On this day in 1914, Congress ceded the power of US money creation to banks. Today we SEED a new future of US Money for the people!
May 18th is the 110th anniversary of the Federal Reserve Banks and of Congress ceding the power to create money to commercial banks. In 2024, we change the narrative of money back to a focus on people and our planetary and societal needs. Join the movement for #JustMoney and come support the march on the Chicago Fed, teach-ins, rallies, and socials in Chicago. Read more and sign up below!
Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! The Alliance For Just Money has issued a distress call for our dreadful system of money, which is structurally incapable of serving our people and planet. Earth is warming and its species, oceans, and ecosystems are dying. Our government and people are drowning in debt; wealth inequity is growing exponentially; wars are multiplying; and the money supply is bigger than ever. Yet we are told that there is simply not enough money to care for our people and planet!
We all need money to survive in modern society, yet few of us know who creates our money and how it is created. Most of our money is created out of thin air by private banks as debt when they loan it to us and charge us interest for their privilege. It doesn’t have to be this way! The Federal Reserve System which was signed into law by Congress on December 23, 1913, oversees, assists, and protects this system of private bank-created debt-money and is in no position to call for change. The Federal Reserve’s main job is the protection of this privatized dysfunctional system.
The Alliance For Just Money advocates for a transition away from our current debt money system to a just system of publicly created money. We invite you to join us in Chicago on Saturday, May 18th, 2024, for “Mayday for Money!” We’ll gather at 11am at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and march at 12pm to the Lincoln statue in Grant Park. Related outreach, educational, and social activities will go on May 17-19 for all available.
Banks creating money out of thin air as debt when they issue loans increases not only their economic power but also their political power. Banking corporations are incredibly profitable with 20 to 25 percent average profit margins. The largest banks have assets in the trillions of dollars! Banks not only have enormous economic power from their legal privilege to create what we use as money, but also from their power to determine where it’s distributed, which can make or break governments, non-banking corporations, and individuals.
US Supreme Court decisions declaring that a corporation is a legal person and that political money spent in elections equals First Amendment-protected free speech have further empowered banks and other corporations to corrupt the political process, through both political campaign contributions and lobbying and to be shielded from public accountability. Banks bought our democracy in 1913, and Congress has allowed them to continue doing so ever since!
We believe there exists a significant correlation between the current, dysfunctional debt-based monetary system and environmental degradation. We strongly believe that monetary reform will both eliminate the growth imperative and allow investment in climate action. We educate on the common threads between climate change, social and ecological justice, and the monetary system. We work to establish Just Money so we can transition our economy from extractive and growth-obsessed capitalism to a sustainable economy with abundant green jobs, renewable energy, regenerative agriculture, stable flourishing communities with 100% public money, and significant overall debt reduction.
Under Just Money reform, governments will be able to responsibly manage the money supply without causing inflation or deflation, and be able to meet the needs of our civilization. To realign ourselves with planetary boundaries, we also need to redistribute wealth and resources to underrepresented groups, people of color, and those in poverty, as well as our family in the global south. The Just Transition should make sure that all humanity can live equitably “within the doughnut,” meeting the needs of societies without surpassing planetary limits.
Our economy functions on institutionalized usury, that is charging interest when lending things out. The accumulation of wealth for the sake of creating further riches and equity for a few stakeholders shall no longer be acceptable. Transitioning to a Just Economy with Just Money is the best thing we can do to get us one step closer to a society where we no longer need money! Where the needs of all can be met with the abundance of resources and labor shared equitably among the society. If you share this dream of one day living in a moneyless society, I invite you to support the post-growth society we can build only by eliminating the need for growth out of our monetary design. Eliminating systemic usury and growth will plant the psychological seeds for our society to become once more centered on gifts and abundance, not scarcity and scare tactics. Join the movement for a Just Economy!
Just Money opens the door for social justice reforms such as Universal Basic Income, Universal healthcare, fair housing, or others in such a way that nobody will ever question, “How will we pay for it?” This monumental reform democratizes money such that it can be used to house those in need, which socially saves money compared to the band-aid solutions we have now. Just Money can also be used to implement Universal healthcare, as incidental healthcare costs are often the breaking point that catapults people into poverty.
The gift economy is practiced in indigenous and matriarchal societies though it is largely unrecognized or discredited as traditional or primitive by the Euroamerican mainstream people telling the tale. The care economy likewise has been undervalued and is often thought of as secondary to the formal economy because it is less visible to mainstream society. Far from being secondary, however, the care economy is the “core economy”, according to economist Neva Goodwin: “It comes first every day, sustaining the essentials of family and social life with the universal human resources of time, knowledge, skill, care, empathy, teaching, and reciprocity.” Just Money provides a pathway for care work and gift economy practices to be valued, helping to level the gender playing field. Equal pay for genders needs Just Money!
Is there a connection between the existing bankmoney system and the military-industrial complex? We think so! US military spending reached $877 billion in 2022, which was 39 percent of total global military spending and three times more than the amount spent by China, the world’s second-largest spender. Wars are costly. Nation-states don’t pay for them out of their reserves. They borrow money by selling U.S. Treasury bonds. Banks profit from interest earned from purchasing US bonds. Financial institutions that are primary dealers of US bonds profit from selling them. The longer and more costly the war, the more these banks profit. Peace simply isn’t profitable by comparison.
“Banks and bullets” go hand-in-hand. A recurring justification for corporate profits, including bank profits, generated from war and conflicts is “defense.” The dominant narrative isn’t about waging war or attacking but about defending. This justification allows the multinational corporations and arms-producing military services to use treasury bonds and collect the credit. The US military presence in more than 80 countries is more about creating or maintaining a “safe business climate” for US-based transnational corporations, including banks and other financial institutions to make products, extract resources, maintain open markets, and whenever possible privatize public services or assets.
If you, like AFJM, want to reduce warfare and help to establish Just Peace everywhere, join us in exclaiming “Mayday for Money!”