I distributed the article below as an A5 leaflet at the Green Party’s Spring Conference, 20-24 March, and at the G20/Climate March in London on Saturday 28th March – BL:

Economic Essentials

For a just and ecologically sound economic policy, fair distribution of resources, leaving no-one in want, is a fundamental requirement.

The prime source of current blocks to achievement of this is the system of money creation and distribution.

The current debt-money system has been developed by private interests and perpetuated and supported by economists’ distortion of language. To them, black is white.

A ‘favourable balance of trade’ means that we have given more of our goods or services to other countries than we have received from them. ‘Inward investment’ means that we have sold our productive assets to foreigners.

High interest-rates to ‘cool the economy’ impoverish debtors further and bankrupt businesses, while, by

adding to costs, they end up by pushing up the prices they are supposed to control. Only the very rich, and banks, benefit.

‘Consumer confidence’ means people have been persuaded to increase their debts even further, to keep the so-called ‘economy’ expanding.

‘Disposable’ means cheap, short-lived, un-repairable.

‘Work’ means paid occupation. Unpaid occupation, however socially valuable, is not, to a modern economist, ‘work’. Their omission of consideration of all the socially valuable, indeed essential, occupations that go unpaid should cause the rejection of their theories.

‘Unemployment’ means that, regardless of the many worthwhile occupations that are needed, there is no opportunity to earn money by engaging in them. ‘Job creation’ means, not funding people to engage in these tasks, but creating opportunities to earn money, regardless of the lack of social value, or the positively anti-social nature, of the occupation offered.

The socially destructive nature of usury has been recognised by major religions and philosophers for millennia. The fact that our money is issued into circulation along with an interest-bearing debt is the basic cause of the growing extremes of wealth and poverty; while the banks’ power to issue it or to withhold it gives them effective control of society, which they use in their own interests, which often conflict with those of the rest of society.

To work toward a sounder economics, LVT, along with resource taxation, with the receipts used to fund Basic Incomes, would give recognition to the claim of all to a fair share of the value of natural resources, while monetary reform seeks to make money the servant, and not the master of society.

Both issues had widespread popular support in the early decades of last century, but since then have been excluded from conventional economics and public discussion. They both threaten the powerful ‘Establishment’.

Every person, in this and future generations, should be entitled to basic material security as of right.

The accelerating growth of debt, due primarily to the nature of our dependence for a money supply on borrowing it from banks, at interest, is the prime driving force for economic growth, since the volume of money required to service existing debt is always more than exists in circulation. Failure to maintain growth of the money supply causes recession, or worse.

We need to end this system, and instead have our money created and spent into circulation by government. This would allow it to circulate perpetually, unless there proved to be too much in circulation, in which case the government could cancel out of existence some of it collected by taxation.

We need to end the banks’ power to create money, placing this instead in the hands of a public body answerable to Parliament. This body would be charged with managing the supply by creating new money as required, debt-free, to be spent by government into circulation, or when necessary, to require the cancellation of some of the money collected by Government, to reduce to total volume in circulation.

Meanwhile, both the increasingly glaringly obvious failure of the present system – its need to ‘grow’ in order not to collapse under the weight of the rapidly growing burden of debts it has created, and the impossibility of its continued growth in light of ‘peak oil’ among other problems, have led to growing support for this issue as one of fundamental importance; one which intimately relates to virtually all the other issues of concern.

We need to aim for localisation. The drive to gain ‘inward investment’, and to increase our exports, due to the debt-money system, must be reversed. We should be exporting only genuine surpluses, to pay for imports only of what we need and cannot produce locally.

Ending reliance on going increasingly into debt to manage payment for needed goods and services, and gaining control of our own money supply, is a major, fundamental need.

Giving everyone a basic, ‘Citizen’s Income’, should not be a financial problem when we can easily produce all we need with only a very small proportion of current paid employment, if this is applied to this aim.

Seeking solutions to the manifold problems we face, without addressing this issue, is doomed to failure; at best, a mere reduction of the rate of destruction of nature and society. Given this reform, solutions become miraculously simplified and effective!

— Brian Leslie, 27 March 2006

Addendum, March 2009:

Since I wrote the above, the ‘Credit Crunch’ has hit the news. This makes the reform of the money-creation system even more urgent!

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