If politicians are finally catching on, that means things are looking particularly ugly.
Lawmakers in Virginia say they want to keep their options open in case the value of the U.S. dollar ever collapses — so they’re considering minting state coinage.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that a proposal to study the effectiveness of such a plan “sailed through” the state’s lower house this week:
The idea that Virginia should consider issuing its own money was dismissed as just another quixotic quest by one of the most conservative members of the state legislature when [Virginia Del. Robert G.] Marshall introduced it three years ago. But it has since gained traction not only in Virginia, but also in states across the country as Americans have grown increasingly suspicious of the institutions entrusted with safeguarding the economy.
This week, the proposal by the Prince William Republican sailed through the House of Delegates with a two-to-one majority.
“This is a serious study about a serious topic,” Marshall said Tuesday. “We’re not completely powerless.”
So far, only Utah has approved a law recognizing nontraditional currency. Four other states have bills pending this year. Marshall said he is unsure of his proposal’s prospects in the Virginia Senate. One Democrat derided it as a descent into “la-la land.”
But the fact that the debate is happening at all reflects a deep-seated distrust in the very foundation of the country’s economic system — the dollar.