Robert Morris (1733-1806), a signer of the Declaration of Independence, helped save America from defeat in the Revolutionary War. He was the patriot who loaned George Washington $10,000 for the provisions needed at Valley Forge. At the time, there was no federal treasury.
In 1781, he became the first Superintendent of Finance, and formed the First National Bank. Seventeen years later, in 1798, he was arrested for debts resulting from land speculation around Washington D.C., and put in Debtors Prison. He was liberated with the passage of the National Bankruptcy Law in 1802.
Morris was a patriot, but we need to revisit our banking system of today. Banking is as unwise today, as he was then. The Savings and Loan bailout of the 1980's was caused by the same type of land speculation that Morris bet on 200 years earlier. Interest is a way to manipulate the flow of money, and the stock market is now a global mechanism of speculation. It is a ponzi scheme, that hides under the guise of a system for supplying credit and capital. All of the winning is apparent, and short-lived.
Like all good ponzi schemes, this system is very believable. And with the fear that inflation causes, it seems necessary to invest. The average person now risks their life's savings in this ponzi scheme. Many people in our nation have stopped being productively employed, and instead spend their days trying to outsmart the market. The lesson of Robert Morris, a hard-working patriot, should rest heavily on our shoulders.
America now equates investing with saving. We have had a Great Depression, stock bubbles and bursts, foreigners flying planes into our banks, and two great communist revolutions since the formation of the Federal Reserve. Perhaps, the problems of the last 100 years were caused 200 years ago. The problem is the Interest Mechanism itself.
Since the closing of the debtors prisons, interest became a way to cover the cost of non-payment. One is still free while in debt, but the debt keeps increasing.
Deadbeat Dads are now finding themselves in prison for failing to pay child support. The time has come to apply the same laws to Congress. A budget deficit of $347 Billion is a world without consequences. Numbers no longer have any meaning. The National Debt is in the trillions and long past overdue. The fraud on Wall Street makes the situation worse, but the real problem lies with the Federal Reserve.
The entire Congress, and the President too, should be put into a Debtors Prison. A year of Jubilee, the forgiveness of all debts, is needed worldwide. A modern solution to the age-old problem of credit and capital can end the war of terror and bring about peace. The current system is a mathematical fraud and serves no one. This is not a time for patriots to get cold feet.
(This essay was written in 2003. The problems are worse today, but the solution required remains the same.)