Many Listener Blog Readers are familiar with Bronwyn C.’s longstanding fascination with numismaticism, especially the Ron Paul Dollar—the second most popular currency in the United States! But many don’t realize that the number one most popular currency, Federal Reserve notes, aren’t the only option.
Briefly, the U.S. government does not issue money, the Federal Reserve Bank issues money, and the money is a “fiat currency,” which means it’s not backed by silver or gold, it’s backed by your delusional belief that it’s worth something. Section 411 of Title 12 of the United States Code provides that Federal Reserve notes “shall be redeemed in lawful money on demand at the Treasury Department of the United States, in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, or at any Federal Reserve bank”—but what is “lawful money”? Well, in this case, it’s debt.
But you don’t have to use Federal Reserve notes if you don’t want to! You can use any of a number of alternative currencies, all of which are perfectly legal. If you’re in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, you can use the widely accepted local currency called BerkShares. Just look up “alternative currency” and you’ll find a lot of them, all perfectly legal—except, ha ha, the Ron Paul dollar, which was backed with actual precious metals and so the FBI raided the issuers’ office and everyone got indicted and now there has to be trial.
NEVERTHELESS, in our quest to boldly violate the false dichotomy between jokes and serious shit, Thunk Tank is issuing Thunk Tank Notes just in time for the WFMU Marathon! Listeners will be able to exchange Federal Reserve notes for Thunk Tank notes 1:1. We intend to make the Bieb the second-most popular currency among WFMU Listeners, and we figure as long as we don’t issue coinage or claim to be legal tender, we probably won’t get indicted.