17 September 2016 by Published in: Uncategorized, Writing 11 comments

In a post on Hugh Howey’s FB page, in answer to a suggestion we list the top three things we would want the U.S. government to do if we ran the country, I offered the following as my necessary changes that would result in a complete turnaround to the U.S.’ sinking prospects and fortunes.

Let’s preface this with the observation that the country is currently borrowing about a trillion more per year than it takes in, and has done so to the tune of $20 trillion – a sum so vast it can never be paid back unless the value of the currency drops to nothing from printing it. The U.S. has gone, since it abandoned the gold standard, from the largest creditor in history, to the largest debtor, in a matter of a couple of generations.

With that fact in place, here are my suggestions, two of which involve how to climb out of the debt hole and fund necessary infrastructure repairs and investments in the nation’s future, and one in how to ensure that future isn’t populated by mouth-breathing morons.

I’ll start with where the money would come from to fund things, and finish with how to ensure lasting prosperity versus moving deck chairs around on the Titanic:

1) Close all military bases in foreign countries, end all wars of aggression, slash the military budget by 90% so it’s more in line with what every other nation on the planet spends for defense (as opposed to waging war), and limit our military to defending the geographical U.S., not acting as the aggressive, warmongering police force for the rest of the world. That would simultaneously free up a massive amount of money, and reduce terrorism by at least that 90%, as most won’t give up their lives to attack a state that isn’t murdering its demographic.

2) Free college to all citizens if they can pass an aptitude test. Why? Because it’s an investment in our future, and an educated citizenry is one that can make more informed decisions and build a better future.

3) End the Federal Reserve. Why? A privately owned bank that creates money from thin air and charges the nation to use it via usury is the single largest drain of prosperity ever conceived, and ensures that wealth isn’t evenly divided, but rather, becomes unevenly concentrated in a few hands – hands that do nothing but create money from thin air while everyone else must labor to get it. Also, the inflation effect of unsound money ensures that the masses lose buying power of their savings and so are always behind, and that those who labor for pay are constantly losing, as the scrip they’re paid in loses value. It’s servitude, and the basis of most of the nation’s inequality and problems. Solve that, and you don’t need to rejigger the tax system, which is simply trying to use confiscation to right a social ill whose basis lies in the form of currency used, and the lack of prosperity it inherently creates. Unsound money always favors those who issue it at the expense of the rest, and enables society’s parasites to corrupt every institution with the currency they print from thin air.

Do those three things, and the prosperity of the nation would skyrocket within less than a generation.

To my last point, most don’t realize how currency is now created in the U.S., or that it’s in violation of the Constitution. The Constitution establishes only two forms of lawful money: silver and gold coin. The framers were more than conversant with fiat, paper currency issued by private banks – they’d seen it drain the prosperity from England, and when imposed on the colonies  by the King’s insistence they use Bank of England notes instead of colonial scrip, drain the prosperity from the land of plenty. They wanted none of it, for good reason.

In 1913, the Federal Reserve act was passed, which created both the Fed, and the IRS. Why the latter? Because if you’re going to create money from thin air, you need a mechanism to suck it back out of the market so you don’t create runaway price inflation from all the new money chasing the same goods and services, and the IRS was that mechanism. Of course, an unapportioned tax on labor was unconstitutional, which it was then and is now, but the IRS got around that when it lost in court prior to WW2, by establishing a voluntary 4% tax during WW2, and the citizenry became so used to this voluntary tax, most kept on sending in their 1040 and check even after the war ended. That monster morphed since into an authoritarian bully that demands you pay a tax you aren’t liable for, at gunpoint, and refuses to furnish any proof there’s a law requiring you to pay it – there isn’t – preferring to point to court decisions that back it in legalese that’s impossible to decipher for the average person, as opposed to a law.

That tangent aside, most don’t understand how U.S. currency is created, so I’ll explain it in abridged form. For every dollar on deposit in a bank, the bank is allowed to create $9 from thin air when it makes loans. You get a mortgage, for which you’re going to pay the bank 2-3 times what you borrowed over the 30 year term, and it did nothing to get that currency but tap a few keys. That’s it. Poof, new currency, which it collects the interest on for 30 years and did zero to earn, and for which it will confiscate your house if you fail to make the payments. If that seems like it’s fraud that stacks everything in favor of the currency creators, you’re correct, but the Congress sold you down the river, and made fraud the national monetary system in 1913, when it delegated the right to issue the nation’s currency to the Fed (which the Constitution doesn’t allow, incidentally – nowhere in it does it grant the Congress the ability to delegate its duties, and currency creation is the job of the Treasury), giving this privately owned cartel of private banks control over the nation’s currency. The nation’s prosperity was a foregone conclusion from there.

So end that scam, and suddenly you have a tremendous amount of wealth retained in the country instead of paid to a privately owned collection agency (the IRS, owned by the IMF) for the Fed.

As to terminating the perpetual war machine that is the military industrial complex Eisenhower warned about in his final presidential address, that’s a simple one. Stop fighting wars for oil, heroin, and to destabilize nations that don’t want to go along with your empire building, dismantle the war department, and focus on defending yourself against direct attacks. That’s it. Defending the country, not waging endless wars using “defending our interests” or “freeing the people” or “bringing democracy” as the excuse to allow war profiteers from looting the treasury year after year. None of the wars fought since I was born are to defend anything but the privilege of elite corporate interests, and the children of the poor die to do it. It’s unjust, wasteful, and extremely expensive, and we need to stop this insanity before it kills us all.

With the additional prosperity those two steps would create, you could fund free education, effectively end poverty within a generation due to the massive boom that would ensue, and enrich everyone except the very small clique at the top that currently amasses all the wealth while creating nothing of value.

Or continue as we are, and watch the wealth continue to concentrate at the very top, leaving the nation, and the world, living on a planet it no longer owns, slaving just to make ends meet, working for masters for whom you are nothing more than ants, pawns in a game you don’t even understand, whose lives matter not in the slightest.

 

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Comments

  1. Roger
    Sat 17th Sep 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Russell, as a retired soldier, an independent voter and pretty much a hawk, my first visceral reaction to your first point was “no way”. But, maybe because I’m 70, and disgusted with the way the world is going, I find my self in no position to defend the argument against it. I sent two sons to these stupid unending wars, got both of them back a bit banged up, but changed, and not a damn thing changed there, other than a lot of money was spent.

    I’m stunned by my position of supporting your first point. I’m still trying to understand the money and credit thing, but agree that something has to change, or the ending will be beyond ugly.

    Thanks for the insight, and the sleepless nights ahead.

    Roger
    Kentucky

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Sat 17th Sep 2016 at 3:49 pm

      I’m sure you’ve read “War is a Racket,” by General Smedley Butler. If not, it’s available free online, and is a short, but breathtaking read by the most decorated marine of his time.

      The U.S. has a war department masquerading as a “defense department.” It’s almost entirely concerned with perpetuating and starting war, and has nobody to defend against, because nobody’s attacking the continental U.S. or its territories. So most of the budget goes to warmongering. Slash that, and you save at least 90%. You don’t need bases all over the world, you don’t require NATO to drain your resources, you don’t have to fight endless wars of aggression in the Middle East to protect the interests of a few oil companies and a couple of nations that should be fighting their own battles.

      A strong defense would require spending about what Russia, or China, do on their military. Not 10 times as much.

      Reply
  2. Sun 18th Sep 2016 at 10:43 am

    Russell,
    You’ve written enough books for now. Why not change careers. There’s a job opening up here in the US come next January.
    “Interviews” are being held in November. I’d sure endorse your being hired.
    Sadly, I must agree with Roger: Sleepless nights are ahead for most of us.

    Reply
  3. Mon 19th Sep 2016 at 11:06 am

    I offered the following as my necessary changes that would result in a complete turnaround to the U.S.’ sinking prospects and fortunes.

    Ah. We must be Rome. Or in precipitous decline, as we have been for various reasons over the last couple centuries.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 19th Sep 2016 at 11:21 am

      You have the largest percentage of working age Americans out of the workforce since the 1970s. You have nearly $20 trillion in debt with no way or hope of paying it back. You are closer to nuclear Armageddon than at any point in history. Your media is a farce, your political process hopelessly corrupt, your population uneducated and violent. You have the largest prison population in the world. Your infrastructure receives a D grade. Your supposed democracy pays exactly zero heed to what the masses want, and does exactly what the elites want. Medical mistakes are your #3 cause of death, right behind cancer and heart disease. Your hospitals have the highest rate of staph infection in the world, and your health care is the most expensive. Real wages have stagnated and are now at the lowest point in two generations. Your banks are bankrupt. You’re considered the #1 threat to world peace in a recent Reuters poll of the entire world – the #2 wasn’t even close. Your literacy rate sinks every generation. You are the #1 consumer of illegal drugs in the world, and the #1 consumer of prescription painkillers and anti-depressants. You spend more than the next 25 industrialized nations combined on your military but you haven’t been attacked for 70+ years – meanwhile, your real unemployment rate is 23% and your dollar has lost 96% of its buying power since 1971.

      If you believe everything’s fine and the empire is doing great because of a book you read and a feel good article that is largely propaganda masquerading as op ed (“spends less than $600 billion on its military – not counting Iraq and Afghanistan, as those are winding down – *ha ha ha ha*), I’d suggest you review the above paragraph and consider that I could go on for hours listing declining markers. Your GDP is as fake as a Kardashian’s butt, and is unrecognizable as the data is so invented as to be a fairy tale, just as is your unemployment rate and your CPI. Bluntly, your crooked government has cooked the books for several generations now in an effort to keep itself afloat, but the tiles are coming off the shuttle now that it’s obvious to even the dimmest that exactly nothing’s going well in the country – you don’t manufacture anything any more, instead having outsourced it all to other countries, so other than substandard housing built from sticks and sheet rock, you sell each other cars and financial products and are largely a nation of burger flippers and mop pushers. That’s what your employment figures tell us. It’s also what industrial powers in serious decline would be expected to look like: fiscal irresponsibility, delusions of grandeur from bygone days of prosperity, debt mistaken as wealth, entitlement, increasing civil unrest/violence along class/race lines, declining buying power of the currency, higher drug consumption, lower standard of living for most, higher polarization of wealth in the hands of a few while the masses languish, etc. You can pretty much tick them all off, and you have them.

      Reply
  4. Tue 20th Sep 2016 at 11:07 am

    Free college tuition would be an absolute disaster, even with an aptitude test. It would need be government run, which is to say monopoly controlled, and would lead to a lot of what you’re seeing in Europe right now.

    It’s stunning that during the 1800’s, without a ‘national school’ we managed such productive growth for a hundred years.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 20th Sep 2016 at 11:13 am

      Why would a government scholarship system be a disaster? That’s what I’m proposing with a tiny sliver of what’s saved by operating the war department as a true defense department instead of a trough for the pigs in the military industrial complex, and by abolishing the private bank that sucks a massive amount of the public wealth from the country every generation.

      Reply
      • Yonatan  –  Wed 28th Sep 2016 at 11:50 am

        Russell,

        Do you feel that college truly educates these days? It seems that many students don’t emerge from it educated but indoctrinated. Some degrees are a complete joke and a waste of time and money.

        Even in rigorous fields, a person may come out of college trained and not educated in the sense that he or she knows how to work in one specific field but doesn’t know much about economics, politics, history, philosophy, etc.

        Maybe a large part of college-goers would be better off going to professional schools to get training rather than a useless bachelors degree. It will cost less, require less time, and not engender the sort of frustration and anger college graduates feel when they learn that their coveted degree is practically worthless in the real world.

        Reply
  5. Wed 21st Sep 2016 at 7:18 am

    RB-
    You could not be more right about free college tuition. It will be paid back ten-fold. I like your plan.
    W4$

    Reply
  6. Buddy
    Thu 06th Oct 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Free tuition as long as the government gets out of the education business. I had to spend my own damn money to be introduced to socialism by clueless academics.

    Reply
  7. Alec
    Sat 08th Oct 2016 at 12:11 am

    Very interesting ideas here, most with a lot of merit. I’d like to just offer up some comments.

    1: First, in regards to slashing the military budget, I think there’s a lot of leeway to cut back. 90% is probably a bit aggressive, though. Why? Because, by my observations, we are entering a new age of global instability. As resources dwindle and wealth is concentrated, more and more nations are turning towards aggressive authoritarianism. Our big rivals – Russia and China – are expanding their militaries rapidly, and they would be all too happy to fill a void when we leave. Do we really want to abandon Asia to China? China spends 150 billion a year on their military, and this is increasing every year. If we hunker down and focus on our narrow national interests I’m afraid we’ll have a situation like pre-WW2, where because of America’s isolationism imperial Japan felt like they could do whatever they wanted in Asia. Certainly stopping America’s wars of aggression is correct – I just worry that cutting back too much invites aggression by nationalist authoritarian governments like China (and Russia, let’s face it)

    2: Free college is a great idea, with an entrance test to determine who should enroll. Also setting up a national network of trade schools would be the natural complement, as they have in Germany.

    3: My one quibble is that I think you’re ignoring one of the real drivers of the debt – medical costs for the elderly and poor (medicare and medicaid – together they make up something like 25% of all federal spending)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget#/media/File:U.S._Federal_Spending.png

    Creating a national health system that is controlled by the government and works to keep costs low – like we see in England or Canada – would actually improve our balance sheet significantly, and have all sorts of ancillary benefits for the population.

    Universal health care and campaign finance laws that eliminate the influence of special interests on politicians would be the two most beneficial changes for America.

    Also, you know, we could force really, really rich people to actually pay what they should in taxes.

    Reply

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