Is this even legal?

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"Barron's" (July 2, 2007, page 39) reports the existence of BerkShares, paper money printed and issued in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. The idea is to boost the local economy by keeping money in the local economy. It is currently accepted at some 280 local businesses.

(I'd like to post a link to the article, but reading the article online requires a subscription, and getting them to post an article that we can link to costs on the order of $500 per month.)

Never mind the questionable benefit this currency will give to the local economy. My copy of the United States Constitution reads, "No State shall... make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts...." (Article I, Section 10)

Now, I realize that the "Berserkshires" are not a state, but several Supreme Court rulings have made it clear that what applies to the states also applies to subdivisions of the states.

Is this the first step to secession?

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3 Comments

stay puft said:

apparently there are a number of "private" currencies out there. (see: e-gold)

maybe the fact that it's done privately means that it's within the letter of the law.

A friend of mine once came across some sort of private dollar that had a website address on it that went on about this currency was backed by gold and it was going to bring back the gold standard. It struck me as some sort of crazy right-wing shenanigans. I wish I could remember the site, you'd probably like it! ;)

suburbanite said:

I read the article about this, and it falls under the definition "scrip", which is legal. They are basically issuing their own sustainable boutique green stamps.

Very interesting in the article were quotes from the local merchants who participate, who say they assume the risk, and do lose some on the deal. They accept the shares, but cannot pay their suppliers in same.

Had Enough said:

A pizza chain in the south and west accept pesos, also walmarts near the border accept pesos.

The pizza shop say that mexicans have many pesos stored away in socks and they want to give them the opportunity to spend them.

The pizza chain has received threats from around the nation but they said they will continue. Sales are up and they charge extra for the service.

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