Virginia Proposes Alternative Currency In Case Of Federal Reserve Collapse
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
The Commonwealth of Virginia is taking a step in the what-if direction. What if there is a total monetary collapse in the U.S., hyperinflation and the complete loss of confidence in paper money. Now, you may say that we have a lot more realistic current and imminent economic problems to tackle, but Robert Marshall, a Republican state delegate from Prince William County, Virginia, wants the state legislature to study his proposal and it was, in fact, approved for study by a House subcommittee.
He proposed an alternative currency, something other than the dollar. Mr. Marshall, welcome to the program.
ROBERT MARSHALL: Well, I'm proposing more than that and actually the update is that the entire House of Delegates approved it.
SIEGEL: But let me ask you, why is it necessary to study an alternative to the world's reserve currency, the basis of trade around the globe and finance, the U.S. dollar?
MARSHALL: The bill does more than that. There are three aspects to the bill. It provides for a study dealing with cyber attacks on financial institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia and we've experienced those as well as the Federal Reserve. Number two, it provides for an alternative that the Constitution allows, which says no state may make anything other than gold and silver coin a legal tender in payment of debt.
Number three, it provides for an alternative to the way that the federal government has been operating, seemingly without control and without guidance.
SIEGEL: Well, the Federal Reserve certainly has its critics and there are many people who argue that we should return to the gold standard, but why would it fall to the State of Virginia to be the source of some alternative currency to the U.S. dollar?
MARSHALL: Because it was Virginians who were largely responsible both for the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Madison talks in the Federalist Papers that all prudent observers will be glad that states will not be able to issue paper money - it was called bills of credit - to provide an alternative in case of a lack of confidence.
SIEGEL: Wouldn't chaos be one result of every state in the Union examining how it might mint coins or create its own currency as an alternative to the dollar?
MARSHALL: It doesn't happen when I go to Sears & Roebucks with a coupon.
SIEGEL: And that would be a parallel to what you're talking about?
MARSHALL: Right. I mean, look, McDonald's has coupons and I can go in Washington D.C., in Maryland, in, you know, Virginia, anywhere. They're good. So I fail to see that there would be a problem.
SIEGEL: What do you say to the criticism that this study is going to cost the state of Virginia money, that we have more pressing problems? I'm saying we because I'm a Virginian. And, you know, we might as well spend money on protecting Virginians from zombie attack. There may be more Virginians who think that's a danger than who are worried about the Fed.
MARSHALL: Well, about two-thirds of the assembly, which represents about 6 million people, decided in the contrary. And, you know, while you might like to put this away as the fairy dust, it is not fairy dust.
SIEGEL: Well, Delegate Marshall, thank you very much for talking with us.
MARSHALL: Thank you.
SIEGEL: Robert Marshall is a state delegate from Prince William County in Virginia. He's a Republican and he has won approval from the House of Delegates for a study of currency reform in Virginia.