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Economic Reform Newsletter: Occupy Everything Movement, What Is Money?, A Banker-Led Lincoln Assassination?, Iceland

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The truth of the matter is that the power to issue money is a valuable privilege which, to secure the best circulating medium and to put all citizens on a footing of equality, ought to be retained by the general government, and to be permitted to no one else, either individual or corporation. The Greenbackers, who have insisted that national bank notes should not be permitted, and that all money should be the direct issue of the government, are in the right. It is a pity that so many Greenbackers permit themselves to be used by the silver men, instead of insisting on their own principles. If we want two millions of notes issued every month, let them be greenbacks, and let the two millions now expended in buying silver be saved.

Henry George had an even harder time convincing the world to use Greenbacks than to levy taxes solely on Land values.  He is not remembered at all for his Greenbacker views, except by scholars willing to examine his writings minutely.

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It is up to the listeners to hear what we say, not just the speakers to say what they mean.
Now, some of you might be aware we've had some internal issues with the local Common Ground chapter lately, but this is small stuff, insignificant really in the larger scheme of things.  It is, however, the kind of thing that lets the power elite sleep at night, secure in the knowledge that many of those who oppose them will self-destruct before they are a true threat.

Lest you still need another reminder of the sacrifices sometimes required, please read this short biography of Henry George by Jeff Smith.

Will Rep. Dennis Kucinich do any better?  See him try to re-introduce the N.E.E.D. Act - (shown here: HR6550) - to Congress here, at about the 4.5 minute mark.   One of the best explanations of the difference between real wealth and money I've heard in a long time.  He gets it.
It's tough to completely overhaul the nation's century-old Central Bank system, and finally replace debt with actual money, as HR6550 would do.  It might be more practical to first have Congress simply follow its constitutional mandate, as secured in Article 1, section 8, to re-introduce truly sovereign United States Notes, issued debt-free from the U.S. Treasury.  Zarlenga argues that the last time this was done, in Lincoln's day, the bankers quickly suppressed this competing currency, and eventually established the Federal Reserve system we know and loath today.  This is all true, and perhaps in the long run HR6550 is the way to go, but do we have a long run to wait?  Perhaps if we could get Congress to simply issue new debt-free Greenbacks to pay for vital infrastructure and provide new jobs, people would come around to this old-is-new-again form of money, and support the full monetary reform Zarlenga and Kucinich promote (their proposals are virtually identical).  At least that is what I argue here.

And, another thing...

Was Lincoln Assassinated for His Monetary Views?
There is no question John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln, or that he was a southern sympathizer (despite being a northerner who never served in the Southern Army), but there is substantial evidence that he and his co-conspirators, who were supposed to assassinate both secretary of State Seward (and nearly did) and Secretary of War Stanton (who was spared even the attempt by a thankfully timid co-conspirator), expected to prosper from a big payoff, according to several witnesses.  This is documented in chapter V at length in Greenbacker Gerry McGeer's book, "The Conquest of Poverty" and here.  It's worth reading Keith Gardner's treatise first, as he makes several references to Henry George's support of the Greenback, as well as dissecting McGeer's work.
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Quoting witnesses liberally, McGeer speaks of the vested banking interest at the end of his chapter:
"It is easy to understand how the "bold and daring men" who were sponsoring this racket in Lincoln's time "were able to execute anything they would undertake without regard to the cost"...
Booth undoubtedly was the leader in the organized plan which had been carefully developed to assassinate Lincoln, Seward and Stanton. This plan was not original with Booth. He was employed by certain rebel agents operating in the cities of Montreal and Toronto in Canada who, in turn, were engaged by an undisclosed group of wealthy men who were vitally interested in Lincoln's removal. Working in secrecy, these men used the Southern agents to conceal both their motive and identity. It was a clever piece of work and worthy of the devilish cunning of usury. The unknown men who originated the conspiracy were not associated or connected in any way with the Southern leaders or the Southern government.
These facts are clearly set out in a published report of the trial and execution of the assassins and conspirators who were brought to justice for their part in the murder of Lincoln. This record, published in Philadelphia by T.B. Peterson & Bros., of 306 Chestnut Street, in 1865 "is a full and verbatim report of all the witnesses examined in the whole trial"."

Would-be assassins exist always and everywhere, and men of means have ways of ferreting them out and facilitating them, while using existing motives to cover their tracks.
As McGeer says:
"Lincoln's biographers have failed to appreciate his great work as a practical economist. They have failed to recognize that he was and still remains the greatest, most effective and practical of all money reformers. They have treated him as a great humanist, ignoring the fact that his ideas of practical economy flow from the inspired gift of infallible prescience. His part in the struggle to emancipate the negro from slavery and to prevent the destruction of his nation by cesession have been allowed to overshadow his greater work which characterized his attempt to establish a sane and sound national currency system."
Exactly right, and no accident either.  The educational system is happy with the emancipation of chattel slaves, but the funders of that system would not be happy with the emancipation of private and public borrowers.
From the Mouths of Wolves?
Question: What is now the largest economics group in the world, funded with $50 million from George Soros (that helps!) and has a slick website (a necessity!)?
Answer: It is the Institute for New Economic Thinking - INET.  The roster of famous and not-so-famous economists is too long to recite here, but you can go on the site and see for yourself.

See their history here, and watch the 10-minute video of the founding of this not-quite 2-year old group.

A Code of Ethics for Economists?
Should there be a code of ethics for Economists?  Watch this video from the Institute of New Economic Thinking and decide for yourself.  INET is now the largest organization of economists in the world, and much of it is slick and online.  However, none of this could have occurred without George Soros' money and initiation.   How far will the economists go before bumping into their founder and saying, "Oh, guess what, we figured out the problem is people like you "?  This may be the first truly productive thing George Soros has done for the rest of the world, aside from his charities (and maybe we wouldn't need so many charities in a fair and just world).   Will it be the last?
Let's see how far we can push the envelope. How can we promote Henry George, State Banking, and Greenback Monetary Reform, on this site? You can create an account, Search, for example, Henry George, vote Thumbs Up for relevant comments.  If we can move good comments to the top, maybe they'll have other Georgist economists on like Mason Gaffney.  See his new video here:  They already do have Michael Hudson and Fred Harrison.

What else can we do to promote our principles and really promote New Economic Thinking

Public Banking
The Public Banking Facebook site for New York now has a simpler URL :
Keep checking back there for updates, bill progress on A06737 , which is being studied by the banks right now for "feasibility."  We'll have to keep an eye on these foxes.  And don't forget to sign our e-petition .
Meanwhile, in California, Bill AB750 - a bill to study the feasibility of a State Bank - has been returned by Governor Jerry Brown.  Brown has pledged to have no more committees, and says California politicians have enough expertise to decide whether to have a State Bank or not.
Ellen Brown has written a concise analysis of why California needs a State Bank NOW, and what a State Bank has done for North Dakota, here
Read more from the Public Banking Institute here.

Former Trader and Monetary Reformer Stephen Zarlenga deconstructs the oil(y) markets

In an article on Huffington Post, noted Monetary reformer, Stephen Zarlenga, decimates the oil markets as a speculator's playing field, having nothing to do with "price discovery."  This is something I've written about in this space before, but it's great to see a man of his stature saying the same thing.  I do, however, disagree with his regulation-approach.  As you know, we go for fundamental reform here, and more regulations, on top of the ones that haven't worked so far, won't cut it.  Instead, as I said in my comment to the article:
Zarlenga, whom I've met several times, diagnoses the problem correctly, but fails to provide the right antidote. The solution is not more regulation, which as we've seen, is just bypassed by smart speculators anyway, but to institute a tax on all raw forms (that is, before they are mined, refined distributed and sold) of natural resources. This Single Tax on location and natural resources, espoused, as he knows, by Henry George, would end speculation by taxing away the incentive, but encourage development, entrepreneurship, productivity by untaxing those. It would be fair, just, equitable, progressive (the more you use, the more you pay), environmentally stable, economically sustainable (no more booms and busts from Land speculation) etc.

Zarlenga's AMA is a step in the right direction, though its centralization premise worries me as it does the MMT folks, who have talked to Zarlenga but failed to move him their way, but more importantly, we need the Single Tax too.
Or, Perhaps We Already Have All The Money we Need
From the darkest recesses (not by his own choosing, no doubt), of the economic reform movement comes Walter Burien, virtually single-handedly analyzing all 184,000 Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, and concluding:
Per understanding CAFRs, people have been intentionally kept in the dark so long they forget the basics:

"1. A "Budget Report" is a selective funding of x accounts from x resources (set up to be primarily funded with taxation and done so "for the year")

2. An "Annual Financial Report" is the showing of "all" income: Investment; taxation; and Enterprise, plus the "accumulated wealth over decades. Budgets are for the year, an AFR is for it all since creation of the entity.

There is a big difference between the two. A correct analogy would be: The budget to operate your house vs. your statement of net worth.

The public has been played with the biggest shell game of selective presentation there is allowing for massive fortunes to be made by the inside players over the last several decades...

Every investment fund large and small is a power base. Where that money is invested determines what company; real-estate venture, etc., is made or broken. Thus in line with that, never a mention of the 184,000 AFRs of the corresponding local governments..nor the many thousands of specialty investment funds they contain. I note gov pension funds facilitate the same. Paying employee benefits from the return on the funds is an after thought for the government players.

The head communists back in the 30's and 40's said they could take over America without firming a shot. The undercurrents of that statement were that they could depend on the greed and opportunity of the players to accomplish that goal and it did. US Collective government since 2000 brings in more gross income than the entire gross income of the population of the United States.

Taxation is rammed down the public's throat (1/3rd of the gross income) and Investment / Enterprise income (2/3rd of the gross income) the "silence is golden" rule is strictly enforced with the full symbiotic cooperation of the syndicated media; controlled education; and both political parties as applies over the last century." 

Elsewhere on his site, Burien points out that the trillions invested by the Federal Government all over the world rise in market value when the dollar weakens due to exchange rates.  Still elsewhere, he says:
The composite totals of investment assets held internationally by USA government is staggering. Between local and Federal government, the total of liquid investment assets held Internationally is a conservative sixty (60) Trillion dollars.
At other times, and other places on his labyrinthine websites, I've seen him quote total assets of $110 Trillion (but, who's counting?  No really, who is counting?).  To go into Burien's world is to descend into a Bizorro world of uber-conspiracies and upside-down economics: that is, the Government is over-flowing in money, not broke, and what's bad for ordinary people is good for government investments. 
If tapped as a Tax Retirement Fund, says Burien, we could forget about little steps like Welfare, since none of us would have to work another day in our lives!  Is this even theoretically possible?  Where does wealth come from if not from people working (somewhere) on the resources of the Earth to produce the things people desire and that have exchange value? 

The bigger the conspiracy, the bigger the proof needed, and there is great need for more provers , if not more proof (you could literally spend weeks examining all his links, and still not scratch the surface).  We need a Kucinich to sponsor a bill, or, earlier in the process, a team of recognized mainstream auditors to really examine the CAFRs Burien and a handful of others have.  Until then, this author at least is left scratching his head, wondering if the mini-conspiracies of disinformation are really just distractions from the BIG LIE about the world's true areas of wealth (or, at least, investment wealth, not the same thing as true wealth).

Meanwhile, back in the world we call real (but, which may be an economic fiction according to Burien)...

Did Iceland just go Georgist?
I've talked about the quiet (media suppressed?) revolution in Iceland in this space before.  They have thrown over the banking elite, issued arrest warrants for those responsible, and are systematically going about writing a new constitution.  But, there's more.  Iceland just might be about to become the first Georgist nation.

Look at this Associated Press article, towards the end, about Iceland's vital fishing rights (fishing is very important industry in that frozen country, which otherwise could not grow enough to feed itself):

and there's more, about natural resources in article 34 of the new constitution:
Article 34. Natural resources Iceland's natural resources that are not private property shall be the joint and perpetual property of the nation. No one can acquire the natural resources, or rights connected thereto, as property or for permanent use and they may not be sold or pledged. Publicly owned natural resources include resources such as marine stocks, other resources of the ocean and its bottom within Iceland's economic zone and the sources of water and water-harnessing rights, the rights to geothermal energy and mining. The public ownership of resources below a certain depth under the earth's surface may be determined by law. In the use of natural resources, sustainable development and public interest shall be used for guidance. The public authorities, along with those using the natural resources, shall be responsible for their protection. The public authorities may, on the basis of law, issue permits for the use of natural resources or other limited public goods, against full payment and for a modest period of time in each instance. Such permits shall be issued on an equal-opportunity basis and it shall never lead to a right of ownership or irrevocable control of the natural resources.

Perry Parries
I don't normally stray into election politics in this space, but Texas Governor Rick Perry's so-called economic miracle has to be countered in economic terms.  Commentator Jim Hightower does a good job in a short article here: Perry Tales: Rick Is Not Who He Says He Is .

It is sometimes difficult to introduce newbies to these kinds of topics.  I lay out some simple openers here:
Talking to Regular People about Economic Reform

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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 "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is a former President of Common Ground-NYC (, a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of articles for (more...)

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