Getting What We NEED
By Nick Egnatz
Watch the Youtube video of the Cawthra Park Secondary School Choir opening the song for the Rolling Stones. The choir starts to sing and is almost completely drowned out by the crowd noise. Slowly, gradually, something begins to happen. The beauty and purity of their united voices as one, silences the crowd. The choir is split into two groups, left and right. Just as we the people have been split into a left and right, knowing that something is rotten in Denmark or Wall Street, separately searching for answers. Then the shear beauty and power of the choir as one wins the day. Our challenge is to come together and fight for what we need and want for our society.
“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime,
You just might find,
You get what you NEED.”
What do we want?
Decent lives for ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors–for all of us.
Good jobs that pay a good wage.
To take care of those that can’t work, the retired, disabled, mothers with young children and other caregivers, those that provide other services to the community that aren’t represented in a profit and loss statement.
A healthcare system that quite simply includes all of us and excludes the profit guys. That includes dental, mental healthcare, prescriptions, natural alternatives and that excludes insurance companies, deductibles and co-pays. The Affordable Care Act is none of the above. When it was rammed through Congress, proponents of a single payer system, Medicare For All, were not even allowed in the Congressional discussions and the doctor and nurse advocates were forcibly removed and arrested when they attempted to present a single payer alternative.
While I would accept a single payer system, I would much prefer a single payer/single provider system. This is what I had for 4 years of my life while I was in military service to my country. In addition to regular checkups, dental care, prescriptions etc, I had one major surgery plus recovery stateside and a major illness that required me to be med-evacuated from Vietnam to the states and hospitalized under doctor’s care for more than two months. There were no bills for any of this and I continued to be paid the entire time. While in the service I was single, but those that were married had the peace of mind knowing that all the above care would also be given to their families as needed. Isn’t this the type of system that we should also be considering for our entire society?
An end to debt slavery–student debt, underwater mortgages and out of control credit card debt, when being late on one payment can jack your interest rate to 25-30%. Of course, it is easy to miss a payment when we live with an economic system that is incapable of providing jobs for all its people. And so many of the jobs that we can get now only pay about half of what life’s basic necessities cost.
Put the 9 million American families that have been either foreclosed and torn from their homes or are in the process of foreclosure back into homes.
A clean, sustainable environment–transitioning from energy that pollutes air, water, soil and threatens future human life on earth as we know it to renewable alternatives. With the Fukushima nuclear disaster as an example of the inability to safely contain nuclear energy and waste, we can be assured that nuclear energy and bombs for that matter are anathema to human life and peace of mind.
An end to U.S. militarism, war and empire–in service not to the American people, but rather to the military/industrial/Congressional/banking complex.
These are all things that we want, but as the song says “You can’t always get what you want.” Why? In our present monetary system there is never any money for these and other programs that would actually benefit the people.
“But if you try sometime
You just might find
You get what you need.”
Bringing the voices of peace, anti war, anti nuclear, environmental, Fight for $15, anti foreclosure, labor, debt jubilee, universal basic income, national healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, anti racist, LGBT activists, etc together in one voice, committed to struggle, we can get what we need.
And what we need is The NEED Act!
What does The NEED Act do? It is the game changer that makes money available, debt-free, for all of the above goodies or programs that will immensely improve our lives and society. Without it we will continue to roam in the wilderness, never enough money for the things that we want and need.
The NEED Act
National Emergency Employment Defense Act, H.R. 2990 in the last Congress, changes who creates and benefits from our money.
Presently almost all (97%) of what we use for money is created by private banks when they make loans to us. This money is created out of thin air by these huge banking corporations. They simply make two accounting entries and what is used for money is created. You and I must then pay this money back to them, plus interest, with the sweat of our labor. It is why we the 99% are in the process of all becoming debt slaves. The banking class has no intention of changing this paradigm. Change can only come from all of us banding together in struggle for monetary reform via The NEED Act.
In the depths of the Great Depression in the 1930s economists at the University of Chicago proposed reforms that became known as the Chicago Plan to change from a debt money monetary system to a “money by law” monetary system. Unfortunately the reforms were not made and the depression lasted until we entered WWII. The NEED Act builds upon the Chicago Plan.
“The Mistake lies in fearing money and trusting debt.”Henry Simons, University of Chicago economist said from the depths of the Great Depression
The 3 simple necessary reforms of The NEED Act:
- The Federal Reserve System is dismantled and good parts are placed into the US Treasury. A Monetary Authority within the Department of Treasury is created which avoids an inflationary or deflationary money supply. Most Americans think that the Federal Reserve System is actually a federal agency. the NEED Act accomplishes this.
- Accounting rule changes prohibit the banks from creating debt money. Fractional reserve lending is decisively ended. Future bank lending would consist of banks lending monies that they actually had. This is what the majority of Americans mistakenly think happens now.
- The Congress originates (creates) new U.S. Money and spends it into circulation, for infrastructure, health care and education and does so debt-free.
“Over time, whoever controls the money system, controls the nation.” Stephen Zarlenga, Director American Monetary Institute
Using newly created U.S. Money the NEED Act could initially:
- Give each citizen a tax-free Citizen’s Dividend that could easily be $10,000 each if we simply used the newly nationalized Federal Reserve funds. Think of this as a bailout for the 99%. This is also necessary to avoid a deepening of the depression. When banks are no longer able to create money as debt, new U.S. Money must be created and immediately put into circulation. This will do what the Obama stimulus failed to do.
- This then gives our small businesses what they need–customers with money in their pockets for their goods and services. It will end our current depression.
- Pay off the national debt as it comes due. The part owed to our private banking community would be channeled back to the Treasury Dept so that the banks would not benefit from money created from nothing and then loaned to the U.S. government.
- Repair our nation’s crumbling infrastructure and put 7-10 million Americans to work doing so. In 2009 the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that it would cost $2.2 trillion to do so and create 7 million jobs. Their 2013 report estimates $3.6 trillion is needed and this would result in 10 million new jobs. The ASCE grades the infrastructure of the world’s wealthiest country with a D+ rating.
- Provide debt-free funds to beleaguered state governments, Indiana’s would be about $1.5 billion annually.
- Provide interest-free financing to local municipalities for schools, libraries, roads, sewers etc. Thus ending costly municipal bond financing charges.
After we have seen what a committed sovereign government can do with monetary reform and a responsive, democratic money system, we can then put our legislators to work for the other things we want and need.
“Anything that is physically possible and socially acceptable, we can do with the monetary reform of The NEED Act.” Robert Poteat, monetary reformer
Meanwhile, our legislators from both political parties are hopelessly frozen within a debt money paradigm, unable to provide the things that we need and want for our society and the health of our mother earth because they can’t borrow anymore and they can’t tax anymore. It’s up to us to tell them that we will no longer accept austerity. America needs The NEED Act!
Nick Egnatz is a Vietnam veteran. He has been actively protesting our government’s crimes of empire in both person and print for some years now and was named “Citizen of the Year” for Northwest Indiana in 2006 for his peace activism by the National Association of Social Workers.
Contact Nick OccupyNick@yahoo.com
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