Ellen Brown’s Forum: It Is Absolutely Correct That…

….money won’t solve your personal problems. It’s also absolutely true that money WILL solve your economic and monetary problems. So I think that if you think about it for a few seconds and honestly answer the question, “Which would you rather deal with, BOTH the personal AND monetary problems of austerity or ONLY the personal problems of relative abundance? ….you’ll know which situation you’d rather find yourself in and which paradigm you’d rather back, the present one of Debt Only or the new paradigm of Direct and Reciprocal Monetary Gifting.

In other words undoubtedly the largest and most chronic component of  personal problems for the vast majority of the populace…IS monetary and economic austerity, SO resolving that problem with relatively abundant monetary gifting enables them to relax and have the time and the monetary resources….to work on their other personal problems in the midst of living their more abundant lives.

WM:  Speaking of paradigm shifting  — I’ll be on a panel at a DC conference in January that will address how we get to a new economy (and paradigm) that “is worthy of our affection.”  An unusual conflation of elements it would seem, and yet what is being discussed in this group about replacing the debt-only paradigm with the gifting paradigm seems to open the door for “solving” both personal and monetary objectives.

I’d be interested in hearing what you all think about HOW we get there.  What transitional visions do you have that are practical, possible, and perhaps even probable given the failure of our existing monetary system to meet public needs?  Co-operatives replacing private ownership, social-benefit commercial banking strategies and public banks, crypto-credit systems and local currencies are all possibilities. But how do we get them to replace our current systems?

Do you see a realistic path(s) forward to creation of a new economic paradigm “worthy of our affection?”  And if not, what are doing here?

Me:  First of all one needs to understand what a paradigm is. It’s a pattern, not a reform or even a new theory. Then one has to realize that a new paradigm is always a basic inversion of a deep reality, a deep systemic problem and/or an inversion of the old paradigm itself.

I’m not necessarily opposed to some of the suggestions you listed except they’re finger in the dike palliatives when a paradigm change is required, and given the fact that double entry bookkeeping, the money system and the pricing system of commerce are all digital/Debit-Credit in nature and so can be utilized to monetarily benefit both the individual and commercial economic agents by tying monetary policy directly to the point of retail sale where all costs and so prices are terminally summed and ended with a discount policy’s beneficial effects as I have previously described…why use these other mere monetary reforms when the discount and dividend policies fit seamlessly into the above systems and have staggering effects on both of them?

The best path forward is a mass social movement not unlike MLK’s civil rights movement that sells the obvious benefits of these policies to constituencies whose self interests dovetail with them as opposed to trying to convince orthodox economists whose educations and egos are an immediate and full stop, or to politicians whose lack of insight, courage, motives and actions even after they supposedly go into agreement with you…cannot be trusted. A non-partisan mass movement with the above policies crosses political and economic lines by accomplishing far more of the best of their separate agendas. Hence its ability to attract people from both sides and eventually herd the entire political apparatus in the correct new policy direction. This is the “new Powell memo” that all of the monetary reformers and cutting edge economic theorists need to “get”.

SB: Very briefly, because changing the world should not take much time, right?  (ha ha).
1.  Public banks in every state and most large cities or counties.  OK, you already knew that one. 🙂

2.  Shift to the Single Tax on Land – in all its natural forms: actual land, air & water pollution, and especially location in urban areas.  Untax all wages, sales and productive output (e.g. buildings, gumball machines etc.)

3.  A Basic income for everyone.  Here, the B.I.G. people, even the biggest fans, are missing something critical.  The question isn’t how will we pay for it, it is what money can be diverted to provide a B.I.G. that is already being spent?  This is different than just reallocating taxes because it takes into account that SOMEONE is spending to provide for people who aren’t working – to keep it simple – already, or else they would starve and be homeless.  Here’s the key: is SOMEONE, family, friends, private charities, or governemnt, is spending money to keep someone else in at least a subsistence level, then that money can’t be spent into the economy elsewhere.  You can’t spend the same money twice…well, you can if you track money over time, but that’s true regardless of where it comes from.  So, if you pay a B.I.G., that relieves money from being paid by other parties that can then go directly into the economy, bypassing the person who was getting it before.  THAT is how you “pay for a B.I.G.”  This works as long as the amount is kept low enough not to cause inflation or to get saved instead of spent; only the latter is stimulative.

4.  In conjunction with all the above, do a thorough national audit of all the nation’s CAFRs on every level, and keep doing it every year.  The American people think the country is broke.  It is broke…as long as you don’t count the 10s of trillions in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports.

5.  Introduce a Public Option for Money, issued along the model that President Lincoln did during the Civil War.  Control for inflation by something simple to understand and universally accepted.  The Output Gap fills those requirements but there may be other measures too.  Spend on infrastructure and save 50%.  Repeat.  And the next time the TBTF banks fail, let them fail and replace the lost money with a Public Option.

6.  Encourage Local Exchange Traded Systems.  I don’t know if the e-currencies will ever fill the bill, pardon the pun, but Berkshire Bucks and Buckeroos and many others are long established and work well to bind communities and stimulate local economies.  A Public Bank could help facilitate this.

Do all, or even some of these steps and you can grow the economy at 5-6%, sustainably, and forever.  Pollution will quickly diminish due to tough market forces, speculative booms and busts which are mostly land-based would be history, and wealth inequality would be brought down to manageable levels based on what people actually produce, not rent-seeking.

That is all you need to do.  Now, back to work on other things.  Let us know how many weeks you need to accomplish this 🙂

Me:  Those are actually some very good ideas, but they don’t characterize an actual paradigm change. And yes, paradigm changes sometimes take a very long time to be conceived and even longer to be perceived. The current (no longer workable) paradigm of Debt Only has been around for at least 5000 years which seems more than long enough to me, and the problem with merely chipping away at an old paradigm with reforms is that there are a zillion possible steps forward (and backward) between progress from point one to point two. Helio-centrism took over 100 years and a couple of additional tools and discoveries (the telescope and the discovery of the ellipse) in order to be completely perceived and confirmed. Thankfully a new human realization (which is the most essential and potent component of a new paradigm) takes the mere twinkling of an eye and the internet has the potential of virally greatly shortening its perception and realization by others.

Finally, your point number 2 actually is aligned with the new paradigm in the sense that it includes and expresses a new attitude toward taxation based on discouragement of economic vices (or mortal sins as may be the case) and encouragement of economic virtues via monetary gifting. Re-distributive taxation is decidedly an unethical aspect of the old paradigm.

JD:  That makes debt roughly as old as empire. Perhaps there’s a connection.

While I fully support the gift paradigm, as you present it, it could be seen as a patch on

the old system, to fill its gap. The new paradigm must reverse the supremacy of profit,

the necessity for constant growth, and end the private monopoly on money and credit.
Gifting and sharing are part of the solution. Production, rather than being based on maximizing profit and satisfying artificially-created consumer demand, will be based on human and planetary need. Now that we have maxed out on commoditizing everything, the reverse trend is happening of more and more (information, music, etc) is becoming free. Another key piece of the new paradigm reverses globalization’s harsh effects with an emphasis on re-localization.

Me:  JD,  Yes, there is a definite connection there. Empires become necessary because there isn’t enough individual income produced in domestic economies to keep them stable, hence it becomes necessary to conquer and bring back wealth from the conquered in an attempt to provide such income.

You’re correct it must not just be a patch, but Wisdomics-Gracenomics is not a patch it is a new pattern/paradigm. As I said above a primary signature of a new paradigm is the switching/inversion of the primacy of the old paradigm and its aspects such as profit and enforced growth. Now a new paradigm doesn’t necessarily eliminate either of these so both profit and growth will still occur, rather it enables such a complete integration of them by the new paradigm (the graciousness of gifting) that their negative effects can be made rationally balanced.

The concept behind even the new monetary paradigm of gifting is grace (or call it atonement, satori or samadhi, they are all basically the same concept and experience) and the major aspects of the concept of grace are balance, equilibrium and flow…both internally and externally. I believe most people will adapt quite easily to the general abundance that Wisdomics-Gracenomics would create probably mostly because not everyone wants to be a tycoon. The tycoons and the sluggardly/unmindful will of course have some personal work to do, but with Wisdomics-Gracenomics at least they’ll have the time and resources to help themselves.

And yes, how much more art, literature and education could a society and civilization produce within an economics that enabled much more of the self chosen directed purposefulness known as leisure, and an ethic of grace as in love in action in the temporal universe expressed in so many beautifully artistic and instructive ways?

And yes, re-localization starts with the reversal of globalization, the self sufficiency and subsidiarity of national economies and the general economic democracy of the dividend and discount policies.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s