By Barry Turner
At its most simplistic, money is the “lubricant”, the measure of values that facilitates the free exchange of goods and services and balances out the inflexibility of simple barter. Any suitable token may be used, from shirt buttons to matchsticks to coins. Popular farmers’ markets represent a direct interface between producer and consumer, and the Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS), in which locally designed tokens are employed, are a correct illustration of this basic requirement.
On a globalised, electronic scale, in which “money” is traded as a commodity in its own right, it is a very different story in which the conglomerates as well as the individual are harnessed by a system of perpetual debt to the private banking sector; in other words, one half of the community lives off the toil of the other half simply for the privilege of creating, supplying and handling its “money”.
The modem battle between the bankers and the people, through government, for the right to create their own money, has raged since the creation of the Bank of England under the Tonnage Act, 1694. President Andrew Jackson (1829-36), fought the bankers in America (See Marquis James, The Life of Andrew Jackson, 1938). Abraham Lincoln issued the government “Greenback” as a debt-free means of financing the Civil War of 1861-63.
The British Government issued the “Bradbury” into the public domain to help finance the 1914-18 War. Between 1876 and 1941 the truth about these artificial constraints, that would otherwise allow the Government to "smooth out" the financial and economic impact of the Foot and Mouth Disease crisis today, largely independently of the private banking system, has been amply written up by authorities such as industrialist William A. Berkey (The Money Question — Monetary System of the United States, 1876), Professor Frederick Soddy (Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt, 1933), and Vincent C. Vickers (Economic Tribulation, 1941), a former director of the Bank of England.
Michael Rowbotham has brought the situation bang up to date with The Grip of Death: A study of modern money, debt slavery and destructive economics, and Goodbye America! Globalisation, debt and the dollar empire.
The essence of the situation is that the requirement for governments to borrow from the private banking sector to finance public expenditure forms the basis of the National Debt, and a large element of the taxes we pay goes to service the interest on that debt.
At the end of the 1939-45 War the Government issued into circulation approximately half the financial needs of the Nation, and the private banking sector created the other half largely to finance private sector investment.
Today, half a century later, the ratio is in the order of 3 per cent against 97 per cent.
This means that governments now have to borrow the bulk of the public — that is, the people’s — money from the private banking system, for which privilege we pay taxes to keep the City of London in the manner to which it is accustomed!
Manoeuvres to acquire this Power by an Establishment Elite over both major political parties has taken place gradually over many years, and is well described by Robin Ramsay in Prawn Cocktail Party (1998).
To balance the equation between expenditure, taxation and debt payment means that, with the complicity of the Treasury and a select band of influential politicians, governments are kept artificially short of funds.
But for this, and the corresponding political will for governments to create and spend the necessary debt-free money into the economy, there would be no need for existing restraints on public expenditure, for example, on Education, Health Care or Law and Order, for which all the human and material resources are readily available.
This is the heart of the domestic problem that the Agricultural Community has to challenge to ensure its survival.