of a monetary unit based on a metallic standard. It is one of a number of states that are reaching deep into the Constitution of the United States to protect themselves in an era when the value of the dollars issued by the federal government is collapsing.”

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After a 237-year effort, Virginia has come to the righteous conclusion that it is not God, guns and guts that makes the earthly kingdoms — it is money. And Virginia’s are not the first citizens in our times to call for states to cast their own coin. Vermont’s are. California and Texas should follow.

“Call it the miracle of federalism,” says the Sun. “Virginia has an opportunity to begin an important study of the powers of the states at a time when the value of the dollar has plunged to below a 1,670th of an ounce of gold, little more than half of what it was valued at when Barack Obama acceded to the presidency. It is less than a 6th of the value at which the dollar stood at the start of the Bush presidency. If Virginia acts, it would not be surprising to see more states follow its lead.”

The proposal of an "alternate" Virginia state currency of gold and silver coins as part of a growing trend in the United States, Jacqui Dunne and Bernard Lietaer, authors of Rethinking Money: How new Currencies turn Scarcity into Prosperity, write in the HuffPost. “Some 16 states in the union already have passed legislation, or are in the process of doing so, that would create a state currency. This development spreads as concerns and fears grow that the Federal Reserve System may fail, either through hyperinflation, a calling in of U.S. debt by another country, or through some other failure, causing the U.S. monetary system to collapse.”

But coinage means more, and California Gov. Jerry Brown and Texas Gov. Rick Perry should take note: More than any external symbol, coins link people to their places. Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger famously declared California to be its own world “nation state” (“We are Sparta! We are Athens!”). But Sparta and Athens coined their own money. Their identity and independence as a people were linked to it. Coins are the mythic stones of free and holistic people; talismans linking the people to their place on earth. Without this materialization of symbol, regions are as psychologically beholden to secondary power as Tibet is today to China. Regional coinage heals the environment, empowers people and returns the world’s unbearably light fiat currencies back down to earth.