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Economic Liberty From Philadelphia

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Byron Dale, who gave perhaps the second most impassioned speech over the 2 days of the conference, recalling his 30 years of monetary study, and even his times in jail for challenging the authorities, traced the development of money based on wealth, to money based on debt. 

United States note
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I slightly challenged him during the Q&A by holding up the $5 U.S. Note I carry around in my wallet to show what debt-free money looks like, but he was having none of that.   Dale claims that any Note, including one issued directly by Treasury, like a U.S. Note, is not debt-free money because it is eventually returned as taxes to the government.  I countered that under a true Greenback system -- in which Government simply produces what it needs, or even what the economy needs, through direct issuance -- there would be no need for Federal taxes at all.  He agreed with that, and admitted that the United States Note was better, but still not the best solution of wealth-based money he is looking for.


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This is interesting, since award-winning filmmaker and Presidential candidate  Bill Still (http://www.publicbankinginamerica.org/speakers), among others, has also specifically called for a debt-ending solution based upon U.S. Notes issued by government.  However, Still disagrees with recent attempts, such as Kucinich's HR2990  bill, based on Stephen Zarlenga's American Monetary Reform Act, to allow an unelected federal Monetary Authority to decide issuance of the currency.  He says this is "way, way, WAY" too much power in an unelected body, whose head would be appointed by the president, and prefers instead some sort of de-centralized or multi-state decision over this, parceled out on a per capita basis, perhaps, but this, he said, he has not fully worked out.  This may prove an obstacle, as politicians are notoriously reluctant to develop groundbreaking bills on their own.

During his presentation, Still recalled the obscure history of, and former inattention to, the monetary reform system, pre-9/11.  He says the 9/11 truth movement has brought unwanted attention to movement.  Suddenly there was TV coverage from Telemundo and the Venezuelan news service!  This made the movement into a fringe movement, just when it finally starting to get the attention it, and we, so desperately needed.

The most important power remains, Still says, is the sovereign power to create money.

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We The People have to take back control of the money system or we are never going to get anywhere"it matters not what backs the money, all that matters is the quantity and who is in control.

According to Still, Ron Paul is one of the main problems with monetary reform -- Paul is "desperately" misquoting the constitution (article 1, Section 10), when he says only gold and silver can be legal tender, and attributing a power of the States to the larger Federal Government -- a power which it has never used for repayment anyway.  Sure enough, the constitution says:

No State shall "emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts""

It's worth noting, as Still did, that this is the only place gold or silver is mentioned at all in the constitution.

The case structure in section 10, and section 8, is important.  Still cited noted scholar Robert G. Natelson of Harvard that the final and frustratingly oblique phrase to "coin Money" (Article 1, Section 8) meant to "forge" anything, like in the common saying "to coin a phrase."

During Still's talk, he expressed support for the lawsuit against Treasury initiated by one of the writers on Op Ed news, Cliff Johnson, and the related lawsuit, found here: http://tompainetoo.com, to correct statements of misinformation by Treasury and the GAO as to the equivalence of United States Notes and Federal Reserve Notes, to address the lost seigniorage issue properly, and my related petition (exhibit B) to reissue U.S. Notes here.

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From Johnson's article, Still also cited Madison's fear of the Money Masters of his day, and how the Founders had to compromise on the paper money issue, by nearing delisting it from the constitution.  However, after much debate, Madison did manage to keep the option for "Public Notes."  This was later taken up by Lincoln to issue the nation's first Legal Tender Law, and the first 3 installments of U.S. Notes, with which to pay the northern troops during the Civil War.

Still also supports the end of fractional reserve banking"yet it is fractional reserve banking that would allow a State Bank to leverage its tax-based deposits for public needs and projects"or, maybe not? 

Ed Sather, former SVP of the Bank of North Dakota, America's only State Bank (founded 1919), was adamant, even under repeated audience questioning, that the BND does not practice fractional reserve banking -- something that did not sit well with most of the anti-fractional reserve crowd.  Sather maintains that the appearance of the BND loaning out the same amount, or less, as it has on deposit, is, in fact, the result of it actually loaning out deposits, and that the bank has to borrow back money if it runs short when deposits are called upon.   Sather, who unlike most of the guest speakers, has actually worked in a bank, nevertheless disagrees with a great deal of scholarly work on the money multiplier effect and on how loans precede deposits and are therefore new money, including statements from central bankers [i], to the effect that banks create money when they make loans.  The frustration with this "bankers' point-of-view" was evident both at the general meeting and at the State coordinators' meeting earlier.  

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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 (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of articles for (more...)

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