Text presented to the American Monetary Institute 2009 Conference
The world’s most important gathering of monetary reformers takes place each year in Chicago at the American Monetary Institute’s annual conference. This year’s event takes place September 24-27 at Roosevelt University . Chairing the conference is Stephen Zarlenga, AMI director and author of the landmark book “The Lost Science of Money.” For information and the list of speakers, including monetary economist Michael Hudson, see the AMI website at http://www.monetary.org/2009schedule.html. While personal matters will prevent me from appearing on-site, I have sent the following remarks. Segments of my six-part DVD, “Credit as a Public Utility,” will also be shown …
… Our present responsibility is getting the word out that there is indeed a far better way to do things and that real change is possible. That money and credit can empower people, not just enslave them. That debt is unnecessary when credit is viewed as a public utility.
That technology when properly distributed can free people for higher intellectual and spiritual pursuits, not just eliminate jobs and force millions of people into bankruptcy and starvation. That, as Henry George and his successors have made clear, resources are for everyone, not just a few.
I have come up with my own proposal for immediate relief that I call “The Cook Plan.” One of the worst myths of our time is that for government to spend money it can only collect that money ahead of time through taxes or by borrowing. “The Cook Plan,” instead, would have the government print and distribute vouchers in the amount of $1,000 a month to any adult resident who applied.
The vouchers could be spent on necessities of life such as food, housing, clothing, transportation, or communication. They would then be deposited in a series of community savings banks and used to capitalize low-interest lending to individuals, students, small businesses, and family farms. The backing for the vouchers would be the new economic production they would engender at the grassroots level of every community.
This measure alone would take a giant step toward bringing about a healthy U.S. and world economy at the level of “We the People,” rather than the fruitless and hypocritical attempt to create “recovery” through bank lending and government deficit spending. “The Cook Plan” has met a positive response from around the world during the several months since I proposed it.
My views, while economically sound, have a spiritual basis. I believe in God, and I believe that man was created in the image of God. I believe that a world where we love our neighbor as ourselves and implement this love through social and economic policy is not just a dream, that it is the only practical way to live.
I believe in the family of man and the responsibility of man to be a good steward of the earth and the environment. I believe financial tyranny has done its best to destroy these values. But I see an upsurge of desire and commitment among people for a new day, a truly democratic society, and a life on earth that is organized and conducted sanely, compassionately, and wisely.
Those who attend such events as the American Monetary Institute’s 2009 conference understand all this. Together we will continue to work toward our ideals, no matter what disasters may intervene. It will take time and hard work, but we and those who come after us shall prevail. (full text).
(Richard C. Cook is a former federal analyst who worked for 21 years for the U.S. Treasury Department. His book “We Hold These Truths: The Hope of Monetary Reform” is now available. He is also author of a book on the space shuttle Challenger disaster. His website.
Richard C. Cook is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Richard C. Cook).