Via The Circle Bastiat. Franklin D. Roosevelt, greedy to increase his power over Americans’ economic lives, confiscated their gold bullion & currency. People who wanted to keep their own money (because gold and gold-backed notes had circulated as U.S. money, until then) were labeled “slackers” and “hoarders”, then prosecuted:
You can see a clearer, larger image of the article here. Those who cooperated received, for the most part, only partial compensation (paper dollars which Roosevelt then devalued, the next year).
Such a confiscation would have been unthinkable to America’s Founders. They revolted against King George III for less. Are property confiscations part of America’s future under Obama? Time will tell.
After establishing the Constitution, the Founders fixed the U.S. dollar as being just under 1/20 oz. of gold, because paper-money experiments during the Revolutionary war had taught them that sound money was a crucial element of a sound, free and prosperous society. That 1/20 oz. value guided the American economy for roughly 140 years, through the greatest net economic expansion in human history.
Beginning with Roosevelt (who, again, confiscated the gold dollars, then devalued the paper ones from an official gold value of 1/20 oz. to around 1/35 oz.), the dollar’s value has dwindled, as the government taxes us all covertly by printing more and more money.
Americans regained the right to own gold bullion in 1974, but the dollar has remained mere paper. On average (or with some ups and downs), its value continues to dwindle. The dollar’s market value in gold was roughly 1/250 oz. when Bush 43 took office, 1/800 oz. when Obama took office, and is near 1/1300 oz. today.
I believe that further depreciation is to come.