Republican Congressmen Violated Logan Act By Negotiating With Foreign Leaders
They’re Trying to Destroy the Founding Fathers’ Vision of Separation of Powers
The latest example is Congressional violation of the Logan Act. Specifically, the Logan Act – enacted in 1799 – states:
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
The Logan Act was named for Dr. George Logan, a Pennsylvania state legislator (and later US Senator) who engaged in semi-negotiations with France in 1798 during the Quasi-War.
In United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. (1936), Justice Sutherland wrote in the majority opinion:
[T]he President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation. He makes treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate; but he alone negotiates. Into the field of negotiation the Senate cannot intrude, and Congress itself is powerless to invade it.
Sutherland also notes in his opinion the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report to the Senate of February 15, 1816:
The President is the constitutional representative of the United States with regard to foreign nations. He manages our concerns with foreign nations, and must necessarily be most competent to determine when, how, and upon what subjects negotiation may be urged with the greatest prospect of success. For his conduct, he is responsible to the Constitution.
I happen to think that Obama is a tyrant who – like Bush – should be impeached for trampling the Constitution. But two wrongs don’t make a right …
Likewise, directly telling the leaders of Iran that America won’t honor Obama’s negotiated commitments is a violation of the Logan Act. Indeed, the Senator who organized the effort admitted that his intent was to sabotage negotiations with Iran.
The 9/11 Commission Didn’t Believe the Government … So Why Should We?
9/11 Commissioners Admit They Never Got the Full Story
The 9/11 Commissioners publicly expressed anger at cover ups and obstructions of justice by the government into a real 9/11 investigation:
- 9/11 Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton says “I don’t believe for a minute we got everything right”, that the Commission was set up to fail, that people should keep asking questions about 9/11, and that the 9/11 debate should continue
- The 9/11 Commission chair said the Commission was “set up to fail”
- The Commission’s co-chairs said that the CIA (and likely the White House) “obstructed our investigation”
- 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey said that “There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version . . . We didn’t have access . . . .”
- 9/11 Commissioner Timothy Roemer said “We were extremely frustrated with the false statements we were getting”
- 9/11 Commissioner Max Cleland resigned from the Commission, stating: “It is a national scandal”;“This investigation is now compromised”; and “One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9-11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up”. When asked in 2009 if he thought there should be another 9/11 commission, Cleland responded: “There should be about fifteen 9/11 commissions”
- The Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission (John Farmer) – who led the 9/11 staff’s inquiry – said“At some level of the government, at some point in time…there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened“. He also said “I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described …. The tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years…. This is not spin. This is not true.”
No wonder the Co-Chair of the congressional investigation into 9/11 – Bob Graham – and 9/11 Commissioner and former Senator Bob Kerrey are calling for either a “PERMANENT 9/11 commission” or a new 9/11 investigation to get to the bottom of it.
Some examples of obstruction of justice into the 9/11 investigation include:
- An FBI informant hosted and rented a room to two hijackers in 2000. Specifically, investigators for the Congressional Joint Inquiry discovered that an FBI informant had hosted and even rented a room to two hijackers in 2000 and that, when the Inquiry sought to interview the informant, the FBI refused outright, and then hid him in an unknown location, and that a high-level FBI official stated these blocking maneuvers were undertaken under orders from the White House. As the New York Times notes:
Senator Bob Graham, the Florida Democrat who is a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused the White House on Tuesday of covering up evidence ….The accusation stems from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s refusal to allow investigators for a Congressional inquiry and the independent Sept. 11 commission to interview an informant, Abdussattar Shaikh, who had been the landlord in San Diego of two Sept. 11 hijackers.
- The chairs of both the 9/11 Commission and the Official Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 said that Soviet-style government “minders” obstructed the investigation into 9/11 by intimidating witnesses (and see this)
- The 9/11 Commissioners concluded that officials from the Pentagon lied to the Commission, and considered recommending criminal charges for such false statements
- The tape of interviews of air traffic controllers on-duty on 9/11 was intentionally destroyed by crushing the cassette by hand, cutting the tape into little pieces, and then dropping the pieces in different trash cans around the building as shown by this NY Times article (summary version is free; full version is pay-per-view) and by this article from the Chicago Sun-Times
- As reported by ACLU, FireDogLake, RawStory and many others, declassified documents shows that Senior Bush administration officials sternly cautioned the 9/11 Commission against probing too deeply into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
Both the 9/11 Commission Investigation and 9/11 Trials Were Based on Unreliable Evidence Produced by Torture
The CIA videotaped the interrogation of 9/11 suspects, falsely told the 9/11 Commission that there were no videotapes or other records of the interrogations, and then illegally destroyed all of the tapes and transcripts of the interrogations.
9/11 Commission co-chairs Thomas Keane and Lee Hamilton wrote:
Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.
The chief lawyer for Guantanamo litigation – Vijay Padmanabhan – said that torture of 9/11 suspects was widespread.
And Susan J. Crawford – the senior Pentagon official overseeing the military commissions at Guantánamo told Bob Woodward:
We tortured Qahtani. His treatment met the legal definition of torture.
Indeed, some of the main sources of information were tortured right up to the point of death.
Moreover, the type of torture used by the U.S. on the Guantanamo suspects is of a special type. Senator Levin revealed that the the U.S. used Communist torture techniques specifically aimed at creatingfalse confessions. (and see this, this, this and this).
And according to NBC News:
- Much of the 9/11 Commission Report was based upon the testimony of people who were tortured
- At least four of the people whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report have claimed that they told interrogators information as a way to stop being “tortured”
- One of the Commission’s main sources of information was tortured until he agreed to sign a confession that he was NOT EVEN ALLOWED TO READ
- The 9/11 Commission itself doubted the accuracy of the torture confessions, and yet kept their doubts to themselves
If the 9/11 Commissioners themselves doubt the information from the government, why should we believe it?
Intelligence Officer: Every Single Terrorist Attack In U.S Was a False Flag Attack … Or Egged On By the Government
Robert David Steele – a 20-year Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer, the second-ranking civilian in U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence, and former CIA clandestine services case officer
Most terrorists are false flag terrorists or are created by our own security services.
In the United States, every single terrorist incident we have had has been a false flag, or has been an informant pushed on by the FBI.
In fact, we now have citizens taking out restraining orders against FBI informants that are trying to incite terrorism.
We’ve become a lunatic asylum.
Guess What Happened The Last Two Times The S&P 500 Was Up More Than 200% In Six Years?
By Michael Snyder, the Economic Collapse Blog.
Just a few days ago, the bull market for the S&P 500 turned six years old. This six year period of time has been great for investors, but what comes next? On March 9th, 2009 the S&P 500 hit a low of 676.53. Since that day, it has risen more than 200 percent. As you will see below, there are only two other times within the last 100 years when the S&P 500 performed this well over a six year time frame. In both instances, the end result was utter disaster. And as you take in this information, I want you to keep in mind what I said in my previous article entitled “7 Signs That A Stock Market Peak Is Happening Right Now“. What we are witnessing at this moment is classic “peaking behavior”, and there is a long way to go down from here. So if historical patterns hold up, those with lots of money in the stock market could soon be in for a whole lot of trouble.
According to Societe Generale analyst Andrew Lapthorne, there was an S&P 500 bull market run of more than 200 percent over a six year time period that ended in 1929.
We all know what happened that year.
And there was another S&P 500 bull market run of more than 200 percent over a six year time period that ended in 1999. In the end, all of those gains were wiped out when the dotcom bubble burst.
And now we are near the end of another great bull market for the S&P 500. The following is an excerpt from a recent Business Insider article…
“Such a strong six year run up in US equities has only been seen twice since 1900, i.e., back in 1929 and 1999, neither of which ended well,” Lapthorne wrote.
So how will this current bull market end?
Needless to say, a lot of people are not very optimistic about that right now.
And there was another very interesting bull market that ended in 1987…
On Aug. 12, the S&P 500 dipped to 102.42, setting the stage for the third-biggest bull market in stocks since 1929. Inflation and unemployment fell. In 1984, President Reaganwould cruise to reelection with an ad telling voters “It’s morning again in America.” By 1987, the stock market had tripled. Shareholders who were able to see beyond the gloom of the early 1980s reaped a huge return.
Of course a lot of those huge stock market returns were eliminated in a single day. On October 19th, 1987 the Dow declined by more than 22 percent during a single trading session. That day is still known as “Black Monday” up to this present time.
Markets tend to go down a lot faster than they go up. So if your stock portfolio has gone up substantially over the past few years, good for you. But keep in mind that all of your gains can be wiped out very rapidly. Millions of people experienced this during the last financial crisis, and millions more will experience this during the next one.
And as I keep reminding people, so many of the exact same patterns that we witnessed just prior to the last great stock market collapse are happening once again.
For example, just yesterday I explained that there has been only one other time over the past decade when we have seen the U.S. dollar surge in value in such a short period of time.
That was in 2008, just prior to the last financial crisis.
Another example is what has happened to the price of oil. Since the middle of last year, the price of oil has fallen by more than 50 dollars a barrel.
In all of history, that has happened only one other time.
That was in 2008, just prior to the last financial crisis.
But you know what? Despite all of the warning signs there are still people out there that are eagerly pouring money into the stock market.
Back in 2005 and 2006, I knew people that were hurrying to buy homes before they got “priced out of the market”. So they did everything that they could to scrape together down payments and they took on mortgages that were larger than they could really afford.
And in the end they got burned.
Today, people are doing similar things. For instance, my friend Bob recently sent me an article that I could hardly believe. It turns out that an “expert” on CNBC is encouraging people “to take out a 7 year loan with a rapidly amortizing asset as collateral in order to buy stocks.”
Let me be clear. The really, really, really dumb money is jumping into the stock market right now. Those that are pouring money into stocks today are really going to get hit hard when the crash comes.
And it isn’t just me saying this.
Just consider the words of billionaire hedge fund manager Crispin Odey…
Mr Odey is best known for his big macroeconomic calls, including foreseeing the 2008 global credit crisis; piling into insurers in the wake of September 2001 attacks; and picking the recent oil price rout. He famously paid himself £28 million in 2008 after shorting credit crisis casualties, including British lender Bradford & Bingley. Mr Odey’s fund returned 54.8 per cent that year.
“The market’s reaction to all of this is leave it to the professionals, leave it to those great guys, the central bankers, because they saved the day in 2009,” he said. “These guys are kind of relying on central banks pulling a rabbit out of a hat.”
The risk is that this time, monetary policy may be ineffective: “We need the crisis to reformulate policy. Central banks are not all singing and all dancing, they cannot basically avoid the natural consequences of what we are doing.”
An inadequate supply-side response to the plunge in commodity prices as the resources industry declines to reduce production was in effect stimulating supply into falling demand.
“The trouble is today the players, whether they are the miners or the oil companies or the Saudis or anybody else, they are not doing the right things. This is the first time in my career where economics 101 doesn’t work at all.”
But it was also true that the world has not had a major recession for 25 years and thanks to frequent interventions, “there is a sensation we don’t have a business cycle”.Stocks are enjoying a six-year bull market but he also hinted at liquidity issues bubbling under the surface.
“I just think that you and I have got grandstand seats here [to an imminent market shock] and my point is having found myself in the second quarter of last year selling a lot of equities and starting to go short, I found out just how illiquid it all was. You never actually see it until people try and get out of these things.”
It was unclear to Mr Odey what central banks could do to prevent a crash.
The warning signs are clear.
Soon the time for warning will be over and the crisis will be here.
I hope that you are getting ready.
EU Splits on Ukraine — How and Why.
The issue is whether to supply weapons to Ukraine.
On Friday, March 13th, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced, referring to himself in the third person, that:
“The Head of State has informed that Ukraine had contracts with a series of the EU countries on the supply of armament, inter alia, lethal one. He has reminded that official embargo of the EU on the supply of weapons to Ukraine had been abolished.”
In other words: Some EU nations, and he is keeping secret for now the identity of which ones, have contracted to supply to Ukraine’s ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ or ‘ATO,’ weapons to assist Ukraine in its ‘Anti Terrorist Operation.’
Then, on Saturday, March 14th, Russian Television, Russia’s equivalent of Britain’s BBC and America’s PBS, headlined “Poroshenko: 11 EU states struck deal with Ukraine to deliver weapons, including lethal,” and added further details, besides (presumably from Russian-Government intelligence) the specific number (11) of the nations that would be supplying weapons to Ukraine.
There are 28 member-nations in the EU. Apparently, 17 of them do not want to sell weapons to the Ukrainian Government. That’s 17 EU nations which are apparently siding with Russia in opposing the extermination of the residents in the region of the former Ukraine, Donbass, where the residents had voted 90% for the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, whom the Obama Administration overthrew in a violent coup in February 2014 under the cover of the “Maidan” anti-corruption demonstrations.
11 EU nations want to exterminate those residents and are supplying weapons that will assist in the effort. However, Ukraine’s President Poroshenko (who was elected not by all of Ukraine but only by voters outside Donbass and especially in Ukraine’s northwest, but who still claims to represent and to be the legal President of the residents in Donbass, whom he’s bombing) refuses to identify which ones they are.
Meanwhile, during the past few days, German Economic News has specifically identified the following EU nations that are strongly opposed to this supplying of weapons to Ukraine: Spain, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Hungary, Italy, France, and Slovakia.
Furthermore, Italy is increasing its cooperation with Russia.
And, early in January, the Czech Republic made clear its separation from the U.S. on this matter.
But that’s only 9 of the 17 EU nations that openly oppose the U.S. Probably most of the remaining 8 are silent on account of their recognition how fateful their actual abandonment of the U.S. could turn out to be, and so they want to leave all options open, for as long as they can — and since they still can.
Moreover, Germany lost 40 billion Euros, over $40 billion, in 2014 because of Obama’s sanctions against Russia, and other EU nations have also been enormously harmed by them. Angela Merkel wants to end sanctions and knows that this cannot happen until the U.S. stops its proxy-war against Russia in Ukraine.
However, the U.S. aristocracy has benefited from these sanctions. For example, U.S. arms manufacturers are booming now, and so are the former U.S. (and still strongly Republican-Party-backing) mercenary firm Blackwater, now called Academi.
Moreover, on March 11th, German Economic News reported that:
“Ukraine will increase the share of military expenditure in GDP from 1.25 to 5.2 percent and spend $ 3.8 billion, the Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalia Jaresko [who is an American financier whom the Obama regime placed into that Ukrainian-Government post] says. The defense orders were received mostly by US companies like Network Technologies Corporation.
Jaresko announced on Tuesday that Ukraine plans to increase its national defense spending this year to 5.2 percent of GDP. Last year, that proportion was 1.25 percent of GDP. In sum, 2015 is planned to spend a total of 3.8 billion dollars on armaments.”
So: “The Americans have stopped the EU efforts to lift the sanctions against Russia.” This has intensified the split between the U.S. and EU.
However, though European governments are very harmed by what the U.S. Government is doing, someof Europe’s aristocrats are benefiting from it, and they have considerable influence within their own governments.
The politically extremely knowledgeable, superb classical pianist, Valentina Lisitsa, who was born in Kiev but now resides in North Carolina, was interviewed by German Economic News on 19 January 2015; and the following excerpt provides insight on this matter, and also on some of the far-right American political connections:
“German economic news: Who benefits from the war in the Ukraine?
Valentina Lisitsa: People on all levels. For example the arms companies, it will benefit the EU States, which are monopolized by a nontransparent hysteria, pushing to modernize their existing weapons arsenals. But even small government officials in Ukraine earn money; they take kickbacks from Ukrainians who buy their freedom from military service.
There are many mercenaries [the euphemism for them is ‘volunteers’] on both sides, and the private companies that are behind these guys make enormous profits. You have mercenaries from various nations on both sides. But it is interesting to observe that no one is attacking the coal mines and factories of the oligarch Rinat Akhmetov [Ukraine’s richest person] in the Eastern Ukraine. Akhmetov sees with both sides to arrange that he will suffer no economic disadvantage. He supports both sides.
German economic news: A former Commander of the battalion of Azov was appointed the Chief of police of Kiev. How is it possible that a radical rightist receives such an important position?
Valentina Lisitsa: There are two aspects. First of all, the Azov battalion is indeed a radical right-wing organization. In the course of the civil war, Azov members have participated in numerous atrocities. It is not an exaggeration to say that Azov members are as brutal as ISIS members. These are not average Ukrainians. They are indoctrinated and are at the service of the oligarchs.
The second issue is more complicated. In Ukraine, there are the so-called Academy of Personnel Management (MAUP) Dnipropetrovsk. This is a private college, emerged from the very many bureaucrats of the Ukrainian State [as it devolved from communism]. However, the facility is known for anti-Semitism, xenophobia, homophobia and right-national ideas. David Duke is a graduate of the MAUP Academy, and did also an apprenticeship there. Duke is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and was an active high-ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan. He is a world-renowned anti-Semite. MAUP also receives donations from Saudi Arabia.
If you consider the second aspect, it may not surprise you that a person such as ex-Azov Commander Vadim Troyan was appointed the Kiev Chief of Police.”
So: Obama chose the nazis to run Ukraine because they’re committed to destroying Russia, and because they’re also amenable to being controlled by the aristocracy. Decent Europeans are appalled, and they’re the majority of Europeans; but because of the extreme media-censorship in the United States, where virtually all ’news’ media that have a significant-sized audience are owned (or minority-controlled) by members of the American aristocracy, which benefits from weakening Europe and destroying Russia, there are only few Americans who even know about what is happening (except the U.S. propaganda, which demonizes Putin, and which is controlled by the U.S. Government on behalf of America’s aristocrats).
The closer that things get to an irreversible harm to Russia that would spark a nuclear attack against the United States — and possibly also against Europe — the bigger the split within the EU will become, and some nations might also leave NATO and ally directly with Russia, or else go neutral, in order to avoid America’s nazi (i.e., racist-fascist, anti-Russian) leadership. After all: Europe suffered greatly from Hitler’s Nazis. No major nation supports Ukraine’s nazis to the extent that America does.
Would the U.S. then militarily target such a former ally? Might the U.S. attack Italy, for example? Might the U.S. attack France? Might the U.S. attack Germany? If U.S. forces are still in those countries, which will almost certainly be the case, such attacks would be extremely unlikely, and they wouldn’t be nuclear ones. Only Russia would get the nuclear bombs, if and when there will be a WW III. The U.S. and Russia would be destroyed, and everyone else would envy them, for their being already dead.
More and more people in Europe are coming to know how dangerous the United States Government is. In 2013, it was already recognized, even in Europe, as being by far the most dangerous government on the planet — and this was before the coup in Ukraine. (That poll from WIN/Gallup has not been repeated — or at least not publicly — since 2013, and wasn’t much publicized even at the time, because it was sponsored largely by the U.S. Government, which didn’t like the results and didn’t want them to become generally known. For example, the poll, of 65 countries, found that, in Ukraine in 2013, “33 percent of respondents choose the U.S. as the greatest danger, compared to just five percent who picked Russia.” This did not fit the line that the U.S. Government and its aristocrats’ servants in the American ‘press’ indoctrinate into the American people. In other words: right before the coup in Ukraine, far more Ukrainians thought that the U.S. was scary than thought that Russia was. Americans’ views of foreign affairs are almost exactly the opposite of reality. For more about the systematically deceived American public, see this, and this. Every high school student in America should look at those shockingly realistic videos. It might even help to make the U.S. become a democracy again, if a WW III doesn’t destroy everything and thus simply eliminate all progress.)
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.
Debt-damned economics: either learn monetary reform, or kiss your assets goodbye (2 of 7)
The following is my high school teaching assignment for Advanced Placement Macroeconomics students (available as extra credit for other classes) on how money is created. I offer this for non-profit use; divided into seven sections:
- Instructions (1 of 7)
- Contextual orientation: seeing the past as clearly as possible (2 of 7)
- Money and bank credit (3 of 7)
- Fractional reserve banking (4 of 7)
- Debt (public, private) and money supply (5 of 7)
- Historical struggle between government-issued money and private bank-issued credit (6 of 7)
- Cost-benefit analysis for monetary reform in your world of the present (7 of 7)
1. Contextual orientation: seeing the past as clearly as possible
“All the perplexities, confusions, and distresses in America arise, not from defects in their constitution or confederation, not from a want of honor or virtue, so much as from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.” – John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson (1787-08-25), The Works of John Adams
“If all the bank loans were paid, no one could have a bank deposit, and there would not be a dollar of coin or currency in circulation. We are completely dependent on the commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon.” – Robert H. Hemphill (1), Credit Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1934 foreword to 100% Money, by Irving Fisher. Fisher was a Yale economist whose proposal for monetary reform lost to Keynes’ deficit spending plan during the Great Depression.
Without knowing how money is created and managed, all other topics concerning money are out of context. This is crucial: regarding trillions of dollars of economic power, you have no idea where money comes from.
It’s time for you to learn.
I teach Advanced Placement (AP) Macroeconomics. The following is what I provide to students, AP colleagues, and non-controversial in its first four points of content. That is, there is zero disagreement among professionals in economics about factual accuracy.
And that said, although textbook economics provides the information of what we have as a monetary system, citizens need to take the last step to see for themselves what the private banks that own the Federal Reserve will never admit: their monetary system provides parasitic profits to leading Wall Street banks, bailouts in the trillions, and that an honest cost-benefit analysis proves their system should immediately be retired and replaced.
I assert the facts to prove this are obvious upon inspection, affirmed by many of America’s greatest historical figures beginning with Benjamin Franklin, and that those of us who present this argument are unaware of any refutation of our claims. Indeed, we welcome any attempt.
Because this information will likely be new to you (and to your parents), it may help to consider the paradox of learning history: every generation sees itself as “completely modern,” and that treachery such as an economic system parasitizing trillions from the public could not be possible in “modern times.” It’s easy to look back in history and see exactly such treachery, of course. It’s also easy to empathize with historical citizens who failed to recognize objective facts from “official propaganda.”
Need I say more…? A crucial lesson from history is appreciating the possibility that such treachery exists today, that “official propaganda” attempts to hide it, and as always, objective facts reveal what is actually happening. You’ve heard this quote; please allow it to resonate with you:
“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Vol. 1.
“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” – President Harry Truman, Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman (1974) by Merle Miller, pg. 26.
Let me tell you a story that might help: my grandfather (“Papa”) was born in 1891. He grew up on a farm, loved to read, and had a father who never read for pleasure. One day, Papa was hiding behind a stack of hay bales to read. Suddenly, his father appeared, hands on his hips, boring his eyes upon his son in disbelief, and said, “What are you doing? You’re just sitting there, doing nothing. Why aren’t you doing something?” Papa’s father believed himself to be a “modern man,” capable of understanding life’s most important ideas. He concluded that if there was an idea he didn’t already understand, it had to be without value. And importantly, it didn’t matter that the evidence was right in front of his own eyes; he couldn’t recognize what he couldn’t imagine.
With hindsight, we all know that my great-grandfather was correct that people who read are indeed “just sitting there,” but we are far from “doing nothing.”
With a little curiosity, new worlds open for us. This topic you’re reading now, worth trillions of dollars, is arguably the most valuable investment of time you’ll ever make.
Before we begin exploring the mechanics of what we use for money, one more point:
Because people don’t know how money is created and managed, the only thing between them and tyrannical monetary policy is trust in ethical government. American democracy is founded upon cautious distrust of government. To compensate for temptations of power and personal profit in government, the US Constitution is designed with checks and balances. However, because checks and balances can be thwarted if politicians are unethical, the only real protection of liberty is citizen responsibility.
American democracy and freedom is dependent upon our taking personal responsibility for understanding our most important economic and political issues. This is one of them.
“A mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits (of government) is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands.” – James Madison, Federalist Paper #48, 1788
“Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests, which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.” – Theodore Roosevelt, “The Progressive Covenant With The People” speech (August, 1912; one year before passage of the Federal Reserve Act)
Many Americans believe in the US without understanding our major economic and government policies. Collectively, American’s trust in our government to ethically create and manage money is so pervasive that few of us ever give this multi-trillion dollar issue a moment’s thought. As a teacher of economics, I hope this brief is helpful to your responsible citizenship.
1 With greater context: Herman, C. Washington’s Blog. Federal Reserve, national debt nearly defeated during Great Depression; let’s finish the job. Feb. 8, 2012.http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/02/federal-reserve-national-debt-nearly-defeated-during-great-depression-lets-finish-the-job.html