Economics/Class Relations

“Sound Money Is Making a Comeback”

Stefan Gleason, President of Money Metals Exchange and Director of the Sound Money Defense League, joins The Gold Newsletter Podcast to discuss sound money, state legislation, and cryptocurrencies.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUQ4nfT_iZg

Gold Newsletter website: https://goldnewsletter.com/podcast/sound-money-is-making-a-comeback/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GoldNewsletter/status/1488265706990886918?s=20&t=-5Kgyc0Br4TCOM3tqmkrug

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/gold-newsletter_sound-money-is-making-a-comeback-gold-newsletter-activity-6894030307121844224-JAJ_

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TRANSCRIPT:

Fergus Hodgson:

This is the Gold Newsletter Podcast. Fergus Hodgson, your host. Thank you for tuning in. And if you would like more on mining, metals, the broader economy, please do consider subscribing on whatever platform you’re listening on, be that BitChute, SoundCloud, YouTube, wherever you happen to be. And we have the director of the Sound Money Defense League today, Stefan Gleason, he’s also the CEO and president of Money Metals Exchange. So if you want to know anything about sound money, precious metals, Stefan is your man. So thank you for joining us today.

Stefan Gleason:

Thanks, Fergus. It’s great to be on your podcast. I’ve been listening to your podcast for at least a year, if not longer, when I’m out running on the trails. So it’s nice to meet you face to face and actually speak to you and your listeners.

Fergus Hodgson:

Great, mate. I’m fortunate to meet lots of fascinating people who are doing the best they can while being proactive about seeking to, in your case, establish sound money. Now I’ve been following, let’s say, the problems with central banks for 20 odd years now. And do you think we’re closer now than we were 20 years ago to actually getting out of the central banking system?

Stefan Gleason:

I do. Because, I mean, there’s been just more and more problems coming to light starting with the 2008 crisis and then over the last several years. And I think there’s been a reawakening on the sound money issue as a result of that. You saw that with the Ron Paul Revolution and the actual discussion around the Federal Reserve System and the dollar and all those issues that were really big issues a hundred years ago. Some of the most dominant issues in politics in public policy in the US were the debate over sound money, the gold standard, the bimetallic standard. And with the Federal Reserve coming into play, over a hundred years ago, a lot of these discussions kind of went away. Particularly, after The Great Depression when they tried to discredit the gold standard and move full on into keynesian economics.

Stefan Gleason:

But I think we are in a better position. Part of it is because we’re in a worse position where things are kind of coming off the rails in the financial system. I think that’s becoming more evident, but at the same time, we’re seeing more discussion about sound money, the Federal Reserve, the role of precious metals. And of course, you’re seeing an explosion in other currencies coming to fore with crypto. So I think all of that is positive, even though I think, ultimately, we’re going to see a lot worse of a situation before we really have the opportunity to reimpose some form of sound money.

Fergus Hodgson:

Well, that’s my key question that I’d like to explore with you today, how we can make that path right. Of course, not only, let’s say, is there more awareness now than there was 20 years ago, but there’s also more technology at our fingertips.

Stefan Gleason:

Right.

Fergus Hodgson:

Do you foresee… I mean, there doesn’t have to be one path, but will private currencies go the cryptocurrency route or do you really believe that gold and silver will have an important role to play?

Stefan Gleason:

Well, gold and silver have the tangible aspect that a lot of cryptos don’t. And I know you can have a link between cryptos and actual physical metal. And there is a value in all these cryptocurrencies, there’s utility around them… Not all of them, but many of them. So I think they all play a role. Gold and silver have a history. They have their money, they’re considered money, they’re held as money, they’re a reserve asset on bank balance sheets. They don’t talk about it as money, but they know it’s money. And in fact, it may be part of the… It is part of the solution to the problem down the road to remonetize gold at a much higher price. It’s actually part of the solution to bring solvency back into the system.

Stefan Gleason:

But I think all of these things are working together to give people more options in a free market to choose a currency in a payment medium. Of course, governments are pressing on that. The IRS and other governments around the world are really trying to get into the business and trying to regulate that, trying to tax it. It seems like it’s taken on a life of its own. And I think they may not be successful as much as they’ll try, but I think all of these things are complimentary and it’s really about a non-government currency. And people should have that ability to choose and let the free market decide what the best currency is or the best currencies.

Fergus Hodgson:

Yeah. No, I agree. We don’t really dictating what the proper currency must be and whether it has to be coins or some kind of 100% backed representation. Right now though, of course, and I try to pay people in cryptocurrencies and it’s been an uphill task. An uphill path. So what are the most promising shoots of hope or promising news tidbits of late that suggests we’re actually making progress towards escaping the central bank fear currency system? And like you said, it seems like it can be one step forward, two steps back because, of course, the central bank digital currency development, it’s a specter, right? It’s looming, and not in a positive sense.

Stefan Gleason:

Well, I think you can look, first of all, just the number of people that are owning gold and silver, for example. I mean, there’s been a very, very big increase in that in the last two or three years. Really, the last 15. There was a huge wave of it around 2008 to 2013. Kind of simmered down for a few years. But basically, since 2019 and certainly when the pandemic hit in 2020, the number of people that got involved in precious metals has gone up multiples across the globe. And so I think that’s one positive thing. I agree with you on the technology and on the cryptos and making payment. And that’s even the case with gold and silver. I mean, I don’t personally have a desire to make payment currently in gold and silver or even crypto because although I’m not a huge crypto person, I would rather just hold that. There are other more convenient ways to make payment.

Stefan Gleason:

It usually means in Federal Reserve denominated financial transactions, but I don’t save in those things. I don’t hold large amounts of Federal Reserve dollars because that’s not a good store value, but it’s a convenient payment mechanism currently. And I do think that on the crypto side, there’s definitely a lot of progress that needs to be made in terms of the enabling of these technologies to be more practical and understandable. I mean, I know just kind of thinking about the whole wallets and treasure and all the different things. It’s very scary. It’s kind of clunky. Obviously, tech savvy people can handle it, but in terms of the common person, it’s a long way before that kind of technology is really comfortable for people. And I think that will develop over time, but I think that’s one of the problems right now.

Fergus Hodgson:

Yeah. So we’re going through these teething pains, even though people want, they want an alternative, we see inflation. And maybe you were right about the fact that the alternative is almost benefiting from the found or the poor performance of the status quo, because I always think of other countries that struggle with inflation and what do they do? They dollarize, right? They start to use the US dollar. But what happens when the US dollar goes under?

Stefan Gleason:

Well, and that’s the thing.

Fergus Hodgson:

What do you do then?

Stefan Gleason:

Right, right. It’s Gresham’s law, the bad money forces out the good money. So the good money goes into hoards, private hoards, or they’re just not used as circulating payment media necessarily, but there may be a point where that’s necessary. And to have these alternative mechanisms in place, have people have precious metals in their home safe or stored somewhere, both in small denomination, large denomination to have crypto access and the ability to make payments that way if things really start to go off the rails. And like you said, in Venezuela, the US dollar all of a sudden became the hard money. I mean, that’s kind of the worst case scenario is that the US dollar system falls apart and you have to go to something else. But that could happen.

Stefan Gleason:

I mean, I think that they’re trying to manage that and basically just paper over the problems by continual devaluation. Slow, but steady devaluation. And prevent that total route. But maybe they won’t be successful and it will be a rocky transition for people, but I think we’re better prepared for that today than 20 years ago. Way better. Like you said, people are more informed, there’s more technology, and there’s also more actual alternatives than there were.

Fergus Hodgson:

Yeah. I mean, I’ve read The Creature From Jekyll Island. I mean, like I said, I’ve been following this for a long time and if someone hasn’t read that book, please do. But aside from holding precious metals, physical precious metals, what can people do to facilitate this peaceful transition, right? This peaceful transition away from fear currencies to private money. And do you see any cryptocurrencies that you like the look of? You said you’re not that much a fan of them. Why not?

Stefan Gleason:

Well, it’s mainly because I don’t see the business case yet. I mean, I’m looking at it partly as a retailer. And we do accept Bitcoin and many other cryptos on our website. Very few people use them. We’re happy. We’re one of the few that will directly accept it and we’ll directly pay it. If people sell us gold, we will directly pay you Bitcoin cash. I’ve been to some of these conferences, I’ve seen there’s a tremendous amount of speculative fever. There’s very little discussion about how to make this practical. It’s all about the next big ICO. To me, it’s just very, very, very early. And so I think there’s real value there, and I’m in favor of it as an alternative. And I think that the market will hopefully be allowed to let that develop. But it doesn’t have the credibility yet, I think, that precious metals have. But, again, they coexist and there is some overlap between our customers for precious metals and people that buy or are involved in crypto.

Stefan Gleason:

But it’s not a huge overlap. And I think part of it is because the reason that people buy gold and silver, typically, is because they don’t trust having any other counterparties or third parties or not having their actual assets in their possession. And they’re not necessarily technology savvy people. And there’s a trust involved in having that technology sort of be the barrier between you and your money. And so a lot of folks are not interested who are precious metals people because they want to hold and know they have the actual payment medium and money in and of itself in their hands. But they have the same philosophy though. And that’s where there’s a lot of consistency between the two. And that is that they’re in favor of limited government and government, or freedom of action with respect to money. And it’s the same kind of people, maybe a little bit more libertarian leading in general than the general public on both fronts. And I think it’s a positive thing, but it’s definitely a different group of people about 85% of the time between the two.

Speaker 5:

The Gold Newsletter is proudly sponsored by Inventa Capital Corporation. A venture capital advisory firm dedicated to the acquisition and development of assets in the natural resource sector. Today, Inventa is one of the premier mining groups with a first rate portfolio of companies and a world class team.

Fergus Hodgson:

This is the inventor mining update on the Gold Newsletter Podcast. I’m pleased to have Mike Konnert. He is the CEO of Vizsla Silver Corp. That’s Vizslasilvercorp.ca. Now I know that’s a little bit awkward spelling. So I would like the editor to put that up there in the video and we’ll also have it in the show notes. The ticker is VZLA, that’s on the TSX Venture and on the New York Stock Exchange American. So Michael, welcome to the show. I see on your website you’ve got plenty of action going. Do you want to talk about what it means to now be on the American Exchange?

Mike Konnert:

Yeah, absolutely. So that was a huge amount of work from our team to be listed on the NYCE here. So we’re very happy about that. Very excited about that. And it was one of our internal goals for quite some time as well. So that was a great accomplishment by the team. And for us, the reason we wanted to do that and why we’re excited about this is that it opens us up to a broader group of investors, more eyeballs on the company. I think that we have great story to tell, and our focus will be to tell that to a larger audience that generally likes to invest on the New York Stock Exchange.

Fergus Hodgson:

Okay. And do you mind me asking? How much of a bump does that actually give to a share price being listed on multiple exchanges like that? Does it give you a boost?

Mike Konnert:

Well, I think it does over time. It’s not an immediate thing. But there’s a couple of things that obviously shows that there’s been a more thorough diligence on the company and on our reporting and things like that. So it gives a little bit of credibility, I would think, to the company. Sometimes Canadian juniors have a little bit of a poor reputation compared to US listed stock. So that’s a great reason. And then also, it allows for more trading terminals, more programs and things like that to access the stock and not have to pay currency conversions and things like that.

Fergus Hodgson:

Right, right. And the other press release you’ve got out is about a new discovery in your Panuco projects in Mexico. Do you want to clarify what the latest details are?

Mike Konnert:

Well, that discovery is really exciting. We were drilling into the Tajitos Vein and unexpectedly hit this discovery here in the hanging wall. So it’s called the Copala Vein. It’s a new vein that we’ve discovered in and around the Tajitos area. And reason why that it’s exciting is because it’s extremely high grade, over two meters of 3.7 kilo silver equivalent. So it’s a very high grade silver and gold. But it’s in area that we were expecting just to drill through and didn’t expect to see that high grade interval in a larger, broader interval of about 200 grams silver. So these are great grades. It’s excellent for an underground mining operation. And it’s a bit of a surprise. And the reason I think that’s important is because this district is full of surprises. Tajitos was actually a little bit of a surprise as well too. And I think that we’re going to make more discoveries like this across the district.

Fergus Hodgson:

Right. And do you want to give people a sense for the timeline for upcoming events for the company? What’s next in the pipeline?

Mike Konnert:

Well, it’s going to be a very busy first half of the year. We have our main resource coming out in this quarter, in Q1, of this year. We’re also flying the property with airborne electromagnetics, and that will help us factor into new discoveries, I believe, in the district. And so this year can really be categorized as one of growth around the existing resource area, as well as new discoveries throughout the district. And so what’s new for 2022 is that we’re dividing the district up into thirds, focusing on the Western portion, resource drilling around Napoleon and Tajitos. And then other follow ups discoveries in the central area, and then brand new discoveries, ideally, in the East with some great prospects that we’ve worked up over the last year. So it’s going to be a lot of joy and a lot of excitement around that. And then, of course, in the background, we’re doing everything that we need to, to basically de-risk the project and move it towards production.

Fergus Hodgson:

Excellent. Okay. So folks, go to vizslasilvercorp. That’s V-I-Z-S-L-A silvercorp.ca to get more details. The ticker symbol is VZLA on both the TSX-V and the New York Stock Exchange American. So, Michael, thanks for your time.

Mike Konnert:

Thank you.

Fergus Hodgson:

Yeah. One of the weird elements of cryptocurrency is that it’s a bit like in the internet or communications online that, of course, initially the presence of the internet allowed for decentralized information sharing. But then suddenly, everyone seemed to cluster around Google and around Facebook and Twitter and we’re right back to where we started, almost more centralized than we were before. And then this happened with the cryptocurrency space, with everyone jumping in with Coinbase. And one of the reasons why is just the fact that Coinbase has had the fanciest lawyers to get them to jump through the regulatory hoops. Now I hope that they do not just [inaudible 00:18:35] monopoly advantages to some degree, they’re so dominant. But it is true that, people, because of their lack of trust or lack of understanding have preferred to have some kind of custodian, to have an exchange handle their cryptocurrencies. I don’t know. You didn’t necessarily take on my first question, which is, okay, you’ve got the Ferguses of the world who are every week advocating sound money, basically like you. What can I do on a day to day basis to actually facilitate this change?

Stefan Gleason:

Well, so this is kind of getting into what we’re doing on behalf of the precious metals industry and the precious metals owners and buyers and really just the cause of sound money. And there are impediments right now in both the purchase and the sale and the use of precious metals that are erected by both the federal government and by states. And so in a very practical sense, we have been working actively in many states and that’s where most of the success has been in recent years. The federal side is much more troublesome and we’re involved there, but the promising side is really the state level. And that is in particular on removal of taxes. So right now, if you buy cryptocurrency, you’re not paying a sales tax when you make that purchase. But in eight states in the US, you pay 100% sales tax. Not a hundred percent rate, but you buy gold and silver, you’re paying 7, 8, 9% on all gold and silver purchases in those states.

Stefan Gleason:

And then there’s another handful of maybe 5 to 10 states that partially tax or tax certain types of transactions or under certain thresholds. So removal of the sales tax, we feel, is one very practical way to free gold and silver up a little bit as a viable currency because there’s friction on buying. And then there’s friction on selling and that’s the tax on income. And both at the state and federal level, you have income tax, which currently because the US treasury feels that gold and silver is not money and they treat it like property or other financial assets. If you have a gain, which might be driven or derived largely from inflation, but it’s a nominal gain when measured in Federal Reserve, no dollars, you have to pay an income tax on that at the federal level. And you actually pay it at a higher discriminatory 28% capital gains tax rate, which is not even assessed against cryptocurrencies.

Fergus Hodgson:

You mean that’s higher than you’d pay just for gains on stocks?

Stefan Gleason:

Right. Stocks are 15 or 20% for long term capital gains. And so the IRS has done this unilaterally. It’s not even backed by a statute. And it’s more a regulatory approach. They had called gold bullion a collectible. And there is a 28% tax on collectibles for long term capital gains. If you have a stock or a bond or a piece of real estate or even cryptocurrency and you have a gain, you would pay 15 or 20% federally. And it depends on your income if you have over maybe 450,000 in taxable income, it’s higher, it’s the 20%. But it’s not 28. So gold and silver have a discriminatory high federal income tax when you sell. And then states follow that federal income reported number that you have when you do your state tax return. So they inherently are taxing your precious metals income as well.

Stefan Gleason:

And this is where some states have stepped in, in recent years with our help and other activists and people around the country have actually removed or backed out the gold and silver gains or losses even, from your federal income number or I should say from the number that’s reported as state income. And so it’s like a subtraction out. So we have Arizona in particular and Utah have passed these laws on the income tax side to remove gold and silver from the income tax at the state level. And there’s a bill currently today in Oklahoma. There will be one in Iowa and there will be one in South Carolina in the next few weeks that will do just that in those states. And so there’s progress on the sales tax side. I mentioned that there are eight states that currently charge a sales tax, still full sales tax.

Stefan Gleason:

There are five of those states that actually already have bills this January to repeal the income, the sales tax on gold and silver. Those states are Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, and New Jersey. So there’s five bills to repeal sales tax. That would take it down to just three states if we pass all three of those or all five of those. And then there’s several on the income tax. So those are the two, I’d say, most practically meaningful things that states can do right now, would be to remove taxes on the buying and selling of gold and silver. There’s things beyond that that we’re working on as well. But that’s kind of a, maybe 50% to 75% of really where we’re focused.

Fergus Hodgson:

Yeah. And it seems like it’s a situation of regulation via taxation in that the taxation is really more as a punitive measure than as a revenue generator.

Stefan Gleason:

Well, in fact, even in the sales tax case, it’s a revenue negative for those states in the context of it driving business out of the state. So if you’re in Tennessee and you’re a dealer in Tennessee, first of all, people are going to go to Arkansas to buy gold and not pay tax because we passed an exemption there last year. And then they might drive it back into Tennessee. And maybe the tax bureaucrats will eventually say, “You owe a use tax on that because you imported gold or whatever.” But the bottom line is that Tennessee businesses are harmed. And as a result, there’s less income tax from general business activity. Investment knowledge are leaving to go to other states. Conventions. It’s not a big thing in the bullion area, but in the collectible coin area. Coin conventions are kind of a big thing in the big events and dealers come in and customers come in and people travel long distances.

Stefan Gleason:

Well, the states that have sales tax, they don’t get these conventions anymore. You have the tax bureaucrat milling around harassing people at their booths, asking for their certificates, taking down names of who’s there, seeing if they can figure out if they filed their reports. So a lot of these conventions are not in these states, that’s business activity that’s left the state. So the whole idea of taxing the exchange of Federal Reserve notes for another form of money is… I mean, it’s a tax on money. It’s a tax on making change. And then the other idea of sales tax. I mean, sales tax is really ridiculous when it comes to precious metals. There’s no basis.

Stefan Gleason:

I mean, the other thing is it’s an investment. It’s an asset. It’s not being consumed. And the idea of a sales tax, if there’s any validity to a sales tax, it was always about taxing the final user of a good who consumes it. A person who buys the clothing or eats the food. But I mean, gold and silver is inherently held for resale. So the idea of taxing something that’s continuously being sold and resold like a money, because it is a money, or an asset at least, is ridiculous. I mean, these arguments are resonating at the state level, and we’ve been successful in getting that number up to 42 states. And we’re hoping to push it further in the next session.

Fergus Hodgson:

I mean, I’m all for these initiatives, and I wonder whether there will be a nullification scenario. What would nullification look like in the case of sound money from the states?

Stefan Gleason:

That’s a good question. So I think the state holding gold as a reserve asset, and it’s not even nullification, literally, it’s prerogative to both hold gold as a reserve asset, but also to make… The US Constitution article one, section 10, actually prohibits states from making payment in anything other than gold and silver coin. And that’s kind of become a dead letter. It used to be that while they were paying in dollars and dollars were backed by gold, so they were still compliant. Well, now that that has been broken. So I think really just the states going back to first principles, which is gold and silver is money. It’s really the money of the states under the US Constitution. In fact, they’re only supposed to use gold and silver. And getting the state back in the business of, number one, not taxing it on both the buying and the selling. Getting the state to hold it as a reserve asset, so it insulates the state from financial turbulence at the federal level.

Stefan Gleason:

Get money out of the Federal Reserve System, hold it in a depository with no encumbrances, imbailment, without segregated physically from other holdings, possibly held within the actual state, if they have the capability of doing that. And then getting comfortable with the idea of using gold as people want to pay their taxes in gold or if they want to be paid in gold, coming up with a system. And there’s been bills in certain states. There’s one that passed in Utah, there’s one being proposed in Wyoming that sort of get the state treasurer into the business of dealing in gold and silver as a form of money in the state. And those are very early efforts. But I think that those are the kinds of things that states should be doing and looking at beyond just re removing the taxes.

Fergus Hodgson:

Yeah. So if they remove the taxes and then start making their own investments in gold and silver, at least that’s scaling the market, it’s giving some momentum. Maybe you do this because it’s so difficult, but what about on the individual level, just in our own lives?

Stefan Gleason:

Well, I think everybody can go on their own gold standard or silver standard on their own. I mean, at least in the sense of actually accumulating these things and opting out of the federal reserve system to some extent, I think everybody should do that. It starts with that. That’s one of the things that my company Money Metals Exchange is doing every day is helping people do that. We even have a monthly savings plan where you can put it on autopilot. So I think that’s probably the first most practical thing. Another would be to talk to other people about it. I’ve found that putting an ounce of silver in somebody’s hands is one of the best ways to kind of open their mind to what is money. And it’s beautiful, it’s heavy, it’s weighty, and there’s history.

Stefan Gleason:

And it often gets the wheels turning and then people start looking at this whole system, the Federal Reserves. That’s actually what got me interested 15 to 20 years ago. I hadn’t given it a whole lot of thought until 20 years ago. And then the more I learned about how the Federal Reserve System works and really that it’s a confidence game. There’s nothing backing it. The Federal Reserve note is not worth the paper it’s not printed on. I love that expression. I didn’t come up with that. But you don’t necessarily think about that. Most people don’t still. So I think it starts with people becoming aware of themselves, taking action themselves, talking to others, and not being overly reliant on the financial system, not having a huge amount of cash in the bank. Making sure that you’re diversified out of financial assets. I think that’s probably the basic start.

Fergus Hodgson:

Yeah. So initially, we don’t even… Well, I mean, the focus is not so much on the medium of exchange, but on just making the holding of gold and silver normal again.

Stefan Gleason:

Right. And you can go beyond that. And this isn’t something we’re really focused on, although I’m sure many of our customers do. But I mean, I sometimes will pay somebody in silver if they’ll accept it. I took my kids skiing and I was staying at a bed and breakfast and the guy wanted cash and I actually didn’t have enough cash, but I had some silver and he happily took it. He actually gave me a discount. He understood what it was. I mean, I don’t do that very often, but it was kind a neat experience, a reminder that inherently many people get it, and given the opportunity would accept it as payment. Right now, you don’t have to. Tendered as payment. There may be a point where somebody says, “I don’t want Federal Reserve notes. I want only silver.” Or, “I’ll give you a discount if you give me silver or gold.” That kind of thing can happen. It does happen in some local areas.

Stefan Gleason:

But there’s another thing that’s interesting. I don’t know if you’ve seen this, the gold back yet. But the there’s the spendable gold bullion that’s infused into a polymer bill shaped unit. And it’s a very small denomination form of gold. And that’s kind of a neat innovation that I think has some promise at the local level, because it is gold and it’s gold bullion, and it’s not very high premium considering what you’re getting. I wouldn’t put all my money in that. Gold coins and bars are much more efficient, but it’s another mechanism and a way of using gold and silver in very small increments or gold in this case. Again, like you said, I think it starts with people just kind of reinforcing their own situation. And then beyond that maybe there will be a situation where you will need to use it. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that, but it could. And in the meantime, you’re probably going to do certainly better than inflation.

Fergus Hodgson:

So you’re saying there are basically notes that are in limited circulation that actually are [inaudible 00:32:42] back. The gold is actually built into them.

Stefan Gleason:

Literally, in the thing. Silver is already a small increment. 10 pounds of silver is $2.20. So that’s dime sized. But gold, there’s no small increment gold, really. I mean, you have a gram bar or a 1/10th ounce or a 1/20th ounce gold coin. But those are 50 to 100 to $200. So this is something called the gold back, which has a little niche in the market for being the only real practical, small denomination gold. I like that idea too, because even though it’s just one type of gold that you can own, but it also, for some reason, I think that it connects with people psychologically because we’ve all been sort of trained over the last hundred years or during our lifetimes, the last 30, 40, 50 years that this is what money looks like. It’s a piece of paper kind of thing. And so people see the gold back and they go, “This is money. Okay, I get it. This is money, but it’s actually worth what it is worth. Instead of being…”

Fergus Hodgson:

Right. It’s face value means something. Yeah.

Stefan Gleason:

Yeah. So it’s almost like a gateway in a way. It’s another way of reaching people on sound money. And that’s one of the reasons I like it in the certain situations.

Fergus Hodgson:

Do you foresee then mass, let’s say non-compliance with the tax impediment? So it seems like you said right now, the sales taxes in some states, but even if we do away with those, the Federal Government or the IRS has basically put this tax impediment. So does it mean that there’s going to have to be mass non-compliance because it seems… How would we turn that around? Is there any law at the federal level in the United States to pull that back?

Stefan Gleason:

Okay. Congressman Mooney has a bill on the income tax that would remove the gold and silver bullion coins, bars, and rounds from the income tax. It would literally take them out. You wouldn’t report gains, you wouldn’t deduct losses. It would be just like the Federal Reserve note where it’s transparent. It’s not an entity. There’s no gains, no losses.

Fergus Hodgson:

It’s purely medium of exchange. Yeah.

Stefan Gleason:

Right. And so that would be very significant because that’s 28%. That’s huge. Way more than the sales tax. So that bill is sitting in the House Ways and Means Committee. I think that’s Maxine Waters, so that’s not necessarily a friend of anything free market or sound money. But in a situation, again, these bills are there, they exist as a repeal of income tax, there’s a bill to audit the Federal Reserve or actually audit all US gold that he has as well. Which hasn’t been done in any meaningful way for about 70 years. And that that is credible. And so these things are there. I think in a crisis or in a situation, those things are written, they’re there. We might see them grabbed by the right people and pushed forward.

Stefan Gleason:

There is a sound money caucus developing in the house. So that’s a little bit of a positive development. Ron Paul is no longer there, but there are others like Mooney and there’s a few others that are very pro sound money. And of course, with inflation becoming one of the big issues now, you’re hearing a lot more people talk about it. They don’t necessarily understand where the inflation’s coming from totally, but there’s a lot more discussion around the topic. So I think that after future election cycles, we might have a shot.

Fergus Hodgson:

So if there were actually the will, sufficient will… I mean, I’m not sure how much you’d need, but substantial because, of course, a move away from the Federal Reserve notes would tremendously reduce the power of the Federal Government. Do you any comments on that?

Stefan Gleason:

Yeah. Well, I think that as more and more people opt out of using the Federal Reserve note for savings or just in general, find other ways, I think that it lowers the demand for the Federal Reserve note and it hastens the potential demise of the Federal Reserve note or moving to another system. Some people think that’s not patriotic. King dollar. I don’t want to be against king dollar because that’s being against America. But I mean, honestly, this Federal Reserve System is anathema to everything that America stands for. It’s about central government control of the economy through monetary policy. And it’s totally opposite what the founders intended when they set up the US Constitution and established the coinage act in the early days of the Republic. And we’ve gotten so far away from that.

Stefan Gleason:

So I think people have a civic due to prepare themselves, understand, and then move away to the extent they can from this. That said, on the tax subject, I would never encourage somebody to not comply with income tax. I report everything that I’m required to report. But I do think that… On the sales tax, that’s why they go up to the businesses. They want the businesses to be the bagman for-

Fergus Hodgson:

They’re easier targets.

Stefan Gleason:

They want me, my company, Money Metals or the other dealers across the country, we’ve now had to comply because of the Supreme Court’s Wayfair decision, which basically allowed us to be forced into this every state sales tax collection scheme even though we had no presence. A massive burden on our businesses.

Fergus Hodgson:

It’s crazy. Yeah.

Stefan Gleason:

So that’s where it is. And then the individuals though, I mean, do you know that if you go to the grocery store and they accidentally don’t charge you sales tax on something that you are supposed to file a use tax return with the state of Colorado? I think that’s where you are.

Fergus Hodgson:

Yes. Yeah.

Stefan Gleason:

I think you might have that obligation and you probably don’t even know it. And most people don’t.

Fergus Hodgson:

I don’t know. And my assumption, basically, is that’s already a huge untaxed portion of the economy that even state officials know this, but they don’t really know what to do about it. We just live in this kind of limbo of some portion untaxed. I just suspect, and I know this is the case with cryptocurrencies, that there’s a great deal of cryptocurrency activity. Or there was, I’m not sure the latest rules on this, which basically just did not comply with tax requirements. So obviously, I’m a big fan of what you do, Stefan. I would love for Americans to have a renaissance in their thinking that understanding that sound money matters, that having actual intrinsic value matters and the way, like you said, that it’s a very un-American thing to prop up the Federal Government contrary to the US constitution of who’s there to limit its powers. So he is with the Sound Money Defense League. That’s Soundmoneydefense.org, and his company is Money Metals Exchange, which is just Moneymetals.com. Any other place we should go to, to follow your work?

Stefan Gleason:

I would go to moneymetals.com, get on our email list because we will be able to send people alerts about pending legislation in their area and alert them. We just sent out an alert to three states today about contact the chairman of this committee to urge him to have a hearing on HB whatever. And that actually makes a difference. I mean, at the state level, people are not in the legislatures. They’re not used to seeing much organization or grassroots. And so when they start hearing from people, they see it, they pay attention. I can tell you, we would not have passed the sales tax exemption on precious metals in Arkansas last year, if it weren’t for the grassroots people on our email list who reached out to the committee and the committee chairman. He even called us up angry, because he was being bothered by so many people.

Stefan Gleason:

And I talked to Jp, our guy, I said, “Well, let’s just double what we’re doing,” because that’s obviously making an impact and then he had the hearing and it passed out. And it was because of the grassroots. So go to Moneymetals.com, get on our email list. We also have the Sound Money Index at the Money Metals website. And if you go to the resources tab, you’ll see it. And basically, we’ve ranked all 50 states on 12 policies that we believe are important on the Sound Money front, about half of it’s related to taxes. And then it’s related to other things like gold reserves, golden pension funds, the privacy, dealer harassment, customer harassment laws, things like gold bonds, other things that states can do reaffirming that gold and silver is money in that state. So if you go to the Sound Money Index, you’ll literally be able to look at the laws of your state and see where they stack up among all 50 states.

Fergus Hodgson:

Yeah. That’s a useful index because even the best state, Wyoming, as you noticed has about 40% left to go.

Stefan Gleason:

To do. Yeah.

Fergus Hodgson:

There’s still a lot more it could do. Yeah. So Stefan, thanks for your time. Best of luck with your work. And I look forward to next time we can have you on, okay?

Stefan Gleason:

Thank you. Thank a lot, Fergus. Thank you very much.

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