AN OPEN LETTER TO THE NORTH COUNTRY YOUTH
THEIR PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, TEACHERS, CLERGY, COACHES, THOSE WHO CARE TO MAKE THE TIME.
“That this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government
of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
~ Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address ~
Friends, how much time will you spend this week watching TV, reading a book, magazine, scratching your head over another crossword puzzle, leaning over a video game, going to a movie . . . . or nursing a nagging doubt, fear: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 hours and more?
Can you imagine devoting 8-10 minutes to “A Open Letter to Our North Country Youth” & “Their Parents, Grandparents, Teachers, Clergy, Coaches”, all who care — a letter that calls upon us, young and older together, to help fulfill Lincoln’s vision of “a new birth of freedom . . . a government of, by, and for the People” — a letter that is dedicated to our children, grandchildren, and to the generations to come: “All Our Relations”?
We speak of our “American Dream.” Are we aware of what we are saying? Can it be that if we are dreaming, we are, in fact, asleep? If so, what will it take for us to awaken as Americans from, and to, our dream . . . , our true dream before it becomes the nightmare that so many fear?
The financial crisis of 2008 occurred. Millions of fellow citizens lost their hard-earned savings, retirement, and homes. Since 2008, the increased concentration of wealth within the major Wall Street banks testifies to the
fact that the lessons have not been learned. Yet again. Specifically:
For those who recognize this reality might it be that the stakes have been raised, the ante “upped”? If so, is it reasonable to expect anything other than that an even greater crisis may be around the corner, heading our way…, unless an EXTRA-ordinary effort is made by fellow citizens, We the People?
May the following Open Letter contribute to such an effort, AWAKENING!
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*OUR YOUTH-OUR FUTURE-OUR COMMON WEALTH *
~ LIVE FREE & PROSPER ~
“IN all your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, selfinterest shall be cast into oblivion…. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations – the unborn of the future Nation.“
~ Skennenrahowi, The Iroquois Peacemaker ~
“The youth who can solve the money question will do more for the world
than all the professional soldiers of history.” ~ Henry Ford *
Over the last decade, the State of New Hampshire paid $629.4 million dollars in interest payments, alone, on its state debt.
Those interest payments have gone primarily to private, out-of-state investors, brokered by major Wall Street banks. As such, the interest payments are sapping the precious “life-blood” (money) of the citizens of our state.
If NH were instead to invest those millions of dollars in our youth, its future, then (as outlined in the following) the return would be literally in the billions. NH’s youth, citizens, businesses, economic development agencies, councils, non-profits, communities and local banks, themselves, would have full access to our own credit, common wealth. Prosperity would be the result, return to our state.
An initial and proven step toward such prosperity would be the establishment of a public state bank that banks in the public interest — as pioneered by North Dakota and introduced in New Hampshire House Bill 672. On the county level, Belknap’s County’s Commissioners are considering such an institution in conjunction with other counties.
As elaborated in the following, such a public bank would neither challenge nor compete with the private banks that have the interest of the public in mind. Rather, it would support and strengthen them, as it strengthens our economy itself. May this point be clear at the outset.
These long-awaited break-throughs will happen if citizens, and in particular our youth, grasp the following vision and let your voices be clearly and thoughtfully heard.
If you do so, the spirits and fortunes of the North Country will, you can trust, be raised. Indeed, on what truer foundation than you, our youth, the generations to come, can New Hampshire create a future truly worth envisioning?
Live Free & Prosper!
* If you read no further, but glimpse the following insight, may it grow in you like a quickening seed through any lean times, misfortunes to come. That is: might the key to the “money question”, of which Ford speaks above, lie in the recognition that what we duly value (such as our youth), we “lend” worth. Is that clear, common sense . . . ? If so, might this fact of life apply no less/ above all to our debts — when duly valued? That is, might the acknowledgement and the proper assuming of our debts be the first step toward their redemption/making good? A minus times a minus equals a plus (— x — = +). For, when we claim our debts and, as such, “offer them up”, do they not become the missing key, “leaven”, to our prosperity — as outlined in the following?
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OUR COMMON WEALTH?
“We have seen within the last 10-15 years a gradual concentration of banking capital, and if we don’t have a
central bank controlled [overseen] by the government [dedicated public servants], we’ll have what will
amount to a central bank controlled by a few interests in the city of NY.”
~ US Senator John Wingate Weeks, 1913 ~
^ The financial crisis of 2008 occurred. Millions of fellow citizens lost their hard-earned savings, retirement, and homes. Dozens of financiers made, in their own words, “a killing”.
^ In 1995, the six largest bank holding companies in the United Sates held 17.1 % of our country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
^ When the 2008 financial crisis came, the percentage of wealth held by the banks ROSE from 17.1% to 55%.
^ Two years later, 2010, the combined assets of the holding companies were estimated at an even higher 64%.
^ Examining the US economy, from 2009 to 2012 incomes of the top 1% of the US earners grew by 31.4 %, while incomes of the bottom 99% grew only 0.4 percent.
^ In those first 3 years, the top 1% captured 95% of the income gains, our “life-blood”. This is the very same top 1% who benefited from the 2008 financial bailouts, and who now are further amassing their wealth.
Given this fact, would it be reasonable to doubt that an even worse financial crisis lies before us — unless, as noted, We the People make an extra-ordinary effort?
May this offering, taken up by our youth, not only lift the spirits and fortunes of the North Country. But, from New Hampshire’s head-waters may such prosperity flow on down to the entire state and nation.
“The last will become the first.”
Let us light one small candle than to curse or shrink back from the darkness.
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THE BOTTOM LINE
“What is left to do when all hope has been drained out of life?” ~ An Anonymous Youth
^ Over the last decade, hundreds of NH’s youth have taken their lives or died of drug overdoses. Nation-wide, we are dealing with a growing epidemic.
^ This has happened because the youth have, in the first case, seen no reason to continue living. With respect to overdoses on drugs, the drugs provided an escape from their daily existence which, for many, was unbearable.
^ Simply expressed, the “American Dream” has become a nightmare for a large and growing number of our youth, those who otherwise bear in themselves the seeds of the future. Given this fact, should we be surprised that so many of our children, grandchildren — those who survive and manage to keep their dream alive — leave home, our ailing North Country?
^ Would this happen if we were able and willing, as noted, to invest more fully in our youth, recognize their value/worth? Can we imagine the prosperity that would arise, if, in the words of one young man, “we see to it that our financial system works for, as opposed to against, us.”
Are these words clear? I ask because they address the heart of this “Open Letter”. If so, if the words are clear, they raise the question:
How could such a revival happen? How could prosperity return unto our land?
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WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR OUR YOUTH?
“Across the US, municipalities make annual payments on @ $4 trillion dollars borrowed from private parties,
while in our states schools close, jobs are lost, students saddled with life-long debt, public services cut, public assets
sold, small businesses stymied through lack of funds, and hope sapped from lives. This trend can not continue.” ~
~ Walt McRee, Chairman, Public Banking Institute ~
^ In 2014 the total interest, alone, paid on NH’s state debt was $77 million. Over the last decade, the state has paid $629.4 million dollars, or over half a billion dollars to, as noted, largely out-ofstate, private investors, brokered by the major Wall Street banks. In the words of the US Attorney General, Eric Holder, himself if the law applied equally to Wall Street bankers, a good many would be in jail and their banks shut down: the guilty have gone unpunished because they are “too big to prosecute.” < http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/06/eric-holder-banks-toobig_
^ Such an indebtedness increases our, NH’s, dependence on our creditors and diminishes, thereby, our independence, sovereignty. This applies no less to all citizens in every state. We become beholden to these monied interests through their lobbyists and legislation, which is clearly not in the public interest.
^ NH currently has governmental agencies/programs funded by tax-payers dollars that already make loans and act as banks. The Community Development Finance Authority & The NH Community Loan Fund are examples.
^ If New Hampshire had an actual public state bank, that banked in the public interest, that bank: i) would not have had to pay out the over half a billion dollars of interest; rather, like the bank of North Dakota < banknd.nd.gov >, it would have done business with, and paid the interest to, itself; ii) its existing agencies/programs would be more effective; iii) the bank would be able to direct more funds to benefit the citizens and institutions of the state.
^ Note, as our central bank is our federal government’s bank, the state bank’s sole client would be the State of NH, at least to begin with. That is, such a public state bank would, as stated, not compete with existing retail banks. Rather, as in North Dakota, it would operate as the state’s development bank, working with and supporting local banks.
^ As noted in the following passages from the Wall Street Journal (11/16/14), the Bank of North Dakota is an exemplary model. It has not only outperformed the major Wall Street Banks — including through the 2008 financial crisis — by resisting the derivative gambling mania and remaining true to fundamental banking practices. But the Bank of North Dakota is highly valued by the state’s community banks, which are flourishing. North Dakota has, in fact, more community banks per capita than any state in the nation.
“It is more profitable than Goldman Sachs Inc., has a better credit rating than J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and hasn’t seen profit growth drop since 2003. Meet Bank of North Dakota, the U.S.’s lone state-owned bank, which has one branch, no automated teller machines and not a single investment banker. Its total assets have more than doubled, to $6.9 billion last year from $2.8 billion in 2007.”
By contrast, assets of the much bigger Bank of America Corp. have grown much more slowly, to $2.1 trillion from $1.7 trillion in that period. [Bank of North Dakota’s] return on equity, a measure of profitability, is 18.56%, about 70% higher than those at Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. . . . Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services last month reaffirmed its double-A-minus rating of the bank, whose deposits are guaranteed by the state of North Dakota. That is above the rating for both Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan and among U.S. financial institutions, second only to the Federal Home Loan Banks, rated double-A-plus.” A fuller analysis of the article is at: http://www.publicbankinginstitute.org/bnd_outperforms_wall_street
“A serious and sincere study of our history is revealing. The host of economic ills arose when the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and Constitution was dismissed and private banking interests were allowed to assume control of our public, common wealth – for their profit, as the 2008 crisis has made ever clearer. ” ~ Richard Kotlarz, Monetary Scholar & Practitioner
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WHAT COULD THE FUTURE HOLD FOR OUR YOUTH?
“ALL men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights – among which are, enjoying and defending life and
liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness.”
~ Article 2, New Hampshire Constitution ~
^ From July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014, 12,561 children were born in NH. (Nearly a 1,000 decrease from the 13,300 children born in 2009.) If the $77 million dollars — in interest alone paid in fiscal year 2014 — had been invested, instead, in our youth, it would have provided the “seed” capital for a remarkable surplus and the foundation for prosperity in our state.
^ That is, an inheritance (i.e. bank account) of $6,130 could otherwise have been established in a public state bank here in NH for each new-born child to welcome them into life — as opposed to the monumental debt that they have otherwise inherited from us.
[Such an inheritance is being proposed in North Dakota and is but one possible way in which the $77 million dollars of interest on our state debt, paid to out-of-state, private investors, could otherwise be spent here in NH. Surely other ways can be proposed. What, however, distinguishes this way is its recognition that the youth are literally our future. If this point is appreciated, the inevitable problems that come readily to mind with respect to such a proposal can be seen as challenges and opportunities. If they are not viewed as such, all we will recognize are the seeming problems, and we will continue with “Big Banking”, business as usual. To our doom?]
^ Pursuing this path for a moment, if we recognized that our youth are, as expressed, the key to our future, our human “capital” — and if, as outlined, we were to invest in them, the generations to come, in this ground-breaking way: i) at 21 years of age that $6,130 (compounding at the 3.4% interest rate that students pay on their educational loans) would amount to $12,370.63*; and ii) the 77 million dollars could, instead, grow in-state with our children into literally billions of dollars, as outlined in the following.
This balance could be made available before 21 years for students going to college, or at 21 for young adults as a down-payment for an apartment or home, seed capital to start a business, or for whatever other milestones are thoughtfully determined by those who recognize the vision. If the foregoing is clear, is there, in fact, a better investment we can imagine than our youth, the future, the generations to come?
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WHAT WILL SUCH A VISION BOTH TAKE & GENERATE?
“If the American people ever allow the [BIG] banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and
then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied.”
~ President Thomas Jefferson ~
^ For any who may be concerned, a public state bank is as little “socialistic” as our public schools, state prison, hospital, highway system, you name it. That opposite, in fact, is the case. A public state bank is “All-American”; that is, it is the way Ben Franklin and our most publicly-spirited Founding Fathers, “public servants”, envisioned our monetary system operating, as outlined in Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 5 of our US Constitution.
^ The fact is that the public institutions noted are all struggling for funds, because there is no public state bank that is banking in the public interest. (The state programs and funds, involved in bank-like activities, attempt to fill the need, but do so less effectively than would be the case with a public state bank, as such.) The bottom-line, as Jefferson notes, is that the major Wall Street Banks have gained control of our money: “life-blood”.
^ Inspired by North Dakota’s public state bank and the problems-challenges-opportunities noted, NH has proposed the same: House Bill 672: < https://legiscan.com/nh/bill/hb672/2015 >.
^ Beginning in the North Country, the youth, themselves, are called to: i) study House Bill 672; ii) submit our own testimony on it; iii) offer any amendments you see fit; iv) if you think the bill deserves support, write to your elected representatives; v) circulate petitions; vi) write letters to your editor; vii) other . . . . viii) drawing on the foregoing, consider working toward the creation of a joint, public bank in your counties — nearer to home — that could inspire our state legislators. In all cases, if you speak up thoughtfully, your voice will be heard.
^ Such a bank would not be driven by purely private “bottom-line” interests. Rather, properly run by accomplished bankers, who (as in North Dakota) understand the vision, it would serve the Greater Good.
^ The success of House Bill 672 will — to repeat and emphasize — depend upon citizen support. For such bills have been and will likely continue to be opposed by the major Wall Street banks. Misinformation can be expected to be circulated by the banking lobby; considerable pressure applied to key legislators.
^ This opposition can only be overcome by a greater vision. Such is life. The investment noted in our youth offers, we believe, that vision. For, not until we lend value to you, for the true “asset” that you are, will The North Country have a future worth envisioning.
^ Your grasping of the vision, speaking up on behalf of such an investment, will be key to its fulfillment: our shared future.
^ Specifically, if, following North Dakota’s lead, NH had established a public state bank solely on the capital represented by the $629,400,000 million dollars that it paid on interest over the past decade, that capital alone could have generated up to an additional $5.66 billion through normal, every day banking practices, as we speak.
^ Those practices are called “fractional reserve requirements” (credit creation). They allow our existing banks to create, on the average, 9 times the amount/fraction of money that they have on deposit as reserves. This additional money the banks then lend out. That said, the exact reserve requirement would have to be clearly determined for a NH public state and county banks.
^ By establishing such public banks, this investment in our youth, the future, will turn, literally, our debt into a asset and provide — accordingly — the cornerstone for prosperity to return to NH! Is this point clear? We ask because it is the heart of the matter.
^ THAT IS: by bringing both our debt and interests payments back home (from the Wall Street Banks to our own public State Bank), we will recognize these mis-fortunes for what they are — if we take a moment to pause and consider. This recognition will lead, in turn, to the understanding of how our state debt has arisen and its interest payments skyrocketed to $77 million last year.
^ This understanding, in turn, will allow us to take fuller responsibility for our mis-fortunes. That is, by assuming such responsibility for our debt, their interest payments will, as outlined, become the leaven for our making good, their redemption. Such a fundamental fact of life, financial “composting” (a minus times a minus equals a plus; — x — = + ) provides the basis, key to the revival of our fortunes.
^ THAT IS: by recognizing our debt and interests payments for what they are (i.e. exacted tribute paid to Wall Street, the private banking system) and bringing them back home, we will be able to put them to work in our own public state bank. By thus assuming responsibility for our misfortunes, they, the interest payments, become the very basis of our long-lost fortunes. Once we grasp the significance of this fact of our financial lives, and assume responsibility for our national credit, common wealth, our “life-blood”, our fortunes will return unto the land.
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THE “TOP LINE”, HEART OF THE MATTER
“If people only understood the rank injustice of our money and [BIG] banking system, there would be an uprising
~ President Andrew Jackson ~
If Presidents Jefferson and Jackson knew what they were talking about, may the long-awaited uprising of We the People be upright, firm, peaceful, constructive, and, above all, up-lifting. Toward that end, gathering together the foregoing threads: a public state bank: i) already exists, in North Dakota; ii) is legal; iii) “All-American”, i.e. the way Franklin and our public spirited Founding Fathers established our banking system; iv) represents the best of banking practices; v) banks in the public interest; vi) is strongly supported in North Dakota by its state and community banks.
Further, a public state bank could: vii) eliminate massive amounts of state debt; viii) lower property taxes; ix) lower student loans; x) fund growing public needs; xi) retain control of public dollars for state investment; xii) allow the state government to do its current bank-like activities more effectively; xiii) bring prosperity to NH, as it has done to North Dakota, including through the reckless financial crisis of 2008; xiv) insulate and safe-guards its state and citizens during such banking crises; xv) provide a future worth envisioning not only for ourselves, but for our children, the generations to come.
Simply expressed, when we bank in the public interest, ALL parties prosper, including those Wall Street banks, which are interested in the youth, longer term and, as expressed, the Greater Good.
Live Free & Prosper.
In the Words of Abraham Lincoln:
“The government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of the consumers. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of government [US Constitution, Art. 1, Sec. 8, Para. 5.], but it is the government’s greatest creative opportunity. By the adoption of these principles, [i] the longfelt want for a uniform medium [of exchange] will be satisfied. [ii] The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. [iii] The financing of all public enterprises, and the conduct of the Treasury will become matters of practical administration. [iv] Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity.”
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Stuart Sinclair Weeks
On behalf of
“The North Country Action Plan”
The Bretton Woods IV Convocation: Live Free & Prosper
Toward the Redemption of Our Financial System & Restitution of Our Common Wealth
A CALL TO PARTICIPATE