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Monetary Reform

Written by Louis Even on Sunday, 16 October 2016. Posted in In This Age of Plenty (book)

In this age of plenty - Chapter 10

Whose duty is it to create money?

It was Saint Louis, King of France, who said: “It is the first duty of a king to mint coins when money is lacking for the sound economic life of his subjects.”

It is not at all necessary, nor is it advisable that banks be abolished or nationalized. The banker is an expert in accounting and investments. Let the banks continue to receive and invest savings for profit, taking their share of profits. But the creation of money is an act of sovereignty which cannot be left to a bank. Sovereignty must be removed from the bank and returned to the Nation.

Bookkeeping[1] money is a good invention that should be maintained. But instead of drawing its origin from a private pen, in the form of a debt, the figures we use as money should be born from the pen of a national organism, in the form of money destined to serve.

There is no need to change anything to ownership and expertise. No need to abolish the current money to replace it with some other kind of money. All that is needed is for a social monetary organism to add, to the money that already exists, more of the same money in accordance to the country’s possibilities and the population’s needs.

To this end, the Government must establish a monetary body, a National Credit Office. The accountants of this Office, although appointed by the Government, would not take their orders from the Government. They would dictate nothing to either producers or consumers. Their function would consist in fine-tuning the relationship between the mechanism for the issue and withdrawal of money, and the rate at which wealth is produced and consumed by unrestrained producers and consumers. Somewhat like the judicial system: judges are appointed by the Government, but their judgments are based solely on the law and upon facts testified to, for which they are neither the authors nor the instigators.

We must put an end to sufferings from privation when there is, available in the country, all of the things needed to bring comfort to every home. Money must come into circulation according to the country's productive capacity and the wish expressed by consumers for useful goods that can be made.

Who owns the new money?

Money, then, should be put into circulation according to the rate of production and as the needs of distribution dictate. But to whom does this new money belong when it is created?

It belongs to the citiens. It does not belong to the Government since it is not the owner of the country, but only the custodian of the common good. Nor does it belong to the accountants of the National Credit Office: In the same way that judges do, they perform a social function for which they are paid, according to law, by society. This money belongs to the citizens and to them alone.  

     To which citizens? — To all citizens. This money is not a salary. It is new money injected into the public, so that the people, as consumers, may obtain goods already made or that could readily be made, products that are only awaiting sufficient purchasing power to be set in motion.

One cannot imagine for a minute that this new money, issued free by a social organism, ought to belong only to an individual or to a private group. 

There is no other way, in all fairness, of putting this new money into circulation than to distribute it equally among all citizens. It is also the best way to make this money efficient since it will be distributed throughout the country.     

Let us suppose that the accountant who acts in the name of society, finds it necessary to issue 21 billion dollars. This issue can be made of bookkeeping money; a simple entry in a book, as is the case with the banker's entries today.

But since there are over 30 million Canadians and $21 billion to distribute, each citizen would receive $700. So the accountant would add $700 in the account of each citizen. These individual accounts could easily be managed by the local post office or by the different branches of a bank that is owned by the nation. 

This would be a national dividend. Each Canadian would have an extra $700 added to his own credit, in an account established for this purpose.

To Each a Dividend

Each time it becomes necessary to increase the amount of money in the country, each man, woman and child, regardless of age, would get his or her share of the new level of progress which caused the new money to be issued. 

This is not payment for work done.  It is a dividend to each individual for his share in a common capital. Private property does exist. But common property also exists: common goods owned equally by all. 

Here is a man who has nothing but the rags he is covered with. Not a meal before him, not a penny in his pocket. I can say to him:

 “My dear fellow, you think you are poor, but you are a capitalist who owns a great many things, as many as I own and, for that matter, as many as the Prime Minister himself owns. The Province’s waterfalls, the Crown's forests are yours as well as mine, and they can easily bring in an annual income.

“The social organization that allows us to produce a hundred times the goods at a hundred times the speed we would produce if we lived in isolation, is yours as well as mine. It must be of benefit to you as well as to myself.

 “Science, which allows production to be multiplied while using barely any labour at all, is a heritage passed on and increased through generations. And you, a member of my generation, should have a share in this legacy just as I should.

“If you are destitute, my friend, it is because your share has been stolen from you. Worse still, it was put under lock and key. The current unemployment as well, as your needs, are the result of this.

 “The Social Credit dividend will give you back your share, or at least the better part of it, and an administration freed from the financiers’ influence and better suited to bring these exploiters to reason, will allow you to get the rest.

"This dividend will also be a recognition of your title as member of the human race by virtue of which you have a right to a share of the world’s goods or, at least, to that part needed to exercise your right to live.”

But we must take a closer look at the reasons why, in a well-organized society, each member is entitled to at least a minimum amount of goods. Too many people who are regarded as great sociologists have yet to recognize this right.


[1]     The first edition of this book came out in 1946.  Today it might be more appropriate to speak of ''electronic money''.


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