Originally published 01/29/2013
A 1779 fifty-five dollar note printed by the Continental Congress. Via Wiki Commons."Welcome to the Continental Congress.""I'm not sure what you mean by that, Mr. President.""I mean we're on our way to a visit to the people who almost lost the American Revolution -- if we continue to try to maintain the illusion that our money has any value when the interest rate for borrowing it is zero and we try to solve our mounting debt problems by printing it by the billions.""Was that what happened to the Continental Congress?""Congress printed dollars at a fantastic rate in 1776. It seemed to work beautifully. They shipped it to the various states and they built forts, warships and mustered new regiments for the Continental Army. We were a dynamic new nation -- until we lost a couple of battles. Suddenly people started thinking that if we lost the war, these pieces of paper would be worth nothing. NOTHING. That's when our dollars started to depreciate.""How could you tell that was happening?"