MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR February 28 – March 5

Greenbackk

FEBRUARY 28

2015 – ONLINE PUBLICATION OF “ENDING HOMELESSNESS SAVE MONEY; MONETARY REFORM AND PUBLIC BANKS SHOULD FUND THIS NOW” BY CARL HERMAN
“Given that all 50+ professional studies conclude we save money by ending homelessness, all US communities should enact policies to do so.
Given that all communities have problems with funding public programs, even those that save money in the long-term like infrastructure and education, we should also enact monetary reform…”
washingtonsblog.com/2015/02/ending-homelessness-saves-money-monetary-reform-public-banks-fund-now.html

FEBRUARY 29

2012 – SEMIANNUAL TESTIMONY OF FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN BEN BERNANKE BEFORE COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL SERVICES OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
“The recovery of the U.S. economy continues, but the pace of expansion has been uneven and modest by historical standards…
“The members of the Board and the presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks recently projected that economic activity in 2012 will expand at or somewhat above the pace registered in the second half of last year.
“The [Federal Open Market] Committee modified its policies regarding the Federal Reserve’s holdings of securities…The Committee reviews the size and composition of its securities holdings regularly and is prepared to adjust those holdings as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery in the context of price stability.”
[Note: The Fed certainly did “adjust” their holdings of securities (i.e. government debt, as in Treasury bonds, bills and notes) in response to the economy’s uneven recovery. A few months after this testimony, the Fed launched a third round of Quantitative Easing (QE) — creating and spending $40 billion per month to purchase toxic mortgage backed securities and added tens of billions more to purchase U.S. Treasury securities. This propped up Wall Street balance sheets, but did little to help Main Street or the side and back streets of our country — since the decision of how this money “created out of thin air” was being spent was decided by an entity (the Fed) largely beholden to banking corporations. If, instead, the money was created by a public agency and publicly decided how it was to be spent, then there would be public accountability  — with the greater likelihood that the funds would benefit the public.]

MARCH 1

1781 – RATIFICATION OF ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION, THE FIRST US CONSTITUTION
“The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union” of the thirteen States was ratified and in force on this date. The Articles was the first Constitution of the United States, preceding our current constitution by several years. The Articles granted the Federal Government the authority to issue money and determine its value if nine states agreed.

MARCH 2

1810 – BIRTH OF POPE LEO XIII
“On the one hand there is the party which holds the power because it holds the wealth, which has in its grasp all labor and all trade, which manipulates for its own benefit and its own purposes all the sources of supply, and which is powerfully represented in the councils of State itself.  On the other side there is the needy and powerless multitude, sore and suffering. Rapacious usury, which, although more than once condemned by the Church, is nevertheless under a different form but with the same guilt, still practiced by avaricious and grasping men…so that a small number of very rich men have been able to lay upon the masses of the poor a yoke little better than slavery itself.” — Pope Leo XIII statement on usury, 1898

1876 — US SILVER COMMISSION (TO STUDY THE CRIME OF 73) REPORT RELEASED ON WHAT CAUSED THE 1873 DEPRESSION
The Commission concluded that the depression was caused by a reduction of the money supply. They compared the 1873 Depression to the deflation of the Roman era. “The disaster of the Dark Ages was caused by decreasing money and falling prices… Without money, civilization could not have had a beginning, and with a diminishing supply, it must languish and unless relieved, finally perish.  Falling prices and misery and destitution are inseparable companions. It is universally conceded that falling prices result from the contraction of the money volume.” The Report suggested that the Dark Ages ended when paper money was issued, “It is suggestive coincidence that the first glimmer of light only came with the invention of bills of exchange and paper substitutes…”

MARCH 3

1863 – LEGAL TENDER ACT PASSED
Congress authorizes the Government to print no more than $400,000 million Greenbacks to pay for the Civil War. This was interest-free and debt-free money. The Lincoln Administration did not want to borrow money from corporate banks to pay for the war.

1865 – NATIONAL CURRENCY ACT AMENDED BY CONGRESS
The act amended the National Currency Act of 1864. State banks were no longer permitted to issue bank notes (currency).

1884 – JULLIARD V. GREENMAN (110 U.S. 421) SUPREME COURT DECISION
US Supreme Court ruling upholding the legality of US Government issued money (Greenbacks) created following the Legal Tender Acts of 1862 and 1863. The Court ruled that the government possessed the authority under the Constitution to issue a national currency and that that currency could be used to pay debts.

2003 – WARREN BUFFET, SECOND RICHEST PERSON ON EARTH, IN HIS ANNUAL LETTER TO BERKSHIRE HATHWAY SHAREHOLDERS
“Derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction.”

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 that 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.” This is something to keep in mind during this period when Democrats at the local level hold their “Jackson” or “Jefferson-Jackson” annual events.
[Note: This is something to keep in mind during this period when Democrats at the local level hold their “Jackson” or “Jefferson-Jackson” annual events.]

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.”
[Note: This is something to keep in mind during this period when Republicans at the local level hold their “Lincoln Day” annual events.]

MARCH 5

1997 – SPEECH BY EARL OF CAITHNESS IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS, UK
“[I]t is also a good time to stand back, to reassess whether our economy is soundly based. I would contest that it is not, not for the reason to which the noble Lord, Lord Eatwell, alluded, which is that it is the Government’s fault, but our whole monetary system is utterly dishonest, as it is debt-based. ‘Dishonest’ is a strong word, but a system which by its very actions causes the value of money to decrease is dishonest and has within it its own seeds of destruction…Governments…have abdicated their responsibility for producing new money and controlling the money supply so that now they are marginalized…The next government must grasp the nettle, accept their responsibility for controlling the money supply and change from our debt-based monetary system. My Lords, will they? If they do not, our monetary system will break us and the sorry legacy we are already leaving our children will be a disaster.”

———————–

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

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Interview on The Forum with Mansfield Frazier

WTAM
WTAM, 1100 AM, Cleveland, Sunday, February 21 (interview begins at 18:02)

We chatted about the Move to Amend movement, corporate constitutional rights, money in elections and citizen initiative campaigns in Cleveland, Shaker Hts. & S. Euclid)

Listen at http://www.wtam.com/media/play/26748163/       (interview begins at 18:02)

Corporations are not people

236da-23322

Letter to the Editor
Akron Beacon Journal
Sunday, February 21
http://www.ohio.com/editorial/vop/letters-to-the-editor-corporations-are-not-people-and-lack-of-respect-for-justice-scalia-feb-21-1.663512

George Will’s defense of corporate “personhood” and money defined as free speech ignores much from the past and present (“Actually, corporations are people,” Feb. 14). This includes how activist Supreme Court justices contorted the law for decades, long before Citizens United, to concoct the bizarre notions that corporations possess constitutional rights and protections meant exclusively for human beings and that money in elections equals free speech and can be spent in unlimited amounts.

Our nation’s founders never intended corporations to possess unalienable rights. Corporations are creations of the state. Early corporate charters defined their actions. This wasn’t regulation, but definition by sovereign, self-governing people over their creations. If corporations violated their charters, they were often abolished.

Other court decisions established that corporations were separate from the individuals associated with them. Ending corporate personhood doesn’t inhibit the ability of those connected to corporations to express themselves.

It wouldn’t result in government seizure of corporate property. And it wouldn’t end free speech because what gives the media their right to speak freely is that they are the media, not that news and opinions originate from corporations.

If money is speech, then those who have the most money have the most speech. This describes our political system’s dangerous decline toward an oligarchy or plutocracy with the free speech rights and influence of those without money drowned out by the megaphones of the millionaires, billionaires and corporate entities.

Affirming that only human beings possess unalienable rights and permitting those we elect to determine the appropriate amount of money in elections are fundamental solutions for which more citizens, tired of political business as usual, are calling.

Greg Coleridge
Cuyahoga Falls

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR February 21 – 27

Greenbackk

FEBRUARY 21

2013 – RELEASE OF NEW VIDEO ON MONETARY REFORM IN CANADA
Monetary Reform – a simple solution to some major problems affecting everyone in society. In this short interview, William Abram explains how money is created and some solutions that will benefit everyone. http://www.positivemoney.org/2013/02/new-monetary-reform-video-from-canada/

FEBRUARY 22

1732 — BIRTH OF GEORGE WASHINGTON, FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Washington’s image is on the $1 bill, which has lost over 90% of its value since 1900. It’s estimated that $100 in 2012 equals the purchasing power of $3.48 in 1900. That’s a 96.4% decline. Inflation due to money printing for spending on unproductive purposes has been the major cause. The private Federal Reserve System has been the US central bank during for most of this period (since 1913).

1878 – FOUNDING OF GREENBACK-LABOR PARTY
The National (Greenback-Labor) Party was formed at a convention in Toledo, Ohio. Their platform declared that reform of the monetary system was necessary in order to “secure to the producers of wealth the results of their labor and skill, and muster out of service the vast army of idlers who, under the existing system, grow rich upon the earnings of others, that every man and woman may, by their own efforts, secure a competence, so that overgrown fortunes and extreme poverty will seldom be found within the limits of our Republic.”

FEBRUARY 23

1744 –    BIRTH OF MAYER AMSCHEL ROTHCHILD, FOUNDER OF THE BANKING DYNASTY
Purported quote: “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.”

FEBRUARY 24

1809 – BIRTH OF ELBRIDGE SPAULDING, US LAWYER, BANKER AND POLITICIAN
“Why then should we go into Wall Street…begging for money? Their [private bank] money is not as secure as Government money…I am unwilling that this government should be left in the hands of any class of men, bankers or moneylenders, however respectable or patriotic they may be.
The Government is much stronger than any of them. All the gold they possess would not carry on the Government for ninety days. They issue promises to pay, which, if Congress does its duty, are not half as secure as United States Treasury notes based on adequate taxation upon all the property of the country.”

FEBRUARY 25

1791 – CREATION OF THE FIRST BANK OF THE UNITED STATES
The federal government issued a 20-year charter (very unusual at the time since most corporate charters, or licenses, were issued by states) to create the first national private bank. The bank’s paper money was accepted for taxes. Eighty percent of its shares were privately owned — among these 75% were foreign owned (mostly by the English and Dutch). The bank was modeled on the Bank of England. It’s main proponent, Alexander Hamilton, argued in support: “Suppose that the necessity existed…for obtaining a loan; that a number of individuals came forward and said, we are willing to accommodate the government with this money (which we have or can raise) but in order to do this it is indispensable that we should be incorporated as a bank…and we are obliged on that account to make it a consideration or condition of the loan.” In other words, Hamilton was saying the private/corporate bank would be more than happy to give the government loans if the government grants the private/corporate bank the power to create money! Jefferson, Madison and others opposed it. Jefferson said, “This institution (the Bank of England) is one of the most deadly hostility against the principles of our Constitution…suppose an emergency should occur…an institution like this…in a critical moment might overthrow the government.” The bank had an enormous impact on the economy early on. Within 2 months of its creation, it flooded the market with loans and banknotes and then suddenly called in many of its loans. The result was the first US securities market crash — what became known as the “Panic of 1792” – the first of many panics, recessions and depressions due to the private/corporate control of our money system.

1862 – LEGAL TENDER ACT PASSED
A bill authorizing the issuance of $150 million non interest-bearing United States notes (called at that time “Greenbacks”). Congress would later grant $300 million more in US notes. This was interest free US money. The administration of Republican President Abraham Lincoln wanted to avoid the nation going into debt borrowing money from private/corporate bankers to pay for the Civil War. Greenbacks were not bonds or notes or any other promises to pay “money” at some future time. They were money. Since they were not borrowed, they didn’t add to the national debt. What later made them inflationary was they were used to pay for war  – which didn’t produce or add anything productive to the economy to offset the added money supply. The bill contained an “Exception Clause”, which stated that Greenbacks could not be used to pay the interest on the national debt, or to pay taxes, excises or import duties.

1863 – NATIONAL BANKING ACT PASSED
It provided for the national chartering of banks by the federal government. This replaced state charters – many of which contained much more rigid and democratic provisions. The Act in numerous ways standardized banking across the country. The act established National Banking Associations, the office of the Comptroller of the Currency and a system of national chartered banks with control over all of them coming from Washington. The new banks were given virtually tax-free status. In doing so, it entrenched what some have called “structural fraud” of the banking system – creating money out of thin air and charting interest on it.

FEBRUARY 26

1913 – CONCLUSION OF PUJO COMMITTEE HEARINGS IN CONGRESS
A committee of Congress, headed by House Banking and Currency Committee Chair Arsene Pujo, investigated the Wall Street banking “Money Trust from 1912-1913. The Committee’s report identified a financial network of Wall Street bankers connected by 341 interlocking directorships held in 112 corporations valued at more than $22 billion connected to the Morgan and Rockefeller empires, which exerted identifiable control over the US monetary system and economy.

Paradoxically, the report resulted in the push for a Federal Reserve Act, which, of course, legitimized and shielded control of the money system and economy by the financial elites.

FEBRUARY 27

1844 – DEATH OF NICHOLAS BIDDLE, PRESIDENT OF SECOND NATIONAL BANK
Biddle threatened to cause a depression if President Andrew Jackson did not re-charter the Bank. The privately owned Second Bank was chartered in 1816. President Jackson did not sign the bill to renew the charter. “This worthy President thinks that … he is to have his way with the Bank. He is mistaken…[opposition] can only be broken by the actual conviction of exiting distress in the community… Our only safety is in pursuing a steady course of firm restriction [of the money supply] – and I have no doubt that such a course will ultimately lead to restoration of the currency and the re-charter of the Bank.” The result of the contraction of the money supply was a financial panic followed by a deep depression. (Edward Kaplan, The Bank of the United States and the American Economy)

1867 – BIRTH OF IRVING FISHER, MATHEMATICAL ECONOMIST
“If two parties instead of being a bank and an individual, were an individual and an individual, they could not inflate the circulating medium by loan transaction; for the simple reason that the lender could not lend what he didn’t have as banks can do … Only commercial banks and trust companies can lend money that they manufacture by lending it.” 100% Money (1935)]

———————–

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

Local group urging public utilities not be privatized

PrivatePublic

2/18/2016 – West Side Leader
http://www.akron.com/akron-ohio-opinions.asp?aID=29856

To the editor:

We write in response to the Feb. 1, 2016, Blue Ribbon Task Force report.

We understand and commend the desire and need to have an outside ad hoc group assess the current conditions of the city and the present structure and policies of the city government, as well as offer recommendations for improvement.

There is much in the report with which we agree. Many of the challenges Akron faces are, as the report states, due to external political and economic conditions that are shared by other cities — namely deindustrialization, federal and state budget cuts and the recent economic recession.

We would point out that each of these realities has been caused in no small degree by the growing power and rights of business corporations and the super wealthy few. They’ve exerted political and economic influence over public policies and the economy in support of tax cuts, subsidies, perks, contracts and reductions of regulations, which have further consolidated their power and rights and increased their fortunes. The losers, of course, have been programs, policies and people in urban, rural and suburban areas, including Akron — specifically the poor, elderly, persons of color, working class and differently abled.

Not all of Akron’s current problems are due, however, to external factors. Some have been self-inflicted. The past decision by the administration to fight the [Environmental Protection Agency] over the city’s combined sewer overflow resulted in substantial federal dollars left on the table that now must come out of the pockets of Akron water and sewer customers.

The Task Force report asserts that “[T]he single largest challenge facing the City is its financial condition.” We agree. It’s appropriate, therefore, that many of its recommendations address ways to reduce costs or increase income.

Prior to listing any specific recommendations, the report wisely declares, “some of them will require further study; others will require additional resources (human and capital); and still others just may not work at this time.”

We respectfully offer that one of the recommendations in the later category, that “just may not work at this time,” that we believe should not work out ANY time is selling, leasing or transferring the city’s water and sewer system — a suggestion referenced on page 17.

Public utilities should remain public by the mere fact that to be more effective and efficient there should be one provider. Akron voters overwhelmingly approved in 2008 to keep the city’s public sewer system public  — under the control of We the People. Voters understood that to privatize/corporatize public utilities more often than not increases costs, reduces services and results in the lay-off of public employees. And in every single case, turning over a public asset to a for-profit corporation, especially if headquartered outside the community, state, if not country, significantly reduces public control — i.e. democracy.

We believe former [Cleveland] Mayor Tom Johnson, promoter of the public Cleveland electric power system, said it best more than a century ago: “I believe in the municipal ownership of all public service monopolies … for if you do not own them they will, in time, own you. They will rule your politics, corrupt your institutions and finally destroy your liberties.”

While ostensibly a public official, the emergency manager appointed by the Michigan governor to run the public water system in Flint, Michigan, was unaccountable and unelected. Running the public water system like a business is what led to the tragic poisoning of the residents of that city.

Our concluding message is simple, as reinforced by over 60 percent of Akron voters in 2008: Keep Public Utilities Public.

Thank you for your consideration.

John Fuller, clerk, Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee (AFSC); and Greg Coleridge, director, Northeast Ohio AFSC