Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

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Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

There have not been many monetary threads around here since Larry went dark but I found this one today on lewrockwell.com.  It appears that Gary North has a bit of a problem with Greenbackers (supporters of unbacked fiat currency) and really tries to take Ms Brown out to the woodshed.  I personally have not read "Web of Debt" because everytime I have listened to Ms Brown on a podcast or youtube, I have been unimpressed with her arguments.  For that reason I cannot personally say that I agree with Mr North's characterization of "Web of Debt" but he does seem to be trying to become the definative source for refutation of her economic ideas.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north891.html

here are some excerpts...

GREENBACK ECONOMICS

To get some sense of what Greenback economics is all about, let me survey a few of her economic errors. I list them in the order in which they appear in Web of Debt. I do not refute them here. I have devoted one article per error. Click any link to see the direct quotation from Web of Debt and my refutation.

  1. Governments should get out of debt by printing paper money.
  2. There is not enough gold to facilitate trade.
  3. Economic scarcity is the result of greedy bankers.
  4. Mercantilism's state-run economy is harmonious; the free market isn't.
  5. Keynes was correct about money.
  6. The New Deal made Americans richer through public works.
  7. The New Deal's price controls on food were good for America.
  8. Keynes was a great economist because he promoted budget deficits.
  9. Rothbard's monetary theory is wrong (when you misquote it).
  10. The New Deal allocated capital better than the free market did.
  11. A monetary system is a national contractual agreement.
  12. Falling prices and increasing productivity cause recessions under a gold standard.
  13. The government can pay off its debt with paper money with no price inflation.
  14. The government can pay off Social Security with paper money with no price inflation.
  15. Americans should trust Congress to regulate the monetary system.
  16. The government should build a larger welfare state with fiat money.
  17. The banking system should be run like the Post Office.
  18. Banking should be run on a non-profit basis.
  19. If Congress prints money, there will be no need for an income tax.
  20. Gold's price fluctuates too wildly for it to serve as money.
  21. It is possible to have civil government without taxes, debt, and inflation.

GREENBACK HISTORIOGRAPHY

As implausible and garbled as Greenback economics is, it is Nobel-Prize material when compared to the Greenbackers' version of American history.

I have been reading their books, off and on, for over 45 years. I have found the same false stories over and over. Greenback authors rarely verify them. They simply repeat them.

In terms of the number of utterly bogus stories, Ellen Brown's Web of Debt surpasses anything I have ever read. It is filled with bogus quotes from famous people. It also has its share of bloopers. Let me begin with my favorite. She argues that the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Benjamin Strong, met secretly in February of 1929 with the head of the Bank of England, Montagu Norman. Together, they concluded that a collapse of the stock market was inevitable. They decided to take no action to prevent this. She cites no evidence for this meeting, but she assures us that "the evidence suggests" it (p. 143). I can think of a crucial piece of evidence that calls the story into question. Strong died in 1928.

With this as background to Ellen Brown, historian, I now offer 30 other examples.

  1. A bogus quote from Sir Josiah Stamp on the Bank of England
  2. Jefferson was a promoter of unbacked paper money.
  3. Lincoln promoted debt-free paper money.
  4. Colonial Pennsylvania avoided taxes by issuing paper money.
  5. A bogus quote from Franklin on colonial paper money
  6. Ignoring a negative statement by Franklin on the "Continentals"
  7. A bogus quote from John Adams on debt as a means of conquest
  8. The "Christian Bible" Prohibits Interest, but not the "Jewish Bible."
  9. China's medieval unbacked paper money had centuries of success.
  10. England's medieval wooden "tallies" were interest-free money.
  11. A bogus quote from Nathan Rothschild
  12. A bogus quote from Jefferson on banks
  13. Jefferson and Jackson fought the 1st Bank of the U.S.
  14. The Civil War's paper money made survivors richer.
  15. A bogus Lincoln quote on men and wages
  16. Lincoln favored the Greenbacks over Union debt to banks.
  17. The Greenbacks were pure fiat money unrelated to gold backing.
  18. Two bogus quotes from Bismark on European bankers
  19. International bankers defeated Lincoln in 1863 with the National Bank Act.
  20. A bogus quote from Garfield on the control over money
  21. The island of Guernsey had fiat money without inflation.
  22. Populism defended the interests of the common man.
  23. A bogus document: "Bankers' Manifesto of 1892"
  24. "Robber Barron" Capitalists raised prices and lowered quality.
  25. Benjamin Strong (d. 1928) plotted with Montagu Norman in 1929.
  26. Milton Friedman said that the Federal Reserve caused the Depression.
  27. Hitler's National Socialism ended the Great Depression in Germany.
  28. Germany's hyperinglation (1921-23) happened only after the central bank was privatized.
  29. Foreign currency speculators caused Zimbabwe's inflation.
  30. Gold's price rose in the 19th century
  31. Shays' Rebellion (1786) took place after the Constitution was ratified (1788).

CONCLUSION

Ellen Brown has achieved what no other Greenbacker has achieved ever since Father Coughlin: a large national audience – though nowhere near the size of his audience at its peak. Her book, Web of Debt, is universally regarded as authoritative by Greenbackers. She does not share his anti-Semitism, but she shares his economic views.

Those of her disciples who read this article and who click through to see my evidence of her errors will have a problem. They can verify for themselves that she does not know what she is talking about in two areas: economic theory and American history. She has used bogus quotes to bolster her weak economic case. She cannot be trusted. Will they back away from her and her book? Will they search for some other book that proves the Greenback case? Or will they simply drop Greenbackism?

As for Ellen Brown, she now has four courses of action.

  1. Pretend that she never read this article, on the assumption that her followers will not see it. (Intellectually dishonest.)
  2. Burn all copies of her book and write a revised one that corrects her oversights. (Hard work, and then I will get to reply.)
  3. Burn all copies of the book and stop promoting Greenbackism. (Do authors ever do this?)
  4. Reply to me, point by point, on her Website, showing that I am 100% wrong. (Impossible, and then I will get to reply.)

Lawyer Brown now has an opposing "counsellor": me. From now on, I will be her lifelong tar baby. If she replies and sends me a link, I will reply in my department: Ellen Brown: Greenbacker.

I have spent 45 years dealing with monetary cranks. She is by far the most vulnerable of them all. It is not just that she understands neither economics nor the basics of historical research. None of them does. What makes her so vulnerable is that she is so visible . . . and so consistent. She finally did what was implied by them all after 1935, but which only Father Coughlin had the courage to do. She came to the defense of Adof Hitler's economy. I have waited for a target like her for 45 years.

This is going to be fun. For me.

 

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

 

It would appear that round one goes to Mr. North, convincingly. Smackdown is an understatement. It will be interesting to see how/if  Ellen Brown responds. How can she not respond to such an authoritative, comprehensive, and definitive gutting of her signature work?

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

 Excellent article by Mr North, and thanks for posting it goes211.

 Never quite understood how certain anti-Fed ppl (mentioning no names..) could be so in favour of absolute state power instead of personal liberty...

despite the pretentions to "radicalism".

 End the Fed !!   (cheers)

... all power to the state !!! .. ( Huh ? WTF ! )

 Embarassed that I've re-quoted that Josiah Stamp paragraph myself, in another forum a few years ago... *blush*

 ass-u-me(d)   someone would have pointed out earlier if it was a fake .. DOH !

 

 

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com
plato1965 wrote:

 Never quite understood how certain anti-Fed ppl (mentioning no names..) could be so in favour of absolute state power instead of personal liberty...

despite the pretentions to "radicalism".

 End the Fed !!   (cheers)

... all power to the state !!! .. ( Huh ? WTF ! )

I never could understand that either.  Although I am not sure how moving back to a precious metal monetary standard would work, it seems far more sustainable than state fiat that is only backed by guns and legal tender laws.

I think supporters of greenbacking do come in two types.  There seem to be the Ellen Brown's and Stephen Zarlenga's which seem to be to be complete statists (or leftist depending upon your perspective).  I really don't understand how any "Tea Party" type can support  them if they are truly concerned about issues like encroachment by the state,debt, taxes, and spending. 

Then there are the Bill Still's and Byron Dale's of the world which I don't believe are statists at heart and I find find to be more sympathetic.  I think they honestly believe that this state created money power can be controlled.  I disagree with this position because I believe as Lord Acton stated, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely".  It is hard to imagine a more absolute power than the ability to create money from nothing.

In the end I am not sure what will work but I believe that the most important property of a good money system is that it does not require coercion (ie. no legal tender laws).  If it does, I know that I will be against it.  If it does not, at least we will be free to choose another system, if that system proves to be corrupt or unworkable.

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com
goes211 wrote:

......Although I am not sure how moving back to a precious metal monetary standard would work, it seems far more sustainable than state fiat that is only backed by guns and legal tender laws.

From what I've concluded from observing discussions on this topic is that no system is perfect; they can all be corrupted. It takes a vigilant and informed citizenry to keep the politicians honest (or rather, in check. Honest politicians=oxymoron.). But a specie-backed currency is harder to corrupt and makes it easier to keep government on a short leash. Gold standard. That's my vote. End the Fed.

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

Goes211,

A belief is a thought that we keep thinking over and over.  If this gentleman is convinced that he is irrefutably correct then no amount of words will alter his perception. 

Before considering the counter arguments above I recommend all of the following books and videos and then give some careful thought to the reasoning set out and whether it makes sense or not. 

Books: 

The Web of Debt

The Lost Science of Money (available at www.monetary.org)

[I would most definitely include Bernard Lietaer's book The Future of Money but the current bid price on ebay is $310]

Videos

The Secret of Oz

Debt As Money (view on Youtube)

The Money Fix (view at www.themoneyfix.org)

Metacurrency primer (10 minutes at www.metacurrency.org)

I have an extensive financial background and I've considered the above over many hundreds of hours to conclude that indeed we have been deceived by the banking system.  However permaculture would say that "the problem suggests the solution" and I think that one of the real strengths of being able to mobilize society to move over the peak oil hump is to revamp the monetary system - I think that substantive change would never occur unless society is hit by a wall of the combined force of the 3Es.

While I do think that debt free money is a central element in such a restructured monetary system I would also consider interest above expenses on loans accruing to the level of government that issued them (on fiat currency for federal, provincial, and even local communities) combined with complementary currencies based on time (hours) or flat money (like LETS - Local Exchange Transaction Systems) which don't involve fiat or interest (unless demurrage or negative interest is incorporated into the LETS to speed up the velocity of money and boost economic transactions). 

I'm certainly not against the loaning of interest from private accumulations of debt free money.  I also see gold and silver as useful stores of wealth but not as the basis for a monetary system - just read the book "The Economic Hitman" to consider what happens when you have no control over the currency you owe debt obligations but have no means of obtaining the currency (US dollar in the case of developing countries but gold for the whole world except the elite if we are being set up for a gold standard as some fear) - this leads to debt servitude and a stripping of your personal and/or country's assets.

If nothing else I'd draw your attention to Chapter 27 of The Web of Debt where Ellen Brown sets out that the use of the monetary system by China is the powerhouse that creates its tremendous growth over the past two decades.  It might appear that China does not use a debt free monetary system but this is a grand illusion.  Since the government owns its banks and industrial conglomerates it issues loans to itself for which it does not matter if they are repaid - all is done to put money into the system and have no interest falling outside into private hands - in effect debt free money.  Don't get me wrong - I think China has massive problems from declining aquifers, poisoned rivers, deforestation, farmland paved over for cities, putting its citizens on an increased diet of meat (pork in particular which is pretty much as high up on the food chain as we are which means that when people eat it even more resources are required to support it).  I think that China copied the West and therefore copied most of the problems as well - but with so many people and moving away from sustainable agriculture they are facing real issues that they may not be realizing.  On the other hand, with a better functioning monetary system they might be able to move to a Manhattan project of sustainable agriculture faster than the West - but they may not have the margin for error that the West has.

I invite you to consider the above - personally the monetary system is the biggest elephant in the room that is the most difficult to see without considering the "lens" I've set out above. 

One more thing - consider the fact that Random House is not reprinting Bernard Lietaer's book that I mention above.  When the asking price on a face value $20 book is $310 on ebay - I think you have a winner (two years ago the price was $250).  Ask yourself - why isn't this book being reprinted?  Personally I think it is the clearest book on monetary theory - and I think there are a lot of people that would go to great lengths to ensure that monetary theory not get the exposure we need.

But heck, the world just hangs in the balance...let's not worry about saving it...let's just let the elite scavenge up the biggest crumbs left in the wreckage....hmmm...won't be much left for their kids though...are they thinking about that?

Everything needs to be revamped - top down to the bottom in everyway that we do things.  We really don't have time to personalize whose idea came from where and whether we like that person or not - we need to consider the merits of each potential solution and integrate them holistically.  Absolutely we need to consider issues of state control and incorporate that into potential solutions.

There are no silver bullets.  There are no easy answers.  But there are lots of possibilities - a gold standard just isn't one of them.

Here's the story that I tell people when I first talk about the monetary system.  Imagine that a bank lends you, Goes211, 10 gold coins, lends me 10 gold coins, and earthwise 10 gold coins.  We use these gold coins to facilitate trade amongst the three of us.  In the process each of us builds a house.  When the bank comes to collect on the loans, I have traded well with the two of you and I have eleven gold coins and I repay the bank for the 10 gold coins I owe plus 1 for the interest.  Earthwise has also traded well and has eleven gold coins and also can repay the principal and interest owing of 11.

Goes211, how many gold coins do you have?  In this example - representing the finite sum of gold available in society but in our case a microcosm of the larger picture - you have 30 gold coins loaned out less the 11 I have paid back the bank and the 11 earthwise paid back the bank - this is 8 gold coins.  But you owe 11 gold coins?!  What happened?

Why the simple matter is that the bank has created three gold coins out of thin air that don't exist and entered them on its accounting records and you now owe those three gold coins.  Now you must find some way of getting three gold coins.  But in this example the banks control the monetary system through gold so perhaps there aren't three gold coins for you to obtain to settle your debt.  If the bank won't let you come work for them to settle it (oh, and what is the value of a gold coin when none are in circulation?  Isn't it infinite?) then perhaps they'll just foreclose on that house you built and whatever other assets they deem fit.

Hence William Jennings Bryan's 1896 speech "You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

For all of the failings of the fractional reserve banking system there is a way of preventing the above to occur - issue new loans each year at the amount of interest being repaid plus interest.  This is where the growth requirement in the economy comes from.  Clearly this is not sustainable and we need a new system.

Kind regards,

James

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

In Mr. North's hit piece, he lists a number of exceptions that he takes with Ellen Brown.  Fortunately, he starts with the most important as number 1:

1. Governments should get out of debt by printing paper money

Yes!  This may be the most important point made in Ellen Brown’s “Web of Debt” and it deserves our attention for it is the remedy and reason for true monetary reform. Mr. North does not argue for or against the concept, choosing instead to quibble over “Shays' (not Shay's) rebellion.”

By choice, not necessity, our government borrows money from the privately owned and operated Federal Reserve banking monopoly. When the Fed decides to increase the supply of money, they buy government issued bonds with money they create for free. The money is endowed with value as it is backed by the credit, people and property of the United States. If we alone back the money, why are we borrowing it?

Thomas Edison elegantly explained this conundrum “If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good, makes the bill good also…Both are promises to pay, but one fattens the usurers and the other helps the people. If the currency issued by the Government was no good, then the bonds would be no good either. It is a terrible situation when the Government, to increase the national wealth, must go into debt and submit to ruinous interest charges…”

Congressman Wright Patman was one of the few politicians who understood and was honest about the absurdity of our nation borrowing its own money “When our Federal Government, that has the exclusive power to create money, creates that money and then goes into the open market and borrows it and pays interest for the use of its own money, it occurs to me that that is going too far. I have never yet had anyone who could, through the use of logic and reason, justify the Federal Government borrowing the use of its own money.”

“The Constitution of the United States does not give the banks the power to create money. The Constitution says that Congress shall have the power to create money, but now, under our system, we will sell bonds to commercial banks and obtain credit from those banks.”

“I believe the time will come when people will demand that this be changed. I believe the time will come in this country when they will actually blame you and me and everyone else connected with this Congress for sitting idly by and permitting such an idiotic system to continue. I make that statement after years of study.” - Wright Patman: excerpts from September 29, 1941, as reported in the Congressional Record of the House of Representatives (pages 7582-7583)

The truth is startling – there is no need for a national debt or for the national government to borrow what it alone has the sovereign power to create. Wright Patman was right, and I hope that in addition to blaming “you and me and everyone else connected with this Congress for sitting idly by and permitting such an idiotic system to continue” that people like Gary North are called to the carpet to explain why they never exposed what is the greatest theft in history.

You may be wondering why people like Gary North would lie about the most important issue of our age - it is not hyperbole to say that the fate of humanity rests with people figuring out thisgreat truth.  Here's the deal...Mises and Austrian economics were created and funded by the bankers. 

Ellen does not need me to defend her fine work and she has already debunked much of what North wrote at her website.  So instead I will open the door and expose some of the skeletons hanging in the Mises/Austrian closet:

1) The Life and Works of Ludwig von Mises

“Many readers may be surprised to learn the extent to which the Graduate Institute and then Mises himself in the years immediately after he came to United States were kept afloat financially through generous grants from the Rockefeller Foundation. In fact, for the first years of Mises’s life in the United States, before his appointment as a visiting professor in the Graduate School of Business Administration at New York University (NYU) in 1945, he was almost totally dependent on annual research grants from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Even after he finally landed the position at NYU, where he remained only a visiting professor until his retirement in 1969, his salary was paid for not by NYU, but from funds contributed by generous private supporters.”

http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=692

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2) Mises wife, Margit Herzfeld, wrote in her biography of Ludwig Von Mises

“…that he participated in Count Coudenhove-Kalergi’s Pan Europe movement in 1943. He had been brought to the U.S. in 1940 by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation of $2500 a year to work at the Natl. Bureau of Economic Research, which grant was renewed in 1943.”

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3) Eustace Mullins, “The World Order, A Study in the Hegemony of Parasitism”

“Hence his [Montagu Norman, Governor of the Bank of England] campaign in favour of completely autonomous central banks, dominating their own financial markets and deriving their power from common agreement among themselves. They would succeed in taking out of the political realm those problems which are essential for the development and prosperity of the national financial security, distribution of credit, movement of prices. They would thus prevent internal political struggles from harming the wealth and the economic advancement of nations.

In short, Norman wished to see the imposition of the World Order over the financial affairs of the nations. It was this agreement among the central banks, rather than the front organization, the League of Nations, which became their final instrument of power. Crucial to these arrangements was the monetarist school, the Austrian School of Economics, an outgrowth of the Pan-Europe movement.”

http://loveforlife.com.au/content/10/01/29/world-order-study-hegemony-parasitism-eustace-mullins

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4) George Monbiot, Guardian UK, “How the neoliberals stitched up the wealth of nations for themselves”

“A cabal of intellectuals and elitists hijacked the economic debate, and now we are dealing with the catastrophic effects.

When the Mont Pelerin Society first met, in 1947, its political project did not have a name. But it knew where it was going. The society’s founder, Friedrich von Hayek, remarked that the battle for ideas would take at least a generation to win, but he knew that his intellectual army would attract powerful backers. Its philosophy, which later came to be known as neoliberalism, accorded with the interests of the ultra-rich, so the ultra-rich would pay for it.

Neoliberalism claims that we are best served by maximum market freedom and minimum intervention by the state. The role of government should be confined to creating and defending markets, protecting private property and defending the realm.

This, at any rate, is the theory. But as David Harvey proposes in his book A Brief History of Neoliberalism, wherever the neoliberal programme has been implemented, it has caused a massive shift of wealth not just to the top 1%, but to the top tenth of the top 1%. In the US, for instance, the upper 0.1% has already regained the position it held at the beginning of the 1920s.

The conditions that neoliberalism demands in order to free human beings from the slavery of the state – minimal taxes, the dismantling of public services and social security, deregulation, the breaking of the unions – just happen to be the conditions required to make the elite even richer, while leaving everyone else to sink or swim. In practice the philosophy developed at Mont Pelerin is little but an elaborate disguise for a wealth grab.

The first great advantage the neoliberals possessed was an unceasing fountain of money. US oligarchs and their foundations – Coors, Olin, Scaife, Pew and others – have poured hundreds of millions into setting up thinktanks, founding business schools and transforming university economics departments into bastions of almost totalitarian neoliberal thinking.

The Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institute, the American Enterprise Institute and many others in the US, the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Centre for Policy Studies and the Adam Smith Institute in the UK, were all established to promote this project. Their purpose was to develop the ideas and the language which would mask the real intent of the programme – the restoration of the power of the elite – and package it as a proposal for the betterment of humankind.

Neoliberalism, if unchecked, will catalyse crisis after crisis, all of which can be solved only by greater intervention on the part of the state. In confronting it, we must recognise that we will never be able to mobilise the resources its exponents have been given. But as the disasters they have caused unfold, the public will need ever less persuading that it has been misled.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/aug/28/comment.businesscomment

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Ricky Ricardo often said “Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!” Mr. North, Mises and Austrian advocates…you got some ‘splainin’ to do!”

I'm not looking to debate anyone, I really don't care if you believe me or not. I'm writing this for two reasons.  First, I greatly appreciate Ellen Brown's work and wanted to vent my bladder on the dumb asses who can't figure out the obvious - you are the reason why the country is going to hell.  Second, I think that around 15% of the people are still able to critically think - this post is mainly for you - please read Ms. Brown's book and research what I've said. 

Larry

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

I suggest looking into the Gold Reserve act of 1934 and its unintended consequences.    It is government action that led us to where we are today monetarily.  Eliminating gold from  circulating as money paved the way for unlimited government spending (and borrowing)  and continues to save the bankers from its customers to this day.    But  why did the government do this?   

 

 

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

Thanks Larry. 

I certainly don't know what the answer is, however the Federal Gov't paying interest to a (privately owned) bank to use it's own money and the US taxpayers on the hook for the principal and interest is beyond ludicrous.

Can anyone in favor of the Federal Reserve (private central bank of the US) explain how the current system benefits the taxpayer?

Southerner

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

 Can anyone in favor of totally centralised power explain how this benefits the taxpayer?

 

 Screw the fed.. and the state it sailed in on.

 Greenbacker statist shills.. faux milquetoast pretend-rebels.. go home !

 

 Let freedom ring. Not officially.. too much to expect..... but at least individually.

 

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

 

 Screw antisemitism. Screw state-worship. Screw patriotism.

 Long live freedom. Long live wisdom. Long live sustainability.... and all who learn to sail on her.

 

 

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com
Southerner wrote:

Thanks Larry. 

I certainly don't know what the answer is, however the Federal Gov't paying interest to a (privately owned) bank to use it's own money and the US taxpayers on the hook for the principal and interest is beyond ludicrous.

Can anyone in favor of the Federal Reserve (private central bank of the US) explain how the current system benefits the taxpayer?

Southerner

Southerner,

Larry's 4 points consisted of ad hominem attacks on Mises and Hayak and straw man arguments about central banking.   At no point does Mr North indicate support of the FED or central banking.  It is quite the opposite because I am sure he would agree with you that "the Federal Gov't paying interest to a (privately owned) bank to use it's own money and the US taxpayers on the hook for the principal and interest is beyond ludicrous".

Getting back to the subject at hand, Ellen Brown and Greenbackers, I thought this real "Tea Party" contradiction was best summarized earlier by the statement...

<em>plato1965</em> wrote:

 End the Fed !!   (cheers)

... all power to the state !!! .. ( Huh ? WTF ! )

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

I certainly don't know what the answer is, however the Federal Gov't paying interest to a (privately owned) bank to use it's own money and the US taxpayers on the hook for the principal and interest is beyond ludicrous.

Good comment but there is one thing we have to realize here.  The government is not paying interest for the use of its own money, rather it is borrowing and paying interest for the use of the bankers money, which only consists of numbers in checking accounts.

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com
James Wandler wrote:

Before considering the counter arguments above I recommend all of the following books and videos and then give some careful thought to the reasoning set out and whether it makes sense or not. 

Books: 

The Web of Debt

The Lost Science of Money (available at www.monetary.org)

[I would most definitely include Bernard Lietaer's book The Future of Money but the current bid price on ebay is $310]

Videos

The Secret of Oz

Debt As Money (view on Youtube)

The Money Fix (view at www.themoneyfix.org)

Metacurrency primer (10 minutes at www.metacurrency.org)

I have an extensive financial background and I've considered the above over many hundreds of hours to conclude that indeed we have been deceived by the banking system.  However permaculture would say that "the problem suggests the solution" and I think that one of the real strengths of being able to mobilize society to move over the peak oil hump is to revamp the monetary system - I think that substantive change would never occur unless society is hit by a wall of the combined force of the 3Es.

While I do think that debt free money is a central element in such a restructured monetary system I would also consider interest above expenses on loans accruing to the level of government that issued them (on fiat currency for federal, provincial, and even local communities) combined with complementary currencies based on time (hours) or flat money (like LETS - Local Exchange Transaction Systems) which don't involve fiat or interest (unless demurrage or negative interest is incorporated into the LETS to speed up the velocity of money and boost economic transactions). 

I'm certainly not against the loaning of interest from private accumulations of debt free money.  I also see gold and silver as useful stores of wealth but not as the basis for a monetary system - just read the book "The Economic Hitman" to consider what happens when you have no control over the currency you owe debt obligations but have no means of obtaining the currency (US dollar in the case of developing countries but gold for the whole world except the elite if we are being set up for a gold standard as some fear) - this leads to debt servitude and a stripping of your personal and/or country's assets.

If nothing else I'd draw your attention to Chapter 27 of The Web of Debt where Ellen Brown sets out that the use of the monetary system by China is the powerhouse that creates its tremendous growth over the past two decades.  It might appear that China does not use a debt free monetary system but this is a grand illusion.  Since the government owns its banks and industrial conglomerates it issues loans to itself for which it does not matter if they are repaid - all is done to put money into the system and have no interest falling outside into private hands - in effect debt free money.  Don't get me wrong - I think China has massive problems from declining aquifers, poisoned rivers, deforestation, farmland paved over for cities, putting its citizens on an increased diet of meat (pork in particular which is pretty much as high up on the food chain as we are which means that when people eat it even more resources are required to support it).  I think that China copied the West and therefore copied most of the problems as well - but with so many people and moving away from sustainable agriculture they are facing real issues that they may not be realizing.  On the other hand, with a better functioning monetary system they might be able to move to a Manhattan project of sustainable agriculture faster than the West - but they may not have the margin for error that the West has.

I invite you to consider the above - personally the monetary system is the biggest elephant in the room that is the most difficult to see without considering the "lens" I've set out above. 

One more thing - consider the fact that Random House is not reprinting Bernard Lietaer's book that I mention above.  When the asking price on a face value $20 book is $310 on ebay - I think you have a winner (two years ago the price was $250).  Ask yourself - why isn't this book being reprinted?  Personally I think it is the clearest book on monetary theory - and I think there are a lot of people that would go to great lengths to ensure that monetary theory not get the exposure we need.

But heck, the world just hangs in the balance...let's not worry about saving it...let's just let the elite scavenge up the biggest crumbs left in the wreckage....hmmm...won't be much left for their kids though...are they thinking about that?

Everything needs to be revamped - top down to the bottom in everyway that we do things.  We really don't have time to personalize whose idea came from where and whether we like that person or not - we need to consider the merits of each potential solution and integrate them holistically.  Absolutely we need to consider issues of state control and incorporate that into potential solutions.

There are no silver bullets.  There are no easy answers.  But there are lots of possibilities - a gold standard just isn't one of them.

Here's the story that I tell people when I first talk about the monetary system.  Imagine that a bank lends you, Goes211, 10 gold coins, lends me 10 gold coins, and earthwise 10 gold coins.  We use these gold coins to facilitate trade amongst the three of us.  In the process each of us builds a house.  When the bank comes to collect on the loans, I have traded well with the two of you and I have eleven gold coins and I repay the bank for the 10 gold coins I owe plus 1 for the interest.  Earthwise has also traded well and has eleven gold coins and also can repay the principal and interest owing of 11.

Goes211, how many gold coins do you have?  In this example - representing the finite sum of gold available in society but in our case a microcosm of the larger picture - you have 30 gold coins loaned out less the 11 I have paid back the bank and the 11 earthwise paid back the bank - this is 8 gold coins.  But you owe 11 gold coins?!  What happened?

Why the simple matter is that the bank has created three gold coins out of thin air that don't exist and entered them on its accounting records and you now owe those three gold coins.  Now you must find some way of getting three gold coins.  But in this example the banks control the monetary system through gold so perhaps there aren't three gold coins for you to obtain to settle your debt.  If the bank won't let you come work for them to settle it (oh, and what is the value of a gold coin when none are in circulation?  Isn't it infinite?) then perhaps they'll just foreclose on that house you built and whatever other assets they deem fit.

Hence William Jennings Bryan's 1896 speech "You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

For all of the failings of the fractional reserve banking system there is a way of preventing the above to occur - issue new loans each year at the amount of interest being repaid plus interest.  This is where the growth requirement in the economy comes from.  Clearly this is not sustainable and we need a new system.

Kind regards,

James

As I stated earlier I have not read Ellen Brown or Zarlenga's book.  When I have listened to them on podcasts and youtube, I just have not found their arguments compelling and feel no need to support them by buying their books.

I bought "The Secret of Oz" and have watched "Money as Debt" many times.  I checked out the metacurrency primer but really don't know what to make of it.  I will say I did find the examples given about discounts on insurance based upon purchasing habits a bit creepy.  Don't know about "The Money Fix" and it is not available on Netflix.

I also think it is safe to say I have an extensive financial background and I agree that we are being deceived by the banking system.  I am glad to hear that you are "not against the loaning of interest from private accumulations of debt free money".  I always find it strange when people believe that interest should NEVER be charged because if that was the case, why would someone ever put their capital at risk.

I don't know anything about Bernard Lietaer's book but I don't see how its cost on eBay proves anything.  I can't find it right now but I noticed somewhere on his site Mr North mentions an out of print reference book he advocates that currently goes for $600.  Does that mean it is twice is correct?

At one time I was completely sold on a PM standard.  Rothbard's "What has the Government done with our Money" and "The Case for the 100% Gold Dollar" made it seem doable.  I am no longer so sure but I would not dismiss the idea as quickly as you seem to.  It seems to me the backing of money is most important when counter party trust is low.   After a collapse, I can imagine this will be especially true.

I don't think that your arguments about gold coins are a particularly meaningful.  Since the the gold coins do not exist in a vacuum, and do not get destroyed when the loan is paid back (unlike debt based money), they can easily circulate and pay off all the loans with interest.  There was a interesting discussion of this by diarmidw in the thread on exponential growth.    He also has a nice page on his website about the impossibily of paying interest that goes into this in more detail.   Although he was discussing debt based money, I think the same principle can easily be applied to a PM based monetary system.

Don't assume that I am in total agreement that a PM standard is the only way to go.  All I really know is I don't want any standard that is FORCED on me.  I want freedom to choose what I think is best at any given time which will almost certainly require some sort of monetary competition. 

Of the outside the box monetary ideas, I personally find Paul Grignon "Digital Coin" proposal the most interesting.  I don't know how it would really work, and I don't particularly like the central clearer, but at least that proposal seems not to centralize the creation of money.

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com
goes211 wrote:

Don't assume that I am in total agreement that a PM standard is the only way to go.  All I really know is I don't want any standard that is FORCED on me.  I want freedom to choose what I think is best at any given time which will almost certainly require some sort of monetary competition. 

+++ I completely agree !!

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

goes211,

Thank you for pointing out that I didn't have much to say about "The Future of Money" by Bernard Lietaer as follows. 

Bernard Lietaer goes far beyond the concept of fiat into it being complemented by local currencies in a yin yang relationship.  My 10 gold coins story is also adapted from his book.  Another concept is demurrage or negative interest which puts a disincentive on hoarding and turns our short term world focus upside down to consider 300 or 500 year projects to restore the Earth.  Bernard indicates that demurrage systems were used in Egypt under the Pharaohs and the Central Middle Ages (when the cathedrals in Europe were built).  He also discusses currency conversion - this is what the Metacurrency project is attempting to illustrate - with currency conversion you get a choice of monetary systems.  He discusses how different types of money encourage certain types of behavior (our current debt based fiat money system encourages competition, requires endless growth, and concentrates wealth from interest on thin air money into the hands of a minority.  [Having read a textbook on Social Psychology I learned that behavior affects our attitudes and not necessarily the other way around - that is why a smoker that quits often proclaims to others the benefits of having quit when similar platitudes fell on their own deaf ears when they were a smoker - thus our monetary system creates a behavior across society which then creates a cultural attitude and then we believe that humanity has certain inherent characteristic that shape our world view - nothing could be further from the truth].

Bernard discusses how corporate issued "points" program are a form of money - and one of his future scenarios for the world unfolds with corporate control using such money effectively leading to fascism and a disbanding of democracy - this scenario would depend on no monetary crash but a continuation of highly individualistic priorities.  Another future scenario would be extensive cataclysmic events leading to the severing of the world economy resulting in a rise of local currencies in a world unable to trade at distances - this would be the yin without the yang and no more pleasant than today even after turmoil was overcome - balance is the best objective.  Another scenario he calls 'Hell on Earth' and, yes, that's the place for gold as medium of exchange in a world collapsed economy combined with highly individualistic priorities - I fervently hope for a continued and gradual world transition as has been unfolding and see gold as a store of value in such a transition - you see, one problem with Hell on Earth is the lack of circulation of money to the people - my 10 gold coins story didn't seem meaningful since you assume that since the gold isn't being "destroyed" it will circulate - this isn't necessarily the case.  We currently have trillions being poured in liquidity into the system but comparatively little inflation (so far) - because the money sloshes around within the financial system with little net outlet to Main Street (sure some comes from the federal government but lots goes back in tax too).  Just because money (gold) isn't destroyed doesn't mean that people won't hoard it - and if they hoard it you can't get it - and if people have no trust?  Yep, they will hoard.

Bernard's hopeful scenario is where there isn't a monetary crash (and remember this book was published in 2001 !!) and that we move our civilization toward lower individual priorities (the yin of local currencies (for example) to the yang of our current system) leading to sustainable abundance (which is where addresses the 3Es of Chris' integrated material is a necessity - we can't consider issues in isolation).

My favorite vision that Bernard outlines in his book is a future where universities teach courses like “Ecosophy” (living wisely by combining the disciplines of economics, ecology, monetary theory and more, plus how the internet creates a virtual world leading to integration of collective human thought – such as our conversation) and “Economic History” which discuss how the old constructs of full time employment only occupy the activities of 30% of the population while the rest have been freed up to pursue their ‘full potential’ in activities like music and the arts and pure science and beyond.

I pulled several of the key concepts out of the book but I cannot do justice to his extensive discussion that heavily elaborate on the topics I've listed above.

Given the difficulty of getting Bernard's book it makes it impossible for a broad discussion of these issues so critical to society being considered on a mass scale.  As I say, many people have gone to great lengths to hide the monetary system which is the only reason I can see why Random House wouldn't reprint this winner - I'm sure that they could reprint the book over and over again and still not meet demand - let's see, 93% of the people in Iceland voted in their referendum against accepting punitive bankers debt so the potential market of just this small country is, say, 93% X 300,000 = 279,000 copies alone.

Since we can't all get a copy of Bernard's book we can visit www.themoneyfix.org and watch their movie on complementary currencies for free.  We can also research the web for complementary currencies like LETS, read up on the WIR, we can read up on the work of Silvio Gesell, we can read the book "No More Throw Away People" by Edgar Cahn, and books by Thomas Greco.  Bernard indicates that complementary currencies were integral into the success of the Brazilian city of Curitiba for 25 years to the year 2001 - perhaps there is something on the web about this.  I agree that Paul Grignon's Digital Coin is very interesting. 

The Metacurrency Project is trying to illustrate how currencies are simply an accounting system for whatever we want to track and how we'd like to conduct our behavior - I could see that you wouldn't like their examples but they aren't necessarily advocating central control of the information - their visual picture of the network of information flows actually appears to be heavily decentralized - I believe that they are intending for all of us to create our own currencies.

I still invite you to consider reading The Lost Science of Money and skip the differences you might have re: philosophy and his conclusions/recommendations and just look at his book as a detailed and fascinating historical use of fiat money through the past 5,000 years.  Considering ideas from as many perspectives as possible is the best personal step towards preventing a monetary system forced down upon you that you don't like.  I didn't dismiss the gold standard lightly - I spent hundreds of hours considering it largely after reading The Lost Science of Money and considering how gold vs. fiat was used in ancient times and then considering the merits of each.  Fiat is incredibly powerful - our entire world economy is based on it - and our world may be dysfunctional in so many ways I lose count but the complexity of the world's economy is owed to fiat money (energy powers it - fiat allows the complexity).

Anyways, I pop into Chris' site to keep track of what's going on in the world of the 3Es but I'm currently trying to apply the same rigor to spiritual concepts that I've applied to monetary theory, sustainable agriculture, energy alternatives, child lead learning (actually that was an easy one - I just had to read John Taylor Gatto's book "Dumbing Us Down") amongst the other "Cultural Creative" topics that can pave the way forward for society .  Dropping out of the financial world and moving to a rural area so I could spend the last two evenings washing skunk spray off my dog isn't without adventure...but we all do what we can.

Kind regards,

James

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

I full support local and competing currencies but it is hard to see how any other currencies can really take off under the current regulatory environment.  Legal tender laws and a tax system (capital gains, income, sales) that requires all transactions to be treated as if they are done in dollars is just too much to overcome.  I think post dollar collapse is the only time we will truly get to see other systems in action, and that will only be if they don't immediately force a new system on us all.

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

+1 Larry. Thanks for the lesson. I also really like Ellen Brown and read the Web of Debt shortly after doing the CC.

Coop

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

ckessel wrote:

+1 Larry. Thanks for the lesson. I also really like Ellen Brown and read the Web of Debt shortly after doing the CC.

Hello coop,

Thanks for the thumbs up...I think you will find that almost all Ellen Brown detractors have not read the book.  BTW, she has been all over the "ForeclosureGate" scandal, in fact I think she broke the story.  She was on Max Keiser's show yesterday discussing the details - I'm sure it will be available shortly via youtube or his site - it is a great interview.  She published an article today about it Foreclosuregate and Obama's "Pocket Veto"  She is making headway which is probably why the Mises misinformation mob is attacking her (Yes, Lew Rockwell is da man at Mises).

We may be moving close to the financial end game and I really hope people take the time to understand what we are fighting.  I've read that if 3-4% of the people came to understand the ponzi scheme that enslaves us, that would be the tipping point.  You know, there is nothing to stop the privately owned Federal Reserve from creating $20 trillion, or whatever they need, to buy the country as things continue slipping - in fact this process has already begun in earnest; see Michael Hudson Why the U.S. has Launched a New Financial World War -- And How the the Rest of the World Will Fight Back "Who Needs an Army When You Can Obtain the Usual Objective (Monetary Wealth and Asset Appropriation) Simply by Financial Means?"

James Wandler wrote:

Before considering the counter arguments above I recommend all of the following books and videos and then give some careful thought to the reasoning set out and whether it makes sense or not.

Thanks for the list. You had mentioned Bernard Lietaer before and I think I scoffed as he was a central banker.  Well I was wrong, I haven't read the book (need a loaner) yet but have read a number of his articles and agree, he does a great job explaining the system.  I would also add Byron Dale's book to the list.  BTW, Bernard Lietaer wrote nice review on the back cover of Ellen Brown's Web of Debt.

There are also a number of good books that were written towards the end of the 19th century and early in the 20th as this period was the heyday for monetary reform; see the Yamaguchy list.

  For example, The Coming Battle (1899) Martin W. Walbert prophetically explained where we are today:

"…[Banks] hold the most dangerous form of power that has yet appeared to threaten the material well-being of the race; which now holds every civilized and semi-civilized people in its merciless grasp; which is appropriating to itself the productive energies of the world; which is subordinating the press, the pulpit, and the statesmen of the day to its ambitious ends…”

That there is a gigantic combination of the money dealers, a powerful international trust of usurers, asserting a superiority above all jurisdictions, and having for its servants the so-called statesmen and potentates of various nations, who willingly register the decrees of this money power upon the statute-books of the respective states, is a fact that can be sustained by irrefutable evidence.

It is sought to point out the great dangers of delegating purely government powers to these greedy monopolists, by which they are enabled to organize a money trust, far more tyrannical than all the other combinations now in existence… It was there shown that the United States, by transferring its sovereign power of issuing currency to accumulate as money among the people, and delegating to a private corporation, had, in a period of less than fifty years, built up a monopoly that threatened to pull down the pillars of the republic.

The issue between these banks and the people will be joined in the near future, and the greatest struggle the world ever witnessed will take place between the usurping banks on the one hand and the people on the other.

This great international monetary trust now menaces the very life of this nation, and the people must dethrone it and subordinate it to their will, or American liberty will vanish.”

goes211, when are you going to read the Web of Debt or Byron Dales book?  I guarantee you will look at the world through a different perspective and you will no doubt become a great monetary reformer.  We need the help!

Larry

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com
DrKrbyLuv wrote:

goes211, when are you going to read the Web of Debt or Byron Dales book?  I guarantee you will look at the world through a different perspective and you will no doubt become a great monetary reformer.  We need the help!

Larry

Ok Larry.  I appreciate the positive tone of your response.  I bought "Secret of Oz" many months ago because I mostly like Bill Still.  I found it interesting but I can't say it changed my mind.  I have listened to Byron and Ellen talk several times and I largely agree with their diagnosis of the problem, I just am not convinced of their cure.  I wish Byron's book was available on Amazon because I prefer him to Ellen.  Surprisingly the city library does not carry "Web of Debt", and although I hate to support an author that I might not agree with, I guess Ellen just earned my $20.

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

Goes211,

Byron has looked into having his book on Amazon. Without going into to many details there are some people that basically would rather not have his information put out there.  I don't know how else to say it other than Byron is probably has more resistance from the power class against him than any other individual.  Anyways, we are getting ready for the book fair on saturday, and if you're willing we are going to start some Skype webcam interviews.  You're more than willing to join us.  If you want more info write me a private message.

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

I have not read Mr. North's rebuttal of Ellen Brown's "Web of Debt" that argues for a debt free money system, since my time is limited. However I recognize the tactic of attacking the competition, but not explaining why the current system (of debt based money) is superior - the politicians use the method all the time. Ellen is constructive while Mr. North is destructive. If he has a good argument he should make it, otherwise I side with those who are constructive.

"The Secret of Oz" has been mentioned but Bill Still's "The Money Masters" is a better film on monetary history.

Debt based money had its birth in 1694 when The Governor and Company of the Bank of England were created. As CM points out that debt grows exponentially beyond the money supply so that the debt monster can now consume the entire planet.

Private accumulations of debt free money can be used for financing without interest. Beyond a fee for the administative work the usury free way is that the capital investor take some share in the profit of the enterprise. This has the additional beneficial effect that mostly worthy enterprises will be funded.  

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

 

Found this on the web

http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north891.html

Ellen Brown is an admirer of the fascist economic model:    Hitler and FDRs      Very illuminating.

 

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

Goes,

I've just this moment found a preview copy of Ellen Hodgson Brown ~ Web Of Debt ~ at Google Books. I reckon it'll be good for 70 or 80 pages ...

{LINK ...}

Take Care,

Paul

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com
SteveW wrote:

I have not read Mr. North's rebuttal of Ellen Brown's "Web of Debt" that argues for a debt free money system, since my time is limited. However I recognize the tactic of attacking the competition, but not explaining why the current system (of debt based money) is superior - the politicians use the method all the time. Ellen is constructive while Mr. North is destructive. If he has a good argument he should make it, otherwise I side with those who are constructive.

"The Secret of Oz" has been mentioned but Bill Still's "The Money Masters" is a better film on monetary history.

Debt based money had its birth in 1694 when The Governor and Company of the Bank of England were created. As CM points out that debt grows exponentially beyond the money supply so that the debt monster can now consume the entire planet.

Private accumulations of debt free money can be used for financing without interest. Beyond a fee for the administative work the usury free way is that the capital investor take some share in the profit of the enterprise. This has the additional beneficial effect that mostly worthy enterprises will be funded.  

Steve,

I am not following your logic.   After stating that you have not read any of Mr North's rebuttal you state "Ellen is constructive while Mr. North is destructive".  How could you possibly know that?  Have you spent some time on his fairly extensive website?  If so, how is he destructive?

Mr North's rebuttal is just an article so it hardly takes a lot of time to read.  I think if you do any research you would see that Mr North shares many of Ms Browns concerns on debt based monetary systems.  He is an Austrian Economist so it is not hard to guess that his solution to the the money problem is some sort of precious metal based system.

One question.  If you personally had an accumulation of debt free money, why would you lend it to someone and RISK THAT THE LOAN DOES NOT GET REPAID, when you could just deposit the money in a bank or safedeposit box for safe keeping and NOT TAKE ANY RISK?  Seems to me any attempt to end interest payments would quickly send monetary velocity to zero and create a lot of hoarding.  Not exactly a great property of a monetary system.

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com
goes211 wrote:

Steve,

I am not following your logic.   After stating that you have not read any of Mr North's rebuttal you state "Ellen is constructive while Mr. North is destructive".  How could you possibly know that?  Have you spent some time on his fairly extensive website?  If so, how is he destructive?

Goes211, he is destructive by attacking someone's credibility while Ellen is constructive in suggesting a possible solution to our money problem.  This was apparent in your first post in the thread that listed 62 errors and a link to an article that refuted each of these 62 errors, i.e. 62 articles that I do not care to read. He is destructive in the sense that he attacks someone's work. I have now read the piece on the Lew Rockwell site. It is a piece of character assassinaton by association, focusing on Ellen's comments that Hitler produced an economic resurgence for Germany. His comment "She came to the defense of Adof Hitler's economy. I have waited for a target like her for 45 years." is to be characteristic of an attack dog.

goes211 wrote:

Mr North's rebuttal is just an article so it hardly takes a lot of time to read.  I think if you do any research you would see that Mr North shares many of Ms Browns concerns on debt based monetary systems.  He is an Austrian Economist so it is not hard to guess that his solution to the the money problem is some sort of precious metal based system.?

If he wrote an article on the need for a return to a PM based monetary system, or the problems of debt money, I would respect his commentary. I have no respect for character assassination and neither has CM if you read the posting guidelines for this site.

Economic Error #2: There Is Not Enough Gold to Facilitate Trade in a Growing Economy.     http://www.garynorth.com/public/6874.cfm

Well I side with Ellen on that issue. Gary North's solution is that the serfs should lower their prices while the bankers squeeze them to repay their loans in gold backed money. Sounds like class war to me where the bankers get all the people's assets.

goes211 wrote:

One question.  If you personally had an accumulation of debt free money, why would you lend it to someone and RISK THAT THE LOAN DOES NOT GET REPAID, when you could just deposit the money in a bank or safedeposit box for safe keeping and NOT TAKE ANY RISK?  Seems to me any attempt to end interest payments would quickly send monetary velocity to zero and create a lot of hoarding.  Not exactly a great property of a monetary system.

It is my understanding that strict Islamic law forbids usury, or the loaning of money at interest. So, for example, if I had an accumulation of debt free money I could loan it to someone who is starting an import business and share in the profit of that business on a percentage basis. If the monetary system operated this way I would not have any problem conforming to social norms. If I may say so your comment about monetary velocity seems to confuse transactional money and wealth money.  The problem is that our thinking is conditioned by language and we do not have the language to distinguish hard asset wealth from money that simple greases our personal commerce.

Interest is unsustainable. I have previously pointed out that one penny invested at a modest 5% in a bank 2000 years ago would now be worth a sufficient number of Earths, made of pure gold, that would stretch side by side for 4 to 5 light years.

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

SteveW:

 

Executive Order 6102 and the Gold Clause Act confiscated the peoples money,   voided all contracts payable in gold including bankers notes.

Who did this act serve,  the people?

 

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com
SteveW wrote:
goes211 wrote:

Steve,

I am not following your logic.   After stating that you have not read any of Mr North's rebuttal you state "Ellen is constructive while Mr. North is destructive".  How could you possibly know that?  Have you spent some time on his fairly extensive website?  If so, how is he destructive?

Goes211, he is destructive by attacking someone's credibility while Ellen is constructive in suggesting a possible solution to our money problem.  This was apparent in your first post in the thread that listed 62 errors and a link to an article that refuted each of these 62 errors, i.e. 62 articles that I do not care to read. He is destructive in the sense that he attacks someone's work. I have now read the piece on the Lew Rockwell site. It is a piece of character assassinaton by association, focusing on Ellen's comments that Hitler produced an economic resurgence for Germany. His comment "She came to the defense of Adof Hitler's economy. I have waited for a target like her for 45 years." is to be characteristic of an attack dog.

So Ellen's book does attempt to discredit any opposing ideas?  If that is the case I doubt she has much to say.  If she does discredit other ideas, is she not also being destructive? 

I don't think it is destructive to point out where someone is incorrect.  Any idea that can not stand up to criticism is probably not worth much in my oppinion.

SteveW wrote:
goes211 wrote:

Mr North's rebuttal is just an article so it hardly takes a lot of time to read.  I think if you do any research you would see that Mr North shares many of Ms Browns concerns on debt based monetary systems.  He is an Austrian Economist so it is not hard to guess that his solution to the the money problem is some sort of precious metal based system.?

If he wrote an article on the need for a return to a PM based monetary system, or the problems of debt money, I would respect his commentary. I have no respect for character assassination and neither has CM if you read the posting guidelines for this site.

Economic Error #2: There Is Not Enough Gold to Facilitate Trade in a Growing Economy.     http://www.garynorth.com/public/6874.cfm

Well I side with Ellen on that issue. Gary North's solution is that the serfs should lower their prices while the bankers squeeze them to repay their loans in gold backed money. Sounds like class war to me where the bankers get all the people's assets.

He has a whole website full of articles on many subjects.  I started this thread with is rebuttal of "Web of Debt" because it seemed to be a work that gets a lot of play around here.  I will be reading it soon myself so I can comment with more authority on the subject at that time. 

In the meantime you are free to check out his ideas on various subjects but beware.  I am sure Mr North will be destructive to other ideas like Keynesianism and socialism.

SteveW wrote:
goes211 wrote:

One question.  If you personally had an accumulation of debt free money, why would you lend it to someone and RISK THAT THE LOAN DOES NOT GET REPAID, when you could just deposit the money in a bank or safedeposit box for safe keeping and NOT TAKE ANY RISK?  Seems to me any attempt to end interest payments would quickly send monetary velocity to zero and create a lot of hoarding.  Not exactly a great property of a monetary system.

It is my understanding that strict Islamic law forbids usury, or the loaning of money at interest. So, for example, if I had an accumulation of debt free money I could loan it to someone who is starting an import business and share in the profit of that business on a percentage basis. If the monetary system operated this way I would not have any problem conforming to social norms. If I may say so your comment about monetary velocity seems to confuse transactional money and wealth money.  The problem is that our thinking is conditioned by language and we do not have the language to distinguish hard asset wealth from money that simple greases our personal commerce.

Interest is unsustainable. I have previously pointed out that one penny invested at a modest 5% in a bank 2000 years ago would now be worth a sufficient number of Earths, made of pure gold, that would stretch side by side for 4 to 5 light years.

You seem to be confusing debt with equity.  There are many times that a person wants to take out a loan but does not want to give up rights to a part of their idea or business and would prefer to just pay back their loan + interest.  Without interest, that would not be possible.

Your example of 2000 years of 5% interest is quite silly.  If the interest was accruing along with the loan, you are correct that after 2000 years, the loan amount would be some ridiculous amount.  That ridiculous amount would not get repaid and would result in a default.  That means that the DEBTOR got 2000 years worth of use of the principle and LENDER is not going to get repaid.  Hardly seems worth getting worked up over.

There have been many threads around here on the sustainability of interest and lets just say that these simple examples are hardly the definitive proof they initially seem to be.

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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

I see that today Mr North responded to Ms Brown's response.  Here it is.

Ellen Brown Responds to My 31 Historical Criticisms. Now It's My Turn Again.

 by Gary North

Ellen Brown, the Greenbacker, has posted a reply to me. It is addressed to me: an open letter.

I do not intend to reply to her directly. I will address my comments to her victims: her readers.

I will not be posting my responses on the home page in the future. I don't want to bore most of my subscribers out of their skulls. I will post each response as a separate article in the department, Ellen Brown: Greenbacker.

If you are interested in my responses, you can check there daily. I will respond by posting one article per day.

Before I begin, let me say this. I identified 31 major historical errors in her book. I also identified 21 major errors of economic theory. I devoted considerable space to most of them. Some articles are the equivalent of a chapter in a book. She has replied in a series of brief paragraphs.

I am very serious when I go after someone in print. Ellen Brown is not serious about scholarship at all. Let me quote from her response.

The book is 565 pages long and contains 40 pages of endnotes in fine print. I drew from my sources. I could not check the source of every source; in fact they generally didn't give sources. Of your list, I found perhaps four that were valid. Four in 565 pages I think is a remarkably good track record. I have no proof reader, no staff, the book is self-published, and I did much of my own formatting, which was a serious challenge.

First, I listed 31 errors, and I was correct in all 31, as I shall prove over the next 30 working days.

She admits that she drew from "my sources." My point was that her historical sources are totally unreliable. She thinks that she is off the hook because she quoted from some nutty source. She isn't.

She is a lawyer. Can you imagine her in front of a jury? If she loses, her client may go to jail. The prosecuting attorney demonstrates that 31 points in her defense were based on bogus sources and inaccurate statements. In her summation before the jury, she says that she did not have time to verify the sources.

Her client is going to jail.

Second, I typeset my own books, too. I also have no staff. I have written over 50 volumes of books. I strive to verify every fact, every footnote. Any serious author does.

What you're not noticing is what a really good read it is; many people have said so. That took a LOT of work. I was trying to make economics exciting and understandable for the average reader, and I believe I did that. You could put decades into footnotes and fact-checking and you would just be wasting your time if you didn't come up with prose people wanted to read.

I have never seen an admission like this, at any time, by any non-fiction author. This is unprecedented. This is simply beyond belief!

The issue is not whether her book is a "good read." The issue is whether it is accurate.

Back to the courtroom analogy. She informs the jury, "It's not the accuracy of the facts that I presented in my defense of my client that matters. It's whether I entertained you, right?"

Her client is going to jail.

She made Greenbackism exciting and understandable: for ignorant people who think Hitler's National Socialism was based on economics.

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LogansRun
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Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

Wow, Gary N. comes off as a real asshole.  Seriously, could he not have been more arrogant, abusive, jackass like, than this?  How about showing some respect for someone that put a hell of a lot of thought and effort into a belief?

This piece in itself shows Norths true colors.  He's a hitman for the Mises institute, pure and simple.  If people can't see this for what it is (a hit piece), then I feel sorry for you.  

Funny thing is, I actually liked Mr. North before this particular piece.  I thought he had some valid points, and has done some good work in the past. Now I see his work as part of an agenda, instead of actual in depth thoughts and writings.  Credibility is nil'.  Embarassed

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Posts: 1114
Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com
LogansRun wrote:

Wow, Gary N. comes off as a real asshole.  Seriously, could he not have been more arrogant, abusive, jackass like, than this?  How about showing some respect for someone that put a hell of a lot of thought and effort into a belief?

This piece in itself shows Norths true colors.  He's a hitman for the Mises institute, pure and simple.  If people can't see this for what it is (a hit piece), then I feel sorry for you.  

Funny thing is, I actually liked Mr. North before this particular piece.  I thought he had some valid points, and has done some good work in the past. Now I see his work as part of an agenda, instead of actual in depth thoughts and writings.  Credibility is nil'.  Embarassed

Seriously?  Your response is show "some respect for someone that put a hell of a lot of thought and effort into a belief?"  I am not ever sure what that means.  How about pointing out where he is wrong because that seems to be what he is trying to do to Ms Brown?

I find it ironic that you are having such an emotional response to criticism of someone you obviously have a lot of respect for, when several times in the past you have given me grief for reacting quite similarly when someone is pissing on Ron Paul or libertarians.

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LogansRun
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 1444
Re: Ellen Brown ("Web od Debt") smackdown on lewrockwell.com

My issue is that he comes across as a jerk, instead of having a mutually respectful discussion.   Ms. Brown sent him a respectful rebuttal.  Why couldn't Mr. North do the same?  Instead he decides to be an arse and aggressively attack Ms. Brown and her work.  Again, why does he need to go about it in this way?

IMO

He's working for an agenda.  What I mean is, it looks exactly like the R vs. L arguement that has absolutely destroyed the Republic!  And as most know, the R vs. L paradigm was designed and pushed by tptb to keep the citizen focused there, instead of on the real issues!  

So now we have Mr. North creating a situation in which we have Gold Bugs vs. Greenbackers!  How do you think this game will play out?!?  Do you not see the similarities? 

Divide and Conquer!..........Who do you think is planning this agenda for the Mises Institute?  Anyone?

FWIW:  I didn't think I came across as all that emotional in my first post.  No exclamation points, capitals or bolding.  I was mostly disgusted with the lack of respect GN showed.  Is it so hard to disagree with someone without being an ass?

Peace 

 

goes211 wrote:
LogansRun wrote:

Wow, Gary N. comes off as a real asshole.  Seriously, could he not have been more arrogant, abusive, jackass like, than this?  How about showing some respect for someone that put a hell of a lot of thought and effort into a belief?

This piece in itself shows Norths true colors.  He's a hitman for the Mises institute, pure and simple.  If people can't see this for what it is (a hit piece), then I feel sorry for you.  

Funny thing is, I actually liked Mr. North before this particular piece.  I thought he had some valid points, and has done some good work in the past. Now I see his work as part of an agenda, instead of actual in depth thoughts and writings.  Credibility is nil'.  Embarassed

Seriously?  Your response is show "some respect for someone that put a hell of a lot of thought and effort into a belief?"  I am not ever sure what that means.  How about pointing out where he is wrong because that seems to be what he is trying to do to Ms Brown?

I find it ironic that you are having such an emotional response to criticism of someone you obviously have a lot of respect for, when several times in the past you have given me grief for reacting quite similarly when someone is pissing on Ron Paul or libertarians.

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