KEYWORDS: shoes, gold, dollar, money, time

What's Your Money Worth?

David Berg

DO 1940 1/85—The History of Currency & Devaluation!

1. IN AN OLD LETTER I TALKED ABOUT THE SYSTEM OF THE WORLD & ITS EXCHANGE METHODS & MEDIUMS OF EXCHANGE—IN OTHER WORDS, MONEY. (See #321) It used to be that shells, beads, precious metals, precious gems or anything that was valuable was used for wealth & for mediums of exchange. But the heavy weight of some of these things got to be too much for buying & selling at the market place‚ so countries began to mint metal money, they began to make coins.

2. ORIGINALLY WHEN THEY FIRST MINTED COINS, THEY WERE ACTUALLY WORTH WHAT IT SAID ON THE COIN, whatever it was. It was actually worth that much, worth its weight in gold or its weight in silver or whatever it was, usually gold & silver. But as the governments became more corrupt & more crooked, they began to cheat their people & they would mint these coins out of materials which were not worth what they said they were on the coin at all!

3. THE DEBASING OF METAL COINAGE HAS BECOME A WORLDWIDE & HISTORICAL PRACTICE OF NEARLY ALL GOVERNMENTS! Clear back to the earliest coins they found, they found that they weren't what the governments said they were. And as time went on they got worse & worse, till many of the Roman coins weren't worth anywhere near what they said they were, nor the Greek coins etc.

4. AND JUST COME RIGHT DOWN TO THE MODERN TIMES NOW OF GOVERNMENTS IN THEIR COINAGE. Most of them still use some coins, although some governments are quitting minting coins altogether & use entirely paper. Because even the cheap, adulterated, diluted coins which say they're worth so-&-so have become more valuable than the paper bills, & people collect the coins. A lot of times in Italy we couldn't even get change! People were hoarding their coins, because they were actually worth something, whereas the paper wasn't worth anything! Even though the coins were diluted & adulterated & debased & made of cheaper metals than they really were supposed to be, they were still worth more than paper. So that's become a common practice of governments.

5. RECENTLY THE U.S. TRIED TO GET AWAY WITH MINTING THEIR LATEST SILVER COIN CALLED THE SUSAN B. ANTHONY DOLLAR. It was only as big as a quarter (25 cents), & according to actual metal used therein, it was only worth about four cents, not even a quarter! Of course, the value of the dollar itself, its buying power, has degenerated & debased & devalued since I was a boy over a thousand percent! Think of it! They talk about debasing a few percentage points, that's nothing!

6. THE SAME THINGS WHICH NOW IN THE U.S. COST A DOLLAR, YOU COULD BUY FOR TEN CENTS IN THE DEPRESSION! Where can you buy a full-course dinner for 15 cents in the United States today? Where can you buy a quart of milk in the United States for ten cents?—A loaf of bread?—A gallon of gas? Nearly all these things now are worth nearly a dollar or more. I don't know about a 25-pound block of ice, what do you have to pay for ice out of the machine in the States nowadays? What's the last you remember? We used to have to buy ice sometimes when we were on the Road in the caravan, the convoy, because some of them didn't have any refrigerators. But the last I remember, a little five-pound sack of crushed ice out of the machine cost 25 cents. It used to be you got 25 pounds for ten cents, now you might get five pounds for 25 cents!

7. SO WHAT WE USED TO BUY FOR 10 CENTS NOW COSTS SOMEWHERE AROUND A DOLLAR! That's a full 1000% devaluation‚ ten times. If it takes ten cents as the full value‚ you double that & that's called 200%‚ triple it, that's 300%.—Only we're going the other direction, from the dollar down to ten cents‚ so it's gone down, not double its value‚ but has gone down triple, quadruple‚ quintuple, sextuple, septuple‚ octuple—not octopus—& what's the 9th? I get lost about there!—To ten times! It's worth one-tenth of its value only 60 years ago!

8. YOU CAN ALWAYS TELL THE REAL VALUE OF THE DOLLAR WHEN YOU COMPARE IT TO THE PRICE OF GOLD AS A RULE, AT LEAST WHAT THE PEOPLE THINK THE DOLLAR IS WORTH, & TODAY AN OUNCE OF GOLD IS WORTH ABOUT $300. When I was a little kid, my rich aunt sent me a 20-dollar gold piece. It was just almost exactly the same size as the U.S. 10-cent piece, as big as a dime, a little tiny thing about the size of your thumbnail. When she gave it to me it was worth $20. The last I heard—& this was years ago in London—the price of a $20 U.S. gold piece, a collector's item, was over $200! I don't know just what part of an ounce it was, but I think about that time the price of gold had gone up to somewhere around $500, so it must have been something less than half-an-ounce.

9. SO I WAS REAL MAD WHEN THE GOVERNMENT MADE ME GIVE UP MY 20-DOLLAR GOLD PIECE! They made all the U.S. citizens give up their gold. They passed a law that it was a crime to possess gold unless it was legitimate jewelry or gold-rimmed specs or gold teeth or collector's items. I presume they figured the rich would really get too mad if they made'm give up their gold teeth, especially the Negroes! They loved to sport those gold teeth! (Fam: Are they actual real gold?) Yes, oh yes!—Gold capped & gold fillings. They were willing to save up a lifetime to buy gold teeth, because every time they flashed a smile you could see how rich they were! That used to be a real status symbol. Now they won't even give you gold fillings at all any more. They use a silver metal alloy mixture, & of course the latest thing is a very good hard white material, something new that is very hard & lasts longer than normal fillings & looks more like your teeth. Even those silver fillings get black.

10. IF YOU DON'T POLISH SILVER ALL THE TIME IT TURNS BLACK! That's why in rich homes they've always got the maids polishing the silver. The reason it needs to be polished is because it's not used enough, they only bring it out on special occasions. So it gets a little dull & tarnished by that time with the oxidation process going on. I told you even metal burns & is constantly uniting with oxygen‚ all except gold. Sometimes your gold can get a little dirty & needs a little shining up, but you take it to the jeweller & he'll polish it up for you, it doesn't oxidise like all other metals.

11. THERE'S ONLY ONE OTHER METAL WHICH SEEMS TO BE AS PRECIOUS, OR SOME THINK MORE PRECIOUS THAN GOLD, & THAT'S PLATINUM. But it looks just like silver, so what's the use of having platinum? Nobody's going to know the difference whether it's silver or whether it's platinum. They don't know whether you've polished your silver or you're wearing real platinum. Nowadays I think it's even more expensive than gold.—One of man's ideas to try to find something better than what God ordained, but gold is still the standard.

12. BUT MOST COUNTRIES NO LONGER MINT GOLD COINS AT ALL BECAUSE GOLD IS WORTH TOO MUCH MONEY!—Except a few countries mint them as collector's items & sell'm for prices like collector's items too, for a lot more than the face value, more like the real value. But finally some countries got to where they can't even afford to mint metal money at all. They found it's so much easier to rob the poor & rob the people by just issuing them pieces of paper that are supposed to be worth that much.

13. OF COURSE, THE RICH ALWAYS HAVE WAYS OF PROTECTING THEMSELVES, they're smart. Besides, they run the government & they make the laws, so they make them so that they don't affect their forms of wealth. They invest in gold & silver & precious jewels & artwork, things that will always have value & always be valuable. No matter how dirt-cheap the money gets, they've got their money hedged, as they call it, in things that always have real value, such as real estate, & some invest in commodities, although they're a little risky because the price goes up & down more drastically.

14. BUT NATIONS HAVE BEEN CHEATING THEIR PEOPLE SO LONG, ALONG THIS LINE, BEGINNING WITH METAL MONEY & NOW PAPER MONEY, THAT THE PEOPLE DON'T EVEN PROTEST, they don't even rebel, they don't even accuse the government of robbing them. The U.S. Government is the biggest counterfeiter in the World! They print worthless money all the time just to pay their debts! The only reason anybody accepts it is because everybody else accepts it. The only reason anybody has faith in it is because they think the Federal Government of the United States is going to last forever & you can take its word for it that their dollar is worth a dollar & not just a piece of paper smeared with ink, so people keep on accepting it.

15. THE DECLINE OF THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR IS DEVALUATION. I'm not talking about inflation, the more a coinage or money devaluates, that's inflation, believe it or not. You're blowing up the balloon like the Green Paper Pig to a false value. But people gradually get the idea. Therefore their faith is gradually declining all the time in how much a dollar is worth, & in the past 50 years their faith has declined 1000% in the dollar!—Not 100%, but 1000%, 10 times as much! In other words, it's now only worth one-tenth of what they used to think it was worth & what it used to be worth.

16. SO WHEN PEOPLE REALISE HOW LITTLE IT'S WORTH, ALL THE MERCHANTS, FARMERS, MANUFACTURERS & EVERYBODY THAT HAS SOMETHING FOR SALE KEEP HIKING THE PRICES TO MAKE UP FOR THE DEVALUATION OF THE MONEY. They keep raising the prices. It used to be that a dime (10 cents) could buy a quart of milk, a gallon of gas, 25 pounds of ice or a loaf of bread. Then when they found out that the dollar really was not worth that much, they hiked the price on those items to where pretty soon you were paying 20 cents for a loaf of bread‚ 25 pounds of ice, a quart of milk & a gallon of gas. So the dollar had already deflated 100% when you paid $2 then for things that used to cost a dollar. That's called 100% deflation‚ devaluation, deflation in the value of the dollar.—Inflation in the prices & what you have to pay for things. So it seems like the dollar's blowing up like a balloon & you have to pay more & more for everything you buy, & now in 50 years you have to pay ten times as many dollars for things that you used to be able to buy for a dollar!


17. MARIA & I WERE REMARKING THE OTHER DAY ABOUT THE PRICE OF TENNIS SHOES. We were shocked on a video we were watching in which a guy was getting angry over $40 tennis shoes that they're making now with these fancy new brand names. Well‚ when I was a kid it was just good old Keds or Goodrich‚ & you could buy a cheap low-top pair like you see in the ads for 98 cents! And if you wanted the high-top popular form to protect your ankles too, that you had to lace all the way up, you could get them for $1.98!

18. JESUS SENT HIS DISCIPLES OUT THE FIRST TIME WITH NOTHING BUT THE CLOTHES ON THEIR BACK & THE SANDALS ON THEIR FEET, & when they came back He said, "Lacked ye anything?" They said, "No, Lord!" Everywhere they went they were supplied housing‚ meals, everything they needed. However, the next time He sent them out it was a little different story. The first time He told them, "Don't take any script with you." They even had some paper money then, think of that! "Don't take any swords with you‚ don't take any money with you, just take the clothes on your back." Next time He said, "Take money, take swords!" (Luk.22:35,36) Wow!

19. "DAD, I THOUGHT YOU WERE A PACIFIST!" Well, if you've read all my writings you know I'm not a strict pacifist. I believe in peace, I believe in love & sharing & being loving to your fellow man, but if somebody was attacking one of you, I don't think I'd be a pacifist! Jesus Himself said, "A strong man armed keepeth his goods in peace!" (Luk.11:21) And when He finally gave the final commission & sent the disciples out the last time, He said, "Take swords with you!" He knew they were going to need'm sometimes in self-defence.

20. WELL, DEAR PETER‚ HE TRIED, BUT IT WASN'T THE WILL OF GOD AT THAT TIME. He came close! He wasn't planning on just cutting off the High Priest's servant Malchus' ear, he was planning on cutting off his head! But he just missed. The Lord allowed him to miss or he'd have been in worse trouble. And then the Lord immediately healed it, a miracle, right there when He was being arrested. Think of that, He put his ear back or gave him a new one, I don't know which. What a miracle! What a testimony that must have been to those soldiers who were working for the High Priest! (Luk.22:50-52)

21. THE TEMPLE HAD ITS OWN ARMY, ITS OWN PRIVATE SECURITY FORCES, THE TEMPLE GUARD. They couldn't get the Romans to arrest Him, they couldn't get the Romans to do anything because they said, "He hasn't done anything wrong, nothing political that we care about, it's all a matter of your religion!" So the High Priest had to send his own goon squad out in the middle of the night to take Jesus.

22. AND OF COURSE PETER, BEING A ROUGH-&-TUMBLE BIG FISHERMAN, TOUGH GUY THAT HE WAS, IMPETUOUS‚ IMPULSIVE, LIKE SOME OF US, HE JUST PULLED OUT HIS SWORD & HE MEANT TO CHOP OFF MALCHUS' HEAD! But I'm sure it must have been the mercy of God, the Lord just let him chop off his ear. Then the Lord healed him & said, "Put up thy sword!" He didn't tell him to throw it away, but He said, "He that liveth by the sword shall die by the sword." (Mat.26:52) In other words, if you just go around killing people for a living, you're going to die the same way. Sooner or later somebody's going to kill you too! I often notice how many generals & officers die violent deaths, assassinated & whatnot. When I hear about it I wonder how many people they had killed. They're probably just getting their just deserts, what they dished out to other people.

23. WELL, HOW DID I GET ON THAT, ANYWAY? CAN YOU TRACE MY TRAIN OF THOUGHT? They call that a train of thought because you keep adding cars & going up sidetracks & pretty soon you forget what the main line was & what the train was supposed to be! (Fam: Prices of shoes.) Oh, thank you for reminding me! I often start stories & then I never even get'm finished. So please, if you remember something I started, one of those little dandelion paths that I went up that I didn't finish collecting all the dandelions, remind me to tell you.

24. WHEN I FIRST WENT TO LIVE WITH DEAR EXTRAVAGANT RACHEL, SHE WENT OUT TO BUY ME SOME CLOTHES, & WHEN SHE CAME BACK & TOLD ME SHE HAD PAID $30 FOR A PAIR OF SHOES, I NEARLY FLIPPED!—In fact, I nearly bit her head off! I tried to be grateful & thankful & sweet, but I said, "My goodness, Rachel, that's horrible, that's extravagant!" She said, "Well, that's reasonable, a lot of shoes cost $60 & $75!" I said, "What?!" I hadn't been shopping for many a year! She said, "Yes‚ of course, this is just an ordinary price for a pair of shoes‚ this is a reasonable pair of shoes." I said, "What do you mean? When I was a kid I always bought my shoes at the Thom McCann chain store, which were the cheapest shoes in town, but they were nice, highly polished, real genuine leather dress shoes with good thick soles & rubber heels, beautiful shoes"—just as beautiful as those $30 shoes she bought for me—"& we only paid $3 for a pair of shoes like this!"

25. YOU DON'T BELIEVE THAT THE DOLLAR HAS DEPRECIATED A THOUSAND PERCENT & IS ONLY WORTH A TENTH OF WHAT IT WAS?—THERE'S ANOTHER PROOF RIGHT THERE! Shoes that I used to pay $3 for‚ now cost $30!—And are considered cheap compared to the real fine shoes. Of course, in that day when I bought Thom McCann shoes, I didn't go to some of these fancy men's shops where you would have had to pay $7 to $10 for a fancy pair of shoes. But you could get good shoes, very good shoes‚ even better than Thom McCann's for $5. But Thom McCann's were good shoes. They didn't have as wide a variety of styles & blah blah, but they had good, reliable, dependable, wearable, lasting, nice‚ fine‚ polished leather shoes, just as nice as the ones that Rachel bought for me.—Even though she did me a disservice & bought'm too small! You know me about throwing anything away. Nowadays we can give things away‚ thank the Lord, but especially when she was around I hated not to wear those shoes to go out shopping or to town with them, but they were too tight & too small.

26. TWO OLD LADIES ONCE UPON A TIME SAID I HAD BEAUTIFUL FEET! Well, the Lord promised me beautiful feet! "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth glad tidings, that publisheth peace!" (Isa.52:7) PTL! I used to sing that song, a beautiful song! (Sings opera-style:) "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!"—One of those oratorical operatic masterpieces! I thought it was a beautiful song when I heard it in somebody's opera or oratorio, Handel or somebody, so I learned to sing it. I didn't realise at that time I was learning to sing about myself! You don't think you've got beautiful feet?—Well, the Lord does, if they're publishing peace!

27. SO HOW DID I GET ON THAT, ANYWAY?—A PAIR OF SHOES!—THE SAME SHOES WE USED TO BUY FOR $3 ARE NOW $30! The dollar has devalued, & that's right along with all the rest of the currency of all the other countries too, it's devalued the same way. I mean, they're all cheap as dirt! When you say "dirt cheap", what does that mean, children? Dirt is pretty cheap, isn't it? Most places in the World there's dirt all over the ground, & it's free! Although‚ I don't even know about dirt any more, maybe it's more expensive than it used to be. I know property is certainly worth a lot more than it used to be. It's unbelievable how the prices of houses have gone up!


28. WHEN I WAS A KID, YOU COULD BUY A MODEL-T FORD FOR TWO OR THREE OR FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS, WHEREAS THE AVERAGE CAR NOWADAYS, CHEAP CAR, IS $10,000, & A GOOD CAR, $25,000!—Not even a limousine, not even a Rolls Royce, forget'm! You have to pay $50,000, $100,000 for a limousine! But just a good BMW or a good Mercedes, considered sort of a middle-class good car, is $25,000.

29. I DON'T LIKE THOSE LITTLE TINY MINI FLIVVERS, THEY'RE NOT SAFE TO RIDE IN! I never did like to drive around in cars much anyhow!—Although I was a chauffeur. I was always thankful my Mother liked great big heavy cars, they were usually actual limos. They're a lot safer because they've got the weight. They weigh a ton to two tons, so if you hit somebody, you don't get the worst of it, they do. Thank God we never did!—Except the time I tangled with a bus in somebody else's little flivver whose brakes were bad & I didn't know it & they didn't warn us. That was the kind of tangle I don't like to make!

30. I'VE SEEN GREAT HUGE BUSES ROARING DOWN THE STREETS OF SOME CITIES AT AN INSANE RATE OF SPEED, BUT THEY DON'T CARE! They know if they hit anybody that the other guy's going to get the worst of it because they weigh several tons. Of course, if they tangle with another big truck or bus‚ then they've had it!


31. WELL, BACK ON THE CURRENCY & THE DEVALUATION!—But first let me finish about the houses. You could buy a fine house‚ brand-new, on a good big roomy lot‚ like maybe half-an–acre where the kids had lots of yard & plenty of room to play, for $5,000! Imagine my surprise when I went to buy a house in Miami 40 years later & found out that houses then cost $25,000!—Just an ordinary GI house that I could get on my GI loan for $200 down & $200 a month! I thought the payments were awful high, but since I didn't have much money & had been in the Army‚ I got the benefit of the GI loan‚ the government–issue loan for veterans of the war for only $200. So I had $200 & I figured that out of what I was making I could scrape together the $200 payments, which were just about the same as rent for any house like that which wasn't so new. So I went ahead & bought it. Well, they said it would take 40 years to pay it off & by that time I would have paid twice as much as it was worth. But I figured I probably wouldn't live 40 years anyhow & the Lord was coming anyway, so why worry about the 40 years? Well, I didn't even pay for it that long!

32. I THINK WE LIVED IN IT ABOUT TWO YEARS & WE MOVED—IN FACT THEY RAN US OUT OF TOWN, MIAMI, OVER THE EVOLUTION BUSINESS! I was about to run the teacher & the school board into prison because they were breaking State laws by using this book on evolution when the State law specifically stated that you could not use any book in the public schools that was not on the approved textbook list!—And this book was not! I had'm & they knew it!

33. BUT THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY ARGUED WITH ME WHEN I TRIED TO BRING CHARGES. He said, "Well now, Dave‚ you've got to remember when you go to a court of law & you've got a lawyer, you've got all kinds of definitions. What does this word 'use' mean, anyway? You can have lawyers arguing that they weren't 'using' the book in school! I said, "What do you mean? They made my son take this workbook & work in it & gave every student one of them, & they had to fill it out & answer all the questions & study it. What do you mean they weren't using it?" He said, "Well, they could argue that that wasn't being used like the approved textbooks, that that was a sort of an extra-curricular activity like a spare workbook or something." I said, "Well, they made him use it & refused to let him out of that class! They told me I couldn't take him out of class, I couldn't even take him out of the school!"

34. I TOLD THE PRINCIPAL & VICE-PRINCIPAL, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN? WHERE ARE WE? IS THIS RUSSIA? THAT'S WHAT THEY WOULD TELL ME OVER THERE, ISN'T IT?" They said, "No, no, it's just our curriculum requirements & our regular schedule policy & blah blah, that once he's signed up & started attending classes he cannot change classes until the end of the semester or the term." I said, "Do you mean I can't take my kid out of this & I can't transfer him someplace else?" "No, not if you're living within our school district!" You talk about a dictatorship! Whose kids are they in the United States? They don't belong to you, they belong to the U.S. government! They belong to the State government, they belong to the city! They tell'm what to do & what they can't do & who they belong to & they are their property!

35. SO I SAID THE MAGIC WORDS, I SAID, "WOW, THAT SOUNDS TO ME JUST LIKE RUSSIA! IF YOU DON'T LET HIM OUT OF THAT CLASS, I'M GOING TO GO TELL THE NEWSPAPERS ABOUT THIS!" That would have made a sensational story, huh? I was about to make it a sensation & eventually did anyhow. All of a sudden they got their heads together whispering & said, "Just a moment, we'll confer about this", & then they went in the next room. When they came back they said‚ "Well, we've never made this exception before, but your son is a rather exceptional case. And since it is a matter of religion & freedom of religion, as you say, this of course violates your religion, & the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Well, on that point I think maybe perhaps we could let him go—providing you don't tell anybody about it. If you agree not to tell the newspapers about it‚ we'll let him out, because we don't want all the other parents doing the same thing." So I agreed. I figured, "Oh well‚ so what? Let the other parents worry about their own kids, I've got mine out!"—And you've heard the rest of the story! (See #1548, "Attack!—Fight For Your Rights!") The Lord convicted me about it & finally I almost convicted the School Board!

36. BUT ANYWAY, I BOUGHT A HOUSE FOR $25,000 & I ONLY PAID $200 FOR IT & $200 A MONTH, BUT NOW IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, EQUIVALENT HOUSES ARE SELLING FOR $100,000! The average home costs $100,000 in the U.S.A. today. Of course I'll grant you, the wooden frame houses etc. of the old-fashioned days when I was a little kid or even 50 years ago were not as fancy as the average modern American home‚ even unfurnished. But you could live in'm & they were only $5,000 on a much bigger piece of property. That was the average American home of that day, $5,000! I've been reading in the newspaper, you have too in the WND, that the average American home today costs $100,000, & they're paying for it for the rest of their lives! They haven't got $100,000 so they're a slave to the mortgage for the rest of their lives. And the average rental or payments for such houses runs about $1000 a month now, think of that! Don't tell me the currency hasn't devalued or the dollar hasn't devalued!


37. AND OF COURSE I TOLD YOU THAT OLD JOKE ABOUT THE TWO LADIES AFTER WORLD WAR 1 WHEN THE GERMAN MARK DEVALUED UNTIL IT WAS GETTING WORTH SO LITTLE THAT THEY HAD TO PRINT BILLION-MARK BANK NOTES! The old joke—it's supposed to have really happened—was that the two ladies went down to buy their groceries & they had to have so many marks to pay for'm that they carried along their money in a laundry basket. But that wasn't the funniest part about it. The funniest part about it was that when they weren't looking, all of a sudden they turned around & the basket was gone, somebody had stolen it, but they left the money there! They dumped out the money & ran off with the basket, because the basket was worth more than the money!

38. THAT'S HOW THE GOVERNMENTS CHEAT & STEAL & ROB THE PEOPLE & THE POOR! They rob the rich too, but they give the rich so many concessions & tax breaks & loopholes & let'm have this & that & the other‚ that they're willing to be robbed a little bit!—As long as the government robs the poor & the middle man & the little fellow the most & lets him carry the biggest share of the burden in his tax slavery.

39. WELL, I HAD TO GO BACK OVER THE WHOLE HISTORY OF CURRENCY & MONEY & EXCHANGE BECAUSE WE WERE TALKING ABOUT DEVALUATION! Well, I had to explain! My first wife said, "Oh‚ Dave, why can't you just make it simple & short & talk about the subject? Why do you have to start in Genesis & go all the way to Revelation to prove your point? Why can't you just deal with what you're talking about & not give the whole World history?" Well, I don't know how else to do it! I'm like a lawyer making a case‚ I just have to deal with the whole thing. Well, I am a lawyer of the Word, amen? GBY!