What Is a Dollar?

Lipsky, Seth
June 2011
National Affairs;Summer2011, Vol. 8, p91
This article focuses on debate over the definition of the U. S. government's currency. When Congressman Ron Paul of Texas asked Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke on his definition of the dollar in a House hearing, the Fed chief defines the dollar for what it can buy for consumers. The debate on dollar's definition, the author points out, is rooted in the Constitution, shaped by revolutionary experience and two centuries of economic-policy judgments and Supreme Court decisions.


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