Sunday, February 24, 2013

Listening to Radio CBC Friday morning (The Current Feb.22) I saw in my mind’s eye, clear as day, the future that the world’s private banks have in store for us.  This future is the logical outcome of the global private banking system that is devastating countries around the world.   This future, designed and promoted by rich investors and military dictatorships, has as a main component a model called the “The Charter City”.

Yes, gated communities in existing cities worldwide are no longer good enough for the rich.  As mass populations become poorer and the rich become more fearful of the poor, simply having the rich sections of cities privately gated and guarded is not good enough anymore for multi-millionaires and billionaires.  As people’s income deteriorates along with public services the rich everywhere are increasingly refusing to support cities that are staggering under the lack of adequate services and infrastructure repairs.  Rather than pay their share of taxes to keep existing cities viable the rich and super rich think they have a better solution.  Why not just build entire gleaming white cities exclusively for themselves?  And build them in the most desirable sections of impoverished countries? The first one, in one of the most beautiful areas in Honduras?
Honduras is into it. One of the poorest countries in the region with one of the most brutal military dictatorships.  A Public, Private Partnership the Honduran government is calling their future Charter Cities. 
 Ah, yes.  Public Private Partnerships.    We know them well under the governments of Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark in BC.  Public private partnerships are simply schemes for the wealthy private investors (them) to suck out as much money as possible from the public purse (us) with no risk to them.  And then investors eventually own the highways, the bridges, the hospitals, the schools, the bus and ferry systems etc. when they are up and running and can now be operated strictly for profit.

 Charter Cities built in Honduras means the desperately poor Honduran people will pay for the private enjoyment and safety of the rich in the most desirable parts of the country. The military government has just signed a deal with private investors to build three private cities that will have their own private  governments, rules and laws, and will be run by a variety of foreign-owned corporations.  The indigenous people who have lived in the areas for centuries will be moved or possibly allowed to stay as servants for the city.
We heard from Paul Romer on the program (The Current) explaining Charter Cites as being the answer to, would you believe…poverty?  Romer is the American economist who conjured up Charter Cities.   We also heard from Octavio Sanchez who is the chief of staff for the Honduran military government.  He is gung ho for Charter Cities. He sees nothing wrong in carving out a big slice of beautiful Honduran coastline for the first large exclusive city for the rich in a poverty stricken country.  And Carlo Dade, Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa, thinks Canada should be buying in to this concept. 

I don’t know what to think of these men.  They have absolutely no compunction about dreaming up schemes to protect the rich from the rest of us and have the rest of us pay for it.  But there was one other speaker on the program that saw through these designs of the rich and super rich.  His name is Keane Bhatt and he is with the North American Congress on Latin America.
Bhatt gave wonderful rebuttals to the huge malevolent repercussions that would result from building wealthy private Charter Cities, especially in poverty stricken countries who live under corrupt military rule.  And I think this is a good time to mention that I am increasingly noticing that CBC’s “invisible hand” seems to be tilting to the Canadian right wing.  For instance, on the subject of Charter Cities on this same CBC program, the three men who praised Charter Cities as a way to reduce poverty (oh, sure) but only one man who tried to bring out all of the inconsistencies and cruelties of this model. 
 When I researched the program run down on the CBC site later, the three speaking for Charter cities were given their titles plus a brief description of their opinions, while Bhratt was given one line, simply his work description, but with no description of his opposition to Charter Cities. However, Julian Fantino’s office, Canadian Minister for International Cooperation sent in a letter saying “We will follow with interest how this initiative develops”.
I’ll bet they will.  It’s just the kind of thing that the Conservatives in my opinion, with their indifference to young Canadians, the poor, the old, women, children, First Nations, and the ill would gravitate to.   If there was such a Charter City in Canada now, our Prime Minister would abide there; I am sure, at every opportunity.  How he must long for a clean, rich, pristine city far removed from the great body of regular people, where he could await the Rapture in purity. But I digress.  Where are the private banks in this?
In Canada, where they have been since 1974.  That was the year the private banks convinced the Trudeau Liberal government that they shouldn’t have to trouble themselves any longer borrowing from the Bank of Canada (our bank) at no interest.  Borrow from us (the private banks) they said.  Easier to do business that way.
 I wonder what was wrong with Pierre Trudeau at the time.  Did he not understand this would mean that Canadians would have to pay the private banks back with compound interest and cause the National Debt which was negligible at the time, to sky rocket?  Was Pierre Elliot Trudeau also taking stupid pills, as the young man asked of our current politicians on the OH CANADA MOVIE?  Trudeau was supposed to be an intellectual.  But consider his actions in making debt slaves of us all by delivering us into the hands of the private banks with their unrelenting compound interest, to what William Lyon Mackenzie King, our tenth Prime Minister had to say on the matter;
 “Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes that nation’s laws.  Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation.  Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile.”
1974 was the date Pierre Elliot Trudeau launched the compound interest wrecking ball down our Canadian lanes.  It is now 2013.   39 years.  That’s all, just 39 years of private bank’s compound interest and the wrecking is obvious, all over Canada.  More details on this next time.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Those of you who did watch the OH CANADA MOVIE on You Tube would have caught the interview with Elizabeth May.  And would have learned that Elizabeth May was more than just aware of how we are all becoming indentured debt slaves by the way our  federal government  (us) borrows  from private banks (Royal Bank, TD, The Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, CIBC), she seemed quite unhappy about it.
Elizabeth May understands how our government (us) borrows money from these private banks at compound interest when the government (us) could borrow whatever money is needed to run the country from The Bank of Canada (our own bank) with no interest.  That’s what our bank, The Bank of Canada, was created for. So why does our government  (us)  borrow the money needed to run the country from private banks at compound interest instead of from the Bank of Canada, our own bank, at no interest?  A practice that is rapidly making us a nation of paupers?

Because back in 1974 private banks persuaded the government of the day (as represented by Pierre Trudeau with a liberal majority) that private banks would work best in supplying money to the government (us) at compound interest.  Better for whom?  For them, of course.  And they were right in their assessment of how much money they could syphon out of the system with compound interest:  

CANADA’S FIVE BIGGEST BANKS POST STUNNING  $7.8  BILLION IN PROFITS IN THIRD QUARTER  (The Canadian Press, Aug. 30, 2012).  That $7.8 billion is just for one quarter.  There are four quarters.  Assuming the profits are roughly the same for each quarter that’s over $ 31 billion dollars in profits for the five biggest private banks in Canada. And this is why our national debt is skyrocketing and why we’re going broke.  The private banks have stolen that thirty one billion from our own modest incomes. It was stolen through compound interest that our own governments have given, free gratis, to the private banks, the same banks that claim they are loaning us for our mortgages, credit cards, and almost anything we buy on credit.
This is weird.  And I think it has gone on for so long simply because it is so weird. People can’t believe that banks don’t really have the money to loan them for a mortgage or anything else.  The banks have no money in their vaults.  Or next to none compared to the amount of money they create out of thin air when they give you a loan.  That you have to pay back with compound interest. You pay this compound interest back with good hard money that was not created in fantasy land.  However, our politicians say that this monetary fantasy land laced with compound interest the banks give out is good because it sucks away our real money for the loans on paper that the private banks conjured up just for us. 
In the OH CANADA MOVIE Elizabeth May also talked about how this compound interest becomes national debt (us again).  And of course we know who is in hock for the National Debt besides us.   Our children.  And their children.  And if this horror show continues, their children’s children.  In a very real sense, the private banks operating in Canada are eating up our progeny.  At least their futures. What is to be done?
A lot. And while it would be upsetting to the private banks we need a government who would agree to borrow what is needed from our own bank (Bank of Canada) with no interest. As Elizabeth May put it, we (the government/us) could simply borrow the money from the Bank of Canada (us) to pay off our national debt and then these loans would be dissolved.  We could then pay back the Bank of Canada with no interest what was left owing less the compound interest.  And all future expenditures would be through the Bank of Canada.  
  Then our national debt would truly reflect what we (the government) actually borrowed instead of the enormous pay back of compound interest from the private banks that are killing us.   This relentless demand from the banks for compound pay back is also driving the economy into the sludge of the tar sands (where the desperate need for jobs leads when government (us) investment in infrastructure, clean energy, and expanded health care is overwhelmed by the compound interest demands of private banks on citizens).   All national and environmental interests get swept aside to feed the private banks their ill-gotten criminal compound interests.
As the OH CANADA MOVIE points out, it is true that Elizabeth May did not bring the Bank of Canada vs. private banks operating in Canada into the conversation during the last two federal elections.  However, if you look on the Green Party website you will find that in the Green Party’s 2012 Convention that private banks vs. The Bank of Canada was on the agenda.
On page 2 of the Green Party Motion and I quote:
  …”interest on interest is by far the largest part of that debt (National Debt). A 1993 Auditor General report said that of the accumulated net debt of $423 billion, only $37 billion was principal-the rest was due to the magic of compound interest.  Thus, a very large portion of all the painful cutbacks, program cuts, etc. needed to “pay down the debt” are to pay interest on debts loaned to (private) bankers….It doesn’t have to be this way.  This system of government borrowing is rarely questioned because the people running our banks and central banks have a vested interest in keeping the system as it is because it works very well for them-they receive billions in interests payment for the “risk” of lending government  money. “ End of quote.
Okay, Elizabeth, we get it.  We’re with you on this.  We are tired of never getting ahead because when we have a few bucks in the bank we receive little or no interest from the banks, but when we borrow from the banks through credit card or lines of credit or mortgages we pay compound interest charges that absolutely stuns us and makes us wish, at least temporarily, that we were dead.  Or at least that we had never been born.  So what happened to this Green Party motion to compel the federal government (us) to borrow interest free from the Bank of Canada instead of from private banks, and if passed and won, would free us from virtual slavery to the private banks?  It didn’t pass?  You’ve got to be kidding us!
Why on earth would anyone in the Green Party vote against national solvency?  Why would anyone in the Green party vote against refusing to have our children eaten alive by compound interest?  Or vote against families that are struggling to stay afloat and take care of kids, or vote against old people, health care, good schools, and affordable housing?  Conservatives voting against these things?  Yes,  I can see that.  Along with the Liberals, both Provincial and Federal.   And while I’m not certain, I don’t think the NDP would even bring forward a motion like this, either.
But this motion was put forward by Elizabeth May in the Green Party.  I believe she would lead us out of the private banks compound interest nightmare if she gets the chance.  If her own party won’t support her on this then she needs help from the outside.
 For Pete’s sake, you people in the Green Party who voted against this motion, what is wrong with you?  Don’t you want the Green Party to demonstrate that it is against whatever is sucking the life blood out of Canada?   This one motion, if passed, and given out to the public at large in bright, bold language could change all of our lives and future lives for the greatest good.  And perhaps bring a government to power whose leader has some sense and some compassion.
 Let’s help Elizabeth in this.  Let’s demand, beg, and plead that she bring this motion forward again whether we’re in the Green Party or not.  Let’s convince the Green Party in general that this one issue is doable, that they need only go forward with it and vote down the ones who object.  Or kick them out of the party.  They obviously don’t understand the terrible burden that we, the people, are striving under now, with the future looking even worse. We’re with you on this, Elizabeth. Please carry this motion forward again.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Oh, yes. Just as the class war is raging in Europe, South America, Central America, Mexico and the US, it is also raging here.  Only it isn’t called class war by those who are waging it.  When Canada and US governments wage class war against us they call it ‘cutting back on entitlement programs.”. They tell us this must be done in order to try to balance the budget.  And to keep Americans and Canadians safe.  From Terrorists.
 When corporations wage class warfare they fire workers and buy machinery instead of employing human workers. They call this onslaught against workers downsizing or restructuring.  And as neither governments nor corporations believe that workers have a right to jobs that pay a living wage, or an inherent right to jobs at all, or a living wage, nothing is done to help people garner any useful ammunition to fight this accelerating class war being waged against us.
 In my opinion, our side of the class struggle is going nowhere until the majority of us recognize that there is one vital institution that facilitates the hot blood flow between governments and corporations that must be stopped.  Overthrown.  Eliminated.  And I am becoming daily more convinced that until this is accomplished it isn’t going to matter much who heads governments or purports to be economists of one sort or another.   Nobody in any kind of authority, including the media, talks about how banks actually work.  And in particular one hears nothing about how our Bank of Canada relates to the private banks in Canada.
I like reading books on economics because I am trying to find an explanation, one that makes sense,  for why we Canadians, a relatively small population, living in a rich resource country, with democratic intuitions, could be struggling so desperately to keep from drowning in both personal and national debt. The Occupy movement emphasized the economic disparity in our country and the Idle No More uprising has emphasized the way Harper has hijacked all of our natural resources along with First Nation’s treaty rights; including the natural right of citizens to protest the endless Harper destruction of this country.  But still, there has been no comprehensive explanation of how our economic system got so skewed.  But there is one little media group that has taken the best shot at it that I’ve encountered so far.
     It’s a video.  It’s called OH CANADA. THE MOVIE and It’s on You Tube.  It’s made by young people.  At least a young person is the moderator.  And he gives an exceedingly simple break down of how we got into such a sorry mess economically (and makes Paul Martin look like a shyster used car salesman in the process; watch the man fumble for words trying to excuse the private banks).
In the film the young producer takes from the Bank Act itself (and I researched a copy of the Bank Act just to check his work) and the mandate of the Bank of Canada is laid out in the preamble:
“Whereas it is desirable to establish a central bank in Canada to regulate credit and currency in the best interests of the economic life of the nation, to control and protect the external value of the national monetary unit and to mitigate by its influence fluctuations in the general level of production, trade, prices and employment, so far as maybe be possible within the scope of monetary action, and generally to promote the economic and financial welfare of Canada.”
Sounds good?  It does.  The Bank of Canada is our friend.  Well, not exactly, at least in the way it is used.   But the Bank of Canada is a huge, huge friend of private banks.  By law, our Canadian government could borrow all of the money it needs from the Bank of Canada with simple interest, or little or no interest.  After all, the Canadian government belongs to us and the Bank of Canada belongs to us.  And the Bank of Canada was created to “promote the economic and financial welfare of Canada”.   But does the Government of Canada turn to our own government bank to borrow money for civic projects, for military, for maintenance of roads and bridges when needed at low simple interest?  It does not.
Our governments don’t deal with our own bank; they turn to private banks to borrow money when needed.  Private banks that do not charge simple interest, instead they all charge our government (us) compound interest. Private banks can then, in turn, borrow from the Bank of Canada and pay back simple interest at a very low rate.  So the private banks get very cheap money, while we get the full whammy of the private banks compound interest.
You will find all this on the OH CANADA. THE MOVIE video  ( a note of caution:   somebody is trying to confuse the issue on YouTube  by listing first when you Google this, something c:alled: (Oh, Canada, the film) which is not (OH CANADA. THE MOVIE):  Back to compound interest:
If example:
From the time of the birth of Jesus Christ to 2009 what would be the difference between simple interest and compound interest if one borrowed one dollar at six per cent interest:
Simple interest:                  
 $120. 00
Compound interest:
$69,100,838,435,849,580,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000.
Is there anyone out there who will dispute these figures?  If these figures are wrong then I would really like to know about it.  If they are right, then I will proceed with my investigations of just how royally we all are being…well, screwed.  In the meantime please watch OH CANADA.THE MOVIE on YouTube.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The first economist who makes my heart sit up and applaud is the president of Iceland, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson.  Mr. Grimsson was also at Davos (World Economic Forum) along with all the main stream heavy economic hitters who are imposing stringent austerity programs on their people.  But Mr. Grimsson’s economic theory is radically different from the others and is very simple. This theory is mainly composed of four words…”Let the banks fail.”
In an interview shown on Al Jazeera (Jan. 25, 2013) Mr. Grimsson explained that four years ago Iceland decided to let their own banks fail.  They also took charge of their currency at that time, instituted programs to help those in need, and did not introduce harmful austerity programs.  Since then Iceland has prospered.  Mr. Grimsson believes that countries should not consider banks the “churches” of modern economies, they are, after all, private corporations, and citizens should not have to pay for the bank’s profits in good times, and failures in bad.  He is truly a man after my own heart.
The second candidate for the “Economist of my Affections” title is Jeremy Rifkin.   Rifkin is worried after peering into the future of work.  In his book “The End of Work,”1995, Rifkin talks at length about the ever expanding computerization and robotization of the work force.  And loss of jobs.  We all know this is happening. We see it, we hear it, it is either happening to us, or someone we know, it is all around us.  And of course this trend has accelerated in the years since Rifkin wrote “End of Work”.
And yet, despite all of the obvious evidence that traditional work is disappearing under our very eyes  as companies downsize, restructure and become leaner and meaner, our politicians and main stream economists don’t talk about the results of this.  Or why increased automation is contributing so heavily to the loss of jobs.
 Politicians, both domestic and global, and right wing think tanks, don’t like to mention that the automation of the work process is largely at fault.  These people don’t want to talk about how because companies are becoming more automated, they don’t need and don’t want human workers hanging around.  Owners and investors don’t have to pay machines, once installed, and they can work 24-7.
Rifkin suggests that we disregard politicians who make vague promises about the economy and job growth improving.   Instead, he wants us to look at the situation for what it actually is…that we are rapidly approaching a nearly workless society where machines will do just about everything people are doing now (with exceptions, of course).  How are we to think about such a world where most people will not be gainfully employed?  How would people live? What would governments do?
     Again, Rifkin suggests that governments would have two choices, at least in a transition period.  Either give everybody enough money to live on and continue to be consumers, at least in a limited fashion, or face a revolution.  The reason I like Rifkin is that he lays it out before us and forces us to look at these coming events and think about them seriously. None of our politicians or mains stream economists are doing this so we have no political leadership to guide us.  We’re on our own in entering an era so new that it is truly a leap into the unknown. There will be no point in smashing machines.  There are too many machines, some are too small to find, and others are programmed to replicate themselves.  We haven’t the option of becoming luddites.  There is no going back.
    I believe that Rifkin is right, we will soon be living in a world where machines do all of the manual labour and a big part of intellectual labour (I do not think computers will ever be able to think as humans do, but they can think as humans program them).  When I get to this point in my thinking the dreams take hold.   Just think, I ask you, if most humans are freed of wage labour, both blue collar and white collar, what would they find to do?  What would there be time to do? 
Well, let’s consider. Without wage labour there would be time to work at art, music, dance, sports and theater. Time to do the work of exploration of the natural world when everyone who wished would have the time to observe birds, flowers and plants, insects and wild animals. We would have time to plant vegetables, explore new cooking techniques with solar and wind power. And there would be time for history; everybody would have the time to explore the world in historical context.  We would have time to do the work of teaching children, in small groups, not factory like settings, and time to listen to the stories of old from elders.  We would have time to develop real communities, the kind we haven’t experienced since the close of the commons in Europe and the rise of the Industrial Revolution, these events that have so fractured and separated us from one another.  Yes, we would have time.  Time to claim as our own, time for friendship and for love.
So is work mechanization a curse or a blessing in disguise? I think in the interim it will be treated as a curse, especially if governments do not understand the necessity of keeping people fed, housed, clothed and schooled until the transition is complete.  Along the way, and arising soon, I believe leaders will emerge who can see and convince others to act in ways to bring the blessings.  I think this will happen.  Leaders emerge when the evolutionary spirit demands they step forward.   Jeremy Rifkin and Icelandic President Grimsson are pointing the way.