22 § Community Currency Magazine March 2009 Issue
United States Constitution forbids thecounterfeiting of this nation’s currency, however,it in no way limits the circulation of a completelyalternative medium of exchange...
n 1948, roughly 60 years ago, Dr. Ralph Borsodiwrote a booklet entitled, “Ination is Coming andWhat to Do About It”. In the mid 1970’s, around the
time of his local currency experiment, he wrote, “If we
continue this foolishness [at money],” says Borsodi,“we’re eventually going to witness a debacle followedby a depression worse than that of the 1930’s.” Dr.Borsodi was a very smart man and about 30 years ago
he experimented creating his own version of privately
issued, commodity backed local money. His experiment
and creation is considered a successful venture.
Ralph Borsodi was born in New York City in 1886 or 1887, by his own admission, the actual year was notrecorded.* He was so moved by Nixon putting an end tothe gold standard, after 1971 he created his own private
money system called the “Constant”. This commodity
backed money was only an experiment and it includednotes backed by a basket of commodities and puresilver medallions he called ‘globes’. *(Ployboy interviewhttp://www.soilandhealth.org/03sov/0303critic/Brsdi.intrvw/The%20Plowboy-Borsodi%20Interview.htm)This new ‘sound currency’ was born in the town of Exeter, New Hampshire, and was the brain child of Dr. Ralph Borsodi and Robert Swann. The currencywas based on a standard of value using thirty different
commodities in an index. It was named the Constant
because, unlike government issued national currency,
this private money would hold its value over time. (the
value remained Constant) This medium of exchangewas created to be ination-proof. Dr. Borsodi’s currencywas 100% based on the real wealth of commodities
and not on some politician’s paper promises.The constants circulated in Exeter for over a year and
just as Dr. Borsodi had theorized it was accepted by the
local citizens and was recognized as a legally issued
non-governmental currency. Borsodi received nancialbacking for the project from several well known people
including Mr. Ray Kroc the founder of McDonalds™.The new private currency successfully circulated in the
Exeter area and was used by the public. At that time,the Constant even received national publicity in Time& Forbes.
What did the U.S. Treasury Department have to say
about the private currency? A Treasury agent was
quoted at the time saying, “We don’t care if he issues
pine cones, as long as it is exchangeable for dollars sothat transactions can be recorded for tax purposes.”
Dr. Ralph Borsodi was famous for successful
experiments in self-sufcient living. Beyond self-sufciency, he focused on the causes and cures of ination.
His view was that governments will cynically and stupidly
debase the purchasing power of their own currencies
Image courtesy http://www.ratical.org/many_worlds/cc/NMfHC/chp8.html