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"One Nation" March Organizers Should Remember Coxey's Army

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Greenbackers were not confused by the many monetary falsehoods used to justify and perpetuate the corporate domination of money creation and circulation in our society today, namely that:
1. Money must be based on gold or some other "precious" commodity
2. Banks and bankers, not governments, can be trusted to control the money system.

The Greenback experience of Lincoln was still known to Coxey and his pro-jobs cohorts.

"Money exists," as Aristotle said, "not by nature but by law." What gives money value and credibility is it's anointment by society be it a piece of wood, metal, or paper. We the People should have the ultimate power to issue and circulate money, not banks or bankers. The issuance of money should be democratized.

Unfortunately, that's not how it works in the US. Money is privatized/corporatized. The private and misnamed Federal Reserve System and banks issue more than 95% of all money in our nation as credit or debt when loans, be they personal or federal, are issued. Money is created literally "out of thin air" by banks and bankers for their own interest regardless of the needs of society. In fact, banks can loan out $10 for every $1 they actually have "in reserve."

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The starkest example of this was President Obama recently asking, if not pleading, with banks and bankers to provide more loans to help small businesses. Who exactly is in charge of our monetary policies?

The Great Depression was largely caused by the financial ruling class, encouraged by the private Federal Reserve System, making funds available for financial speculation in stocks instead of homes and business expansion. Once the stock market crashed, the same financial ruling class shut off the financial spigot, delaying recovery for years. The financiers have followed the same pattern during the current Great Recession investing not in real goods and services but highly speculative hedge funds, derivatives and other bizarre financial "instruments."

With corporate American and the Fed AWOL on the fiscal and monetary fronts, FDR got it right during the Depression to get America working by creating many government programs. He got it wrong, though, by going into debt to do it. He could have issued government money. There would have been no debt and no increased financial (and political) power of banks and bankers. History shows that when government issues funds to pay for vital economic and social needs, there's little inflation.

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Shifting federal budget and tax priorities away from the military and wealthy toward jobs and socio-economic needs of society are, indeed, part of what "One Nation" marchers should advocate both on October 2 and beyond. But their agenda is incomplete if shifting our monetary policies from the corporatization to the democratization of money creation and circulation is not included.

The "American Monetary Act," proposed by the American Monetary Institute (AMI,, calls for a three-step plan for just this democratization of money. It includes:
1. Moving the Federal Reserve under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Treasury.
2. Eliminating the 10:1 "fractional reserve system" of banks.
3. Issuing government money and spending it on vital social and economic needs.

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that $2.2 trillion is needed to address the nation's physical infrastructure needs. Spending government money on physical and human needs would both improve the nation's infrastructure and hire people without adding to the debt or deficit or increasing inflation (as opposed to spending money on not needed socio-economic needs like military warfare and economic casino speculation).

"When society loses control over its money system it loses whatever control it might have had over its destiny," says AMI Director Stephen Zarlenga.

The US Green Party National Committee recently adopted a Monetary Plank in their 2010 Platform that would "green the dollar" as called for by the AMI.

Democratizing money. Greening money. Whatever the name, the most important feature is to shift money creation from corporations (banks) to shift money creation from corporations (banks) to We the People.

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This should be included in the "One Nation Working Together" demands.

It would be consistent with the demand of the first Coxey Army national jobs march.

It would be a vital step to not only increasing jobs but also increasing self-governance.

It's a mandatory step to controlling our own destiny.

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Greg Coleridge is Outreach Director of Move to Amend. He previously worked for more than three decades with the American Friends Service Committee in Ohio where he educated, advocated and organized on a range of justice, peace, environmental (more...)

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