Liberty Dollars in Gotham

Liberty Dollar ClusterJim Lesczynski put me on the mailing list for New York City’s new Libertarian underground rag called Serf City. I received the first two issues the other day and read the articles last night. To my surprise, I found out that the NY Sun had used one of them as a basis for a front page article in their publication. The topic: Liberty Dollars.

Over pierogies and cabbage rolls at a Lower East Side restaurant, the Manhattan Libertarian party recently discussed the virtues of the private currency. Backed by real gold and silver, the Liberty Dollar is created and issued by the National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act and the Internal Revenue Code. The currency does not say “legal tender” and is therefore in compliance with federal law.

But can you use it?

Yes, indeed, said Nic Leobold, a writer for Serf City, the newspaper published by the Manhattan Libertarian Party. He used the Liberty Dollar at several local establishments, including Grey’s Papaya, a bodega near Grand Central Terminal, and Dunkin Donuts. (At the dinner, however, most people appeared to be paying the Ukrainian Restaurant in Federal Reserve notes.)

The NY Sun article went on to cover other private currencies, both local and historical. While I’m not a Liberty Dollar buff, I’m finding the increased use of them around the country interesting. When I was in Austin, a whole lot of businesses accepted them, and now I see that some in NYC do, as well. While I’m not dumping my greenbacks for silverbacks quite yet, I’ll be watching to see how this trend develops.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Actually I sent you the second and third issues of Serf City. Print copies of the first issue are now collector’s items, but all 3 can still be viewed in pdf format at our website.

  2. Awesome! It’s no surprise that they put that economics professor in there as a final jab. Brendan O’Flaherty is an actual economics professor that hasn’t a clue what money is. And he’s teaching economics. Obviously because he would never make it as a legitimate economist. What an idiot.

    Beleive me, in a few years from now you will see things like a 24-hour gold channel, Jim Cramer et al. doing handstands on tv over gold and silver. Continuous coverage in your local newspaper and evening news. Etc etc etc. It is coming! But most libertarians here are little different from liberals and conservatives. You just don’t get it – it’s about YOUR personal preferences and not a matter of understanding.

  3. I believe that O’Flaherty’s comments were most likely taken out of context & journalistically condensed (simplified for Americans who can’t read above an 8th grade level).

    If not, he truely is a long-standing hold-out of original Keynesian economics, standing amidst surrounded by an evolving world of New Monetarist ideas and policies.

  4. Considering silver has almost tripled in price versus the USD in the last 8 months, I would say it was wise to at least be getting in a little early with long term savings… even if you don’t plan on spending it TODAY.

    Also, check out the phoenix dollar

    I haven’t actually spent any P$, but I have used the liberty dollar at various places in Boston (usually small mom and pop places, restaurants, etc)

  5. I wonder if we can use the currency at home for private poker parties. Sure, it is gambling, but not with legal tender! If not legal mebbe the SWAT team won’t murder us but will use rubber bullets? Regards.

  6. Two points.

    First, I’ve always regarded NorFed with grave suspicion- the most positive thing I can consider it as is counterfeiting, i. e. infringing on the Constitutional exclusive power of the federal government to coin money. When I first read the material for NorFed and saw a nonrefundable fee required in order to trade in NorFed “currency,” my gut reaction was, “Scam.” Either way, I’m not a supporter.

    Second, precious metals are astoundingly volatile. In my lifetime I’ve seen gold and silver go up and down like yo-yos. They have no absolute or intrinsic value- in a free market, NOTHING has an absolute value. The reason for the inflated prices now is the same as that for oil- speculators have driven up an enormous market bubble which, sooner or later, must burst.

    Don’t put your trust too heavily in gold.

  7. Print copies of the first issue are now collector’s items

    Bah – gold, silver. Good thing I hoarded a few boxes of the first issue of Serf City!

    Serf City designer