“A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight.” (Proverbs 11:1)
Have you ever heard this Proverb? If so, have you ever wondered what it meant? Is the balance just a metaphor for the scale in the hands of blind “Lady Justice”? Perhaps. But closer study reveals something quite simple: the Proverb is actually quite literal, and means exactly what it says.
So what is it saying when it refers to a “false balance” and a “just weight”?
In short, this was the method by which many in ancient days paid for goods, services, and taxes, because in those days, money was entirely coins made of various metals, some silver, some gold, some bronze, some copper, etc. Regardless, two things were clear upon physical examination with the eyes and a scale: the metal of which the coin was made, and the amount of the metal present (determined by its weight). So the Proverb, in the literal sense, is all about money.
The subject of money is far too vast to cover in one blog post, and certainly so when the goal is to expand on principles found both in the Bible, and the writings of the American Founders. But this Proverb, far from teaching us about long-lost ancient methods of money counting is in fact teaching us about a fundamental principle of money in general, and one which in the 21st century world we have completely forgotten, and which doesn’t even play a role in our banking system any longer: money has an objective value, not the value one man or a small group of men arbitrarily places on it. In other words, it has an “objective” value because the society, or the market, have agreed on a set value for a set denomination of coin. In the early days of the United States, this was accomplished by defining a “dollar” as a set amount of gold or silver, an amount that did not change, and which, if altered, could legally result in the death penalty. So objective money has a value that is the same today as yesterday, and tomorrow it will be the same as today. “But God never said an ounce of gold was worth a certain amount of money?” You are correct, but He did say that the concept of money is something which, when put in the “scales” could be measured in truth and justice. In other words, the God of this universe has said He loves honest money, and money can only be honest when its value is known, accepted, and not secretly altered for private gain. Honest money, at the end of the day, is inseparable from honest labor, honest business, and an honest society.
So in the ancient days, what would people do with this money and the scales used to measure it to make them “false”? Well, many things, but for our purposes, I will highlight the two most important ones. First, the person having his coins weighed could do what is called “coin-clipping,” by which he would clip just a small portion of the coins off (meant to be imperceptible to the one weighing the coins), and then take all the clippings, melt them down, and have “more” of the precious metal. In other words, it would be like someone hopping on their computer, and printing more dollar bills without anyone ever knowing. The officials of the Roman Empire famously did this in order to “add” to the treasury of Rome (although the people eventually caught on to their schemes, and the economic results were disastrous). While it no longer matters (because our coins are no longer made of precious metals as they used to be), you will notice a series of ridges on the edge of our coins. These ridges were put in place to avoid coin-clipping, so that if the coin was clipped, it would be immediately obvious. Second, the person who had the scale could alter it in such a way as to make the supposed weight of the coins in question less than they in fact were, thus increasing the amount of coins that the person needed to give him (to enrich himself, or the government on behalf of whom he was collecting the coins). Is any of this beginning to sound familiar?
What is happening in both of these scenarios is simple: the value of the coin, something which is supposed to be objective (honest/agreed upon), and not up to the arbitrary power of any man to change, was changed for selfish and greedy purposes. The money which was meant to be honest was made dishonest by virtue of its value having been changed, while at the same time pretending as if it had not. There is only one word for this: a LIE.
Unfortunately, this lie has become the basis of our entire financial system. Again, the subject is too complex (and interesting) to cover in one blog post, but here is a simple question that every American must ask: Why is the dollar valuable? Why is a piece of paper so valuable that when you take it from you pocket to give to the store clerk, he accepts it as payment for the goods you purchased? The simple truth is simply because the government says so. We have what is called a fiat currency, “fiat” meaning that which exists merely by the will of another. But what is the implication of that? It is that it can cease to exist by the same will by which it exists.
But is that money? When you work hard to provide for your family, to feed your children, to house and to clothe them, and to hopefully provide for them a measure of security, did you know that you are earning units of a currency (the dollar) whose value constantly changes according to what a small group of men and women at the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC say it should be? And how do they determine that value? By changing the amount of valueless “dollars” in circulation in our economy, a process which we can be certain that truth and justice plays little role in. But how can this be? When your “money” is worthless paper, what would happen if you, your clients, or your friends, needed more of it, and your just printed it for them? Do you have that power? Is there an objective market price, or a legally established value price for this money? Is the value in any way dependent on the will of the people it is supposedly for? Is it based on anything besides what a small, out-of-the-public-eye group of unelected, and thus unaccountable people say it should be? The answer to all of these is NO. This is the modern version of “coin clipping” and “false weights”: the dollar you earned yesterday will not have the same value tomorrow, but instead of it being the exception, it is now the accepted system of the United States, and the vast majority of the nations of the earth.
Don’t believe me? Consider this:
If you had $10,000 saved in your bank account in the year 2000, do you know what that hard earned money, the blood, sweat, and tears of your labor would be worth TODAY, July 30, 2013 according to our very own Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics)? $7,374.61. That’s a reduction in nominal value of $2,625.39, which means that you would need $12.2625.39 in today’s money to equal the $10,000 you originally saved. But did the amount of work to earn that $10,000 change? Is there a time machine that somehow reduced the amount of work you did, thus reducing the value of the dollars you earned? Of course not. So what has happened? THIS IS A REDUCTION IN THE VALUE OF YOUR MONEY BY 26.25%. That means that in a mere 13 years, your money has lost over a quarter of its value, which means you have been robbed of over a quarter of the hard work it took you to earn that money in the first place. It is as if it NEVER HAPPENED. Men without time machines have somehow robbed you of that which you can never get back: your time, and the hard, productive labor which you used it for to provide for you and your family. This is modern-day theft. This is modern-day coin-clipping.
So here is the question: WHERE DID ALL THE CLIPPINGS GO?
That is the subject of another post, but a short answer would simply be this: when our monetary system is controlled by a legally instituted (but highly unconstitutional), PRIVATE MONOPOLY on “money” creation (the Federal Reserve), and they can create or destroy as little as they please, two fundamental problems exist: First, that is too much power for any man, or group of men. Second, it is a fundamentally dishonest financial system that REQUIRES perpetual debt and slavery, for this printed money that only has (subjective) value because the monopoly which printed it and the government which protects it said so is lent to the government, to banks, etc. AT INTEREST, and thus can never be repaid, because the money itself always costs, and is bestowed only because it will be redeemed by its printer at interest. Think of all the things that could go wrong if someone had the power to create money out of thin air (called “digitizing” today), whenever they needed/wanted to, supposedly for “everyone else,” and then charge everyone else INTEREST to use that money, and then consider why you as an American have not been educated about this system of fraud, nor about what our Founders had to say about it, which was vehement and devastating.
This turn of events is not only a lie, but it is a spit in the face of justice, for more than any other, it deprives by ever encroaching degrees, and with ever increasing ferocity, the working man and woman’s ability to earn an honest and secure living for their families. Those who have the least recourse for their financial woes are those who are most at the mercy of such a corrupt system. We as Christians need to know what God’s Word says on this subject, and we as Americans need to know what our Founders said about it as well.
Another blog post will focus on how clearly the Founders saw this coming, but for the time being, think about these two quotes from Thomas Jefferson in his comments to then President Washington about the institution of a bank for the United States, which had the power to emit paper currency (not nearly as comprehensively as today, but nonetheless in a destructive manner):
“[I believe] That all the capital employed in paper speculation is barren and useless, producing, like that on a gaming table, no accession to itself, and is withdrawn from commerce and agriculture where it would have produced addition to the common mass; that it nourishes in our citizens habits of vice and idleness instead of industry and morality; that it has furnished effectual means of corrupting such a portion of the legislature as turns the balance between the honest voters whichever way it is directed; that this corrupt squadron, deciding the voice of the legislature, have manifested their dispositions to get rid of the limitations imposed by the Constitution on the general legislature [Congress], limitations on the faith of which the states acceded to that instrument…Of all the mischiefs objected to the system of measures before mentioned, none is so afflicting and fatal to every honest hope as the corruption of the legislature.” (Thomas Jefferson to George Washington; May 23, 1792)
“This exactly marks the difference between Colonel Hamilton’s views and mine: that I would wish the debt paid tomorrow, he wishes it never be paid, but always to be a thing where with to corrupt and manage the legislature.” (Thomas Jefferson to George Washington; September 9, 1792)
In closing, Mr. John Adams:
“All the perplexities, confusions, and distresses in America arise not from defects in their constitution or confederation, not from a want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.” (John Adams to Thomas Jefferson; August 23, 1787)
The difference between RIGHTEOUS and EVIL money is in our hands.
How now shall we live?