Check out these pics of American currency.
If you go to the site, notice how many banknotes said "payable in gold" or "two dollars in silver" or "payable to the bearer on demand", or similar verbiage. You could walk into the bank and swap this piece of paper for some silver or gold.
Do you think our government was a little more careful about printing batches of these babies?
Compare that system to the junk you see below. The little piece of paper that you sometimes see blowing down the street, and don't even bother to chase after? It says "THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE".
Why is it legal tender? Because they say so.
There are no longer any safeguards in place to prevent our government from spending these in the billions and printing these things by the trillions. You can to RonPaul.com for a good explanation of Fiat Money, Inflation, and Dr. Paul's proposal for an open competition in currencies.
Good luck when prices start doubling. A special prize will be awarded to the reader who sends me the first earnest MSM editorial blaming greedy corporations for the price increases.