Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 5 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit 1 Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (6 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   No comments

General News

Economic Reform: Left Forum, Abandoning debt-money, Learning Geoism online, Upcoming Events

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 2 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) , Add Tags  (less...) Group(s): , Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 2   Interesting 2   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 3/28/12

Become a Fan
  (70 fans)
- Advertisement -
Give me Libertarians...or at least Ask them to Explain Libertarianism
Keith Gardner, a libertarian-Greenbacker-Georgist with a popular blog, has some questions about the contradictions in Libertarianism for Ron Paul:
click here
1. If the government and it's chartered banks accepted gold and silver for payment of taxes and debt, would gold and silver still be considered "free market" currency? Would such action by government be considered corruption of free markets, especially in the commodity markets for gold and silver?
2. Would you prefer a 5% flat tax on income (or if possible zero taxes) or a 95% land value tax?
3. What is worse? Deflation or inflation?
4. Should public infrastructure, roads, and other right of way easements be privatized?
5. Is commercial banking an institution of usury? Is insurance an institution of usury?

Gardner provides his insightful answers in his article.

Follow the Money...by Creating it

Greenbacker Georgists - like me - know there is no reason for sovereign governments to have to borrow their own currency.  Henry George believed this too and actually said he was a "Greenbacker".  The fact that we have borrowed our currency for much of our history - but not all - and mostly since 1913's Federal Reserve Act, only proves we've given up our economic sovereignty.  What does sovereign money look like?  It looks like this United States Note (the original greenback): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_$5_1963_USN.jpg.  Note that this note is not issued from any regional Federal Reserve Bank, unlike this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USCurrency_Federal_Reserve.jpg, which always have a circular imprint on the left front side, showing the bank the debt-money was issued from...completely unnecessarily.  Of course, we can follow this example electronically too; article 1, section 8 says nothing about Congress being restricted to physical money, and precedence and current practice lead to the conclusion that Congress can "coin Money" in any form (the government still does issue coins, debt-free, a completely different form of seigniorage than debt-money, despite what the Treasury claims on its website.  I am an adviser to a lawsuit by Cliff Johnson seeking to rectify that.  See "v. Treasury" here: http://tompainetoo.com/, and my petition, exhibit B, here: Produce debt-free United States Notes and my brand new petition, worked on with Johnson, here: Reclassify the FED's account, from private to public click here).

Of course, all taxes should be only on Land, including location.  This is, as estimated by Mason Gaffney and other economists, about 1/3 of GDP, perhaps 40%.  "Enough and to spare" as George himself said.

Michael Hudson can speak for himself, but he also believes in Land Value Taxation as a way of wringing this rent from those who now own most of the Land, currently the banks, and has even advocated it for China, now that it is experiencing a Land bubble of its own (Michael is an adviser to the government of China).  

Now, having said all that, there may be reason to believe we need far less taxes, or, maybe technically, none at all, if both Greenbacking and CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial) Reform are undertaken.  CAFRs - 184,000 of them - exist at every level of government, which, more and more, are run like businesses, with balance sheets.  The trick governments are playing is hiding 10s of trillions of dollars, by measuring only current annual revenues against expenses, often projected far into the future.  This Apples pays for Oranges misdirection ignores the vast fortune governments have accrued since WWII.
See the New Websites section below for more information.

In case there are still lingering doubts that it can't be as bad as all that, see this BBC special on poverty in America:
http://maxkeiser.com/2012/02/17/poor-america-p-a-n-o-r-a-m-a-b-b-c-broadcast-date-13th-february-2012/
Max Keiser posted it on his site (some of you might remember that Max interviewed me about Greenbacking and Georgism a couple of years ago: http://maxkeiser.com/2010/03/19/ote46-on-the-edge-with-max-keiser-and-scott-baker-19-march-2010/ - of course, neither solution has been picked up by the elite-controlled politicians, but that's hardly news to us...).  Poverty is far worse than when Obama took office, it's dragging down the former middle class and destroying cities and lives in nearly every strata.  The movie makes several erroneous mainstream assumptions - like there being "no work" when we know from George that demand is essentially endless ( effective demand is another thing, but that has to do with monetary power and who has it, and why).  Certainly, they do point out in graphic detail our crumbling infrastructure and cities.  Anyone who hasn't seen Detroit lately is in for a shock.

Another movie, which I just bought on DVD, is Dive - which makes the point that Americans throw away more food than they eat - P&P could also stand for (food) Produce and Poverty. 

In any case, we have plenty of food, just like we have plenty of houses (the new report from Picture the Homeless makes this clear: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/01/new_york_has_mo_1.php and http://picturethehomeless.org/ ), or at least vacant land that could be used for shelter if it was properly taxed to move it into the market.  The private collection of rent allows for all sorts of waste, while the elite get richer while they sleep.  

It still comes down to incentives.
- Advertisement -


New Websites and further CAFRnating
http://www.comprehensiveannualfinancialreport.com/ - This is Walter Burien's newly revamped site on the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports.  The production values of the site and the videos on it are unfortunately almost inversely proportional to the scale of the issue (this video is better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bn3hUcmNDdA), which, as previous readers of this newsletter know, is in the 10s of trillions.  That is how much the collective governments own in assets in multinational corporations, bonds, options, and even shorts (betting against the economy!)  I found half a trillion just on a quick tally of the top half dozen NY State government funds, mostly, pension funds, but not all. 
It's worth watching Clint Richardson's "The Great Pension Fund Hoax" on this site too, to learn that governments are not in collusion with the stock market - they pretty much ARE the stock market.  Well, this is a Ponzi scheme, and the lack of further government revenues (read: taxpayer dollars) to tax goes a long way towards explaining both the stagnant stock market over the last dozen years, and the now-perpetual need for Central Banks worldwide to continue to provide liquidity in order to pump up both the companies their governments are invested in, and their governments' own holdings in those companies.

This is why it is quaint and archaic to speak of corrupt governments and "officials taking bribes."  This misses the point.  The merger between corporations and the governments of the capitalist world are now so complete that they are merely branches of a larger whole.  The fascist transition is now complete.  The next logical step capitalist societies will take, indeed, must take, in order to keep the money going into these 1%er holdings of money and power, is towards neo-feudalism.  There is nothing else that can be squeezed out of the productivity sectors that can generate the amount of money necessary to prop up these holdings...

....unless we take back the holdings for ourselves - what Burien calls a Tax Retirement Fund - and also the power to create money from the Central Banks, which leads me to the next site...
http://www.monetaryreform.com/. ; This is one of a growing number of sites arguing for the end of debt-money.  The site owner, Don Findlay, is one of the clearest writers I've seen on this subject in some time, writing:
"The absurdity of our debt-monetary system is especially obvious in the case of "public assets".  Imagine that our government decides to construct a new bridge or road or hospital.  An asset of great value which will serve the needs of the people for generations is born.  The country as a whole is richer for having the skills and energy of its population to complete such a worthy project. Yet at the same time, it is also poorer (according to the national balance sheet) since governments normally finance such projects by issuing treasury bills and interest-bearing bonds.  So even though, through hard work, we increase the value of our assets, our new debt obligations rob us of any gains in the net worth of our country. In fact, once compound interest costs are factored in, we are actually worse off than before we started the project.  Doesn't this seem a little odd to you? Are national infrastructures really a liability? Why should the cost of public works to the taxpayer be double or triple because of interest charges?  Who has a greater right than the government to create the nation's credit supply?"

Well put.
If you are ready to take action, and happen to live in Canada, you might want to check out Findlay's new political party here:

Last minute addition - I couldn't pass this one up.  Roger Mitchell gives about as lucid a description of monetary sovereignty as I've seen, here:
click here
He correctly says that those who do not understand monetary sovereignty will forever confuse sovereign debt with personal debt.  Politicians, including the president, do this all the time, saying things like "we must balance our federal budget just like every America family does."  Wrong.  American families cannot create their own money.  Nor should they, since money should exist to meet the productive capacity of the nation, not the family (though everyone should be able to find a job and EARN money - that is something else).
On his personal website, Mitchell has a neat succinct little chart:
For those who want a balanced budget, here is a history lesson:
1817-1821: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 29%. Depression began 1819.
1823-1836: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 99%. Depression began 1837.
1852-1857: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 59%. Depression began 1857.
1867-1873: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 27%. Depression began 1873.
1880-1893: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 57%. Depression began 1893.
1920-1930: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 36%. Depression began 1929.
1998-2001: U. S. Federal Debt reduced 9%.   Recession began 2001
2004-2008: Deficit Growth reduced 40%. Recession began 2008.

The measure of an Economy is money. A large economy needs a larger supply of money than does a small economy. Therefore, a growing economy needs a growing supply of money. All money is a form of debt. Therefore, a growing economy requires a growing supply of debt.  (SB - Substitute the word Money instead of debt here, and Mitchell is on to something 99% of economists and politicians miss).

The only other place I disagree slightly with Mitchell is in his proclamation that we have true monetary sovereignty.  If we did, we would owe no money to a Federal Reserve Bank at all.  We have constitutional monetary sovereignty, but we are not following the constitution.  See my new petition above.  If you agree after reading it, please sign!

Until next time - keeping it real....


 
 

Next Page  1  |  2

 

http://newthinking.blogspot.com/

Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:
https://tayen-lane.squarespace.com/america-is-not-broke/

Scott is President of Common Ground-NYC (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Obama Explains the FEMA Camps

Was Malaysian Flight MH370 Landed Safely in Afghanistan?

Let the Sun Shine on a State Bank in Florida

Batman, The Dark Knight Rises...and Occupy Wall Street Falls

The Least Productive People in the World

The continuing plight of Malaysian Flight MH370 - 2 month update

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments