The Whole Divine Law
>Date: Sun Jan 3 15:25:38 1999 >From: WesBurt@aol.com >Subject: [lets] The Whole Divine Law (Fig7-9b.GIF) >Dear Searchers For A Sustainable Social Order: >The last American economist, Henry Carter Adams, addressed our past >and present second-best public policy in his 1887 essay, RELATION OF >THE STATE TO INDUSTRIAL ACTION, American Economic Review, VOL. I, >1887, when he wrote: >"I am not arguing for any particular line of public policy, but >rather for a change in the attitude of mind with which men commonly >regard the agency of government; for great reforms are, after all is >said, nothing but a change in the way people look at things." JCT: Though it certainly is a prerequisite to the correct change, we can change the way we look at the world's debt problems all we want but it won't change the problem. We have to eliminate the function which makes debts grow in our accounting systems. Nothing else, no amount of looking at it differently, can work. Only reprogramming of the banks' computers can save our planet.
>Everything bad that Ayn Rand, the Austrian economists, and their >American students have said about government is certainly true. But >the one thing that only governments can do successfully is to >distribute a public expense uniformly over the productive members of >society by means of a flat tax rate applied to all income. JCT: Why applied to income? Why not applied to wealth so that he who has most is taxed most and he who has least is taxed least? Then we woulnd't need all the income accounting we need now, only the net result at the end of the year.
>So we do need a change in the way we look at government, and we must >learn the different results produced by direct taxes at flat rates on >all income (Thomas Paine's "from each according to his ability), and, >indirect taxes at different rates on selected products of the capital >plant (only people pay taxes). JCT: Though I don't mind income taxes as a method, I still prefer a total asset taxes as the easiest and fairest way to share common expenses.
>Then H. C. Adams went on to write: >"And it may not be inappropriate to say, as guarding somewhat against >misunderstanding, that I consider the attitude of mind by which this >essay has been directed to be essentially conservative. It stands >opposed to anarchy on the one hand, which is individualism gone to >seed, and to socialism on the other, which, both historically and >logically, is a revolt against the superficial claims and pernicious >consequences of LAISSEZ-FAIRE. Its purpose is to conserve true >democracy, and this it would do by weakening the influence of >commercial democracy which now rules the minds of men." JCT: Of course, there is always the synthesis between Capitalism and Socialism. The problem with Capitalism is that only those born with wealth get the credit to join in the capitalistic game and the problem with Socialism-Communism is that no one can get into the capitalistic game. Most people will admit that capitalism is not all good and that communism is not all bad so it's not hard to accept that there is a perfect blend of the two which permits the middle ground where everyone, not just the rich, may get into the capitalistic game where what they score is what they get and the more they score, the more they get to keep even though their abundance is put in a common storehouse and loaned out to those who have no abundance at that particular time. LETS permits that middle ground.
>Since the word, CAPITALISM, has been made meaningless by the >advocates of postmodern relativism, we might find it useful to call >our present condition, commercial democracy, as Adams did one-hundred >and twelve years ago. That is to say, we live in a society that has >all of the mechanisms for effective democracy still in place, and >still in working order, but yet the commercial interests exercise an >undue influence on public policy, to the detriment of the environment >and our quality of life. JCT: The only reason such control exists is because we are ruled by a policy where we have to put back 11 for every 10 units of money we borrow into circulation so that there is an automatic chronic shortage of money. Scarcity is the non-artificial shortage of resources while poverty is the artificial shortage of money.
>The closest analog I can think of to illustrate our condition is the >biology experiment which begins with a stable and healthy colony of >laboratory rats. >Rats, as you know, are in the middle of the obnoxious species >continuum, somewhat larger than cockroaches but smaller than poor >people, and we can learn a lot about people by experimenting on rats. >Anyway, the experiment calls for restricting the rat colony's living >space and reducing its daily food supply. I have never seen the >experiment performed, but I hear that all sorts of social pathologies >are demonstrated and I also hear that it takes a strong stomach on >the part of the experimenter to continue the process to its logical >conclusion, or "die-off." JCT: And this experiment has been replicated with mankind not by actually reducing its daily food supply but by reducing its supply of life-support tickets, money, which causes our economic activity to became a game of "musical chairs with money" where all know that when the game ends, some are left short of money, foreclosed upon and thrust into poverty to starve.
>Our human condition is much like that of the rats. There is no direct >connection from the experimenter to the individual rat, nor from our >public policy to the individual citizen. The experiment imposes less >space and less food. Our public policy has imposed for the last >hundred years and more 4-10% unemployment and a 2-3%/year decline in >the value of our money. But the single imposition on either the rat >colony or the nation produces a different response in each rat, and a >different response in each citizen, so it is a mind stretching >intellectual effort for the rat or the citizen to reason from his own >experience back to the root cause of his experience. JCT: I guess this certainly applies to the death-gamble that the mort-gage inflicts upon people who use money.
>People can see the cause of the rat's experience because they are >outside the system. They cannot see the cause of their own, until >they find a conceptual framework, and make the intellectual effort, >that lets them view the whole system from a vantage point outside of >the system. This is what drawings, charts, and visual-aids help >people to do, that is, to stand outside the system under discussion >and look at the whole system in operation. Notice that the system >operates, regardless of whether or not we look at it, understand it, >neglect it, or change it to our heart's desire. JCT: I've provided an explanation of how the the mortgage deathgamble affects our industrial activity at the end of http://turmelpress.com/bankmath.htm. I'd also point out that one of the best explanations of how humans have been trained to be controlled by money is an article by Dick Racey about chimps trained to use money to get their bananas and how they ressemble humans in the same quest. If anyone has Dick's article, I'd sure appreciate if someone would post it here. It is quite brilliant.
>For those of you who have read the REVELATION of St. JOHN THE DIVINE, >and think I am adding something to the bible by pointing out that the >ten commandments are incomplete, I beg to differ. Something was >taken away from the bible long ago and those who took it away, and >everyone else, have suffered ever since. I don't think anyone will >be punished by God for restoring those parts of the Law which may be >found in the book of Numbers, but are not taught to Englishmen and >Americans. JCT: The Bible has been corrupted in just the last century. Four or five decades ago, the meaning of the Lord's Prayer was changed from the request for forgiveness of our debts, which would certainly make earth a heavenly experience for most, to forgiveness of our sins, which had already been promised by God for those who repented. So praying for something that would really be use useful was replaced with the prayer for something that's already been promised. And in just the last couple of decades, the line in Nehemia 5:10 where he said "Let the exacting of interest stop," was completely deleted from the newer Bibles. Finally, that the Gospel of St. Thomas 95 in which he quotes Christ as saying "If you have money, do not lend it out at interest" was totally deleted from the Bible does show a pattern that scriptures which deal with our deliverance from our debt slavery have been and are being systematically removed. Seems pretty obvious why.
>For those of you who have not read the bible, the relevant parts of >the last book of the bible, written in A.D. 96 on the island of >Patmos after the Temple had been distroyed, and the Jews dispersed, >reads as follows: >(REV. 22:18) "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of >the prophets of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, >God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:" >(REV. 22:19) "And if any man shall take away from the words of the >book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book >of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are >written in this book." Happy New Year, WesBurt JCT: Good. I hope that God gets those who have hidden the wisdom of how to save our planet from the impossible burden of usurious debt. -------------------------------
The Whole Divine Law #2
>Date: Wed Jan 27 11:41:20 1999 >From: WesBurt@aol.com >To: John C. Turmel and concerned LETSers on other lists >John, your 99-01-19 analysis of my Jan. 3, 1999 post was sincerely >appreciated and I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. We >seem to be completely agreed that the achievement of your goal, >reprogramming of the banking systems computers to issue money at zero >interest, would greatly improve the standard of living of folks in >the lower end of the income distribution while providing expanded >opportunities for productive and profitable investments, in place of >unproductive financial speculation, for folks in the upper end of the >income distribution. JCT: That's the toughest thing to do of all: get rich people to understand that they'd be better off getting more future goods for their money rather than getting more future money for their goods. My favorite question to try to get this point across is to ask them which they would rather have: 20% interest on their $100 which used to buy 100 potatoes but after taxes on their extra $20 and after inflation erodes their whole $120 now buys them only 95 potatoes or whether they'd like a casino chip worth one potato today and worth one or more potatoes tomorrow? Even without any increase in the technology, they are still better off getting an equivalent potato back than having their whole bankroll eroded and only getting .95 potato back. Even after this explanation, most rich people just say "Sounds good but you'll never see it."
>I hope that everyone, Letser and non-Letser alike, can agree that a >single currency issued at zero interest would allow the life-support >system of a society to operate at higher efficiency than it would >with numerous local currencies, each of which would have a different >exchange rate with each other or with some larger external currency. JCT: Unfortunately, many LETSers don't agree that a single zero interest currency would be best. Many think that a multitude of smaller local currencies would be best and I credit this notion with the slow realization of the software's global potential.
>Here are three items of your explanation of Lets operations which I >am still uncertain of, and would welcome some further enlightenment. >1, Would the structure of fees and discounts needed to cover normal >operating expenses of the system, including the cost of loans in >default, be proportional to: the amount of a loan?, the duration >until the loan was repaid?, the risk of default? If the answer is >"yes" to all three, won't the structure look like an interest rate? JCT: 1) a) Compared to the current cost of finance which represents probably more than half Earth's Gross World Product, the cost of operating a few LETS computers, minting and printing shops would be quite trivial. In most casinos, operating the chip systems is quite a minor cost representing the cost of a few cashiers and the minting and printing of the chips. I personally don't think that the cost of the loan should be proportional to the loan but to the time spent by the cashier for the transaction. It takes no extra effort for my casino cashier to issue a $10 chip for a $10 bill than it takes him to issue a $100 chip for a $100 bill so since the time to key in the $100 loan is the same as the time to key in the $100 million loan, it should be the same service charge for both transactions. But if the trivial transactional costs are paid for with a proportional charge, that wouldn't bother me though it certainly would look more like an interest charge than a service charge. b) LETS has no time repayment schedule. You have until the end of your life to try to pay it back and end up in the black with all the normal people. Only sick or retarded people will end up in the negative and that's only if the dividend is small. Should the dividend, your share of the paychecks for the robot production, is as large as I expect it to be, virtually no one should end up dying in the negative but should anyone die negative, then it can be spread out over the whole database using the Abolitionist Party "after-the-fact" insurance program which is simply the Dividend program spreading out not a positive robot paycheck but a negative's account. c) Interest creates an automatic default. Without interest, there would be hardly any defaults and if there were, it could be spread out over the whole database just like using the Abolitionist Party's "after-the-fact" insurance program.
>2, You wrote: "Though I don't mind income taxes as a method, I still >prefer a total asset taxes as the easiest and fairest way to share >common expenses." >(WSB: My concern about total asset (wealth) taxes is that when a >person's income declines after retirement or due to reduced capacity, >the person may be obliged to sell his property (automobiles, home, or >other essential property) to pay taxes. JCT: No one has to sell their property when they go negative and still hope to eventually repay their debt before they die. Fortunately, once the Social Credit Dividend is instituted, I doubt anyone will have any trouble paying their taxes and ending up in the positive when they die.
>I have been inclined to favor the flat rate income tax over all other >tax methods because it avoids the above mentioned injustice, and >also, because the financial structure for funding the common expenses >of businesses and corporations has evolved to a flat rate General & >Administrative charge against all sales revenue. If management thinks >the flat rate on income is the best solution for business, government >should follow the same practice. WSB) What I don't like about the an income tax is all the accounting. I'd rather not even do any counting until the end of the year when I count up my balance statement. Consider my situation as a gambler. Rather than have to count and register every term's transactions, pay taxes on the winning ones but then not get anything back on the losing ones, I would only have to count my assets once a year. I don't want to have to do all the accounting which I think drives most people nuts and I'd think that most people would prefer to have a system where they only have to count what they have once a year.
>3, You wrote: "Most people will admit that capitalism is not all good >and that communism is not all bad so it's not hard to accept that >there is a perfect blend of the two which permits the middle ground >where everyone, not just the rich, may get into the capitalistic game >where what they score is what they get and the more they score, the >more they get to keep even though their abundance is put in a common >storehouse and loaned out to those who have no abundance at that >particular time. LETS permits that middle ground." >(WSB: The keynote of American capitalism is that about half of the >fixed cost of investment in human capital is charged to the budgets >of parenting families, as a discretionary consumption expense. The >keynote of communism is that the expense of government and the >expense of management are both administered by a single hierarchy. >LETS permits the correction of the defects in both isms and seems >better placed on a circle in the plane of ideologies, as far removed >from either one as they are from each other. WSB) JCT: LETS does have the best of both systems while losing the worst of each. LETS is the final "synthesis" of financial systems.
>4, You wrote: "Good. I hope that God gets those who have hidden the >wisdom of how to save our planet from the impossible burden of >usurious debt." >(WSB: I agree completely. The burden of usurious debt is impossible! >It crushes society from the bottom up. So "the best and the >brightest," lacking a technically valid conceptual model of how the >world works, remain oblivious of the damage done until it is too >late. Biblical Israel, Greece, Rome, Islam, Spain, the British >Empire, and the U.S.A. are all monuments to the failure of "the best >and the brightest" to know which way is up. JCT: And yet, Biblical Israel prohibited interest but lost its way. Sparta used interest-free money but then lost its way. Rome used interest-free Aes Grave copper money but then lost its way. Islam prohibits interest but has lost its way. England used interest-free wooden tallies but then lost its way. Finally, the U.S.A. used interest-free Colonial money and Lincoln Greenbacks but has now lost its way with interest-bearing Federal Reserve money. It's not that the brightest and the best didn't have the best models before they were corrupted by money's satanic positive feedback. It's just too bad that the less bright and the least end up suffering worse than the brightest and the best who were at the steering wheel right up to the crash. -------------------------------
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