There are as many different sorts of thieves as there are types of thievery, and the following is not an exhaustive summary. There are bandits, burglars, pirates, cattle thieves, hijackers, shoplifters, pickpockets, muggers and purse snatchers. There is embezzlement, blackmail, fraud, swindles and extortion.
There is one particular thief whom we have been denouncing for a long time. He is still at large, and law enforcement officials are making no attempt to bring him to justice. In fact, it appears he is held in high esteem by authorities. This particular thief excels in the art of swindling and extortion.
Our regular readers have probably guessed who he is. It is that old thief whose agents operate boldly among us in the light of day: the existing financial system. The fact that the thief’s modus operandi is developed to a high degree and is considered a sacred mystery by the average person, and even sanctioned by judicial authorities, permits it to carry out its dastardly deeds on an unheard of scale and without its victims ever realizing who it is that is depriving them of the overflowing bounty which nature and man's ingenuity has to offer. Oh, they know very well that they are being robbed right and left, but this crafty old thief is skilled in turning his victims against one another, making each believe that the other is responsible for his losses.
Those who are fairly well informed know that over nine-tenths of the money that is put into circulation is born in the banker's ledger, taking its form and substance from the banker's pen and a few drops of ink. The other one-tenth of the supply of money, which makes up paper bills and coins, only comes into existence through the fiat of the banks. No one can deny that this money, once brought into existence, is considered by the banks as their property which they can lend out at a profit to benefit themselves alone. How many people have ever stopped to consider the scope and extent of this vast scam? For there is no doubt that the contract entered into between the lender of this new money and the individual or corporation who borrows it is anything less than a barefaced swindle.
The man who wishes to borrow money to build a factory has to give the banker collateral or security for his loan. The collateral is real wealth; his own goods. A municipality borrowing money has to give, as security, its legal authority to tax the citizens and its power to mortgage the properties of those in its jurisdiction. What does the banker offer? Well, he wants us to believe that he is lending the bank's money. In fact, all he has is figures issuing forth from his pen and a drop of ink. The value of these figures is not based on the banker's pen and ink, but on the work and products which come from the borrower himself!
The one borrowing brings the fruit of his labour — real concrete wealth; goods which can be used by all. The lender brings nothing more than a few figures scribbled in a ledger. What happens? The one who has no real wealth to offer sees to it that he is reimbursed, not only with the amount of money represented by his figures in a ledger, but with another amount, over and above the new money issued. We are referring to interest charges. The beleaguered borrower has to find the interest from the money that is already in circulation, thus making it impossible for someone else to meet their financial obligations. Remember, the lender did not put into circulation the money necessary to cover the interest charges.
So it happens that the people, as a whole, are put into debt for the wealth which they, as a whole, have produced. This is the heart of the swindle. To pay for goods one has produced, and an additional amount beyond their value, is unthinkable. If you build a table for yourself worth $25, it would be absolutely ridiculous that you would be required to pay some department of the government or some private individual $30 for having built yourself a table! Yet such a ludicrous thing is happening where the people of the country, as a whole, are considered in relation to the elite who make modern money.
Those who have obtained the monopoly on the manufacture of money obligate those who have no right to create even one cent of new money beyond what the monopolists put into circulation. Such a system can only lead to the entire world being plunged into crippling debt until the end of time. Unless, that is, a decision is made to end this global swindle.
But the robbery doesn't end there: the swindle is compounded by extortion.
Extortion is the offence of obtaining, by threat or force, money or valuables not due. Gangs of organized criminals have been known to obtain from businessmen periodic payments of money, under threat of wreaking damage upon their businesses. This is a story familiar to us from the world of films and from crime reports in our daily newspapers.
The existing financial system is practicing just such a crime even though the government has made such extortion legal. Production today cannot be launched unless money is available before any products have been sold. Expansion of the productive system requires an expansion of credit by the financial system. The financial system imposes its conditions, and if you do not agree to these conditions, you simply do not get the money to produce or expand. When the financial system decides to withhold credit, the result is paralysis.
The gall! The system commits extortion by saying: “Either you sign this document committing yourself to bring me such and such an amount periodically, or else I will tie your hands by refusing you money, without which you can do nothing!”
Branches of government and society are treated in exactly the same fashion. We are asked: “Do you want a new aqueduct? Fine! The labour and the materials are ready and available. However, before starting, you will sign a commitment that after you have already paid once for the materials and labour, you will pay an additional sum, the equivalent of, and perhaps greater than the amount already paid for the labour and materials. If you don’t agree, then you will simply have to do without your aqueduct. Why? Because, even if there is an abundance of resources begging to be used, you will not take the first step toward completing the project without money. I alone can grant you money!”
The financial system holds people in its clutches, not unlike other criminal extortionists who hold business districts in their grip.
Today, producers find themselves unable to sell their goods, unemployment results, and there are financial obligations which are literally impossible to meet. The consumer suffers from both high prices and insufficient purchasing power. Everyone suffers from the multitude of taxes which have been grafted onto the system. However, regardless of whether society is at peace or war, in boom or recession, the financial system works profitably — that is, for the financiers.
The budget of every public institution has one sacrosanct budget line: Debt Service. This is the capital and interest costs which must be paid to the financiers. Other budget lines can be reduced or even eliminated, but Debt Service must never be touched. It is the tribute due the masters who are in charge of the population and even in charge of the populations’ representatives in government. Debt Service costs are like a ransom which must be paid in exchange for the right to live.
Before World War II, Canadians paid $125 million to service the debt in the federal budget. In 1959 [when this article was first published], after a war which Canadians fought and for which they supplied all the necessary materials, more than $600 million was required to service the debt. In 2018, Canadians paid $22 billion for the same budget line, Debt Service. For whom was the war won? For the extortionist; the thief who is not arrested and who somehow commands respect from the ordinary fellows who must beg for the right to live and breathe.
In past issues of MICHAEL we have written about the financial system, an ubiquitous and voracious rodent who is present everywhere. Here is another example of how this animal gnaws away at the sum and substance of our wealth until there are but a few crumbs left to toss among the people.
During one of our Annual Congresses, a mayor told us that the taxpayers of his town, Kenogami, Quebec, would be paying the extortionist (whom we are calling a rodent) for their aqueduct three-and-a-half times over: once for the actual cost of the job and two-and-a-half times more.
This devouring rat is everywhere — in the bricks which go into your house, in the medicine you pick up at the drugstore, in the theatre ticket, in the food in your plate, for the taxes which are levied. In one way or another, the rat chews on everything we use, as one of the primary functions of the financial system is to attempt to satisfy a hunger that is insatiable.
The financial system is a rat that lays waste; a thief, swindler, and extortionist. It is all these things which leave in its wake victims suffering from want, privation and insecurity. It humbles proud nations and forces governments to go down on bended knee to ask for that without which any nation can survive. It will not hesitate to foment nation-destroying wars in order to keep the world subject to it, paying tribute.
Yet nothing is done to halt the predation of this infamous thief. It has the elected representatives of the people as its protector. It has as its defenders the very men who should lead the charge, casting off injustice and defending the oppressed.