1897 – DEATH OF HENRY GEORGE, AUTHOR OF “POVERTY AND PROGRESS,” POLITICIAN AND ECONOMIST
On the other hand it is the business of government to issue money. This is why the issuance of this money should be made a government function become still stronger. The evils entailed by wildcat banking in the United States are too well remembered to need reference. The loss and inconvenience, the swindling and corruption that flowed from the assumption by each State of the Union of the power to license banks of issue ended with the war, and no one would now go back to them. Yet instead of doing what every public consideration impels us to, and assuming wholly and fully as the exclusive function of the General Government the power to issue money, the private interests of bankers have, up to this, compelled us to the use of a hybrid currency, of which a large part, though guaranteed by the General Government, is issued and made profitable to corporations. The legitimate business of banking – the safekeeping and loaning of money, and the making and exchange of credits, is properly left to individuals and associations; but by leaving to them, even in part and under restrictions and guarantees, the issuance of money, the people of the United States suffer an annual loss of millions of dollars, and sensible increase the influences which exert a corrupting effect upon their government.
1929 – US STOCK MARKET CRASH
Known as “Black Tuesday,” October 29 was the worst day in stock market history. Since everyone was selling and no one was buying, stock prices collapsed. The crash was due to policies of the Federal Reserve which had made money cheap to borrow. Too much money was concentrated in too few hands. Cheap money resulted in wild speculation (booms or bubbles) in financial instruments, the stock market and office buildings rather than useful and necessary goods and services. Speculation was rampant. Understanding what was happening, but not admitting it to the public, the Fed significantly contracted the US money supply by raising interest rates to borrow money. Not enough money was available to meet economic needs. The speculative bubbles burst, triggering what became the Great Depression.
1735 – BIRTH OF JOHN ADAMS, 2ND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword, the other is by debt.”
“All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America aeise, not from the defects of the Constitution or confederation, not from the want of honour or virtues, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nation, of coin, credit and cirrculation.”
1840 – BIRTH OF WILLIAM GRAHAM SUMNER, PROFESSOR, YALE UNIVERSITY AND MONETARY THEORIST
“For as the currency question is of first importance and we cannot solve it or escape it by ignoring it. We have got to face it and the best way to begin is not by wrangling about speculative opinions as to untried schemes but to go back to history and try to get hold of some firmly established principles.”
1885 – BIRTH OF EZRA POUND, US POET AND CRITIC
Some of his poetry deals with the destructive moral and social effects of usury, or usura, such as his Canto XLV:
“…Usura rusteth the chisel
It rusteth the craft and the craftsman
It gnaweth the thread in the loom
None learneth to weave gold in her pattern;…”
1874 – PUBLICATION OF OCTOBER ISSUE OF INDUSTRIAL AGE MAGAZINE
“The religious press has almost without exception been the allies of the bondholders and bankers in their endless schemes to fleece the public, and the mouthpiece of the monopolists and the defender of the soulless corporations that fill their pockets by robbing the toiling people.”
1873 – PASSAGE OF THE COINAGE ACT BY CONGRESS
The fourth coinage act passed by Congress, the 1873 bill “demonetized” silver – meaning silver was no longer accepted as currency or used as a metal to back paper money. Only gold was now accepted as currency and used to back paper money. With the money supply now contracted, the US went into an economic depression. The demonitization of silver was also not apparent in the bill at the time of passage. When this became public, there was national outrage. Congressional passage became known as “the Crime of ’73.”
1832- RE-ELECTION OF ANDREW JACKSON, 7TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
“The bold effort the present (central) bank had made to control the government … are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it.” “If Congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given to be used by themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.” “I have no hesitation to say if they can re-charter the bank, with this hydra of corruption, they will rule the nation and its charter will be perpetual and its corrupting influence destroy the liberty of our country.”
Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt?
Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice.
This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini and Greg Coleridge helped in its development.
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