Category Archives: Finance and Economics

Go, set, get ready for your mark!

The dystopian world of George Orwell’s, 1984, and Aldus Huxley’s, Brave New World, has been creeping up on us for a very long time. Now it’s coming on at a gallop and seems bound to cross the finish line in just a few short strides. Its pounding hooves shake the earth as they grind into dust truth, privacy, human rights, and all that humans hold sacred. The heat and stench from the monsters fiery breath give fair warning that it means to consume whatever stands in its way. Like the temptation of Jesus by Satan, it promises us the world, but at the price of our very souls.
Read the full article here or on Medium.

A Landmark Event in Exchange Alternatives

Greetings,

This is a heads up to inform you of an important upcoming virtual event in which I will be a featured presenter. It is the annual convention of the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA), the premier organization for the commercial trade exchange industry and a leading force for monetary and financial innovation.  

The theme of this year’s convention is Navigating the Future, something that is becoming increasingly problematic for businesses and individuals alike, especially in the wake of the massive economic disruptions of the past several months. But every crisis brings with it opportunities, both for good and for ill, and we will need to choose wisely.

The presenter lineup is the most diverse and interesting to date, and brings together knowledgeable experts representing all aspects of the exchange revolution, including commercial, grassroots, for-profit, non-profit, and technologies like crypto currencies and blockchain.

The convention will convene virtually over three days, September 23rd-25th, 2020, for four hours each day. You can see the entire list of presenters and the full program schedule at the convention website: https://irta.pathable.co/

My interactive session, titled “Get Ready to Play in the Butterfly Economy,” is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24th at 1:45 PM Eastern time (10:45 AM, Pacific and Arizona time).

Here are some convention highlights:
Michael Terpin, the “Godfather of Crypto & Blockchain” will be the Keynote Speaker!

Other presenters will include:

  •  Giuseppe Literra, Founder of Sardex & Local Pay, Sardinia, Italy
  • Will Ruddick, social entrepreneur and founder of the Grassroots Economics Foundation
  • Dr. Lee Oi Kum, SME Visionary, Singapore & Malaysia
  • Caroline Macdonald, COO, BBX, Artamon. Australia 
  • Dariusz Brzozowiec, Co-Author, University Research Paper on Economic Security of Regions During the Covid-19 Period in Poland.
  • And, of course, yours truly.

Because of the key role that the exchange of value plays in the lives of every person on Earth, and in light of the evident failures of existing systems of money, banking and finance, anyone can benefit from participation in this IRTA convention. Don’t miss it!

Ticket prices are extremely reasonable and are available on Eventbrite at: 
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/irta-2020-virtual-convention-tickets-117110644089?aff=affiliate1

Hoping to see you there,
Thomas

New Podcast Episode 10 – Todd Boyle

Episode 10    A conversation with Todd Boyle

ToddBoyleTodd Boyle is a man with a very interesting and unusual life story. In this podcast episode, he candidly tells us about how he grew up in a large Catholic family; served a brief stint in the US navy but didn’t like it and managed to get discharged; got involved for a time in the drug scene; went to college and then worked for many years as a successful certified public accountant. He eventually renounced that career in favor of fulltime activism to promote the causes of peace and justice. He has been a staunch opponent of the war in Afghanistan and the multiple covert and violent interventions by US forces in countries around the world, and in recent years he has been a tireless advocate for the homeless right here in America. Todd’s ideas for ending homelessness, and 50 IDEAS for Cheaper Housing are listed here.

Listen in as we discuss some of the main contemporary issues and Todd’s ideas about how to get through the present deepening crisis with his own version of “walking away.”

Todd is active on Facebook where he says he has been “hanging out 4 or 5 hours a day for the last 15 years.” You can follow him there.

 


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RIP John Papworth

JPapworthCameoOne of the saddest things about getting old is seeing the departure of one’s friends and family. Most recently for me, it was the passing, at age 98, of long-time friend and colleague John Papworth. John, an ordained Anglican priest, was a staunch advocate for peace and indefatigable proponent of community empowerment and human scale.

As I recall, I first became aware of John and his work in the early 1980s through my association with the School of Living, then a bit later we met face to face on one of his tours of the United States when he came to Rochester to meet with a group of us who worked with the Peace and Justice Education Center. John, at the time was publishing The Fourth World Review, a periodical that promoted decentralism and the idea that the gigantic size of nation states, mass media, and allied institutions makes democratic government and world peace unattainable. John argued that, “The way forward is not through mass party machines, but through the development of local community governing powers to a maximum level to ensure we have government not from the top down but as much as possible from the base up, A Fourth World of peoples’ power.”

“Villages and small communities are the bloodcells of civilisation, if they are free and fully empowered they can yet halt the current Gadarene rush to collapse and enable civilisation to flourish in peace and plenty and a splendour to match the achievements of the human-scale world of the Renaissance.”

Searching the Web today, you’ll not find much about it, but I consider John’s Fourth World Review and Fourth World Assemblies to 4thWorldList pdfhave been extremely important elements in the ongoing efforts toward community empowerment and a new, more peaceful society. In 1986 I travelled to Zurich, Switzerland to participate in the 5th Assembly of the Fourth World, and then took it upon myself to organize the 6th Assembly of the Fourth World in San Francisco the following year. Under the aegis of the School of Living of which I then served as President, together with affiliated groups, the next three annual Assemblies were held in Raleigh, Toronto, and Dallas, respectively.

I did find a post about the Fourth World Review on the website of the UK National Liberal Party at http://nationalliberal.org/liberty-wall-3/fourth-world-review, from which the above quotes were taken. That post also contains links to two issues of The Fourth World Review (#153, winter 2011: click here, and #154, spring 2012: click here) that were published under the new editorship of Wayne John Sturgeon and Graham Williamson after John stepped aside. I’ve found no evidence of its continued publication after that.

In this photo below, taken in September 2001 at Papworth’s home in Purton, England, I am with John P. (center) and self-sufficiency advocate and prolific writer, John Seymour (right). At that time, Donna, my then partner and I, were there to participate in the Radical Consultation, a Fourth World event that was held in nearby Swindon. As it turned out, we were staying with John at his home on the very day that the World Trade Center in New York was attacked and destroyed. After John’s son Pierre phoned to alert us to what was happening, we watched on the tele, as did millions of others, the unfolding horrors of that day.

THG_JP_JS_2001Cr

You can find John’s obituaries in The Times of London, the Telegraph, and the Church Times.

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Money and Finance Have Now Been Completely Collectivized

It is almost laughable to see “the powers that be” fumbling around, and bending everything they touch out of shape, as they try to maintain some semblance of life in the deeply flawed zombie system of money, banking and finance. Laughable, that is, if it were not so tragic.

This financial “Titanic” has not been ripped open by a sudden encounter with some unexpected and random “iceberg.” It was doomed from its very beginning because of its flawed design, construction, and operation, which I have repeatedly described over the past thirty plus years.[i] It has been taking on water and shaking itself apart for a very long time, but it is just within the past few years that its inevitable demise has become obvious, and is now imminent.

The Great Revelation of 2008
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This article was first published on Medium

The true pathway to peace, prosperity and freedom

For the past four decades E. C. Riegel has been my primary source of insight and

E,. C. Riegel

inspiration on the concepts and mechanisms of money and exchange. Writing mainly from the 1920s thru the 1940s, his is vision is acutely penetrating and his expression clear and almost poetic. For that reason I and a few others have made every effort to make his work known to a much wider audience. His most important works are freely available to be downloaded and I have listed the web links on my website under the Library menu item at https://beyondmoney.net/library/.

I realized very early in my peace and justice work, that the primary obstacle to peace, justice, and freedom, lies in the centralization of power and the concentration of wealth. Riegel and others helped me to see that the global money and banking system is the main instrument by which that is made possible. Riegel opened my eyes to the true nature of money and the fact that we the people already have in our hands the power to create true money. He pointed out that “Heretofore, economics has located the source of production at one point and the source of money at another, with the result that synchronization and balancing of issue between wealth producing power and money power were impossible.” Riegel then laid out a way to bring those two powers together, a plan which I, in all modesty, have enhanced and adapted to present conditions.

I’ve lately been in the process of preparing a document containing excerpts from Riegel’s 1944 book, Private Enterprise Money, along with my comments, much as I did years ago with my annotated précis of his book, Flight From Inflation. That may take a while to complete but I would rather not delay in sharing with my readers a little gem from pages 106 in which Riegel presciently described our present predicament. Here it is:

THE SURPRISE WEAPON

Society is in the twilight of a passing day. The state now undertakes to finance the economy, and, since a free economy is manifestly impossible where the state assumes the responsibility of supplying the money circulation, the politician is compelled to choose between fascism and communism. Under either choice liberty is abolished and the people are enslaved. As the planners all over the world adopt their devices for a managed economy, and ideologists and sloganizers prepare their implements to condition the minds of men to their control plans, and the cause of human freedom seems defenseless, there falls into the hands of the people a surprise weapon that will turn the tide of battle and give the people mastery, not only over their private affairs, but over the would-be political planners. This weapon is the people’s money power as defined in the following pages. It will change the whole course of human events into the paths of liberty, prosperity and peace.

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Riding the Populist Wave

This, my latest article, points out that capitalists now admit that the system is “rigged” in their favor; it argues that Trump and Sanders represent two edges of the populist wave that is now dominating U.S. politics, that a Sanders win over Trump is entirely plausible, that the New Deal of FDR has  been systematically dismantled and needs to be reestablished, and that in the long run people will need to work together in communities to build systems and structures that can circumvent the rigged system.

Here is an excerpt, but I hope you’ll read the entire article.

There, the capitalists are admitting it–the system is rigged.

In his latest newsletter, financial advisor, John Mauldin, Co-Founder of Mauldin Economics, acknowledges that the system is rigged in favor of the wealthy and powerful, and against everyone else, including the shrinking middle-class. Mauldin says:

The “financialization” of the American economy has led to increasing income and wealth disparity. As much as it pains me to say it, the “system” really is rigged. Whatever the good intentions of the Federal Reserve in particular and the US government in general have been, it has distorted the economic feedback loops that balance a true market-based economic system. The fact is we already have “socialism” today. It’s not the socialism we feared in 1974. We have socialized the risks of capitalism, to the benefit of a small portion of the country, while a larger portion struggles.

So, Mauldin admits what has been obvious for a long time, that the U.S. economy is characterized by socialism for the rich ruling class, and dog-eat-dog competition for everyone else. He cites this fact as the main reason why political outsider Donald Trump was elected President in 2016 and why “socialist” Bernie Sanders might conceivably be elected President in 2020. I agree.

So, what do Trump and Sanders have in common?

As I see it, both are viewed by the electorate as “populist,” which ostensibly means anti-elite, Trump representing right-wing populism and Sanders left-wing populism. But, except for paying lip service to a plan to shift U.S. foreign policy away from the imperial belligerence of the deep state, Trump’s actions as President belie any anti-elite sentiment. In fact, it’s been quite the opposite.

What people want is something other than the globalist, interventionist, imperialist policies of the past several decades that have wasted enormous amounts of resources, killed hundreds of thousands of people, destroyed communities and nations, and caused political upheaval around the world. People want relief from the economic policies that have favored capital over labor by increasing capital mobility while shifting jobs from the U.S. to low wage countries especially in Asia, and at the same time reduced constraints on banks and corporations, enabling them to more fully exploit people and the environment.
More…

A version of the article was also published on Medium and republished at OpEd News.

The Economics of Peace, Justice and Sustainability

This video is based on a presentation I gave at the Economics of Peace Conference in Sonoma, California in October, 2009. My prescriptions for reclaiming the credit commons and creating a new “butterfly economy” remain completely relevant, and their implementation is becoming ever more urgent.

A PDF of the slide show can be downloaded here.

The Exchange Revolution

In November of 2009, I gave a presentation at the conference on Michigan’s Future Energy, Economy & Environment, at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville, Michigan. More than 10 years later, this presentation is still timely.

Ken Freeman has recently augmented and adapted recordings of that presentation to produce this new video, titled, Exchange Revolution, which has now been posted on our Beyond Money Podcast site. It is a comprehensive description of the what and how of transcending the political fiat money regime, and building a new equitable system of value exchange.

It can also be found on YouTube at https://youtu.be/MvTMcvVzNuQ. The transcript can be found here.

 

Spanish Edition of The End of Money and the Future of Civilization

I’ve waited ten years for it to happen but I’m delighted to announce that, thanks to the efforts of translator Enric Montesa and publisher Julio Fernández, my book, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization, is now available in Spanish. The Spanish language edition, titled El Fin del Dinero y el Futuro de la Civilización, can be ordered from the publisher, Ediciones Kaicron, at their website, https://www.kaicron.es/tienda/el-fin-del-dinero-y-el-futuro-de-la-civilizacion/.

The book will be introduced and discussed in Madrid this Friday (November 8) during a roundtable session, Money and Sustainability, at the four day event, Biocultura: La Revolución Ecológica (Bioculture: The Ecological Revolution).