As others listen on, he leans over two pieces of American money dating to the 19th century: a dollar coin made of silver and a paper dollar that, way back then, you could exchange for the same silver coin. More than a 100 years ago, he tells his audience of two, dollar bills were backed by silver — a precious metal that will always have value. But today, that’s no longer the case, he explains, as he pulls out a modern dollar bill backed by nothing but the U.S. government. The government can devalue the dollar at any time, he says, and one day, the dollar may disappear all together.
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