Any government that does not control its money is controlled by those who do.
Coins and Cons
By Howard Switzer, GPTN
Coin shortages have been common in some areas of the economy for some time. Ever decide to catch a bus and discover they require exact change? If you had it, you just went on your way but if not, you were back on the street trying to figure out how to get change. Cash is the money most of us use when making small purchases in shops on the street and coins are part of the cash economy, a medium most depended upon by those of us on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. Coins are an important part of the cash flow for small businesses and shortage hurts them as well as those without a bank account. Many of us have a jar we put our excess change in, and it would be good now to empty them back into circulation, if you haven’t already, for the struggling small businesses who will be happy to take them off your hands.
It is strange there is a coin shortage since the mint says it is producing coinsin record amounts. The FED says it is as much a matter of velocity as a matter of shortage — that due to the pandemic lock down, money is just not circulating as fast as normal. While that may be true, it also fits nicely with the oligarchy’s banking system war on cash. Also, cash going from hand to hand can be a disease spreader, but concern for people’s health has never been big among the oligarchs as evidenced by the lack of a universal healthcare system in this country. The solution coming from the top is to move to all electronic money such as prepaid debit cards, credit cards etc.
For those who don’t have credit or debit cards, prepaid debit cards might be a fix, but they often come with costs, such as fees to obtain the card, keep it active each month or to withdraw cash from an ATM, if you have an account. This potentially forces them into a product that has fees and limits their access to their cash, creating cascading effects of negative impacts. Government could issue them but because we do not have a public money system it means government would be borrowing at interest from the banks to do so and in our system, debts are never forgiven. In fact, miss a loan payment perhaps because you were laid off or any number of other reasons, and the bank will penalize you with a fee. We live in a kick-them-when-they’re-down economy.
This is a war on cash. The FED, our privately owned central bank is causing the shortage of coins by simply not distributing the coins to member banks. The FED banks hate cash, especially coins.
Cash, a small 3–5% of the overall money supply, has a production cost while most money is created simply by commercial banks entering numbers into a ledger when they make a loan, be it to an individual, a business or government. Cash is created by the government; thus, we the people pay for its production. The U.S. Treasury Office of Engraving prints the bills and the U.S. Mint mints the coins. The paper cash is printed at a cost of a few cents per bill regardless of its denomination and is sold to the banks for the cost of production. When the banks issue the money for the cash demands of its customers it receives a considerable profit over what it paid for the cash, this is called seigniorage. Coins on the other hand are sold at face value so government reaps the small profit, the seigniorage, from them. This is why the oligarchs hate the coins. They want to prevent our government, any government, from issuing money. Unfortunately, the coins cost of production is, as in the case of pennies and nickels, more than the coins value. Coins are the only money issued as debt-free sovereign money; all money should be.
This year, Representative Rashida Tlaib, in response to the income crisis has introduced a bill to Congress that would produce two coins, not much help for the coin shortage however as each coin would beworth 1 trillion dollars to fund what she calls the BOOST Act with debt-free sovereign money. It is a con however because the Treasury is limited by law to mint only denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 cents and 1 dollar coins, it cannot create a trillion dollar coin and the bill does not change the law. Thus, the con. Why the con? I suppose it is a bill to make it appear that the Democratic Party is on the people’s side as we are in an election year but will not get out of committee as it does not pass legal muster.
The Trillion Dollar Coin idea has been around since the 90's and has gained new support by MMT and more specifically, Joe Firestone, who Greens may remember tried to get Greening of the Dollar removed from our platform in 2018. He has cited clause (k.) from 1996 to Title 31, § 5112 as giving Treasury discretion to create trillion dollar coins, conveniently ignoring that the law already had a legal limitation on the Secretary’s ‘coinage discretion’ – from the very first sentence of the section. Even if the debt-free government coins were allowed they do not fix the system but only one of the many problems the system has created. The simplicity of the TDC negates the need for the struggle for real reform thus can be viewed as way to drown out any discussion of monetary reform, real systemic change, a permanent solution to the instability and inequity of the current system.
The pandemic driven coin shortage can also be seen, along with MMT, Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), Blockchain and its entire bouquet of digital commodity (non-currency) cohorts, as convenient for the elite’s war on cash. These faux solutions allow the elite to control both sides of the debate. The war on cash is much more about control than it is about cash. Because the private banking system controls most of the money and wealth of the world electronically already, removing cash gives them total control. If the system were a public system, that control would be with the public’s elected representatives accountable to their constituencies. At least the Congress that would have been elected who would pass real reform legislation. Thus, we are back to the Green Party’s task at hand. The Green Party can help mobilize the growing anger about Wall Street, the FED, inequality & injustice among left, right & the large independent center as the Hawkins/Walker Campaign is doing.
“The mistake lies in fearing money and trusting debt.” — Henry Simons
It is claimed that ‘all money is debt,’ because historians now mostly agree that debt is how our current money system started some 5000 years ago, together with writing, patriarchy and the first cities. The European debt-money system financed the Renaissance, the slave trade, the industrial revolution, even the Russian revolution, and remains ruthlessly in charge today.
Still, ‘all’ is too big a word. There are very strong historic examples of non-debt money, many monies among besieged Indigenous Peoples and the brass coins of Roman Republic, valued by the stamp on the coin set by the government. A recent, highly successful debt-free money was the US Greenback dollar. A more recent example from Europe, the WORGL.
Current proposals vary widely for how humans might fix our messes, grow up and learn to live in gratitude on our blue planet. Among those who accept that all money is debt, one cool proposal comes from Richard Werner (15 min). He offers the German Sparkassen network of fifteen hundred regional, nonprofit banks as a model for just, sustainable communities.
The keys, says Werner:
lending must support productivity and services, not speculation
to avoid corruption, creation of credit (debt money) must occur regionally where it will be used, not be centralized
banks must be founded intentionally for common good rather than private gain.
It is indeed a beautiful model, and has proven its resilience through two centuries of catastrophic historical events. Werner credits the Sparkassen system with the great success Germany’s many small, family owned companies experience in world markets. Many times, little Germany has registered higher annual exports than China! He warns this vibrant system is prey for takeover by the Central Banks in cahoots with the giant private banks.
In contrast the Green Party Banking and Monetary Reform Committee (BMRC) does not accept that money must be debt. We look to historical non-debt monies for inspiration. While we appreciate the work of US local banks and credit unions, stressed and bullied by the giants, our proposal is that private, for-profit banks should no longer create money as credit.
Our NEED Act solution follows the 1935 Chicago Plan and US historical experiences (Colonial paper scrip, Greenbacks) in which money is a public asset, spent into circulation by the government. Banks will invest US money that their patrons entrust to them.
I personally agree with Werner that the question of intention is a big difference between the current parasitic money system and one that can save species from extinction, including our own. The dominant European debt-money system we are still stuck with has grown to this monstrous stage as an intentional tool for individuals to gain power over others, always, and at any cost. Its defenders insist that personal ambition is the highest motivator. It is the ultimate patriarch.
We and Werner 100% agree that profit driven control over the money system leads to economic and social collapse. Can humans learn to support an intentional money system that allows us to live more modestly and gratefully here on Earth? In addition to guts, brains and perseverance, it will require imagination!
THE MONEY POWER REVOLUTION
The BMRC presentation to the 2020 Green Party ANM was a success!
The Federal Reserve Monetary System (the FED system) is based on the foundation of bank-created credit. Banks create both loans and the money to fund the loans. This is an accounting system in which banks make the ledger entries. If there is a balance in a deposit account, then the owner of that account can obtain currency or make payments up to that balance amount. This takes a while to grasp – money has no tangible or physical basis in this system. It is an interlocked account ledger, called a payment system, in which debt, money, and payments are bank accounting transactions.
Money is created to fund loans and then issued to the borrower, usually by making a payment on behalf of the borrower, but access to money is tightly controlled. For example, a mortgage loan is actually paid directly to the seller in the transaction closing, and most or all of that amount is paid to the seller’s mortgage creditor. An auto or credit card loan is paid directly to the seller as well. Thus, “money” is issued into the economy in a controlled fashion through bank credit creation, and according to the banking cartel agenda. Other creditors do not have this ability, so not all debt will have this money creation aspect.
There is also an interest component to these loans. The borrower must repay the loan amount together with interest. The interest may be most of the monthly payment, as is typical in mortgage payments or minimum credit card payments. The source of money for the interest payment is an obscure topic, not addressed in economics or monetary theory. The only apparent source of money for interest payments is new bank debt creation. A constantly expanding amount of debt creation and money issuance in the FED system creates the money for borrowers to make their payments. In other words, continuous monetary inflation is a requirement of the FED system.
The main published monetary data statistics, M1, M2, Private Credit, and Federal Debt, demonstrate exponential inflation. If you understand exponential growth, then you know it reaches shocking amounts which are so out of order that something must break. In this case, the exponential growth of FED system debt and money is completely out of order in relation to the population and the environment. This leads to the question of whether the FED system will break due to runaway exponential monetary inflation.
A key issue in the FED system is whether borrowers can make their payments. It is clear however, with Private Credit at $100,000 per person and Federal Debt at $80,000 per person, we are hopelessly drowning in FED system debt. Couple this with only $15,000 per person in M1 money supply (readily spendable money), and one can see that the challenge of balancing this monetary morass is intimidating. One must also consider that a person who does not gain from this FED system inflation may be effectively excluded from society by the large sums now required.
If enough borrowers cannot pay, then the system is in danger of collapse and being rejected by the public. If, on the other hand, the monetary inflation and money distribution are managed such that borrowers are able to make payments, then the system can continue, despite its onerous burdens and gross inequality. Whether the FED system is on its last legs is a question I cannot answer. The system does not serve the public and should be replaced, but corporate propaganda and public misunderstanding has thus far prevented the idea of monetary reform from becoming part of the political debate.
Due to the FED system, we are in an inflation crisis. Runaway inflation of debt created money has put us in a position of staggering sums of debt, with far less staggering sums of money. Yet neither establishment political party treats this as a serious issue. They will not look behind the curtain of propaganda and misinformation. Too many people suffer from lack of needed money because the debt-money agenda of the FED system, while creating exponential inflation, is designed for banking cartel profits and not to serve the public.
Prosperity on Hold: Suppressed Parity Pricing
by Howard Switzer, GPTN
When farm commodity prices are at parity the entire economy prospers with full employment and living wages, if not then debt displaces income creating economic instability.
One of the best kept secrets, besides Monetary Reform, about our economy is that it is based on agriculture production. Agriculture creates a continuous flow of new wealth from the soil, the raw material energy that all human production requires. Agriculture supplies 70% of the raw materials for production in our economy. A full 2/3 of investment income comes from agricultural raw materials, the rest from gross mineral production, mining etc. Agriculture is the primary source of new wealth. This is not conjecture, the evidence is recorded in the financial records of the national economy. Benjamin Franklin noted in Positions to be Examined Concerning National Wealth, April 4, 1769; that there are three ways a nation can obtain wealth:
By War, taking wealth by force.
By trade, which to be profitable requires cheating.
By Agriculture, through which we plant seed and create new wealth as if by a miracle.
It should be obvious that nature provides the raw materials of wealth if one thinks about it, but few do. The focus is almost always on the other 1/3 of the economy, diminishing attention on the primary wealth generator. The financial sector of the economy has given farmers a raw deal even though they produce most of the raw material wealth used by industry. However, records show that economic prosperity is just a matter of parity pricing of agriculture produce.
Most people have never heard of “parity pricing” which means pricing of raw materials to cover 100% of the costs of production. Parity pricing is the key to distribution, it maximizes the distribution of goods and raises the level of income across all sectors. The Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 that established parity pricing that ended the Great Depression. (It was not the war which is a convenient myth for war mongers.) Due to Wall Street’s manipulation of agriculture commodity prices, parity has not been maintained. Despite the law still being on the books, parity pricing has not been done since 1952 which means that farmers have gone deeper and deeper into debt to banks. However, at parity every dollar paid in farm income means a minimum 7 more dollars of earned income in the national economy. This has been proven mathematically based on the actual financial records and means when farmers do not earn a good income neither does the rest of society. Randy Cook, director of the National Organization for Raw Materials (NORM) explains:
The health, robustness, and sustainability of the American economy is directly tied to the production of raw materials and the price at which those raw materials first enter into commercial channels. When raw materials enter trade channels at prices in balance with the prices of labor and capital, the economy operates on an earned-income basis with no buildup of public and private debt. Conversely, when raw materials enter trade channels at less-than-parity prices with labor and capital, the economy lacks sufficient earned dollars to operate on a debt-free basis, therefore, public and private debt accumulates.
The records show that during the 1940s, the government was able to run this program at no cost to the public. From 1942 – 1952, when parity agriculture was U.S. policy and farmers received a fair price for their products, every dollar paid to farmers multiplied seven times throughout the economy, every year, for the eleven years it operated. Unfortunately, the industrialist financiers ignored the consequences of exchanging industrial production for cheap foreign farm products instead of those available domestically. This brought domestic markets down to the that level destroying parity and the post war prosperity.
Congress was given the Money Power in Art. 1, Sect. 8,  of the Constitution “To coin money”, and parity agriculture provides Congress with an effective tool to “regulate the Value Thereof”.
When farm commodity prices are at parity the entire economy prospers with full employment and living wages, if not then debt displaces income creating economic instability. That simple explanation of raw material economics explains why America today suffers from more than $50 trillion in public and private debt and why much of it is unserviceable.
Now one might ask, if this is true and prosperity can be had without monetary reform, why does the BMRC focus on Greening the Dollar? The answer is that money is power and vast sums of money is great power and the power to create money is absolute power. It is power so great that it can dominate government and direct public policy. Because parity pricing is public policy, we will need real democratic control of public policy to implement and protect it. By restoring Congress’ sovereign power to issue debt-free public asset money instead of allowing banks to create our nation’s money as interest-bearing debt, we can pursue the kind of public policy articulated throughout our national platform. We the people can begin to create the world we want if we change the money system and restore parity pricing. And of course, a government with the money power is a government that can serve the people first instead of the banks.
This brings us back to the importance of the Green Party, its monetary plank, and the importance of electing an ethical Congress dedicated to real systemic change. Hopefully, Greens can shed any ideological blinders they might have to discover this unifying principle that is in their hands.
Science can be a harmonizing influence in a society torn by conservatives warring with liberals, Republicans warring with Democrats, and the "haves" with the "have-nots." … When third parties get votes, they are not wasted votes, but principled ones. They make it clear to the major parties that it is time for a change and that progress does not occur without it. — Jay B. Marcus Fairfield, Iowa Natural Law Party 3rd District Congressional Candidate '96
Usury:The abuse of monetary authority for personal gain. All the great religions and philosophers condemned it and Dante' described it as: "An extraordinarily efficient form of violence by which one does the most damage with the least amount of effort."
THE MOST IMPORTANT HISTORY IS THE HISTORY YOU DON’T KNOW:
Economic Justice Hero: Charles Walters
Charles Walters was the founder and executive editor of Acres U.S.A., the monthly magazine of ecological agriculture. He recognized the national and international implications of applied raw material economics as revealed in the analyses of the U.S. economy by Carl H. Wilken, Charles B. Ray, John Lee Coulter and J. Carson Adkerson. They demonstrated how all new wealth enters an economy as raw materials provided by Nature. By fairly monetizing these raw materials, an economy is diverse, balanced, and free of debt. Unforgiven is the definitive work on the subject, derived from Walters' research and in-depth interviews with Wilken, conducted shortly before his death in 1968. The crisis that this book addresses has become even more pronounced in the years since it first appeared — an increasing wealth gap, a crumbling internal economy, human and economic harm inflicted upon our trading partners, millions of family farmers driven from their land, and small, privately owned businesses becoming extinct, ultimately leaving millions of Americans either directly or indirectly dependent on government handouts for existence. Wilken feared the concentration of power "in a few strong hands" as the deadliest enemy of a free society and saw the demise of independent enterprise and the family farm as the final curtain for the most dramatic social experiment in history: the American Dream. In Unforgiven, Walters presents not only the causes and effects of our continuing rural and urban decay, but also a way to stop it — the construction of an economy operating in tune with the laws of physics.