Bill of Rights by Forces of Geek
Henry Ford said, "It is well enough that the people of the
nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I
believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."
We are beginning to understand, and Occupy Wall Street looks like the beginning of the revolution.
We are beginning to understand that our money is created, not by the government, but by banks. Many authorities have confirmed this, including the Federal Reserve itself. The only money the government creates today are coins, which compose less than one ten-thousandth of the money supply. Federal Reserve Notes, or dollar bills, are issued by Federal Reserve Banks, all twelve of which are owned by the private banks in their district. Most of our money comes into circulation as bank loans, and it comes with an interest charge attached.
According to Margrit Kennedy, a German researcher who has studied this issue extensively, interest now composes 40% of the cost of everything we buy. We don't see it on the sales slips, but interest is exacted at every stage of production. Suppliers need to take out loans to pay for labor and materials, before they have a product to sell.
For government projects, Kennedy found that the average cost of interest is 50%. If the government owned the banks, it could keep the interest and get these projects at half price. That means governments--state and federal--could double the number of projects they could afford, without costing the taxpayers a single penny more than we are paying now.
This opens up exciting possibilities. Federal and state governments could fund all sorts of things we think we can't afford now, simply by owning their own banks. They could fund something Franklin D. Roosevelt and Martin Luther King dreamt of--an Economic Bill of Rights.
A Vision for Tomorrow
In his first inaugural address in 1933, Roosevelt criticized the sort of near-sighted Wall Street greed that precipitated the Great Depression. He said, "They only know the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and where there is no vision the people perish."
Roosevelt's own vision reached its sharpest focus in 1944, when he called for a Second Bill of Rights. He said:
This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights . . . . They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our nation has grown in size and stature, however--as our industrial economy expanded--these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
He then enumerated the economic rights he thought needed to be added to the Bill of Rights. They included:
The right to a job;
The right to earn enough to pay for food and clothing;
The right of businessmen to be free of unfair competition and domination by monopolies;