Henry Ford said: “It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
Well, maybe they’re beginning to get wise because Ellen Brown’s most recent disclosure of the banking system’s shenanigans would indicate that something is brewing among the 99 percent. “Indeed,” she begins, “we are beginning to understand that the lion’s share of our money is created not by the government, but by banks. The only money the government creates today are coins, which compose less than one-ten thousandth of the money supply. Federal Reserve Notes, or dollar bills, are issued by Federal Reserve Banks, all twelve of which are owned by the private banks in their district. Most of our money comes into circulation as bank loans, and it comes with an interest charge attached.
“Interest now comprises 40% of the cost of everything we buy. We don’t see it on the sales slip, but interest is exacted at every stage of production. Suppliers need to take out loans to pay for labor and materials, before they have a product to sell.
“For government projects, the average cost of interest is 50%.
“But if the government owned the banks, it could keep the interest and get these projects at half price. That means governments – state and federal – could double the number of projects they could afford, without costing the taxpayers a single penny more than we are paying now. This opens up exciting possibilities.
“Federal and state governments could fund all sorts of things now, simply by owning their own banks.
“After World War II, the G.I. Bill provided returning servicemen with free college tuition, as well as cheap home loans and business loans. It was called ‘the G.I. Bill of Rights.’ Studies have shown that the G.I. Bill paid for itself seven times over and is one of the most lucrative investments the government ever made.
“Banks acquired the power to create money by default, when Congress declined to claim it at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The Constitution says only that ‘Congress shall have the power to coin money and regulate the power thereof.’ The Founders left out not just paper money but checkbook money, credit card money, money market funds, and other forms of exchange that make up the money supply today. All of them are created by financial institutions, and they all come into the economy as loans with interest attached.
“Governments – state and federal – could bypass the interest tab by setting up their own publicly-owned banks. Banking would become a public utility, a tool for promoting productivity and trade rather than for extracting wealth from the debtor class.
“Congress could go further: it could reclaim the power to issue money from the banks and fund its budget directly. It could do this, in fact, without changing any laws. Congress is empowered to ‘coin money.’ and the Constitution sets no limit on the face amount of the coins. Congress could issue a few one-trillion dollar coins, deposit them into an account, and start writing checks.
“The Fed’s own figures show that the money supply has shrunk by $ 3 trillion since 2008. That sum could be spent into the economy without inflating prices. Three trillion dollars could go a long way toward providing the jobs and social services necessary to fulfill an Economic Bill of Rights. Guaranteeing employment to anyone willing and able to work would increase GDP, allowing the money supply to expand even further without inflating prices, since supply and demand would increase together.
“We need to end the privatization of the national currency. Only when the privilege of creating the national money supply is returned to the people can we have a government that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people.” –
Utopia. That’s what we’d have. Utopia. An “Economic Bill of Rights … guaranteeing employment to anyone willing and able to work”? A great scenario, but where would they find work? How and where would we create the job opportunities? Even if this new Economic Bill of Rights spurred a sudden “demand” for goods, who and what would be the source of “supply”?
We’ve tried almost everything, but cheap overseas labor rates have always put U.S. manufacturers out of business. Giant foreign-built and foreign-owned container ships would just pour low-cost goods into our few (but over-sized) container ports … and cost-conscious shoppers would simply bypass the home grown goods and put us back where we are right now – almost.
But let’s take those giant foreign-built and foreign-owned container ships out of the equation and see what would result. Coincidentally, our patented container ship design is the one item that American workers could produce without a challenge from overseas manufacturers.
Publicly-owned banks would direct money to locally-owned shipbuilders, rather than to the elite 1%, and instead of trying to match those overseas wage scales, unchallenged U.S. shipbuilders would comfortably pay decent living wages to American workers.
Revitalized shipyards would provide employment for millions of Americans. They’d be building smaller, highly efficient container ships that would be utilized to transport those low-cost foreign-made goods to hundreds of smaller U.S. ports. Right to a users back door.
And yes, those foreign-made low-cost products would still pour into our ports, and at a much faster rate. It would be a win-win situation. Our erstwhile overseas competitors would be producing goods the newly-employed U.S. shoppers would be demanding, so they’d be better off. Our demanding shoppers would be doing them a big favor by creating and sustaining new employment opportunities within those overseas manufacturing facilities.
And we’d be better off. There would be no need for a “revolution before tomorrow morning.”