By Dr. Kenneth L. Russell and Dewitte Lindsey
Getting people to understand that money is not real wealth is a difficult problem.
One must also recognize the fact that idle money in the stock market, in bank accounts, or even in one’s pocket is not serving its real purpose. So, what is money?
Money measures how much wealth you can buy. Think about it. Money, in its truest sense, is the means of obtaining wealth produced by the labor of other people.
Money is a public utility. Money makes it possible to produce and distribute wealth or property which includes human skills. It must be managed like any other public utility, not as something that citizens own for their own private use. Money is the Wealth Transportation System that makes a civilization possible. For a country to be healthy and the people happy, this symbol of wealth must be available to all citizens of the nation.
Poor management of this vital public utility will always cause economic hardship for any nation and its people. An insufficient supply of money always results in a depression. On the other hand, if too much money is put into circulation, inflation automatically follows.
An example of money as a public utility would be to compare it to the wires which move electricity from its source to the consumer. Money is the public utility that transports the goods and services that are produced with the electricity. If suddenly more customers appear, more goods and services will automatically be needed therefore more power will be required. But if more lines are built where there is no need, where no additional customers exist, energy prices will inevitably increase because of the cost of producing the unneeded electricity. Too much of any utility only serves to increase the cost of everything.
When Kenneth was a child, a post card was a single cent and mailing a letter cost two cents. The nation prospered, but the increase in the money resulted in increasing the cost of that post card to twenty-six cents and the cost of mailing a letter eventually to forty-five cents. The inevitable national inflation caused by the expanded money supply did nothing to improve our postal service.
The jobs bill currently being debated by the U. S. Congress, without an increase in taxes to pay for it, will automatically move the average cost of all goods and services up in a year or two. This measure, as written, even with all of the good intentions, will ultimately increase the cost of living for everyone as well as reducing the retirement income for the elderly and all of those living on fixed incomes.
History has proven time and again that tampering with the money supply never works unless it is tampered with intelligently and in keeping with the lessons of history.
Kenneth may not live long enough to witness the eclipse of America, but it is coming just as surely as the Roman civilization, which ruled the entire world for a thousand years, fell into utter ruin once that glorious empire ceased to build. When all of the roads were finished, the aqueducts built, the walls completed, and when there were no more massive construction projects their economy collapsed. This historical and monumental failure should serve to help us understand what must be done in order to prevent the same from happening to our great nation which is now tottering on the same dangerous and deadly precipice.
The following, in my judgment, is the only way to solve the catastrophic economic problems that we are now facing in the United States. The slow death of America can be prevented only by an immediate emergency measures. This means an all-out-war on unemployment! If you want to save this great nation of ours, then see that there are jobs for all citizens.
To start the march to full recovery, to put people back to work, a plan should be implemented to upgrade the existing rail system with multiple track lines between every airport and city in the country. The project will need hundreds of first class, modern, electric locomotives and passenger cars all to be built in the United State. This rapid rail system must be American built, by and for the prosperity of everyone in this nation.
All power lines from coast to coast must be put underground. This effort alone will put tens of thousands of American men and women back into the work force.
Airplanes, in this day and age, are needed only for long flights of three hours or more. More cars and buses will still be needed for the short hauls but such vehicles already exist in abundance. Automobile plants can be converted to railway construction systems. A similar transition happened in this country when the shift was made to military hardware for the Second World War. This, too, is a war, a struggle for our very survival! We either win this economic campaign or we are finished as a nation. It is as simple as that!
This emergency measure must include the repair of our present highway system. Again, we must use only American materials and documented American workers. Remember, we are trying to fix this country, not the entire world.
It must be understood that our American way of life is in peril. This country could very well be destroyed in only a few years if both the nation’s long and short-range economic strategies are not reversed and fiscal sanity restored.
Every able-bodied American citizen, even the physically handicapped, must be able to find productive work.
Now, let’s get to some real fundamentals. Every bank and every banker in America must be held personally accountable for their actions and decisions. No corporation anywhere on the face of this earth should be considered too big to fail! If a banking institution fails, it just fails, that’s all. The public must not be required to pay for the banker’s mistakes.
Regular commercial banks, those that make loans and investment organizations that underwrite stock and bonds, must be separate institutions once again. In other words, Glass-Steagall, the legislation that once separated ordinary commercial banks from savings institutions, must be resurrected for the good of all Americans.
There must be no gambling with the public’s money. A banks customer must not be able to write checks on a savings account without a 30 day notice. Debit cards are acceptable, but credit cards should be made illegal if not paid in full each and every month. Every time a credit card is used it results in an increase in the national money supply. Money, in reality, only comes into existence when it is actually borrowed from a bank. Using a credit card is simply another form of borrowing. When used, they create new money. In the greater picture, credit cards are big trouble for everyone.
A system must be set in place that keeps America’s money working in this country rather than hidden under mattresses, drawing interest in foreign banks, or stacked away in off-shore accounts. Interest should be paid only on true savings accounts, bonds, and investments that cannot be liquidated in less than thirty days or more without a penalty.
Such an enlightened economic policy would mean an all out war on the previous financial order, a mechanism that has for years, rewarded people for sloppy money management practices and irresponsible social activities.
Exotic, speculative derivatives, for example, are simply too dangerous for any nation’s good. Such speculation must be declared illegal. There must be rules and regulations in the marketplace because of the proven, uncontrollable recklessness of human nature.
Alan Greenspan himself finally admitted this truth before Congress following the latest national financial collapse. That invisible, guiding hand in the market place everyone now knows is greed. In its most recent incarnation, Gordon Gecko’s insatiable hands in the hip pocket of America’s long-suffering middle class. Excessive consolidation of money and wealth is inevitably the death knell of any democracy.
The present income tax should be completely scrapped and replaced by a system in which a one per cent charge is placed on every financial transaction. If one spends a hundred dollars on something, anything, when the transaction takes place, one dollar will go to the federal government. How much an American is taxed should depend solely upon how much he or she spends, whether it is for a bus ticket to get downtown or a brand, new yacht. This is not an income based flat tax. There should be no more tax free “anythings”.
Insurance companies must be eliminated from the health care industry. The present system all too often deprives many people of critical medical attention while driving them into bankruptcy. Fifty million American citizens today, an astounding number, can afford no medical insurance at all. The government’s job, to act as a facilitator in the world of medicine, should be to protect the country’s population from the abuses of those who would take advantage of the sick and helpless. Our country should do better than embracing and emulating a survival of the fittest social mentality. We are a better people than that by far.
The responsibilities of the Federal Reserve, a for-profit, private banking system in business to make money, must be assumed by the United States Treasury as required by the U.S. Constitution. The owners of the fed never risk a penny of their own, but because the rules were written so that they can claim initial ownership of all of the currency that is ‘coming into being’, these people can then loan this money -‘to be’ to the U.S. government, then sit back and collect the interest. How would you like to have that job? It’s estimated that this interest amounts to a trillion dollars a year. This cost becomes a part of the national debt. America cannot afford such an irrational extravagance.
If you want to forestall the destruction of America, get rid of free trade as now practiced for the system is designed to benefit only the gigantic, global multi-national corporations. Trickle-down economics is only a self-serving myth.
In addition, never sell or trade the cow to another country; sell or trade only the milk, butter and cheese. Never sell or trade the apple orchard to another country, but do sell or trade the apples. Never sell the farm to another country, but do sell or trade the products that are produced on the farm. If we don’t get our money under control and stop selling our authentic productive wealth, that is, our farms, our factories, the nation’s infrastructure, our copyrights and patents to foreign nationals, it means the end of the most beautiful way of life the world has ever known. As it now stands, the globalists are the big winners and the American people, as a whole, are the losers.
As we write this, more than 20 million Americans live 50% below the poverty line. This figure is the highest ever recorded in our nation’s history. But remember, history has proven time and again that just throwing money at a problem does little if any good. Only contracts that put people back to work building new or repairing our old infrastructure will solve the problem. Only constructive initiatives will solve the real and terrible problems that are festering at the heart of this dying country.
This statement, we admit, may not be well received by some readers, but if one only contemplates, deeply, its meaning even the most conservative will eventually see that the policies that we are suggesting are best, even for this country’s ruling economic elite. A failed nation is of no use to anyone.
The people of the United States of America must have decent paying jobs, we must stop selling our country to foreign entities, and our monetary system must be stabilized. The desperate economic problems of our time can be solved. There is a way to recovery. What is required is courage, foresight that is not contaminated by maniacal self-interest, a real sense of national community, genuine humility, and the will to do better.
Kenneth L. Russell, Professor of Education, Emeritus, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; was born on a farm near Chilhowee, Missouri on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1911. He is founder of The Educational Video Network, Inc, also known as Educational Filmstrips, and producer of best selling titles such as “Understanding Money and Inflation” and “Parliamentary Procedure in Action used in classrooms across the U.S. and around the world.
Dr. Russell, now over 101 years old, is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Delta Kappa, and American Association of University Professors. Who’s Who in American Education, President of Alpha Gamma Sigma, at the University of Missouri, 1933-34. Famous the world over for his publications on Economics, Government, and Parliamentary Procedure, and showing no signs of slowing down, it is obvious that Russell has no intention of “retiring”.
Dr. Russell and his late wife of 72 years, Marjorie, have three children. Together Kenneth and Marjorie co-founded the Universal Ethician Church and the Ethician Family Cemetery with their son George and his wife, Sue. Marjorie died on May 17th, 2007 and was buried by friends the following day in the green cemetery on May the 18th.
Dewitte Lindsey is a retired Texas public school teacher. He has two books, “Tibet to Texas” and “The Lady’s Intent”, currently in print. A third book “The Triumph of Adriane” is nearing completion. Mr. Lindsey received his Bachelors Degree from Sam Houston State University majoring in Government and History with a minor in Theatre. He was awarded his Master of Arts Degree at Sam Houston in the study of American History. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1967 and spent the following year in The Republic of South Vietnam as a member of the U.S. Military Police Corps in II Corp. Dewitte taught school for thirty years. Twenty percent of that time was spent traveling from one end of the world to the other. He was a teacher of history and government, he coached football and basketball, was head of a high school drama program, he became an assistant principal, the Coordinator of an alternative school as well as the school district’s G.E.D. program. He now writes full time.
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