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How to save the U.S. Economy

Written by Richard C. Cook on Sunday, 31 August 2008. Posted in Crisis

The crashing stock market has given its verdict. The financial rescue plan currently being implemented by the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve System will fail to revitalize the producing economy, even with continued interest rate cuts. This is because the banking system is essentially a supply-side, trickle-down mechanism with a currency based on a pyramid of bank lending and debt. All the current plans being suggested by economists and others to save the financial system by varying degrees of tinkering are useless. Similarly useless is the pumping in of credit or liquidity by Treasury or the Federal Reserve because it is no more than new debt to roll over old debt.

The cause of the financial failure is that the producing and consumer economy is “maxed out” and is unable to repay existing loans much less new ones. This is because purchasing power in the U.S. has collapsed.

Purchasing power has collapsed not only because we have outsourced our industry abroad and allowed our infrastructure to crumble, but also because of structural defects identified decades ago by C.H. Douglas and John Maynard Keynes. These defects occur due to the need for retained earnings (i.e. savings) to overcome the Law of Diminishing Returns. This leads to insufficient aggregate demand; i.e., the gap between prices and purchasing power that is endemic in an industrial economy.

The problem is not the collapse of the stock market which simply reflects the deflation of the bubble economy. The problem is the oncoming recession/depression caused by the absence of an economic engine to generate new producing power.

Keynesian plans for top-down creation of jobs by government deficit spending has never worked and has always ended in an attempt by the government to inflate its way out of debt. Everything being suggested by the Obama/McCain campaigns is based on the failed Keynesian formula.

Still, the gap (in the purchasing power) has been filled, except it has been filled by debt, by consumer borrowing, and by the hundreds of different kinds of exotic debt instruments dreamed up by Wall Street firms since Reagan took office in the 1980s. This debt pyramid is what is crashing today.

And behind all the exoticism is the debt-based monetary system run by the banks who own the Federal Reserve, because it is these banks that provided the leverage for it all to happen... Just remember, it’s the big banks that are really the ones behind the bailouts. They are the ones who call the shots with the Bush administration and the leadership of both the Republican and Democratic parties.

And what is a real solution? It’s a dividend-based economy, as I have written many times, and as the Social Credit movement in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have known for decades... Among many other benefits, we would have a rebirth of local and regional economies as well as family farming, all of which the banks, under the global monetarist regime, have wiped out.

About the Author

Richard C. Cook

Richard C. Cook

Richard C. Cook is the author of Challenger Revealed: An Insider’s Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age. A retired federal analyst, his career included stints with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, and NASA, followed by twenty-one years with the U.S. Treasury Department. He is now a Washington, D.C.-based writer and consultant.