What you should know about America's economy
We're in for a wild ride.
In light of Congressman Ron Paul's recent article:
The Perils of Economic Ignorance
And this news item:
'Asia must prepare for dollar collapse'
link to english.aljazeera.net
I was inspired to post some of my radio commentaries that have dealt with America's economy (namely what I think is really wrong with it). I'll be the first to admit I'm no expert in economics, but I *am* the type of person who can see when the emperor is naked, and I did do my research.
What They Don't Tell You: The Federal Reserve
Summary: How a bunch of private banks fleece the American people by printing their money and charging them interest for it.
Note: You can read Dan Benham's article "Phone Call to the Fed" here:
Unlike General Tommy Franks, who feels there exists "the potential of a ... massive casualty-producing event somewhere in the western world ... that causes our population to question our own Constitution," I feel the US Constitution is an extremely hardy document, loaded with foresight. Unfortunately in 1913 Congress trashed that foresight and ignored Thomas Jefferson who said, "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." Ignoring clause 5 of Section 8 of the Constitution, Congress sold out its power to coin money and regulate its value to a group of private bankers by creating the Federal Reserve.
What? The Fed isn't a public institution -- it's a bunch of private banks? That's right -- it's not owned by the Federal government or the tax payers of the United States. In fact, you could say, *they* own us, because we're in debt to them up to our eyeballs. The Fed consists of :
Rothschild Bank of London
Warburg Bank of Hamburg
Rothschild Bank of Berlin
Lehman Brothers of New York
Lazard Brothers of Paris
Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York
Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy
Goldman, Sachs of New York
Chase Manhattan Bank of New York
Warburg Bank of Amsterdam
These guys print and ledger money out of nothing and loan it back to us with interest. Obviously we'll never be able to repay them. In Dan Benham's brilliant article, "A Phone Call to the Fed," we discover there are only $263 billion federal reserve notes in circulation, but we have a $4 trillion national debt, payable in federal reserve notes. How d'ya like them apples?
Congressman Ron Paul says "most Americans have suffered a steadily eroding purchasing power because of the Federal Reserve's inflationary policies. This represents a real, if hidden, tax imposed on the American people." Here are some statistics to back that claim. In 2001, $1,780 had the same "purchase power" as $100 in the year 1913. In 1913, $113 had the same "purchase power" as $100 in 1776. Get the feeling we're being scammed? Maybe it wouldn't surprise you to know that Enron's infamous Jeff Skilling was director of the Federal Reserve Bank in Houston.
So anyway, whenever the government runs a deficit, the Fed prints money to buy the debt, and 40 percent of our income taxes pay the interest. Keep in mind the Fed's books are not open to the public. These guys possess almost unlimited resources to buy influence and power. Presidents Jackson, Lincoln and Kennedy tried wrest control of this country away from bankers by printing U.S. dollars without charging taxpayers interest. But as you can imagine, messing with the bankers can often be a dangerous move.
What They Don't Tell You: The Enthronment of Corporations
Where did America go wrong? One wrong turn, I think, was the enthronement of corporations, which now posess the same rights as "legal persons."
Credits: I gleaned much of my material from http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Corporations/KnowEnemy_ITT.html
This is the state of our union: On the global front we're despised as bullies and we're mired in a middle eastern version of Vietnam. On the domestic our social programs are being gutted and 45 million Americans (including myself) have no health insurance. On the economic front we're driving at breakneck speed towards the edge of a cliff. Where did our country go wrong?
I can pinpoint two major wrong turns in the history of this government. One is the enthronement of corporations. The other is the creation of the Federal Reserve System, which I'll have to save for another commentary.
Today, the combined revenue of the top 200 corporations exceeds the GDP of all but the nine countries. Unlike you and me, they can't vote, but *also* unlike you and me, they have billions of dollars at their disposal to buy public policy. Now, in the old days, corporations had to be chartered by the state to perform specific public functions, such as digging canals, building bridges, or providing financial services. In return for this public service, the state granted corporations permanence, limited liability and the right to own property.
But of course, when manufacturing became a necessity in this country, people wanted to get rich, too. So under the leadership of Federalist John Marshall, the supreme court made a series of decisions in favor of corporate power, sanctifying the business deal by invoking the constitution's clause that says "no state shall ... pass any ... law impairing the obligation of contracts." In the 1880's and 90's, when populists wanted to regulate the robber barons and their slave-driving corporations, the Supreme court used Marshall's interpretation of the holy inviolate contract to strike them down. But the real blow, in my estimation, was when the 1886 court decision of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad defined corporations as "legal persons" and invoked the 14th Amendment, which states that "no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law."
While the political realities of the 1930's prompted courts to begin allowing public regulation of big business, their legal interpretation as a "person" exists today. They have all your rights to freedom of speech, as well as the freedom to lie -- in February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States. But as pointed out by Joel Bleifuss in "Know Thine Enemy: A Brief History of Corporations," we might want to consider granting these behemoths the same rights as people, considering the fact that they wield far more economic and political power, they can live forever, they feel no pain and they do not need clean air to breathe, potable water to drink or healthy food to eat. "Their only goal is to grow bigger and more powerful."
I'd like to end with a quote from Abraham Lincoln, which seems all the more prescient today:
"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."
What They Don't Tell You: Dollar Hegemony
Summary: What's currently holding up the US economy
Hi, this is Jody Paulson from Moscow, ID with what they don't tell you.
One thing they're not telling you is what's holding up the US economy right now, as Bush slashes taxes for millionaires and corporations, tosses billions of dollars towards flattening cities in Iraq, and does nothing to stop the wholesale outsourcing of US manufacturing jobs. What's keeping us afloat?
Open up your wallet and see if you can find a paper rectangle with a bunch of masonic symbols on it. What's holding our economy up is the belief of the power of that green piece of paper. Before 1971, you could actually exchange this piece of paper for a set amount of gold. But these days, the value of this paper is propped up by nothing more than convention and the threat of military might.
Today, international finance uses the US dollar as the dominant reserve currency, instead of gold, which is intrinsically worth more than kindling and/or toilet paper. Yet our fiat money is still treated like the world's gold standard: in order to prevent an attack on its currency, a country's central bank must have dollar reserves corresponding to its currency in circulation. The dollar now accounts for 68 percent of global currency reserves, up from 51 percent a decade ago. However, at the same time, we sell only 12.3 percent of the world's goods, but we buy 18.9 percent. That's like spending 150% of your paycheck every week. Yet the rest of the world keeps producing things in exchange for a bunch of green paper printed in the USA. Why?
The answer is that the world's most essential commodities, including oil, are denominated in dollars. Everyone accepts dollars because you need dollars to buy oil. This all came about in 1974, when Saudi oil cartels agreed to dollar hegemony in exchange for American arms. Think about this for a minute, won't you? It costs the FED around 4 cents to print a hundred dollar bill. Foreign countries have to buy this money in order to buy the oil they need. Essentially, we're getting our oil for free.
That's been fine and dandy for decades -- but now, look out! There's a new currency vying for hegemony -- the euro. Today European banks are seeking to have the euro accepted as the new world reserve currency.
In November 2000 Saddam Hussein moved to sell Iraq's oil directly for euros. You can imagine the panic this caused at the FED. All that oil that gets bought with its 4 cent pieces of paper would be lost -- and worse -- it set an unacceptable example for other OPEC members. Saddam had to be stopped! Enter the war on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
Today fourteen permanent military bases are being built in Iraq, along with the world's biggest embassy in Baghdad. The US needs a huge permanent presence in the region to protect its dollar hegemony. But Iran is seriously talking about ditching the dollar for the euro, and so are the Saudis. Judging from their past behavior, the current administration won't let these rumblings go unanswered.
I'm Jody Paulson, and I just thought you should know.
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