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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/1/12

The Instant solution to the new Depression: debt-free money

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Today's payroll number -- 69,000 -- was one of the worst since the depths of the economic crisis in late 2008-early 2009.   The official unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2%, but the rate, as measured the way it was before all the gimmicks of the 1990s and 2000s undercounted or excluded the long-term un/underemployed, is at least twice that.   Nationally, the inflation-adjusted wages of the bottom 80% of the country haven't seen a rise in nearly 2 generations.   Inflation figures too, have been purposely rigged to undercount inflation.   Says economist John Williams of


May 15, 2012

Consumer Price Index Has Been Reconfigured Since Early-1980s
So As to Understate Inflation versus Common Experience

- CPI no longer measures the cost of maintaining a constant standard of living.

- CPI no longer measures full inflation for out-of-pocket expenditures.

- With the misused cover of academic theory, politicians forced significant underreporting of official inflation, so as to cut annual cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security, etc.

- Use of the CPI to adjust retirement benefits, private income or to set investment goals impairs the ability of retirees, income earners and investors to stay ahead of inflation.

- Understated inflation used in estimating inflation-adjusted growth has created the illusion of recovery in reported GDP.

Meanwhile, according to Professor L. Randall Wray Professor of Economics and Research Director of the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability, University of Missouri--Kansas City, in widely published series of articles, including one in the Huffington Post, the Fed has loaned, guaranteed or otherwise made available, cumulatively, some $29 Trillion!   Has this largesse towards the financial sector made us better off?   At best, the Fed rescued the banks that were directly instrumental in causing the crisis, and boosted stock prices...for now.   At best, the government stimulus stalled the economic slide into oblivion...for now.

We are so used to hearing "there are no easy solutions" that many people think there are no solutions at all.   This is Big Lie #1.   Big Lie #2 is that we are broke and There Is No Alternative (TINA -- thanks, Margaret Thatcher, for that false belief) to Austerity.   We can throw Austerity as a cure for the economic crisis on the dust heap of failed theories, says Paul Krugman and, increasingly, other economists, mainstream and not.   I have been lambasting the new Austerians (a term I coined even before Krugman) for months.   Greece will probably throw the Austerians out of office later this month as well. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel is rapidly losing support, even in her homeland, as recent regional elections have turned against her.   She is becoming increasingly isolated internationally, with her ally in France, Sarkozy, now booted out by socialist(!) Francois Hollande who wants more stimulus (good), but has no idea how to pay for it (bad).

Meanwhile, Europe's up-and-coming basket case, Spain, has an unemployment rate of just under 25% and a youth unemployment rate double that -- perfect "stimulus" for protests on a daily basis.   How long until the police -- the last line of the 1%'s defense, simply switch sides, as they did in Egypt and much of the Middle East, and support those who they beat up previously?   This is how revolutions succeed, a fact that has been overlooked by both the Right and the Left, who just assume that mass protests will eventually get them what they want.   No, all successful revolutions end with the police or military coming out in support of those who want change -- though that does not necessarily, or usually, mean success in the long run.  

So, how does successful change that gives enhanced rights and opportunities to the People, is sustainable and durable, happen?

Getting back to the Big Lies.   The world economies are held hostage by the Financial Terrorists.   They are withholding credit-money -- the only kind of money most people think there is -- starving economies everywhere of the grease that enables commerce and provides working opportunities.   But, the question must now be asked, forcefully and urgently: Should banks be allowed exclusive rights to produce the world's money supply?

Recently, 12-year old Victoria Grant gave a speech at the Public Banking Institute's (PBI) first annual conference in which the answer was a resounding "No!"   Her combined video totals for her 7-minute speech now top 1.3 million views and will probably hit 2 million before the summer is over.   Her seniors at the conference, though perhaps less inspiring, nevertheless flesh out her points that a truly sovereign nation need not rely on a private Central Bank to produce its money supply.   They need not borrow money at all, either from a Central Bank, or from creditors abroad; a form of subsidy to those governments who enable the taking of our jobs for lower wages.   For example, we need not pay interest on Treasuries to China, so their elites can push up a property bubble (now bursting), making shaky loans to Chinese businesses (now defaulting) to sell America stuff it cannot afford (without raising debt still further), in large part due to Rent collection by the elites on this side of the world, who then pay too little in taxes to keep America from crumbling away!     

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Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a former 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 and current President of Common Ground-NY (, a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of (more...)

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