Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


January 26, 2012

Town Meeting issue: Resident says, pay workers in silver coins

For some, American Silver Eagle dollar coins are a wise investment, as every $1 face-value silver coin is worth $35. Now Andover resident Bob Shapiro believes the town should use the coins to help pay interested employees and contractors.

He'll ask voters at April Town Meeting to allow the town to do so — saying it will help both workers and taxpayers.

"The federal tax code offers definite benefits to using silver dollars for transactions, rather than paper dollars, both for the town and for employees and contractors. This benefit might amount to a 4- to 5-percent increase in purchasing power value to employees and contractors who choose to receive a portion of payments in silver dollars," Shapiro wrote in an explanation. "The benefit to the town, given a 25 percent participation rate, might be approximately $1 million."

Shapiro, a Haggetts Pond Road resident and author of the article, said he became interested in the value of precious metals from a book his dad gave him in the 1970s that discussed "the coming downheaval" of American currency values.

"It became obvious to me that the dollar would go through its ups and downs, and return to its intrinsic value, which is zero," said Shapiro. "I saw that precious metals were already beginning their up-swing. I have been interested in returning the U.S. to a precious metal standard."

The proposal, he said, "is so far outside the box that it is probably outside the warehouse."

As the article is written, employees and town-hired contractors should be offered "the option of receiving a portion of their payments in the form of equal purchasing power amounts of $1 American Silver Eagle Coins or equivalents."

In his description of the proposal, he adds, "Both of these forms (paper and silver dollars) bear the imprint of the US government as being $1; both forms have been validated by US federal law as being 'legal tender.' However, their purchasing powers are not equal."

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