Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Issue of Money: For Deaf Ears

The Issue of Money
Fidonet, Alternative News 06-04-94

The origins of modern banking can be traced back to the days when goldsmiths began giving out receipts for the gold that they safeguarded - they soon realized that the receipts were more useful for business transactions than heavy amounts of gold - some enterprising goldsmith figured out that large amounts of gold weren't even necessary to insure the utility of receipts; the goldsmith began loaning gold and receipts at interest, hence the birth of the fractional reserve system and the invention of "debt money."

They say that knowledge is power - "I used to think so, but now I know that they mean money" said Lord Byron centuries ago - according to Dr. Jacques S. Jaikaran in his book, "Debt Virus - A Compelling Solution to the World's Debt Problems" - "the money creators, through ignorance or design, have withheld the true facts about money from the public and their actions serve to dispossess humankind of wealth, property and freedom."

Looking at the history of modern banking and the pattern that has developed over the centuries, it's difficult to imagine that bankers were blithely innocent of the effect of their endeavors to make money - today, money is created by private banks with the stroke of a computer key and loaned out at interest - because the interest on the money is not benignly created simultaneously, it is mathematically impossible to pay back all the money with interest - invariably some debts cannot be repaid; foreclosures occur - those with the most money profit at the expense of those with the least money - wealth is transferred from the poor to the rich - it is becoming increasingly obvious that this is happening at an alarming rate on a global scale.

In the past, Egypt fell, when a mere 4% of the population controlled all the wealth - Babylonia fell when 3% of the population controlled all the wealth - in Persia, when 2% of the people controlled all the wealth the empire collapsed - the Roman Empire fell when only 2000 people held all the wealth.

Recessions and depressions are not "natural" occurrences like rain and snow - money is completely artificial and subject to manipulation and controls - a shortage of money will cause a recession or depression - although most people suffer from the lack of money, and even smaller banks will fail during hard times, the largest institutions and the wealthiest people often benefit and increase their holdings at bargain prices - "the most pernicious of all viruses is the one that confiscates the wealth of the productive elements of society and transfers it to the hands of a nonproductive few" writes Dr. Jaikaran.

Only coin is issued by the Treasury - most of the money in circulation today is checkbook money, or demand deposits, created by the banks rather effortlessly - it costs the price of a house, to borrow enough money to buy a house - it costs thirty years of sweat and effort to pay for a house, whereas a banker could effortlessly create the money out of thin air, and then sit back to be rewarded with hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest.

There is something profoundly wrong with our current monetary system - money is supposed to "activate the production of goods and services; to facilitate and simplify the exchange of goods and services; to provide a relatively stable unit of measurement for the value of goods and services; and to provide a means of storing values or savings - the present system elevates the banking industry to a financial aristocracy, allowing unconstitutional control over the money creation process - money has to be created by man - it is like a public utility - so, if it is a public utility; who should have the right to create it? - should it be the right of a handful of private citizens for their own benefit? - or should it be the right of all citizens?

Under our current system, money has become "a new form of slavery", and distinguished from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal, that there is no human relation between master and slave -- it is the right of all citizens to create money - Congress should exercise that right and spend money directly into the economy instead of borrowing it and burdening the current and future generations with an unpayable debt - certainly the cities, the counties need money for people and human needs; we shouldn't have foreclosures and should be able to afford housing, education, health-care and a good transportation system - ideally - unfortunately, Congress doing something which would benefit the many at the expense of the "ruling class," which finances their campaigns is highly unlikely.

In an article in the Utne Reader called "Bringing the Money Back Home - local currency and barter foster stronger communities," the author, David Morris, in one paragraph mentioned how the mayor of Worgl, Austria, during the Depression of the 1930's "decided to print notes, called "tickets for services rendered," which he used to pay people working on a bridge and drainage scheme - the town council decreed that this scrip could be used to pay all local taxes - each note changed hands 20 times in the first month - the scheme was so successful that other towns took up the idea, and whole areas were transformed out of poverty within three months and into prosperity within a year - when 200 mayors announced that they were going to do the same thing, the Austrian central bank decided things were getting out of hand - it appealed to the courts, which promptly declared the local currencies unconstitutional.

In the latest issue of The Boycott Quarterly (June 1994), an economic democracy feature article appeared entitled "Creating Economic Democracy with Local Currency - Heck, Make Your Own Money!" - alternative currencies are cropping up along with books on how to start your own - "The Need for Local Currencies" by Robert Swann and "Time Dollars" by Jonathan Rowe and Edgar Cahn look at local needs and successful alternative currency solutions.

Most of the world is saddled with debt - for nearly fifty years (1994) the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have financed projects which have devastated the environment and the people of the Third World - money flows from the poor countries to the rich industrialized nations, leaving starvation and misery in its wake - the Structural Adjustment Programs forced upon nations by the World Bank and the IMF have meant shifting food production from domestic needs to export crops, devaluing the local currency to encourage exports, cutting social spending, reducing wages, privatizing national industries, and removing tariff protections for local industries - hunger, unemployment, hardship and inequality are the direct results - a growing international coalition has launched a "50 Years is Enough!" campaign to protest a system which is robbing, starving and impoverishing millions - in "Debt Virus," Dr. Jaikaran notes the symptoms of a diseased system, but examines the anatomy and physiology of money to find the root cause and a cure which could benefit the vast majority. -- [based on Fidonet, Alternative News 06-04-94]

Utne Reader home page



Mark Herpel said...

The Near Future:

Private gold backed digital money for local or global use. DGC Magazine
Private, locally issued scrip for regional use
Community Currency Magazine


King of the Paupers said...

"today, money is created by private banks with the stroke of a computer key and loaned out at interest - because the interest on the money is not benignly created simultaneously, it is mathematically impossible to pay back all the money with interest - invariably some debts cannot be repaid; foreclosures occur - wealth is transferred from the poor to the rich at an alarming rate on a global scale."
Jct: Right on. And I've derived the math behind your analysis:
As for the choice between Mammon or Messiah, see: Satan's Usury or God's Dividend on Time

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