WORLD MONETARY SYSTEM = NOT free enterprise + NOT capitalism = A CANCER
CANCER = LONDON & US Financial CRIME SYNDICATE
“Within usurious society, the rich are made richer and the poor, poorer, for no justifiable reason.”
— Les Hunter New Zealand author 2002 book, Courage to Change: A Case for Monetary Reform
“If the currency issued by the People were no good, then the bonds would be no good, either. It is a terrible situation when the GOVERNMENT, to insure the NATlONAL Wealth, must go in debt and submit to RUlNOUS lnterest charges at the hands of men who CONTROL the fictitious value of goId. lnterest is the invention of Satan”.
— THOMAS A. EDISON
“It is well enough that people of the NATlON do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
— Henry FORD
CANCER = “Poverty in midst of plenty” plagues World = Industrial Revolution
CANCER = More grave in USA = USA #1 INCOME INEQUALITY = #1 WEALTH INEQUALITY
CANCER = Since 1975 CONGRESS = Trickle-down economics = LIES of supply-side tax cuts
CANCER = Deregulate of financial industry for 3+ decades
CANCER = Tax cuts for the upper brackets = Supply-side TRICKLE LIES
CANCER = “Ownership Society” SCAM to MAXIMIZE INTEREST DEBT BURDEN
CANCER = PURPOSEFUL BUBBLE and TOO-BIG-TOO-FAIL BAILOUT LIES
CANCER = Biggest financial frauds and HEIST in HUMAN HISTORY
CANCER = DESTRUCTION OF 401(k) RETIREMENT SCAMS ravaged by BUSTS
CANCER = $17+ TRILLION FED RESERVE BAILOUTS OF FRAUDULENT BIG BANKS
SOLUTION = Enact a Basic Income Guarantee = Individual & family income security
SOLUTION = GOV EXPANDS SOCIAL SECURITY = Basic Income Guarantee (BIG)
SOLUTION = EVERY AMERICAN GETS AUTOMATIC INCOME at POVERTY LINE
SOLUTION = Social Credit Concepts = Expand on Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) = Residents paid a share of the resource wealth
CAUSE = Artificial distribution of income to people to a FEW via the CANCER
CAUSE = Basic problem is excess capacity relative to available income.
RESULT = MAJORITY OF AMERICANS = NO money to purchase LIFE’s necessities
RESULT = 425 MULTI-NATIONAL BILLIONAIRES exploiting POVERTY and OTHERS
RESULT = Workplace and capital are idled because employees and consumers lack the purchasing power to buy the products and services our economy produces.
“Who would have thought that it would be easier to produce by toil and skill all the most necessary or desirable commodities than it is to find consumers for them? Who would have thought that cheap and abundant supplies of all the basic commodities would find the science and civilization of the world unable to utilize them? Have all our triumphs of research and organization bequeathed us only a new punishment: the Curse of Plenty?”
— Winston Churchill speech at Oxford University on June 19, 1930
CANCER = Economics restructured around a deregulated financial sector = past 30 years = USA #1 in INEQUALITY
CANCER = Even middle-class people can NOT pay for basic needs = housing, food, medical care, transportation, and skills development/education = FALL BEHIND
RIGHT = Human beings require income sufficient to keep body and soul together
REAGAN STRAIGHT JACKET OF LIES = DELAYED THE RIGHT OF SHARED PLENTY in 1981
REAGAN STRAIGHT JACKET = “Government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.”
REAGAN STRAIGHT JACKET = CADILLAC WELFARE MOTHER LIES
REAGAN STRAIGHT JACKET = PRIME STEAKS ON FOOD STAMPS LIES
REAGAN STRAIGHT JACKET = SOCIAL DARWINISM
REAGAN STRAIGHT JACKET = SURVIVAL OF THE CLEVEREST SCAMMERS
REAGAN STRAIGHT JACKET = Death sentence for MASSES
REAGAN STRAIGHT JACKET = MADE CORRUPTION AND FRAUD THE GOAL
REAGAN STRAIGHT JACKET = REMOVED and Basic Income Guarantee Provided (BIG)
BIG = Ameliorating human distress from poverty and assure some economic justice
BIG Reduces Impact = JOB LOSS or financial calamity – risk of home foreclosure.
BIG = Nixon’s Family Assistance Plan passed House but defeated in 1970 Senate
BIG = 1975 Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families – Clinton 1990s
BIG = NOT even Mentioned by progressives = GOP TRANSFER OF WEALTH LIES
BIG = BLOCKED BY MASSIVE Military Expenditures by MIDDLE CLASS
BIG = Viewed by GOP AS WELFARE = BUT 98% OF WELFARE GOES TO RICH
BIG = A RIGHT on strong moral grounds vital for enterprises to have stable demand
BIG = Society has a legitimate claim to sharing the proceeds of its contributions
TAXES to share the profits = ADDS to the cost of products = NO GO
Social Credit Movement = A regular monthly dividend to ALL AMERICANS
Regular monthly dividend = Based on productive potential of economy = NO TAX
Social Credit Concepts = Not Heard of in the British Commonwealth Nations
Social Credit Concepts = Alaska Permanent Fund (APF) = Residents paid a share of the resource wealth of the state = Models for BIG
BIG = Part of rebuilding the economy from the bottom up = “Bailout for the People”
BIG BANKSTERS = Adding $Trillions in FRAUD to the national debt and fail to revitalize the economy
BIG BANKSTERS = EXTRACT from Economy = MAIN STREET & MIDDLE CLASS DEPRESSION
BIG BANKSTERS = RECORD EXTRACTION & PROFITING ON MIDDLE CLASS EXTRACTION
BUSH = Chose Housing bubble as NEXT SCAM after the recession of 2000-2001
BUSH + FED = Stopped inflating the HOUSING bubble = CRASH BEGAN = THEN “TOO-CRIMINAL-TOO FAIL” BAILOUT BUBBLE STARTED
BUSH = Reversed the Clinton budget surpluses by cutting taxes for the rich + MIDDLE CLASS PAID FOR $6+ TRILLION costs of USELESS Afghanistan and FAKED Iraq wars.
BUSH = Paulson’s $700 Billion GIFT TO “TOO-CRIMINAL-TOO FAIL” SCAMMING FRAUDSTERS
FED RESERVE = CONTINUES IN 2014 = $17+ TRILLION UNDER THE TABLE BAILOUT of “TOO-CRIMINAL-TOO FAIL” SCAMMING FINANCIAL FRAUDSTERS
CONSUMER BOOM AFTER WW II = 1945 Consumers Savings were FLUSH due to full WAR employment and nothing to buy – consumer goods = Spending these savings created economic growth to pay down the national debt and created the boom of the 1950s.
2014 = Consumers are FLAT BUSTED and UP TO THEIR EYEBALLS in DEBT FROM 3O+ YEARS OF WEALTH TRANSFER USING ASIAN SLAVERY WITH OUTSOURCING OF JOBS, MULTI-NATIONAL OVERCHARGING IN HEALTH CARE, MILITARY CONTRACTOR FRAUD AND BANKSTER SCAMS!
The Failure of Economics = “toxic debt” from subprime mortgages that investment banks packaged and sold to unwary investors in tranches of mortgage-backed securities + unregulated LONDON AND US financial system LEVERAGED SPECULATION USING CHEAP almost free money from the FED RESERVE.
MAIN STREAM ECONOMISTS IGNORE collapse of consumer purchasing power – can’t loans because of DEBT and can’t afford to repay them = SAME WITH BUSINESSES because no consumers to buy their products!
“Of course, the current problems with our financial system are not solely the result of bad lending. The banks have made mega-bets with one another through complicated instruments such as derivatives, credit-default swaps, and so forth. With these, one party pays another if certain events happen—for instance, if Bear Stearns goes bankrupt, or if the dollar soars. These instruments were originally created to help manage risk, but they can also be used to gamble. Thus, if you felt confident that the dollar was going to fall, you could make a big bet accordingly, and if the dollar indeed fell, your profits would soar. The problem is that, with this complicated intertwining of bets of great magnitude, no one could be sure of the financial position of anyone else—or even of one’s own position. Not surprisingly, the credit markets froze.”
— Joseph Stiglitz, Economist in Vanity Fair – former World Bank chief economist and Nobel Prize winner at Columbia University – IGNORES collapse of consumer purchasing power – can’t loans because of DEBT and can’t afford to repay them = SAME WITH BUSINESSES because no consumers to buy their products.
“What the world needs right now is a rescue operation. The global credit system is in a state of paralysis, and a global slump is building momentum as I write this. Reform of the weaknesses that made this crisis possible is essential, but it can wait a little while. First, we need to deal with the clear and present danger. To do this, policymakers around the world need to do two things: get credit flowing again and prop up spending.”
— Krugman argues for more government spending to prime the economic pump – WHAT ABOUT THE CONSUMERS PRIMING THE PUMP?
LAST STRAW in DESTRUCTION of US as an industrialized democracy came when the financial industry began to be deregulated during the late 1970s to take advantage of the orgy of greed that had been made possible by government monetary policy. The bankers and multinationals didn’t care, because much of the U.S. trade deficit resulted from corporations buying from their own overseas subsidiaries whose products were then sold to American consumers on credit. every period of domestic economic growth since then has been a financial bubble, including the merger-acquisition bubble of the Reagan/Bush I years, the dot.com bubble of the 1990s while Bill Clinton was president, and the housing/equity/derivative bubble of the 2000s during the George W. Bush administration. Each bubble was initiated by Federal Reserve interest rates cuts. Each was financed by massive bank lending, combined with foreign investment in the securities markets and tangible assets like real estate.
Every president since Reagan contributed to the madness of financial deregulation. Clinton, who signed NAFTA and gave China most-favored-nation status destroyed manufacturing jobs that declined further under President George W. Bush.
Another bubble in Bush 2000s = Artificial Real Estate BOOM = Construction for vast suburban tracts of new homes, retail mega-stores, upscale urban shopping/apartment/condo complexes, and gigantic new office buildings spread across the landscape as far as the eye could see. Industrial areas of former years were either converted to these uses or abandoned.
MULTI-NATIONAL conglomerates own the SHOPPING sell mainly goods produced in China and other cheap labor markets, and employ low-paid domestic and immigrant workers. Among the few job categories that have grown significantly have been food service, health care, and law enforcement.
Home, store, and office construction = Financed with foreign capital + overnight “cash management” accounts + Individual and institutional retirement savings + federal (CHEAP FED CREDIT), state, and local government cash reserves = MASSIVE PRICE INFLATION and dependent on automobile fuel COSTS = Rockefeller-dominated Exxon-Mobil with fabulously UNHEARD OF RECORD PROFITS = NO permanent prosperity (FAKED).
FED SHUT OFF THE VALVE = over-extended and foreign capital dried up = FRAUD CRASH = FAKED PRICES Deflated on houses and stock markets destroys paper wealth = caused retail stores to shut down, erodes tax revenues, leaves office space empty, and strikes the construction industry and its spin-offs with loss of jobs. Unemployment SPIRALED UP!
FACT = NO free-markets = Dysfunctional FINANCIAL ROOTS OF FRAUD = so they re-inflate ANOTHER bubble = STOCKHOLM SYNDROME HOLDS AMERICANS HOSTAGE TO BANKSTERS!
“Captives begin to identify with their captors initially as a defensive mechanism, out of fear of violence. Small acts of kindness by the captor are magnified, since finding perspective in a hostage situation is by definition impossible. Rescue attempts are also seen as a threat, since it’s likely the captive would be injured during such attempts.”
CANCER = LONDON & US Financial CRIME SYNDICATE THAT GOVERNMENT PROTECTS = THE EMPIRE OF FRAUD AND USURY = ZERO Democracy + ZERO NATURAL Business Cycles + ZERO Capitalism + EXPLOITATION OF ASIAN SLAVERY TO MAKE BILLIONAIRES
THE EMPIRE OF USURY AND FRAUD – MONETARISM = A WORLDWIDE FINANCIAL CONSPIRACY
Concept from medicine = A rapidly metastasizing case of terminal cancer in the economy caused by USURY AND FRAUD = Prescriptions offering a pair of crutches to the cancer patient so ill he can no longer even stand up = REAL SOLUTION IS END THE EMPIRE!
The Empire of Usury goes back to ancient Sumeria, when debtors first began to be sold into slavery.
Excessive Usury debt ruined many of the Greek city-states and helped wreck the Roman Empire.
During the Middle Ages, Usury was outlawed by Catholic Church as an evil practice.
Current phase of the Empire dates to the creation of the private Bank of England that made its money by lending to the British government so it could fight its imperialistic wars.
The Bank of England was cloned on American soil when the Federal Reserve System was created by Congress in 1913 after bankers had failed through the First and Second Banks of the United States – defeated by Presidents Jefferson, Jackson and Van Buren.
Since our founding as a nation, a struggle to fight off the EUROPEAN BANKSTERS has gone on.
Van Buren in his famous Inquiry into the Origin and Course of Political Parties in the United States (publ. 1867) traces the two-party system to this FIGHT.
Finally the BANKSTERS triumphed in the 1970s when the philosophy of monetarism took over and assured that a chronic insufficiency of real money in the economy would be answered by an exponentially growing amount of bank-generated debt as petrodollars flowed overseas with a growing shortage of consumer purchasing power (EXCEPT WITH DEBT) at home.
EMPIRE = The “Reagan Revolution” OF LIES facilitated the EMPIRE as did “Thatcherism” LIES in U.K.
Plus pro-bank regimes around the world = Australia + New Zealand = ruined by the new bank-centered financial policies.
“It was the artificial scarcity of money imposed by the application of monetarist policies that caused the usurious system to mutate from the industrial and allowed the collection of usury in amounts greater than that forthcoming as industrial economic rent. What has come to be practiced is a corruption of the investment practices that, in the past, and particularly in the industrial systems, had driven civilization forward.
As investment proceeds within a usurious system, debt securities are accumulated and valued by the holders as income-earning assets. Of course, unlike the industrial assets such as the powered machine, a debt security produces nothing that is real.
However, monetary income received as interest from compounding debt does give claim on current output—wealth at the point of sale—as does any form of economic rent once it has been collected in a monetized economy. Within usurious society, the rich are made richer and the poor, poorer, for no justifiable reason.”
— Les Hunter New Zealand author in his 2002 book, Courage to Change: A Case for Monetary Reform
“Within usurious society, the rich are made richer and the poor, poorer, for no justifiable reason.”
— Les Hunter New Zealand author 2002 book, Courage to Change: A Case for Monetary Reform
In late 1960s the usurious state (of DEBT) with control over money emerged out of CHICAGO SCHOOL) replacing the ownership of machinery as the LEVER of economic and social power = Investment in debt and speculative buying and selling of paper assets = most significant means of accumulating personal wealth (FAKED VIRTUAL WEALTH OF COURSE).
Hunter list of AGONIZING characteristics of usurious systems:
- Crushing debt;
- A widening gap between rich and poor – Massive Income & Wealth Inequality USA #1;
- Share markets subject to collapse;
- Currency meltdowns;
- Mounting social distress;
- A pervading belief that the free market should be allowed free reign;
- Banks driven by profit but holding tremendous power through their ability to create and extinguish the national currency, that is, money.”
Hunter’s analysis is light-years ahead of U.S. economists, who, even when playing the role of an “official” opposition, really only enable the international financial elite to continue their dominance unabated. Of course industrial society is at the mercy of this financial tyranny, because huge quantities of money are needed for a modern economy to function. Hunter continues:
“The accumulation of usurious debt—money-lenders’ assets—became possible because those in business have an absolute requirement for access to sufficient working funds to pay costs. (The payment of costs is the main means of generating the national income; investment makes up the difference.)
“The money needed as working funds is defined as M1, which is the sum of base-metal coin, notes, and cheque money. It is this money that is accepted as the national currency. In many nations, applying monetarist policy has given business’s working funds—as the ancillary factor of production—sufficient scarcity value that significant amounts of usury, as the relevant form of economic rent, can be, and are being, collected.”
This system is not free enterprise, and it is not capitalism. It is the cancer that is destroying the world.
The bankers’ takeover of the world economy that gained a complete triumph in the 1970s cannot be undone by President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus program or any other progressive nostrum. Even the goal of creating millions of new jobs, should it succeed, is not likely to compensate in the long run for the enormous amount of debt the productive economy is carrying. But then again, Obama does not intend to overthrow the Empire of Usury. After all, a main source of campaign funds for the Democrats in 2008 was Wall Street bankers and financiers.
The amount of debt the economy is carrying is staggering. If we count individual, household, business, and government debt, that figure now exceeds $40 trillion, including the recent bailouts. What the General Accounting Office calls “unfunded liabilities” of the federal government, due to future costs of entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, adds another $60 trillion. These estimates don’t include outstanding debt for derivatives, most of it bank-leveraged, which, according to the Bank for International Settlements, may amount to $1.28 quadrillion worldwide.
Growth in debt through 2006—understated, compared to figures derived by independent analysts—is shown by the following chart based on Federal Reserve figures. Note that virtually all of the debt has been incurred since removal of the gold peg and that its growth is exponential.
The commentators who write for newspapers like the Washington Post or give advice to the Federal Reserve have come up with solutions like slashing Social Security and Medicare benefits, a prescription President Obama will likely follow, or selling more U.S. assets to creditor nations like China. But they are proposing solutions in the interest of the financiers, not the nation.
They refuse to propose the obvious, which is that the debt must be written off as soon as possible and the monetary system changed to prevent further debt from being accumulated. Nationalization of the banks is not the answer; it still would be a debt-based system where the banks would rule from within the government rather than outside.
Bailouts financed by the government must be repaid with interest by the taxpayers. But the taxpayers are already overburdened by debt. Because the bankers are so untrustworthy and motivated by self-interest, they must be removed from power. This requires a political revolution that may already have begun.
The attack on the bankers’ power must be broad, persistent, and far-reaching. Today they control the political process in the U.S. and around the world. Their power is guarded by the laws and regulations of the Western nations. They control international agencies such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization. They also influence the Western military and intelligence machines, with NATO now being sworn to protect Western “neoliberalism,” which means the bankers’ Empire.
The one U.S. political figure who has called for revolution is Dr. Ron Paul, Republican candidate for the 2008 presidential nomination and author of legislation to abolish the Federal Reserve System. But Dr. Paul still favors a largely unregulated bank-based system, though one where inflation is controlled through a metallic-backed currency. But there has never been enough gold and silver in existence to provide backing for the massive liquidity needs of an industrial economy.
In the past few weeks Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich—also a former candidate for his party’s presidential nomination—has spoken on the House floor in favor of placing the Federal Reserve under the Treasury Department. Kucinich also favors the American Monetary Act proposed by the American Monetary Institute. (www.monetary.org)
The American Monetary Act became part of Kucinich’s platform during his 2008 congressional campaign after he had dropped out of the run for the presidency.
This plan would eliminate public debt for federal government expenditures by returning to a Greenback-type system of direct government purchasing like we had during and after the Civil War. Public expenditures would focus on the creation of infrastructure assets as the basis for the monetary system. The Act would eliminate fractional reserve banking by requiring the banks to borrow money they lent from the government.
These measures would address the errors made by all Western governments by which, according to Canadian professor of economics John H. Hotson, they have violated “four common sense rules regarding their fiscal and monetary policies.” Hotson was professor emeritus of economics at the University of Waterloo and executive director of the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER), when he identified these rules in 1996 as:
“1. No sovereign government should ever, under any circumstances, give over democratic control of its money supply to bankers.
“2. No sovereign government should ever, under any circumstances, borrow any money from any private bank.
“3. No national, provincial, or local government should borrow foreign money to increase purchases abroad when there is excessive domestic unemployment.
“4. Governments, like businesses, should distinguish between ‘capital’ and ‘current’ expenditures, and when it is prudent to do so, finance capital improvements with money the government has created for itself.”
The violations would be corrected by the reforms contained in the American Monetary Act. This would go a long way toward returning banking to its proper role of providing working capital for the economy but would displace the banking system as the focal point of national economic and political dominance. But these reforms by themselves still would not meet the need for a direct infusion of purchasing power into the hands of individuals. Fortunately, the American Monetary Act also contains a dividend provision, a deeply meaningful concept that we will now explore.
Key Discovery of the 20th Century: Dividend Economics
Perhaps 20-30 percent of the people in the developed world are doing just fine financially. They are either professionals, technical experts who are indispensable in making the world economy function, former government employees on pensions, or a small minority who live off compound interest—i.e., the bankers and the rich. Most of this 20-30 percent, particularly the latter group, do not seem to have a great deal of compassion for the majority within their own nations and even less for the billions of less privileged people around the world.
For the remaining 70-80 percent who realize, with the recession now having arrived, that their livelihoods are on a slippery slope downward, possibly taking them toward personal and family catastrophe, they need only one thing—MONEY!
For many of these it would be nice to have a job, or a better job. But jobs are not the answer, even though any time a politician, economist, activist, or commentator offers an opinion on how to improve the economy they say MORE JOBS! For example, in a recent article in Rolling Stone dated January 14 and entitled “Back to What Obama Must Do,” Paul Krugman wrote, addressing the new president:
“…you have to be really bold in your job-creation plans. Basically, businesses and consumers are cutting way back on spending, leaving the economy with a huge shortfall in demand, which will lead to a huge fall in employment – unless you stop it. To stop it, however, you have to spend enough to fill the hole left by the private sector’s retrenchment.”
But the advocates for government job-creation programs as the focal point of recovery are wrong.
The way to generate income security is not to give someone a job. It is to put money—cash—in his pocket. If we began with this simple fact the economy would soon generate far more jobs than people could fill. Of course some of these jobs would be low-paying or even volunteer jobs, which would be acceptable provided that people still had enough to live on and had opportunities to earn more.
For the world economy to function and for there to be enough produced to support everyone at a decent standard of living, not everyone has to work. In fact too many workers get in each other’s way. This accounts for the paradox which progressives despise that when companies eliminate jobs their stock value often goes up, because it’s a step toward becoming more efficient and more profitable.
In 2007 the world GDP was enormous–$55 trillion. The population was 6.6 billion. Per capita that’s $8,300. It’s not a large sum, but in many countries the cost of living is far lower than in the developed nations of the West. For a family of four the amount is $33,200. The point is that the world economy is capable of producing enough for all.
The productivity of a modern industrial economy is phenomenal. It surpasses the wildest dreams of generations past. The problem today is not a shortage of goods and services. It is often too many goods and services. For instance, there is a worldwide glut of automobiles. The same goes for many other items such as clothing and electronics. This does not mean that threats like climate change or resource depletion should be ignored. The reason these are not being faced is that industry must work so hard to cut costs and keep prices down in the face of the shortage of consumer purchasing power.
So why do we need more jobs? Only because we are so cheap and poorly informed that we fail to realize that a cash payment to everyone, at least at a subsistence level, should be viewed as a dividend. It’s something everyone should receive as the benefit of our incredible producing economy. A Basic Income Guarantee should be treated as a HUMAN RIGHT.
But the situation does not require that someone else should be taxed in order for that dividend to be provided. A BIG does not have to be a transfer payment or a share-the-wealth scheme. Rather it should reflect an acknowledgment by the economic system that the universe is bountiful and abundant. Modern industry has tapped into that abundance.
Today the abundance is being stolen by the bankers and their debt-based monetary system. This is what must be taken back by on behalf of “We the People.” This can be done by payment of a BIG as a dividend. It would not be inflationary, because it would not result in “more money chasing the same amount of goods.” Rather it would replace money borrowed from the banks or would generate new production.
If you want to read the history of dividend-economics, study the worldwide Social Credit movement originated by British engineer C.H. Douglas in the 1920s and 30s. I am not going to repeat that history here. I have written about it in articles over the past two years, most of which can be found at http://www.GlobalResearch.ca. It’s one of the themes in my new book, We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform (Tendril Press, 2008). You can find a lot of information about Social Credit on the internet, including the website for the Michael Journal in Canada at http://www.michaeljournal.org.
One of the world’s leading experts on Social Credit is Wallace Klinck of Alberta, Canada, who provides the following commentary on the crisis:
“The base cause of our essential economic and social afflictions is…a fundamental and widening disparity between effective consumer income and financial prices—resulting essentially from a basic flaw in national financial cost accountancy involving a premature withdrawal of credit because of added allocated capital charges in consumer prices. The consequent widening deficiency of effective purchasing-power forces the consuming public increasingly into dependency upon debt.
“We are now witnessing the inevitable, entirely predictable, and devastating results of such folly (or more likely, high policy). Governments are forced to make a futile attempt to ameliorate this problem by assuming debt to compensate or accommodate the ballooning private debt. I am sure that the financial powers look on with almost puzzled amusement as we engage in a sterile debate about the evils of interest and usury when we obviously have no strategy to deal with the rapid expansion of debt upon which interest is demanded. We waste our energy on a misguided and sterile debate while ignoring the fact that the consumer is charged with capital depreciation but not credited with capital appreciation.
“In other words, we blindly forgo our inheritance for a mess of pottage. You only pay interest on debt—eliminate debt and you have effectively eliminated any tribute of interest or ‘usury.’ There should be no need for any overall national consumer debt at all—consumers in aggregate should always be provided sufficient income to purchase the entire final product of industry without resorting to borrowing. The physical cost of production has been provided in full when goods are completed, and the financial means to liquidate the financial costs of that production should be made fully available as each ‘cycle’ of production is completed.
“Whatever the costs to industry, including interest or service charges, the consumer should always be in a position to liquidate them with his or her financial income. Being increasingly inadequate under the orthodox system of financial accountancy, that consumer income must be supplemented from a source which originates outside the price-system and does not, therefore, create new financial costs through its issue. The mechanisms to achieve this condition recommended by Social Credit are the payment to all citizens of a National Dividend and to all retailers a compensatory payment in order to effect a falling price-level, i.e., a Compensated Price.
“When the expenditure of human labor is being rapidly replaced by other factors of production, as it is in a most spectacular manner, talk of there being ‘no free lunch’ is entirely irrational from the standpoint of reason, downright sacrilegious from a theological standpoint, absolutely disastrous from an economic and social perspective—and absurd from a philosophical aspect.”
Mr. Klinck is explaining why everyone doesn’t have to work all the time for us to enjoy a decent standard of living. People in the U.S. understood this in the 1950s, when a single breadwinner could support a family. Does anyone wonder why conditions have changed so much for the worse since then when GDP is so much higher? In a private message to me dated December 13, 2008, Mr. Klinck made the following observations on jobs vs. income:
“I find it quite maddening that we have these recent desperate appeals for industrial state ‘bailouts’ to help industry go on producing even more unsalable goods, when it should be quite obvious that what needs ‘subsidizing’ is consumption and not production. Of course, as we know from a Social Credit perspective, these appeals are based on a number of major misconceptions about national cost accounting, the purpose of industry, work, and life in general. I think that this erroneous and indelibly entrenched ‘moral’ mindset is our biggest obstacle. For instance, I heard extended appeals on television today from the Canadian Autoworker’s Union for protection of their ‘jobs’, etc. If only we could show them that it is their incomes and not their ‘jobs’ which should be preserved. They are so obsessed with ‘work’ that they are blinded to reality.”
It’s a revolutionary thing to say, but it’s true. Unemployment does not have to be “bad” at all. It means fewer people have to work to make what society needs to function. It’s an indicator of greater efficiency. It’s only bad if jobs are the only way to provide people with income. Dividend economics shows that there are other, often better, ways.
Lessons from the Alaska Permanent Fund
We can find one small but extremely important example of dividend economics in the U.S. by examining the Alaska Permanent Fund, which paid every resident of Alaska a dividend of $3,269 in 2008 out of state resource revenues. The APF was set up in 1976 when Alaska voters passed a constitutional amendment calling for a direct payment to individuals rather than turning the money over to the state bureaucracy for “social services.”
Today the Alaska Permanent Fund is a shining—and rare—example of economic democracy at work. At first the APF made dividends incremental based on a person’s years of residency, but the U.S. Supreme Court declared this provision unconstitutional. The Alaska legislature responded by providing equal dividends to all residents of six-months or more. The first dividend, amounting to $1,000, was paid on June 14, 1982.
The APF dividend is not a welfare payment. It is a resident’s fair share of the bounty of the earth. There are no means tests, no lines to wait in, and no bureaucrats snooping around to find out what someone used the money for. The APF has not ruined the character of those who get it. A millionaire receives the same payment as a person living in poverty. Spent into circulation, the money becomes part of the lifeblood of the community without having to be repaid and with no interest being charged. Deposited into banks, the money capitalizes consumer borrowing and economic growth.
In the Fall 2008 Newsletter of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network there appeared an editorial on the Alaska Permanent Fund by Karl Widerquist, one of the leaders of the worldwide BIG movement, now a professor at Reading University in England. This editorial is reprinted as follows:
“EDITORIAL: The Alaska Dividend and the Presidential Election (The views expressed in this editorial are my own and do not represent the views of USBIG or its membership. -Karl Widerquist)
“Most people will be surprised to learn that the Republican vice-presidential nominee and the Democratic presidential nominee have both endorsed the Basic Income Guarantee. In one form or another both support policies to guarantee a small government-provided income for everyone. As reported in the USBIG Newsletter earlier this year, Obama has voiced support for reducing carbon emissions with the cap-and-dividend strategy, which includes a small BIG.
“Sarah Palin, like most Alaskan politicians, supports the Alaska Permanent Fund. Existing rules caused the APF dividend to reach a new high of 2,069 this year. That much had nothing to do with Palin. But, whatever else you might think of her, she deserves credit for adding $1200 more to this year’s dividend.… She proposed it to the legislature, and pushed it through, resisting counter proposals to reduce the supplement to $1000 or $250.
“Most people who learned about Palin at the Republican National Convention in August would probably be surprised to learn that such a hard-line conservative supports handing out $16,345 checks to even the poorest families. Actually, families the size of Palin’s will receive $19,416—no conditions imposed besides residency, no judgments made.
“The support of politicians like Palin provides evidence against the belief that BIG is some kind of leftist utopian fantasy with no political viability. In the one place BIG exists it is one of the most popular government programs, and it is endorsed by people across the political spectrum.
“The APF has not become an issue in the campaign, and I doubt she has plans to introduce a similar plan at the national level, but when the issue has come up, Palin has taken credit for it as a conservative policy. In an interview on the Fox News network, Sean Hannity confirmed that Palin increased the Alaska dividend by $1200 this year. Hannity commented, ‘I have to move to Alaska. New York taxes are killing me.’
“Sounding like some kind of progressive-era land reformer, Palin replied, ‘What we’re doing up there is returning a share of resource development dollars back to the people who own the resources. And our constitution up there mandates that as you develop resources it’s to be for the maximum benefit of the people, not the corporations, not the government, but the people of Alaska.’
“Tim Graham, writing for the conservative website Newsbuster.com criticized NPR’s Terry Gross for asking questions that implied opposition to the APF in an interview with Alaska Public Broadcasting host, Michael Carey. Graham writes, ‘Gross walked Carey through the idea that it’s not hard for Palin to be popular in Alaska when she’s handing every family a $1200 check from all the oil business. She then elbowed Carey about how that money could have been better “invested” (as Obama would say) in government programs.’ Suddenly conservatives are ridiculing people they assume do not support unconditional grants.
“Palin justified a tax increase on the oil companies to support higher BIG on the PBS Now program before she was nominated for vice-president. ‘This is a big darn deal for Alaska. That non-renewable resource, of course, is so valuable …. And of course [the oil companies] they’re fighting us every step of the way when we say, “Well we wanna make sure, especially as it’s being sold for a premium, that we’re receiving appropriate value.” … The oil companies don’t own the resources. They have leases and the right to develop our resources for us. And we share a value, we’re partners there, because they do the producing for us. But we own the resources.’ …
“The lesson here is that the APF is a model ready for export. Readers of this newsletter will know that governments in places as diverse as Alberta, Brazil, Iraq, Libya, and Mongolia have recently thought seriously about imitating the Alaska model.
“Some might be tempted to think that the APF isn’t a true BIG and it isn’t motivated to help the poor. Not so: Jay Hammond, the Republican governor of Alaska who created the APF, came all the way to Washington, D.C., to speak at the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network conference in 2004. He told me that his intention was to create a BIG to help everyone—most especially the disadvantaged. If he had his way the APF fund would now be producing dividends four to eight times the current individual level of $2,069.
“Others might dismiss the Alaska model saying that it is a unique case because Alaska has so much oil wealth. Again, not so: Alaska ranks only sixth in U.S. states in terms of per capita GDP, with an average income just over $43,000 in 2006, more than $15,000 per year less than number-one Delaware, and only $6,000 per year ahead of the national average. Any other state or the federal government can afford to do what Alaska has done.
“Alaska has oil wealth; other states have mining, fishing, hydroelectric, or real estate wealth. Governments give away resources to corporations all the time. The U.S. government recently gave away a large chunk of the broadcast spectrum to HDTV broadcasters at no charge. Offshore oil drilling will soon be expanded on three coasts. Everyone who emits green house gases and other pollutants into the atmosphere takes something we all value and—so far—pays nothing.
“What was different about the Alaskan situation was that Jay Hammond was there to take advantage of the opportunity. With the Alaska model in place, it will be just a little easier for next person at the next opportunity.”
There have been other times in U.S. history when the government “gave away” wealth. An example was the Homestead Act of 1862 which opened the American heartland to settlement and helped create one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions. There was also a time when anyone who walked into a U.S. Mint could have their gold or silver stamped into coinage—a critical financial service offered to the public free of charge. Land grants to the railroads also helped capitalize the growth of that industry.
So why isn’t a dividend like the one provided through the Alaska Permanent Fund paid to every U.S. resident or, for that matter, to every person in the world? Please don’t make up any phony “economic” answers to this question. The answer is obvious—everyone else is being cheated by the monetary system.
The “Cook Plan”
What I am calling the “Cook Plan” would be an effective way to implement dividend economics. The plan is to pay each resident of the U.S. a dividend, at first by means of vouchers for the necessities of life, in the amount of $1,000 per month per capita starting immediately. It would be our fair share of the resources of the earth and the productivity of the modern industrial economy. Under the plan, the money would then be concentrated through deposit in a new network of community savings banks to capitalize lending for consumers, small businesses, and family farming.
I am calling it the “Cook Plan” because I have been advocating such measures for almost two years, every since I published my first article on the subject in April 2007 entitled: “An Emergency Program of Monetary Reform for the United States.” (See Global Research at http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=5494) One reader who has responded favorably to the plan calls it “Trickle-Up Economics.”
Because we are talking about a dividend, there would be no means test. Everyone—rich, poor, and in-between—is entitled. The dividend would total about $3.6 trillion, which, not by coincidence, is the amount of new debt U.S. residents must incur each year from banks simply to exist. That borrowing, of course, is on top of borrowing in past years, because most people do not entirely pay off old loans before taking out new ones. Debt in this country in recent years has been cumulative, with interest constantly compounding. The annual dividend I have proposed would bring a halt to this “Grip of Death,” as it has been termed by British author Michael Rowbotham in his book: The Grip of Death: A Study of Modern Money, Debt Slavery, and Destructive Economics.
Because we have all been brainwashed to believe that the only possible sources of government funding are through taxes, user fees, or the national debt, it is difficult to believe that a dividend of $3.6 trillion could be paid to residents by other means. In fact it could, and it would not even require a fund to be set up like the Alaska Permanent Fund that is replenished by resource revenues such as oil leases. According to Social Credit theory, the dividend fund could be created sui generis; i.e., it could be created out of “nothing.”
And why not? John Maynard Keynes pointed out, and everyone realizes today, that the banking system does just this in creating money “out of thin air.” It’s what many people refer to as “printing money,” which the Federal Reserve is doing on a massive scale in bailing out the financial system.
The banks that belong to the Federal Reserve use the purchase of Treasury debt as collateral, but the money itself is issued as credit as a multiple of the reserve base. The trouble is we end up paying interest on it, which is why the interest on the national debt in the fiscal year 2009 budget totals more than $500 billion. (Of course one reason adding to the federal deficit today looks so attractive as a means of recovery is that the interest Treasury has to pay is so low—but it is still borrowing.)
Issuance of credit is mis-defined today as the private property of the banks. I point this out in the “GAP Chart” in my book We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform. I state in the chart:
“The goal of a stable, democratic economic system is achieved by a correct definition of credit. Credit actually is the means of calling forth the productive potential of the people. By law it should be part of the public commons, not the private property of the banks, and treated as a utility like electricity, water, and clean air. Availability of credit should be a basic human right, part of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’”
Today the banking system has a monopoly on credit which it has seized unlawfully from the government, where, under the U.S. Constitution, Congress alone, according to Article II, has the prerogative to, “coin money and regulate the value thereof.” There is no reason except bankers’ propaganda why the federal government, as authorized by Congress, could not issue credit through a citizens’ dividend, by direct government spending, or by other means such as loan guarantees or grants/loans for infrastructure. This would be real economic democracy.
The “GAP” Chart is presented in its entirety as follows. What the model shows how we can monetize the productive potential of the nation that today is held back by businesses from payout as wages, salaries, and dividends through the withholding of retained earnings. It is these retained earnings that the business will utilize later to renew its processes of production through investment. But while these funds are idle, their creative potential still exists. That potential is the “energy source” for new consumer purchasing power. It is real, though, like electricity, invisible until harnessed.
As I explain in We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform:
“In order for people to be able to pay for a nation’s GDP, sufficient purchasing power must be generated. Purchasing power is what British economist John Maynard Keynes called ‘aggregate demand.’ But the income that is generated through wages, salaries, and dividends is never enough to consume the GDP, because a portion must be withheld (saved) as retained earnings for future investment. This is the ‘gap.’ The way society decides to fill the gap reflects whether it views itself as an empire, where the rich profit at the expense of the many, or a democracy, where all members of society have the opportunity to prosper. Under the imperial design, the ‘gap’ is viewed negatively and filled by bank lending at usurious rates of interest, foreign conquest, the economic growth imperative, aggressive trade policies, or inflation of the currency. But when, by contrast, the ‘gap’ is viewed as an opportunity to further democratic ideals, it can be monetized through public control of credit and issued as direct government spending, a citizens’ dividend, or low-cost credit. This monetization of savings reflects a definition of credit as a public utility, not the private property of the banks. Keynesian economics tries to compromise between the imperial and democratic ideals by using government debt to monetize savings, but this ultimately destroys the currency through bankruptcy or inflation. Today we are at a late stage of imperialistic monetary policies which have led to financial collapse. Democratic management of credit has been tried at various times in U.S. history with great success [e.g., through the Greenbacks] but never on a sufficient scale to transform the economy. It is now time to take decisive measures to replace the economics of empire with those of democracy.”
Under the “Cook Plan,” the U.S. Treasury would issue the dividend against an account that represents the productive potential of the nation once the money is spent. As stated earlier, the dividend would not be inflationary, because it would replaced money borrowed from banks for consumption and would be matched by the production of new goods and services within the physical economy.
In fact a dividend would have far less tendency to inflate than do Federal Reserve Notes, because it would not have bank interest charges added to it which ended up in prices charged consumers at the point-of-sale. And once created the dividend would remain in circulation—or deposited as savings—because it would not have to go back to a bank to be canceled as loans now do.
Savings would also be an important part of the plan, because today citizens have completely lost the ability to save in the usury-based economy where cancellation of bank credit along with the interest charged sucks up all available cash from people’s pockets. And the dividend would not be taxed.
The dividend would be issued as vouchers as a temporary measure until the program caught on and it was clear the money would be spent responsibly. The vouchers would be redeemable at any location licensed to do business for necessities of life such as food, housing, transportation, clothing, communications, or business/home maintenance. In fact they could be used for most purchases except things like the lottery, alcohol, entertainment, etc.
Once received in transactions, providers would then deposit the vouchers in the community savings bank that had been set up in their locality. In order to maintain membership in the bank, providers would be required to keep a certain amount of money on deposit to capitalize lending by the bank within the community. Loans would be made available under the bank’s fractional reserve privileges and would be issued at low rates of interest, preferably no more than one percent plus a premium for default insurance, depending on the credit status of the borrower. Persons eligible for lending would include individuals, householders, students, small businesses, local manufacturing concerns, family farmers, etc.
It should be obvious that this system would completely transform and revitalize local economies in any nation where it were implemented. One of the worst features of today’s usury-based economy takes place when global companies in league with the banks come into communities and destroy local businesses by underpricing them. Then these companies extract all the liquidity from the community, where people usually are so cash-poor they buy mainly with credit cards, and return only a fraction to the low-wage workers they employ.
The “Cook Plan,” with the direct injection of purchasing power into the community through vouchers, combined with a new system of low-cost credit, would transform this dire situation completely. It would allow people to live and prosper without dependence on credit cards, government job-creation programs, or government welfare bureaucracies. And it would allow a resurgence of volunteer activities and work at lower-paying professions such as family farming, education, and the arts.
In fairness to Paul Krugman, he does propose spending not tied to employment as well as tax cuts. In his Rolling Stone open letter to President Obama he states that:
“…aid to the distressed – enhanced unemployment insurance, food stamps, health-insurance subsidies – is both the fair thing to do and a desirable part of your short-term economic plan.”
This is not far from advocating a Basic Income Guarantee, except that, once again, Krugman would fund such spending from federal borrowing. But he is leaning in the right direction. A little further and he will arrive at the “Cook Plan,” which would have a much better chance of fulfilling President Obama’s campaign slogan of rebuilding the economy “from the bottom up” than what is the essentially top-down government-directed program his administration is now proposing.
What amount would the stimulus add up to? The “Cook Plan” would result in $3.6 trillion the first year of implementation being directly added to consumer income, or about 25 percent of the GDP. Debts could be repaid, money could be saved, the necessities of life would be assured, and a renaissance in local, rural, and regional economies would come about within a few years.
Finally we would have the “leisure dividend” the industrial age promised but never delivered. And we would have resolved the “Curse of Plenty” cited in the quotation from Winston Churchill at the start of this paper. These objectives would be achieved not through the chimera of government-engineered “full employment”; i.e., socialism, but through income security leading to real economic freedom and democracy.
The proposal encapsulates the essence of dividend economics by acknowledging the right of the individual to obtain a significant measure of economic freedom through the fact of membership in a society that is heir to the genius of past generations in creating the material environment in which we live.
This heritage is not the property of the banks, and it is not the property of the government. It is the property of the people. The conservative model of government exemplified by the ideology of today’s Republican Party subjects people to a bank-run collectivism. And even the most benign progressive model exemplified by ideology of the Democratic Party still subjects us to the collectivism of tax-borrow-and-spend job-creation programs that may or may not work.
So let a national system of dividend economics now be implemented, a plan that draws on much of the wisdom that has been dormant in recent decades as the Empire of Usury has suffocated the life out of the world’s economy. It is now time to put that wisdom to work. “We the People” deserve to live in freedom on this beautiful planet, no matter what the bankers say. In fact such a program would be a major step upward in human social evolution.
Do It Now
Obviously it would take time—though not much time—to work out all the details of the program. But in principle, the “Cook Plan” is sound, with the total dividend being recalculated each year. Remember again that the dividend takes a power of nature and what should be a public utility—credit—and gives it back to the people as a human right rather than the private property of the banks. We cannot afford to wait. Conditions today are nearing an emergency. Thousands of people are losing their jobs every day as the recession turns into a monster.
Wallace Klinck sums it up
“If society had followed the Social Credit policy of C. H. Douglas who advocated Consumer Dividends and Compensated Retail Prices instead of the Fabian Socialist social debt policy of the late economist John Maynard Keynes, none of the current madness would have occurred. We would be enjoying increasing prosperity with falling prices and increasing leisure as should be the case in any modern and civilized society.”
Copyright 2009 by Richard C. Cook
Richard C. Cook is a former U.S. federal government analyst. His book on monetary reform, We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform,is now available at http://www.amazon.com. He is also the author of Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age. He can be contacted through his website at http://www.richardccook.com.
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