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The Treasury once estimated that roughly nine notes out of every million are counterfeits. Let’s put that in perspective. There is roughly $1 trillion in US currency floating around out there. This would seem to indicate that about $9 million worth of the notes in circulation are in fact fraudulent.

Let’s see about “official” counterfeiting by the US Federal Reserve. Since the Fed was founded in 1913, the average annual inflation rate has been about 3.4 percent. So, if the amount of currency outstanding is $1 trillion, then government mismanagement of the money supply is expected to cost American consumers on the order of $34 billion each year.

Let’s see, private counterfeiters do $9 million worth of damage; your well-intentioned, omniscient, federal government does $34 billion worth of damage. What’s four zeros among friends?

4 Responses to “Why is Counterfeiting Illegal?”

  1. Brad Samples says:

    Fantastic post

  2. Nintendip says:

    From that perspective, isn’t all money that exists counterfeit?
    Money had to come from somewhere. However, there might be a difference between your average counterfeit and the U.S Federal reserve. The reserve might occasionally help out the economy, if it’s convenient for them. Maybe? (I’m honestly not sure) If they do that, it might give them sort of a right to print the stuff out…. sort of.

  3. wintercow20 says:

    What would make Paypal, and example of a private credit-money, counterfeit? Does it purport to be more valuable than it is? Or if a private company issued scrip, would that be viewed as counterfeit if the scrip redeems the amount it says it could redeem? I guess I don’t understand the analogy.

  4. Aiden says:

    “Let’s see, private counterfeiters do $9 million worth of damage; your well-intentioned, omniscient, federal government does $34 billion worth of damage. What’s four zeros among friends?”

    What does this prove?

    A serial killer kills 20 people, but if I only kill 1, then that’s acceptable?

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