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The Environment - Where Money Is Concerned

Written by Alain Pilote on Friday, 01 July 1994. Posted in In This Age of Plenty (book)

In this age of plenty - Chapter 39

Only Social Credit can put an end to the waste of resources while allowing the blossoming of the human person

One has been hearing a great deal, for a few years, about the environment or ecology, that is to say, the need to prevent the destruction of nature by pollution and by the bad use of natural resources. If it is true that one cannot go against the laws of nature indefinitely as regards development, some environmentalists go as far as to say that drastic measures should be imposed to protect the environment, and that since the governments don't have the courage to do it, a supranational authority will be needed to impose such decisions – which goes totally along the lines of the International Financiers and their wish for a world government.

These people do not hesitate to exaggerate the seriousness of the environmental problems, in order to impose more control over the population. One only has to think about the so-called hole in the ozone layer, or the claim that the resources of the earth cannot support the whole of the world's population, which would oblige the use of drastic means to reduce the population, like having recourse to widely-spread abortion and artificial birth control – which is what is advocated by the United Nations, and strongly opposed by the Catholic Church, through its leader, Pope John Paul II. There is enough food and resources on earth to support every human being; if these goods do not reach those who need them, it is because the money system – the distributive system – does not work properly.

If one examines the problem closely, one sees that it is the rules of the present financial system that cause such a useless degradation of the resources of the globe – especially the rule that binds the distribution of purchasing power to employment, thus creating situations like this one: ecologist groups would like a certain plant to be forced to stop polluting, but the Government replies that it would cost this company too much and could even force it to close down, and so it is preferable to keep the precious jobs, even at the expense of the environment.

Reality – the environment – is sacrificed for the symbol – money. And what about all the artificial needs created for the sole purpose of keeping people employed? What about all the paper work and red tape that requires the need for a lot of people, packed in office buildings? What about goods manufactured in order to last as short as possible, in the aim of selling more of them? All that leads to the useless waste and destruction of the natural environment.

The pollution of souls

And one could say a lot too about another kind of pollution – much worse than the first kind – caused by the present financial system: the pollution of souls, which puts our eternal salvation in jeopardy. One only has to think about the State that promotes lotteries and gambling to collect more money; the industry of drugs and sex; the people who, in order to get money to live, are forced to accept jobs that go against their consciences, against the Commandments of God; children who are forced to steal, to prostitute themselves, etc. On this matter, Pope John Paul II wrote in his Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus (paragraph 38):

“In addition to the irrational destruction of the natural environment, we must also mention the more serious destruction of the human environment, something which is by no means receiving the attention it deserves. Although people are rightly worried – though much less than they should be – about preserving the natural habitats of the various animal species threatened with extinction, because they realize that each of these species makes its particular contribution to the balance of nature in general, too little effort is made to safeguard the moral conditions for an authentic ‘human ecology’.”

In other words, if man persists obstinately in acting against the order wanted by God – whether the laws of nature or the moral laws – it can only turn against him. If a society has no moral principles at all, even an army of policemen won't be sufficient to bring back order and common sense.

The Pope added:

“The first and fundamental structure for ‘human ecology’ is the family, in which man receives his first formative ideas about truth and goodness, and learns what it means to love and to be loved, and thus what it actually means to be a person. Here we mean the family founded on marriage, in which the mutual gift of self by husband and wife creates an environment in which children can be born and develop their potentialities, become aware of their dignity, and prepare to face their unique and individual destiny.”

All those who want a better environment, material and spiritual one as well, should study the money question, in order to know what is defective in the present financial system. And they will discover that only Social Credit can put an end to the waste of resources, while allowing the blossoming of the human person.

Shortage of purchasing power

The basic cause of the pollution of the environment, of the waste of the resources of the globe, is the chronic shortage of purchasing power, which is inherent in the present financial system. One cause of the money shortage is, of course, the interest on bank loans. The regular readers of the “Michael” Journal know that all the money in circulation is created by the banks, in the form of debts. All the money in circulation is a loan, that must be returned to the bank, increased with the interest. The banker creates money and lends it, but he has the borrower's pledge to bring all this money back, plus other money that he did not create. The banker demands the borrower to pay him back, in addition to the principal he created, the interest he did not create, and that no one did create. As it is impossible to pay back money that does not exist, one must borrow again, and debts pile up. This is what happens in all the countries in the world.

An inherent flaw in the system

Even if the banks charged no interest, nevertheless, at any given moment the amount of money available to the community as purchasing power is never sufficient to buy back the total production made by industry.

The economists maintain that production automatically finances consumption; that is to say, that the wages and salaries distributed to the consumers are sufficient to buy all the available goods and services. But facts are proving just the opposite. Scottish engineer Clifford Hugh Douglas was the first to demonstrate this chronic shortage of purchasing power. He explained it this way:

The producer must include all his production costs in the price of his product. The wages distributed to the employees (which for convenience's sake can be labeled “A” payments) are only one part of the cost price of the product. The producer has also other costs besides wages costs (which are labeled “B” payments), that are not distributed in wages and salaries, such as the payments for raw materials, taxes, banking charges, depreciation charges (to replace machinery), etc.

The retail price of the product must include all the costs: wages (A) and other payments (B). So the retail price of the product must be at least A + B. Then, it is obvious that the wages (A) cannot buy the sum of all the costs (A + B). So there is a chronic shortage of purchasing power in the present system. If one tries to increase wages and salaries, the wage increases will automatically be included in the prices, and it will settle nothing. (It can be compared to a dog running after its tail.) To be able to buy all of the production, an additional income is needed coming from a source other than wages and salaries, an income at least equivalent to B. This is what the Social Credit dividend would do, being given every month to every citizen in the country. (This dividend would be financed with new money created by the nation, and not by the taxpayers' money.)

What has kept the system going

Without this other source of income (the dividend), there should be, theoretically, a growing mountain of unsold goods. But if goods are sold all the same, it is because, instead, we have a growing mountain of debt! Since people have not enough money, retailers must encourage credit buying in order to sell their goods. But this is not sufficient to fill the gap in the purchasing power.

So there is also a growing stress upon the necessity for works that distribute wages without increasing the quantity of consumer goods for sale, such as public works (building bridges or roads), war industries (building submarines, airplanes, etc.). But this is not sufficient either.

So each country will strive to achieve a “favourable balance of trade”, that is to say, to export, to sell to other countries more goods than it receives, in order to obtain, from these foreign countries, the money that the population is lacking at home to buy their own products. However, it is impossible for all nations to have a “favourable balance of trade”: if some countries manage to export more goods than they import, there must be also, necessarily, countries that receive more goods than they export. But no country wishes to be in that position, so it causes trade conflicts between nations, that can degenerate into armed conflicts.

Then, as a last resort, the economists have discovered a new export market, a place where we can send our goods without anyone trying to send anything back, a place where there are no inhabitants: the moon, outer space. Some countries will spend billions of dollars to build rockets to go to the moon or other planets; all this huge waste of resources just to generate wages that will be used to buy the production left in our countries. Our economists are really in the clouds!

Environmental implications

From there, you can easily imagine all the implications these foolish economic policies have on the environment. The following paragraphs summarize these implications very well. They are taken from the special supplement on the environment entitled Green – Where Money is Concerned, published in the summer of 1991 by the English publication The Social Crediter (K.R.P. Ltd., 16 Forth Street, Edinburgh EH1 3LH, Scotland), which adapted it from The New Times, published by the Australian League of Rights:

“The picture that emerges from this understanding of the impact of the financial system is of an economy driven largely by financial imperatives rather than by consumer demand for tangible products of the economy, and consequently proliferating unwanted production. The financial pressures tending to make production a goal in itself constitute a powerful incentive to overuse and waste resources. Merely for the sake of distributing income, we must compulsively churn over the resources of the earth.

“The effects of this compulsive economic activity on the environment are tremendous. Thousands of deleterious intrusions on nature are justified on the grounds that they put income in people's pockets. Shoddy quality and built-in obsolescence are winked at because they guarantee rapid replacement of goods and sustained economic ‘busy-ness’. Financial structures encourage companies to cut corners and employ inferior, polluting technology rather than up-to-date, clean productive methods. Production is tallied favourably in government statistics without regard to whether it degrades or debilitates people or is functional or ever actually fills consumer needs. Endemic misdirection of effort subverts ecological morality; the sense of humanity's place in nature is weakened.

“To put the position somewhat differently, instances of environmental degradation are largely symptoms of the deeper problem of a persistent shortage of consumer buying power.

“Environmentalists routinely denounce exponential economic growth as folly. Unfortunately, without precise understanding of what makes such growth imperative, they cannot suggest anything very practical in the way of alternatives.

The false god of full employment

“Full employment, one of the silliest concepts ever developed, is of course bound up in the whole sorry mess... The purpose of economic activity is to make life more, not less, congenial. A lot of, if not most, employment Å especially the make-work variety Å is fundamentally pointless and degrading (...)

“Why is the environmentalists' silence about the folly of the policy of full employment a significant failing? At least in part because keeping people employed is tremendously costly, and when it is done merely as a roundabout means of distributing incomes, it constitutes sheer waste. Just as many individuals find that much of the income they derive from work ends up being expended in allowing them merely to continue working, so an economy that strives to keep all citizens at work winds up applying vast quantities of resources to that end without net gains in productivity.

“Office complexes must be built and maintained to house the “fully employed”; mountains of supplies must be manufactured for them to “work” with; systems for moving them to and from the workplace must be installed; great amounts of fuel must be extracted and refined and transported and burned to get them to and from work and keep them warm once they are there; and so on.

“The fixation, resulting from years of brainwashing on the subject by the media and object lessons in the form of economic depressions and recessions, that we have on the desirability of creating jobs has blinded us to the fact that deliberate pursuit of `full employment' can lead only to inefficiency... Full employment suits dull functionaries, not creatures bearing the stamp of divinity. (...)

To correct the problem

“Really, the only way to deal with the problems of pollution and spoliation is to remove the incentive for abuse. The principal engine of economic waste is the emphasis on production as an end in itself to deal with an inherent defect in the system of income distribution. It follows that correction of this defect would take the pressure off people to build capital that is redundant and that nobody wants in itself. It would allow a rational and balanced assessment of our environmental situation and open the broadest possible range of options for contending with it.

“The first step towards economic and environmental regeneration is to increase the flow of income to consumers. Of course, by ‘income’ is meant real buying power – not recycled debt for which the people are already responsible in their roles as consumers and taxpayers. The banks create billions of dollars daily against the real wealth produced by the population, and the upshot is that the country is wallowing in debt. These same institutions could be instructed to create credit on a debt-free basis and, to equilibrate the flows of production costs and ability to liquidate them, distribute it in the form of dividends payable to all citizens.

“In other words, in a responsible and scientific manner, let us make ourselves financially rich. We cannot be richer financially than we are in real terms, but we can be as rich. Indeed, it would be idiotic to be less rich. Well, yes, this does not say much for the quality of the thinking we have applied to the situation to date, but it is not too late to improve it. (...)

“Against the wishes of virtually every conscious person, our beautiful earth is being intensitively ravaged and polluted, and, in a kind of Reichstag fire manoeuvre, power-hungry persons are using these environmental problems for self-serving political ends. When we trace the causes of the present situation to their source, we find a flawed financial system. We need not destroy the money system – indeed, to do so would be a grave error – but it is crucial that we reform it so it becomes the servant, not the master, of our aspirations.”

All those who care for the environment, and consequently for the future of mankind on earth, all those who want to “save the planet”, should therefore study and diffuse Social Credit, the only system that would put money at the service of the human person, and put an end to the waste of resources.


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About the Author

Alain Pilote

Alain Pilote

Alain Pilote has been the editor of the English edition of MICHAEL for several years. Twice a year we organize a week of study of the social doctrine of the Church and its application and Mr. Pilote is the instructor during these sessions.