Friday, June 5, 2009

Monopoly Money

The government's chutzpah knows no bounds. Most freedom lovers are already familiar with the government's raiding and plundering of the Liberty Dollar outfit, and many have seen the press release that the government released on June 3rd. It reads, in part:

Acting U.S. Attorney Edward R. Ryan of the Western District of North Carolina said, “When groups seek to undermine the U.S. currency system, the government is compelled to act. These coins are not government-produced coinage, yet purchasers were led to believe by those who made and sold them that they should be spent like U.S. Federal Reserve Notes. Such claims are in violation of federal law.”

Non-sequitur notwithstanding, acting Grand-High-Poobah Edward R. Ryan's message is pretty clear when you read between the lines: Don't compete with our money system, because our money system is so weak that competition with it undermines its value far too easily, and we will persecute you for it.

So nobody better dare try to introduce a money system in this country that directly competes with (read: serves the same function as) Federal Reserve Notes, or else Hauptsturmf├╝hrer Edward R. Ryan will arrest you and throw you in a concentration camp. Everybody got that? Good.

Now I'm no law expert, but I do recall reading about something a long time ago called the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, which said that if you conspire to monopolize some kind of commerce, you are are guilty of a felony. And what's more, I certainly don't recall the Sherman Anti-Trust Act making any exceptions for public, government entities. Let's turn to the always-accurate Wikipedia and see what it says:

The Sherman Antitrust Act (Sherman Act,[1] July 2, 1890, ch. 647, 26 Stat. 209, 15 U.S.C. § 1–7) was the first United States Federal statute to limit cartels and monopolies. It falls under antitrust law.

The Act provides: "Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal".[2] The Act also provides: "Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony [. . . ]"[3] The Act put responsibility upon government attorneys and district courts to pursue and investigate trusts, companies and organizations suspected of violating the Act. The Clayton Act (1914) extended the right to sue under the antitrust laws to "any person who shall be injured in his business or property by reason of anything forbidden in the antitrust laws."[4] Under the Clayton Act, private parties may sue in U.S. district court and should they prevail, they may be awarded treble damages and the cost of suit, including reasonable attorney's fees.[5]

Time for me to admit a few things. I'm not a lawyer. I don't know if the government is exempt from this act, although it doesn't appear to explicitly declare any exemption for government. And the state being what it is cannot be expected to apply its own rules to itself in a fair and impartial manner anyway.

But all the same, I feel this situation is worth pointing out. On the one hand, we have the government declaring that all cartels and other entities that monopolize or restrict free commerce are guilty of a felony, yet on the other hand, we have that same government claiming to be a victim of competition because the Liberty Dollar violated its money monopoly!

The hypocrisy, the inconsistency, and the arrogance of the government is absolutely unlimited. This will be nothing but a show trial in a kangaroo court.


Aaron Kinney said...

Does the DOJ not proofread their work? Page 3 of the press release has a sentence that reads: "The defendants are presumed to innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law."


Kent McManigal said...

I became familiar with the Liberty Dollar back in 2000. At no time did anything the Liberty Dollar folk said or published ever lead me to believe their silver rounds were "legal tender". They always emphasized it was a voluntary trade of value for value. So the government is, obviously, LYING. Again.

Royce Christian said...

While that legislation works to point out the hypocrisy in the government's motives, it's little more than toilet paper to use it for any practical purpose.

If the court is required to review this legislation in court they will inevitably take into account the purpose of the act in order to determine how it should apply to the facts. This occurs where the wording is ambiguous or the consequences of applying it will lead to absurdity (not sure the exact position of American law on this issue). And you can damn well be sure most American judges are going to find it absurd that you could apply the statute to the US government who 'acted to protect the integrity of its currency' or something along those lines.

The wording of the statute will be referred to, pointing out that power would be vested into government to prevent monopolies in private industry. Bam, purpose. Therefore, the act will be said not to apply to government.

Aaron Kinney said...

Sadly Royce, I think you are totally correct.