Follow the Money

Is the world’s inequality a crime?

Is the way we treat the world a crime?

Is [personal rant here] a crime?

Follow the money!!!


uh oh … but what is money exactly … we know it’s not what we value … we know it’s not really how we measure worth… it’s not the bits of paper or the entries in the ledger or computer account…

Shortened and adapted by me below is from the Wikipedia entry for the American Monetary Institute. Agrees with Positive Money “What is Money” definition as far as I can tell.

[It is kind of interesting how my posts with photos of dog or grand-daughters or beach walks etc seem to get more comments than posts about economics. Am I being boring?]

What is Money?
Is money a commodity to be traded? Then all that matters is that the money is 100% backed by some commodity, like gold, silver, or cowrie shells.
Is money credit? Then it makes sense that bankers control it and issue most of money as debt, to be repaid, as they do in the United States, UK and most of the world today.
Is money an abstract idea to enable the structures of society? That is, Money is an artifact of law, whose value is derived from agreement so that it is available to use whether its form is coin, notes or tally sticks. Or, entries in an electronic account.

This is a far more complicated idea, or is it? Maybe it is just not a thought we are used to. We are not made aware of this idea, we just use money, whatever it is, and try to get enough of it. I first heard this about two years ago, it is so simple that it seems complicated. We prefer what we are used to, muddling up the concrete, thinking about salary, savings and taxes.

The definition that money is an artifact of law is supported by the history and nature of money. Many wrongly believe that the definition is one of the first two, commodity or credit, or a mixed version of them, but they are actually just frequent organizational uses of the idea of money .

Political scientists refer to three branches of government: the Executive; the Legislature; and the Judiciary. If money is seen as an artifact of law, it would only be proper for the government to issue, and control the money supply. The government would also create legal tender laws, and whatever laws are needed to create the means by which government serves its people, e.g. taxes, historically levying of manpower etc. Most of us suppose that this is what governments do, but in fact they can only be done within limits defined by private ownership as money supply is NOT in the government’s power.

Should there be a fourth branch of government, that exists already though not part of government, called The Money Power? The Money Power is the power to issue money, and control its supply. [At the moment this power is held by private commercial banks, the only business activity privileged to literally make money, every other business has to earn the money through production or service rendered.]

Can we do anything about this?

yes we can

Write or email your government representatives or candidates for representation, and anyone you know who is an economist or on a bank board. Ask this:

Do you realize that today, a handful of private commercial banks DO HAVE THE POWER to determine the allocation of new money in our economy?  If it is acceptable that an unelected group have this power that constrains the ways in which governments everywhere, of any kind, can act, please can you explain your justification for this allocation of privilege? If not, what specific changes could you propose?

They may not answer, refer them to the American Monetary Institute or Positive Money for specifics, for reform possibilities. Or maybe they will answer and you can use whatever explanations you find there.

You know, once they said women couldn’t vote.

You know, once they said black people were naturally better off as slaves, well looked after (like horses).

You know, once they said children, especially female children, were the property of parents, could be sold.

You know, all we need is consciousness raising. Something will happen.

When enough people are aware how the crime is being committed, they also see that the way it is now is not the way it has to be.


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