An alien lands in Massachusetts at the Transportation Building in the midst of the MBTA fare
increase, service reductions, and budget deficit hearings . The alien says, "Hey, what are all these people yelling and
screaming about after months of hearings!" Jonathan Davis, the General
Manager steps forward and boldly states, "We have a $159 million dollar
deficit that must be paid!" "What's a deficit," asks the
alien?" "Oh," says Dana Levenson, the Chief Financial Officer,
"It's the annual accounting law, where revenues have to balance with
expenses." Then the alien asks, "Why haven't you balanced the
budget?" Richard Davey, Transportation Secretary, steps up and says,
"We don't have enough money to cover the budget deficit because we don't
charge enough to pay for our expenses which includes the cost of borrowing
The alien looks puzzled. "You have to go slow here. Now, what is this money thing anyway . . . and you charge for a public service?" Shouts burst forth from the audience. A cacophony of voices: "FREE the T." "Money is green paper that buys things." One member quips, "No, its gold and silver." Another . . . No, it is not!" "The government prints money" "No it doesn't, it comes from borrowing from the Federal Reserve. All money is fiat money, dollars are declared legal money by the law of the land. Money helps people get paid for working and to pay their taxes! Money is digits." A person in the audience holds up some dollar bills. "These are Federal Reserve Notes." "Money pays me for my time." "Money is evil" Another says, "Money is a transaction. I love money. Money helps me exchange goods and services so I don't have to barter." "We work for the money." "I don't have enough money to pay the fare increase. I can't find a job that pays well enough." Another member of the audience shouts, "Reducing these services will curtail my lifestyle." "There is never enough money." "We have to borrow money with our credit cards." "Money is credit cards."
The Alien steps back, "WOW . . . all these opinions! Can someone in the know speak?" Dana, the CFO steps up to the mike, "Money is something we use to fund projects. And since we never have enough, we have to borrow from banks or investors. We promise to pay them back in the future, based on the full faith and credit of the people, the principal amount and interest." The alien asks, "What is interest?" Dana continues, "Interest is a fee for the use of money." The alien looks perplexed. "You mean to say you make money by law, use it buy things, to pay for projects for the people, to give it to pay for working, or to pay interest and after all that giving, then have it taken away with taxes. Sounds kind of silly to me!"
The Alien looks to ask another question, "Where does the bank get the money to lend?" "They get it from depositors." "No they don't . . . If the bank loaned all its money there would be no money in the banks for the depositors to withdraw. You never hear of a bank running out of money anymore, do you?" Another shout, "The banks and their money are guaranteed by the FDIC." Another member yells, "They monetize the credit of the borrower. In other words "NEW" money comes into existence by the "promise to pay" of the borrower. The bank merely extends the CREDIT of the borrower." The alien applauds: "There you go . . . problem solved! Anyone can borrow from the bank for any project or purchase what they want because the borrower creates the money."
"Not so easy, says one, "You can't get money unless you or the project is credit- worthy" . . . "Aren't all you earthlings working together to solve problems?" Governor Patrick proudly stands: "Not everyone! I am a capitalist and many of my friends are capitalists too!" An Audience member says, "Thought you were sworn to protect all of us . . . not just a few." "Hey, how much did you make by stealing the money from those sub-prime loans when you worked for Ameriquest?" The alien looks startle as the voices are going to shouting: "Okay . . . calm down," says the Alien. "If we are going to resolve something here we will have to find out definitions and meanings . . . not be fighting...okay? . . . What is a capitalist?" The Governor continues, "A capitalist is one who makes money." "Ok," says the Alien, "Where does the money come from?" A person from the audience screams. "It comes from working." "No," says, the Governor, "It comes from smart investors who lend money to fund projects and then we charge interest on that money to make more money. That's the capitalist way!"
"So," says the Alien, "Where does the money come from originally for the investors to lend?" One audience member stands up and says, "Hmmm . . . that's a good question." One member shouts back, "Remember, money comes from banks stupid! Everyone knows that banks have the money! Haven't you seen, It's a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart where he says, "The banks' money is not here, it's in his home and her home?" Again the Alien remarks, "Well, there can't be a problem then. Just go to the bank and get the money!" Dana, the CFO chimes in, "But like I said, banks don't lend money unless the project is CREDIT worthy! That means that they can make money on it!" "I got it," says the Alien, "Banks have the money, so go to the bank for the money, tell them it's creditworthy. What's the problem?" An Occupy Bostonian replies, "The problem is that banks charge interest on the money they loan, and they don't loan out the interest . . . which over time decreases the money supply, unless there are more loans. Fewer loans means less money in circulation, and that makes money tight leading to foreclosures, bankruptcies and austerity measures. All because of predatory lending, that is interest...that is usury! More principal and interest debt payments reduce the money in circulation as the debt is paid off. There never is enough money to pay the principal AND the interest. It's mathematically impossible."
Then says the alien, "Just borrow more money!" Then Transportation Secretary Davey states, "We have and it just gets us into more debt. The more money we borrow the more money we owe in interest." Then the Alien retorts, "So, if paper and digits are money because they are declared by law and paper is cheap and digits less so, why isn't there enough money for all the products and service you want? Isn't it just accounting? Don't you people have enough sense to make enough money from accounting entries? Bean me up Scotty; there is no intelligent life here on earth!"
Slowly at first, then very excitedly, as the Alien departs, someone in the background quips in, "We have been fooled for many years into believing that we are borrowers in debt and have to pay back our debt with interest. We have forgotten we are really the creditors in the loaning process and just need to be charged a small transaction fee instead of loans with interest that benefit the very few! We have forgotten money is a public utility and have let private banks decide on OUR PUBLIC CREDIT WORTHINESS. We would have enough money to pay those who want to work and we would have enough money to fund all the projects we wanted if only we had a 100% public infrastructure public bank to be accountable TO AND FOR THE PEOPLE instead of to a few investors." "One more thing states Marc, an intelligent looking gentleman from www.bibocurrency.org : " We already have all the money we need to pay for everything, if we only had the courage to realize that none of us need to ask anyone permission for each of us to represent and measure OUR own value in transactions between ourselves. All that is required is for us to all follow a common open standard." "Looks like there may be intelligent life here on earth after all," states the satisfied Alien. Finally, Thomas M. McGee, a Lynn Democrat, and Senate Chairman of the Joint Transportation Committee stands and says, "We really need to find the solution that solves the MBTA problem and do it in a timely manner. I'm optimistic that we're able to work through some of these differences and find an agreement." Hovering above Massachusetts, the alien writes across the sky, "Certainly Hope So."
99 CRESCENT STREET
NEWTON , MA 02466