Separate and not Equal
There is much discussion today about economic inequality. Higher levels of education, being married, one's age, acquiring a job in innovative fields, geography, family background, and professional connections are some of the characteristics purported to lead to higher levels of wealth and income.
It may be that these tendencies for wealth building will always be part of the equation, but there is a seldom mentioned reason for the obscene concentration of wealth the world over: private banks are in control of creating the economy's new money.
Global inequality and wealth concentration are heavily influenced by governments allowing banks to create money. A signed loan document allows a bank to create deposits, and there is an interest cost created along with it. The imbedded interest costs in our accumulated national debt and overall economy are staggering. Our bank addicted dependency has grown to the point where borrowing less has become economically fatal, and continuing to borrow more offers dire long term consequences. If we want a better economy, we need to deal with our central banking system and the constant new borrowing that it requires.
Once you accept that the debt system is a major contributing factor, you can see more clearly how some are able to use it to their advantage.
Preferential interest rates, a debt incentivized tax code, government guarantees, and the selection of who gets a loan all play a part. Even though the banks are allowed to create loans, and hence money from nothing, they certainly do not want them to default. Remember, they have to find the borrower, and they need to keep their books in line compared to their competitors. They like to lend against collateral (real estate) and to financially productive people and institutions: hedge funds, corporations, private equity funds, and their banking friends. They prefer to lend as much as possible to wherever they can, so that they can earn maximum fees and interest. It is not uncommon for investment firms to borrow 1-3x their investment. All of this would be reasonable if the banks had to have the money first, not be allowed to pull it out of thin air with the Fed, and when faced with losses actually have to realize them. If government issued cash was spent into the economy the banks wouldn't be too big to fail because we wouldn't be as dependent on them.
All of this lending inflates assets: the stock market, gold, real estate, art, and our daily essentials. Obviously not everyone can afford these things.
One fifth of the country owns the majority of the financial assets. The more people get priced out of the system because their wages are unable to keep up, the more government assistance is required. There is a better way to create money, than allowing banks to do it. We need it to be created as more citizens are born and as we become more productive. There needs to be a growing supply of money to back up the economy, otherwise people suffer. It is the government's role to create money.
Debt has been increasing exponentially since the 70s and the inflated assets from that debt growth are providing much higher interest and dividend incomes to asset owners compared to wage earners.
While the Federal Reserve is supposed to be making sure we have full employment and price stability, they omit an inconvenient truth. Their first duty is to their member banks. They need to make sure the interest rates are low enough for their club members to keep lending and make a profit; also if their banks made bad loans, the Fed will just buy them back. Thanks Janet! Our money supply is tied to debt and private corporations' bottom lines. That is the first mandate, create more debt!
The Federal Reserve is the public face to a privately controlled system. We need banks to store our money, and do basic banking functions, but we don't need them to create money. When the USA was founded, the government issued non interest bearing money called Continentals. The British then counterfeited them and the public lost confidence. Not too long after, the bankers showed up with their interest bearing, inflating central bank machine; thanks guys, you're the best! Our government is not perfect, and neither were our founding fathers. You can see below how many monetary standards there have been since.
Remember when the 2008 crisis happened, many financial institutions and investors received trillions of low interest rate loans and government investment, but the debtors, mostly the people, received token loan assistance? The icing on the cake is all the fraud that engineered the housing bubble in the first place.
Now, the government is being financed with debt of the banks to keep the system growing at 2% inflation. They don't even care about economic growth as the top priority; they just want make sure prices are going up enough so that enough people keep spending more and paying their interest.
The reality is the government gave away the money creation power to private banks 100 years ago. The Constitution bestowed that role to the government. The government is supposed to represent the equal rights of the individual. It is within our rights not to have global banks manipulate money and lock us into servitude. The inflation of costs in our basic needs resulting from unequal debt creation does not serve all, it serves financial intermediaries.
If you have a financial system that institutionalizes inequality by issuing money unfairly, you won't have true freedom or capitalism.
This is nothing new, but here's to hoping it gets figured out soon.
As the late Congressman Wright Patman, Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency for over 16 years, said:
"I have never yet had anyone who could, through the use of logic and reason, justify the Federal Government borrowing the use of its own money....I believe the time will come when people will demand that this be changed. I believe the time will come in this country when they will actually blame you and me and everyone else connected with the Congress for sitting idly by and permitting such an idiotic system to continue."