We have been witnessing another round in the struggle to maintain the purchasing power of wages by raising them, a method that has in the past shown itself to be self-defeating. Wages are an important part of prices, and business must include all costs in prices, if it is to remain solvent. If more money is used to increase wages, costs and prices are increased, at least to the same extent, and the result is more inflation of prices and a general lowering of the value of money.
The Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. E. L. Greensmith is reported thus: "There are times when the Government can justifiably issue money without taking equivalent money from its citizens... The Government has ability to create its own supply of money... The sheer power of the energies let loose by a liberalisation of monetary policy has often been under-estimated." (N.Z. Herald, 4-9-56). These statements on top of other admissions by equally high authorities should be sufficient proof that there is no need for the Government to borrow; but that it is the duty of the Government to issue money itself direct, and thus cut-out the exploitation of taxpayers by private trading concerns, interested only in personal profit that is anti-social in its consequences.
The Government could use the very same credit that the banks use today to increase deposits, that under fraudulent methods, become a credit to the drones, against the workers, and consequently force up taxation and prices continually, as we know from bitter experience. This dishonest system continues only because the workers themselves vote for it in their folly, expecting social justice from one or other of the existing political parties.
Purchasing power could be increased without raising prices by using New Zealand's credit in the form of a discount, in the same way, that a shopkeeper increases the value of the pound when he gives a five or ten per cent sales discount, from his own private resources. The Government, however, using the vastly greater resources of the country as a whole, could better initiate a similar procedure; and instead of allowing private profit-making concerns to issue the money for personal gain, and then borrowing it from them, the Government should do the job direct, and save all the humbug, debt and taxation that drives wage-earners to continuous and almost futile wage claims.
While we treat money as a commodity — which it is not and as a scarce commodity at that, which is equally absurd, we see it flooding the world by the thousands of millions, and there can be little relief for workers struggling against taxation and rising prices, since it is all charged up against them. Unless we reform the financial system along equitable lines we will deserve to go down the drain with other civilizations that have been destroyed from fundamentally the same causes: riches in the hands of the privileged and powerful few, and poverty for the working masses. Social justice demands that society be given credit for its indispensable efforts in the productive fields, without which all the money in the world would not be worth the paper it is printed on. When workers, as electors, better understand the fraudulent nature of the existing financial system, they will revolt against those who have usurped society's just rights, and elect to Parliament men and women who can look beyond the immediate present and beyond their own personal glorification. A little practical Christianity is called for. Is that too much to ask a community that professes to follow the ways of Our Lord?