From the August 2003 Idaho Observer:
Adventures in commerce
The Idaho Observer has been an advocate for the Liberty Dollar since it became an option to Federal Reserve Accounting Unit Dollars (FRAUDs) in 1998. Since that time the novel concept has grown into a viable monetary marketplace alternative. As the adventures in commerce described below indicate, you can go out into your daily world and make ordinary purchases with Liberty Dollars.
By Sven Holmgaard
I have been using the Liberty Currency and coin once in a while and it always feels good whenever I succeed in making a purchase with it. It's always nice to break away from doing business with FRAUDs (Federal Reserve Accounting Unit Dollars) I am also considering becoming a redemption center or as they call it now, a Liberty Associate. But before I jump in, I wanted to try to use it for all my purchases on a shopping adventure and see how well it works in ordinary commerce.
I left my mountain home near Colville and went to Spokane for supplies armed with both American Liberty Currency (ALC) and $10 silver coins (ALD). First stop was Wal Mart. I put $10 on my phone card and gave the woman at the customer service desk a ten dollar Liberty Coin. She looked at it and said it was neat and gave me my recharged phone card. So far so good.
I then found some batteries for the short-wave and went to the checkout. I tendered $10 in Liberty Currency to the male cashier. He looked at both sides for about 15 seconds and gave me my change in FRAUDs.
Next I went to the Pull and Save junkyard for parts. It costs a dollar to get in, so I offered a $1 ALC. The young guy at the counter said, What's this?
I said, It's Liberty Currency.
He asked, is it real?
I answered, more real than this slave paper, pointing to some FRAUDs laying on the counter.
He said, You're shittin' me.
I said, no, it's 100 percent backed by silver and showed him a $10 ALD. I told him, If he had $10 in ALC he could redeem it for this, but the stuff on his counter was slave paper backed up only by debt.
He was bewildered and looked like he thought I was conning him. I asked him if he would rather have slave paper and passed him a FRAUD. He took it and I went in.
After finding a few parts, I went to the cashier and tendered $10 ALC and $10 ALD for $11.89 in parts. I explained what Liberty Currency was and one cashier went to call the main office. The cashiers thought the coin was beautiful but the main office wouldn't take it. I paid in slave paper and left.
I bought a $25 book at the Army Navy Surplus. I tendered $10 ALC and $20 ALD. The clerk knew about Liberty Currency. He said they had read articles about it in The Idaho Observer, which was for sale on his counter, but he hadn't been able to talk his boss into accepting it. I told him they could become a Liberty Merchant. He said he knew, but his boss wouldn't go for it yet. I paid in slave paper.
I picked up a pound of gunpowder for $15 at the White Elephant, but they didn't have the bullets I was looking for. I tendered a $10 ALC and a $10 ALD. The two counter guys looked it over. While one was looking at the ALC I pulled out another ALD and explained the currency was redeemable in silver, but the slave paper was only backed by debt. One of the clerks said, I didn't know they issued these any more, as if he assumed they were issued by the government.
They looked it over some more and one of the clerks decided to take the silver ALDs. He said he was going to buy one. I left with some powder and change in FRAUDs.
I ordered two fish burgers at Zip's and laid down a $10 ALD. The young woman at the counter looked at it and said, Wow, what is it? I explained it was a $10 silver Liberty. She took it and gave me my change in FRAUDs.
Went to the Mail Box Center and got passport photos for just under $12. I tendered a $10 ALC and $2 in slave paper. The clerk looked at it and asked the other clerk if she could take it. The other clerk didn't know. I explained what Liberty Currency was and showed them an ALD which, I said, they could have instead of the ALC.
She called her boss who said as long as it wasn't a thousand dollars it was OK. I left with my photos, paid mostly in ALC.
It was very hot out, so I went to the deli at Tidyman's. They had a blueberry ginseng smoothie that looked very appealing on an almost 100 degree day. I tendered a $10 ALD for the $2.25 drink. The deli clerk looked at it and said jokingly, That looks dangerous.
I said, It's not dangerous, it's silver. She asked if it was pure.
I said 99.999% pure, and she held it up to her nose and sniffed it as if it were some form of nose candy.
She then said, I can't believe I just did that.
Then she wanted to know where it came from. I told her about NORFED and showed her a $1 ALC note that I had in my pocket. I told her it was an alternative to slave paper; that green stuff we all pretend is money. She said, Amen to that.
I went on to explain the only thing backing the green stuff is debt for our children's, children's, children. She said she told herself she wouldn't discuss politics with customers because she had some very definite opinions so she had better just shut up. I told her she was welcome to have her opinions as far as I was concerned. She gave me the smoothie and my change in FRAUDs.
I went to the White Elephant in Spokane Valley. They didn't have the bullets I wanted, either, but they had a reloading accessory for $9 and change. I tendered an ALD. The guy at the counter looked it over as I explained it was a $10 Liberty Dollar. He asked me if I wanted to pay with this. I said Yes, it's money. He gave me my change and I left with a new reloading tool.
I finally found the bullets I was looking for at the Sportsman's Warehouse for $20.53 with tax. I laid down two ALDs and some change. The Checker said, Oh, $10 in silver, do you want a bag for that?
I bought a tool at Sears for just under $10. I gave the saleslady a silver ALD. She said she had never seen one of them before. Then she said, Oh, I'm sorry, as if she had said something wrong. I told her she didn't have to be sorry, it's money. She gave me my change.
Time for dinner, I went for the all you can eat buffet at the Top of China. After thoroughly gorging on a mostly protein diet, I tendered an ALD and some change to the Chinese cashier. He looked it over and asked me in broken English what it was. I said, it's $10 in silver. He took it.
Then I went to Rosauer's for some groceries on the way home. I only had one silver ALD in my pocket so I tendered that and a $20 FRAUD for the $22 grocery bill. The cashier looked over the ALD. I told her it was Liberty Money and there was a website and a toll free number on it if she wanted to find out more about it.
She gave me my change and my groceries. I gassed up at Zip Trip and grabbed some more Silver Libertys. I paid for the $8+ in gas with a Silver Liberty. A couple of guys were in line behind me to pay for their beer and saw the Silver Liberty. They asked me about them so I explained what they were and what NORFED is about. One asked if he could buy one from me so I traded him for FRAUDs and showed him the website and phone number on the coin.
Off I went back to the hills with my mostly Liberty Money-purchased supplies. Only two places of business didn't accept NORFED money. Wal Mart, both White Elephants, Zips, The Mail Box Center, Tidyman's, the Sportsman's Warehouse, Sears, Top of China Buffet, Rosauer's and Zip Trip did accept it.
Is Liberty Money viable? So far so good. These were all small purchases. Were they just willing to accept it for its novelty? Would I be able to do repeat business in ALDs? Could I use only Liberty Money for my shopping? Maybe if I used my FRAUD change for the places that didn't accept it. It seems that the silver ALD is more acceptable than the paper ALC. And women seem to accept it with less questioning.
Could I encourage merchants to do business with it? And if I became a Liberty Associate and purchased my Liberty Money at a 20 percent discount, that would add to the benefits of using Liberty Money.
Some people question using a form of money with a face value of $10 that is backed by only about $5 worth of silver. But what backs the FRAUD they so readily accept? A FRAUD loses value to inflation at the rate of 5 percent to 10 percent a year. Liberty Money can pay 20 percent or more if you become a Liberty Associate. Would you rather be paid to use Liberty Money or lose money to the FRAUD's of the bankers? As for me, I'll choose Liberty.
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The lighter side of FRAUDs
I went out today and had many profitable adventures in commerce. I started out with this one piece of rectangular paper that had a lot of really neat artwork on it. It also had the number 20 in the corners.
That piece of paper was exchanged for a used hammer. The man gave me six pieces of paper (five with a 1 in the corners and one with a 10 in the corners), some metal coins and he let me leave the store with the hammer, too.
Feeling very much the richer for my activities as I now had six pieces of paper, a handful of coins and a hammer when all I had to begin with was one piece of paper, I contemplated my next purchase.
Breakfast seemed in order as my adventures in commerce were making me very hungry. The kind and attentive waitress took my order of bacon, eggs over easy, hashbrowns and a biscuit with a side of gravy and she gladly refilled my coffee cup.
After becoming a member of the clean plate club, I left two pieces of paper with 1 in the corner and some coins, then gave the cashier the piece of paper with 10 in the corners. She gave me three pieces of paper back (each had a 1 in the corner) and some more coins.
Now, after starting with just one piece of paper, I had three pieces of paper, a pocket full of metal coins, a hammer and had the marvelous experience of being served a wonderful breakfast by a very nice waitress.
My adventures in commerce, however, left me feeling as if someone was getting the short side of the bargain -- and it wasn't me. (DWH)
The Idaho Observer
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Spirit Lake, Idaho 83869