On Tuesday I returned to US and reached Block Island on Wednesday. It was all misty and windy, both, but since then has been clear and cold. Yesterday I tried walking. Should have known better, and after taking one photo of the windswept sand, turned round and came back to my little home here.
While I have been away, the boiler tank that leaked has been removed and I have a new on-demand thing that required all sorts of removal of shelves and plumbing and such, for which I am very grateful to Callum and Shannon. I stacked the stuff from the no-longer there shelves into the newly vacated once-a-tank space. I’ll do something about it later. On the way back from the walk, I discovered that my attempts at gardening have survived the atrocious winter here quite well, the little azalea bushes are rooted in and showing buds on the branches, there are daffodil spikes showing here and there.
Upstairs to my side deck – oops the old leaky tank will prevent me sorting out the window boxes, it will get moved sometime. Never mind, the view from the other deck shows the clear sky and visibility for miles, and inside is cosy and warm and the coffee pot was waiting.
So sort all the emails – found a terrific podcast forwarded by the Positive Money folk.
Delman Coates has managed to say in ordinary English most of the money stuff I have been struggling to express for a long time since I have been wading through various books etc. (my attempt here).
Oh how I wish I could write decently! All the patterns concepts and thoughts that seem so good when I am walking, descend into muddles or complicated tangles all too often.
If wishes were horses etc. One of the great distinctions he makes in the podcast [and there is a transcript if you are like me and would rather read] is attributed to Martin Luther King: the difference between causative injustices and derivative injustices.
He goes on to say “we’re focused a lot on derivative injustices in our society, but we’re not spending the amount of time we need to focusing on the causative injustices. I would contend that the money system is one of the foundational aspects of our society that’s causing systemic injustice at every level.”
I like that difference. It brings up the connections, the sense that its all of us or none of us that matter. He also named the practice of USURY. Most of the economics writers, traditional, or new, seem to forget that problem. He says:
Usury has been misdefined as excessive interest, the charging of excessive interest…caused the church and the public to get comfortable with some interest or a little interest… Usury is not about having a debate around which percentage of interest is acceptable. Usury is the earning of interest on something that did not exist before.
Oh boy. The financial industry would not like that, nor would any/all of us who benefit/lose from all its entrances into our lives. Think big, like house price rise [same house innit?], think small, potatoes are cheaper in the supermarket than at the farm, etc etc. We are all in the system. Change a couple of laws* and we could all go on improving, buying, selling, trading, just like we usually do, by producing, making things exist, enjoying what we share already – without the usury that extracts the value and sends it somewhere unusable. We know we can only sail one yacht at a time, and it doesn’t matter how many bathrooms the rich have, they still use one just like the poor.
*What laws? The US constitution says that Congress shall coin or create the medium of exchange. In the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the government gave that power over to private banks. In spite of independence from UK, this actually followed from The Bank of England act of 1694, and its many revisions, which confirm the debt/credit based monetary creation process, and its foundation in the practice of usury. Post WW2, international agreements, especially those taken at Bretton Woods (where Keynes argued strongly against the decisions taken), the establishment of the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, (commercially based banking), have spread the practice globally. Do the research if you do not believe me. You will be appalled as I am, that we, the people, have created this monster.