By Joe Bongiovanni
AFJM Legislative Action Committee
Over the years, many have questioned the necessity of establishing a Congressionally-mandated ‘Commission’ to inquire into the national money system with the goal of achieving what is essentially a revolution in how our money system works – a change from private issue and gain to public purpose and benefit.
For over 100 years, monetary reformers have called for fundamental change from a private (corporate), temporary, debt-based money system which privileges the banking and financial class to a public, democratic, permanent, equity-based system of money that serves the needs of the people who create the real national wealth. Such a reformed system would then be capable of fulfilling what Dr. Frederick Soddy (Nobelist and Father of the ecological economics movement and its supporting science) termed The Role of Money, namely to distribute the increasing national wealth among our wealth creators instead of the already wealthy. Only the Congress, and the law, can make these changes happen. Only a national monetary commission can give Congress the task and duty to bring that about. Only Congress can establish this National Monetary Commission (NMC).
In order to consider why an NMC has become necessary today, we need to draw attention to the deeper machinations of the present system and, from there, to shed light on exactly why wholesale systemic changes are being sought by our Alliance. At present, our national money supply is privately created and lent (“issued”) into circulation by the banks – who collect compounding interest on every dollar lent in perpetuity – and then destroyed – in the sense of accounting for how much money is in our money supply – upon loan principal repayments. This ‘money-destroying’ accounting fallacy requires ever more debt to be immediately created, and with it, the increasing interest-payments perpetually flowing upward from the working and borrowing masses to the privileged and lending few. This interest flow massively and unjustly enriches those private lenders / issuers. Today these financial elites gain their wealth primarily through their operation of OUR money system. This is what NEEDs wholesale change.
And it NEEDs to change NOW. The Alliance For Just Money leadership and its supporting members are today demanding a money system that actually serves the public purpose – via a money-issuing public ‘utility’, making available a democratic means of achieving equitable economic exchange – enabling our masses the means to purchase of all the goods and services that our wealth creators, both the public and private sectors, provide through our national economy. National money serving the public purpose is what Jefferson, Washington, Madison, and later Lincoln wanted from day-one in a national money system. Issuing the nation’s money is what Lincoln described as the ‘supreme prerogative’ of our national government. Why have we given that supreme prerogative of the people’s government over to private individuals and corporations? How did we let our supreme public prerogative become the wealth-concentrating tool of our nation’s privileged class? Perhaps this has been made possible through a century of purposeful, controlled collective national ‘ignorance,’ in the best sense of that word. That ‘ignorance’ must be replaced by a broad public ‘understanding’.
Such a change to Public Money can only ever come about by the informed consent of the Congress. Congress’s consent can best be informed by a purposeful, enabled inquiry into these monetary machinations. This must be an inquiry capable of, and intended for, seeking our monetary system’s wholesale replacement. It is beyond repair, destroyed by a massive national (public and private) debt saturation. This conclusion on the need for a national commission was reached and advocated in 1994 by heterodox, Post-Keynesian Economist Dr. Hyman Minsky, who wrote:
In the past, serious changes were the result of serious public inquiries. I suggest that enough is amiss in our financial and banking structures that it is time to go back to the drawing board and determine what the monetary, financial, and financing arrangements should be in the 21st century. A …National Monetary Commission should be on the public policy agenda.i
National Monetary Commissions are indeed rare, but calls for a NMC seeking some remedy or other are more common. One of limited private purpose is already alive in Congress today. Progressives, Conservatives, and Populists have made the effort before. Congressmen Goldsborough of Maryland and Wright Patman of Texas tried in the 1930s and ‘60s-‘70s. These efforts, and others, were marked by their failure to achieve the critical mass of political power and support necessary to make it happen.
Today, the burden of making that National Monetary Commission (NMC) happen falls on those of us organized for the purposes that the Alliance has embraced as its underlying Mission. We, the people of the Alliance For Just Money ask your help in achieving the one, true, lasting ‘permanent’ socio-economic revolution of our modern monetary economy and our society.
In order to do that, we must first achieve a National Monetary Commission. Because, as Minsky, says, “serious changes are the result of serious public inquiries”.
It’s our turn.
Please read and understand our Resolution.
i. Minsky, H. P. (1994, October). Financial instability and the decline (?) of banking: Public policy implications. Working Paper No. 127. Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Jerome Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. (p. 24).