Audio Spectral Travel

Monday, February 20, 2012

Borrowing, Saving & Local Currencies

Right now in Canada it makes more sense to borrow than to save. All our money is currently created out of thin air as debt based notes, and there is no point in saving money that is created as debt. Plus, banker controlled interest rates, not people's desires, are what determine whether individuals or businesses will borrow, spend or save. Whether we are aware of how this system works or not we are all working from within this premise.

It's not coincidence that more money is lent out than is saved. Every dollar that is saved in a bank gets lent out at least ten times. But in reality there is no limit to the amount that can be lent by a Canadian bank. They are only limited by the amount of risk they are willing to take. In fact this is how the majority of our money is created in our current fractional reserve banking system.

It would seem obvious to me that something that has not been earned cannot be lent; but that is not how it is. If it was, people would own their homes, rather than banks owning the titles. There would be more incentive to save and less to borrow. In fact, banks own the titles to most real estate.

This is so obviously wrong. We are enslaved. Yet we continue along not taking responsibility for ourselves, looking to governments, bankers, doctors and teachers to be responsible for us so we can take a vacation from our slavish existence.

Ask any economist, the bankers' monopolistic right to print money is an illusion that is kept real by our belief in it. As communities and nations we must start taking responsibility for our money situation, not ceding it to the bankers. However, this requires thought, and the bankers count on us not thinking.

Local community currencies are the beginning of the solution. They require thought and preparation, and they require us to be connected to the source of our money. Local currencies help communities flourish. And they are meant as a compliment to a national currency, although national currencies ought to be printed by the government and not by private, profit seeking bankers.

Most people believe governments print our money, but economists know that's not true. Banks print our money. Economists think if governments printed money we would have hyperinflation. Images of a wheel barrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread come to mind. However, the truth is if governments responsibly printed interest and debt free money, we would live more abundant lives.

The sixteenth US president Abraham Lincoln tried this with his Greenbacks and was assassinated. Twentieth US president James Garfield tried and advocated bimetallism and was assassinated. Thirty-fifth US president John F Kennedy tried this with his Silver Certificates and was assassinated.

Anyone who tries to subvert the current fractional reserve, debt based, interest bearing money system is eliminated. Current presidential candidate Ron Paul has recently introduced a bill to legalise currencies that actually compete with, not just compliment, the Federal Reserve's US Dollar. Time will tell how that will end up.

As of 2001 there were only seven countries in the world without privately owned central banks: Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Cuba, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan. However, after 2003 Afghanistan was converted, and after 2005 so was Iraq. This brought the count down to five, though I'm pretty sure with the elimination of Muammar Gaddafi Libya will acquire a privately owned central bank, and then there will be only four. And I'm sure those remaining will be convinced to convert before long.

(Edit 25 Feb 2012: I just read something interesting at the Daily Bell: "This year Iran is changing it's policy for payment of oil. Iran will no longer accept the US dollar and will be looking for other currencies and commodities instead." Iraq and Libya tried something similar. In the immortal words of Tony Montana, "Look at you now." And make no mistake, though I'm talking about privately owned central banks, they are all owned and controlled by a centralised group of elite families. Also the recent death of Kim Jong-il ought to change the lack of private central bank in North Korea.)

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Gaddafi's Libya:
Libya enjoys large natural resources, which Gaddafi utilized to help develop the country. Under Gaddafi's Jamahiriya "direct democracy" state, the country's literacy rate rose from 10% to 90%, life expectancy rose from 57 to 77 years, equal rights were established for women and black people, employment opportunities were established for migrant workers, and welfare systems were introduced that allowed access to free education, free healthcare, and financial assistance for housing. In addition, financial support was provided for university scholarships and employment programs. Gaddafi also initiated development of the Great Manmade River, in order to allow free access to fresh water across large parts of the country. The country was developed without taking any foreign loans, and, as a result, Libya was debt-free.
Clearly governments could print their own money. The real reason they don't is articulated very well by Ellen Brown in her book The Web of Debt: "The notion that government could simply print the money it needs is considered unrealistically utopian and inflationary; yet banks create money all the time. The chief reason the US government can't do it is that a private banking cartel already has a monopoly on the practice." (336)

Here is a list of communities using their own local currencies: A New York community currency that has been operating for over twenty years. A local currency out of Massachusetts. Money used on Salt Spring Island. The community of Dunbar in Vancouver is now using its own money. Comox Valley money. (The best form of local currency I've seen yet, called Community Way.)

I was inspired to write and borrowed information from an article in The Daily Bell (an online economics magazine), in addition to information from Wikipedia, Ellen Brown, David Icke and Leonard Orr.

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