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How Many Warnings Do You Need?

How Many Warnings Do You Need?

If you knew someone with a gambling problem, you probably would not give them your money to hold. If you knew that they had placed bets that were 30 to 70 times more than the amount of money they had, you would certainly consider them totally reckless. If you knew that the money they were holding and betting with was with borrowed money, other peoples’ money not their own, you would probably conclude that they are hopelessly addicted to money. Remember these thoughts as you continue to read this article.

Picture these scenarios:
1. You go to buy groceries and when you use your credit or debit card the transaction is denied despite the fact you have money in your account.

2. You are a public official, such as a school business administrator, county treasurer, municipal finance manager, pension fund administrator, or anyone who has responsibility for protecting public money. You try to access the money and the transaction is denied.

Under either scenario, you investigate why you cannot access money you know is in your account and you find out that the bank has failed and has been closed until further notice by the authorities. You also discover that the government will be confiscating part of your savings in order to “stabilize” the bank.

So you think that “cannot happen here”? You think you are safe because the FDIC “protects” your money?  You placed your money into one of the big banks and believe it is safe because it has large vaults and is insured by the government. Perhaps you placed the public monies you are charged with into a large bank because they are properly “collateralized” and therefore you believe these funds are safe. If you truly believe any these previous statements, you really need to read the rest of this article because your money is at serious risk.

So you think your money is safe? Let’s examine why that assumption could cost you all or part of your savings. Would you be surprised to learn that money sitting in everyday peoples’ savings accounts in Cyprus was confiscated in order to “stabilize” the banks? If you are surprised by this news, hopefully this article will provide you with an incentive to do some research. This article is filled with links to more information, and I encourage you to follow them. If you are aware of this bank confiscation, do not make the mistake of believing that it is an isolated event that “cannot happen here”.

In a nutshell, what actually happened in Cyprus was that the banks were overleveraged and the size of the liabilities of the banks exceeded the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the entire country of Cyprus. Given the fact that the “bail outs” of the large banks in 2008 were so politically unpopular, the European “troika” imposed a “bail in”, where customers with savings accounts were to have some of their savings seized (read: stolen) in order to stabilize the banks. The losses to some accounts were as high as 60%. The banks were closed for 12 days, so people had no access to their money and once the banks reopened, they had only limited access to their money in order to protect the banks.

Was this plan by the “troika”, just a one-time event or was this something more? It turns out that this eventuality had actually been planned in advance in 2012 at the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel Switzerland where the US FDIC and the Bank of England created a joint paper outlining a confiscation scheme. Under the FDIC/BOE joint paper, accounts of $250,000 or less could be seized by the failing bank and converted to stock equity as part of a “bail in” scheme. The stock would of course be essentially worthless because the bank has already failed.

There is also a plan to confiscate savings in New Zealand if necessary to save the banks. Canada also has a confiscation plan in the wings should their banks falter. The European Union has just reached an agreement where shareholders and depositors will be tapped to “bail in” any bank in trouble.

So you still think that this “cannot happen here” because the FDIC will protect your money? Consider that our largest banks have derivative contracts with a notional value of more than $700 trillion (think $700,000 BILLION!). The entire world GDP is only $70 trillion, therefore the liabilities of the big banks could not be covered by the entire GDP of the United States. Does this sound similar to what happened in Cyprus? Does this sound similar to the gambler at the beginning of this article? What is very important to keep in mind is that Cyprus is a small country and that much larger outside forces came in to “stabilize” the banks. If one (or more) of the large U.S. banks experiences a derivative failure, there is not enough money on the planet to “stabilize” them.

These derivatives are really nothing more than “bets” placed by the banks, and when (not if) these “bets” start going bad, the banks will be on the hook for their value. You need to know that these derivative “bets” have been given super-priority status in case of a bank bankruptcy. What this means is that the holders of these derivative contracts will have first priority for payment and that you either as an individual or government entity will be placed at the back of line – as a bank creditor should a large bank fail. This means that you will probably get little or nothing back.  Most people do not understand that once you give a bank your money, the money legally is no longer yours. Under the law, you are an unsecured creditor to the bank and are treated as such in any bankruptcy proceeding. As an individual or as a public official, if you have money in one of the big banks, you have essentially given your money to that gambler and now you are a creditor to the gambler.

This sort of loss has already happened with the MF Global collapse. While this was a futures trading company and not a bank, the blueprint for confiscations was tested here and with the Sentinel case the legal system upheld the customer losses. These trading accounts were supposed to be “segregated” accounts that belonged to the account holders, not MF Global. As an analogy, think of a “segregated” account as a safe deposit box at a bank, the contents belong to you, not the bank. Yet in the MF Global collapse, in this analogy it essentially gambled with the assets in the customers’ safe deposit boxes, and the legal system placed the creditors of the bank above the safe deposit box holders.

Still think the FDIC will protect the derivative and account holders?  JP Morgan Chase has $1.1 trillion ($1,100 Billion!) in deposits and Bank of America also has over $1 trillion ($1000 Billion!). Again, remember that gambler, JP Morgan Chase has about $70 TRILLION in bets out there, but is holding only about $1 Trillion in deposits and another Trillion in assets. It has made bets with a value approximately 35 times all the money it has access to. Again, this is YOUR money they are betting with, not their money.  Bank of America also has about 30 times its assets in derivative bets. Citigroup and Wells Fargo each have over $900 billion each in deposits and also have many times their assets in derivative bets. Once these bets start going bad, there is no way the banks can cover them. The FDIC has only $33 billion available to insure deposits. That means that once any one of these banks fails, the FDIC has less than 3% of the money needed to cover the depositors. If any one of these big banks fails, these banks are so interconnected that it is also likely to bring down the other large banks. In fact both Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase have moved their riskiest derivatives from their uninsured trading houses to the FDIC insured subsidiaries, which are their retail banks, putting the funds in those accounts at a significantly increased risk.  Once even one of these biggest banks experiences a derivative meltdown, there is not enough money in the FDIC or probably even the U.S. Treasury to cover the losses. Still think Cyprus cannot happen to you?

If you are a public official who has responsibility for protecting public money, you probably have that money deposited into an account with one of the largest banks. Do you still believe that money is safe? Are you doing your fiduciary duty to protect that money in the public interest? So as a government official in charge of finances, what are your options?

One option is to start a public bank such as the Bank of North Dakota. First public banks do not gamble with derivatives and the Bank of North Dakota thrived during the crisis of 2008. Not only will you get the safety of the money for which you have responsibility for, but other advantages to this approach include: the ability to provide interest free or low interest loans for public infrastructure projects, the ability to create jobs, generate revenue, and build up the local community. This article clearly explains some of the huge advantages of financing your projects using a public bank.

Consider this – if you buy a home for $100,000, by the time you have paid the mortgage in full, the total cost will have been close to $300,000. Consider the absurdity of paying those who build the home and provide the raw materials $100,000, and paying the financiers $200,000 for money that was not even theirs. This makes little sense. The same principle applies if a state, county, or municipality wants to build a road, school, bridge, or other infrastructure. They need to go to Wall Street for financing at high interest rates. However they could form their own bank and finance the project at zero or near zero interest.  The projects would cost less than half and the finance costs would not be siphoned out of the community, impoverishing it, and ending up on Wall Street or in Cayman Island tax shelters. The finance costs would stay in the community.

Think of the things that could be accomplished if you could eliminate debt service as a line item in your budget! The money deposited in the public bank would be safe and would serve the local community. You could use the public bank to refinance existing debt at zero or near zero percent interest. You could lower tax rates! This idea has such appeal that currently there are initiatives in 20 states to start public banks.
Money controls governmentIf you are a public official with a fiduciary responsibility to protect public funds and one of these large banks fails and you lose the public money, think of the consequences that will arise once the public becomes aware that you did not heed the warnings that Cyprus provided. Think of the consequences that will arise when the public becomes aware that you did not consider alternatives to the big vulnerable banks. It is time to bring home the money from Wall Street where it is at risk. If there is a derivative crash, try meeting your payroll with stock equity (in a failed bank).  The impact of not meeting a payroll will be both immediate and forceful. It is vital to get that money out of Wall Street BEFORE the next meltdown.

To those public officials who are truly interested in serving their communities, this is your moment. This is your time to step up to the plate. Be bold, be innovative, and empower your communities. You owe this to your fellow citizens, your children and your future. Visit this website to learn more about the possibilities that public banking offers, to learn how to get started, and where to find help in implementation. You are not alone of you wish to make this happen.

If you are an individual saver who wants to protect your money, you need to move your money out of the big banks because that is where it is most vulnerable. Move your money into local community banks or Credit Unions. This will help your local banks as well as your community by keeping the money local. It is also important to MOVE YOUR DEBT to these local banks as well. The way bank accounting works, a deposit is actually considered a liability to the bank, while a loan is an asset on its accounting ledger. (I know this sounds convoluted, but this is the way it is). By moving your debt to the local banks, you create assets for them as well as helping your local community. While there are no guarantees that a smaller bank could survive the crash of one or more of the bigger banks, very few of the small banks have gambled with the super-priority derivatives. This is huge advantage that at provides insulation from the large banks.

So, consider yourself warned, money is not safe in the big banks. The MF Global losses, the Cyprus confiscations, the Sentinel case, the FDIC/BOE Joint Paper, the plans in the European Union, Canada, New Zealand, and Spain to raid private accounts, and finally the information in this article should be raising all sorts of red flags. HOW MANY WARNINGS DO YOU NEED? Personal accounts, as well as any school, municipal, county, and state funds that are deposited in any of the big banks are not safe. The plans for confiscation have already been developed, they have been approved, they are awaiting the next crisis.

Ask your public official in charge of finance where they keep YOUR taxpayer money!

Ask them if they have researched the public banking option! Do not accept no for an answer, ask them why. If they say that you do not understand these things, tell them to explain it to you.

After all, this is your money that you worked so hard for, so don’t let the big gamblers from Wall Street use YOUR personal or taxpayer money to cover THEIR losses. These big bankers are money addicts, they have no appreciation of how much work went into making that money. They do not care about you or your money, all they care about is their addiction. Don’t let public officials continue to put your taxpayer money at risk with these gamblers, just because this is how it has been done in the past.

Socialism and Capitalism

February 23, 2013 3 comments

I recently came across this anecdote on the Internet. I was unable to determine who the author was so I cannot provide proper attribution. However the story does illustrate some interesting points:

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan”.. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.
When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Could not be any simpler than that. (Please pass this on) These are possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Response:

While the model of substituting grades for dollars is flawed, the article above did illustrate what happens when people do not have appropriate incentives. In order to bring this model closer to reality, let us:

  1.  substitute tuition payments for taxes
  2. allow for the personal accumulation of grades (money).

So here is the capitalist system that is currently in place:

Those with accumulated grades (money) hire others to do the hard work of studying for them.
capitalist pyramidThose with accumulated grades (money) now accumulate even more money because the fact that others are doing the work for them, and that they are not being paid as much as those who are not doing the work.

Those with accumulated grades (money) use their growing wealth to influence the government for policies that assure that their tuition rates (taxes) remain at an Effective Rate that is lower than those who do the work. They also get special rates if they use their accumulated wealth to generate even more wealth for themselves (Capital Gains rate).

These lower taxes helps those with accumulated grades (money) to maximize the accumulation of their wealth despite the fact that they no longer are doing the real work to create this wealth.

Those with accumulated grades (money) have now accumulated such massive amounts of  wealth that they need the services of a financial class to manage their wealth. The financial class merely moves around the accumulated wealth of others and despite the fact that the financial class also does no productive work, they earn the largest compensation of anyone.

The financial class uses its enormous accumulated wealth to influence the government to bail them out when they make poor decisions that result in massive losses to the general economy.

The financial class uses its extreme wealth to influence the government to provide them with immunity from prosecution for money laundering, rate rigging, massive foreclosure fraud (robo-signing) , and other crimes. In fact they even get others, the shareholders to pay the fines for them.

Those with accumulated grades (money) start to form paper shells (corporations) whose sole purpose is to maximize profits for those who already have accumulated grades (money). Those with accumulated grades (money) accumulate even more.

Those with accumulated grades (money) use their wealth to influence government to declare that these paper shells (corporations) are actually people who have the same rights as flesh and blood people. Those with accumulated grades (money) now can spend unlimited money to further influence the government.

Those with accumulated grades (money) use their now unlimited influence on government to provide these paper shells (corporations) with massive amounts of taxpayer subsidies with corporate welfare spending eclipsing general welfare spending.

Those with accumulated grades (money) fight hard to keep the grades (money) they pay to those who actually do the work as low as possible, to the point where some those who do the work cannot even provide for their families. This helps those with accumulated grades (money) to accumulate even more grades (money).

Those with accumulated grades (money) discover that they can outsource the work to other countries where they can pay the workers even less than here, and so they leave those who do the real work with a rapidly shrinking work market driving the grades (money) paid to them to even lower levels.

Those with accumulated grades (money) are now starting to feel fear because so many of those who used to do the real work are so desperate and tensions are rising. So they use their wealth to influence the government to increase the military-industrial-surveillance -security state despite the fact the liberties for all are eroded as a result, all under the ruse of patriotism.

Conclusion:
Now that we have seen the worst that unbridled socialism has to offer, and the worst that unbridled capitalism has to offer, perhaps it is time to rethink our current system and to incorporate the best of each system. A balance is needed. Those partisans who only see one of these two stories remain the obstacles to real change that will benefit everyone.

The Trillion Dollar Coin: What You Really Need to Know

January 16, 2013 2 comments

Recently a novel idea began circulating in the Washington Beltway that the government could print a $1 Trillion coin and use that to fund its operations in the absence of an agreement on the raising of the debt ceiling. This idea certainly sounds like it came from fantasyland, but if one follows it carefully through to its logical conclusion, it will shine a light on our current monetary system and how it is fundamentally unsustainable. The floating of the $trillion coin has inadvertently opened up a window not just to reform, but to transform our monetary system. The resulting transformational consequences would be welcomed by all political perspectives.

The idea here is that the Treasury Dept has the legal right to issue such a coin, deposit the coin in an account at the Federal Reserve, and then draw upon the account to fund projects approved by Congress. This idea hits at the heart of the power structure across the planet, which has at its core, the ability to create money out of thin air. Currently our entire money supply is created out of thin air by private banks which in turn charge interest on that money. There are many people who, because of its official sounding name, think the Federal Reserve is a branch or part of the U.S. government. However, they are very mistaken. The Federal Reserve is no more federal than Federal Express. The Federal Reserve is simply a [powerful] cartel of private banks with an official sounding name that has usurped the right to print our money, a power bestowed upon Congress in the Constitution by the founding fathers.

“Article I Section 8: The Congress shall have the power to coin money”

FoundingFathersSo what replaced the system that the founding fathers originally intended? In 1913, the passage of the Federal Reserve Act granting the Federal Reserve the legal authority to issue Federal Reserve Notes. When President Wilson signed the bill, he declared it the “first of a series of constructive acts to aid business”. In fact the only business it aided was that of the private banks. The system was designed from its inception to ensure that every dollar that came into existence had to be borrowed from this private cartel of banks called the Federal Reserve.

So what most people also do not know is that every single dollar in circulation has to be borrowed by somebody. In other words, the entire money supply is DEBT BASED and someone is paying interest on that debt to the private bankers. In fact the total cost for 2012 for just servicing the interest on the U.S. government debt was an astounding $359 billion and $454 billion the year before. The interest on our debt for those two years exceeds the entire stimulus bill of 2009.  Think of what we could do with that much money every year: transportation, healthcare, modernizing the electric grid, education, research, are just a few examples that quickly come to mind.

It becomes very easy to see that the ability to collect interest on the national debt involves huge sums of money being paid out to those with the power to create our money and that these people will do almost anything to make sure that things remain exactly as they are. That is why they encourage their corporate controlled media to ridicule the $trillion coin idea as something out of a fantasy tale, or having the talking heads echoing that investors will be spooked, and broadcasting that the world will think that the U.S. has totally lost its marbles.

So how exactly does this idea of printing a $1 trillion coin threaten their power? If the U.S. government does issue such a coin, it will simply be issuing its own currency as the founding fathers originally wrote into the Constitution, bypassing the need to borrow the money from the private bankers. This is what threatens their extremely privileged position. NO INTEREST WILL BE PAID TO THEM ON THIS MONEY!

The question NOT being asked by the corporate media shills is that if the U.S. government can issue its own interest free money in the form of a $trillion coin, then why is it borrowing the money at interest instead?

One can therefore think of the idea of issuing a $trillion dollar coin as being equivalent to the idea of the government printing its own money. The philosophy and result are essentially the same.

Think about this: if you had the LEGAL right to print your own money would you:

1. print your own money to pay your bills?

2. borrow money at interest from the private banks to pay your bills?

Of course any sane person would print their own money. Yet here we have the unimaginable stupidity of a government with the ability to print its own interest and debt free money. Instead chooses to borrow that money at interest. Astoundingly, the corporate controlled media is not asking why this practice continues.

It actually gets even worse. It costs the government 4 cents to print a bill of any denomination, for the paper, labor, ink equipment maintenance etc. It does not matter whether the bill is $1, $5, $20, or $100, the cost is the same.  So if you were the one printing totalprintingcoststhis legal money, the last 4 bills mentioned would have cost you 16 cents to print.  Now can you imagine the totally absurd notion of  you taking these 4 bills to your banker, selling it to them for the cost of printing (16 cents), and then borrowing it back at face value ($126) with interest charges? This is the height of lunacy, and yet this is exactly what our government does. The Treasury Dept prints the bills, delivers them to the Federal Reserve branch offices, charges them for the cost of printing, and then borrows this money back at face value with interest. Ask yourself why the corporate controlled media is not covering this story.

Henry Ford once wrote: “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

The fatal flaw in our monetary system is that every dollar has to be borrowed into existence, then this money is extinguished once the loan is paid back. So there is a balance here? Wrong! If you borrow $1000, you add $1000 to the money supply. When you pay the loan back, you extinguish the $1000. The problem is where does the money to pay the interest come from? There is not enough money in circulation to repay both the principal and the interest. This lies at the very heart of our deficit problem. Someone has to borrow money into circulation to cover the costs of your interest payments. The amount of debt in our system must continue to grow in order to service the interest payments on the original debt. So the more the debt grows, the more interest payments needed, the more that must be borrowed to pay that interest, the more debt grows. The fact the U.S. is trillions in deficit is by design. In reality it is impossible to repay this debt. When you hear those clueless people talking about paying off the debt, it cannot be done. If we paid off the entire debt, we would have no money in circulation.

Pretty clever system these money masters have created for themselves, keeping the nation and its people in perpetual debt slavery and getting paid interest for something they created out of thin air, something they never owned, something the Constitution never gave them the right to do. The result of the unsustainability of our current system is that ultimately the amount of debt overhang will become so huge that the system will collapse in on itself. There are many including myself who believe that we are approaching that end point.

InterestOnUS-DeabtThere are those who say that if the government printed this $trillion coin (government printed its own debt free money) that inflation would skyrocket. I have already read hyperbolic articles about the U.S. becoming the next Zimbabwe or Weimar Republic. The reality is that this money would be deposited in an account at the Federal Reserve and could only be spent for expenditures that had been approved by Congress. Since no money would reach circulation without congressionally approved expenditures, it would not add to inflation anymore than the current system of borrowing the money to finance our expenditures. Actually the use of an interest free $1 trillion coin would help lower inflation by eliminating the costs of paying interest to the private bankers while money could enter into circulation the same way as it does currently.

The talking heads on the corporate media blabber about how the $trillion dollar coin (government printing its own debt free money) would scare investors. How would investors be scared when they see that U.S. government would no longer have to pay interest on any new money it created? The money supply could now grow to facilitate economy activity and it would be interest free. The chart to the right from the Treasury Direct website shows the huge costs of serving the interest payments to the private bankers and yet this could all be avoided if the government simply printed its own debt free money. Over 8 trillion dollars!

The “experts” in the corporate media ridicule the idea of the coin (government printing its own debt free money) and say that nothing like this has ever been done before. That would not be accurate either.

In fact during our colonial days, our government did fund its operations by issuing colonial scrip. Our colonies were flourishing at this time and because the government was printing its own money, there was no need for income taxes. (By the way, it is not a coincidence that the Federal Income tax was instituted just before the Federal Reserve Act because the bankers know that the government would need the revenue to pay for the interest on its money supply and debt.) The colonial governments would issue this colonial scrip to pay their debts. There were some colonies that printed too many and suffered inflation, but most were judicious in their creation. Once the British bankers became aware of this colonial prosperity and how their debt based money system was being bypassed, they petitioned King George to forbid the colonies to issue their own currency. Since the bankers controlled the monarchy then, much as they control our government today, their wishes were granted. This quickly resulted in not enough circulating money to facilitate economic activity and the colonies quickly entered into a deep depression. It was this economic depression that was the driving force for the American Revolution.

Another time that the U.S. government printed its own money was during the civil war. The bankers tried to extort interest rates from Lincoln of 24% to 36% to finance the war.

“I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.”

Abraham Lincoln

Instead of acquiescing to the bankers, Lincoln courageously started printing Greenbacks to finance the war saving the nation huge future interest payments. In fact the Greenbacks were so popular with the people that a political party formed called the Greenback Party. In the end, we all know what happened to Lincoln.

Not a Federal Reserve NoteAnother time the U.S. government  printed its own money was in 1963 under Kennedy’s Executive Order  No. 11110 that returned to the U.S. government the power to issue currency, without going through the Federal Reserve. This order instructed the Treasury to print bills against any silver inventory held by the government. There were billions of these certificates printed and they were known as United States Notes and they were all interest free. Some of you may remember some of these bills as they had a red seal, rather than the more common green seal of the Federal Reserve Notes. These United States Notes represented a mortal threat to the Federal Reserve System, and we all know what happened to Kennedy 5 months later.

After the Kennedy assassination, no more interest free United States Notes were issued. The Executive Order was never repealed by any U.S. President, This Executive Order is still valid, yet no president Republican or Democrat has ever utilized it!

Think about this, much of the $16 trillion in debt that was created since the Kennedy assassination has been because of the interest payments on the debt. If any subsequent president had found the courage to use Executive Order 1110, our current level of debt would be magnitudes smaller. We would not be in the same mess we are in now. So when you hear people talking about needing budget cuts in order to solve our problems and leaving a legacy of debt to our children, you are listening to people who do not understand our monetary system, or worse, they are supporters of the current system of debt that can never be paid off with the resulting perpetual interest payments to the private bankers. The better solution would be to have the government issuing its own money, debt free. Now that would be a great “gift” to our children and grandchildren!

One very valid point made by critics of having the government being able to issue its own money is that there will be nothing to restrain the government from simply overspending. In reality, banker issued debt money has also done little to limit government spending. The mechanism we have currently for that now is the congressionally approved debt ceiling, however flawed that is. Any move towards government issued money could be met by congressionally mandated structures to prevent runaway spending. At the least, if we did not have to deal with the interest payments, our spending would be significantly less than it is currently and that would help cut the deficit significantly.

decliningDollarWhen you hear all the propaganda on the corporate media ridiculing the $trillion coin idea (government printing its own debt free money) and saying how it will harm the economy and the markets, ask yourself, who is benefiting from the current arrangement and who is this person trying to persuade you?  They will tell you that this is inflationary. The truth of the matter is that the current system is inflationary. The chart shows how the value of the dollar has eroded since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913.

If the government wishes to build a bridge it has to pay those who supply the materials and those who supply the labor. This is expected and normal. However, the irony is that the government pays more to the financiers of the project than to those who supply the materials and the labor. Most people will recognize this with their home mortgages where the final cost of paying off a mortgage far exceeds the original sale price of the home because of interest charges. The unproductive bankers make far more money than the producers, the builders, and suppliers. What is wrong with this picture?

Money being spent on infrastructure projects creates wealth and since this wealth is balanced by the money being placed into circulation, there would be no inflationary effect. In fact by eliminating the financing costs of these infrastructure projects, you actually lower the price of every public project, reducing inflation.

The practical effects of the government printing its own money are not limited to the federal level. While states cannot explicitly print their currency, they can leverage the money they do have by utilizing the existing [deeply flawed] Fractional Reserve Lending system. States can create their own banks and use them to fund their projects at either no or very low interest rates. As discussed earlier, by eliminating the costs of obtaining money through the financiers, the cost of public projects is cut by almost half.  Ellen Brown, in her book “Web of Debt” outlines how the bankers have a stranglehold on our economy and how one state has created its own bank, the Bank of North Dakota.  If you have not read this book, then you probably do not understand our debt based monetary system. (Disclosure: I have no economic interest or benefit in promoting this book.)

This bank is popular with both Democratic and Republican legislators in the state of North Dakota.  This idea is starting to catch fire and 20 states are now considering some form of state banking legislation. By having a state owned bank that uses the fractional reserve lending system to create its own money out of thin air interest free, the state of North Dakota has a resource that is counter-cyclical, meaning it is capable of reducing the negative impact of recessions. They can make money available for local governments and businesses precisely when private banks decrease lending. This bank has existed for 90 years and remained stable during the financial crisis. The Bank of North Dakota is one key reason why the state has weathered the crisis better than most, has the lowest unemployment in the country, and has a current budget surplus.

Our current debt based money system is at the very heart of the poverty, debt, and economic problems facing our country and our world. The bankers have enriched themselves because we allowed them to both print our money and collect interest on it. The bankers have impoverished the people because they can print our money and collect interest on it.  The bankers have usurped our government because they have accumulated such wealth at the expense of the rest us and essentially made the politicians their paid servants. They then use those politicians to rig the system against the working people. The result is a Congress with extremely low approval ratings.  These facts are recognized by people across all political perspectives, from Democrat to Republican, from the Tea Party to Occupy. This not a Liberal cause, this is not a Conservative case, this is a Common Cause. We need to take back our government from the money masters and make it serve the people instead of the bankers.

DebtBasedMoneyHow can patriots allow such a system to exist? If we can print our own money by passing the banker middlemen, we will solve so many other problems that are symptoms of our debt based money system. Unemployment will drop, deficits will drop, poverty will drop, inflation will drop, and bank induced problems such as recessions and depressions will be alleviated. We all have our pet issues and they all have validity, but if we can unite together on this one issue, many of the other issues will be solved by themselves with a government that is responsive to the people, not the bankers and corporations, and a monetary system free of burden of debt so the needs of people and business can be met efficiently.

We need to start laying the foundations of a movement to change our monetary system BEFORE the inevitable next crisis. People need to become aware that there was once a better system in the past and that it is possible to have that again. This can be accomplished through education, independent media, social networks, and word of mouth. It is time to end the illusion that our current debt based money system works for the benefit of everyone. The discussion on the $trillion dollar coin provides us with a starting point to make that change possible.

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of currency, first by inflation [bubbles], then by deflation [recession or depression], the banks and the corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property, until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Thomas Jefferson

It is time for patriots to take a break from mass entertainment, corporate media propaganda, and to become more familiar with the concept of a “wealth based” money system. These are some good places to start:

Sign the petition on the White House website to have the government print its own debt free money
http://wh.gov/m4co

Review: The White House petition website states that if any petition reaches a threshold of 25,000, it must respond to it. President Obama is surrounded by “expert advisors” who are linked to the current system of unrepayable debt with perpetual interest payments to the bankers, and they certainly will not be pushing this issue. However if enough people sign the petition, he may become aware of it.

The free YouTube video: “Secret of OZ”, by Bill Still

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swkq2E8mswI

Review: Having  private banks create money is the root economic cause of world poverty, ignorance, hunger, and much preventable disease. We can fix this. We can fix it in a matter of months — a year at most – if we have the will. We can make our government the most financially sound in the world — nearly overnight. All we have to do is to take back the power to create and control the quantity of money from private banks (including the privately-owned Federal Reserve banks) and put that power back into the hands of the Congress of the United States where it was under Presidents Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln.

The book: “The Web of Debt” by Ellen Brown

http://www.webofdebt.com/

Review: Ellen Hodgson Brown may have done the impossible. She wrote a book about the most stupefying subject in the world – money, where it comes from and how it is manipulated – and made it readable, compelling, even suspenseful. Web of Debt is a page-turner that explains the origin of the Federal Reserve, the functioning of our money supply, currency speculation, capital flows, and the rest. As you read, interest grows like a Wall Street bonus package.

The book: “Modern Money Secrets” by Byron Dale

http://www.wealthmoney.org/modern-money-secrets/

Review: For the first time ever, I see a potential solution to our debt black hole.  Most financial “experts” don’t get it.  The Ivy League ones get lost in flawed neoclassical economics so they can’t see the obvious, and the ones wearing suits on TV are just propagandists.  Byron makes it real clear: no money gets into circulation without going into debt to a bank.  There is no other source.  The United States issues no sovereign money!  Therefore Americans are not free people.  It is time for us to admit the truth and either do something about it, or stop blowing up stuff on the 4th of July believing a myth.

The organization: The Public Banking Institute

http://publicbankinginstitute.org/

Since its founding little more than a year ago, the Public Banking Institute has become a significant force that is helping to turn banking and finance away from fraud and predation back toward their intended objectives of promoting general prosperity and the common good. According to the PBI website, PBI’s vision is to establish a distributed network of state and local publicly-owned banks that create affordable credit, while providing a sustainable alternative to the current high-risk centralized private banking system. (beyondmoney.net)

The organization: American Monetary Institute

http://www.monetary.org/the-need-for-monetary-reform/2009/09

The power to create money is an awesome power – at times stronger than the Executive, Legislative and Judicial powers combined. It’s like having a “magic check book,” where checks can’t bounce. When controlled privately it can be used to gain riches, but much more importantly it determines the direction of our society by deciding where the money goes – what gets funded and what does not. Will it be used to build and repair vital infrastructure such as the New Orleans levees and Minneapolis bridges to protect major cities? Or will it go into warfare and real estate loans creating the real estate bubble – leading to a crash and depression.

A Thief Lurks in the Shadows: Stealth of the Trans Pacific Partnership

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment

A Thief Lurks in the Shadows: Stealth of the Trans Pacific Partnership

Experienced thieves do not want attention focused on their acts, so they employ diversions to misdirect attention. We are currently in the midst of such a diversion while a colossal theft of national resources, dwarfing anything we could imagine, takes place while no one is watching.

The diversion is the spectacle of the conventions of the two major political parties in the US. The corporate controlled media presents these conventions as evidence of our democracy when in reality they are nothing more than circuses fully staffed with carnival barkers, clowns, and feats of political strength, all designed to impress feeble minds with the pomp and pageantry. These ostentatious events where the party’s preselected nominee is anointed by adoring crowds will cost the taxpayers over $136 million for the convention and security costs.

Most people watching this mindless drivel on television think that the politicians are the stars of this show. However, it is really the corporations, lobbyists, and self serving special interest groups that are the VIPs here. These are the money men that will pay for the extravagant parties and contribute to campaigns because they want something back. They appreciate this diversion from the real theft that will be taking place while the masses focus on the convention circus  extravaganza.

The real theft that is taking place is in the form of secret negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. If you have not heard of this so called trade agreement before, that is by design. This agreement has been negotiated IN SECRET for 2-1/2 years and no information has ever been released until this leak. So why have the details of this negotiation been so secret? This agreement has been framed as a “free trade” agreement and yet out of 26 chapters only two have anything to do with trade. The other 24 chapters grant new corporate privileges and rights, while limiting governments and protective regulations.  The only way this agreement could ever be passed is if the details never see the light of day, or if people continue their sleep as our national sovereignty is dismantled. Over 600 corporate lobbyists have had input to and access to the details in these secret negotiations, and yet access has withheld from Congress or the public.

If implemented, this agreement will hard code corporate dominance over sovereign governments into international law that will supersede any federal, state, or local laws of any member country. Some of the provisions in this document include the establishment of tribunals outside of any country’s legal system to be administered by 3 attorneys with no conflict of interest limitations. This 3 attorney tribunal could order sovereign governments to use taxpayer money to pay these transnational corporations for any environmental or regulatory costs that these corporations expended to meet local standards. Many existing laws would need to be rewritten and no new regulatory laws could be passed. This agreement is more dangerous and has even greater implications than the Citizens United ruling.

The kangaroo courts setup by this TPP agreement will have binding corporate guarantees with both trade and cash sanctions. These cash sanctions would effectively transfer taxpayer money to transnational corporate coffers.  Can you imagine the excesses we will see in the financial industry as they challenge regulations within their own private court system forcing governments to pay or eliminate them? The result of these corporate tribunals will be to setup a race to the bottom, where if one country chooses not to regulate something, then this creates a precedent, allowing corporations to sue the other nations inside of the TPP that do control or regulate and have their taxpayers cover their losses for any such regulations. These other countries would be vulnerable to corporate led lawsuits to be decided in the corporate tribunals.  This is nothing less than a global corporate coup against all sovereign states.

These are just some of the corporate wish list items in this agreement, enforced by the corporate tribunals:

*offshoring of millions of American jobs through special investor protections
*loosening of financial regulations instituted after the 2008 crash
*significant lengthening of patent protection for big Pharma, resulting in higher drug prices
*corporate attacks on environmental, worker safety, health standards
*limits on food labeling
*new versions of SOPA, ACTA and CISPA Internet control legislation

In summary, this crime is taking place while the political conventions diversion keeps people from paying attention. What we have here is a confluence of forces that has the potential to solidify a shift towards total global corporate control and to encase it in international law. Governments will merely be the tools of our corporations and will serve to provide a degree of separation between the corporations and the masses when the inevitable police response will be needed to enforce this agreement.

What Can You Do?
We need to end the secret TPP negotiations. Demonstrating at the conventions, rather than at these negotiations is a misdirection of resources.  Attention paid to the convention circuses, with their elephants and jackasses marching in circles to the commands of their corporate ringmasters, diverts attention away from the real crime.

Until we bring this process into public view, there is the danger that it will be passed quickly and secretly with little or no congressional or public input. Once the details of these agreements are made public, the TPP will be defeated, or at the very least modified significantly.

We need people to show up at the Leesburg, Virginia negotiations. A large rally that has been endorsed by over 2 dozen organizations has been planned for Sunday September 9. The independent media will be there. We have reached a crossroad where either we allow the corporations to take control of our nations, or we stop them in their attempts. Take an evening off from the TV and make the effort to make a difference so that you leave your children and grandchildren a better future. Don’t expect others to do this vital task for you.

For more information on this rally, please visit:
http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/

Educate yourself about the TPP. Your future and that of your children depends on what you do. Some sites with more information include:
http://www.citizen.org/tpp
http://www.straight.com/article-688656/vancouver/prointernet-community-must-fight-tpp-weekly-update-openmediaca
http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article35265.html

Rudy Avizius
http://www.endtheillusion.org

If you Like NAFTA, You’ll Love TPP

August 24, 2012 6 comments

We, the transnational corporations and the ruling elites are on the verge of a wonderful new dawn bringing us immense power and untold wealth.

We have been secretly negotiating a new agreement called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) with the United States Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam and are nearing completing the final details of this agreement. We have had 600 of our corporate lobbyists providing input and have successfully excluded Congress, our own corporate media, and the general public from the negotiations. Once implemented, this agreement will hard code corporate dominance over sovereign governments into international law that will supercede any federal, state, or local laws of any member country. This agreement will grant new corporate privileges and rights, while limiting governments and protective regulations. This agreement will far exceed anything we have been able to achieve with NAFTA, CAFTA, or any other free trade agreement.

TPP What you don't know, will hurt youThe details contained in this agreement will result in total corporate global governance . In this new system the role of elected governments will be to serve as subservient agents for our interests. The institutions under governments such as the armies, police, and courts will also serve our interests, while being financed by the taxpayers of that country. The status of the member states will be locked-in, similar to countries once they are inside the Eurozone.

In the past, we had to deal with environmental regulations, financial regulations, worker safety regulations and other issues that have always brought down the profits we worked so hard to earn and are rightfully ours. Once this agreement passes, these regulations will actually have the potential of increasing our wealth. Some of the provisions in this agreement include the establishment of corporate controlled tribunals to be administered by 3 attorneys with no conflict of interest limitations. These 3 attorney tribunals, which will be controlled by us, will have the power to order sovereign governments to use taxpayer money to pay us and our agents for any environmental or regulatory costs that our transnational corporations expended to meet local standards. We can literally expect to have long term taxpayer revenue streams that will flow into our coffers. At the very least, many existing laws would need to be rewritten and no new regulatory laws could be passed.

With this wonderful new agreement, governments that venture to pass regulations such as limits on the financial industry using risky bets such as derivatives would have the burden of proof to defend such regulations in a tribunal system controlled by us, and staffed by our lawyers and judges. The judges in these tribunals could order the government to use taxpayers’ money to pay damages should one of our transnational corporations prevail in one of our “private courts”. In the past, we have received over $350 million of taxpayer money under the NAFTA style agreements, because of zoning laws, toxic bans, timber rules and other regulations. It is our expectation that this figure will be dwarfed by future payments. This TPP agreement is like NAFTA on steroids. These tribunals setup by this TPP agreement will have binding corporate guarantees with both trade and cash sanctions. These cash sanctions would also effectively transfer taxpayer money to transnational corporate coffers. Can you imagine how much money we will have flowing into our pockets as we challenge regulations within our own private court system forcing governments to pay for our lost profits or to eliminate them? This agreement will essentially strip governments of their sovereignty and make them answerable to our tribunals.

Corporate MilitaryThe result of these corporate tribunals will be to setup a race to the bottom, where if one country chooses not to regulate something, then the corporations would be able to sue the other nations inside of the TPP to have taxpayers cover their losses for any such regulations. These other countries would be vulnerable to corporate led lawsuits to be decided in the corporate tribunals. In order to protect our interests , we could potentially have the ability to utilize the publicly funded militaries of some member states to wage war on other “less compliant” states.

So how could such an extreme agreement that literally gives corporations and us ruling elites everything we could possibly want have been negotiated with little or no resistance? The answer is that the ONLY way this agreement could ever pass is if everything is done in secret, continues to remain secret, and the details never see the light of day.

In that regard, we must do everything in our power to be sure that the general public does not become aware of this agreement or the details before we are ready for a vote. Since our main stream media will represent our interests, we do not need to concern ourselves much about them. However, unfortunately some of the independent media, over which we have little control at this time, is starting to make waves on this issue. Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch recently said in this video:

“These agreements are a little bit like Dracula. You drag them in the sunshine, and they do not fare well. But all of us, and also across all of the countries involved, there are citizen movements that are basically saying that this is not in our name. We don’t need global enforceable corporate rights. We need more democracy. We need more accountability.”

Can you believe the audacity of that statement? It is as if she believes that people should have say in such matters in which they do not have our expertise and could offer no intelligent input. It is as if she believes that limits should be placed on our profits that we worked so hard for.

We have heard that demonstrations are being planned for our next TPP negotiating session that will be held September 6-15 in Leesburg, VA. Information about these negotiations is being circulated on the Internet and we need to do everything we can to stop them or at least limit their attendance and coverage by the independent media. The police need to be informed that they have our permission to employ aggressive tactics against any demonstrators and will not suffer any consequences for unlawful behavior. If necessary, we can plant provocateurs into the crowds to insure a robust police response and to provide fodder for our corporate media.

In the future, once this agreement has been ratified, Internet censorship regulations will be passed that are much stronger than the previous ones we tried to pass, such as ACTA, SOPA, and PIPA. This will lock down the Internet so we can use it for our purposes, as has been successfully done in other countries. Once this has been accomplished, the public masses will have no alternatives except for our controlled media. They will comply when they hear our logic. No one will take the time to investigate. This is why it is so important to make sure that this agreement does not see the light of day.

Once the negotiations have been finalized, the control we have over the elected officials will ensure that this bill passes. We will use every weapon in our vast arsenal to make sure that we get the votes we need. Some elected officials will respond to campaign contributions. Others may need to be threatened. Thanks to the enlightened Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling allowing unlimited anonymous money to flow into negative ads, we will use these new tools to prevail against anyone who opposes us on the TPP in the next election. We are fortunate that the opinions of the gullible masses are so easily and effectively swayed by watching these negative ads put on by us. To further ensure that the agreement is not altered, we must make sure that the TTP receives fast track status. That way no rogue legislator can make amendments or changes, or try to filibuster the agreement. It will be a simple up and down roll call vote.

We are also fortunate in that regardless of the election results in November, it will make no difference who wins. The agreement will be signed by whoever is president. This agreement was negotiated under Obama, so he will certainly sign it. Romney has also stated that he wants this agreement finalized as quickly as possible so he can sign it as well. Only if a 3rd party candidate wins will this be a problem. Our media will work hard to make sure that does not happen.

Polls show that most Americans from both major political parties believe that money exerts far too much influence on public officials. They believe that this effectively makes these elected officials the “hired servants” of the wealthy elites. This sort of popular belief works against our interests. Unfortunately, both the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement also believe that there is too much influence of money on our legislators. While government representatives are essentially our puppets, we will need to be sure that we keep the electorate divided. We still need to continue to work on both the left and the right and create wedge issues that will keep them focused on each other, not on what we are trying to accomplish here. We need each of them to question the patriotism of the other side. We need each of them to make derogatory remarks about each other, even if we need to hire someone to inject them for us. This has worked well in the past and there is no reason to expect it will not work again.

In summary, what we have here is a confluence of forces that has the potential to solidify a shift towards total global corporate control and to encase it in international law. Governments will merely be the tools of our corporations and will serve to provide a degree of separation between us and the masses when the inevitable police response will be needed to enforce this agreement.

Clarification:

I have found that writing in the perspective of the opposite side, some people just do not “get it”. Some believe that such writing is literally my belief. To those people:
I do not believe that the TPP is good for the country.
I do not support the transnational corporate agenda.
I do not support surrendering our sovereign rights to an external tribunal.
This article was written specifically from the elites’ perspective to inform people of the great dangers this TPP represents.

What Can You Do?

We need to end the secret TPP negotiations
Until we bring this process into public view, there is the danger that it will be passed quickly and secretly with little or no congressional or public input. Once the details of these agreements are made public, the TPP will be defeated, or at the very least modified significantly.

We need people to show up at the Leesberg, Virginia negotiations. A large rally that has been endorsed by over 2 dozen organizations has been planned for Sunday September 9. The independent media will be there. We have reached a crossroad where either we allow the corporations to take control of our nations, or we stop them in their attempts. Take an evening off from the TV and make the effort to make a difference so that you leave your children and grandchildren a better future. Don’t expect others to do this vital task for you. YOU need to be there, there may be the last negotiation session before this agreement is finalized. If this passes, there will be no turning back.

For more information on this rally, please visit:
http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/

Educate yourself about the TPP. Your future and that of your children depends on what you do. Some sites with more information include:
http://www.citizen.org/tpp
http://www.straight.com/article-688656/vancouver/prointernet-community-must-fight-tpp-weekly-update-openmediaca

Rudy Avizius
http://www.endtheillusion.org

A Better Way To Finance Public Projects

In a local newspaper I recently read an article regarding how a school district was looking to “refinance” their outstanding bonds in an effort to reduce the interest burden on their debt. In the same issue I read how another school district expends nearly $2,000,000 yearly just to pay the interest burden on their debt.

Clearly our school systems face a considerable interest burden on their debts. It is already a matter of public record that US municipalities, school districts, and pension funds were victims of fraud due to the rigging of the commission bids as laid out in an article called “The Scam Wall St Learned from the Mafia” by Matt Taibbi. Many of these municipalities, schools, or other entities were also the victims of a type of derivative called Interest Rate Swaps where the big banks induced them to gamble with public money on the direction of the market, but the end result was often that the “bet” went bad. A great example of this was Jefferson County in Alabama where the original cost for a sewer project was estimated at $250 million and ended up indebting the county $5 BILLION. Since we do not know all the details, it is difficult at this time to determine specifically how many states, counties, municipalities, and school districts may have been victims of financial fraud which resulted in an increased debt burden paid by the taxpayers as a result of the LIBOR rate rigging scandal that is still unfolding.

Consider this…, when a municipality or school district wishes to do a repair, a capital improvement or infrastructure project, the amount of money paid in interest costs to the financiers exceeds the amount of money paid to those who supply the materials and do the labor on the project. Most people should feel angered by this. Why should those who simply move money around, make more money than those who produce the materials and do the actual labor on the project? Most readers can probably relate to this personally because the interest burden of financing the purchase of their homes causes the final total cost of the purchase to far exceed the original cost of home itself. There needs to be a better system of financing public projects.

Perhaps engaging in creative thinking would result in cheaper financing of public projects. Proposed solutions still center on using conventional or Wall Street financing instead of looking to alternative sources. Well, there is a better way and it can provide any sized government or community entity with financing at zero or near zero interest. One needs only to look at the Bank of North Dakota (BND) for a solution, which is currently the only state-owned bank in the country. This bank has been in existence for 92 years and has a history of safe, secure, and highly profitable banking. In fact North Dakota has a budget surplus, much of which can be attributed to the reduced borrowing costs of public projects. The BND’s purpose is to provide loans to build economic capacity within the state. Examples include loans to state entities in the form of low cost loans to municipalities, schools, small businesses, agriculture, infrastructure projects, and students. The BND does not imperil state funds or tax money but is self-funding and self-sustaining. The BND enjoys broad political support from both major parties inside of North Dakota.

A public bank can be state wide or can be started or acquired by any sized government or community. It could extend county wide, allowing municipalities and other public entities access to its credit. It could be a consortium of school districts that form their own bank to save financing costs for large projects or purchases such as Haddonfield is considering. It could also be a consortium of colleges and universities seeking to reduce their interest costs which is currently driving the huge debt burden of higher education for students. Some might criticize this as “socialism”, but the system we currently have is “socialism”, where the big bank profits are kept by the banks, and the losses are subsidized by the taxpayers. The biggest advantage of a public bank is that public entities could access the resources of the bank to obtain zero or near zero interest loans. The bank would have access to the Federal Reserve discount window which makes loans available to banks currently at approximately .25% interest. This significant savings could be passed on to the loan seekers. Any profits generated by the bank are recycled back into its operation allowing it to charge the lowest rates possible. By keeping the profits inside of public coffers instead of sending them to Wall Street, the taxpayers are saved most of the costs of public projects by eliminating the financiers.

The costs associated with running a public bank are significantly lower than those for the large Wall Street banks because the employees are public workers and are not paid exorbitant salaries and multi-million dollar bonuses. A public bank is also counter-cyclical, meaning that is can extend credit precisely when private banks are reducing their credit availability and credit is most needed. A public bank is economically sustainable because they are run by professional bankers, operating transparently according to applicable banking principles. By returning credit income to the community in the form of near zero interest rates, the pressure for tax increases is reduced.

So why has this not been done outside of North Dakota? Inertia is a major force. Most commissioners, business administrators, treasurers, and others who handle local finance are not familiar with the concept of public banking. There are also the vested money interests on Wall Street who do not want to see their cash cow removed and they vigorously oppose any moves to initiate public banks or to advertise their advantages. Despite this, the momentum for public banking has been increasing with fourteen states now having either introduced bills to form state-owned banks or to do feasibility studies. The bills were introduced in Oregon, Washington State, Massachusetts, Arizona, Maryland, New Mexico, Maine, California, Montana, and New York. They join Illinois, Virginia, Hawaii, and Louisiana which introduced bills in 2010. Washington and Oregon commissioned the Center for State Innovation based in Madison Wisconsin to do a detailed analysis and it concluded that “state-owned banks would have a positive impact on employment, new lending, and state and local government revenue.” This is a viable solution.

As a former teacher for 15 years and a school administrator for 16 years, I have seen the devastating effect that budget cuts have had on our educational programs. During my time as an administrator, due to budget pressures I witnessed the elimination of the following programs and personnel in the school district where I was employed: Wood Shop, Home Economics, Metal Shop, Child Care Program, Cooperative Industrial Experience (work-study), Print Shop, Philosophy, Auto Shop, elementary librarians, the entire Business Department, Technology Lab, and Carpentry. There were also reductions in the following programs: Art, Music, Performing Arts, and Foreign Language. The loss of these enrichment programs degrades our educational offerings and leaves our society at a distinct disadvantage to other countries where the curriculum is more robust. Don’t we want more for our children and our country’s future?

Isn’t it time to redirect interest payments back into our schools? Isn’t it time to lower debt costs for local governments? Isn’t it time to cut the costs of infrastructure projects in half? Isn’t it time to invest local dollars into the local economy? Isn’t it time for interest payments for public projects to be returned back to be used for tax reduction instead of going into the pockets of the Wall Street bankers or to tax havens in Switzerland or the Cayman Islands?

So how can we make this happen? Taxpayers need to go to their town councils, their school boards, their county commissioners and ask them if public banking is being considered. If the answer is no, then ask why not? Ask these questions, do not accept “no” as an answer. If you are told that you do not understand these things, tell them to make you understand.

To those public officials who are truly interested in serving their communities better: be bold, be innovative, and empower your communities. We owe this to our fellow citizens, our children and our future. To learn more about the possibilities that that public banking offers, to learn how to get started, and where to find help in implementation, visit the following site:
http://publicbankinginstitute.org/advantages.htm

Rudy Avizius
http://www.endtheillusion.org

Rudy Avizius has been researching and writing articles on economic and social issues for over 10 years. He is concerned that our current path is not sustainable economically, socially and environmentally and that the time for real change is rapidly running out. He has also been a guest speaker on several radio talk shows in the US and internationally.

New World Order Blueprint Leaked

New World Order Blueprint Leaked

On June 12, a leaked copy of the investment chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was made public. This copy was analyzed by Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and has been verified as authentic.  This agreement has been negotiated IN SECRET for 2-1/2 years and no information has ever been released until this leak. So why have the details of this negotiation been so secret? This agreement has been framed as a “free trade” agreement and yet out of 26 chapters only two have anything to do with trade. The other 24 chapters grant new corporate privileges and rights, while limiting governments and protective regulations.

New World OrderIf implemented, this agreement will hard code corporate dominance over sovereign governments into international law that will supercede any federal, state, or local laws of any member country. This document alone should set alarm bells ringing, but if one steps back and looks at the larger picture, the future ramifications look even more ominous. After completing this reading, see what your conclusions are.

This video is a must see for anyone who wishes to more fully understand the implications of this secretly negotiated agreement. This article will also show how if this agreement is considered in the context of other recently passed legislation and developments, and the “dots are connected”, the results would be total corporate global governance with an accompanying police state. In this new system the role of elected  governments would be to serve as subservient agents for the transnational corporations, while the armies, police, and courts would serve the interests of these transnational corporations. The  status of the member states would be locked-in,  similar to countries once they are inside the Eurozone.

The TPP is being negotiated by some of the same characters that brought us NAFTA, CAFTA and other so called free trade agreements. Some of the provisions in this document include the establishment of a parallel system of justice to be administered by 3 attorneys with no conflict of interest limitations. This 3 attorney tribunal could order sovereign governments to use taxpayer money to pay these transnational corporations for any environmental or regulatory costs that these corporations expended to meet local standards. Many existing laws would need to be rewritten and no new regulatory laws could be passed.

Governments that tried to pass regulations such as limits on the financial industry using risky bets such as derivatives would have the burden of proof to defend such regulations in a court system controlled by the corporations. The taxpayers would pay should a corporation prevail in one of these “private courts”. In fact over $350 million of taxpayer money has already been paid out to corporations under the NAFTA style deals, because of zoning laws, toxic bans, timber rules and other regulations. This TPP agreement is like NAFTA on steroids. This corporate tribunal bears a resemblance to the private US Supreme Court approved  binding arbitration that corporations use to severely limit an individual’s or a group’s right to sue for damages. With binding arbitration we essentially have a “private corporate court system” outside of any government judicial system where the corporations choose the arbitrators and pay for their services. This creates an apparent conflict of interest because  the arbitrators know that if they do not rule favorably to the corporations in the majority of cases, they will not be hired back.

Corporate controlled courtsThe kangaroo courts setup by this TPP agreement will have binding corporate guarantees with both trade and cash sanctions. These cash sanctions would effectively transfer taxpayer money to transnational corporate coffers.  Can you imagine the excesses we will see in the financial industry as they challenge regulations within their own private court system forcing governments to pay or eliminate them? The result of these corporate tribunals will be to setup a race to the bottom, where if one country chooses not to regulate something, then the corporations would be able to sue the other nations inside of the TPP to have taxpayers cover their losses for any such regulations. These other countries would be vulnerable to corporate led lawsuits to be decided in the corporate tribunals.  

So how could such an extreme agreement that literally gives corporations everything they could possibly want have been negotiated with little or no resistance? The answer is that the ONLY way this agreement could ever pass is if everything is done in secret and the details never see the light of day. Lori Wallach, the director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch recently said:

“These agreements are a little bit like Dracula. You drag them in the sunshine, and they do not fare well. But all of us, and also across all of the countries involved, there are citizen movements that are basically saying that this is not in our name. We don’t need global enforceable corporate rights. We need more democracy. We need more accountability."

These talks have been so secret that Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the Trade Committee in the Senate which has jurisdiction  over trade agreements has been denied any access to information on the negotiations for over 2-1/2 years. This is a man who is on the Intelligence Committee and has access to nuclear secrets, yet he cannot see this TPP agreement? On the Democratic side, Senator Wyden has introduced legislation to force the Obama administration to make the details of these secret negotiations available to the Senate Committee. 

On the Republican side, Representative Darryl Issa has also questioned the Obama administration’s extreme levels of secrecy on this agreement. This is not a liberal cause, this is not a conservative cause, this is a common cause. It is vital that the public be aware of this TPP agreement because BOTH of the 2012 presidential candidates are supporting this agreement.   Since TPP was negotiated under the watch of the Obama administration, and Mitt Romney has indicated that he wants to quickly complete negotiations of this bill, the results of the next election will be irrelevant to the future status of this bill.

With the corporate takeover of sovereign governments, we see the very essence of a global fascist system. When most people think of fascism, they think of Hitler brown shirts marching through the streets, however, that is not the real definition of fascism. Fascism was defined by President Franklin Roosevelt:

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group”

Money controls governmentPolls show that most Americans from both major political party believe that money exerts far too much influence on public officials, effectively making these elected officials the “hired servants” of the wealthy elites. Both the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement believe that there is too much influence of money on our legislators. Our representatives are essentially the puppets while the corporate elites are the puppeteers. What this  TPP agreement does is to take this puppet metaphor to the international level. Our elections have been reduced to the people choosing who will be the “hired servants” of the power elites from a list preapproved by these same elites.

This TPP agreement is nothing less than a power grab by the largest corporations on the planet to establish a legal framework for global corporate government making all sovereign governments subject to international law enforced by corporations. Passage of this bill would essentially be corporate coup against all member states.  

So while this TPP agreement should frighten anyone who is still breathing, the threat does not end as the corporations make their ultimate grab for power. Here are some of the other forces that are potentially focusing the power of the corporate state:

National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA)

With the passage of the NDAA, our legislators overrode constitutional protections so that Americans who are “suspected” of providing “material support” to a terrorist organization can be detained indefinitely on American soil, without access to legal counsel, and without any charges being filed. Think about this for a minute, you do not even have to be charged with a crime and you can be locked up indefinitely? What exactly does “material support” mean? Exactly what is a terrorist? Some states have actually declared that people who secretly video record animal mistreatment as “terrorists”, even if no property damage was done. If nonviolent protests can be declared as terrorist acts, it does not take a great leap of the imagination to see how NDAA might be applied. Imagine if the government used NDAA legislation against journalists or whistleblowers such as Julius Assange,  Russ Tice, or even Daniel Elsberg? How will we ever know what is happening in a corporate state if the corporations are successful in indefinitely detaining those who would shed light on their activities?

This NDAA is another example of dangerous legislation being passed in darkness. This bill was signed by Obama on December 31, 2011, during the Christmas break when the media attention would be minimal. In an effort to divide the opposition to the indefinite detention of Americans, Obama promised that his administration would never use the provisions. The questions most people should be asking is: ”what is to prevent any future president or even Obama himself from using indefinite detention, and if there is no need for concern over this, why was it necessary to make that signing statement?” Progressive and conservative groups such the ACLU, Gun Owners Foundation, Tea Party Movement, Institute of the Constitution, US Justice Foundation, Tenth Amendment Center, Occupy Wall St, and many other  groups are joining forces to fight this legislation. On social media, resistance in the form of a Facebook group called “Recall Every Congressman Who Voted for NDAA” has been formed.  Now, in the context of the TPP, think of how useful this NDAA law could be to a global corporate government in silencing its critics.

Citizens United Ruling

Americans have long had a sneaking suspicion that there was a “hidden hand” directing our government in Washington and the states, and they were right. The “hidden hand” was actually the corporations, unions, and other self-serving special interests that contribute literally $billions to our politicians in order to influence legislation that will favor them. This has happened even with limits that had been placed on these groups that prevented them from directly contributing to campaigns.  Thursday January 21 2010, will go down in history as a dark day. This is the day that a divided Supreme Court, in the Citizens United v. FEC ruling, removed all limits on corporate political campaign spending. If you thought our politicians were corrupt and beholden to corporations before, things are about to get a LOT WORSE now that all limits have been removed. Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy swept aside decades of legislative restrictions on the money from corporations in political campaigns and ruled that companies can use corporate funds to support or oppose candidates. This ruling will certainly take its place in history alongside other shameful rulings such as Dred Scott v. Sandford, and Plessy v. Ferguson. These 5 justices opened the floodgates of unlimited funds to influence elections. The strangle hold the banks have over the nation’s wealth will now be amplified by this Supreme Court ruling now that all limits on campaign financing by corporations have been removed.

This black day will go rightly go down in history where the Supreme Court officially validated the takeover of the government by the corporations. The 2012 primary election cycle has already seen where approximately 4 dozen people have contributed massively to the super PACS and decided the outcome of the elections. This type of money influence will cut both ways regardless of which political party you support. One donor has stated that he is willing to spend $100 million in this election cycle. This one single donor “donated” the same amount as 2 million families sending a check for $50. This type of funding by large donors undermines the very foundation of our government and creates an environment conducive to corruption. Now in the context of the TPP, think of the impact that huge global corporations will have on governments with their ability to spend unlimited money anonymously.

Corporate domination of media

Media ownership has now become so concentrated that six corporations effectively control US media today. These companies are Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Murdoch’s News Corp, CBS Corporation, and NBC Universal.  With this type of concentration, it becomes very difficult to find diversified news in order to form independent opinions. One aspect of this concentration is the increasing number of negative political ads, many of which have no accountability as to their factual accuracy. This will end badly if we do not stop the media from undermining the foundations of our election system. This concentration of media ownership allows billionaires and corporations to ensure that the politicians who will work to pass self serving legislation favoring these wealthy elites are elected to office.

One place where the corporate media has not met with great success in controlling is the independent media on the Internet. Attempts have been made to control access to it, to create “toll system” ,  as well as extreme copyright rules. We have seen a veritable alphabet soup of acts designed to enhance corporate profits and limit the flow of information. Some examples include PIPA, SOPA,  CISPA, and it seems as soon as they are knocked down due to public resistance, another threat arises. For now, the Internet has remained free and a diverse source of information, but vigilance must be maintained.  Now, think of the effect that the loss of an open Internet and  the increasingly concentrated media ownership will have on the electorate when combined with the unlimited funding that the Citizens United ruling allows, as well as the power that the transnational corporations could gain under TPP.

Increasing Use of Drones for Domestic Surveillance

The use of drones for domestic surveillance is becoming more and more common. The FAA has approved  drones for use over the United States and projects that 30,000 drones will be over our skies by 2020. The EPA is actually using drones to monitor cattle ranchers in Iowa, police and universities are using them, and cities are using drones to keep an “eye on things”.  New much smaller drones the size of birds and insects are now in development.  These smaller drones will be cheaper to produce and deploy which will likely raise the 30,000 estimate significantly and will be much harder to detect. Under a government subservient to the corporations, these drones would effectively be controlled and “regulated” by the corporations. Can you imagine the misuse of this technology to violate any privacy we may have left and to conduct clandestine surveillance?

Militarization of  Police Forces

Militarization of policeThe militarization of our police forces is proceeding rapidly. After 9-11, the Department of Homeland Security gave generous grants to police forces across the nation. Some of the purchases  included riot gear, armored personnel carriers, and even acoustic weapons for small towns. A nexus has formed between vendors of military equipment and the nation’s police forces. There are certainly consequences to this militarization of police forces. Once a police officer is deployed into a situation with full riot gear and military training, the chances of violence increases significantly even when the protests remain peaceful. There is significant evidence of this during the Occupy demonstrations. 

The roles of police and military are totally different. The police are trained to protect lives, the military is trained to take lives. Consider how these same military trained riot police would be used when they are under the effective control of the transnational corporations and how they would be utilized to silence their critics.  

Privatization of Prisons

The privatization of prisons is expanding rapidly. In most societies prisons are run by the state where the incentive is to have fewer prisoners with a lower recidivism rate. In a private system the perverse incentive is to maximize the number of prisoners, and raise the recidivism rate  in order to maximize profits. This results in higher numbers of prisoners, broken families, poor healthcare for inmates, and few resources spent to prepare inmates to reenter society. This has contributed to the shame of the US having largest prison population on the planet whether measured in absolute numbers or on a per capita basis, with most prisoners serving time for non-violent crimes. The private for profit prison industry is growing and has actually influenced immigration legislation in Arizona in order to gain more inmates and raise profits. Think of the impact that private prisons, private policing, private contractors providing soldiers for hire, all with loyalty to $$$ instead of their country. We will quickly devolve into a fascist controlled state. This aspect of corporate control should be one of the most frightening to everyone who holds freedom and democracy dear.

Lack of Prosecution For Financial Fraud

If a criminal gets away with committing a crime, there is a strong likelihood that they will commit it again. The lack of prosecution for the major financial fraud that brought about the 2008 economic collapse almost guarantees that it will happen again. Justice Department officials have stated that these are difficult and complex cases. However, during the Savings & Loan crisis, there were thousands of successful felony convictions, despite the fact that it was 1/70 the size of the 2008 crisis. In fact when the 50 Attorneys General were close to starting their own prosecutions due to the lack of any federal action, the Obama administration stepped in and negotiated its own agreement.

To paraphrase David Petrovich, the Executive Director for Society For Preservation of Continued Homeownership:

“This agreement granted immunity to the big banks for the criminal robosigning  where they forged documents and fraudulently tried to present them in courts across the country. This was essentially another bailout of the banks only this time the bailout was not in the form of money, but rather where changes were made in the law to retroactively transform banks’ illegal behavior into legal behavior. (Watch how this concept of “retroactive” immunity comes up again.) Think about what would happen if you or I forged notarized signatures and tried to pass them off in court. We certainly would serve prison time. Yet, these huge banks were let off the hook even after forging tens of thousands of these signatures and illegally foreclosing on peoples’ homes.”<

criminal immunityWe also recently had the spectacle of the Senate Banking Committee “questioning” one of its largest donors. While wearing presidential seal cuff links, presumably to show his powerful connections, JP Morgan chair Jamie Dimon, easily handled all the softball questions asked of him.  Dimon lost over $3 billion (and growing) on risky derivative bets and yet these same senators actually had the audacity to ask him for input and advice on regulating his bank. Think about the implications of total immunity from prosecution for financial crimes in an environment where the TPP has been approved and global corporations are the effective government.

Lack of Protection for Whistleblowers

The increasing prosecution and harassment of whistleblowers has a chilling effect on government transparency . The government often prosecutes the whistleblower rather than the crime that the whistleblower reveals. The Obama campaign in 2008 promised to protect whistle blowers, but instead he has been waging a relentless war against them. Bradley Manning was declared guilty by Obama BEFORE he was even charged with any crime, yet the shooting of the journalists by the US helicopter crew and their callous statements during the shooting was ignored.  When William Binney blew the whistle on the NSA’s huge surveillance program, the FBI raided his home in an effort to quiet and intimidate him. Corporations as well as government also often retaliate against whistle blowers.  In a corporate state, how would the citizens know about the activities of the corporations if there is no protection for whistleblowers?

Corporate Spying On Americans


The information William Binney made public dramatized the huge scale of the (at that time ) illegal surveillance that was being done on Americans. It also included the fact that AT&T as well as other communication companies were deeply involved in this illegal spying on US citizens. Later, as lawsuits against the corporations started to look like they would be successful, the Obama administration claimed state secrets to kill the lawsuits.  Since the telecommunications industry is another VERY large “contributor” to political loyalists, Congress showed its gratitude  by passing legislation to grant the telecommunication companies retroactive immunity. (This concept retroactive immunity comes up again.)  The questions that should come to mind are: “if no crime was committed, why were the corporations granted retroactive immunity, or if crimes were committed, why were these corporations granted retroactive immunity?” Think of the implications of this in a corporate state, with the increasing use of smaller and smaller drones in an environment that allows corporations to legally spy on you. Then also consider this concept of governments granting retroactive immunity for criminal actions in order to please their major corporate donors. How will the transnational corporations  use these “tools” to maximize their profits or to silence opposition?

Summary

What we see is a confluence of forces that has the potential to solidify a shift towards corporate fascism and encase it in international law. Governments will merely be the tools of the corporations to provide a degree of separation from the inevitable police state that will accompany this corporate global governance. Sovereign governments even with all their failings still have at least some concern for the general welfare of their citizens. Corporations by their very nature have only one purpose and that is to generate profits. If an individual whose sole purpose was to blindly enhance profits, without any regard to the standards of what is wrong and what is right in society, would likely be considered a sociopath by mental health experts.

If the TPP were to be enshrined into international law, these same sociopath corporations would now lord over sovereign governments, indifferent to criminal law, and beyond the control of nation-states. They would have the ability to utilize the militaries of some states to wage war on other “less complaint” states.

Doug Casey of Casey Research recently wrote:
“It’s most unfortunate, but the US and its allies will turn into authoritarian police states. Even more than they are today. Much more, actually. They’ll all be perfectly fascist – private ownership of both consumer goods and the means of production topped by state control of both. Fascism operates free of underlying principles or philosophy; it’s totally the whim of the people in control, and they’ll prove ever more ruthless. “

There are those who would say that it is unpatriotic to be against corporations, however should corporations be in the business of governing?  An open public debate on the future role of corporations is needed.

It is vital that the details of this TPP agreement become widely known and circulated. Once it sees the light of day, it will be defeated because people will oppose it. Sorry, corporations really are NOT people, they are merely state created entities.

What Can You Do?
Get money out of politics

Until we get money out of politics, corporate control of our government will continue and  because of the Citizens United ruling, will most likely increase. Attempts at a corporate coups such as this TPP agreement will continue and will keep resurfacing in various re-invented forms until one day one will be successful. We have already seen this pattern with the repeated attempts to impose limits the Internet.
There are organizations that are working towards eliminating the corrupting influence of money. Find out more about them and support their efforts.  Some of them include:

Public Citizen
http://www.citizen.org

Common Cause
http://www.commoncause.org

United Republic
http://unitedrepublic.org

End the secret TPP negotiations

Until we bring this process into public view, there is the danger that it will be passed quickly and secretly with little or no congressional or public input. Once the details of these agreements are made public, the TPP will defeated, or at the very least modified.
There are organizations that are fighting this TPP agreement and they deserve your efforts and support. Some of them include:
http://www.citizen.org/tpp
http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/
http://www.straight.com/article-688656/vancouver/prointernet-community-must-fight-tpp-weekly-update-openmediaca
We have reached a crossroad where either we allow the corporations  to take control of our nations, or we stop them in their attempts. Take an evening off from the TV and make the effort to make a difference so that you leave your children a better future. Don’t expect others to do this vital task.

Rudy Avizius
http://www.endtheillusion.org

 

Another article on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement.

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