Letter: Economic Democracy

POSTED: 10/9/11 10:13 PM

Dear Editor,
These are indeed exciting times in which we live. So many countries in the world are in economic and environmental crises, and one wonders where all the money is if all the countries are in such massive debt? Some experts are predicting that these are the end times for the world’s economic system, and I say, “Don’t tease me—I’ve been waiting for this a very long time”. – Wake Up! Wake Up! by Jack Reed
Today’s official monetary system has almost nothing to do with the real economy. Don’t believe me? Then let the debt graph convince you. Proper economics states that money is suppose to represent labor in the economy as well as the earth’s contribution (natural resources). These are the only two ingredients that should determine the amount of money in the economy. In other words GDP or National Income is a function of the productive efforts of citizens. Now since all money today comes about through debt/loans, kindly explain to me why the debt line has diverged exponentially from the National Income growth line in the graph? This same trend is occurring in Curacao and St. Maarten.
I don’t know about you but this graph and others I have researched proves to me that the global economy can never recover without a debt reset. But who is willing to take a los on their investments to help save the world? Greed being prevalent is one thing but the gap between the haves and have nots is just too great for any recovery to happen without a reset. Remember, almost every man-made economic and financial system in this world is based on a ponzi scheme. From ones pension, straight down to the money we use.
Money is to People as Water is to Fish. We live our economic lives immersed in money. We’re unaware of how it affects us. When the water is polluted, the fish sicken and die. When money is polluted, we suffer all kinds of ill effects without realizing the cause. – Thomas H. Greco, Jr –
So what is required for an efficient, effective, and fair exchange system? Free Markets – an honest medium of exchange or means of payment, and an objective and stable unit of measure of value. Sadly, the existing monetary system cannot offer any of these and so many will continue to suffer unless they Wake Up Wake Up!
A rising tide may lift all boats, but the tidal wave of globalization smashes all but the biggest. – Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
Specialization of function is beneficial up to a point, and so is the market. Versatility is derived from a diversity of skills and resources. Self-reliance is based largely on production for use as opposed to production for market and on the use of less formal internal exchange mechanisms. The well-known economic concept of “comparative advantage,” which provides the fundamental argument in favor of free trade, cannot be denied. Yet the advantages of self-reliance and versatility at every level must also be acknowledged for both individuals and communities. An aspect of a “Free” market is the freedom to steal. That was the fatal flaw in the laissez-faire free market economics of the nineteenth century: it allowed opportunists to infiltrate and monopolize industry.
If we are to avoid complete loss of control over our quality of life, we must also avoid becoming overly dependent on existing markets in which exchange media are monopolized and abused, and in which the mechanisms of finance are political and undemocratic. We have become increasingly dependent on external and remote sources of supply for the most basic necessities of life. Most of us, when separated from our highly developed technology and intricate mechanisms of finance and transportation, lack even the most basic skills required to keep ourselves dry, and well fed. Our alienation from the land, the basic tools of production and each other manifests itself in increasing environmental and social degradation. Along with our increasing dependence on remote and impersonal political and economic entities has come the disintegration of traditional social structures: the family, the clan, the tribe, the village, and the bioregional community. All these have paled into economic insignificance, and lacking economic power, they have become politically and socially impotent as well. If we are to reverse the trend of ever increasing alienation, we must begin to organize ourselves into small functional social groupings that empower their members and provide a meaningful level of mutual support. After all, that is how the word community is defined. Democracy needs to be economic as well as political. Actions taken to extend it in the one realm will have implications for the other.
“[Our] Great Industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men…. who necessarily, by very reason of their own limitations, chill and check and destroy genuine economic freedom.”
-Woodrow Wilson
Since Democracy assumes the majority rules, concentration makes democracy invalid. Decoupling Economics from money is like decoupling politics from democracy. Concentration of power asserts dictatorship therefore democracy is illusionary. Concentration is undemocratic because it concentrates power in the hands of a few unelected people who are unresponsive to the needs and wishes of the people (Dollarization anyone?).
The pinnacle of power in today’s world is the power to issue money. If that power can be democratized and focused in a direction which gives social and ecological concerns top priority, then there may yet be hope for saving the world. – Thomas H. Greco, Jr.

Emilio Kalmera

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Comments (1)

 

  1. irie says:

    An excellent reading. I will like to further elaborate on your article in relation to current happenings in the United States.

    We can also safely state that Money + Politicians = makes democracy invalid.

    This reminds me of a plutocracy, where the men (and women) who are wealthy are actually the ones with the most power. Instead of describing America’s economic system as capitalistic, I would in favor lean towards the term plutocracy, where lobbying and huge campaign donations are integrated in American politics.

    It becomes crystal clear that the selected few who do have the means can buy policies that fit their best interests. And what are their interests? To plunder the system and make more money in whichever sector they are specialized in. Public servants who actually have the power to vote and who also pay the large chunk of taxes are actually the ones that enjoy the left-over benefits.

    So, at least for the American political system which help create this current economic crises, the questions we should ask are;

    How should we de-concentrate the power of those wealthy few, in order to give power back to the people, communities and such?

    Or, a question that I think is closer to a pragmatic solution is (thanks to Kalmera views) ;

    How can we, the people, with the right interests in place (social, ecological and a fair economic system), form communities big and loud enough where politicians can not avoid listening to our demands anymore.

    I’m pretty sure politicians in the states take the Wall Street protests very seriously and will do their utmost to quieten things down. They are afraid if it takes more tract it will gain more legitimacy, enabling the right conditions where it can’t escape the mass public anymore. If you pay close attention to the American media, this is already happening. The influenced media is mocking the protests, labeling the activists as hippies and leaving snide remarks live on the air.

    As Kalmera’s article pointed out the power of communities, we should never forget this fact. In the last year alone, especially in the Middle East, there’s enough evidence of what communities, mutual support and active gatherings can change the tide of a political system who are willing to adapt their current economic system. We should therefore never lose our optimism and our sight of a better world!