Alternative Banking Working Group RFP (Request for Proposal)

As of today this WG has 373 members scattered around the web.  I have no idea how many of us live in NYC.  Although we are a small group loosely connected by our demand for economic justice and cyberspace, we seem to be the avenue through which the larger #OWS GA can potentially reach consensus on an effective fiscal/monetary policy for addressing the problems of wealth inequality and economic injustice.  Please do not think this is “to tall of an order”.  If 373 can reach consensus, why not the overall GA?  A proposal can be formulated and consensus can be reached.  This is a call to other members of this WG to help build a proposal that is short, simple, and sweet.  I have read the proposals put forth in this WG already, and while I appreciate the time and effort the proposal authors contributed, it is clear that these proposals are far too long and complicated to ever reach GA consensus.  To reach consensus a proposal will have to be boiled down to a few clear sentences.  (Something that can be read and understood in less than a minute?)  Hopefully, each sentence makes a clear point, and the sentences are linked in a progression to reach a clear conclusion.  Of course, I have some ideas about what to include in a proposal.  So, to offer a starting point:  Can we discuss the possibility of making the proposal about the federal budget and federal fiscal/monetary policy – ignoring the private banking/investment sector?  If we focus on the money that is held in common and owned by the people, then we are focusing on the money that is legally held in common, not held by individuals.  By law, government (public) money is the only money that MUST be used for public purpose.  (Private money can be voluntarily offered for public purpose, but not expropriated without an eminent domain ruling or some other court action.)  If our proposal focuses only on the federal budget and federal fiscal/monetary operations and policy, then our task is much simpler than it would be if we also try to address problems within the banking/investment sector.  The money in that sector is private, not commons, and the push-back against any effort to force that money into use for the common good is overwhelming.  That is why re-occupation didn’t take off – too many cops on the street defending the private property of the bankers with the billionaire mayor.  OK, not a problem.  We don’t need their dirty money anyway.  But we do need to utilize the federal public utility that manages our fiat money (the federal reserve) in a way that is designed to benefit the commons, not just the 1%.  So, a rough draft of the first sentence of a GA proposal might be something like this:  ”This is a position statement and demand for change by #OWS NYCGA regarding the federal budget, federal monetary operations, and federal fiscal policy.”  (I know, probably too long.  It’s rough.)  Thoughts?

8 thoughts on “Alternative Banking Working Group RFP (Request for Proposal)

  1. I AM LENGTHY; NO WORRIES. If “the people” fight for the capacity to care, they will listen to their facilitators, AND what they tell them is vitally important to read for the movement.
    I have created – what will seem to the reader to be a hokey and counterintuitive – banking system, but in relatively short time (years) could become the capitalist/communist hybrid which would illuminate thee path to freedom.
    I have compressed the work into a one page introduction, but objectively that particular work seems even more hokey and pointless without the body of the work to expand on the collateral effects. Unfortunately, there is a new version of the essay coming out soon (version 3.2), but currently the basic purpose and premise is solid.
    I challenge anyone to debate me. We need pessimists for this one.
    THANK YOU TO THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE FOUGHT TO CARE – THE TIME YOU PUT INTO THIS WILL NOT BE IN VEIN.
    (Myspace.com/Seekingwhim … -in the blog- …)
    1-503-475-4000

  2. See also Bill Mitchell’s talk to National Skills Conference, in Melbourne, Australia on June 29, 2011. It talks about a full employment economy. The talk is about Australia, but is easily applicable to the US.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYT8pgVYGms&list=PL5EC0F0DFAA88B611

    Also Conyers’ Bill complies with what Mitchell is talking about. Also, it also puts fairly sharp taxation restraints on Wall Street.

  3. This is a position statement and demand for change by #OWS NYCGA regarding the federal budget, federal monetary operations, and federal fiscal policy: print us some money.

  4. Well, I have a proposal, but before presenting it I must say I am both dismayed and perplexed by the strange restriction you want to place on the proposal. You say:

    “So, to offer a starting point: Can we discuss the possibility of making the proposal about the federal budget and federal fiscal/monetary policy – ignoring the private banking/investment sector? If we focus on the money that is held in common and owned by the people, then we are focusing on the money that is legally held in common, not held by individuals. By law, government (public) money is the only money that MUST be used for public purpose. (Private money can be voluntarily offered for public purpose, but not expropriated without an eminent domain ruling or some other court action.)”

    Frankly, this passage reveals deep confusion about our monetary system. The dollar system is essentially a public utility. Every dollar in our system is in one way or another created by the public’s monetary authority. Whether a dollar ends up being privately or publicly held is a question of public policy and public choice; it does not reflect any deep distinction between the kinds of dollars involved. Similarly, the private banking system is a network of institutions that are chartered members of the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve System is a public institution created by Congress under the monetary authority granted to Congress by the US Constitution, whose governors are appointed by political leaders in Washington, and which is required to report to Congress on its actions. It is a mistake to attempt to draw some sharp line between the public institutions and the private banks, or between the public’s dollars and private dollars. The banks exist to serve public purpose.

    Also, the notion that private money can only be “expropriated by an eminent domain riling or other court action” seems bizarre. Every time Congress passes a new tax law it expropriates privately held money and transfers it to the public treasury. That’s a a routine, core process of democratic government.

    Honestly, what kind of “radicals” are the Occupy movement when they are captive to such conservative, laissez faire notions about sanctity private property and the of private banks?

    Here is my proposal:

    _________________

    Resolved:

    1. The dollar is the people’s national currency, and the dollar system exists to serve public purpose, so monetary policy must be subject to direct democratic oversight and direction. It is time to end central bank independence, and replace the outmoded and unaccountable banker’s technocracy known as the Federal Reserve system with a more democratic and accountable system.

    2. The wealth and prosperity of the nation depend on the engaged commitment of its people and their willingness to take charge of the nation’s real resources and invest them in the future they will bequeath to posterity. We call for an end to the fatalistic passivity of neoliberalism and laissez faire economics, and call for a second New Deal era of activist government. The New New Deal will organize large-scale public investment in projects whose vision and ambition is equal to the spirit of an industrious, ambitious and hopeful people. These projects will include lifelong education of all of our people, saving our environment from the ravages of climate disorder, and radical and visionary transformations of our energy system.

    3. Democracy cannot survive in an environment of profound economic inequality. We must take firm and deliberate steps to restore social justice and broad prosperity, build social solidarity based on democratic equality, and end the grotesque exploitation, inequality and economic hierarchies that have poisoned our democracy and destroyed security and prosperity for millions of Americans. We didn’t ask for class war, but we will fight the war that has been taken to us.

    4. Social solidarity in a democratic society is based on a contract of mutual obligation among the society’s citizens, a willingness of all to dedicate their talents and industry to others for the good of their society, and a corresponding willingness to provide the means and opportunity for each citizen to participate their labor to the pursuit of the common good. The United States must therefore commit itself to a national policy of true full employment, anchored in a guaranteed job for each American able and willing to work.

    • In #4, where I said, “participate their labor to the pursuit of the common good”, I should have “participate with their labor in the pursuit of the common good.”

  5. The Fed isn’t really the peoples money, it’s a loan – there should be pressure on the government to switch to a greenback style currency (controlled by an elected board of economists and citizens, to control inflation/interest rates) with no compound interest. The government representatives could then spend money into the economy without going any further into debt (and start paying it down for once). The established banks would slowly switch to full reserve banking system (as opposed to fractional reserve banking). The money supply should be run by the people for the people. Without the Fed demanding interest payments and threatening to downgrade, the government would be free to actually spend money into the economy through government jobs, social programs etc. thus stimulating the economy instead of cutting the budget at the expense of the people (who need the help the most). There are a lot of great banking reform movement going on globally that are working – like the Brixton pound and others. I live in Canada and the Canadian Action Party has what I believe to be a sustainable proposal and will be voting for them in the next election. Another good one off the top of my head is positive money.

    Thanks for listening, not really involved in this sec of Occupy but thought I would offer my Canadian opinion.

  6. Edward Kellogg wrote a really good book outlining the problems with Privatized Debt-Money System back in 1861. That was before the Fed Act, and the National Banking Act. But, nevertheless all money in circulation came from loans from privately owned banks. They gaveth and they tooketh away when the time suited them to start grabbing up hard asset collateral due to non-repayment of debts (due to reduced money supply they control themselves). Kellogg showed that in such a system, interest rates higher than 1% per annum always resulted in property being confiscated from the many and given to the few. Prophet Mohammad observed something like this too, about 1200 years before Kellogg!

    Kellogg proposed a solution in a Public Money System based on economic production instead of bank debt. This kind of money system would benefit the producer class, and also urban workers. It should be possible to get a proposal for the General Assembly. Many people on OWS though defend the existing system. They pretend regulation will solve the problems instead of a wholesale revisit of the way money is created. Unlike today, in the 19th Century people really knew about money systems and could critique them.

    Edward Kellogg: “A New Monetary System: The Only Means of Securing the Respective Rights of Labor and Property and of Protection the Public from Financial Revulsions”, 1861, Burt Franklin Publisher, NY, NY

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