Mourning 100 Years of Usury under The Fed

Mourning 100 Years of Usury under The Fed

By Nick Egnatz

 

December 23 marks the tragic 100th anniversary of the private Federal Reserve System, when the U.S. government gave to a private banking cartel that which no government has the right to give away–the sovereign right of a people to create and control their own money, the very lifeblood of a free and independent people.

“The Congress shall have The Power To…coin Money…”, Article 1, Section 8, U.S. Constitution.

Contrary to what most Americans think, the Federal Reserve System is not a part of the U.S. government.  Rather it is network of private banking corporations, wholly controlled by a handful of Wall Street mega “too big to fail” banking corporations.  Anyone doubting their absolute power should hearken to Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin of Illinois 2009 statement following the financial crash and the inability of Congress to regulate these banking corporations, “frankly they (banks) own the place (Capital Hill).”

The Federal Reserve System was the secret brainchild of the Rockefeller, Morgan and Rothschild banking families.  It was drawn up in a secret meeting at Jekyll Island, Georgia in 1910 and the only way that it was able to be voted into law was for the Rockefeller/Morgan/Rothschild banking corporations and their toxic legislative representative, Senator Nelson Aldrich, the very ones that secretly conceived the system to then publicly oppose it.  Thus convincing the American people, their hapless dupes in Congress and President Wilson that it was some sort of banking reform.

The Federal Reserve System is the legal embodiment of a monetary system that creates the nation’s lifeblood (our money) out of thin air as debt.  True, The Fed is required to return the interest The Fed accrues on the funds they conjure up out of thin air; but the private banking corporations that own The Fed, use these same funds to justify the loans they make and these same private banking corporations then get to keep the interest they charge the 99% on our credit card debt, mortgage loans, car loans, student loans etc.  It is a system of usury designed for the rich to get richer, while making debt slaves of the 99%.

See “Occupying The NEED Act”   http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/11626

for a more detailed discussion of the U.S. monetary system.

Watch this short video as ten year old Holly explains the U.K.’s monetary system, which is basically the same as ours.  Just substitute “Federal Reserve System” for the Bank of England and “Wall Street private banking corporations” for High Street banks.

Five years ago the outrageous speculation and creation of toxic financial instruments by the “too big to fail” banking corporations that completely control the entire Federal Reserve System resulted in a browbeaten Congress voting $700 billion to bail-out these functionally bankrupt banking corporations.  Unknown to the American people was that the secret Federal Reserve System over the next few years provided another $16 trillion in funds to these same banking corporations and others to pump up the bubble that had burst on the 99% in Sept of 2008.  We the people only found out about this secret gift from the Federal Reserve System to the very banking corporations that own and control this same Federal Reserve System because Sen. Bernie Sanders was able to attach a rider on the Dodd/Frank “financial reform bill”.  It remains the only public audit of The Fed in its 100 year history.

The Fed continues to bail-out its banking corporations with monthly gifts of $85 billion used to buy bonds and the toxic financial instruments created by these behemoth banking corporations.  To date almost $4 trillion has been gifted to the “banksters” of Wall Street via this process known as “quantitative easing” (QE).

Arrayed against this plenary power of private banking corporations to create our money supply are the American people, aka the working class.  The Occupy Movement said “we are the 99%” and by bravely occupying public spaces in every major city in the country in 2011 was successful in bringing to the national media a word never before allowed to be uttered–inequality.

The 100th anniversary of the Fed is marked by a nation in crisis.  A crisis that cannot be resolved by austerity, sequestration, government shutdowns or cutting unemployment insurance without providing jobs for those out of work.  The $17 trillion federal debt cannot be paid off under this system.  State and local governments will continue to be unable to pay off their $3 trillion in debt under this system.  Citizens will be unable to pay off their $16 trillion in mortgage and personal debt under this system.  This is a system designed to put the 99% into debt slavery to the “too big to fail” private banking corporations.  It is not broken, but rather doing exactly what it is designed to do.

Our country, founded on the statement “all men are created equal”, is now the most unequal industrial democracy on earth, indeed more unequal than many Third World countries.  UNICEF ranks us last among 24 industrial democracies in childhood poverty and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranks us 28th of 30 member countries in inequality and poverty, trailing only Turkey and Mexico.

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Open Market Committee shall maintain long run growth of the monetary and credit aggregates commensurate with the economy’s long run potential to increase production, so as to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.”    Section 2A, Monetary Policy Objectives, The Federal Reserve Act

The Fed is incapable of living up to its objective of maximum employment, while at the same time maximizing profits for the private banking corporations that own it.  The Clinton Administration solution in 1994 was to redefine unemployment so that it no longer counted the long term unemployed, unless they continued to jump through the government hoops at the unemployment office after their benefits had run out.  They are now disdainfully referred to as no longer seeking work and thus not unemployed.  This is how an economic recovery can be claimed and The Fed can appear on paper to be living up to its mission, while real unemployment rises and the official government rate drops.

Counting all those not working that need a job and those working part time that need a full time job, economist John Williams website Shadow Government Statistics pegs the real unemployment rate at 23%, after a steady climb from 20% at the beginning of 2009.  Bogus government stats for the same period show a steady drop from 10% to 7% official unemployed.  A recovery can be claimed and The Fed is living up to its charter.  Welcome to “The Twilight Zone” of The Fed. http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

This outrageous level of inequality is a direct result of the U.S. monetary policy of gifting the sovereign right to create the people’s money to private banking corporations and the private Federal Reserve System that these banking corporations  own.  There will be no relief for the American people under the current monetary system of debt money created by banks. Congress squabbles because the system in place cannot solve the problem. It is the problem.Here is the solution.

The NEED Act (National Emergency Employment Defense) Act, H.R. 2990 in the last Congress would:

  • Create 7-10 million good paying jobs.
  • Repair our crumbling infrastructure.
  • Give each citizen a Citizen’s Dividend that could be $10,000.
  • Give small businesses what they need, customers with money for their goods and services.
  • Provide debt-free funds to overwhelmed state governments.
  • Provide interest-free loans to desperately in need local governments, replacing interest-bearing bond financing.
  • Pay off the national debt, as it comes due.

It would do so by instituting 3 major, necessary reforms:

1) The Federal Reserve System is dismantled and good parts are placed into the U.S. Treasury.  Most Americans think that the Federal Reserve System is actually a federal agency. The NEED Act accomplishes this. A Monetary Authority within the Department of Treasury will then determine how much debt-free U.S. Money to create in keeping with The NEED Act’s charter to be neither inflationary nor deflationary.  While the Monetary Authority will determine how much money to create, it will have no say on how the money is used.  This remains the Constitutional function of Congress.

2) Accounting rule changes prohibit banking corporations from creating debt money via fractional reserve lending–the process in which banking corporations literally create money out of thin air when they make a loan to the 99% and create a deposit equal to the amount loaned to the customer to balance the banking corporation’s books.  This sleigh-of-hand process is decisively ended.  Future bank lending would consist of banking corporations lending monies that they actually had. This is what the majority of Americans mistakenly think happens now.

3) The Congress originates (creates) new U.S. Money and spends it into circulation, for infrastructure, health care and education and does so debt-free.  A Citizen’s Dividend is paid to each citizen that could be $10,000.  These funds will be available from the Federal Reserve System’s Open Market Account (SOMA).  The NEED Act specifically referenced spending $2.2 trillion the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated in 2009 was needed for repairs to our crumbling infrastructure.  Their more recent 2013 report estimates that $3.6 trillion needs to be spent on infrastructure repairs by the year 2020.  This increases the number of jobs to be created from 7 to 10 million.

The NEED Act is available here

http://www.monetary.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/HR-2990.pdf

False Reforms Will Not Work Now

There is a move to create state banks like the state owned Bank of North Dakota.  But state owned banks will continue to create debt money, the only difference is that it will be created by a state owned bank.  While this might be marginally better than the current system, the actual gains for the people will be very limited and nothing will be done to stop the creation of debt money by private banking corporations.  In fact they will work hand in hand together in continuing to create debt money as they do now in North Dakota.

Money creation belongs to the nation and should be done debt free as it will be done in The NEED Act.  Other banking functions can and should continue to be done by private banks, but regulation of these private banking corporations is very much a function of the federal government and will be done under The NEED Act.

In fact a very strong case can be made that legitimate private banks will be able to flourish under The NEED Act.  They just won’t be creating our money supply as debt.  With 10 million new good paying jobs created in infrastructure repairs and with a total of $3 trillion in Citizen Dividends, the American people can begin to repair their financial health.  We will have money to invest in banks.  The banks will then be able to loan this actual money out at a modest interest rate, benefitting all in society.

Local currencies and other inventions like the Bitcoin, while well intentioned, are merely diversions away from the systemic change that is desperately needed and accomplished by The NEED Act.  Focusing on The NEED Act will get us what we need, focusing on diversions will keep the Money Power right where it is now with the wealthy and their “too big to fail” private banking corporations.

You Are Needed

Changing such an unfair monetary system that has its tentacles in every department of government is no small task.  But it is the task we are given if we are ever to restore some level of democracy and equality to our nation.

The website for the American Monetary Institute the leading advocate of The NEED Act is http:  www.monetary.org

We the people need to educate, advocate and organize.

  1. Learn more about the Federal Reserve, the NEED Act and real monetary reform. Go to www.monetary.org
  2. Share information about the American Monetary Institute (AMI) and the NEED Act via discussions, meetings, email and social media
  3. Write or, better, meet with your Congressperson or Senator. Inform them about the NEED Act. Ask them to work with AMI to introduce a new version.  For those of us that feel strongly enough about the need for real monetary reform, tell your Congressperson and Senators that their active support of The NEED Act is necessary to receive your vote.
  4. Finally, don’t lose hope. The current monetary system is unsustainable. Fundamental change is inevitable. Those who have defended and bolstered our unjust and undemocratic monetary system for the last century benefiting banking corporations over people will deservedly lose credibility. That’s when we must be ready with knowledge, conviction, organization and a plan to provide real monetary reform.  Because if our plan The NEED Act is not presented to the American people, those that own the “too big to fail” banking corporations and our government will certainly be ready with a ‘solution’ that is even worse than our present reality.

Nick Egnatz is a Vietnam veteran. He has been actively protesting our government’s crimes of empire in both person and print for some years now and was named “Citizen of the Year” for Northwest Indiana in 2006 for his peace activism by the National Association of Social Workers.

Contact Nick OccupyNick@yahoo.com

 

 

Getting What We NEED

On April 1, 2014, in Uncategorized, by AMI

Getting What We NEED

Getting What We NEED

By Nick Egnatz

 
Watch the Youtube video of the Cawthra Park Secondary School Choir opening the song for the Rolling Stones.  The choir starts to sing and is almost completely drowned out by the crowd noise.  Slowly, gradually, something begins to happen.  The beauty and purity of their united voices as one, silences the crowd.  The choir is split into two groups, left and right.  Just as we the people have been split into a left and right, knowing that something is rotten in Denmark or Wall Street, separately searching for answers.  Then the shear beauty and power of the choir as one wins the day.  Our challenge is to come together and fight for what we need and want for our society.

“You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometime,

You just might find,

You get what you NEED.”
 

 
What do we want?

Decent lives for ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors–for all of us.

Good jobs that pay a good wage.

To take care of those that can’t work, the retired, disabled, mothers with young children and other caregivers, those that provide other services to the community that aren’t represented in a profit and loss statement.

A healthcare system that quite simply includes all of us and excludes the profit guys.  That includes dental, mental healthcare, prescriptions, natural alternatives and that excludes insurance companies, deductibles and co-pays.  The Affordable Care Act is none of the above.  When it was rammed through Congress, proponents of a single payer system, Medicare For All, were not even allowed in the Congressional discussions and the doctor and nurse advocates were forcibly removed and arrested when they attempted to present a single payer alternative.

While I would accept a single payer system, I would much prefer a single payer/single provider system.  This is what I had for 4 years of my life while I was in military service to my country.  In addition to regular checkups, dental care, prescriptions etc, I had one major surgery plus recovery stateside and a major illness that required me to be med-evacuated from Vietnam to the states and hospitalized under doctor’s care for more than two months.  There were no bills for any of this and I continued to be paid the entire time.  While in the service I was single, but those that were married had the peace of mind knowing that all the above care would also be given to their families as needed.  Isn’t this the type of system that we should also be considering for our entire society?

An end to debt slavery–student debt, underwater mortgages and out of control credit card debt, when being late on one payment can jack your interest rate to 25-30%.  Of course, it is easy to miss a payment when we live with an economic system that is incapable of providing jobs for all its people.  And so many of the jobs that we can get now only pay about half of what life’s basic necessities cost.

Put the 9 million American families that have been either foreclosed and torn from their homes or are in the process of foreclosure back into homes.

A clean, sustainable environment–transitioning from energy that pollutes air, water,  soil and threatens future human life on earth as we know it to renewable alternatives.  With the Fukushima nuclear disaster as an example of the inability to safely contain nuclear energy and waste, we can be assured that nuclear energy and bombs for that matter are anathema to human life and peace of mind.

An end to U.S. militarism, war and empire–in service not to the American people, but rather to the military/industrial/Congressional/banking complex.

These are all things that we want, but as the song says “You can’t always get what you want.” Why?  In our present monetary system there is never any money for these and other programs that would actually benefit the people.

“But if you try sometime

You just might find

You get what you need.”

Bringing the voices of peace, anti war, anti nuclear, environmental, Fight for $15, anti foreclosure, labor, debt jubilee, universal basic income, national healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, anti racist, LGBT activists, etc together in one voice, committed to struggle, we can get what we need.

And what we need is The NEED Act!

http://www.monetary.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/HR-2990.pdf

What does The NEED Act do?  It is the game changer that makes money available, debt-free, for all of the above goodies or programs that will immensely improve our lives and society.  Without it we will continue to roam in the wilderness, never enough money for the things that we want and need.

The NEED Act

National Emergency Employment Defense Act, H.R. 2990 in the last Congress,  changes who creates and benefits from our money.

Presently almost all (97%) of what we use for money is created by private banks when they make loans to us.  This money is created out of thin air by these huge banking corporations.  They simply make two accounting entries and what is used for money is created.  You and I must then pay this money back to them, plus interest, with the sweat of our labor.  It is why we the 99% are in the process of all becoming debt slaves.  The banking class has no intention of changing this paradigm.  Change can only come from all of us banding together in struggle for monetary reform via The NEED Act.

In the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s economists at the University of Chicago proposed reforms that became known as the Chicago Plan to change from a debt money monetary system to a “money by law” monetary system.  Unfortunately the reforms were not made and the depression lasted until we entered WWII.  The NEED Act builds upon the Chicago Plan.

“The Mistake lies in fearing money and trusting debt.”Henry Simons, University of Chicago economist said from the depths of the Great Depression

The 3 simple necessary reforms of The NEED Act:

  1. The Federal Reserve System is dismantled and good parts are placed into the US Treasury. A Monetary Authority within the Department of Treasury is created which avoids an inflationary or deflationary money supply. Most Americans think that the Federal Reserve System is actually a federal agency. the NEED Act accomplishes this.
  2. Accounting rule changes prohibit the banks from creating debt money. Fractional reserve lending is decisively ended. Future bank lending would consist of banks lending monies that they actually had. This is what the majority of Americans mistakenly think happens now.
  3. The Congress originates (creates) new U.S. Money and spends it into circulation, for infrastructure, health care and education and does so debt-free.

“Over time, whoever controls the money system, controls the nation.” Stephen Zarlenga, Director American Monetary Institute

Using newly created U.S. Money the NEED Act could initially:

  • Give each citizen a tax-free Citizen’s Dividend that could easily be $10,000 each if we simply used the newly nationalized Federal Reserve funds.  Think of this as a bailout for the 99%.  This is also necessary to avoid a deepening of the depression.  When banks are no longer able to create money as debt, new U.S. Money must be created and immediately put into circulation.  This will do what the Obama stimulus failed to do.
  • This then gives our small businesses what they need–customers with money in their pockets for their goods and services.  It will end our current depression.
  • Pay off the national debt as it comes due.  The part owed to our private banking community would be channeled back to the Treasury Dept so that the banks would not benefit from money created from nothing and then loaned to the U.S. government.
  • Repair our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and put 7-10 million Americans to work doing so.   In 2009 the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that it would cost $2.2 trillion to do so and create 7 million jobs.  Their 2013 report estimates $3.6 trillion is needed and this would result in 10 million new jobs.  The ASCE grades the infrastructure of the world’s wealthiest country with a D+ rating.
  • Provide debt-free funds to beleaguered state governments, Indiana’s would be about $1.5 billion annually.
  • Provide interest-free financing to local municipalities for schools, libraries, roads, sewers etc.  Thus ending costly municipal bond financing charges.

After we have seen what a committed sovereign government can do with monetary reform and a responsive, democratic money system, we can then put our legislators to work for the other things we want and need.

“Anything that is physically possible and socially acceptable, we can do with the monetary reform of The NEED Act.” Robert Poteat, monetary reformer

Meanwhile, our legislators from both political parties are hopelessly frozen within a debt money paradigm, unable to provide the things that we need and want for our society and the health of our mother earth because they can’t borrow anymore and they can’t tax anymore.  It’s up to us to tell them that we will no longer accept austerity.  America needs The NEED Act!

Nick Egnatz

Nick Egnatz is a Vietnam veteran. He has been actively protesting our government’s crimes of empire in both person and print for some years now and was named “Citizen of the Year” for Northwest Indiana in 2006 for his peace activism by the National Association of Social Workers.

Contact Nick OccupyNick@yahoo.com

 

 

Occupying the NEED Act

On April 1, 2014, in Uncategorized, by AMI

Occupying the NEED Act

Occupying the NEED Act

By Nick Egnatz

 

More than 5 years into the economic crisis created by Wall Street, recovery is a nothing but a meaningless word, mouthed by politicians. Yet just two years ago a bill was placed before the last Congress: the National Emergency Employment Defense Act (the NEED Act)

Ignored by politicians and corporate media alike, the NEED Act would:

  • Pay every American a Citizen’s Dividend that could easily be $10,000 for every man woman and child in the country.
  • Thus giving small businesses what they need: customers with debt-free money to purchase their goods and services.
  • Pay off the national debt, as it comes due, without deficit spending.
  • Create 7–10 million new jobs repairing the nation’s crumbling infrastructure.
  • Provide debt-free funds to beleaguered state governments. Indiana’s would initially be about $1.5 billion per year.
  • Provide interest-free, loans to local governments for schools, libraries etc., replacing the present system of financing through interest bearing bonds.

Understanding why the National Emergency Employment Defense Act (the NEED Act), H.R. 2990 was ignored and what needs to be done to put it back before Congress again, only this time with strong citizen support, involves a discussion of who creates and benefits from our money.

The Federal Reserve System celebrates its 100th anniversary on Christmas Eve, 2013. Contrary to what most Americans think, it is not a part of the U.S. government. Rather it is network of privately owned banks, wholly controlled by a handful of Wall Street megabanks: Chase, CitiBank, Bank America and Goldman Sachs. In 1913, the Federal Reserve Act ceded the power to create the nation’s money supply to the private Federal Reserve System and its private member banks. Anyone doubting their absolute power should hearken to Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin of Illinois statement following the financial crash of 2008 and the inability to regulate the banks, ” . . . and frankly they (banks) own the place (Capital Hill).”

Arrayed against this plenary power of private banks to create our money supply are you, I, your friends, families, neighbors, mine and everyone else who either works for a living or has a need to do so—the working class. Because the Occupy Movement was successful in creating a dialogue about the inequality endemic to our present economic system, it was necessary for those that represent the wealthy banking class to attack each and every permanent occupation that had brought American citizens together to try and work out a more equal system. These attacks were orchestrated nationally by the Obama Administration.

Yet there is little doubt that the same attacks would have been made by a Republican Administration, if one were in office.

The challenge for Occupy and other peace and social justice groups is to first garner a basic understanding of the nature of money and then advocate both within the present corrupt political system and outside the system for a return of the power to create money to the people through a representative and responsive federal government. I use the word return, not because this had been the actual practice, but because this is the power vested in the Constitution. “The Congress shall have The Power To . . . coin Money . . . ,” Article 1, Section 8.

Nature of money

The confusion the banking class has spread throughout our country’s history has been successful in keeping the people and our elected representatives ignorant of the nature of money.

There are basically three types of money:

  1. Money as a commodity: Gold and silver coins and paper money backed by 100% gold and silver reserves in the vault.
  2. Debt money created by banks: This is the system we have now and is the cause of our present problems. Bills and coins make up only about 2 1/2% of our total money supply. The rest of our money supply is conjured up out of thin air by private banks when they make loans, with a private tax (interest) added on top.
  3. Money by law: Aristotle defined money as an abstract legal creation of the state, created to benefit society as a whole, in contrast to those who believed money was a commodity to be hoarded by the wealthy. “Money exists not by nature, but by law.” As such, money is an instrument of law for the benefit of all. Its value is a reflection of that society’s industry and concept of justice. Always public, never private.

Both money as a commodity and debt money created by banks monetary systems have historically resulted in tremendous inequality with the money always ending up comfortably ensconced in the vaults of the wealthy. Money by law monetary systems in ancient Rome and Sparta allowed these sleepy hamlets to develop into two of the most thriving city states in the ancient world, with a much greater level of equality amongst their citizens than neighboring states had.

Rome and Sparta: Money by law

Rome had a money by law monetary system of bronze bars and coins from the reign of King Numa in 716 BC until wars further and further from home resulted in the minting of silver coins to pay their armies in foreign lands beginning around 310 BC. The bronze money by law monetary system was still used exclusively at home until the Punic Wars with Carthage resulted in Rome converting into a silver coin money as a commodity system by about 212 BC. Rome became a world power with its money by law monetary system. Its decline coincided with it changeover to a money as a commodity system.

Before Lycurgus became king of Sparta around 800 BC, he travelled much of the known world to get ideas about how to have the fairest and most equitable system for his future subjects. On the island of Crete he met the poet Thales “the lawgiver” who returned to Sparta to advise him. Lycurgus then eschewed the money as a commodity system of gold and silver and instead installed a money by law monetary system of elongated iron discs. They were called Pelanors because they resembled small cakes of the same name. They intentionally had no value outside the law. They were dipped in vinegar when hot during the smelting process. This made them brittle and useless for anything but money by law. Lycurgus also instituted land reforms, dividing the land more equally amongst the Spartan citizens.

Sparta grew into a Hellenic power during the almost 400 years of a money by law monetary system. Around 415 BC Sparta became more and more involved in wars far from home and regressed to a gold and silver money as a commodity monetary system. This was done largely as a result of successful foreign conquests and the capture of gold and silver from the vanquished that then made its way back to Sparta. The combination of war and a money as a commoditymonetary system was then the cause of Sparta’s demise as a world power.

U.S. money by law

U.S. history—Jefferson and Madison battling with the private 1st Bank of the United States, Jackson and Van Buren clashing with the private 2nd Bank of the United States, the Greenback and Progressive Movements, more recently parts of the Occupy Movement—has been a struggle and search for a fair and equitable system of money. Unfortunately, until now the banking class has had the money, clout and the ability to befuddle the issue enough to remain in power. Bank accountants then mystify the explanations of their occult practices, while the 99% are swallowed up in the quicksand of debt from present and past monetary policy.

The justification for giving the money power to the private First and Second Banks of the U.S. and the private Federal Reserve System was that they were issuing money as a commodity backed by gold and silver in their vaults. But the reality was that the banks that Jefferson, Madison, Jackson and Van Buren fought, the private banks and their private Federal Reserve System that citizens battle today have always created our money supply out of thin air by issuing debt money created by banks. This has been done historically by a process called “fractional reserve lending” in which banks loaned out about 10 times the actual money they had in reserve. Recently this process has been advanced to the point that the banks make the loans first and then use the entire Federal Reserve System to borrow whatever funds are necessary to justify the loan.

It is why citizens in the U.S., countries across the globe such as Greece, Cyprus and Spain, our own cities like Detroit and states like Illinois are all becoming debt slaves to a private banking class.

Let’s look at the successful examples of money by law in our own history.

Colonial Scrip: North American colonists suffered from a lack of money throughout their history. Remember that the colonies were created to benefit the mother country and not to provide a good life for the colonists. English law forbade sending coinage to the colonies and the Dutch also kept coinage from New Amsterdam (New York). Economic activity became so difficult that Massachusetts even made a small amount of Indian wampum legal tender in an effort to create a circulating medium.

Massachusetts rediscovered the science of money in 1690 when she issued “bills of credit,” the first paper money in the West. She spent them into circulation paying for the colonial expenses. Pennsylvania followed in 1723 with paper money that was loaned instead of spent into existence. A less perfect system, but still effective in alleviating the shortage of money in the colony.

The colonial money by law fiat currencies dramatically improved life in the colonies, facilitated the building of real infrastructure and reversed the flow of emigrants who for decades had been moving back to England. Because the colonial script was successful at alleviating hardship and fostering a new spirit of independence, the mother country made them illegal.

Continental Currency: The Continentals helped us to win our independence. The Continental Congress authorized $200 million and issued that amount to finance the new nation’s struggle for independence. Long after they made the Revolution a reality, they have been smeared by pundits as inflation money. What actually happened was that the British counterfeited billions of them and eventually destroyed the Continentals. Yet they still carried us over a 51/2 year period of Revolutionary War and to within 6 months of final victory. They gave us our nation!

Greenbacks: $450 million of paper Greenbacks were issued to fight the Civil War, in lieu of paying usurious interest rates to private banks. Eventually they were exchanged dollar for dollar with gold coins, but few were returned as Americans liked their paper money by law Greenbacks. The Greenbacks allowed us to keep the nation that the Continentals had given us and the Colonial Paper Scrip had helped to build.

Results of debt money created by banks monetary system

Now let’s examine what “debt money created by banks” has given us.

The 11 major financial catastrophes in U.S. history:

  1. Panic of 1785–1788
  2. Panic of 1792
  3. Panic of 1819–1822
  4. Panic of 1837–1843
  5. Panic of 1857–1861
  6. Great Depression or Panic of 1873–1878
  7. Panic of 1893–1897
  8. Panic of 1907
  9. Great Depression 1929–1941
  10. Recession of the mid 1970s
  11. Depression 2008-?

In addition to this depressing record of financial panics, recessions and depressions, the U.S. is for all practical purposes the most unequal industrial democracy on earth.

The progressively increasing level of inequality is starkly represented by the 2011 study done by social scientists Atkinson, Piketty, and Saez. “Top Incomes in the Long Run of History.” Journal of Economic Literature. Of all the income gains made in the U.S., during the Clinton years 45% went to the top 1% of earners, under Bush Jr. it was 65%. Now under the alleged ‘progressive’ or ‘socialist’ Obama, 93% of all income gains in the country to the top 1%.

The Occupy Movement was absolutely responsible for bringing a discussion of this inequality to the nation. Prior to Occupy there was never as much as a mention in the national media of the inequality built into our economic system. This is not because others had not been talking about inequality before, but because the level of citizen involvement in Occupy across the country, empathetically rejecting this inequality, made it impossible for the corporate media to completely ignore it.

Our work is far from finished though and our task is to now present and fight for a fairer and more equal system. the NEED Act’s monetary reform is the systemic change needed to bring about a greater level of equality. Enacting it is not the last step, but merely the first necessary step to fulfilling what we have all been taught is the promise of America.

The historical record is clear. There will be no relief for the American people under the current monetary system of “debt money created by banks.” Congress squabbles because the system in place cannot solve the problem. It is the problem. Here is the solution.

America needs the NEED Act

In the last Congress, then Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Congressman John Conyers, Jr., sponsored H.R. 2990 The National Emergency Employment Defense (NEED) Act.

The 3 primary and necessary reforms of the NEED Act:

1) The Federal Reserve System is dismantled and good parts are placed into the US Treasury. A Monetary Authority within the Department of Treasury is created which avoids an inflationary or deflationary money supply. Most Americans think that the Federal Reserve System is actually a federal agency. the NEED Act accomplishes this.

2) Accounting rule changes prohibit the banks from creating debt money. Fractional reserve lending is decisively ended. Future bank lending would consist of banks lending monies that they actually had. This is what the majority of Americans mistakenly think happens now.

3) The Congress originates (creates) new U.S. Money and spends it into circulation, for infrastructure, health care and education and does so debt-free. the NEED Act specifically referenced spending $2.2 trillion the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated in 2009 was needed for repairs to our crumbling infrastructure. Their more recent 2013 report grades U.S. infrastructure with a D+ rating and estimates that $3.6 trillion needs to be spent on infrastructure repairs by the year 2020. This increases the number of jobs to be created from 7 to 10 million.

Partial reforms have not worked in the past

These reforms have been tried separately in the past and because they have been done separately the banking class has always managed to navigate around them and return to the status quo of a debt money created by banks monetary system.

  1. The Bank of England, the British central bank and model upon which the U.S. Federal Reserve System was built, was nationalized in 1946 after the Church of England led a campaign against it. The Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple said of the Bank of England’s monetary policies that “the result is to make into the master what ought to be the servant.” Because the nationalization of the British central bank was done separately and fractional reserve lending was not quashed, the money creation power merely flowed to the individual private banks and away from the nationalized Bank of England and the British government. The status quo of “debt money created by banks” remained.
  2. The debt-free Greenbacks were created and spent into existence allowing the Union to fight and win the Civil War. Because the concurrent practice of money creation by fractional reserve lending was not stopped, the private banks, after first allowing the Greenbacks to win the war for the Union, were quick to eliminate their debt-free competition. This was all done despite the fact that U.S. citizens loved their debt-free Greenbacks.
  3. In the 1830s Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren defeated the private Second Bank of the U.S. in a monumental struggle, ending the corrupt bank’s creation of debt money. This was a good thing, but because they both had an incomplete understanding of the nature of money, they neglected to create and spend into existence the money by law that was necessary for the economic lifeblood of our country. As a result of the lack of money, the country was plunged into the terrible Panic of 1837–43. Those individuals that think a return to the gold standard of money as a commodity would solve our problems, need to study the results of Jackson and Van Buren’s efforts doing exactly this.

False reforms will not work now

There is a move to create state banks like the state owned Bank of North Dakota. But state owned banks will continue to create debt money, the only difference is that it will be created by a state owned bank. While this might be marginally better than the current system, the actual gains for the people will be very limited and nothing will be done to stop the creation of debt money by private banks. In fact they will work hand in hand together in continuing to create debt money as they do now in North Dakota.

Money creation belongs to the nation and should be done debt free as it will be done in the NEED Act. Other banking functions can and should continue to be done by private banks and not a state or a national bank. Regulation of these private banks is very much a function of the federal government and will be done under the NEED Act.

In fact a very strong case can be made that legitimate private banks will be able to flourish under the NEED Act. They just won’t be creating our money supply as debt. With 10 million new good paying jobs created in infrastructure repairs and with a total of $3 trillion in Citizen Dividends, the American people can begin to repair their financial health. We will have money to invest in banks. The banks will then be able to loan this actual money out at a modest interest rate, benefitting all in society.

Local currencies and other inventions like the Bitcoin, while well intentioned, are merely diversions away from the systemic change that is desperately needed and accomplished by the NEED Act. Focusing on the NEED Act will get us what we need, focusing on diversions will keep the money power right where it is now with the wealthy and their private megabanks.

Other features of the NEED Act

What about the $17 trillion federal debt? The federal debt will be paid off as it becomes due. If we continue with a debt money created by banks system, we will never be able to pay off the debt.

The NEED Act is based on an understanding that the root economic problem is using debt for money and consequently a lack of money for average everyday people. This is immediately addressed with a Citizen’s Dividend to be paid to every citizen. This is necessary to maintain a sufficient money supply. The Federal Reserve System’s Open Market Account (SOMA) will be incorporated into the federal government with the NEED Act. It has the funds necessary for a $10,000 Citizen’s Dividend and in fairness these funds belong to the U.S. citizens. Other dividends may be forthcoming in the future, as long as they are non-inflationary.

A commitment of the NEED Act is to channel 25% of all newly created new U.S. Money to state governments based on population to use as they see fit. I estimate my state, Indiana’s share of this to be $1.5 billion per year, with a population of 6.5 million. This is based on a $15 trillion U.S. economy growing at a very modest 2% yearly rate, creating the need for $300 billion in new U.S. money, 25% of which would be allocated to the states.

This $300 billion in new U.S. Money would not be enough to finance the infrastructure rebuilding called for by the ASCE report. The charter of the NEED Act calls for money to be created in sufficient quantities for our nation’s needs, in a non inflation/deflation manner. The historical record has shown that creating money to build and benefit the entire society has been non inflationary and thus the infrastructure spending would be non inflationary. The legislation is clear that if spending becomes inflationary it will be checked, with the corollary also true that if deflation begins to rear its ugly head, more money will need to be created and spent into circulation. The Monetary Authority will determine the amount of new money to be created and spent into circulation. The Congress, under its Constitutional authority, will determine how to spend it.

Local governments are also experiencing tremendous financial pressures. The NEED Act makes interest free loans to local governments for schools, libraries, roads, sewage treatment plants etc. Done away with forever is the interest on bonds that have been used to finance such projects. The recent LIBOR scandal illustrated the illegal rigging of these interest rates, resulting in billions of dollars in excess interest paid to the international banking cartel by the 99%.

Social justice & monetary policy

Stephen Zarlenga’s The Lost Science of Money, a tour de force study of 3,000 years of monetary history, incorporates the perspective of social justice and fairness in monetary policy. All the world’s great religions have struggled to reconcile monetary policy and the abhorrent concept of usury. In my own youth almost all states had usury laws limiting the amount of interest that could be charged by lenders. In 1978 in Marquette vs. First Omaha Service Corp., the Supreme Court ruled that a national bank could charge the highest interest rate allowed in their home state to customers living anywhere in the United States, including states with restrictive interest caps. This ruling coupled with subsequent court rulings and legislation has left the public defenseless against astronomically high interest rates and completely exposed to the money power’s greed.

Learning from Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, the Scholastic Scholars of the Middle Ages and 3,000 years of monetary history, Zarlenga frees the term usury from the constraints of modern interpretation: simply charging an excessive interest rate to a definition more in keeping with the usage of the word usury in ancient societies. Zarlenga’s “macro usury” is “the taking of something for nothing through the structural misuse of the monetary mechanism.”

The NEED Act cuts to this very “heart of darkness” of the debt money created by banks monetary system of usury.

Not addressed by the NEED Act

What the NEED Act does not address is individual debt. A debt jubilee or forgiveness of debt is certainly within the spirit of social justice and the historical record from which the NEED Act originated. Making the NEED Act a reality, certainly no small feat, will help pave the way for such a jubilee.

We have other grave crises confronting our country. A few that come to mind:

  • A culture of militarism, empire and war.
  • Progressively greater and greater inequality.
  • Global warming and a slew of other environmental crises.
  • An undemocratic democracy.
  • An assault on civil liberty.

The NEED Act, while not directly addressing these, will certainly make our country more equal and thus allow a greater level of democracy; the level of democracy and equality being in direct correlation to each other.

Wars and militarism have been a profit center of bankers throughout history. Taking the money power away from them will certainly reduce our present reliance on using war, as the first and almost always last, instrument of our foreign policy.

Putting the money power with the people through democratic representation will allow us to confront the tremendous crises of global warming, nuclear weapons, nuclear power and disposing of nuclear waste. Let’s face it, there is now and never will be sufficient funding to adequately address these crises, under a debt money created by banks monetary system.

And finally putting our government to work on all these positive programs to benefit our people will certainly reduce the need for our government to spy on its own citizens, torture and incarcerate them and claim the right to do this indefinitely, absent any process of law. When our government starts to make itself the servant of the people, there will be no need for it to be our enemy.

How to do it

Perhaps, I should ask you for your suggestions here. I have no illusions that our Congress and President will come to some great awakening and pass the NEED Act. Personally, I stopped voting with the 2010 election. This as a statement that our country is undemocratic to the core and my participation in the voting charade would be giving my consent to the entire process. This was done after previously voting in every election since I came of age and sent in my absentee ballot from Vietnam in 1968.

I believe that our organizing for the NEED Act outside of the political arena and lobbying those in the political arena should be done from a position that the system is rigged for the wealthy and it’s up to our representatives to prove us wrong by sponsoring and voting for the NEED Act. Our strategy should be simple: get on board and support it or you don’t get our votes. We will vote for no one who does not support the NEED Act and conversely will vote for whoever does, regardless of their party affiliation.

The NEED Act (National Emergency Employment Defense Act) is in bill form and was before the last Congress as H.R. 2990, cosponsored by Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and John Conyers of Michigan. There were no other cosponsors and there was no companion legislation in the Senate. Presently the NEED Act sits ready to go, but without a single sponsor in the Congress and no companion legislation in the Senate.

The entire bill, fourteen pages, is available at monetary.org

My own opinion is that two updates should be made to the bill.

  1. Revise the amount to be spent rebuilding our infrastructure from $2.2 trillion to $3.6 trillion, as reflected in the more recent 2013 study by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
  2. Specify $10,000 for the initial Citizen’s Dividend. This amount will be available when the Federal Reserve System Open Market Account is incorporated into the government and we will need this level of immediate infusion of money into the economy to replace the debt money that will no longer be created. So many of our citizens need this type of bailout to get back on their feet and when we are fighting for the bill, it will be so much more effective to state a specific figure rather than a vague statement that we will all get a dividend.

We need to organize within our congressional districts and states to pressure our representatives. Write them, email them, call them and arrange to meet in person and discuss the NEED Act with groups in each congressional district.

Short letters to the editor, because that’s all most newspapers allow now. Focus on one point. A few examples to stimulate your own writing. Please, feel free to use these as is or change them to fit your specific circumstances.

“I want my Congressman to support the NEED Act, (National Emergency Employment Defense Act) because it will put 7–10 million Americans to work at good paying jobs and do this debt free. Congressman So and So, why are you not on board, fighting for jobs for your constituents, by supporting the NEED Act?”

“The NEED Act (National Emergency Employment Defense Act) pays off the national debt so that we don’t have to have our Food Stamps, Unemployment Benefits, Head Start program etc. cut because of austerity, sequestration, government shutdowns. It also puts 7–10 million of us to work at good paying jobs and does so debt free. Congressman So and So, why are you not supporting and leading a parade for the NEED Act?”

“The NEED Act would give our state (Indiana) a yearly grant of $1.5 billion debt-free from the federal government. This could be used in a variety of ways such as reducing college tuition, funding our local school districts and even reducing taxes.

Since this is new money spent into existence and not borrowed by our federal government, it does not add to the national debt. In fact under the NEED Act the federal debt is paid off as it comes due. Under our present system of debt money created by private banks, the federal debt will never be paid off.

Senators Coats and Donnelly, why on earth are you not sponsoring this legislation?”

“I own a small business. I’ve been struggling for years to keep my business going and employees working. The NEED Act (National Emergency Employment Defense Act) gives each person in the country a $10,000 tax-free Citizen’s Dividend. It does so debt free. My business doesn’t need loans and more debt. My business needs customers with cash for the goods and services I provide. Congressman So and So, why are you not supporting the NEED Act?”

The American Monetary Institute monetary.org is a small non profit charity that supports monetary reform via the NEED Act. More information, along with Stephen Zarlenga’s book The Lost Science of Money are available there.

There is a need to create a website that organizes actions of all types supporting the NEED Act by Congressional Districts and States. Anyone that can help with this task please contact me at OccupyNick@yahoo.com

Nick Egnatz

Nick Egnatz is a Vietnam veteran. He has been actively protesting our government’s crimes of empire in both person and print for some years now and was named “Citizen of the Year” for Northwest Indiana in 2006 for his peace activism by the National Association of Social Workers. Recently he has been championing monetary reform for the 99% by replacing our present ‘debt money created by banks’ monetary system with a democratic, debt-free ‘money by law’ system. Contact Nick: OccupyNick@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

Book Review for Modernising Money

On March 18, 2014, in Book Reviews, by AMI

Book Review for Modernising Money

Book Review for Modernising Money

by Steven Walsh
AMI Researcher

 

Andrew Jackson and Ben Dyson have done a fantastic job in helping to explain modern banking practices as they relate specifically to the money creation process and, just as importantly, how we must reform it, creating a fair monetary system for all. This system would allow for public and private job creation, and along with that opportunity, a more peaceful and healthy society and environment. While the book focuses on England’s monetary system, the same analysis applies to the United States and, in general, all the banking systems in the world.

In the United States parallel work, with a strong historical foundation, has been done by the American Monetary Institute. The National Employment Emergency Defense Act (NEED) has been introduced recently into two sessions of Congress by the Congressman, Dennis Kucinich. This Act throws a spear into the mysterious – and often cloaked – banking system and corrects a fundamental injustice in how money comes into circulation. Dyson and Jackson add to the monetary reform movement by exposing the present monetary system in an understandable fashion and by articulating possibilities for how the future might look under the “reformed system.”

The compelling and key argument that Dyson and Jackson make is that the present practice, whereby money is created by banks (indeed, 97% of the money in England), perpetuates an injustice and is immoral! The origination of money must belong to government, through a public administration process, for the benefit of all citizens. It is that simple. Jackson and Dyson use the current language of economics and banking to explain the “moral hazard” of letting banking corporations and their leadership control the nation’s money supply. A major demonstration of the moral hazard has been the recent bail out of the failing banks. When bankers mismanage, no matter what their size, and become insolvent there needs to be a proper way to let them fail without hurting the overall monetary system of society. The “reformed system” as advocated in Modernising Money, like the NEED Act in the United States, makes this transition in an elegant and just way.

In the light of history Dyson and Jackson’s book comes at an important time. During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, important U.S. economic academics: Irving Fisher, Henry Simons, etc., along with a strong majority of the economists of the day agreeing, introduced bills into both chambers of Congress to reform the banking system, in the same fundamental way as it is being done today: because it was morally right. They felt that even though the bankers would not want it that enough righteous Congressmen would take the time to understand and the change would come. They did not push to educate the common voters; the bankers prevailed and both bills died in Congressional committees. Today we understand this was a mistake and Jackson and Dyson’s book plays an important role in rectifying this by helping to educate the public on this crucial topic. The educated lay person will now be in a better position to stand up to monetary/economic punditry or present-day banking advocate and speak truth to power.

Jackson and Dyson give the reader explicit detail in how to move from the current operating system to the public creation and administration of money (through the Money Creation Committee and the Bank of England in England, which parallels the Monetary Control Board and the Bureau of the Federal Reserve as created and maintained under the NEED Act). This allows for common sense choices that can take a nation out of debt and have its people prosper at the same time. It is through these real choices: how much money should be created, should this money be spent into circulation or should it be lent to the banks to be relent into circulation, that Dyson and Jackson explain how money should be modernized. For example, if money is lent to the banks should there be a stipulation that this new money be lent out by the banks for entrepreneurial activities rather than creating asset bubbles in the area of home mortgages(?).

For those readers with little time, I would suggest reading the five page conclusion which serves as a summary for this important book. Overall, the language is clear and although the economic/banking material at times gets a little thick, know that you do not have to read every point before moving on. The book is organized and smartly redundant enough, that the chapters can stand on their own. Also, as suggested by the authors, you can choose to skip chapter four, which slogs through the mud of our present banking/economic system, and not miss crucial information for understanding monetary reform. Chapter four, however, goes the extra mile in laying out the present system bare, which more serious students will find useful.

In summary, Modernising Money is a must read for those who want to help lead us out of this economic/monetary abyss. It is time for enough people to understand these monetary reform ideas so that we have the political resolve to right society for all.

If you would like to order a copy of the book, please send a check for $35 USD (S&H included) and your address to the American Monetary Institute at:
PO Box 601, Valatie, NY, 12184.

 

Or order online using PayPal


 

 

A Program for Monetary Reform

On January 30, 2014, in Research & Articles, by AMI

A Program for Monetary Reform

A Program For Monetary Reform

This paper, from six notable American economists, is a 1939 proposal put forth to rebuild America’s economic system.

 

On Modernising Money

On December 23, 2013, in Book Reviews, by AMI

On Modernising Money

On ‘Modernising Money’ – A Review

By Joe Bongiovanni
Co-Director, The Kettle Pond Institute
Plainfield, Vermont

 
I liked it from the title – being an active verb that brings with it the substance of needed reform. It’s a book about ‘doing’ something.

For anyone considering buying any book that explains in just the right amount of detail exactly how the modern money systems of the world really work, what is wrong with these present systems, and what can really be done to make ‘money’ itself a common good of sovereign peoples – do what you can to make a purchase of “Modernising Money” by British authors Andrew Jackson and Ben Dyson.

Note: I went to Amazon, where I occasionally purchase and the price was $57 – with only one (1) available. I went to Alibris, where I most often purchase, and there were none available. I went to the Positive Money website and tried to purchase there, but they rejected the bonafides of my home zip code.

So, do what you can to get a copy. It will be well worth the effort.

Some may say that this book describes the particular monetary system of the British, with its publicly-owned central bank and GILTs being the rendered public debt-instrument. True enough, yet there are volumes of direct connectedness between the nature of the US and UK systems of money that are relevant to fixing that which is responsible for so much that is wrong with today’s private systems of debt-based money.

This book well complements Stephen Zarlenga’s ‘masterpiece’ , “The Lost Science of Money”, which provides 23 Chapters of monetary history on this planet, and one(1) chapter of how to reform the system. The Jackson-Dyson book has one Chapter on history, and nine (9) Chapters on everything from how the present system works, to the socio-economic and environmental consequences of this debt-based system of money today, to how the reformed system would effect both economics and banking, and on to a Conclusion that reclaims the righteousness of how a modern money system can become the engine for the common good.

This IS the book that needed to be written at this time. There is nothing more powerful in today’s world of bought-out political power than a truly well-informed citizenry. And what we have in this well organized and written piece is honestly the very best arsenal of indisputable information that can be used to inform those interested on how to replace our bought-out political power with a rational, workable and sustainable money system for the future – on both sides of the pond.

The book’s Foreword by noted economist and ecologist Professor Herman Daly includes the following; slightly paraphrased:

– The privileged power enjoyed by the private banking sector of creating money from nothing and lending it at interest in the form of demand deposits …. derives from the current design of the banking system, and can be corrected by moving to a system where new money can only be created by a public body working in the public interest.

This is simple to state, but difficult to bring about. Jackson and Dyson do a fine job of explaining the clear institutional reforms necessary for a sound monetary system. –

Back in the mid 30s noted Chicago Plan supporter, Fed economist Robert Hemphill wrote in his “Staggering Thought” on reform of the money and banking system that: “It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it becomes widely understood and the defects remedied.”

This work of “Modernising Money” by Andrew Jackson and Ben Dyson is exactly the piece that should be used by, and useful to, today’s generation of intelligent persons that pick up the collected mantle of sound money and public purpose.

Get it where you can. Now.

If you would like to order a copy of the book, please send a check for $35 USD (S&H included) and your address to the American Monetary Institute at:
PO Box 601, Valatie, NY, 12184.

 

Or order online using PayPal


 

 

War and Debt

On August 19, 2013, in Uncategorized, by AMI

War and Debt

War and Debt Powerpoint

Is our current debt-based money system a leading motivator for our country to go to war?

 

Robert Poteat, leading expert on America’s money system and Senior Advisor to the American Monetary Institute, introduces War and Debt, a Powerpoint presentation that examines:

▪ How our debt-based money system promotes war, and warfare then promotes more debt.

▪ How HR 2990, introduced into the last Congress by Rep. Dennis Kucinich solves these critical monetary problems.

Please leave any questions or comments on the presentation below in the Leave a Reply section.

War and Debt Powerpoint

 

Paper Money and the Original Understanding of the Coinage Clause

By: Robert G. Natelson, Professor of Law, The University of Montana School of Law

*View the full article in PDF here

Below is the abstract from Natelson’s article Paper Money and the Original Understanding of the Coinage Clause

Over a century ago, the Supreme Court decided the Legal Tender Cases, holding that Congress could authorize legal tender paper money in addition to metallic coin. In recent years, some commentators have argued that this holding was incorrect as a matter of original understanding or original meaning, but that any other holding would be absolutely inconsistent with modern needs. They further argue that the impracticality of functioning without paper money demonstrates that originalism is not a workable method of constitutional interpretation.

Those who rely on the Legal Tender Cases to discredit originalism are, however, in error. This Article shows that the holding, although not all the reasoning, of those cases was fully consistent with the original understanding of the Coinage Clause. This Article tells the intriguing story of Colonial America’s extraordinary monetary innovations, examines contemporaneous law and language, and shows how the paper money question was addressed during the framing andratification of the Constitution.

View the full article in PDF here

 

Review of David Graeber’s “Debt: The First 5,000 Years”

Reviewed by Robert Poteat, AMI Researcher

“The book is worth reading and will aid anyone to understand that the evolution of money as settlement of debt and its conversion to debt is far more complicated than a simple solution to barter with bits of precious metal.”

The book is 594 pages that include 391 pages of anthropological discourse on credit, debt, and money in 12 chapters, 59 pages of footnotes, and an extensive bibliography is included as well as index.

The cover leaf dispenses with the myth of money originating as a solution to barter with…”not a shred of evidence to support it.” Text of the book reveals many variations of credit/debt/money relations in primitive as well as modernized societies from 3500 BC to 2011 CE.
The first written language was cuneiform from Sumer that began approximately 3500 BC. Baked clay tablets written in cuneiform reveal that money power was the prerogative of the temples that served as civil authority. The clay tablets reveal an extensive system of credits/debts as means of exchange as well as some coinage of metals. Interest, or usury, had already been invented. Any attempts to explain origins of money before the invention of writing must be speculation.

The author examines a number of undeveloped societies that operated on various systems of credits and debts, and examines the social relations of these systems. Social relations in small communities relied heavily on the dishonor of not paying one’s debts. This attitude still prevails in modern society.

A strong case is made that money was invented to pay debts or enable immediate settlement of exchange with someone with whom there was not expected to be any further association. In many cases, a coin acted as a token or counter rather than being valuable in itself. A good argument is made that precious metals were adapted to coinage to assist armies in procurement of arms, armament, and equipment in far off places. Precious metals are portable and are nearly universally recognized as having price value.

The author concludes in Chapter 6, page 164: “If we have become a debt society, it is because the legacy of war, conquest, and slavery has never completely gone away.” Government debt to private parties has been used to manipulate and corrupt government for private ends, particularly, in the present debt paradigm called capitalism. Debt has been used to degrade everything including human lives to a monetary calculation that eliminates all social obligations to each other. This is especially observable in the later development of capitalism that has
reduced society to a system of practical debt slavery.

The author offers no solutions except a weak suggestion of debt forgiveness.

As a matter of opinion, the book, as an anthropological study, did not give enough consideration to the power assumed by entities, temples, kings, governments, etc., to control society through control of money. This was already evident in Sumerian clay tablets and has evolved into the present private central bank monopolies that are the greatest concentration of wealth through debt in human history.

The book is worth reading and will aid anyone to understand that the evolution of money as settlement of debt and its conversion to debt is far more complicated than a simple solution to barter with bits of precious metal.

 

A Hostile Takeover of Our Country – Robert Kennedy Jr.

by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., EcoWatch

American democracy is under assault.

In one super-PAC alone, Karl Rove and the Enron grifter Ed Gillespie, have assembled $200 million from big polluters and Wall Street moguls to buy the 2012 election.

Two of the Koch Brothers, Charles and David, pledged $130 million to elect candidates who favor unrestrained corporate profiteering.

The senators and congressmen they fund and elect are not representing the United States-they are representing Koch and its oil industry cronies, Big Pharma, and the Wall Street banksters currently mounting a hostile takeover of our government.

I have no problem characterizing these corporate-centric super-PACs as treasonous. We are now in a free fall toward old-fashioned oligarchy; noxious, thieving and tyrannical.

The most corporate-friendly Supreme Court since the Gilded Age had declared in its notorious Citizens United decision that corporations are people and that money is speech. Those who have the most money now have the loudest voices in our democracy while poor Americans are mute.

And the money is talking; in 97 percent of federal elections over the past two decades, the best-funded candidates were victorious.

America, the world’s proud template for democracy and a robust middle class, is now listing toward oligarchy and corporate kleptocracy.

America today is looking more and more like a colonial economy, with a system increasingly tilted toward enriching the wealthy 1 percent and serving the mercantile needs of multinational corporations with little allegiance to our country.

These radical forces already dominate the national press, with Fox News and talk radio snugly in the pocket of the corporate Right.

This is the first time in American history that corporate and media interests have been so clearly and so perilously aligned.

With the media in their hands, and unlimited money, the final strategy of Rove, Koch, the Chamber of Commerce, and others of that ilk is to permanently cripple representative democracy by stopping Americans from voting.

A boatload of new Jim Crow laws target Democrats by erecting impediments that deter poor and minority communities, senior citizens, and students from exercising their franchise.

Voter suppression is a crime.

In Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Greg Palast details each of these devious scams for disenfranchising vulnerable voters . . . but also, crucially, Palast here follows the money that powers the machinery of democracy’s destruction.

This is not a partisan issue. Clearly the GOP agenda is to suppress votes, as Karl Rove has repeatedly and unashamedly signaled. But Billionaires & Ballot Bandits exposes the vote-count blindness, biases, venality, and ballot gaming by Democrats as well. I don’t believe there are Republican children or Democratic children.

Every American citizen ought to have the right to vote and everybody ought to have the right to clean air and clean water, to integrity and transparency in the marketplace, and to a functioning democracy.

Palast is the last of the great, old-fashioned muckraking investigative reporters. He’s an “outlier,” unafraid of corporate tyrants. Together, we have been investigating and exposing voter suppression for years. In 2008, we co-wrote a story for Rolling Stone warning of the ugly future of a new Jim Crow operation.

Now, it’s here.

Voter suppression is real. And it’s happening to YOU. But there is something that you can do to prevent it. That is the message of Palast’s book.

Remember, this is YOUR democracy. You can do all the campaigning you want, but if your vote isn’t counted, you’re going to lose the presidency-and our democracy.

Read our book Billionaires & Ballot Bandits. Pass on the link www.BallotBandits.org and download the 7 Ways to Beat the Ballot Bandits. And get the word out! There’s still time to steal back your vote..