Fed News Friday: Fort Worth Man Gets 80 Years for Counterfeiting, Something The Federal Reserve Does Every Day

November 25th, 2011



“But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply… See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”

-Frederic Bastiat, French political economist


CBS News reports:

“A Fort Worth man has been sentenced to 80 years in prison for trying to buy movie theater hot dogs with counterfeit cash.

Charles Cleveland Nowden was sentenced Friday, two days after being convicted of forgery.

Two years ago Nowden used a fake $20 bill when trying to buy hot dogs, popcorn and soft drinks at a Mansfield movie theater.”

80 years. The man gets 80 years for creating money out of thin air, which is essentially a life sentence. I’m only 24, and it would probably be a life sentence for me. This is the second harshest penalty a man can get in Texas. The only thing left after life in prison is the death penalty, and in many states, they don’t even use the death penalty, so this man is getting the strictest possible punishment that you can get in many U.S. states. There are criminals who rape and murder that don’t get so harsh a penalty. And this man wasn’t even charged with running some elaborate multimillion dollar counterfeiting operation. His crime was using a fake $20 bill to buy a hot dog and some popcorn, and police found another $120 in fake bills on him.

Now what kind of punishment should the Federal Reserve Bank get for doing the exact same thing that this man did, only on an order of magnitude astronomically greater? If this man deserves the very harshest criminal penalty possible in many states for defrauding others by creating $140 out of nothing but paper and ink, what should we do with the men and women who have created trillions on top of trillions of dollars to loan out and launder into the economy via the big banks of the finance industry? How is what they are doing less dishonest, less abusive of the money supply, or any different at all from the actions of this Forth Worth man– other than the much greater scale of their fraud?

Why is counterfeiting illegal in the first place? Because it’s a form of fraud and a form of theft. Every bill you create in bad faith, which doesn’t actually represent the creation of real goods and services, real value that has improved life by directing resources to their most productive uses, is a lie and an appropriation of value from the rest of the world, which gives the counterfeiter goods and services in exchange for nothing, because he or she did not actually create anything of value in return. The Forth Worth man got a hot dog and popcorn without contributing anything of actual value in exchange. He created nothing that raised the real level of wealth in the world. He might as well have just shoplifted the popcorn.

How are the actions of the Federal Reserve any different? They’re not. They’re just much, much worse. The Fed creates absolutely nothing. It does not produce a single grain of wheat to feed people, a single drop of oil to power the engines of an industrial economy, nor a single ingot of metal from the ground to build the products and buildings that improve our lives. Like the Fort Worth man, the Federal Reserve simply takes from the economy without providing anything of actual value in return, just ink on paper or electronic zeroes in bank accounts–numbers on a screen. The Federal Reserve then hands out what it takes from the rest of us to its well-connected friends in the finance industry.

As Frederic Bastiat pointed out centuries ago, the real tell is the fact that the Federal Reserve does something that a citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Any time that is the case, the privileged entity is not a lawful and productive element of society, but an instrument of institutionalized plunder in a legal system turned on its head because it helps some citizens to steal from others instead of protecting all citizens from theft and fraud. Another tell is that the Fed carries out these acts in secret and out of the public eye, just like any criminal who steals and plunders under the cover of night.

It is long past time for America to audit and then end the Fed!

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About the Author: Wes

Wesley Messamore, 24, is an independent journalist and political activist who believes in the Founding Father's vision of a free, enlightened, and moral America. He also blogs at HumbleLibertarian.com