Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Thomas Edison and Henry Ford on monetary reform

Excerpt from this article.

Thomas Edison (1847-1931) held over 1,000 US patents for his inventions and is considered among the most brilliant minds in American history. Edison understood the engineering of our monetary system and actively spoke for monetary reform. These seven paragraphs are from an interview with the New York Times in 1921 [29] from a publicity tour Edison took with his friend and fellow inventor Henry Ford to discuss monetary reform:
“That is to say, under the old way any time we wish to add to the national wealth we are compelled to add to the national debt. Now, that is what Henry Ford wants to prevent. He thinks it is stupid, and so do I, that for the loan of $30,000,000 of their own money the people of the United States should be compelled to pay $66,000,000 — that is what it amounts to, with interest. People who will not turn a shovelful of dirt nor contribute a pound of material will collect more money from the United States than will the people who supply the material and do the work. That is the terrible thing about interest. In all our great bond issues the interest is always greater than the principal. All of the great public works cost more than twice the actual cost, on that account. Under the present system of doing business we simply add 120 to 150 per cent, to the stated cost.
But here is the point: 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. The difference between the bond and the bill is that the bond lets the money brokers collect twice the amount of the bond and an additional 20 per cent, whereas the currency pays nobody but those who directly contribute to Muscle Shoals in some useful way.
… if the Government issues currency, it provides itself with enough money to increase the national wealth at Muscles Shoals without disturbing the business of the rest of the country. And in doing this it increases its income without adding a penny to its debt.
It is absurd to say that our country can issue $30,000,000 in bonds and not $30,000,000 in currency. Both are promises to pay; but one promise fattens the usurer, and the other helps the people. If the currency issued by the Government were no good, then the bonds issued 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 at the hands of men who control the fictitious values of gold.
Look at it another way. If the Government issues bonds, the brokers will sell them. The bonds will be negotiable; they will be considered as gilt edged paper. Why? Because the government is behind them, but who is behind the Government? The people. Therefore it is the people who constitute the basis of Government credit. Why then cannot the people have the benefit of their own gilt-edged credit by receiving non-interest bearing currency on Muscle Shoals, instead of the bankers receiving the benefit of the people’s credit in interest-bearing bonds?
Certainly there is a complete set of misleading slogans kept on hand for just such outbreaks of common sense among the people. The people are so ignorant of what they think are the intricacies of the money system that they are easily impressed by big words. There would be new shrieks of ‘fiat money,’ and ‘paper money’ and ‘green-backism,’ and all the rest of it – the same old cries with which the people have been shouted down from the beginning.
But maybe we have passed beyond the time when the thoughtful 2 per cent – you know, I gather from my questionnaire that only 2 per cent of the people think,” and Mr. Edison smiled broadly. “Maybe they can’t shout down American thinkers any longer. The only dynamite that works in this country is the dynamite of a sound idea. I think we are getting a sound idea on the money question. The people have an instinct which tells them that something is wrong, and that the wrong somehow centers in money. They have an instinct, also, which tells them when a proposal is made in their interests or against them.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I heard a left-leaning socialist advocate a $15/hour minimum wage, nationwide.

The idea was greeted with applause.

It sounds good. It would help restore income equality.

Or, would it?

The cost of making a burger would go up.

There’d be no more beef, no more bread. No additional burgers to go around.

You’d have the same number of people competing over the same amount of material.

My guess is the rich figure out a way to ensure you keep getting the same amount of burgers, continue to live in the same house and get the same gallons of gasoline for your same old car.

But, maybe I am wrong. Assuming this is a good idea, let’s apply the formula to a world-wide model, for there are those who’d like to see implementation of such a plan.

How much does a fast food worker in India earn?

Or Somalia?

What happens when we discover that someone making minimum wage here in the US earns more than a substantial majority of the citizens of this planet? $34,000 a year places you in the top one per-cent of earners, worldwide. Median income world-wide is $1,225 a year. Per year, not per month.

So, most of you are the 1%. Are you now prepared to take less than half of what you currently earn to help someone else in a third world country achieve a better life, or do you want someone to insure that you continue to get more than your share?

We’ve reached limits on this planet. There is no additional oil to be produced. Not everyone can have a car or fly around in airplanes.

We have passed a point of diminishing returns on food production; almost all arable land is in use and in essence being mined by extractive industrial methods which fail over time.

How do you like having meats, grains, fresh fruits and vegetables from around the world in your grocery store the year round?

Just about all essentials are scarce and in diminishing supply.

I know many dispute these facts. I have no time to argue the point.

Currently, the US is the largest debtor nation in the world, due to perennial trade imbalances made possible by the dollar’s special status.

Worldwide debt has reached critical levels. Money is debt; 2/3 of the world’s money is denominated in dollars.

The Federal Reserve is insolvent. They hide this fact, but word gets out.

We scammed the rest of the world. Gave them paper for real goods. They’re tired of a system that perpetuates current inequalities.

A reset is on the way; plans are in place to kill the dollar. A new reserve currency will be established.

When your dollars are redeemed, you will lose most of the wealth you think you have.

You wanted globalization….

You may be about to get the fair treatment you think you desire.

Conversely, we decide to keep the advantages we have and go to war.

Which will prove worse.

I see no easy way out.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mexico, then and now

The story goes, that was then, this is now.

Then cops took bribes and were connected to illegal activities. Now a new group has come into power and done away with the old.

Only, I am old enough to remember that is what was being said some thirty-odd years ago, and with each successive administration since.

It was bull shit then. It’s bull shit now.

A friend from San Luis Potosi tells stories about a family member who tried to bring others to the border, planning to cross illegally without paying off the Zetas.

After clearing the official military checkpoint just south of Matamoros they arrived at another informal checkpoint, were stopped, extracted from their vehicle at gunpoint and taken to a compound.

They were tortured, interrogated and then told they had one week to come up with ten thousand dollars.

If they failed to produce the money, they died.

Their vehicle and their possessions were taken.

They say the compound was full of people, including women and children.

Prisoners were given a single cup of beans a day and minimal amounts of water. Nothing else.

Each day, new prisoners arrived, extracted from the same check point.

Others left, to unknown fates.

Payment was made, the men were released.

They were told they must make arrangements with Zetas before leaving their home with migrants. Should they fail to do so, they’d be killed.

I ask my friend how this could go on without coming to the attention of the authorities.

He tells me the authorities are involved.

Payment was made to the military commander in charge of the official checkpoint.

PS. There are differences between then and now. Then, authorities were interested only in drugs and guns, not shaking down businesses or preying on migrants.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

America the beautiful

The phone rings.
I answer.
In Spanish: "I’m Fulano etal (Mexican John Doe). Mario’s friend. You remember the guy that bought the horse? I have a really big favor to ask."
“I need a place to stay. Things are bad for me now. I just got out of jail.”
“I’m living in a car. But I got a job.”
“What happened to the restaurant?”
“I sold it. My wife got the money. I married another woman. We fought. She called the cops.”
Another call. Another friend.
“I need to borrow money. The truck I use to come to work—the finance company is looking for it. My grandmother reported it stolen. A friend has a car for sale. $1,200. He needs the money, but it has to be today.”
The phone, again.
“Your diesel bill for the month of March has not been paid….”
More calls.
A horse is colicking.
Abraham is drunk. Has been since Sunday.
Bearing went out on a disc.
Tractor tire, flat again.
Manuel thinks it’s sabotage.
I know better.
Shit happens.
You have a bull out on my place. Big spotted Brahman.
I have a bull out of his pen on my own place. Holstein-Jersey cross. Along with some dairy heifers.
Guess I left the gate unlatched last night. Got to catch that motherfucker.
The immigration lawyer wants more money. I’ll pay you back man.
All of this before milking.
I encounter a man at a nearby trailer park. A new neighbor. Ex-special forces.
Trying to kick the drugs the government uses to chemically lobotomize him. Handfuls of pills with names I don’t recognize. He quit all of them.
Can’t sleep. Killed kids sent into the mine fields. Shot them in the fucking head. 50 cal.
The way he moves, acts: rapid fire speech, jittery movements; looks, smells, tastes like meth to me.
This gang controls this, that gang controls that. Another over there.
More gangs than I can keep up with. I don’t want to know.
There’s dope everywhere. So much dope they’re burying the shit…
Everyone has dope, everyone’s the dealer. Who’s the John with a fucking job to sell the shit to?
Meanwhile, cops watch. Listen. Wait.
I best be moving along.
I call to check on the one horse I have left in training.
My trainer answers, from the emergency room.
Heart, again.
Horse is fine. He isn’t.
Time for lunch.
America the beautiful.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

We've been lied to

Posting shit like this is not the way to make friends or garner support.

Fuck it.

Truth is truth.

And evil is evil.