Kindly Ellen Brown Dishes Out Snake Oil as She Runs for CA Treasurer
I don't normally reproduce comments and counter-arguments as articles, because they tend to be incoherent and hard to understand as standalone articles. But, in this case, this article in the anarcho-capitalist Daily Bell Blog, when they took on her and her run for Treasurer in California, turned into something that seemed article-worthy.
By Staff Report - January 29, 2014
My comments and the Daily Bell's (DB) counter-responses follow. I think it is instructive to see how the anarcho-capitalist mind-set works. Progressives can't ignore these people, as they facilitate the very worst in corporate-grabbing fascism, though they would venomously deny that, and actually make the counter-argument that it is progressives, with their support of the State - sometimes called by them, the Leviathan - that leads to corporatism (the term Mussolini said should have been used instead of fascism to describe the paradigm he founded).
Credit goes to Ellen Brown for bringing attention to this article in the Public Banking Google group, which I and several hundred other PB advocates participate in. Some slight reformatting has been done to improve readability. Additional comments by me will be in parentheses and italics.
It's hard to know where to begin with this, as so
many things are simply wrong. I'll try to list them:
1. Ellen Brown is not calling for money-printing by
the State, at least not in advocating for STATE or municipal public banks (a
number of us in the Public Banking Institute are advocating for large city or
county level public banks too; hardly Big Government. See my presentation in
Philadelphia for the PA chapter of PBI here: http://www.opednews.com/Diary/Using-Existing-Government-by-Scott-Baker-Banking-Crisis_Banks_Public-Banking_Public-Banks-140119-408.html. Only the Federal government has the
power to "coin Money" constitutionally, a fact which Brown is well
2. The parties who have been profligate with
money-creation and fraud are in the private sector, albeit abetted by both the
Federal Reserve and the government - both of which, I, and more importantly,
many economists and government watchdogs, have observed to be bought out and
corrupted (I believe DB and Brown are in agreement that Corporate Personhood
ought to be repealed ASAP). I have argued elsewhere that having a Public Option
for Money would provide some balance to having nearly all money produced in the
private sector, as would LETS and as did U.S. Notes under Lincoln during the
Civil War, when the private NYC banks (them again!) wanted to bankrupt the
North with 24-36% interest rates - hardly banks operating in the Public
Interest (pun intended)!
3. DB's solution: "The solution is a simple one,
however. People need to educate
themselves, take responsibility for their actions and also take "human
action" to support themselves, their families and their communities in
ways that provide self-sufficiency." would be laughably naive if it wasn't so dangerous. The fact is only a strong government with regulation that works (see Bill Black) can counter the oligopoly that is the current Big Banking system. It hasn't done so not because Government is too big and powerful, but because it is too small and weak, compared to the Banking-industrial complex. Brown is trying to provide a counterbalance to both the self-seeking private sector and ineffectual Washington Government (which she has said repeatedly cannot be counted on to pass anything meaningful in the present polarized environment - a fact with which Americans overwhelmingly agree, as indicated by persistent disapproval ratings of both executive and legislative branches). She is doing so by promoting Public Banking at the State, Regional and even, where it makes sense, city and town level (obviously, there is a point where economies of scale argue against Public Banking, but I just completed a preliminary analysis on little Luzerne County, PA for the Pennsylvania chapter of PBI, and haven't reached that point yet).
4. It's good to see that DB doesn't equate Ellen Brown with Hitler, or for that matter, the 40% of the world's banks that are Public Banks. How nice of you! But the fact is, Hitler gave up State-issuance of money (which anyway, is a different issue than Public Banking) after only a couple of years and went back to a more traditional gold standard and private banking model, plunging Germany back into debt.
5. It's clear to anyone but an inside-the-beltway economist that unemployment is too high, despite the rigged statistics (see John Williams' Shadowstats.com for a more honest reading). Public Works, which both Brown and the Green Party support, as well as a plurality, if not an outright majority, of Americans, depending on how the question is asked, would put people to work AND boost our crumbling infrastructure, education, and so many other things for which there is a crying need.
DB's solution seems to be "Hands off! Let the (mythical) Free Market decide!" Of course, wherever there is government, there is no such thing as a totally Free Market, and never will be. That's not a bad thing if freedom means freedom to steal, corrupt and deceive. If government is just another servant of the lender who is doing all of these things, than you get what we've got.
"Ellen Brown is not calling for money-printing by the State."
It is absurd to argue that Ellen Brown's idea of public banking at the state level does not include considerable monetary expansion abetted by state resources. But when you people are exposed, you begin to parse -- parse and then desperately parse some more. Here are Ms. Brown's own words: "In North Dakota, the only state with its own "mini-Fed,' the state-owned Bank of North Dakota routes its public lending programs through community banks " Its deposit base is almost entirely composed of the revenue of the state and state agencies." The state generates revenue through monopoly force (if you don't pay you go to jail) and then provides these revenues to the state bank. This is the twisted system you advocate.