July 9, 2011 in Letters, Opinion

Dollar loses power


Becky Kramer’s article in the July 3 paper about ratepayers’ response to yearly rate-hike requests by Avista calls attention to a fundamental problem with our monetary system.

The dollar became official currency in 1793. The inherent value of gold kept the value of the dollar stable until 1971, when gold was dropped, leaving the dollar free to float as fiat currency.

Using U.S. government Consumer Price Index data of June 15, it takes $5.82 to buy today what $1.00 purchased in 1970. The government conveniently attributes the problem to “inflation.” I view it as government “devaluation” of the dollar.

Charts showing rate increases for gas and electricity begin with 1960 and are flat through 1970, a time period still under the gold standard. The jump came when gold was dropped. First class postage is now 44 cents per ounce compared to 6 cents in 1970.

Bob Launhardt

Pinehurst, Idaho

Get stories like this in a free daily email