Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

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epiphany's picture
epiphany
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Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

I understand the process of money creation (I think!), but this has all lead me to one question:

Why do we voluntarily pay interest on money creation? In other words, why can't we "cut out the middleman" (e.g. the central bank) and print interest-free currency direct from the treasury?

It seems like the governments of the world WANT to pay interest on currency creation. I don't understand why, or why they LET such a system perpetuate if it's self-destructive.

I can only assume that what the conspiracy theorists say is true - that the reason governments havene't challenged this system is that the bankers decide how the system works, not the government.

I hate to come to such conclusions, but....

mred's picture
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Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

It sounds like epiphany is just about to take the red pill...

If you have time, check out

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936

(I personally don't agree with everything in there, but the historical narrative is important)

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Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

Or, is it the blue pill....

Your local 'decentralized' banker serves a very important role in your local community.  Historically, he prudently directs existing capital or 'newly-minted' capital (e.g., loan proceeds, credit cards charges, etc.) toward productive goals or modest consumption (pleasure).  He, including the supporting infrastructure around him, are funded by the so-called "usury" fee...i.e., interest.

Eliminated (as some utopians propose) usury and the banker disappears.  In his place, you'll need centralized government or bureaucrats making decisions on who gets the capital (money).

Centralization is a grand idea of the Left and Islamists, so much so, that they have joined arms to rule the world.

So, what will it be, red or blue?

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Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

Cheers mred, yes I watched that some time ago and will have a re-watch some time this week.

DanS, I would class myself as from the left, although, as Tony Benn pointed out, libertarians tend to meet round the back, and the issues I favour among the leftist schools of thought are to do with a more democratic and co-operative economy, free from both state and private monopoly.

There is a great article on Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_democracy which I found sums up my inclination as far as economic reform goes.

We need a people's banking system (although not state controlled), where the public are the creditors of industry as opposed to private investors and shareholders. Co-operative structures could exist within financial institutions. With a national credit union, for example, the public would have an equal membership stake, and dividends would be distributed accordingly, in order to ensure purchasing power is adequately dispersed to "buy back" the production output.

I just don't see why we need to rely on private, usurious banking institutions at all. It's all about who owns the commons, and therefore who issues credit and who charges rents on the property that is used within the commons. We all "own" the land we live on and we should all benefit from the fruits of the industry that uses our collective means. It's all down to the letter of the law at the end of the day.

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Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

I don't think that is what epiphany was talking about. It would be great to have a truly descentralized system. It would be great to have a sound currency, a true store of value that could not be confiscated by the whims of centralized power (the Fed or government) by debasement. It would be great because we don't have that. It is our current system that is highly centralized.

Epiphany was referring to, I think, the interest that the central bank (the Fed) charges to the government for the act of printing money. Epiphany refers to the particular monopoly that the Fed has in this regard. If we are going to have a fiat currency system, heck, at least don't pay for it!

To advocate sound money is not to advocate the elimination of interest. Interest is, after all, a payment for the cost of opportunity that the capitalist suffers from not being able to deploy the capital in a different venture. If a bank lends its own capital, of course it should collect interest. That is what free people end up doing. Epiphany's point is a different one: a central bank printing money to purchase government bonds does not risk its own capital, it merely charges interest on something that did not exist before. Now THAT is usury: to collect payment on something that does not represent an opportunity cost, in fact, to collect interest on nothing.

At the "decentralized" level, the banks members of the current cartel are exempt from contract law basically. No other company can allow itself to abrogate its promises to creditors without being instantly liquidated. But banks can, because fractional reserve banking means that if all depositors were to demand their money, the bank would still be allowed to continue operating even though it could not honor its promises to redeem demand deposits. This can be achieved by different means, like legal tender laws, bank holidays, transfers from a central bank or whatever. But to sustain an institution that is insolvent by definition is the problem. Why are banks special? They should not be. At some point in history this (fractional reserve) was a crime (formerly known as "counterfeiting"), but now people are coerced to accept this. Well, now most people don't even know or understand this.

In a free system, banks would use their capital or would be intermediaries between the savers of capital and the entrepreneurs that require it. And this would be run at a local level, profitably, that is, charging interest. No need to make money out of nothing, no need for inflating the money supply and diluting the savings and incomes of people. No government shafting the public by socializing its debts... There would actually be economic freedom.

Left, Right, those words don't mean anything anymore, because both brands seem to support the totalitarian, centralized control that we have now. And it is only going to get worse.  It is TODAY that we see the centralized government and bureaucrats making decisions on who gets the capital! Did anyone miss the bailout that is going on?

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FedNix
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Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?
mred wrote:

I don't think that is what epiphany was talking about. It would be great to have a truly descentralized system. It would be great to have a sound currency, a true store of value that could not be confiscated by the whims of centralized power (the Fed or government) by debasement. It would be great because we don't have that. It is our current system that is highly centralized.

Epiphany was referring to, I think, the interest that the central bank (the Fed) charges to the government for the act of printing money. Epiphany refers to the particular monopoly that the Fed has in this regard. If we are going to have a fiat currency system, heck, at least don't pay for it!

To advocate sound money is not to advocate the elimination of interest. Interest is, after all, a payment for the cost of opportunity that the capitalist suffers from not being able to deploy the capital in a different venture. If a bank lends its own capital, of course it should collect interest. That is what free people end up doing. Epiphany's point is a different one: a central bank printing money to purchase government bonds does not risk its own capital, it merely charges interest on something that did not exist before. Now THAT is usury: to collect payment on something that does not represent an opportunity cost, in fact, to collect interest on nothing.

At the "decentralized" level, the banks members of the current cartel are exempt from contract law basically. No other company can allow itself to abrogate its promises to creditors without being instantly liquidated. But banks can, because fractional reserve banking means that if all depositors were to demand their money, the bank would still be allowed to continue operating even though it could not honor its promises to redeem demand deposits. This can be achieved by different means, like legal tender laws, bank holidays, transfers from a central bank or whatever. But to sustain an institution that is insolvent by definition is the problem. Why are banks special? They should not be. At some point in history this (fractional reserve) was a crime (formerly known as "counterfeiting"), but now people are coerced to accept this. Well, now most people don't even know or understand this.

In a free system, banks would use their capital or would be intermediaries between the savers of capital and the entrepreneurs that require it. And this would be run at a local level, profitably, that is, charging interest. No need to make money out of nothing, no need for inflating the money supply and diluting the savings and incomes of people. No government shafting the public by socializing its debts... There would actually be economic freedom.

Left, Right, those words don't mean anything anymore, because both brands seem to support the totalitarian, centralized control that we have now. And it is only going to get worse.  It is TODAY that we see the centralized government and bureaucrats making decisions on who gets the capital! Did anyone miss the bailout that is going on?

Why not eliminate the middleman indeed?

What a truly informed comment!  There are so few people who actually understand the simple truths in the above statement.  I wish I had time to expand on these comments, as they are all "spot on".   The only problem I might point out is that mred seems to have falleninto the semantic trap of mistakenly calling money "capital".  The term capital is nearly universally misused, and is a big roadblock to our understanding of money.  Capital is surplus wealth or money that can be used to increase production in some way.  Capital is a form of savings, or stored wealth.

But money that is created out of nothing in a usurious fractional reserve banking system is not capital, because it does not represent anyone's surplus.  It is fraud, pure and simple, as stated above.  Or it would be fraud if the system were honest.  Loaning something (money) that you don't have is illegal in any other enterprise other than banking, and it is that way because banksters write the laws, and buy the congressional support to get them passed into law.

This is a simplified picture of a complex situtation, but it is a true one.  Governments do not have to borrow the money they use in their economies; they have the power to create money out of nothing the same way they create T Notes, etc., and not pay anyone any interest on it. The power to create money was always a "sovereign" power, until the bankers usurped it.

The middleman should be eliminated.  He is a parasite that is killing its host - us!  He is sucking the lifeblood (wealth) from society Without the deadly parasite the host (we the people) would heal and grow prosperous.

Today's governments are run by the Central Banksters - the BIS, IMF, World Bank, and major Central Banks.  They call the shots and presidents and ministers, prime and not-so prime, dance to their tune of musical chairs.  The chairs are getting fewer and the dance is become macabre.

It's time for us all to wake up and see the world as it really is.  Past time.  

Some good info here:  http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/

http://humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2008/09/capitalist-conspiracy-world...

 

 

 

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Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

Thanks FedNix. You are totally right. To the extent that money has value and represents capital, it stands for goods in society's pool of savings: the surplus wealth as you said. I'm sorry if I was sloppy when I wrote my rant. My use of the word "capital" had an intended meaning in full agreement with your definition in every instance except the last, where I paraphrased the response #2. But I can see where I was not clear.

The identification of money with capital is the tragic legacy of Keynesianism and Monetarism, as we can see from the catastrophic present attempt to "recapitalize" the banks with fiat money. To the extent that they do "recapitalize" them, that means that the banks will simply be digging into society's real and remaining wealth, its true capital, as they have been doing for quite a while now. One just needs to look at the emergence of the financial sector at the expense of the manufacturing sector in the USA in the last 30 years. I suspect you will agree with these last statements.

It is because of the distinction that you correctly pointed out that fiat currency is a destroyer of capital (unless perfectly managed and thus used as a proxy for a monetary metal). It is a destroyer of society's wealth. And we have been destroying that stuff for several decades now, and violently since 1971. Society's remaining wealth is a testament to the formidable productive powers of modern industrial nations, and this has not happened because of, but in spite of, a fiat monetary system in my view. Indeed, to say that banks counterfeit money is not an analogy with the crime of counterfeiting, it is an exact description. The only difference is that it is legalized in our system. If people were to understand the effects of counterfeiting (on the couterfeiter and on the person that sells goods in exchange for the couterfeited money), then people would be a long way into understanding our present monetary system: the ultimate culprit of our present woes. I believe this is the most important thing to understand, but I am not aware of many others that agree with that. I suspect that we are on the same "wavelength", so I'm glad about that.

By the way, cheers to you too epiphany.

 

Set's picture
Set
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Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

This is probably one of the most interesting topics in my mind right now because I really don’t understand why this seemingly obvious scam has been allowed to continue for such a long time.  It’s been nearly one hundred years since this central bank was established in 1913.  It seems inconceivable that something this blatantly wrong, unfair, and detrimental to our society hasn’t been addressed by someone or some group before now.

 

I’ve read a book that Chris has on his recommended reading list called, “The Creature from Jekyll Island” and I want to find the time to read it again because it reinforces and gives details to the information that I received from watching videos like “The Money Masters” and “Zeitgeist Addendum.”  It’s one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read and if even a fraction of what is in this book is actually true, then “We the People”  have been and are still being Played, Big Time.  So big in fact, that it is difficult to believe that there is not several pieces of this puzzle or mystery missing. 

 

I think that one of the most important things that needs to be done is to determine the best ways to phrase questions surrounding this topic that the few men and women in our Congress, who are not sold out, can ask Paulson, Bernanke, or Blair.  I watched these three on C-SPAN yesterday and when Ron Paul asked Bernanke whether or not a new international currency or gold was discussed at the recent G-20 summit, he answered, no.  Another Congresswoman asked Paulson a question and he successfully evaded the question by saying, “The question that needs to be answered is…”  At least she called him on it and said that she wanted him to answer her question, but he never actually did.

 

This is either the biggest story ever told or I’m missing something and in the process alienating a lot of the people around me because I am convinced it’s true.  The three people I just mentioned are professional BS artists and when I listen to them answer questions that members of Congress ask them, I sit in disbelief that they aren’t being called to the floor by Someone. 

 

Is a sound money system even possible in this overcrowded, indebted beyond any hope of repayment world?  Is non fiat money a realistic expectation at this point?  Is a non fractional reserve system viable in a world economy?  I read that if gold were used to back the dollar, it would have to be priced at $54,000.  I also read that it might be possible to back a fraction of the dollar with gold.  I don’t understand how a truly honest monetary system could be backed by only a fraction of tangible assets such as gold, silver, or something else that has intrinsic value. 

 

The more I learn, the more I realize the extent of my own ignorance. 

 

        

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Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

Hi Set,

Yes, amazing isn't it? It is a total fraud, much like the modern economic doctrines that exist with the only reason of giving credibility to this scam. How has Monetarism survived the Japanese experience? or the sustained and increasing trade deficit of the US in the face of the declining dollar? And the US is about to become another data point... The intellectual contortions that the intelligentsia exhibits to continue their beliefs would be hilarious if the whole thing were not so tragic. The scam has evolved over time, always in the direction of accruing more power to the bankers, and reducing the economic freedom of individuals. That the emperor has no clothes is only visible, like in the story, to the people who still maintain some common sense. Note also that even if obvious, the nature of money seems to be the best guarded open secret out there. Second to direct violence, the monetary system is the ultimate source of power.  And if people don't come to this realization, we are all lost.  But again, as you said, all this is so obvious that it is invisible, even comedians get it:

 

“’The modern banking system manufactures
money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece
of sleight of hand that was ever invented.

Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin.
Bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power
to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough
money to buy it back again...

Take this great power away from them and all great fortunes
like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for then this
would be a better and happier world to live in. But if you want to continue
to be slaves of the banks and pay the cost of your own slavery, then
let bankers continue to create money and control credit’.”

--Sir Josiah Stamp Director, Bank of England 1928-1941

 

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Set
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Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

Thanks mred, for your most recent post as well as the earlier one that I found well written enough to print out.  You seem to have a much better grasp of the subject than I do.  If you were able to ask Bush, Paulson, Bernanke, or Blair one question (or more), what would you ask in order to put then into a position of being unable to get around answering it without exposing the simple, yet unbelievable truth about this topic?  I’d submit it to several members of Congress for their consideration if I could think of a perfectly phrased question that allowed them no alternatives but simple exposing truth. 

 

Thanks for providing the video of one of the best comedians that ever lived in my opinion.  His routines never get old and a sense of humor is good to have in these times.  How did you do that by the way?         

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Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

Thanks to you Set,

Your question is really hard. I have not thought much about it just because of my own cynicism. It is extremely difficult to hold politicians' and bureaucrats' feet to the fire because they know that ultimately they can just make a mockery of the whole inquiry process. They know that they don't have to answer in good faith. The lessons of Machiavelli have been taken to heart by the powerful throughout the ages. This means that the powerful will do anything and everything to maintain and extend their power. Just as in war, the most important way to achieve this goal is by deception. Because of this I can't come up with a question that would simply force someone to answer it.

What Ron Paul tried to do the other day, as far as I could tell from C-Span's transmission was to reveal the facts with the questions themselves. But unfortunately Ron Paul is not Cicero and I don't think that he did a good job in his attempt. The last question about gold even gave Bernanke a chance to rub in Paul's face that they only "discuss gold regarding selling it", which most people may not have caught on, but is a way of saying "yes, you'll never see a gold backed currency, and if we use it is actually to manipulate the price of gold." Ron Paul could have continued by asking by what authority can they sell the gold confiscated from the people in '33, but he didn't. My point is, one needs to know the subtext just to follow that exchange. The facts that people need to hear take more than 30 seconds of TV-speak, in that time span one can only say platitudes, not challenge beliefs, that is a huge problem when trying to formulate a truth-revealing question that will make people think.

Another issue is that one can get any politician to accept some fact, like Greenspan admitting that if you have a central bank, then of course you can't have a free market. But so what? Is the media going to follow-up on that, or give the context, or what it means? Those topics will never be developed, will never be discussed in public. This crisis would have been the best opportunity to have news analysis and documentaries aired at prime time about how money works, what it implies, why inflation is not a natural law, how the OTC derivatives market is pure gambling, how destabilization of the interest rates hurts production and favors a non wealth-producing financial sector by indirect transfer of resources from the manufacturing sector, how it is connected with declining standards of living, outsourcing of jobs... the works. There are clean arguments for each of those connections I listed. It is not because of a lack of opportunity that we don't see that stuff in the news, it is for lack of will. So bureaucrats or politicians can admit to anything but if it is not played up, it will never reach the majority. I have no hope that meaningful, positive change can come from the top. It must start from the bottom. First step is to inform, inform, inform. Get people around you to wake up. Get involved in discussion groups like these where people can meet like-minded individuals. If we are lucky, maybe a coherent position can come out of this, a movement maybe. If it were up to me, I would propose a grassroots movement for monetary reform, world-wide, but maybe even in a forum like this there may not be enough resonance with such a proposal, maybe the opinions are just too diverse, the stuff that we all know just too divergent for this. Who knows. It is to that extent that a possibility like this exists that I am interested in visiting and spending real time in a forum like this. If this were just about "survival tips" after collapse, I wouldn't care much.

A positive thing happened when the bailout first failed to pass: people got involved. One didn't need any sophisticated knowledge to feel that there was something stinky about the whole affair. But then people let go. This is not the time to let go! It is the time to press harder! To call the congresspeople, to send letters, to organize collective letters, to let the couple of congresspeople out there that they can act with courage because there are people backing them. Can you imagine the formidable job it is to take on the international bankers? To propose abolishing the Fed or something like that? If you understand money you understand the unparalleled and awesome power that is entailed in the ability to create money. If there is anyone worth anything in congress, those people are in need of loud support. Otherwise they will continue to be pushed over. There are still some democratic forms that could in principle work for the people's advantage. The government could in principle be of, by and for the people, but not if nobody gets involved. And to get involved one needs a position, an idea to push forward, therefore one needs the most precious commodity these days: knowledge. The first step for involvement is to pay attention and to get organized if possible. Otherwise, we just deserve what we get.

So you see? Not even I answered your question straight... but at least you know how this other forum member thinks.

PS: for inclusion of video, look at the bottom of the page when you are writing your comment, there are html tags and stuff like that, the last one gives the "formula" to include videos.

mred's picture
mred
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Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

Set, I didn't comment on the earlier questions you posed about gold. You may be interested in reading a book and an article I mentioned in

http://www.peakprosperity.com/comment/6211#comment-6211

So the remonetization of precious metals is not an all-or-nothing proposition.

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FedNix
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Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

Set is asking the right questions.  Mred is giving the right answers, along with George Carlin, who would make a far superior president than George Bush.

Like mred I cannot think of a question to put to any leader that cannot be spun, misdirected, or sidestepped.  Half-truths and half answers are the stuff of sophistry.  That is what we are up against today.  

You could ask:

* Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution empowers congress to issue money and regulate its value.  Since the 1913 Federal Reserve Act, that authority was handed to the privately owned and operated Federal Reserve System.  By what method, exactly, does money come into existence, and where does it come from, and is the process of money creation a benefit to public or private interests?

Or...

Can you explain in commonly understandable terms why it makes more sense for the USA to borrow our money into existence using promissory notes and then use fractional reserve banking methods to multiply that money throughout the economy, rather than simly create the money directly ourselves? 

Or ...

Why has the awesome sovereign power to create money and control its value and volume been transferred away from the checks and balances of the US Constitution and into an opaque and secretive deceptively named Federal Reserve System?

Of course, unless you are asking Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul you are unlikely to get an honest answer to the questions.

To really understand the problem well enough to formulate and enact solutions I highly recommend the following:

My main suggestion would be to obtain
the book, Web of Debt, by Ellen Brown (see link
below)
.  She has done more to "demystify" the subject of money more than
anyone else I have read.  Stephen Zarlenga's The Lost Science of Money had
been my favorite until I recently finished Web of Debt.  Both books have
excellent road maps to get out of the disaster we have scripted for our nation,
and the world.  The important thing is to begin
the needed discussions and debates.
 

These are the best books and videos:

Simplest Video = Money as
Debt (47 min) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9050474362583451279

Comprehensive Video =
MoneyMasters (3.5 hrs)http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936

My main suggestion would be
to obtain the book, Web of Debt, by Ellen Brown.  She has done more to
"demystify" the subject of money more than anyone else I have read.  Stephen
Zarlenga's The Lost Science of Money had been my favorite until I recently
finished Web of Debt.  Both books have excellent road maps to get out of the
disaster we have scripted for our nation, and the world.  The important thing is to begin the needed discussions
and debates.

Best Book (By Far)
=
Web of Debthttp://webofdebt.wordpress.com/feedback/  (Publisher's website reviews and comments)

Amazon Reviews of Web of Debt: 

http://www.amazon.com/review/product/0979560810/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?%5Fencoding=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

Author Ellen H. Brown's website
packed with good info:  http://www.webofdebt.com 

Another Best Book = The
Lost Science of Money - The Mythology of Money
– The Story of Power:

http://www.amazon.com/review/product/1930748035/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?%5Fencoding=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

Author Stephen Zarlenga's website
on Monetary Reform:  http://www.monetary,org  

Best History, Modern Establishment Insider  -
Comprehensive
Carrol
Quigley - Tragedy and Hope:

http://www.amazon.com/review/product/094500110X/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?%5Fencoding=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

An excellent capsule summary of
many very important books that bear on the coming economic collapse:  "How the
World Really Works"

http://www.amazon.com/review/product/0964084813/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?%5Fencoding=UTF8&showViewpoints=1  This book is especially important for its capsule
summaries of the highlights of a handful of the most important books written in
the last 50 years:  A Century of War, Tragedy and Hope, The Naked
Capitalist, The Tax-Exempt Foundations, The Creature from Jekyll Island, The
Politics of Heroin, Dope Inc.,
and others.  Disclaimer:  I do not agree
with the author's solutions.  The book is valuable only for highlighting the
problems.

These are factual resources of the highest
integrity and scholarship - all of them.

Set's picture
Set
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Posts: 112
Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

mred, Your comments are well written and obviously the product of an informed and knowledgeable mind.  I really appreciated reading them.  I printed out the article you referenced, “The Future of Gold as Money” and found it very enlightening.  I’m developing quite a long list of books that I feel I need to read and if you recommend "The Case Against the Fed" by Murray Rothbard, then I’m adding that one to my list.   

I also agree with your take on what transpired between Ron Paul and Bernanke.  Although I’m a fan of Ron Paul, I too was disappointed in this particular conversation.  It would be nice to have a lot more members of our Congress as knowledgeable as Dr. Paul, but a lot more aggressive and intimidating on an intellectual level.   

Thanks for the excellent responses and references.

Set's picture
Set
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 112
Re: Why not just cut out the usurious middleman?

 

FedNix, After just a quick look at some of the sites you referenced, I am pretty overwhelmed with information.  Some excerpts from chapters of the book you referred "Web of Debt" are actually available online and I just read enough to decide to put that one on my list as well.  Here is where I found them for anyone else who might be interested. 

I've received so many comments on returning to gold as the national medium of exchange that the most efficient way to address them may be to post my chapter on that subject. It is at -

                         http://www.webofdebt.com/excerpts/chapter-37.php 

You would almost certainly find the article mred referenced interesting. "The Future of Gold as Money" Check out his link just above your post for the link.  I have watched "The Money Masters" and agree that it is an excellent video.  I will try to watch the other one you recommend, "Money as Debt" soon.   

Your questions were good and I would like to see how Bernanke, Paulson, Blair, Bush, or now Obama would respond to any one of them.  I'm still trying to think of a question that is simple enough for a High School kid to easily understand, but, at the same time, complicated enough to make one of these powerful crooks squirm, knowing that an answer that is disingenuous or not honest will be picked up by nearly everyone.  In my opinion, these people need to be questioned under oath in a court of law, but I pretty sure that's not likely to happen any time soon.

Thank you for all the great information. 

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