“Congress shall have the power to: coin money, regulate the value thereof.”
United States Constitution Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 5.
“When we have restored the money of the Constitution, all other necessary reforms will be possible,
but until this is done there is no other reform that can be accomplished.”
William Jennings Bryan, Cross of Gold Speech
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The Bottom Line
^ The financial crisis of 2008 occurred. Millions of fellow citizens lost their hard-earned savings, retirement, and homes.
^ In 1995, the 6 largest banks in the US held 17.1% of our country’s wealth (GDP).
^ When the 2008 financial crisis came, the percentage of wealth held by those banks rose from 17.1% to 55%.
^ Two years later, 2010, the combined assets of the banks were estimated at an even higher 64%.
^ From 2009-2012 incomes of the top 1% of the US earners swelled by 31.4 %, while incomes of the bottom 99% inched up to but 0.4%.
^ In those first 3 years of the recovery, the top 1% amassed 95% of the income gains.
Presented at “The Bretton Woods IV Convocation”, The North Country Action Plan offers 4 related proposals to address the monumental indebtedness and misfortunes of our day.
As noted above, the misfortunes and indebtedness have arisen due to the private control of the creation of our public wealth. Behind the proposals lies the recognition, as suggested in Bryan’s opening words, that: “Money [not only] makes our world go ‘round”, but brings our affairs to a grinding halt.”
Summarized in the following, the proposals would act as cornerstones for the establishment of a non debt-based monetary system, which serves the greater good by reestablishing our common wealth.
1) The North Country Resolution calls upon the Federal Reserve System to provide loans, at their actual cost, to communities, which constitute not only the infrastructure but the very foundation of our nation. In a landmark speech on February 6, 2013, Adair Turner, one of the most influential policy makers of our time, noted that such an infusion of funds is key to our financial future. For it would allow us to repair our crumbling infrastructure and get our “house” in order. The resolution is based on the fact that the Federal Reserve has provided 17 trillion of our tax-payer dollars, public credit, in the form of such low cost loans to both its banking fraternity, national and international, as well as to national and international corporations. Had such funds flowed on down to communities, they would have provided an invaluable stimulus to our state and national economy.
Related to this proposal is a petition that would allow the Federal Reserve System to, as noted, serve the interests of the public at large: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/a-patriotic-petition-1?source=c.em&r_by=2016207
2) An Open Letter introduces the vision of a New Hampshire public state bank, as presented in NH House Bill 672 https://legiscan.com/nh/bill/hb672/2015 . The bill is based on the exemplary model of North Dakota’s public state bank www.banknd.nd.gov, which has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and has brought prosperity to state and local governments, businesses, non-profits, and the citizens of North Dakota. As outlined in the “Open Letter”, had NH’s House Bill 672 passed a decade ago, it would have saved the citizens of New Hampshire over half a billion dollars in interest payments on its state debt to private, largely out-of-state investors. Such savings would have had a major impact, to say the least, on the taxes NH citizens pay, as well as on the economy at large.
3) The adoption of the growing movement of local currencies. Local currencies are both legal and backed by “the full faith and credit” of its citizens, who have come together to determine their common good. Had more communities had local currencies in 2008, they would have provided an invaluable bulwark against the financial crisis. RCredits www.rCredits.org and www.CredittothePeople.org is at the forefront of the local currency movement.
4) We the People are called to consider, anew, the virtues of simplicity. “A man is rich”, Henry David Thoreau noted, “in proportion to the number of things he can [afford to] do without.” Might it be time to get back to the basics, as set forth in “Concordian Economics”.
The 4 proposals, cornerstones, revive the vision of the monetary system that was presented by a few lone voices at the original 1944 Bretton Woods Conference — in order to promote prosperity world-wide. That vision was not taken up. The consequences of this rejection, and the resultant challenges before us, were, we suggest, addressed by Pope Francis this July, 2015 in Bolivia:
“Our common home is being pillaged, laid waste and harmed with impunity. Cowardice in defending it is a grave sin. We see with growing disappointment how one international summit after another takes place without any significant result.”
The success of the proposals noted, in setting the cornerstones for the establishment of a non debt-based monetary system, will depend upon support arising out of the grass-roots, citizens, old and young alike, in communities across New Hampshire, the nation, and beyond our shores.
A Call to Participate, “The Bretton Woods IV Convocation” invites the participation of those fellow citizens who can envision such a future for ourselves, our children, and for the generations to come — “All Our Relations”.