SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (May 3, 2024) – On Wednesday, a Utah law creating a process for the state to invest in and hold precious metals in reserve accounts went into effect. This sets a foundation for the Beehive State to achieve more financial independence and take a small step toward undermining the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.

Rep. Ken Ivory introduced House Bill 348 (HB348) on Jan. 19.  The Senate approved HB348 by a 25-2 vote. The House approved the bill by a vote of 52-18. With Gov. Spencer Cox’s signature, the law went into effect on May 1.

Holding gold and silver will allow the state of Utah to shield its assets and hedge against rapidly depreciating Federal Reserve notes. Adding gold and silver in reserve could also create a pathway for Utah to maintain financial independence should the U.S. dollar collapse, a very real possibility as the world moves away from the greenback as its reserve currency.

In a press release following the passage of HB348, Ivory commented that the law “will position Utah to weather the economic turbulence and inflation resulting from decades of federal fiscal recklessness. Gold and silver have been the best rainy-day investments since Noah. Utahns know a nation cannot print prosperity. Sound money is the key to a sound economy and real, sound wealth.”

Under the new law, the state treasurer is authorized to invest up to 10 percent of certain funds in silver, gold, platinum, copper, or palladium. The following funds qualify.

  • (i) the State Disaster Recovery Restricted Account, created in Section 53-2a-603;
  • (ii) the General Fund Budget Reserve Account, created in Section 63J-1-312;
  • (iii) the Income Tax Fund Budget Reserve Account, created in Section 63J-1-313; and
  • (iv) the Medicaid Growth Reduction and Budget Stabilization Account, created in Section 63J-1-315.

The new law also requires the treasurer to “conduct a study analyzing the role of precious metals in augmenting, stabilizing, and ensuring the economic security and prosperity of the state, the families and residents of the state, and businesses in the state.”

The enactment of HB348 builds on a number of previous incremental steps Utah has taken to support sound money.

Tennessee enacted similar legislation last year.

BACKGROUND

The United States Constitution states in Article I, Section 10, “No State shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” Utah has already made gold and silver legal tender in the state, setting the stage for people to use sound money in everyday transactions.

The legal tender law opened the door for the development of a gold and silver market in the state. With some legal hurdles cleared away by the state, the United Precious Metal Association (UPMA) in partnership with Alpine Gold Exchange set up the state’s first “gold bank.” The Utah Specie Legal Tender Act has also led to the creation of Goldbacks, a local, voluntary medium of exchange. Goldbacks are notes made from fractions of an ounce of physical gold. The company created a process that turns pure gold into a spendable physical form for small transactions.

Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Arkansas have taken this step, along with Utah

Currently, most debts and taxes in most states are either paid with Federal Reserve Notes (dollars) authorized as legal tender by Congress, or with coins issued by the U.S. Treasury — very few of which have gold or silver in them.

The Federal Reserve destroys this constitutional monetary system by creating a monopoly based on its fiat currency. Without the backing of gold or silver, the central bank can easily create money out of thin air. This not only devalues your purchasing power over time; it also allows the federal government to borrow and spend far beyond what would be possible in a sound money system. Without the Fed, the U.S. government wouldn’t be able to maintain all of its unconstitutional wars and programs. The Federal Reserve is the engine that drives the most powerful government in the history of the world.

HB348 can expand the foundation for sound money in Utah.

It would also take another step in the process of abolishing the Federal Reserve system by attacking it from the bottom up – pulling the rug out from under it by working to make its functions irrelevant at the state and local levels and setting the stage to undermine the Federal Reserve monopoly by introducing competition into the monetary system.

In a paper presented at the Mises Institute, Constitutional tender expert Professor William Greene said when people in multiple states actually start using gold and silver instead of Federal Reserve Notes, it would effectively nullify the Federal Reserve and end the federal government’s monopoly on money.

“Over time, as residents of the state use both Federal Reserve notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve notes do will lead to a “reverse Gresham’s Law” effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve notes). As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the state’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the state – as people in other states carry out their desire to bank with sound money – and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve notes for any transactions.”

Once things get to that point, Federal Reserve notes would become largely unwanted and irrelevant for ordinary people. Nullifying the Fed on a state-by-state level is what will get us there.

Mike Maharrey

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