Paid political advertisement
by John C. Turmel
The Green Party is a political coalition
of groups interested in world
peace, a conserver society and a clean environment. I am one of a
number of Green Party members who are in favor of funding such goals
through job-creation by the reimplementation of the old work-bee
custom with paychecks issued in tradeable tax credit notes.
Most of today's problems stem from a chronic
funds. All orthodox established political parties have their own
formulas for spreading this shortage around. Fortunately, when
the United States had insufficient funds to put all of its
able-bodied citizens to work, President Abraham Lincoln came up
with an innovative way of financing public projects.
In olden days, small towns financed major
organizing work-bees (corvees in French Canada) whereby citizens
could work on government projects to pay their taxes. Lincoln
reasoned that anything people could use to pay taxes with had a
trading value similar to money so he simply expanded on the
work-bee idea by issuing tax-credit notes in exchange for labor.
Lincoln called them Greenbacks and issued them in convenient
denominations that were traded by those who had earned them to
anyone who wished to use them to pay U.S. taxes. The Greenbacks
successfully got people working! Unfortunately, our governments
have not been as resourceful in dealing with our funding
Consider how most governments presently
expenditures. If, for example, a city has expended the money
allocated for snow removal and is hit with a major snowstorm,
Council calls an emergency session and authorizes the issuance of
$1,000,000 in municipal bonds. The mayor has them printed up and
pledges the $1,000,000 in bonds as collateral for $1,000,000 in
dollar bills bearing an interest rate of say 20%. Council pays
for the $1,000,000 job of snow removal with the $1,000,000 in
dollar bills. The city's merchants, all consumers accept the
dollar bills in exchange for their goods and services. At the end
of the year, because the city must repay $1,000,000 in principal
and $200,000 in interest, Council must demand taxes amounting to
$1,200,000 in dollar bills from the citizens who only received the
original $1,000,000 that was put into circulation. Because of the
interest charges, the tax-payers find themselves in the impossible
situation of having to repay a greater amount of taxes than there
was issued into circulation. This results in a chronic
insufficiency of money in circulation to pay all of the taxes
demanded. This is going on at the federal, provincial and
municipal levels of government.
A Green City Council using Greenbacks would
the printing of $1,000,000 of Greenbacks to pay for the $1,000,000
job of snow removal. The merchants and their employees would love
to accept the $1,000,000 in Greenbacks in exchange for the same
goods and services they would have delivered for the $1,000,000 in
dollar bills when they realize that at the end of the year,
Council would only have to demand the return of $1,000,000 in
Greenbacks, saving them the $200,000 in taxes to pay for the
interest they would have otherwise had to pay under an orthodox
financing scheme. WITH MORE PEOPLE EMPLOYED, THE TAXES NECESSARY
TO PAY FOR WELFARE AND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WOULD HAVE TO BE BE
REDUCED. WITH MORE PEOPLE PAYING THEIR SHARE, OUR TAXES WOULD
AGAIN HAVE TO BE REDUCED.
Many areas of public funding could be Greenback based. Government
employees could be paid with newly minted Greenbacks as receipts for
The Greenbacks could be used to hire a major segment of the unemployed
workforce to clean up the environment,. Acid rain could be prevented.
Parks and arenas could be built.
The unemployed could be hired to build roads with Greenbacks
as receipts for their work. Greenbacks paid into circulation
would only need to be taxed out of circulation to cover upkeep and
depreciation of the roads.
Builders of large public projects like hydro-electric, solar
and wind power installations could be hired with newly-minted
Greenbacks as receipts for their work. People accepting those
Greenbacks could buy their power with them.
Greenbacks could be used to fund a massive injection of
manpower into expanding man's knowledge of dangerous illnesses.
Builders of schools and day care centers and the teachers
staffing them could be hired with Greenbacks as receipts for their
The national debt could be paid off with Greenbacks and taxed
out of circulation at whatever rate would be deemed comfortable.
Other nations who would accept our Greenbacks would be able to
purchase Canadian goods and services with them. That would result
in the considerable saving of $25,000,000,000 in interest payments
per year and would be the only way possible to ever get the
national debt paid off.
WELFARE AND OLD-AGE PENSIONS:
The revenues that our government would spend for debt service
could be diverted to servicing the needs of our welfare
victims and pensioners. With Greenback credit-lines, retirement
would truly become a golden age.
Private entrepreneurs could borrow Greenbacks in order to
create jobs and pay them back when the goods and services have
Farmers could be given open Greenback credit-lines with which
to hire men to produce food. People accepting those Greenbacks
could buy their food with them.
The producers of manufactured goods could be given open
Greenback credit-lines with which to hire men to manufacture
goods. People accepting those Greenbacks could buy manufactured
goods with them.
Contractors could be given open Greenback credit-lines with
which to hire construction workers. People accepting those
Greenbacks could pay for their housing with them.
Today, poor university students receive interest free student
loans. Six months after they get out of school, the debt starts
to grow with interest. Under a Green government using Greenbacks,
all students would be given Greenback credit lines all through
their years of study. The Greenbacks could be returned once they
had gotten out of school and since there would not be any interest
on Greenbacks borrowed, the debt does not grow and it is easiest
to repay. Greenback credit lines would guarantee all children at least
a minimum quality of life which would be independent of the
financial means of their parents.
People getting out of penal institutions would have job
opportunities available to prevent their return to a life of crime.
This is also an idea that has been implemented on a municipal scale in
the Comox Valley, B.C., by Mr. Michael Linton, a Green member, and
electrical engineering graduate. His system of greendollars is used to
facilitate economic trade in the Comox valley. Mr. Linton is expanding
the Greendollar system into Vancouver in September. The Greenback idea
is simply extending the Greendollar idea to the National level. If
Abraham Lincoln could manage to get it engineered on a national level
a century ago, then surely Green electrical engineers armed with
computer technology can manage to get it engineered on the national
The Greenback funding system is an idea
by which all the social and
environmental reforms proposed by the Green Party can be funded. The
only real question is whether all of Canada will be able to enjoy the
system or just the people in the Vancouver area. With the added
advantage that the program is available on a computer diskette, I, and
many other new Greens, are enthusiastic and wish to promote it within
the party and as Green candidates in the upcoming federal election.
The Greenback program on a computer diskette will, in our candidates'
hands, act as a super intellectual high-tech mechanism which will
merit special attention.
People using Greendollars in the Comox Valley say:
"I feel that I am valued in the community for the work that I
provide. I like the exposure of my small children to this alternate
monetary system. They now check out if goods are available for green
or federal dollars." Joy Dryburgh, a single mother with three
"I have used the system for everything from paying rent to
furnishing a house." Charles Turner
"I joined the system in December 1983. This restored in me the
realization that I do have the ability to contribute to my community.
This is beyond dollar value."
"It's value lies in its separation from the monetary system. We,
as a family, have found employment and "purchased' goods and services
of a wide variety." Barbara Hopkinson, B.A., M.A. Town planning,
University of Sheffield, UK.
I urge you to
join the Green Party of Canada by sending $5 to 24
Ryerson Ave., Toronto, Ontario. If you wish to be kept up to date on
the implementation of the Greenback system, send your name to the
Greenback Wing of the Green Party of Canada at Box 16147, Ottawa.
John C. Turmel
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