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Sat

24

Mar

2007

The Basic Income Guarantee and Monetary Reform: A Tale of Two Ideas
Saturday, 24 March 2007 10:05
by Richard C. Cook

“The Basic Income Guarantee and Monetary Reform: A Tale of Two Ideas”
A speech to the U.S. BIG Network Annual Conference in New York on February 23, 2007, by Richard C. Cook

Today I am here to talk about another of my interests—the link between proposals for a Basic Income Guarantee and monetary reform.

Before I worked at NASA in the mid-1980s, I was a policy analyst at the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Jimmy Carter White House under his special assistant for consumer affairs, Esther Peterson. After NASA, which I left soon after the Challenger tragedy, I spent twenty-one years with the U.S. Treasury Department. I retired in January 2007 after thirty-two years of federal experience.

While I am new to the U.S. BIG Network, my interest goes back a long time. When I worked at the Carter White House, I was organizing a study group on monetary reform, which was to include income policy, when Carter was voted out of office in favor of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

The election of 1980 was a watershed in U.S. history. It was a takeover of the policy apparatus of government by the extreme right-wing. This affected every aspect of American politics and culture. Those of us who remained in government but still believed we had a positive role to play in supporting the progressive aspirations of the American people thereafter kept a low profile.

Later on, even the Clinton administration made many accommodations to the conservative attitudes which had entered public life with the Reaganites and with the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994. Some Democrats tend to romanticize the Clinton years, forgetting that the economic recovery of the 90s was fueled by foreign capital and ended with the bursting of the dot.com bubble and a stock market crash. From the standpoint of overall government policies, we have lived in an atmosphere dominated by the conservative ideology for a full generation.

I believe that today we are finally seeing the pendulum swing back in the direction of more progressive attitudes as the conservative ideology crashes into ruins. What that ideology has left us with are economic, ethical, fiscal, and military disasters.

My experience in government long ago led me to the conclusion that the most important economic issue facing the world is income security and that it is the job of government, acting as the custodian of what you can call the commonwealth of American citizens as defined in our Constitution, to safeguard it.
 
I said income security, not job security. People in this room know the world of difference between the two, as few others do. As many have come to realize, real job security is extremely difficult to achieve in an era where technology has made so many jobs obsolete and where the rapid pace of change has destroyed the typical career patterns of a generation ago. Lately I have been reading articles by a man named Marshall Brain who says that by 2030 robots will take over fifty percent of the jobs in the U.S. economy, and I agree that the potential is certainly there.

So a basic human right to income security cannot and should not be linked with an imperative that everyone be engaged in earning a living all the time. While more can always be done to foster job creation, it will never entirely solve the income security problem. Welfare-to-work is not the answer.

I believe, as I think many of you do here, that the right to income security must be viewed as an absolute. This right, I believe without apology, is ultimately based on a spiritual value, that every human being who comes to life on the planet has a right to a minimally secure existence, which governments exist to ensure. I believe that income security is what people must have to express their right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Without income security, that is a hollow phrase.

These values are being threatened in today’s political, economic, and social environment as never before in U.S. history. Conservatives have wanted us to believe that eliminating much of the social safety net in favor of unbridled economic license, sometimes called “market fundamentalism,” would “lift all boats” and allow individuals to prosper in ways not possible under the shelter of the welfare state. This has obviously not happened.

We have more than forty-five million people without health insurance, thirty-five million without enough to eat, increasing poverty, and a declining standard of living for all but the most wealthy. After a period of decline, violent crime is increasing. The housing bubble has burst, leaving millions of people facing possible loss of their homes. The federal government, with a current debt approaching $9 trillion and $44 trillion in unfunded liabilities, has been declared bankrupt by economists close to the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, our public infrastructure is crumbling, with a maintenance deficit of over $2 trillion.

After a generation of conservative rule, and in spite of three years of a balanced budget at the end of the Clinton presidency, public finance in the United States today is in crisis, if not total collapse. A quarter century of politics devoted to the dismantling of social welfare programs, privatization of public assets, huge tax cuts for the wealthy, continuing export of manufacturing jobs, deregulation of the financial industry, and gigantic expenditures on the war machine have eroded the ability of the federal government to do anything meaningful about income security.

If you set this crippling of government against such facts as the $53.4 million 2006 bonus given to the CEO of Goldman Sachs last December and the ongoing attempt by the Bush administration to conquer the Middle East by military force, you get a vivid impression of a society racing over a cliff.

The article by Paul Krugman, the New York Times’ economics columnist, in Rolling Stone magazine last December entitled “The Great Wealth Transfer,” portrays a society that has fallen from its status as the world’s greatest industrial democracy to one that is beginning to resemble a banana republic oligarchy, with a ruling class that is unbelievably rich and a population that is sinking toward a state of debt slavery and economic peonage. The facts are undeniable and well-documented.

So where does the Basic Income Guarantee fit into this gloomy picture? In the near-term, Congress, having returned to Democratic control, may raise the minimum wage a dollar or two an hour. The ongoing fall of the dollar will promote exports and so be a factor in job creation, though these jobs are low-paying and have few benefits. A Basic Income Guarantee is not on the horizon.

Yet I don’t believe the situation is hopeless in the long run. We have some examples to point to that over time could get people’s attention. One is the Brazilian experiment.

The other ray of hope is that the dire economic situation can act as a stimulus for progressives to start challenging economic fundamentals. Here is where I think the Basic Income Guarantee movement could benefit by looking at what is going on in monetary reform, because any push to enact a Basic Income Guarantee through income redistribution is likely to face insurmountable obstacles. We are not going to get middle-class citizens to give up their mortgage deductions, for example, so the poor can get a break, when they know that what Lou Dobbs calls “the war on the middle class” is real and that it threatens their own financial existence.


Of course there are potential tax sources that could pay for at least a partial Basic Income Guarantee. Obviously, one would be to roll back the Bush tax cuts altogether. Another would be to slash defense spending a couple of hundred billion dollars a year. Another could be to shut down all offshore tax havens, as suggested by economist Michael Hudson, the ones that effectively reduce or eliminate taxes paid by corporations, the wealthy, or organized crime. Another would be a universal land use tax as advocated by the Henry George movement. Yet another would be to raise taxes on capital gains and interest income.

If one took the matter seriously, raising a quarter of a trillion dollars or more annually through restructured taxation to pay for a modest negative income tax would be no trouble at all. Not only would it not detract from the economy, it would produce a huge economic boost by injecting purchasing power at the consumer level where it would be spent on goods and services rather than inflating more asset bubbles. But can this be accomplished in today’s political environment? Probably only if the voters elect a truly progressive president and Congress in 2008. 

But we should also examine where the monetary reform movement can enter into the picture. Monetary reformers challenge the dogma that the only ways government can acquire money to disburse are through taxes and borrowing.

The thrust of the monetary reform movement, as least that segment of it not devoted to the introduction of local currencies, is to shift the power of influencing the creation of wealth back toward the government.

One way to do this would be to create a federal authority charged with rebuilding the nation’s physical infrastructure through long-term low-interest loans. This is what Roosevelt did during the New Deal with the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The current LaTourette/Kucinich bill for a federal infrastructure bank would allow for the insertion of money for investment at the state and local levels and would also create new jobs. Such a bank would act as a major economic stimulus.

On the side of money and credit, the Federal Reserve System has long operated by alternately stimulating and slowing the economy through its regulation of fractional reserve banking and through actions affecting interest rates, but never in ways that have proved truly effective. This is because attempts to use liquidity to manipulate economic growth are always tied to the creation of credit that must be repaid with interest.

In my opinion, it would be much more effective for the Federal Reserve simply to give away money, as it went a long way toward doing with the slashing of long-term interest rates leading to the housing bubble. Hundreds of billions of dollars were pumped into the economy, but now the bill is coming due because of the enormous inflation of housing prices that have left society as a whole much worse off than when the bubble began. But the bubble can be viewed as an income program for homeowners and speculators with a substantial multiplier effect for the entire economy. According to investment analysts, fifty percent of U.S. economic growth in 2005 was due to the stimulation of the housing market.

As I indicated, it would have been simpler if the Federal Reserve, or the U.S. Treasury, simply gave away money, and what I would like to suggest is that we begin to think about issuing a Basic Income Guarantee without charging any cost at all to the federal budget through what has been called a National Dividend.

This is not a frivolous suggestion. It was proposed by Major C.H. Douglas and the Social Credit writers of the 1920s and began a political movement which has continued through today in Great Britain, Canada, and New Zealand. This would be money creation at its simplest and most direct, similar to the Greenbacks legislated by Congress during the Civil War. Then, Congress authorized expenditures in the amount of $450 million, and the government simply spent the money into existence.

It was a system that worked remarkably well, one which the bankers have propagandized against ever since. Greenbacks still made up a third of the U.S. currency into the early years of the 20th century. Few people know that FDR also had Greenback authority, though he never used it. It was money supposedly created out of thin air, a true fiat currency, and if people tell you that the Greenbacks caused inflation, they are wrong. What is truly inflationary is debt-based money created by the Federal Reserve. In fact, since 1965, the dollar has lost over eighty-five percent of its value.

I would strongly recommend that Basic Income Guarantee proponents study the Social Credit ideas carefully. This is what first got me interested in monetary reform back in the late 1970s. What C.H. Douglas was saying was that in a technologically advanced economy, production is always ahead of the income available for consumption. He said that there is no way that the population of a nation can ever earn enough money to purchase what industry can produce. There is lag time and there are many inefficiencies in the distribution system. Also, there must be provision for household and business savings. This was why Keynes advocated government deficit spending in order to reconstruct the economy on the demand side. 

In other words, in order to consume the production base and keep the nation’s workforce employed, the government must introduce purchasing power. Simpler, more direct, and less prone to inflation would be to issue what Douglas called a National Dividend at the start of each year to everyone, without means tests, without distinction as to whether you work or not. It is a Basic Income Guarantee. Remember, this was suggested in the 1920s. In fact, Douglas had succeeded in reconciling the capitalist system to principles of economic democracy in a way that all previous European thinkers had failed to do, including Marx.

Douglas’s ideas also had a strong ethical underpinning in that they postulated that the production of wealth was not just a result of the utilization of private resources or capital but of the brainpower and labor of the entire nation. People make things in a social context. All members of society contribute in some small way to the cultural fabric within which wealth is generated. So all should share in the benefits of a National Dividend.

Of course Social Credit was opposed by conservatives of every stripe whose highest value was private property, private ownership of everything of value, private creation of money through bank loans, and the exclusive claim to the profits from private enterprise.

Keynesianism did not last. It was succeeded by the attempt by the Federal Reserve to manipulate the economy through targeting of the money supply, a practice known as monetarism, one which has failed miserably, the latest fiasco being the aforementioned housing bubble. Reagan-era supply-side tax cuts, along with those of George W. Bush, were an attempt to compensate for the failure of monetarism to boost demand, but the problem again was that there has not been sufficient purchasing power except through increased household debt, a fact every economist recognizes.

So I would conclude this brief presentation by suggesting to the Basic Income Guarantee community to look seriously at monetary reform, especially the Social Credit ideas, for a theoretical underpinning of Basic Income Guarantee proposals that I believe can work in tandem with meaningful tax reform. Again I mention the writer Marshall Brain, who advocates an annual stipend for every citizen as their share of societal wealth. A figure of $10,000 per year would likely be adequate.

Such a stipend can be issued to individuals as a credit or voucher against future production. It would be a simple, effective way to introduce liquidity into the economy, far better than the debt-based system of fractional reserve banking that leads to profits for the banks at the expense of everyone else.

At the same time, it is important to keep the pressure on Congress and the political system to think about a Basic Income Guarantee when they think about income and tax policy. Any progress in this direction is worthwhile. It is also critical to work toward making a Basic Income Guarantee part of the progressive political agenda. See, for example, an article in The Progressive a few months ago by editor Matthew Rothschild entitled, “Our Sinful Economy.” It is essential to have workable proposals ready as our economy continues to stumble into the crises that are inevitable given the huge problems that exist with income maldistribution, the continuing decline of the social safety net, rising crime statistics, and the collapse of the ability of the federal government to meet the needs of the nation through the budget process.

It can be pointed out to progressives that the monetary reform movement can show that a Basic Income Guarantee is not only ethically and spiritually the correct attitude of society but that it is also an economic necessity. Two books on the subject which I strongly recommend are The Lost Science of Money by Stephen Zarlenga, head of the American Monetary Institute, and The Grip of Death, a Study of Modern Money, Debt Slavery, and Destructive Economics by the British author Michael Rowbothan.

Books such as these can provide help for the badly needed progressive consensus of what coherent alternative we can offer to the disastrous state of the nation and the world today. We are clearly witnessing a worldwide class war, where, as U.S. billionaire Warren Buffet has said, "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." I believe that a Basic Income Guarantee, combined with monetary reform, shows this war to be totally unnecessary.

One final note. You might reasonably ask why haven’t such monetary reform concepts as Social Credit and the National Dividend been adopted or even seriously studied by mainstream economics? The answer is obviously political. Mainstream economics is dominated by concepts favorable to control by the private financial industry. The last thing the bankers want is money in the hands of the rank-and-file of society that is not tied in some way to a monetary debt. That this can be done easily and simply is the best-kept secret in economics history. But there are economists who support these ideas. In fact, during the Depression, a majority of U.S. economists supported something called the Chicago Plan that would have revolutionized banking and finance in this country. Monetary ideas that may seem revolutionary and that would be characterized as such by the financial establishment, to real monetary reformers look simple, logical, and fair. 

And there have been times in American history when people were bolder and understood much better the consequences of our being what President Martin Van Buren called a “bank-ridden society.” Jefferson saw control of the economy by banks as the death-knell of freedom. In an 1802 letter to Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin he said:

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.

Then during the last third of the 19th century we had the Populist and Greenback parties which focused on monetary issues. There was William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech when he ran for president in 1896. But with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 the door of monetary progressive politics was slammed shut and has remained tightly fastened for almost a century. Progressives everywhere should be prying that door open again if not resolutely kicking it down.

Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you at this important forum, and I look forward to many future encounters.

Richard C. Cook is the author of Challenger Revealed: How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age (Thunder’s Mouth Press). He is currently writing a book on economic and monetary reform. His website is www.richardccook.com.
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Comments (27)add comment

a guest said:

0
Federal Reserve
This article is a mountain of pap, not addressing the core issue. The real issue is simple: The United States of America gave away it's economy, security and the well being of its citizenry when a foreign (as in NON-US) bank illegally assumed the printing and control of US money. You want to fix the US economy? Get rid of the Federal Reserve (read: NM Rothschild & Sons, Zurich Switzerland) and give the US money back to the American citizens.
 
April 25, 2007 | url
Votes: -1

a guest said:

0
robert
You cannot guarantee a minimum income for anyone, without stealing from someone else. There is no other way to do it. After you have given somebody some of your own money, merely in order to make their income better, then we can talk.
 
April 26, 2007 | url
Votes: -3

a guest said:

0
...
It's about damn time someone called this debt model what it really is: Debt Peonange. This is a term I have not heard since the 1980s in my World Regioanl Geography class. Now, a social credit will never ever be allowed by these bastard bankers. They want our jobs in India, and the American populace roaming the streets, or put away in concentration camps. The US is in reality taking the same model over that became popular with the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. There will be great purges of humanity in this country until the American people rise up and throw these coroporate gangsters out at the end of a rifle.
 
April 26, 2007
Votes: +4

a guest said:

0
...
Marxists will always be with us. Socialism eventually bankrupts a coutry. There is no better example than the USSR. When life becomes too easy and secure we lose the applied skill and energy of the people. A totaltarian government inevitably follows.
 
April 26, 2007 | url
Votes: -3

a guest said:

0
Christopher Brooks
The proposal that a national dividend be paid to all members of a community
is the manifestation of a genuine democratic money vote.

Any suggestion that Social Credit is Socialism reveals the author has failed to comprehend the proposal.

Robert suggests a dividend would be stolen money but may not understand that the Banking system is creating credit every day from nothing.

The question is who will get to direct the purpose of a society by having control over the new purchasing power. Will it be concentrated in the hands of an elite or will genuine democracy allow this new money and the power it holds over the work of a community be distributed with equity.

Congratulations on publishing this very instructive article.
 
April 26, 2007 | url
Votes: +3

a guest said:

0
Valueless money
We cannot lawfully transfer real ownership of property using the worthless IOU money system foisted on us. With property come rights. No property; No rights. We do not own our cars. We do not own our houses. We do not own the clothes on our backs. We are debating income security or monetary reform? Let's first establish real income by returning real value to our money.
 
April 26, 2007 | url
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
Resource base access as a Right
Mr Cook is a thoughtful thinker and writer. It seems that as we subscribe to communities of laws as the price of living in a civilization, the civilization needs to insure basic access to the resource base that is a common property of all.
Income is the method to access the resource base. Basic Income needs to be included as a basic Right, along with the others of Life, Liberty and Property.
As soon as we end the threat that we face from nuclear extermination, all things are possible.
The Prison system needs to be shut down also. Our nuclear armed classes have gone too, too far.
The still unknown Extraterrestrials have allowed us to live despite the plots of our nuclear armed war fighters, to use nuclear weapons to genocide us all.

Once you all figure out that the nuclear "Trigger" was pulled on us, several times as a matter of fact, over the years, it may be easier to retire our nuclear war criminal wannabees, and their criminal industries.

Peace is Perfect
 
April 26, 2007 | url
Votes: +1

a guest said:

0
Re: "ongoing fall of the dollar"
A "Federal Reserve Note" is not a U.S.A. dollar. In 1973, Public Law 93-110 defined the U.S.A. dollar as consisting of 1/42.2222 fine troy ounces of gold.
 
April 27, 2007 | url
Votes: +2

a guest said:

0
Capitalism works better for people who have capital
Issuing each citizen an annual dividend share in their country seems like a sound investment in the nation's human resources. It's too bad that so many people respond to the idea with kneejerk terror of "socialism." I suggest that we rename the Basic Income Guarantee more accurately as as "Guaranteed Working Capital."
 
April 28, 2007 | url
Votes: +3

a guest said:

0
The "New Greenback"
The BIG concept, if not done wrong, would start a wonderful reform of our monetary system. It might even be salable to the public, the voter!

For it to work, as you know, the United States Treasury must directly issue paper money imprinted with and legally defined as Legal Tender. It must not be borrowed in any way from any bank including the Federal Reserve, but must be simply printed up and pushed into circulation just like the "Greenback" was. If it enters circulation as a Basic Income Guarantee that is fine. It should also be used for all Federal payments for everything the U.S. Government pays for, just like the "Greenback" was. All U.S. Government debt should be paid off immediately with these Treasury Bills, just like they were with the "Greenback", only even more so.

BIG done right will not increase the National Debt, but will simply pay it off, and it will replace income tax and other taxes as a revenue source of the government. Of course it will not incur interest since it is not borrowed from a bank that also would have to "create it from thin air". It does not have to be paid back since it is not borrowed.

Any inflation that might appear at first will be a minor "cost" compared to what we have already. We'll just consider the threat of inflation to be a "defense tactic" of the bank. (A scare tactic. But we are already on to them. It doesn't scare us. We can stop them from funding wars this way. Wars do scare us.)

As mentioned in Richard's article, Lincoln's "Greenback" worked. That is what we are talking about here. The "New Greenback".

Key: Legal Tender issued directly by the Federal Government via the U.S. Treasury, without bank involvement.

Shall we continue? The New Greenback will fund education, transportation, utility infrastructure, and other public needs without borrowing at interest. Jobs will become much more plentiful which will push up real earnings, which will allow more parents to be home with the kids, which will improve education and reduce crime, addictions, and other social ills. Since it will slash the tax and debt burdens of Americans, it will ease the stress levels of people resulting in less broken families, less health problems, and happier constituents. Politician! Did you hear that part?

I'm sure you already knew of all that.
Your turn. Finish the picture....
 
May 03, 2007
Votes: +2

a guest said:

0
Richard C. Cook responds
Thanks for the comments from readers on my article on "A Tale of Two Ideas." It seems at least some are understanding what I am trying to say. For more information, please check out this article I just published ON "An Emergency Program of Monetary Reform for the United States": http://www.stwr.net/content/view/1828/37/

The comment that was made on the New Greenback would be the next step after National Credit. It would be the "New Greenback" that one commentor describes. I believe the first step toward this would be a national self-capitalized infrastructure bank. For more on this, please take a look at an article I posted about three years ago on the website of the American Monetary Institute under the pen name of Gracchus Jones. Here is the link:
http://www.monetary.org/gracchusjones.html
 
May 03, 2007 | url
Votes: +3

a guest said:

0
...
Stan:

This is the only realistic comment from a quest above:

"...Now, a social credit will never ever be allowed by these bastard bankers..."

Why? In feudalism an image is everything. The only time anyone shows the weakness is after leaving the system as Richard C. Cook did.

The bankers won’t give one dollar for free to their slaves...only charity to dying from hunger and this is only with big noisy campaigns to get part (or all) of it from general public.
Did you watch the American Idol? That is a prime example of how far bankers could allow to go.

May Day is May 1 and is in memory of an American workers blood bath called Haymarket Riot.

Only after a similar event bankers might give an inch
 
May 03, 2007
Votes: -2

a guest said:

0
Why Money At All
The only use for the economy is to produce and distribute goods and services to satisfy human physical-biological necessities and enhancements. Money itself has absolutely no use in this endeavor.
 
June 14, 2007
Votes: -2

a guest said:

0
Is that a light up ahead?
When Ronald Reagan won the election and defeated Carter, I cried like a baby. My husband laughed at me about crying about such a silly thing as politics; but I could see where things were going to go for our nation, and, unfortunately, I was right to cry for my country. When the Republicans took Congress in the 1990s, I felt we had just about reached rock bottom, as the electorate was obviously so ignorant as to not realize the reason the Republicans had not controlled Congress for 40 years--economic and social reasons! The Democrats have behaved shamefully, becoming Republican lite on economic issues and sometimes outdoing the Republicans!! Perhaps we have at last reached rock bottom and people will begin to demand a place at the table in this land of plenty which now excludes so many. I haven't heard anyone seriously talk about a basic guaranteed income since the 1970s when I read books by Robert Theobald and others. With this illegal war, I was just about totally despondent. This web site gives me hope. I will try to read the books you suggest and educate myself further, and I will mark this site as a favorite and mention it on progressive sites whenever I blog. Thank you.
 
June 24, 2007
Votes: +3

a guest said:

0
Good Concept
Richard,
i like your concept and articles very much. Thanks for sharing.
Quah
 
July 30, 2007 | url
Votes: +4

a guest said:

0
when will this happennn
when will this happennn
 
August 18, 2007
Votes: +3

Jason Tipton said:

0
worried father of 2 and proud U.S. citizen
Richard, I am far from being an economist, but as a retail store manager in small town U.S.A have began to see outsourcing of jobs hit my area very hard. I agree that if we all do not push for our elected officials to change the way this credit driven economy operates quickly, we as a nation will suffer greatly and our sovereigntry is at serious risk. Very inspiring articles and I can't wait to read more!
 
December 12, 2007
Votes: +2

John Gelles said:

0
Keynes Without Debt. FDR's 2nd Bill of Rights
Richard C Cook is certainly on the right track. See these URLs.
http://ustaxreform.us/kwod.htm
http://ustaxreform.us/2nd-bill.htm

Basic Income or an absolute entitlement to a grubstake loan for self-employment can do what Cook and all of us know is necessary.

The money to pay for such liquidity can come from the FED as it did in WWII by gov't borrowing from the FED with all interest going BACK to the gov't FROM the gov't and the capital amount of the special non-negotiable bonds also returning to the gov't in due course. The FED kept none of the "overdraft loans" it made to government to pay for the arsenal of democracy.

There are a dozen ways to skin this cat. BUT THE CAT MUST BE DEFINED as production of all our needs PLUS creation of debt-free money spent into circulation for the BASIC NEEDS of those with less purchasing power than our minimum standard of living would set.
 
January 23, 2008
Votes: +3

norman woodstockspalding said:

0
talk show host
It is far from over for the DELEMA of US citizen!!!The creeeture human has yet to experiance citizen!! The citizen has yet to have enjoyed a functional BALLOT and 5 curencey systems are valid in all the nations of earth they are all in receivership now. It autobe a UN proclamation all nations have 5 yrs to acheive 5 curenceys if you dont you lose your flag and boarder!!! 4 of the curenceys based of dedication!!! NONE OF THE ABOVE RUN ON ALL BOLLOT CANDIDATE COLUMMS!!!!!!!!!Humans as citizens stand now and insert INOVATED AND INOVATING IDEAS THAT BENIFIT THOSE BORN 600 GENERATIONS FROM NOW!!!
 
February 11, 2008
Votes: -2

BobbiO said:

0
....and add some more.....
and as long as the US Mint is printing dollars (or stamping them) for direct payment by the government for services, etc., why doesn't some financial braniac figure out how much each citizen would require for housing, healthcare, etc. and let's just mail them the dollar coins for this amount and close all the government welfare offices, homeless shelters, social security offices, IRS...not that would REALLY make for a smaller government! Surely the populace wouldn't spend thier Guaranteed Income on dope, beer, and plasma TV's insteard of basic need? Hey, does this idea make me a Liberal (for handing out money) or a Neocon (for making government smaller)? That's the real problem hurting my small brain....
 
March 05, 2008
Votes: +3

Guest said:

0
Bingo!
"But with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 the door of monetary progressive politics was slammed shut and has remained tightly fastened for almost a century. Progressives everywhere should be prying that door open again if not resolutely kicking it down."

Bingo...until we can reverse what happened in 1913 and take back control over OUR own money, we will all be second class citizens to a corrupt government and the elite class. This is a fact that only 10% of the population, if even that, understands. The Fed is neither federal, nor is it a reserve. Folks, you please research this and spread the word! Let's take our country back!
 
June 21, 2008
Votes: +3

Adam Smith said:

0
Mr Cook has firmly nailed the monetary issue on its head.
Having researched this topic on and off since November 2006, I too, have come to the conclusion that a National Dividend is a the most sensible way out of the current financial fiasco. It is not as Major Douglas stated socialism and it is taking from one person and giving to another, as some ill educated buffoon has written, in the form of an income tax, socialism is an iron rod of brutal subordination of the individual and will, as hayek stated, only lead to a dictatorship and the eventual collpase of society into regimented feudalist social environment. Social Credit on the other hand creates a system where by the individual is placed first, it is the automatic right to use capital without the burden of it chained to the balance sheet of some banker(creative-accountant), I suggest people read Major Douglas's Social Credit at (- http://www.mondopolitico.com/l...credit.htm -), it is a fascinating read with some incredible light bulb moments.
Also I don't think we can talk about monetary reform without talking about political, constitutional, reform and maybe even legal reform, as Ellen Brown stated in her Web of Debt book.
 
August 07, 2008
Votes: +3

R.T.Hansen said:

0
socialism and basic income
I can say that basic income has also had a recent intellectual revival in Germany. Older business tycons and part of the intellectual scene, leftleaning naturally, write on the subject. In fact many of the scandinavian countries have defacto basic income with housing and basic needs paid and a minimum base check. Currently though being devaluated inflation. Effective tax rate being 48-70% (!) makes a high price tag though. Still a large majority say they pay their taxes happily though theres a lot of wining.

Rasmus
www.inc-berlin.com
 
September 30, 2008
Votes: +4

Michelle Slota Daughter to deceased Edward John Slota 2005 said:

0
The Global Party Of Canada
In respect to tis article - I believed that a massive creation of new money by the Bank of Canada would free enterprise, create jobs and wealth, and prevent communism and dictatorship. The creation of new money would enable a Global Party government to pay every man, woman and child $1,500 to $3,000 per month for life, eliminate the need for taxes, and provide sufficient capital to increase spending for "common good" projects, such as schools, health and welfare, etc., by fifty percent. In addition to unleashing tremendous economic forces, this would eliminate the "hierarchy of money" and permit the "self-actualization" of all people.

The party’s monetary reform proposals were similar to those of the theory of social credit expounded by previous Canadian political parties, including the Social Credit Party of Canada. The party appears to have ceased functioning after his death.

 
January 18, 2009
Votes: +3

Janos Abel said:

0
...
You cannot guarantee a minimum income for anyone, without stealing from someone else. There is no other way to do it. After you have given somebody some of your own money, merely in order to make their income better, then we can talk.


This reader sums up the elementary mistake critics of BIG make. It relates to the question of how BIG is financed (two other main objections are a) moral---it will be bad for people to "get something for nothing", b) political---it will give too much freedom to the individual and S/he will turn to mischief.

BIG is not financed from taxes levied on earnings (although lot of advocates do make this bad mistake---are they just ignorant or are in the camp to deliberately confuse this vital issue?).

There are several sources which could provide funding with moral and economic legitimacy. These funds are at the moment syphoned off by private interests as unearned income. But this is not the place to go into that. Let us just remark that the fundamental flaw of capitalism is its inability to distribute all the wealth (goods and services) it creates and wants to create.

Anyone who really wants to be informed about the sound philosophical, theoretical, moral and economic underpinnings of this enabling proposal can find it in the extensive literature that exists. There is even a worked functioning example in Alaska (https://www.pfd.state.ak.us/). However, information about BIG is shunned and sidelined by mainstream interests who want to maintain social distributive arrangements broadly as they are.
 
May 03, 2009 | url
Votes: +4

Project Humanbeingsfirst.org said:

0
Monetary Reform: Who will bell the cat?
Richard is a smart guy, knows a lot, was also a whistleblower (while at NASA) and hence more courageous than you or I, and while I don't know him personally, I have read a lot of his writings to know that he has worked out a problem to his satisfaction in a nice tight sandbox. He has not addressed the question of how to break out of any sandbox, let alone his prefered one.

Outside the sandbox sit the banksters with their state machinary, laws, politicians, economists, lobbyists, and mega-bucks to spend, all in their infinte pockets. Please see the detailed analysis of why, while Richard's sandbox may feel nice to some, and certainly has merit enough to warrant deeper study if a new proposal for a monetary systems is ever genuinely called for by the ruling elite and they really want something to be given them as a proposal by ordinary peoples without a penny to their name (that's us plebeians) for their consideration, there are a hundred and ten competing proposals, all with one thing in common: Who will bell the cat?

http://print-humanbeingsfirst..com/2008/10/monetary-reform-who-will-bell-thecat.html

Perhaps the following words of deep philosophical as well as pragmatic frustration uttered by Aldous Huxley are more meaningful than mine. In a conversation with Herman Harvey, to his question: What does one do?, Huxley replied:

Aldous Huxley: "Well this is the real problem. Nothing is easier than to formulate high ideals, but few things are more difficult than to discover the means for by those ideals might be implemented, and the categorical imperatives which spring from them can be a pain. This is the real problem. I mean one has to dream, but one has to dream in a pragmatic way to consider how... Merely preaching to people doesn't have much effect, people have been preaching for an awefully long time and we are still pretty much where we were. " -- Sum and Substance with Aldous Huxley, minute 2:38, pt 2, http://www.huxley.net/ah/huxley-interview.html

Perhaps 'How to bell the cat' might have been a better title of my essay! But "Who" is more pertinent because it pragmatically seeks one with power, immense and equivalent power to match that of the international banksters who orchestrated 1913 - for power only respects power, not platitudes. Once that power exists, "How" becomes as easy as kicking out the money changers from the temple. As Caroll Quigley noted in Tragedy and Hope - and that was in 1966 when he wrote it - it was already all but a done deal.

Today I would say, it is a fait accompli:

http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/02/why-not-be-anostrich-feb132009.html



Only the following can avert it - and that's not in the cards:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM



And thank you Richard for a nice paper design. If you were an engineer without a job in an inimical economy with no venture capital - how would you go about productizing your idea?


Zahir Ebrahim,
Project Humanbeingsfirst.org

 
May 06, 2009 | url
Votes: +0

Janos Abel said:

0
Why denigrate Richard's model? Improve it if it is not airworthy --- yet
Campaigning for BIG is part of the battle of ideas for basic justice through monetary reform.

The proposal has the strength of exposing the "owners'" attempt to deny the unconditional right to life, which, in a mature capitalist society, means an unconditional right to a living income.

NB "Mature" above intends to designate a society where most (90 %) of the wealth is created by inanimate "energy slaves" and sophisticated production systems. The "capitalist disease" is the systems inability to distribute all the wealth being generated. Recessions are the recurring symptoms of this systemic disease.
 
July 20, 2009 | url
Votes: +2

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