Richard C. Cook had posted a new article titled,
The Economic Crisis and What Must be Done
In it, he provides an excellent summary of our current situation and how we arrived at it, along with some concrete proposals.
On the legislative front, he call for Congress to pass what he calls the “Cook Plan.” This would provide relief payments “to each adult of $1,000 a month until the crisis lifted. This money could be earmarked for goods and services produced within the U.S. and used to capitalize a new series of community development banks.”
I could support such a plan but I see no hope of getting it through Congress. Even so, it would require a reallocation of budget payments from bank and corporate bailouts and military spending.
His second proposal is much more feasible and in line with my own prescriptions:
“Another method increasingly being used within the U.S. today is local and regional credit clearing exchanges and the use of local currencies or “scrip.” Use of such currencies could be enhanced by legislation at the state and federal levels allowing these currencies to be used for payment of taxes and government fees as well as payment of mortgages and other forms of bank debt. The credit clearing exchanges could be organized as private non-profit regional currency co-operatives similar to credit unions.”
However I see no need for government involvement in this approach. I would prefer that governments keep hands off until the exchanges have enough strength to bend legislation in a favorable direction. Too much government attention too early will result in repression of emergent exchange alternatives, as has been typical in the past.
Cook’s article provides invaluable background, especially for anyone who is new to the study of “the money problem.” I strongly recommend it. You can read it here