On the money question, a new essay, Economics: A Clandestine Religion Masquarading As A Science, is recommended reading. It can be found on the Net at http://www.monetary.org/economicreligion
Also a new book from New Zealand on how alternative currencies can help to compensate for the damage inflicted by the world’s money system has enthusiastic reviews: see Deirdre Kent’s website for these and for ordering details of her book, Healthy Money Healthy Planet, athttp:// www.localcurrencies.blogspot.com
In this issue, on pages 91 to 94, are three (shorter) articles which highlight the fundamental links between this issue and the growing, serious problems threatening the World. I hope they will stimulate some responses.
I would welcome material for a Letters page or two. Please feel free to comment on content, or send news items relevant to our Group, as well as full-length articles for publication.
A major problem in spreading understanding of the need for reform of our money mechanism is one the Green Party has faced from its start: ‘conventional wisdom’, or the myths propagated by powerful vested interests to prevent effective challenge.
The Party’s strength has been its determination to ‘stick to its guns’ on policy rather than shape this to win votes; one issue after another has won through to become the new conventional wisdom, and even without any MPs, we have had considerable influence on the other Parties, and on Government policies – though far more is needed.
Another strength of the Party is its recognition of the interrelationship between issues of environment, political power and economics; the one link missing from this is that between debt— and its influence on all the other issues we are concerned with — and the way our money is brought into existence and its volume maintained. As J K Galbraith famously wrote, ‘the process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled’*, and the success of those who gain from this system in suppressing debate and clouding the issue when it is raised is awesome.
The growing movement for ‘global justice’ opposing neo-liberal ‘globalisation’ is calling for ‘trade justice’ and to ‘drop the debt’; yet so far the basic cause of injustice, the debt-money system, is not generally appreciated.
My motion on this to the coming Autumn Conference of the Party has been ruled out-of-order by SOC, because of strict interpretation of a rule brought in by the main opponent of it when it was last debated and narrowly defeated: that the substance of a defeated motion could not be brought back for two years, instead of one, as previously. This Autumn, the Conference happens to be a few days less than two years after that in 2003. Meanwhile, the World is fast falling apart under the growing pressure of false, unrepayable debt!
The issue of the post-autistic economics reviewIssue no. 32, 5 July 2005, in its Forum on Economic Reform (Part III), has an article, - The Reform of Intellectual Property, by Dean Baker, in which he argues that the anti-free market legislation on patents and copyright imposes grossly far higher costs to consumers and governments than the tariffs and other ‘market distortions’ usually targeted by free-market economists. They also lead to waste of human and material resources, including gross inefficiencies in use of R&D.
While conceding the validity of the arguments in favour of these patents and copyright, he suggests that there must be far better ways of achieving the same ends, at far lower costs and avoiding the other disadvantages. He offers some suggestions. The article, also too long to reproduce here, can be viewed athttp://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue32/Baker32.htm . It is something which should be addressed in the Green Party’s policies. Anyone prepared to draft a motion??
*Money— Whence it came, where it went, 1975