NEO AFSC June 26, 2015 Podcast

podcasticon

Listen to podcast here

We summarize last week’s activities; share upcoming events for next week and introduce and interview three participants at the U.S. Social Forum (William Clarence Marshall, Genevieve Mitchell and Derrek Dissell) taking place in Philadelphia this weekend.

Advertisements

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR June 29 – July 5

lincolngback

JUNE 29

1795 – DEATH OF JOHN JAY, FIRST CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE US SUPREME COURT
“Those who own the country ought to govern it.”

1858 – DEATH OF EDWARD KELLOGG, BUSINESSMAN AND ECONOMIST. HIS IDEAS INFLUENCED THE POLICIES OF THE POPULIST AND GREENBACK PARTIES
“Legal value belongs to anything which represents actual value, or capital. Its existence depends upon actual value. The worth of things of legal value depends upon their capability to be exchanged for things of actual value. Since money is our monetary system is created as debt, the ‘legal value’ of money includes both the principal debt and interest — which exceeds the ‘actual value’ of a nation’s real wealth or claims on collateral at any point in time. The only means to close this gap and cover interest payments is to create additional collateral (goods and services) via economic growth. Of course, this additional debt-based money used to pay the previous interest has its own interest. Thus the downward debt cycle never ends until it collapses.”

JUNE 30

1812 – FIRST US TREASURY NOTES AUTHORIZED BY THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS
Treasury notes are promise to pay notes to borrowers to raise revenue. The US needed funds to fund the War of 1812. Rather than print US money (such as “Continentals” – an interest- and debt-free money issued by the Continental Congress to pay for the Revolutionary War), the US government followed a different course – to issue notes to borrowers with promises to pay the principal with interest at a later date. The original interest rate was 5.4%. Wars cause indebtedness. Bankers tend to like wars since they tend to create financial dependency of nations to bankers. Thomas Edison would later say about Treasury bonds, “If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good…”

1997 – PUBLICATION OF ARTICLE “BEYOND GREED AND SCARCITY” BY BERNARD LIETAER IN YES MAGAZINE
“While economic textbooks claim that people and corporations are competing for markets and resources, I claim that in reality they are competing for money – using markets and resources to do so. Greed and fear of scarcity are being continuously created and amplified
as a direct result of the kind of money we are using. For example, we can produce more than enough food to feed everybody, and there is definitely enough work for everybody in the world, but there is clearly not enough money to pay for it all. In fact, the job of central banks
is to create and maintain that currency scarcity.”

2005 – PUBLICATION OF “A MATTER OF INTEREST” BY WILLIAM HIXSON, CANADIAN ECONOMIST
“The very idea of a government that can create money for itself, allowing banks to create money that the government then borrows, and pays interest on, is so preposterous that it staggers the imagination. Either everyone in government in charge of the procedure is lacking in intelligence or they have been bought and paid for by those who profit from their skullduggery and their infidelity to the public interest.”

JUNE (not certain of exact date)

1992- UPDATED PUBLICATION OF MODERN MONEY MECHANICS BY THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF CHICAGO
“The actual process of money creation takes place in commercial banks. Banks can build up deposits by increasing loans and investments…This unique attribute of the banking business was discovered several centuries ago…At one time, bankers were merely middlemen. They made a profit by accepting gold and coins for safekeeping and lending them to borrowers. But they soon found that the receipts (bank notes or IOUs) they issued were being used as if they were a means of payment. These receipts were acceptable as if they were money since whoever held them could go to the banker and exchange them for metallic money…Then bankers discovered…that they could make loans merely by giving borrowers their promises to pay (bank notes). In this way banks began to create money…More notes (IOUs) could be issued than the gold and coin on hand, because only a portion of the notes outstanding would be presented for payment at any one time…Demand deposits (checks) are the modern counterpart of bank notes. It was a small step from printing notes to making book entries to the credit of borrowers, which the borrowers in turn, could ‘spend’ by writing checks.”

JULY 1

1818 – SECOND NATIONAL BANK OF US TRIGGERS RECESSION/DEPRESSION
The Second National Bank of the United States (a private financial institution) on this day reversed its financial course from monetary expansion to contraction. They called in loans and cut future loans. They required payments from state banks in gold alone. This caused deflation, leading to a two-year recession/depression – called the “Panic of 1819.” This is what happens time and again when private financial corporations control a nation’s money system instead of We the People through their government.

1944 – BRETTON WOODS CONFERENCE BEGINS
The United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, known as the Bretton Woods Conference was a meeting of 44 Allied nations in New Hampshire, where the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank were created. Participant nations agreed to fix their currencies to a set value of gold. Debtor nations were to be helped with payments. The actual program was the use of loans (to be paid back with interest) to create political and economic dependence to loaning countries and their bankers. Agreements to receive further loans were often conditioned on “Structural Adjustment Programs” which called for privatization/corporatization of public services, wage cuts and perversion of economies to service debt payments.

1967 – US POSTAL SAVING SYSTEM ENDS
Because of opposition from the commercial banks the postal savings system does not develop in a substantial way. The United States Postal Savings System was a postal savings system operated by the United States Postal Service from January 1, 1911 until July 1, 1967

NOTE:  Several individuals have inquired about the June 24 posting from last week. On that date in 1996, the US Supreme Court ruled, in Lewis v. United States that Federal Reserve banks are not federal agencies. Below is background on the case from http://nesara.org/court_summaries/lewis_v_united_states.htm

John L. Lewis was injured by a vehicle owned and operated by a federal reserve bank, and brought action alleging jurisdiction under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The District Court dismissed the case by ruling that the Federal Reserve Bank was not a federal agency within meaning of the Federal Tort Claims Act and the court therefore lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. The Appeals court affirmed the decision.

The court stated “Examining the organization and function of the Federal Reserve Banks, and applying the relevant factors, we conclude that the Reserve Banks are not federal instrumentalities for purpose of the FTCA, but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations.”

However, this does not imply, as so many wrongly interpret, that private individuals own the banks for the court also stated “Each Federal Reserve Bank is a separate corporation owned by commercial banks in its region. The stockholding commercial banks elect two thirds of each Bank’s nine-member board of directors. The Federal Reserve Board appoints the remaining three directors. The Federal Reserve Board regulates the Reserve Banks, but its board of directors exercises direct supervision and control of each Bank. 12 U.S.C. Sect. 301. The directors enact by-laws regulating the manner of conducting general Bank business, 12 U.S.C. Sect. 341, and appoint officers to implement and supervise daily Bank activities. These activities include collecting and clearing checks, making advances to private and commercial entities, holding reserves for member banks, discounting the notes of member banks, and buying and selling securities on the open market. See 12 U.S.C. Sub-Sect. 341–361.

1983 – DEATH OF BUCKMINSTER FULLER, US ARCHITECT, SYSTEMS THEORIST, AUTHOR, DESIGNER, INVENTOR AND FUTURIST
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
This is what proponents of a democratic monetary system are doing – calling for the creation of US money (rather than borrowing from banks) to rebuild our national infrastructure, democratizing the Federal Reserve system, eliminating “fractional reserve banking” (which allows banks to loan out more than their deposits) and other provisions.

JULY 2

1787 – LETTER TO JAMES MADISON FROM GOUVENEUR MORRIS, ONE OF THE PRIMARY ARCHITECTS OF THE US CONSTITUTION
In describing the motives of the owners of the new Bank of North America, Morris stated,
“The rich will strive to establish their dominion and enslave the rest. They always did. They always will…They will have the same effect here as elsewhere, if we do not, by [the power of] government, keep them in their proper spheres.”

1881 – PRESIDENT JAMES A. GARFIELD SHOT. HE DIED 10 WEEKS LATER
“Whosoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce, and when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled, one way or another, by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.”

1890 – SHERMAN ANTITRUST ACT BECOMES LAW
The Sherman Act was an attempt to prevent unlawful restraint of trade and commerce and prevent monopolies – including banking monopolies. The Act was more aggressively enforced under President Teddy Roosevelt, including against the corporate practices of JP Morgan, the most powerful banker, if not corporate titan, of the day. In response to this increased enforcement of the Sherman Act and the Hepburn Act, Morgan created a financial panic by having his banks and those he controlled call in loans and refuse to grant new ones. The economic crash of 1907 followed. The “Panic of 1907” was a direct cause for the creation of the Federal Reserve System several years later.

1961 – DEATH OF EARNEST HEMMINGWAY, AUTHOR
“How did you go bankrupt?”
“Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”
From The Sun Also Rises

JULY 4

1826 – DEATH OF JOHN ADAMS, SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
“All of the perplexities, confusion, and distress in America arises, not from the defects of the Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.”

1826 – DEATH OF THOMAS JEFFERSON, THIRD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. . . The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

1892 – ADOPTION OF THE “OMAHA PLATFORM,” FOUNDING DOCUMENT OF THE POPULIST PARTY
“The national power to create money is appropriated to enrich bondholders; a vast public debt payable in legal tender currency has been funded into gold-bearing bonds, thereby adding millions to the burdens of the people…[The two political parties] propose to drown the outcries of a plundered people with the uproar of a sham battle over the tariff, so that capitalists, corporations, national banks, rings, trusts, watered stock, the demonetization of silver and the oppressions of the usurers may all be lost sight of.
PLATFORM
We demand a national currency, safe, sound, and flexible, issued by the general government only, a full legal tender for all debts, public and private, and that without the use of banking corporations, a just, equitable, and efficient means of distribution direct to the people, at a tax not to exceed 2 per cent. per annum, to be provided as set forth in the sub-treasury plan of the Farmers’ Alliance, or a better system; also by payments in discharge of its obligations for public improvements….We demand that postal savings banks be established by the government for the safe deposit of the earnings of the people and to facilitate exchange

JULY 5

2015 –  GREEK PEOPLE TO VOTE ON REFERENDUM ON EUROPEAN CREDITORS PLAN
The Greek government called for a national referendum vote on July 5 in response to the latest proposed deal by lenders (European Union, European Central Bank and the IMF)  to bailout Greece. The Greek government claims the international lenders in the past were irresponsible in providing loans to the Greek government that they knew could not be repaid. Greece is limited in their political and economic ability to respond when they gave up their authority to issue their own currency when they joined the European Union and accepted the euro.

———————–

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, Deb Jose and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, email monetarycalendar@yahoo.com

Corporate Power Prevails over People Power on Fast Track

AP986612023261-article-display-b

The Senate voted today 60-37 to support Fast Track.

If there was ever any sliver of doubt that Congress on issues that really matter to the power elite represents the public over corporations, it should end. Corporate power prevailed over people power.

There was no public outcry supporting Fast Track…and the mis-named “trade” negotiations behind them. No mass rallies. No bottom up organized call-in days. Not even any “astro turf” phony front groups bankrolled by corporate interests promoting it. Just power politics of the all-too-common variety — featuring swarms of lobbyists and, no-doubt as in the House based on public records, political campaign investments “contributions” to Senators.

Call it Exhibit # (fill in any four, may even five, digit number here) of how our government isn’t broken, but instead fixed.  It will only get unfixed when there’s much more mass education and organizing to address the rigged ground rules favoring big money and corporate interests over those of real people.

On the positive side, our efforts will become in one respect easier. We’ll need to waste far less time challenging the “we live in a functioning democracy” propaganda that has mesmerized far too many.

After Obama signs Fast Track, then comes the individual expanded corporate rule treaties: TPP, TTIP and TISA. Born of secret negotiations (to the public and media that is, but not to the corporate consultants), there may be opportunities to lift up the essence of each of them — the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) resolution process with their corporate attorney-dominated “Tribunals.” The opportunities for us to raise the contradictions between how our representative talk about “democracy/sovereignty/self-determination” and how the ISDS trumps “democracy/sovereignty/self-determination” to benefit corporate profits will be there.

If nothing else, these will be teachable moments. May we take full advantage of them.

This is also further underscores why we need a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood and money as speech, ala Move to Amend. With no political potency from major corporations, Fast Track doesn’t even get a congressional hearing, let alone a vote, let alone passage.

Onward!

The Impact of Corporate Power and Money in Ohio

A new video from the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. It was produced and narrated by Hannah Yackley, our John Looney Peace, Justice and Nonviolence intern.

With attention spans being what they are these days, a 4 minute video is better than 40 minutes for being watched in large numbers.

Please forward far and wide via email and social media.

video

http://afsc.org/video/impact-corporate-power-and-money-ohio

Pope Heats Up Climate Change Debate

th

Pope Francis’ 180-page Papal Encyclical on climate change was released last week. While it certainly addresses the environmental peril we face, it’s not simply an environmental document, but a moral one in declaring a moral imperative to act to aggressively counter climate changes’ root causes – which are inequality and injustices against people in general but the poor in particular to benefit the super rich. Yet this historic treatise invites conversation and consideration of two larger and interrelated issues: capitalism and perpetual growth.

On capitalism, his conclusions are clear: it’s threatening the survival of human civilization, is destroying nonrenewable resources for personal gain, has lost its ethical code, has no moral compass, worships the golden calf of a money god, has no respect for Earth’s natural environment, and is killing our planet, our civilization and the people.

Perpetual economic growth, the basis of economic systems of every nation, however, is ignorant and impossible – economically, mathematically and physically. Perpetual growth is the alternative to greater economic equality. It’s destroying our planet. It’s time for a new global economic and environmental narrative – away from more is better to one that proclaims enough is best – away from wants which are insatiable to needs which are basic and finite.

Of course, the climate change Encyclical will be resisted by flat earther climate deniers, the fossil fuel industry and those in government, think tanks, media, academia and religion that are influenced by the fossil fuel industry. To the degree that the message indicts capitalism directly, resistance will expand.

This is a revolutionary moment, an extraordinary time. Old paradigms about how we should live, what “progress” means, what constitutes “the good life,” what being good “stewards” is all about, how to promote justice, what kind of economy we should have, and much more are on the cusp of being brought out into the light for all to reexamine. Great effort will be made to repress any such reflections and rethinks, discussions and debates.

It’s up to us to take advantage of this gift – an opportunity to connect our morals with our actions; to link social, economic, political and environmental problems and solutions; and to explore ways to not just resist and challenge existing structures but to create sustainable and just alternatives.

May we be up to the challenge and take full advantage of this opportunity.

Response to U.S. Sabre-Rattling against Russia OpEd

My response to the linked below OpEd in yesterday’s Cleveland Plain Dealer

<><><>

The greatest threat to peace in Europe isn’t Russia, it’s pro-war maniacs in the U.S. administration and the Pentagon.

George Friedman, the founder of the ‘private CIA’ firm Stratfor, said last year that the overthrow of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych in Kiev in February 2014 had been “the most blatant coup in history.”

The coup was orchestrated by the U.S. when U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Asian Affairs, Victoria Nuland instructed the U.S. Ambassador in Kiev to get “Yats” ( Arseniy Yatsenyuk ) appointed as the junta’s honcho. That’s exactly what happened two weeks later.

The neo-Nazis now running Ukraine, backed by the the U.S. and our tax dollars, invaded Donbass, killing thousands.

The U.S. desperately wants to create and maintain chaos in Ukraine for multiple reasons:
– to ensure that Russia doesn’t move closer economically to Europe
– to justify continuing to build overpriced and cold-war obsolete weapons that enrich military contractors
– to maintain fear in general, which serves to justify slashing civil liberties
– to distract attention from a crumbling domestic economy
– to force Europe to move closer to the US — which includes forcing it to support the super-secret Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) anti-democratic mis-named “trade” agreement.

Ditch the corporate press for learning what’s going in Ukraine. Like the buildup to the war in Iraq, they are mostly mouthpieces to the power elite who are doing their darkest to foment fear and not present the complete picture.

Sadly, this op-ed is part of that narrative.

While NATO sleeps, Putin has his way: Ronald E. Powaski (Opinion)
http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/06/while_nato_sleeps_putin_has_hi.html

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR June 22 – 28

lincolngback

JUNE 22

1911 – SPEECH OF PRESIDENT WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT BEFORE NEW YORK STATE BANKERS’ ASSOCIATION
“There is no legislation, I care not what it is, tariff, railroad, corporation, or of a general political character, that at all equals in importance the putting of our banking and currency system on a sound basis.”
Of course, Taft’s definition of a “sound” banking and currency system was the plan being pushed by major bankers – the creation of a private central bank (which basically defines the Federal Reserve) and the ability of banking corporations to create our nation’s money – as debt.

1949 – BIRTH OF ELIZABETH WARREN, US SENATOR, MASSACHUSETTS
“What we need is a system that puts an end to the boom and bust cycle. A system that recognizes we don’t grow this country from the financial sector; we grow this country from the middle class.”                        “Powerful interests will fight to hang on to every benefit and subside they now enjoy. Even after exploiting consumers, larding their books with excessive risk, and making bad bets that brought down the economy and forced taxpayer bailouts, the big Wall Street banks are not chastened. They have fought to delay and hamstring the implementation of financial reform, and they will continue to right every inch of the way.”

JUNE 23

1948 – WEST INTRODUCES NEW CURRENCY IN W. BERLIN, SOVIETS RESPOND WITH BLOCKADE
Several factors led to the blockade of W. Berlin by the Soviet Union. These included the unification of the French, British and US sectors into a West German government and the issuance of a currency in the new country. It was the issuance of a new currency in W. Berlin on June 23. The next day the Soviets imposed a complete blockade on Berlin.

JUNE 24

1982 – LEWIS V UNITED STATES (AMENDED DECISION OF THE US COURT OF APPEALS, NINTH CIRCUIT)
“Federal Reserve banks are not federal instrumentalities for purposes of a Federal Tort Claims Act, but are independent, privately owned and locally controlled corporations in light of fact that direct supervision and control of each bank is exercised by board of directors. Federal Reserve banks…are locally controlled by their member banks; banks are listed neither as “wholly owned” government corporations nor as “mixed ownership” corporations; federal reserve banks receive no appropriated funds from Congress and the banks are empowered to sue and be sued in their own names . . . .”

1946 – BIRTH OF ROBERT REICH, FORMER US LABOR SECRETARY
“The dirty little secret is that both houses of Congress are irrelevant.  … America’s domestic policy is now being run by Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve…America’s foreign policy, meanwhile, is now being run by the International Monetary Fund [IMF] with some coaching from the Treasury Department.”

JUNE 25

2007 – STATEMENT BY SHEILA BAIR, FORMER HEAD OF THE FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION
“There are strong reasons for believing that banks left to their own devices would maintain less capital — not more — than would be prudent. The fact is, banks do benefit from implicit and explicit government safety nets…In short, regulators can’t leave capital decisions totally to the banks.” Bair cautioned against lowering capital requirements (the amount of money banks have to hold compared to their loans)

JUNE 26

1009 BC – BIRTH OF KING SOLOMON, SON OF DAVID
The rich rules over The poor, and The borrower is The slave of The lender. Proverbs (of Solomon) 7:22

JUNE 27

1836 – STATEMENT BY JOHN C. CALHOUN, FORMER US VICE-PRESIDENT
“A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various powerful interests, combined in one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in banks.”

JUNE 28

1836 – DEATH OF JAMES MADISON, 4TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Madison signed into law a bank bill in 1816 creating the Second National Bank of the United States. Chartered for 20 years, the bank amassed economic power, which led to the successful efforts of President Andrew Jackson to abolish it in 1836.

———————–

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, Deb Jose and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, email monetarycalendar@yahoo.com