Value and Meaning of the Dollar

If you believe this nation does not have its roots in religious beliefs then you should think again.   Our modern mania with “diversity” and political correctness has turned into revisionist history; that mania would have you believe that there is no religious  foundation to our American mores and culture and that all religion or mention of religion should be banished from public notice in any form.   We are at the core of our history a Christian nation  founded on the principle of religious tolerance for those who views things differently–which by the  way is a very Southern Baptist mindset.  But more on the Southern Baptist another day.

Take out a dollar bill and examine it closely.  On the reverse side you will notice the motto “In God We Trust”.  That is not there by accident.   That was a deliberate statement to proclaim our most fundamental tenets as a nation.  It doesn’t mean there can be no dissent but our collective wisdom leads us to accept that concept of trusting in God.    (That was the slogan on the German soldier’s belt buckle during WWII).   Now look to the left of the Great Seal and you will see the words “annuit coeptis” floating around the all seeing eye.   The translation is God has favored our undertakings.  We have been indeed blessed as a nation like no other in the history of the world and we should all pray that we will be worthy of those blessing in the future.   The all seeing eye is a Masonic symbol.  Yes, those Masons.   They were extremely influential in the early days of our nation and more US Presidents have been Masons than any other affliation  I.e., religion, school, statehood, etc.   For those who are completely in the dark about the Masons it should be noted that both Christians and Jews could be members.  A religious belief was required but not a specific religious doctrine.   There was the York rite for those who wanted a specific Christian experience and the Scottish Rite for those of either Jewish or Christian belief.  Both rites were Masons.

Now let’s look at  the other aspects of the dollar.  Below the great seal you will see “novus ordo seclorum” which means a new order for the ages.   We thought we were the bringing of something new and that turned out to be correct.  We were the first true republican democracy with no hint of nobility or privilege based upon birth.  We became the first meritocracy.   Oh, yes, it is true that in times past people could rise up through the ranks as it were but that was not the usual rule.  Even in ancient Greece it was possible to rise from slave to senator or general.  We were the first nation to look to what you accomplished or could accomplish and your personal integrity as the mark of the man.   Yes, I know the phrase has a similar ring to the Nazi New Order and the Third Riech but there is no relationship at all.  Ours came first by a long shot.   The  all seeing eye is interesting in its own right because of the implication that a higher power is watching over us and also that as a group we can conquer any challenge.

The other side of the great seal has the eagle.  Notice what it holds in its talons.  An olive branch in one but arrows in the other.   We seek peace in all things but will wage war to protect the ideals we hold dear and our nation.  The motto there is one you all know, e pluribus unum–one among many.   That is to emphasis our uniqueness among nations.   Of course the thirteen stars are for the original colonies.   I am sure the Navy has changed uniforms recently but for decades the pants worn by Bluejackets (ordinary seamen in the Navy) had thirteen buttons also for the colonies.   Many a sailor cussed up a storm undoing those when a call of nature came upon him suddenly.

Now for the value of the dollar we can make another close examination.  First realize that the dollar is really a note.  Just read what it says.  Up at the top there it says “Federal Reserve Note”.  A note is a promise to pay.   It is a real note not only because it says so but because it is a bearer note if you will and it carries the signature of the then sitting Secretary of the Treasurer; look down in the bottom right corner and you will see the signature.   It wouldn’t be a valid note without some signature.    Also see the comment to the left of Washington that says “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private”.   The issuer of the note I am looking at is from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Georgia.  There are 12 reserve banks around the country.  They issue the notes as the agent of the US.  The Constitution talks about “coin” in Article One under the powers of Congress.  Congress can also set the value of it and of foreign money.   In times past, like merry old England say of a couple of centuries ago, it was quite common for people, banks and companies to issue notes as a means of payment and they would become negotiable by endorsement.  These notes were treated like currency that we think of because real printed money was  pretty rare and expensive for the Government to print.   Think of our dollars as a sophisticated update to that old practice. 

Now the real question is what is that promise worth?  We are no longer on the gold standard like we were for such a long time when you could go to the bank if you wanted to and actually get gold for you dollar bills.   So why do we and others around the world accept this note for payment for lunch, toothpaste, a car payment and all those other thousands of transactions we each make every year?   What am I going to get from the Federal Reserve if I present my note for payment?

Come back tomorrow for an exploration of that thought with me.  You might find it interesting.   I only want us all to think about our institutions, our body politic and economy so we can reach intelligent and informed decisions about our future courses of action.   Intelligence doesn’t necessarily equate to being informed.   Disagreement I can handle it is ignorant and ideological positions that annoy me.

Quo Vadis.

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Filed under Economics, history, Politics

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