Archive for March 2013

You are invited to a DEMOCRACY SCHOOL

03/26/2013
 
“RETHINKING CORPORATIONS, RETHINKING DEMOCRACY”
 
Presented  by  Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
 
Friday, May 17th 6:30-9:30 P.M., Saturday, May 18th 9-5P.M
 
Unitarian Universalist Church on  Route 68  approximately  2 miles south of Yellow Springs,  Ohio
 
Teachers: Emelyn Lybarger and Chad Nicholson        
 
An enlightening walk through American History, revealing the roots of corporate personhood.  Explore how it came to be that corporations have more rights  than American people.  Learn how communities across the nation are challenging corporate constitutional privilege.  A chance to reframe ideas about how to protect local rights and the environment – a toolkit to act locally.
 
Cost$125 – includes lunch and curriculum book
 
We will reserve some space for students and others in need at a discount.  Donations above the registration fee will be appreciated to fund scholarships. 
 
Registration Deadline:  Wednesday May 1st
To register, sponsor a student or donate to scholarship fund,  please send name, address, email and phone number with your check payable to Dimi Reber at  180 Park Meadows Drive, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387
 
For further info and inquiries about scholarships, discounts, donations,  sponsoring a student and housing,  contact Dimi Reber-937 767-1078 – or dimireber@rocketmail.com
Democracy School in Yellow Springs  is sponsored in part by: Antioch University Midwest Sustainability Program, Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Yellow Springs ,GODAE, and Greene Environmental Coalition
Community Environmental Legal Defense fund is a national organization that has assisted more than 100 communities in the U.S. to draft ordinances to protect them from fracking, factory farms, GMO’s, pollution of drinking water, and civil rights abuses.
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MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR March 4-10

03/07/2013

Most people think the government creates money, and that banks lend money they actually have. As generalizations, neither is true. Banks create money (out of nothing) as they make loans. Therefore all money is created as debt. Since banks create the principle, but not the interest they demand, there is more debt than there is money. The debt can never be repaid; there is not enough money. Under the current system debt can only grow.

As everyone knows, the government produces the bills and coins in our pockets, but that is only about 3% of the total money in the system. The rest is digital money, and even the bills we carry around (the Federal Reserve Notes) are sold to the Federal Reserve for the cost of printing them. Instead of creating money, which it can do, government borrows it from Federal Reserve banks and other sources.

There is a solution to the debt problem. It is contained in a piece of legislation introduced into Congress last year as H.R. 2990. It returns money creation to the government (to the people), where constitutionally it belongs, and restricts banks to loaning money they actually have. The legislation has been vetted by economists, Benes and Kumhof, of the International Monetary Fund and found to be workable and non-inflationary (http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2012/wp12202.pdf). With the government creating its own money, government borrowing will end, the federal debt can be paid off, with money to spare for the investment in infrastructure needed to provide jobs and stimulate the economy in ways that actually serve the public interest.

As the country struggles with debate over taxes and spending in order to reign in the federal debt, it is increasingly obvious that there is no combination of increasing taxes and cutting spending that can cut significantly into the federal deficit (let alone the debt) without causing worsening recession – with its continuing job losses and deteriorating quality of life for many.

Conservative are right to be concerned about the federal debt. The interest payment on the debt is currently the 3rd largest item in the federal budget, behind only health care and defense. As the deficits continue, the interest payments will gobble up an increasing fraction of government expenses. The debt transfers money from taxpayers to those wealthy enough to loan money to the government – which includes banks, both domestic and foreign, foreign governments, as well as lots of us indirectly through retirement funds and like investments.

Why should the government borrow money and encumber us with interest payments when it can simply create the money it needs. Some argue that forcing the government to borrow should make government reluctant to spend more than it takes in in taxes; but that hasn’t happened. Money does need to be created as the economy and population grow, but it is We The People, through the government, who should benefit from money creation, not the bankers.

The economic problem can be solved legislatively, without a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood. We should continue to work toward such an amendment, but, by the time we get it, the global economy may have crashed due to our unsustainable monetary system. Neither Democrats nor Republicans are talking sense about the economy. We need to generate a meaningful conversation. There is a legislative avenue. At least some bankers will probably oppose it; creation of money has been very profitable for them. Other thoughtful business people, who haven’t been given the gift of money creation, will join us.

For further information go to www.positivemoney.com.uk and to www.monetary.com, The former is a British website with very clear presentations and the latter is the website of the American Monetary Institute (AMI). The AMI will have its 9th annual monetary conference September 19-22 in Chicago. I will going again as I did last year. I encourage others to go.

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR
March 4-10
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MARCH 4

1789 – US GOVERNMENT UNDER NEW CONSTITUTION BEGINS OPERATION
The Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation as the overarching legal document of the nation. The new Constitution provides the federal legislature the sole power “[t]o coin money [and] regulate the value thereof.” (Article 1, Sec 8). The Government subsequently abdicated its responsibility when it gave the Federal Reserve and private banks the power to create money literally out of thin air…as debt.

1837 – FAREWELL ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT ANDREW JACKSON
Jackson was most responsible for not renewing the charter of the misnamed Second Bank of the United States, a private institution. In his farewell address when leaving office (Presidents used to be sworn in during the beginning of March for decades, now it’s mid January), he stated, “The immense capital and peculiar privileges bestowed upon it [(Second National Bank of the United States] enabled it to exercise despotic sway over the other banks in every part of the country. From its superior strength it could seriously injure, if not destroy, the business of any one of them which might incur its resentment; and it openly claimed for itself the power of regulating the currency throughout the United States. In other words, it asserted (and it undoubtedly possessed) the power to make money plenty or scarce at its pleasure, at any time and in any quarter of the Union, by controlling the issues of other banks and permitting an expansion or compelling a federal contraction of the circulating medium, according to its own will.”

1861 – INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN, 16TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES – A REPUBLICAN
“The Government should create, issue and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the Government and the buying power of the consumers.  By the adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest.  The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of the government, but it is the Government’s greatest creative opportunity.”
This is something to keep in mind during this period when Republican parties at the local level hold their “Lincoln Day” annual fundraising dinners.

MARCH 5

1933 — FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT ISSUES EXECUTIVE PROCLAMATION 2039 DECLARING A BANK “HOLIDAY”
The “holiday” meant that all banks would be closed from March 6-9 to prevent further runs by depositors. Bank failures were a result of earlier speculative investments and banks loaning out more money than they actually possessed (called “fractional reserve banking”). When too many people came to a bank at the same time wanting their deposits, the banks collapsed since they lacked sufficient assets. The bank “holiday” was meant to restore confidence in the banking system.

MARCH 6

1926 – BIRTH OF ALAN GREENSPAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE US FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
“I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you’ve probably misunderstood what I’ve said.” In a speech to the Economic Club of New York, 1988
“Do you feel that your ideology pushed you to make decisions that you wish you had not made?”
Mr. Greenspan conceded: “Yes, I’ve found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I’ve been very distressed by that fact.”   “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,” he told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. NYT, 10/23/2008

MARCH 7

322 BC – DEATH OF ARISTOTLE
“Money exists not by nature but by law”(Ethics, 1133)
Aristotle understood that no natural substance qualifies as money. Rather, it’s governments that determine the definition of money.

1976 – DEATH OF WRIGHT PATMAN, DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN FROM TEXAS, CHAIRMAN OF US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON BANKING & CURRENCY (1965-75)
“When our Federal Government, that has the exclusive power to create money, creates that money and then goes into the open market and borrows it and pays interest for the use of its own money, it occurs to me that that is going too far. I have never yet had anyone who could, through the use of logic and reason, justify the Federal Government borrowing the use of its own money… I am saying to you in all sincerity and with all the earnestness that I possess, it is absolutely wrong for the Government to issue interest-bearing obligations. It is not only wrong; it is extravagant. It is not only extravagant, it is wasteful. It is absolutely unnecessary.
“Now, I believe the system should be changed. The Constitution of the United States does not give the banks the power to create money. The Constitution says that Congress shall have the power to create money, but now, under our system, we will sell bonds to commercial banks and obtain credit from those banks.
“I believe the time will come when people will demand that this be changed. I believe the time will come in this country when they will actually blame you and me and everyone else connected with this Congress for sitting idly by and permitting such an idiotic system to continue. I make that statement after years of study.
“We have what is known as the Federal Reserve Bank System. That system is not owned by the Government. Many people think that it is, because it says `Federal Reserve’. It belongs to the private banks, private corporations. So we have farmed out to the Federal Reserve Banking System that is owned exclusively, wholly, 100 percent, by the private banks — we have farmed out to them the privilege of issuing the Government’s money. If we were to take this privilege back from them, we could save the amount of money that I have indicated in enormous interest charges.” [From Congressional Record, 1941]

MARCH 8

1702 – BIRTH OF WILLIAM III, KING OF ENGLAND
He agreed in 1694 to give up his sovereign power as King to print or coin his nation’s own money to a new corporation, the Bank of England (it was a weakened monarchy).

MARCH 9

1933 – CONGRESS PASSES EMERGENCY BANKING ACT
Among its provisions, the Act gave the President the ability to declare a national emergency and have absolute control over the national finances and foreign exchange of the United States. It also allowed for closing insolvent banks. The Act empowered the President during time of war or other emergency to regulate or prohibit the exporting, hoarding, melting or earmarking of gold and silver coin and bullion. All US residents were compelled to pay or deliver all gold (be it coins, bullion or certificates) to the Secretary of the Treasury. They were paid the market value for their gold in dollars. Shortly afterwards, the government significantly raised the price of gold, which in effect, reduced the value of the dollar

2005 – MSNBC REPORT ON US INFRASTRUCTURE
MSNBC reported that the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s infrastructure an overall grade of D, including its roads, bridges, drinking water systems and other public works.  “We need to establish a comprehensive, long-term infrastructure plan.  We need to, but we can’t, because government at every level is broke.” MSNBC report. The plan to create federal money as outlined by the American Monetary Institute would repair our nation’s infrastructure with debt-free US money.