A one-dollar bill stamped with "I VOTED" recently spent a day or two in my pocket. I looked for a Where's George inscription, but this was not present. This dollar, like all the others, wasn't in my pocket for long before I traded it to a fellow human for something they'd produced with their labors.
For all the talk and theory, money is nothing more than a medium that helps humans value each other's time.
Some months ago I wrote a letter to the editor about fixing the government's finances, where I discussed how the money we trade with is created:
Under the present monetary system, money is created only when someone borrows it.
Usually, the federal government borrows a little money from the Federal Reserve, and the banking system expands this “seed money” 10 times (or more) by making loans.
Due to the failure of the banks to lend, the government has had to step in as “the borrower of last resort.”
Recently someone on a web forum thought Occupy Wall Street [OWS] protesters who advocate an audit of the Federal Reserve were stupid, because "The Fed is doing nothing illegal."
My response was that we can't really know whether the Federal Reserve Banks are operating legally without an audit, as the Federal Reserve system is rather secret about their operations. Furthermore, the limited audit that Senator Sanders got passed found that the U.S. central bank had some questionable behavior during the 2008 financial crisis, including the creation of an entire National Debt's worth of money that was given to connected financial institutions - 16 trillion dollars, according to the Senator's page.
The key point in my response were these lines:
If you have a dollar bill in your pocket, it's only there because someone borrowed it from a banker. The bills are printed by the Treasury and purchased by the Federal Reserve at cost [4 cents?]. If you have a quarter or a dime or a Susan B. Anthony dollar in your pocket, the Fed bought these from the Mint for face value.
Sharing The Truth About Money
This is how I came to be thinking about the occupation of Wall Street, currency, and modifications to currency... How could the very core of the system for concentrating wealth and economic power be effectively conveyed?
I think a stamp would do it:
Ideas are seldom truly original, so I searched on "occupy wallstreet currency stamp" (no quotes), and learned that people are just starting to put messages on currency. They're calling it Occupy George. While the sentiment is right, their specific messages are entirely non-helpful.
Instead of focusing on the central defect of the modern banking system - that private banks create the economy's money supply by making loans, starting with the seed money created by their 12 "Federal" Reserve Banks - they're muddying the issue with meaningless messages about division of wealth that don't lead to an obvious solution.
Yes, wealth is rather concentrated in the present day. But some people work for their millions, while others game the system. Increasing taxes on the people who've been especially successful will only perpetuate the L-Curve distribution of income because it does NOT address any of the curve's CAUSES. Incomes are best balanced by creating a level playing field for all players in an economy, NOT by forcibly taking and giving.
A core element in motivational speaker Zig Ziglar's philosphy was that "you can get everything in life that you want, as long as you help enough other people get what they want." Instead of getting jealous that someone was in the right place at the right time, and worked to make the most of an opportunity, the present protests need to focus like a laser on individuals and groups that game the system.
Transitioning to a monetary system that uses money created by the national or state governments, as advocated by the American Monetary Institute and others, would do a lot to end the need for the present protests.
I have a few dollars in my pocket, and a red pen. This Bill Was BORROWED From Wall Street. Ahh, much better. $5's have much more blank space on the reverse than $1's. I think I will order a rubber stamp.
Perhaps the petitioners on Wall Street could set up a station for "currency validation". Paper money is actually made of a blend of 25% linen and 75% cotton. Currency validation pens change color if the bill is made of wood (paper), and the Secret Service has a helpful page for spotting counterfit currency. If the currency checks out, volunteers could stamp the bill as genuine: This Bill Was BORROWED From Wall Street.
Moving Beyond Protest
Fortunately, there's no need to beg Congress to fix the laws to free us from the Federal Reserve's yoke. I'll be covering this strategy in my next post. Put your email in the box to the right if you'd like notification when this gets posted!