Talk:United States dollar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Dollar coins and armored car companies[edit]

I removed the statement that the armored carriers were obstructing the distribution of dollar coins (I had added this a couple of years ago. I've read that Brinks is on board with the Coin Coalition, though I can't find a cite now. A cite would be nice, but I don't think it's absolutely essential in removing my own statement if I believe that had been erroneous.Pithecanthropus (talk) 22:14, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Removed second occurrence in the article, and found cite on Brinks.[1] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pithecanthropus (talkcontribs) 01:11, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

From what I understand, the Coin Coalition ceased to exist in any meaningful way after its founder died a few years ago. --W5WMW 01:59, 2 August 2015 (UTC)

When UNDUE approaches OT[edit]

The lede isn’t the only correction needed. The philosophical hair-splitting about what is and isn’t a dollar, about perceived differences between coins and FRN, and which parts of our currency derive from which Constitutional phrase, are all weighing this article down.

  • These distinctions are original research, not confirmed by secondary sources
  • Caselaw (as cited above) makes clear that such distinctions do not reflect mainstream legal thinking
  • The distinctions being suggested constitute a difference which makes no difference. Whether coin or note or numbers on a balance sheet, the dollar is still currency.
  • These contentions are presented here as though they were established and accepted, when clearly they are not.

Perhaps a namespace should be created to discuss Theories of American Currency (or something more appropriate), but not here please. What is the consensus here? Uberhill 03:51, 28 September 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Uberhill (talkcontribs)

Why is Ecuador both an Official and Unofficial user of the US Dollar? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:13, 6 October 2010 (UTC) perhaps there is a bit of nit picking going on, theory would be relegated to Money, Credit and Banking, the subtle differences, dollar, USD, Trade Dollar, Legal Tender, reserve - non reserve are important to numistmatists, theoreticians, bean counters and children, the distinctions ARE critical to many in many different ways. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BobV01 (talk) 15:44, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

When STUPID approaches ITY... By your rationale, it would be prudent to eliminate outdated documents like the Constitution and replace them with our good faith in the intentions and agendas of our wonderful oligarchy. The soaring prices of commodities worldwide seem to indicate a general distrust in fiat currency and a desire to return to real money, and yes, an American dollar is 371.25 grains of silver. Have a nice day =) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:15, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Correction, the US dollar was Originally 371.25 grains of silver. President Nixon removed the linking of the dollar to silver. I remember, I was there. Don't make me look up a citation. US currency is no longer based on silver or gold.--Celtic hackr (talk) 00:45, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

2010 exchange rate[edit]

The 2010 exchange rate should be added in the Exchange Rate History Table. It is at an ultimate low as of recently, with the euro at 1,41 to the dollar... Vonabisz (talk) 14:03, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Is this dispute still current?[edit]

If an article, especially on such a very basic concept such as the US Dollar, is going to be defaced and marginalized with dispute and POV banners all over it, the reader should be able to find at least a summary of the dispute(s) on the talk pages, where the banners direct them, so they can arrive at their own conclusion of whether the dispute(s) is valid or not without being forced to search through various archives. That is assuming the reader even knows how to search an archive or even that it may exist.

This isn't an article about the "Troubles", it is about a unit of currency. How can a dispute about something so basic be so intractable that POV tags since April 2010 are still plastered all over it and nothing is on the talk pages?

If the dispute is no longer current then the banners need to be removed. Veriss (talk) 15:06, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Agreed, I see no reference to the dispute. What was the dispute? Is anyone left to dispute it. If not let's remove the banner. Although the article needs cleaning up.--Celtic hackr (talk) 00:48, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps it was a vandal that tagged it as a joke??Mantion (talk) 09:07, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

"B" Classification needs to be reassessed[edit]

If, in fact, all of these tags from 2008, 2009 and April 2010 are valid, this article may not meet the standards for its current "B" rating.

  • Entire article is tagged as "needs references that appear in reliable third-party publications", Apr 2010.
  • Five basic sections such as Overview, History, Banknotes, Means of Issue, and Value are tagged as "disputed" since Apr 2010.
  • Three basic sections such as Nicknames (Apr 2008), Silver and gold standards(Apr 2010), Means of Issue (Jul 2009) are cited as "unreferenced".
  • One basic section, Means of Issue, is tagged for "factual accuracy" since Apr 2010.
  • One basic section, Silver and gold standards, has been tagged as "outdated" since Apr 2009.
  • One basic section, Dollar coins, is tagged as "may stray from the topic of the article" since Apr 2010

April seemed to have been a rough month for this article. I was surprised as I would expect the disputes to be in the international sections, not in such basic sections. This article is also listed as a "Vital Article" (WP:VA).

It may need to be reassessed by an uninvolved party. Veriss (talk) 15:24, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Let's deal with the problems, then. If in all that time nobody has offered fixes for the "Means of Issue" section, I propose deleting it. Thoughts? Uberhill 16:48, 27 October 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Uberhill (talkcontribs)

I was expecting some background on these issues but no one is stepping up to fill us in. Veriss (talk) 22:33, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Other forms of US dollar[edit]

I believe that besides coins and Federal Reserve Notes, there are US dollars in the form of deposits at the Federal Reserve. The Fed can create US dollars simply by changing its balance sheet, and notes are only printed as requested by institutions. However I think the notes still make up the bulk of the US dollar base (unless this has changed with the massive increase of the balance sheet in the last few years). Horatio (talk) 22:32, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Banks also create dollars when they do fractional banking, people temporarily create dollars when they write checks, etc. -- Beland (talk) 17:57, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, if you count all bank deposits as dollars. But not if you are using a strict currency definition, i.e., the dollars on the Federal Reserve's balance sheet, whether or not actually printed. Horatio (talk) 21:51, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Money in bank and other accounts is measured in dollars albeit in a virtual form. The money supply represented by the National Debt far outweighs the currency base established by the Federal Reserve. Virgil H. Soule (talk) 05:58, 15 February 2014 (UTC)


I've removed a photo of a stack of prop money. I don't think a picture of fake bills is especially helpful on this page. If anyone has a similar photo of real currency, please add it. Compuandy (talk) 22:42, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Use outside US: Aruba[edit]

We need a citation that the US dollar is accepted/used as a second currency in Aruba. Gugganij (talk) 21:17, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

agreed. I am wondering a bit though what criterion is used for inclusion in this list? Being a widely used secondary currency? A ref on Aruba is here, while an even more convincing report on use is on Sint Maarten. Shall I add both? L.tak (talk) 22:33, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Ecuador official or unofficial[edit]

Ecuador is listed both as official user of the USD and unofficial user of the USD, that seems a bit silly, can someone check which is true and delete the other, I could not find any information on the subject. --Utkun (talk) 17:44, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Where does it inidacate they're an unofficial user of the USD?
In the info box in the upper right hand corner. You need to click the 'show' button to see it. A number of sources, including the US government, indicate the USD is the official currency of Ecuador. Rob Page III (talk) 01:04, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

It certainly is the official currency, they mint their own Ecuadorian coins etc but they are USDs. Also, the part where this article says that USDs are called "plata" in Ecuador is true, but sounds a little strange because "plata" is used throughout spanish-speaking South America to simply mean money. (talk) 08:48, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

"Plata" also simply means "money" in Ecuador, it doesn't refer to the currency at all. "¿Tienes plata?" "Do you have any money?" "Tengo dos dólares." "I have two dollars." It's exactly the same as in other spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. (Source: my mother is ecuadorian, and I personally lived the devaluation of the sucre and transition to dollars.) (talk) 14:09, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

Value against the Euro[edit]

How is there any information for that from before 1999? (talk) 23:55, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Inflation rate[edit]

Might I suggest we stop using the latest monthly inflation rate for this page and start using the latest annual inflation rate instead, like all of the other currency pages? The annual inflation rate is more encyclopædic and informative. --- W5WMW (talk) 06:35, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Well, I was "bold" and went ahead and changed it since there were no objections for many months. It was immediately reverted by an IP user. So, let's get a consensus, or even just one other opinion at least. --W5WMW (talk) 02:02, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
FWIW, I agree with you. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 02:22, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Anyone else? I'll wait a bit longer before fixing it, again.--W5WMW (talk) 04:11, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
I think we need to go one step further and include the inflation rate as measured SGS Alternative 1990 Based which shows it at 6.2 (this is what people actually feel, because inflation should include gas and food. And, it is not too volatile like the government would say. Here is a link — Preceding unsigned comment added by Darkman17 (talkcontribs) 00:17, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Article selected as United States Wikipedians' Collaboration of the Month for July 2011[edit]

United States dollar (3 votes, stays until June 1, 2011)[edit]

Nominated 22:59, 1 May 2011 (UTC); needs 3 votes by June 1, 2011 (minimum 3 votes per month)


  1. Kumioko (talk) 22:59, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
  2. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:26, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
  3. JayJasper (talk) 20:57, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
  4. Tomwsulcer (talk) 01:11, 1 July 2011 (UTC)


  • One of the main forms of currency used in the United States. It has a lot fo content but it needs a lot of work in a lot of areas Kumioko (talk) 22:59, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I like the idea of this one, maybe Wehwalt (talk · contribs) can chip in. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:26, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
  • An article on an important subject that is need of cleanup, copyediting, and improved sourcing.--JayJasper (talk) 20:57, 5 May 2011 (UTC)


The Overview section, paragraph 4 starts:

"The U.S. dollar bill uses the decimal system, consisting of 100 equal cents (symbol ¢). It is also officially divided into 1,000 mills or ten dimes, while ten dollars is equal to an eagle."

31 USC § 5101. Decimal system provides "United States money is expressed in dollars, dimes or tenths, cents or hundreths, and mills or thousandths. A dime is a tenth of a dollar, a cent is a hundredth of a dollar, and a mill is a thousandth of a dollar."

So what current law says $10=1Eagle? And was the historic eagle a denomination or just a nickname like the modern nickel?

The Eagle was denoted as equal to 10 dollars as per the coinage act of 1792, section 9 hackr (talk) 00:36, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

I would change this to:

"The U.S. dollar is commonly divided into 100 cents, symbolized ¢. It is also officially divided into ten dimes, and technicaly 1,000 mills, however the mill is encountered only in a few industries and is no longer represented by either coin or note."

And preserve the link to mill and add one to dime.

What do you think? Awg1010 (talk) 21:15, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Entirely reasonable. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 22:57, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, since the Eagle is a federally recognized and defined super unit of the dollar, it should be listed as so where the subunits are currently listed in the side bar. --W5WMW 02:12, 2 August 2015 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by W5WMW (talkcontribs)

Frequently and rarely used?[edit]

50 cent, $1.00 coins, and $2.00 bills are claimed to be rarely used. However, one gentleman visited the U.S., and before the trip he exchanged currency. He got a lot of $2.00 to $50.000 notes, and there were quite many $2.00 bills. Secondly, he brought me some coins, and there were three (!) different (designs of) $1.00 coins in his. So, actually how are these rare? The 50 cent coin, though, seems actually be rare.
But, there is no citation in the article, so isn't it original research after all? (talk) 19:57, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

I used to go to a bank in Boston and buy $2.00 bills -- but I had to ask for them, in my own personal experiences. CaribDigita (talk) 21:47, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
I used to work as a cashier at a truck stop and we almost never got dollar coins or $2.00 bills. 50 cent coins were seen even less, like almost down to once a year. (talk) 13:39, 26 October 2011 (UTC)
Beware of border exchanges -- they get stuck with $2.00 bills because no one takes them, so they may foist them off on the first unwary traveler they find. The $2 bill is used in less than 0.01% of American transactions, less than even the dollar coins (which are used in vending machines, toll booths, and such).

Don't say that bills above the $100 bill are "rarely used". All of those bills are no longer circulated and no longer printed, and hence they are not used.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury had good reasons why the large bills (actually $500 and up) are not circulated, and this is documented. Just look it up:
1. By not allowing the bills above $100 to circulate, counterfeiters would not do themselves any good by producting larger bills. Nobody would take them because they would be instantly recognized as counterfeits. There are some bills $500 and up that are still in private hands, but those are held by collectors. These bills are in good to excellend condition, and they are worth more than their face value just as collectors items. Hence, anyone would be stupid to try to spend one. 2. At first the existence of traveler's checks, then cabling money from here to there, then electronic funds transfers, then credit cards eliminated the need for very large banknotes. For example, if someone well-off needs to make an $1100 purchase in a faraway city, there is no need to have a $1000 bill, or two $500 bills, plus a $100 bill. He or she would just whip out a good credit card and pay for it. Else, one could use several traveler's checks, and I think that they issued these in $500 denominations. (Maybe $1000) Traveler's checks are very secure because they have to be signed when issued, and then countersigned when spent, and also have the merchant's name written on them at the time they are spent. 3. Federal Reserve Banks used to transfer money between themselves by using extremely large bills like $50,000 or $100,000. However, very secure means of electronic transfers are a lot more convenient to them, and $100,000 is a drop in the bucket of their transfers -- which are more like $1,000,000-plus per day. Those extremely large bills never were in general circulation, anyway. The only places that you will find them anymore is in the museums of the Federal Reserve Banks and the Dept. of the Treasury -- that is, unless some are locked up in Fort Knox, Kentucky. (talk) 03:02, 7 July 2012 (UTC)


The rarely seen coin is huge, the often seen bills are small. Unless this is a standard somewhere, perhaps the main photo should be more representative of what people actually think when they hear "US Dollar." (talk) 23:59, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Citation Needed: The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States of America[edit]

I am not so certain of this statement. Yes it is easy for anyone to recognize a paper product filling role of currency with 'united states of america' text caption printed on it and other imagery and symbolism to be understood as official, but is it really? I would like to learn more about the validity and accuracy of this claim other than one that is forced with things like "well, that's the way it was since I've been born" type of response. And for me (and others) to have clear and defining resource to rely upon for such factual evidences, a source will be most useful. [Two] [times] reference to 'citation needed' for this specific sentence have been reverted. Why? I see in this article alone seven other instances of 'citation needed.' Why haven't those also been removed? Is there seriously a concerted effort by one or more individuals to prevent the disclosure of citation of this statement to be more factually evidenced or otherwise verified/confirmed other than passing off as yet another forced ideaology? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mizerydearia (talk) 06:47, 7 December 2011 (UTC) Mizerydearia (talk) 12:32, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

RUPEE on exchange rates is REVERSED[edit]

Someone needs to take the reciprocal of those Rupee historic figures. The way it reads now, the rupee, like the pound sterling, is worth more than a dollar. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:40, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Working on this - thanks for noticing! Ravensfire (talk) 14:49, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Done. Also added 2011 data. The table is getting a bit unwieldy, anyone have any thoughts/objection on cutting out 2001 - 2004? Basically, have 95, 2000, 2005, then yearly though 2012? Ravensfire (talk) 15:32, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Value against the Deutsche Mark[edit]

I would appreciate it a lot to find those figures in the sheet. The DM became an important reserve currency in the seventies.

Philippines as official user of dollar?[edit]

Why is the Philippines listed as an "Official User" of the U.S. dollar? It has its own currency, according to the "Philippines" page. That page does not even mention that the U.S. dollar is accepted as currency.

Mdashman (talk) 22:43, 26 May 2012 (UTC)Mdashman


"Dólar de los Estados Unidos (Spanish)"

Why does this appear on (talk) 17:54, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Exchange Rates table [error][edit]

I noticed that under "Exchange Rates" the table that shows other currencies weight against USD is wrong. I was reading it and realized it said the pound was currently worth .6 something of USD. I knew this was wrong so I checked their source (Federal Reserve) and it was written as 1.5 something, which is correct. So basically the table is completely not accurate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cvcs1 (talkcontribs) 05:40, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Value Chart is nonsense[edit]

I really think the value chart is nonsense and in fact represent a POV.

Just for example, how many computers could a 1774 dollar buy in 1774 -- 0! (talk) 15:44, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Moved East Timor from Unofficial user(s) to Official user(s) list.[edit]

While East Timor (Timor-Leste) do have their own coins. The US dollar is the official currency of the country. Both the Central Bank of Timor-Leste and the U.S. Department of State confirm this. TimorDan (talk) 10:56, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

National Debt[edit]

What is the influence of the National Debt on the value of the dollar? The US Treasury has borrowed over 17 trillion dollars. Where is all that money? Presumably it's out in myriad accounts worldwide and it's money in circulation. That being the case, this article would seem to be short-sighted in describing the dollar only in terms of the currency and coinage we carry in our pockets. Virgil H. Soule (talk) 02:24, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Equivalent Buying Power[edit]

Why is the dollar's equivalent buying power so much less than it was a hundred years ago? What happens if the equivalent buying power drops to zero? How is the value of a fiat currency like the dollar maintained? Virgil H. Soule (talk) 05:58, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Unofficial Users /Edit Request 5/25/14[edit]

It says that Palau, the Marshall Islands, and Micronesia use the US Dollar, but unofficialy. However, when I looked these countries up here on Wikipedia, it says that all three of these nations use the US Dollar as their official currency. The artical on the US Dollar needs to be changed so that it says that these countries used the US Dollar as their official currency. Also, Canada also excepts US coins as with the US excepting Canadian coins do to them being very similar to each other. -- (talk) 22:30, 11 May 2014 (UTC)Jacob Chesley

This article is bullshit[edit]

The article conflates the United States dollar with Federal Reserve currency. They are distinctly different things, although the private Federal Reserve Bank is happy to pass its intrinsically worthless fiat currency off as "United States dollars" as long as an ignorant public goes along with scam. The article needs a fundamental re-write. There have been no United States dollars in circulation for half a century, since the mid-1960s. — QuicksilverT @ 23:08, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Sorry, but that's incorrect. A one dollar Federal Reserve note is indeed one dollar. And there are lots of United States dollars in circulation.

All paper money is "intrinsically" "worthless" -- in a sense. What I mean by that is that a piece of paper money does not have substantial value based on the physical composition of the paper and ink of which it is composed. Paper money, in this sense, has little if any value in use. The value of paper money is value in exchange. If someone in the United States wants to sell me an item for $100, that someone (i.e., most people) will generally accept $100 in Federal Reserve notes from me. The reason they will do that is that Federal Reserve notes have value in exchange -- which is the only kind of value paper money needs to have.

In this sense, the intrinsic value of a one dollar Federal Reserve note (its value in use) is insignificant. Yes, you could use a Federal Reserve note to wrap a small object. You could use a large number of Federal Reserve notes as wallpaper in your house. You could burn some Federal Reserve notes in order to keep yourself warm. But, those would be examples of extractions of value in use. Those would be examples of intrinsic values, of values that inhere in the physical object of the paper based on the laws of physics.

In this particular sense of the term "intrinsic," any use of the Federal Reserve note as a vehicle for obtaining something else (a meal, a tank of gasoline, a back rub, whatever) is not an example of an extraction of the benefit of "intrinsic" value (value in use), but is instead an example of an extraction of the benefit of value in exchange -- which is the real purpose of having and using a dollar. Famspear (talk) 22:44, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

The term "specie"[edit]

A recently blocked edit warrior tried to insert material in the article essentially saying that a United States dollar is "specie". That's not precisely correct. The term "specie" generally means metallic money. See Black's Law Dictionary, p. 1254 (5th Ed. 1979). Yes, there are (or have been) U.S. dollars that were in the form of metal money. But a one dollar Federal Reserve note is a United States dollar. And, of course, a Federal Reserve note is not "specie" in the sense of metal money.

This is not rocket science. Famspear (talk) 22:51, 24 March 2016 (UTC)


You forgot to add the silver padlock of semi-protection at upper right (talk) 01:25, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 2 external links on United States dollar. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true or failed to let others know (documentation at {{Sourcecheck}}).

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 14:16, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

Choice of comparison currencies[edit]

Not sure I understand the rationale for the currencies listed under Historical exchange rates, in particular the Singapore dollar and South Africa rand. There are several other currencies more relevant to the US (see List of the largest trading partners of the United States). Also, the list is different from that in the next section, Current exchange rates. --Macrakis (talk) 20:03, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

Claim that the United States Dollar is Still a Commodity Currency[edit]

The user (talk) has repeatedly edited the introduction of this article to say that the United States Dollar is actually a commodity currency rather than a fiat currency, even though this is contradicted by the rest of the article, the article History of the United States dollar, and by the United States Code. As one can see on for 31 US Code Subtitle IV-Money, Chapter 51, in the Historical and Revision Notes for §5101, the U.S. Dollar is not defined to be an explicit amount of any commodity:

Thus, the phrase "money of account" did not mean, by itself, that dollars or fractions of dollars must be equal to something having intrinsic or "substantive" value. This concept is supported by earlier writings of Thomas Jefferson in his "Notes on the Establishment of a Money Unit, and of a Coinage for the United States" (1784), and the 1782 report to the President of the Continental Congress on the coinage of the United States by the Superintendent of Finances, Robert Morris, which was apparently prepared by the Assistant Superintendent, Gouverneur Morris. See Paul L. Ford, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. III (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1894) pp. 446–457; William G. Sumner, The Financier and the Finances of the American Revolution, vol. II (Burt Franklin, 1891, reprinted 1970) pp. 36–47; and George T. Curtis, History of the Constitution, vol. I (Harper and Brothers, 1859) p. 443, n2. The words "or units" and "and all accounts in the public offices and all proceedings in the courts shall be kept and had in conformity to this regulation" are omitted as surplus.

Additionally, in §5112, there is no specification for a dollar coin of the historic weights or proportions.

Instead of engaging in a edit war, I have placed an inline dubious tag and invite to provide evidence for the United States Dollar being a commodity currency. Considering that this claim contradicts not only the published information available on relevant Wikipedia articles (e.g. History of the United States dollar, the United States Code, and the existence of the Federal Reserve System as an institution, I would say that this is an extraordinary claim. As such, it requires extraordinary evidence. BirdValiant (talk) 06:16, 29 January 2017 (UTC)

First, I commend you BirdValiant, usually I am never afforded such edits are usually just cast aside. It is comforting to find someone actually following the guidelines.

Let me begin by addressing your leading statement: "the United States Dollar is actually a commodity currency rather than a fiat currency". It is not clear to me who has the burden of proof here, you or I, but I can say this; wouldn't a United States dollar have to be one or the other, i.e. can it be both? Or to be more precise, a dollar according to the United States Constitution, wouldn't it have to be something definitive? And was not that constitutional discovery by Mr. Hamilton (i.e. 371 4/16 grains of pure silver) done with some sincere, precise and deliberate effort to discover what the US Constitution had referred to? i.e. that the silver weight of a Spanish dollar was something quantifiable? Why all the fuse by Mr. Hamilton if the dollar can mean multiple things or worse something undefinable or re-definable? Would not this very idea presuppose to obviate the premise of the US Constitution itself? at least if the definition of a "Constitutional dollar" is not redefined using the required constitutional amendment process. To quote the article you have provided "History of the United States dollar":

"The term 'dollar' had already been in common usage since the colonial period when it referred to eight-real coin (Spanish dollar) used by the Spanish throughout New Spain."

It is my understanding that is why Mr. Hamilton went to such great lengths to measure the weights and purity of the "Spanish Dollar" so as to issue the newly contemplated US Dollar in conformance with expectations of the definition found within the US Constitution that the American people had recently ratified thru their respective legislatures.

But already I think I can agree with you in part that the article is not so much self-contradictory as it is conflating two distinct things. There are many things we call dollars in our society (Federal Reserve Notes, clad coins, Silver Certificates, "dollars of account", etc). To this end I tried to make the article more self-consistent. For example you state "even though this is contradicted by the rest of the article" in referring to my edit by stating a dollar is "371 4/16 grain[s]" of pure silver. Rather than contradicting the rest of the article, I tried to square it with the immediately following section of the article "Overview" wherein it is stated:

"The word "dollar" is one of the words in the first paragraph of Section 9 of Article I of the Constitution. There, "dollars" is a reference to the Spanish milled dollar, a coin that had a monetary value of 8 Spanish units of currency, or reales. In 1792 the U.S. Congress passed a Coinage Act. Section 9 of that act authorized the production of various coins, including "DOLLARS OR UNITS—each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver". Section 20 of the act provided, "That the money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars, or units... and that all accounts in the public offices and all proceedings in the courts of the United States shall be kept and had in conformity to this regulation". In other words, this act designated the United States dollar as the unit of currency of the United States."

So you see my edit harmonized the article and did not add contradiction, that being the condition I found it.

If we are referring to the definition of a dollar as contained in the United States Constitution and I assume this is the case based off the first sentence of the article:

"The United States dollar (sign: $; code: USD; also abbreviated US$ and referred to as the dollar, U.S. dollar, or American dollar) is the official currency of the United States and its insular territories per the United States Constitution."

I will not at this point go on to address your references because I do not feel it is necessary yet because either they refer to non-Constitutional dollars or the reference predates the US Constitution, for example. Also, with all due respect to "Notes" given at the ushouse.code website the fact is that the coinage act of 1792 (1 Stat. 246) is still good law and until congress specifically removes these lawful statements they remain good law. Shepherding 1 Stat. 246 will show that much of it still remains unchanged, including Hamilton's definition. So obviously the United States Code sections you refer to are good law and so is much of 1 Stat. 246. For example "This act laid the foundation for the modern U.S. currency and is still in effect today, albeit with many modifications over the past two-plus centuries." (see e.g. We can go on to debate if Hamilton's definition was removed but I don't think we will need to go to that level given what is presented here.

Perhaps this is beyond our purposes here but it is not unheard of for Congress to give things definitions that, how can I say this, are not really accurate. For example in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius you may recall that Congress made not having health insurance subject to a "penalty", the Supreme Court went on to rule that the "penalty" was in reality a "Tax" because it did not have authority to penalize but it did have power to tax. So even today you can go into the US Code and find references to "penalties" wherein the Supreme Court has effectively edited this word to mean "tax". Likewise Congress, the Federal Reserve or whoever may refer to "dollars" but they may be non-Constitutional dollars. We must look past monikers and to the substance I think. Likewise anyone can call something a dollar, including Congress, but that doesn't change the fact that a Constitutional Dollar remains unchanged until constitutionally amended ... "Congress cannot by any definition it may adopt conclude the matter, since it cannot by legislation alter the Constitution, from which alone it derives its power to legislate, and within whose limitations alone that power can be lawfully exercised" (Eisner v. Macomber, 252 U.S. 189, 1920)

However I think maybe we have more agreement than disagreement and rather than continue with a treatise that you have requested of me I would suggest perhaps we need to bifurcate the subject and make a separate article for "non-US Constitution dollars". (talk) 01:04, 30 January 2017 (UTC)

Suggested fix for misleading/incorrect currency classification[edit]

The way it is written right now is contradictory and confusing. The second paragraph starts with an invalid assertion that USD is currently on a silver standard, when that is plainly not true. It then waits until the last sentence to correct itself, mentioning the nixon shock that brought USD into the modern fiat system and broke up breton woods.

This is clearly an article on the actual fiat dollar in use, the one you buy hamburgers with, not some theoretical legal or constitutional concept that may or may not even apply in modern times. So, if we feel like the history of the USD as a commodity currency, in particular how that inflexibilty, combined with the lack of a FDIC, caused most of the 19th century's worst "panics", or talk about the fights over "free silver", or how the nixon shock and the breakup of breton woods brought economies kicking and screaming into the modern era and deprecated an entire class of economic turmoil forever, that's probably a good idea, but it doesn't belong in the opening section. A simple mention of its current status as fiat currency and the nixon shock should be enough. (talk) 21:52, 25 March 2017 (UTC)

I think you have a lot of valuable comments User, but I still feel you are conflating two separate issues. The article is mainly a mix of two "things" a US Dollar and a Federal Reserve Note (FRN) - but also some clad coins and even digital "dollars" could be a possibility, etc. But mainly what you speak about are Federal Reserve Notes, what I was editing is a US Dollar, which of course is a Constitutional thing, well before Nixon, FIDC, "free silver", Brenton Woods, etc. Like I mentioned in my last Talk page edit I think everyone would be better served if we bifurcated the two subjects dollars/FRN. But unfortunately I do not control that possibility. (talk) 23:31, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Please stop changing the article to your incorrect presentation of the US dollar as CURRENTLY being based on commodities of silver. This has not been true for decades and reliable sources and general page consensus are against you. --Khajidha (talk) 16:47, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

First, thank you for coming to the TALK page. Much better to converse here than to engage in reverts. Second I believe it is you that is changing the page and at least at first not providing sources for your edits as I believe is considered recommended practice, and I say that respectfully and not to be rude. From what you have said thus far I am not aware of any citations for the assertions you speak of so I can not comment on them directly but in general I will give the following... 1) the first paragraph of the article is:

"The United States dollar (sign: $; code: USD; also abbreviated US$ and referred to as the dollar, U.S. dollar, or American dollar) is the official currency of the United States and its insular territories per the United States Constitution. It is divided into 100 smaller cent (¢) units. The circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars (12 U.S.C. § 418)." (note the use of the word "denominated")

Notice the article is about the "United States Dollar" not United States coins, federal reserve notes, digital dollars, etc. If the article was about something different then I would probably agree with a lot of what you would probably present to me. However this is not that article. The statement "official currency of the United States ... per the United States CONSTITUTION" (emphasis mine). The "thing" of a "dollar" at least within the Constitution is a very specific thing, so specific that it required the first Secretary of the Treasury to make a determination of exactly what it is. After all if it has no definition then it could really be anything right? So to change the definition of a United States Constitutional dollar would require a change to the Constitution. The US Code does not define a dollar because "Congress cannot by any definition it may adopt conclude the matter, since it cannot by legislation alter the Constitution, from which alone it derives its power to legislate, and within whose limitations alone that power can be lawfully exercised" (Eisner v. Macomber, 252 U.S. 189, 1920)

So Mr. Alexander's determination of a Constitutional dollar is still good law and has never been revoked (he went to great lengths and exacting details to make the determination of a "dollar" per the Constitution. Even if it had been eliminated it would not change what the Constitutional dollar is, i.e. basically a Spanish Milled Dollar of the time (see second paragraph of the article's Overview section).

Now of course we in the United States use many things "denominated" or "valued" in dollars (see Titles 12 and 31) but that does not make them actual "dollars" per the Constitution, rather they are things valued in dollars or given meanings in values that are not Consitutional dollars. A Federal Reserve note is a good example, its value appears to derive from peoples confidence in the Full Faith and Credit of the United States and no longer is tied in anyway to Silver. So I think your comments are most likely valid but should be placed in the appropriate pages, for example, "Federal Reserve Note", "Coins of the United States dollar" or "Dollar coin" article entries. I hope this helps. (talk) 17:56, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

I changed the page to restore the longstanding version of this page that identified the US dollar as having formerly been a commodity currency. Aside from your changes, this page has so stated (or stated the equivalent of the dollar being a fiat currency at this time) for the last year (and probably longer). It is you who needs to find sources to state that it is still a commodity currency. And, no, your essay above does not count as it is your own research. Find reputable sources arguing thus and bring them here. --Khajidha (talk) 18:18, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

It seems we both agree that at least at some point in time the US dollar was commodity money (since that is what you are changing it to), so the bright side (no pun intended) is that we agree on that. However I stop there but you proceed on to assert that somewhere in time that mutually agreed fact changed. Correct me if I am misstating your position.

I hope you will be so kind to not require of me the onerous task of proving a negative? (i.e. that something you claim occurred never occurred). Wouldn't it be more clean and fair for you to present your evidence that what we both agree to has changed? by place, date, time, by whom and by what authority for example? (talk) 19:49, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Again, the version of the article that states that the US dollar is not a commodity currency is the stable version. You want to change it. It is thus up to you to find the sources. --Khajidha (talk) 19:55, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

I disagree, your statement that "US dollar is not a commodity currency is the stable version" is not true. The article has never read this way. Prior to my edit the article stated that a "US dollar is fiat currency", I changed it to "a US Dollar is commodity money of silver", I changed this on January 9th almost four months ago. Regardless you are trying to change it to "The U.S. dollar was originally commodity money of silver" something completely different. Therefore the burden is upon you per Wikipedia editing policy ( I believe a better path for you to follow if you disagree would be to put a "citation needed" rather than to engage in edit warring. (talk) 20:15, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

And a fiat currency is not commodity money. Therefore, your change is the one that needs to be cited. --Khajidha (talk) 11:27, 26 April 2017 (UTC)
Especially as the statetment that the dollar is commodity money was tagged as dubious back in January. The tag stood for about a month unanswered. It was then changed to the "was originally" wording that you have since removed several times. Your contention that the dollar is a commodity money has been properly challenged and you have yet to supply sources.--Khajidha (talk) 11:36, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

Your first sentence states: "And a fiat currency is not commodity money. Therefore, your change is the one that needs to be cited." I do not understand what you are trying to say with this statement. I have never claimed otherwise from what you state in this sentence. Please clarify. Again I think we are in agreement here.

Again I respectfully disagree with your characterization of the events. My edit proceeded the edit of "was originally" as well as your recent edit. So your request that I must "prove" my edit over yours and/or the "was originally" is to turn the Wikipedia editing policy on its head. You need to provide a citation for your contention, the extant article is already cited. As for the prior "dubious citation" you refer to, a citation was added and therefore the request was no longer needed. I believe, again, that was all done to the letter of Wikipedia policy. Right?

But I can agree with you on your request nonetheless, as you state in your last sentence "Your contention that the dollar is a commodity money has been properly challenged and you have yet to supply sources". Your current request is actually regarding something that is not part of my edit and certainly is not my contention (although I believe it is a true statement) but something that existed before, I am not wedded to it and I don't consider it necessary or even that significant to the topic of the article. So I agree with you that it can be removed if no one else contests it. I suggest removing it as you request, simply change the first sentence to:

"The U.S. dollar is silver as enacted by the Coinage Act of 1792 which determined the dollar to be 371 4/16 grain (24.1 g) pure or 416 grain (27.0 g) standard silver." (talk) 16:14, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

That still doesn't address the issue. Your contention that the dollar IS silver is the same as the idea that it is commodity money. The bulk of reliable sources states that the dollar is not based on silver and has not been based on silver for decades. No one is disputing that it was so based, but you need to show reliable sources that it is still so based. And, no, there was no citation given to the dubious statement that the US dollar IS silver. That was your original addition, that is what was challenged, that is what I have removed several times. Show me the sources that the dollar IS silver. Not that it WAS.--Khajidha (talk) 17:39, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

Sorry I can only address the issues as you present them... Again, the article has never read as you want to try and change it, therefore the onus is on you to provide authorities to cite for your position per Wikipedia policy. As you stated "You want to change it. It is thus up to you to find the sources." In the meantime, The Coinage Act of 1792 clearly states that a dollar is a certain amount of silver as already stated in the article in multiple places and not just my edit of January 9 by the way (see the "Overview" section for example).

You state: "The bulk of reliable sources states that the dollar is not based on silver and has not been based on silver for decades." I have never in my life seen anything in writing to this affect, but if you have them why are you not sharing? It would help me to help you if you could tell me the exact day this change occurred. It would help me narrow down my efforts to prove a negative. Is it also your position that this change that happened "decades" ago is still in affect?

You also state: "No one is disputing that it was so based, but you need to show reliable sources that it is still so based". If no one disputes the prior position why do you impose the burden on me to prove your position to the contrary? If everyday every article in Wikipedia had to prove it was still valid then the medium would cease to be useful, this position of yours is clearly not per Wikipedia policy, again I refer you to With respect, it is you that is contending a change to what we both agree, at a minimum, was the "was" condition. Best regards (talk) 19:32, 26 April 2017 (UTC)