0 votes

Review: Charles Goyette's 'The Dollar Meltdown'

by Michael Nystrom | November 9, 2009

I started collecting coins back in 1976, when I was just 8 years old. My interest was piqued when a kid brought an old Franklin half-dollar to school one day. I'd always liked the Kennedy halves since there were relatively rare, and getting one in change was a special event. But that Franklin half was something else entirely - like something from another planet! Even as a second-grader, I could tell there was something qualitatively different about it. It just felt different. It was heavier, and had a certain elegant dullness to its finish. It was dirty and worn around the edges in a way that made you think it was no stranger to work.

But in that glorious year of our nation's 200th birthday, America was far enough down its current slide into poverty that it no longer minted coins from silver. The government couldn't afford it any more. That practice had ended a dozen years earlier, and the silver that had circulated in America for hundreds of years had quietly disappeared. A silver coin was something entirely new - and exciting - to my eight-year-old eyes.

Franklin HalfIn retrospect, seeing that Franklin half was a life altering event. It got me interested in coins and money, got me started collecting, and provided me with an education that I otherwise would have missed completely in my public schooling. The old coins were elegant and beautiful. Through them I learned of art, economics, history and culture. At the same time, the new copper clad bicentennial coins were making their way into circulation. I wondered why the new coins were made of silver-colored copper sandwiches instead of real silver, and was told that "there wasn't enough" silver to go around. It was only much later that I learned the real reason - not that there isn't enough silver, but that the value of our money is being steadily eroded through inflation.

My education naturally allowed me to understand the language of Ron Paul, back when most others still thought he was a kook. It was through Dr. Paul that I began to understand the link between sound money and Liberty - another subject that was somehow missed in public school.

But something I've only recently been coming to grips with was hammered home this weekend as I read Charles Goyette's excellent new book The Dollar Meltdown. My entire life has been lived during a period of declining American living standards. The collective cultural mythology of 'the richest country in the world' has been so blinding that until recently, I had failed to acknowledge this simple fact.

The Dollar Meltdown puts America's decline it into a sweeping context that makes our collective outcome impossible to ignore: Plunging living standards, a steadily eroding currency and massive inflation in a nation that has lost its industrial base. If you think things are bad now, they're only going to get worse. To quote Goyette: (p.9)

Gold's recent advances signal that we are in a period of major transition now. The American dollar's role as the world's reserve currency is inherently unstable and the signs of a breakdown are all around. Just as the monetary authorities have been unable to reinflate the high-tech bubble or the real estate bubble, when the dollar bubble is finally burst, no other paper currency will be able to take its place.

This is not just gloom and doom. It is a reflection of the simple fact that actions have consequences. Because consequences are often delayed, this is a fact that has remained hidden in plain sight, though more and more are starting to realize it. Intuitively, we feel it - that things are coming apart at the seams. For those of us who still have homes, and jobs, we hope against hope that things will somehow get better. But it is becoming ever more apparent that we've reached a turning point for the US economy and the dollar as we know it.

Goyette begins his book with a story about a caller to his radio show -- Jim in Scottsdale -- who finally connected the dots in late spring of 2008. With his epiphany he took action and completely sold out of the stock market, putting all of his money into gold.

To the 'cultured' and 'educated' members of our society - those who were indoctrinated anywhere from the finest public schools to Ivy League institutions - the notion of doing such a thing must have sounded completely preposterous. After all, in June of 2008 the Dow still wasn't far from its all time high. We had the finest paper currency that money could buy. In fact, we had the world's reserve standard, thank you very much, not to mention an ample supply - nay an unlimited supply - of the 'safest' risk free investments in the world - US Treasury Bonds.

Why would anyone want that barbaric relic gold?

Today, as gold crosses $1,100 per ounce, and the dollar's reserve status is in question, Jim in Scottsdale looks pretty smart, and there is a reason for that. The hour is getting late for our once great nation, which was built and prospered on the solid foundations of Liberty, sound money and limited government. To the indoctrinated masses, these words may also sound quaint and trite, relics of a long bygone era. Because of the current widespread ignorance and disrespect for our foundational principles, further collapse is practically inevitable. Goyette writes (p.143-4): "With the citizenry's willingness to go along with a costly and unnecessary war, and the growing fiscal recklessness of the Republicans and Democrats, it has become apparent that the opportunity for collective action to avert the most serious economic episode in the U.S. since the Great Depression has passed."

Sound money is gone. As government grows, Liberty shrinks. "America is transforming itself," writes Goyette, "without forethought, debate, or pause into a command economy." (p.121)

Didn't we learn in the 20th century that command economies don't work? Apparently we have to learn it again. Our government has already taken over the former pillars of the US economy: Auto manufacturing, banking, finance, insurance and mortgage companies. It was done illegally with money created by fiat, and there is only one-way out for our now rogue state: Inflate or die. "There is no evidence that US officials have any plan other than inflation to deal with real-world economic circumstances that are already underway," writes Goyette. (p.113-4)

And he is quite blunt in his prognosis: The days of hoping to catch a ride on trendy fad investments are long over. Now is the time to hunker down and get back to basics and choose investments that will survive the inevitable inflation. Part IV of his book is appropriately titled, "What To Do." In it, Goyette explains alternative investments that should remain strong in the face of howling inflation, and gives readers tools to maintain the value of their savings and take advantage of inevitable future opportunities.

The following passage near the end of the book (p.231) poignantly summarizes America's journey though the designs on our coinage:
America's earliest coins portrayed Liberty. Not rulers and politicians. Just Liberty. A symbolic representation of the country's highest ideal. In the beginning, Americans had an affair of the heart with Liberty. She was their muse and they were aflame in their love for her. They talked about her everywhere, in their churches and taverns and town squares.

Walking Liberty HalfBut she hasn't appeared on our circulation coinage for more than sixty years, not since the beautiful "Walking Liberty" half-dollar. It represented Liberty striding gracefully into the rising sun of the future, arm extended in peace and carrying a bounty of riches. It was a beautiful representation, because abundance accompanies Liberty wherever she goes. Our devotion would be no less if it were not true, but it is one of her secrets: Liberty creates prosperity.
It was the above passage that began me on my reverie of my how my childhood coin collecting hobby began, and what it continues to teach me.

Goyette continues:
Today's coinage, looking each year more like subway tokens, celebrate the state. Just as words replace deeds and paper substitutes for gold, politicians have displaced ideals. The American state, which was created to serve Liberty, is now commemorated instead.
US Half Dollars

Note that our current half dollar not only portrays a politician on its obverse, it features the Seal of the President on its reverse!

Here is the history of our country, in three coins spanning less than 100 years. America's ongoing slide into poverty has coincided with our loss of Liberty - economic, civil and social. The more the state attempts to control the people, the more Liberty is lost. Poverty creeps in until it becomes a rushing torrent. The reason that our Constitution makes nothing but silver and gold legal tender is to prevent the government from running its printing presses out of control, creating money by fiat while devaluing the existing money stock, as it is doing now.

I find it interesting that these lessons can be learned intuitively simply through the study of money. Ron Paul mentions having been fascinated by coins at early age in his recent bestseller, End the Fed. Goyette also talks of learning the lesson in the mid-1960s when his father started sorting out and keeping the silver coins, while spending the new copper clad ones back into circulation. It is an act so intuitively common that it has been practiced by millions of individuals over thousands of years and codified in Gresham's law: Bad money drives out good. Goyette writes (p.141), "I quickly learned that the value of the coins comes not from the name of the issuing government, the images represented, the face values inscribed, or even the stirring mottoes themselves."

Like Ron Paul and Charles Goyette, I was lucky to have started my monetary education early, through coin collecting, which led to a lifelong interest in money and the economy. Most people don't get this education - certainly not in public school system - and now is the time to catch up.

Charles Goyette has written a marvelous book, a comprehensive, guide to what happened, what is likely to happen, and what to do about it to protect yourself. It speaks to the very roots of our crisis in a non-partisan way. This education is invaluable in understanding what you can do to protect yourself and your family from its inevitable effects.


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Michael Nystrom's picture

The Dollar Collapse Hit #1

In Amazon's Investing category

Way to go Charles.

He's the man.

Interview with Amero and State Quarter designer Daniel Carr

10 Part Interview~ Alan Abbadessa interview with Daniel Carr 2007. Daniel talks about the coin design process, gives insights into US Treasury policy and meetings, historical anecdotes, his experiences as an artist, and the full story behind the Amero and his stance on the North American Union. This is an interesting listen for coin collectors, conspiracy researchers, gold-bugs, and anyone who still hasn't figured out why we're in a financial and constitutional crisis.

Interview: ( lots of coin pics included!)

*Alan ( a fellow DP'er) is also writing a new book! A futuristic tale with inspiration from the R3volution ...sort of a blend of They Live, Animal Farm, and 1984

Look At All The Happy Creatures~ (Chapters 1-6 available)

"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies." ~ Chris Floyd

"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies." ~ Chris Floyd

unfair advantage?

Over the past season working as a cash handler at Kings Island, I managed to extract face value of $2.80 of US silver coinage. Plus a handful of odd wheats and indians. In a mix of the 90% standard coins and the 35% war issue five cent pieces, I picked up a little over two ounces of silver for under three bucks. It amazes me what people will still circulate. Whenever I see (or hear) silver in circulation it just jumps right up and slaps me in the head.

The Freedom Formula: Au + Ag + Cu + Pb

dynamite anthrax supreme court white house tea party jihad
West of 89
a novel of another america

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thank you

Wonderful to hear the thoughts of other coin collectors.

My article was cross posted at several of my favorite sites:






Financial Sense:

He's the man.
Michael Nystrom's picture

Thanks to the internet's

Thanks to the internet's financial freedom network, where much of my education was acquired.

He's the man.

Wonderful review, Michael...

The account of your personal memories was especially poignant. Isn't it amazing how much of our nation's history is reflected in the devolution of our coinage? Thank you for writing this article.

An idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it.

Natural Law and Natural Rights


The Virtual Conspiracy

what an informative

what an informative interview. thank you for bringing it to our attention. my grandfather was a type setter for a local newspaper which i think gave him part of his negative perspective on printed paper money. in the 50s he gave me his collection of indian head pennies and my grandmother gave me a some coin books to fill with wheat back pennies and buffalo nickels. for good luck, my dad carried around two silver dollars in his pocket for decades. when he passed my brother and i each ended up with one and they are so solid and heavy. the coins of today definitely have an almost plastic look and feel to them.

Great article Michael

I had the same experiences with coinage. It always fascinated me to find old coins and save them. I'd forgotten about it till gold and silver started to go up in value and I was shocked at the lack of value in the materials our coins are made from now. If you can find real silver coins their material value far exceeds their stamped value. That really hit home when copper spiked.

Just one last kick in the nuts, then a final deathblow

The show was great tonight, but I just wish he would have...

addressed the consequences of another government gold recall (as in 1933).

He mentioned the Communist FDR recalling gold but what about another one today?

How many would turn in their gold?

How many bank deposit boxes would require a federal agent to be with you if you wanted to open it to access YOUR OWN PROPERTY? (as in 1933).

And of course what will be the penalty if caught owning gold???

Would it be better to own NON-American government gold which may not be recallable (like Canadian Maple Leafs)?

AND THE BIG ONE...HOW MUCH would the government give us for any gold we turn in...maybe just $50.00 like it says on the face of each 1 ounce American Eagle gold bullion coins???

These questions cry out for answers.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

Collector coins were exempt from confiscation.

If a coin collector is worried about another 1933's type American Gold confiscation, they might just do some research on numismatic coins.

I bought some 1/10th ounce 24 kt Gold Pandas in the late 90's for about $30.00 U.S. per coin.

They now are selling for $160.00 to $450.00 per coin, and going up in dollar value as the price of Gold rises and the value of the dollar slides downward.


I recommend extensive research first:


Thank you Michael for that great article, yes I also started collecting coins at about 10 years old because of a door to door newspaper route I inherited from my older sister, long ago. Newspapers were 5 cents a piece, in those days delivered to your door....( : } )


I remember my mother explaining Silver Certificates

She showed me a a dollar bill--a silver certificate--and told me why it should not be spent. That it could be taken to the bank and exchanged for silver. It must have been near the time they started removing the silver . . . because I think she showed me a FRN at the same time.

Of course I didn't pay a whole lot of attention (except that I still have silver certificates) and didn't really understand, even when I found the box of hoarded silver coins after she died. And then I read Whatever Happened to Penny Candy, leaned about Ron Paul and haven't looked back. I usually carry silver in my pocket, a Walking Liberty sometimes, sometimes a JFK half dollar, sometimes a quarter. I love watching young eyes pop when I show them a silver quarter and explain its value is still roughly equivalent to a gallon of gasoline, just like when it was minted.

Thanks for this review, Michael. I know we all hope against all reason that we won't have to use these coins we have hoarded or acquired.

Phil. 4:13

I have been saving my

I have been saving my pennies for over 25 years. I put them into an old pickle jar. Over the years you can see how the "bus tokens" have changed. My old pickle jar is now almost full and at the top the coins are mostly shiny new pennies not worth a damn. My antique pickle jar is worth more than the worthless coins it is holding!

You Judge A Tree By It's Fruit, NOT its Flower

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown

very interesting...

i started collecting wheatbacks around 40 years ago. from there i started collecting other coins. i always check my change and got another wheatback a few days ago. heh heh.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Me too

Every now and again you see them. I always check my change, too.

I found this new penny the other day - have you seen it yet?

It was kind of shocking. So artificially shiny. Goyette is right that the coins look more and more like tokens each year.

He's the man.

yes! only once in just the past week...

my wife and i just went on vacation to PA and visited the mint in philadelphia. i couldn't get myself to visit the federal reserve though. the new coins seem like just a novelty; but, they just don't carry themselves like the older coins or like silver and gold coins.

Excellent post Mr.

Excellent post Mr. Nystrom... whatever the outcome, inflation/deflation, you have to prepare..

A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 22:3

A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 22:3
Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to
send peace on earth: I came not to send peace,
but a sword.

I too learned of the history of money

by first collecting Walking Liberties and then Ben Franklins back in the late 60's. Can't wait for Coast to Coast this evening. Thanks for the wonderful book review.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Thank you

It seems that there is a secret tribe of us.


He's the man.