Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

Dishonoring Harriet Tubman

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Author 76576


(
Image by Unknown Owner)   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

When Harriet Tubman died in in March of 1913, the US $20 bill bore George Washington's portrait and the inscription "THIS CERTIFIES THAT THERE HAVE BEEN DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TWENTY DOLLARS IN GOLD COIN PAYABLE TO THE BEARER ON DEMAND."

Later that year, Congress passed, and US president Woodrow Wilson signed into law, the Federal Reserve Act. The following year the Federal Reserve issued a new $20 bill, adorned with the portrait of Grover Cleveland. In 1928, the first $20 bill bearing the visage of Andrew Jackson appeared. Even though the Federal Reserve had taken over the creation of "money" (loosely defined) from the US Treasury, the note still promised that it could be redeemed for gold at the US Treasury, or gold or "lawful money" at any Federal Reserve Bank.

Nearly 90 years later, as the Treasury announces that Tubman's likeness will grace the next $20 bill, Federal Reserve Notes are just paper, no longer redeemable in gold but sustained only by the faith of buyers and sellers in a government nearly $20 trillion of its own debased dollars in actual debt and even deeper in the hole when unfunded promises of future spending are taken into account.

- Advertisement -

Due to a cumulative inflation rate of more than 2,300% since 1913, a $20 bill today will buy goods valued at 83 cents in 1913 currency.

That differential represents something that Tubman spent her whole life fighting. I wonder how one of slavery's greatest opponents would feel about having her image appropriated for use on the symbol of its resurgence -- an instrument of debt representing the promises of politicians to hold their subjects in perpetual bondage while taking the payments out of our hides?

Tubman was no stranger to financial swindles like the Fed's disappearing gold scheme. In 1873, she fell victim to a private sector cash for gold con that ended with her knocked out, robbed, tied up and left penniless in the woods. I doubt she'd have fallen for the Federal Reserve scam.

- Advertisement -

In recent years a few scattered politicians (most notably former US Representative Ron Paul (R-TX), his son US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)) have sponsored or supported legislation demanding an audit of the Federal Reserve System. Laudable, I guess -- especially in the case of Sanders, who broke with the Democratic Party to support the latest version of the bill even as he ramped up his Democratic presidential campaign -- but a little short of what Harriet Tubman might have expected.

Auditing the Fed isn't enough. Like Tubman said, "never wound a snake; kill it." Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are the 21st century's version of the Underground Railroad. If the US government won't kill the Federal Reserve, free markets will.

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Thomas Knapp Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

The Nunes Memo Only Partially "Vindicates" Trump, But it Fully Indicts the FBI and the FISA Court

Political Parties Should Say What They Mean. The Libertarian Party Does.

NATO: This Deal is a Turkey