Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

It’s really quite simple, but it’s a story we’re not encouraged to learn or to pass on.

Every year the world economy grows. Every year, the economy needs more currency to lubricate a larger volume of trade. Collectively, we need more money to be injected into the economy. This newly-created money is not earned. Nobody has earned it, but someone gets to spend it. It’s a boon, a windfall. Who gets to spend this new money into the economy?

Most people would answer, “It’s the people’s money. We the people should get to spend it.” Our Founding Fathers gave this answer when they empowered Congress with the exclusive right to coin money.

But that’s not the system we have at present. Since 1913, private banks create new money and private bankers get that boon. When you think about it that way, maybe “the rich get richer” isn’t a law of nature, but rather an artifact of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

It’s not a small amount. For most countries, the amount of new money corresponds to the growth in their GDP plus the inflation rate, a few percent a year. For the US, the amount is much larger because the US dollar is used as an international reserve currency. Almost all nations use US dollars for international trade even when they’re not trading with the US. So for the US, it amounts to about $1 Trillion per year, or $3,000 per year for every man, woman, and child in the country. Money that should belong to us that goes instead to the banks.

Worse than theft is murder. In order to maintain the status of the US dollar as the primary vehicle of international exchange, we have attacked any nation that threatens to use an alternative currency. We have subverted governments in Venezuela and Iran for this reason, and we have bombed Libya and fought a hot war in Iraq for the sake of the bankers.

Next time you see a bumper sticker that says ABOLISH THE FED, you know that that’s what they’re talking about.

— JJM

Où sont les syndicalistes d’antan?

An Irish immigrant to Chicago, Mother Jones was already well into middle age when she began her fight for safe working conditions for miners in 1897.  She continued a fiery advocate for labor right up into her 90s. “I have been in jail more than once and I expect to go again. If you are too cowardly to fight, I will fight.”

In the late 19th Century, Samuel Gompers had to fight for the very legitimacy of labor organizations during an era when strikers were violently assaulted by police, serving as goons of industry.

Joe Hill organized on the charisma of his singing voice.  He was framed, tried in kangaroo court, and executed because he was just too good at what he was doing.

In the 1860s and 70s, Pete McGuire brought us the 8-hour day and proposed the holiday we celebrate today as Labor Day, in addition to the Mayday holiday celebrated everywhere else in the world.

Eugene Debs fought in the streets and in the courts and continued to advocate from his jail cell for the union he led.

Nelson Cruikshank fought for social service programs during the New Deal.

Cesar Chavez organized the California grape pickers in the 1960s.

Could it be that our last charismatic labor leader is 25 years dead? In this time of soaring productivity accompanied by falling real wages, we need new leadership. We need social visionaries who are courageous and passionate and eloquent.

At a time when 43% of Americans say that socialism “would be a good thing for our country,” our voice in the media is vanishingly small, and we have no representation in government.

The time has come to rise like lions
We are many; they are few.

 

A reformer with a printing press

It was bitterly cold in New York City on January 13, 1874.  An icy wind penetrated the threadbare coats of the unemployed workers who massed in Tompkins Square Park that morning, while leaden skies darkly threatened afternoon snow.  The depression of 1873 had thrown thousands of northeastern laborers out of jobs, and in New York City, desperate and hungry workers had gathered in the Lower East Side park to press for public employment.  The rally on January 13 was organized by the Committee of Safety, an amorphous group that included socialists, trade unionists, and antimonopolist reformer…

The figuting began when the police tried to disperse the crowd, and it ended with what trade unionist Samuel Gompers called “an orgy of brutality,” as the police attacked the workers with billie clubs…

For any populist movement to be effective, it must be seen and heard.  Reformers count on the free press that is a thousand-year tradition in the English-speaking world.  But the ability of reformers to be heard has always hung by a thin thread, dependent as they are on printing presses that are owned, almost all, by capitalists.  In 1873,

[Only] one major New York newspaper did not join the near-universal condemnation of the protestors:  Charles A. Dana’s New York Post was both sympathetic to the unemployed workers and highly critical of the actions of the police.  Its four pages contained vivid accounts of the violence and of the confusion and panic of the mostly-peaceable demonstrators as they ran for cover from the horses of the mounted Squad: “Men tumbled over each other…into the gutters or clambered up high stoops to get out of the way of the chargers.  The horsemen beat the air with their batons and many persons were laid low.  There seemed to be a determination on the part of the mounted police to ride over somebody, and they showed no mercy.”

Charles Dana owned and managed The Sun at a time when slavery was being abolished and monopoly capitalism was first beginning to crush organized labor.  Dana’s was a reliable voice for decent working conditions.

Charles A Dana was born 200 years ago today.
Quotes are from The Sun Shines for All, by Janet E. Steele

Image result for tompkins square park protest

Your calling

We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to classical economic theory, he must justify his right to exist. living.

— Bucky Fuller was born this day in 1905

The Things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done. Then you will conceive your own way of doing that which needs to be done — that no one else has told you to do or how to do it. This will bring out the real you that often gets buried inside a character that has acquired a superficial array of behaviors induced or imposed by others on the individual.

Democratize the money supply

Could it be that what’s wrong with the global economy is simply a tight money supply?  We have people who want to work and we have others who need their services.  All we need is to put cash in people’s hands, and we’ll all be better off.  

Until recently, I imagined that money stood for value, that there was a certain amount of value in the world and the amount of money in circulation was matched to value by an invisible hand.  Sure, the government could print more money, but then each dollar would be worth less because the total value available for purchase didn’t change.

I no longer think this way.  I think that people create value in response to demand, and when there’s not enough money in circulation, 

I also have learned that it’s not the government that prints money, or decides how much money is in circulation.  The Federal Reserve is a private consortium of the world’s biggest banks, not at all subject to democratic control, except in that the President appoints a chairman every ten years, and in practice he always appoints someone who has a long association with these same bankers.

It’s naive to think that these people who control the money supply are thinking only about the welfare of the average American, and not a wee bit concerned about the bottom line of the banks that employ them.  Keeping money tight means that people have to borrow more at higher interest rates because they don’t have the cash to make ends meet. This is profitable to the bankers. Worse, when the economy crashes it is a disaster for the homeowner who may lose his job and fall behind in his mortgage payments; but it is a bonanza for the banks who repossess millions of homes at bargain prices, hold them until the economy bounces back, then sell the houses at a fat profit.  

Bitcoin is History’s First Ledger System that is Honest by Design

Listen to Caitlin Long talk to the Mises Institute.  (I don’t agree with all that she said, but I’ve learned a great deal from her, both new facts and new perspectives.)

Read Ellen Brown’s new book on the damaged caused by private control of public currency, and how we can organize to take back control of our money supply.

Democratizing the money supply may be the single most powerful change to give us all freedom, prosperity, and peace.  (Yes, wars are being pursued for bankers’ profits.) All we have to do is demand enforcement of the Constitution.

Congress shall have power…to coin money [and] regulate the value thereof.
— Constitution of the United States

Wall Street’s days are numbered

The majority that’s been abandoned by the managerial / ruling elites are increasingly aware that the unprecedented asymmetries of wealth and power that have undermined American social and economic life can be traced directly back to the Federal Reserve, tool of the Big Banks.

The same awareness of central bankers’ responsibility is spreading in other nations as well.

The political moment when the “losers” make the connection is approaching. Perhaps the wires will arc in 2020, or maybe another few years; but whatever the timing turns out to be, the all-powerful Cargo Cult of the central bankers will be swept away in a global political convulsion unlike any in memory.

Read more from Charles Hugh Smith

May Day Mayday

31
As flowers beneath May’s footstep waken,
As stars from Night’s loose hair are shaken,
As waves arise when loud winds call,
Thoughts sprung where’er that step did fall.

32
And the prostrate multitude
Looked—and ankle-deep in blood,
Hope, that maiden most serene,
Was walking with a quiet mien:

34
A rushing light of clouds and splendour,
A sense awakening and yet tender
Was heard and felt — and at its close
These words of joy and fear arose

35
As if their own indignant Earth
Which gave the sons of England birth
Had felt their blood upon her brow,
And shuddering with a mother’s throe

36
Had turnèd every drop of blood
By which her face had been bedewed
To an accent unwithstood,—
As if her heart had cried aloud:

37
‘Men of England, heirs of Glory,
Heroes of unwritten story,
Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
Hopes of her, and one another;

91
‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number—
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you—
Ye are many—they are few.’

Percy Bysshe Shelley (excerpted from The Mask of Anarchy:
Written on the Occasion of the Massacre at Manchester)

Peterloo_Massacre