In these days of unprecedented monetary activism by the Federal Reserve, including massive purchases every month of federal government debt, it’s nice to see even a fledgling amount of resistance from attentive citizens. A bill now making its way through the Virginia legislature would establish a joint subcommittee “to study the feasibility of a metallic-based monetary unit.”
Last night the House voted 65-32 to approve the bill; now it goes before the Virginia Senate. “The need to establish a sound money unit was deemed so essential for assuring the success of the United States that Thomas Jefferson personally assumed the task of defining the dollar as a fixed standard of value,” the measure notes.
“Our nation’s most fundamental principles – equal rights, rule of law, private property rights, individual liberty – still require a dependable dollar to be meaningfully preserved.”
The bill, if passed, would seek to examine the impact of the Fed’s intervention in banking and credit markets – resulting in near-zero returns on savings accounts and retirement funds – with an eye toward considering “whether a metallic basis for United States currency might engender a more stable money unit consistent with limited government.”
Are we talking about a gold standard? Too soon to tell. But the study would surely seek input from leading monetary experts and constitutional scholars sympathetic to the need for a more rules-based monetary policy – such as Lewis Lehrman and James Grant.
Jefferson believed an “unchangeable” dollar worthy of America’s belief in limited government could only be defined in terms of gold or silver. It seems altogether fitting that the Commonwealth would take on the task of restoring sound money to serve the needs of free markets and free people.