Here is a must-see video: 137 pages of foreclosure notices in the Detroit Free Press BEFORE the bailout and resulting layoffs from the big three auto makers:
In 1989, while I was serving as Assistant Secretary of Housing, my staff noted that there was one town in which 70% of all the mortgages in the town were in default and owned by FHA, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
I suggested that the town or county create a trust or corporate structure and swap stock in the entity for the mortgages. Such an idea was not possible then. It is now. Today, many of the defaulted mortgages are owned by private financial institutions. However, they are dependent on federal bailouts. So, it would be federal financing that would be financing the debt-equity swaps.
In later proposals, I suggested that the federal government provide waivers to allow for significant reengineering of federal spending, contracts and regulations within the area where doing so would improve return on investment to taxpayers. Indeed, take those two steps along with grassroots efforts for community gardens, local food coops, community currencies, and various transition town and financial permaculture options and you could really start to create vitality on the ground. And that is before integrating suppressed energy and health care technology which could be incredible.
Somehow, we have to see through the big lies. First is that the economy is in trouble. The economy is not in trouble. Our spirit and the culture is in trouble. We can’t build a strong economy by marketing drugs and the war on drugs into our communities. We can’t build a strong economy by making it impossible for teachers to teach. We can’t build a strong economy by permitting trillions of financial fraud and theft from the government. We can’t build a strong economy by taxing people so we can subsidize large corporations who make products that people don’t want and don’t need. If we make money by doing things that help people to fail, then our economy will fail. This is, however, a political problem. It is not first and foremost an economic problem.
Hence, giving lawless institutions more money to help the economy get moving will not work. It will simply rape more out of the real economy. It is monetary and financial racketeering. The message is “crime pays.” More bonuses for speculators, less money for engineers, scientists and teachers. The message is one designed to destroy the morale of honest, hardworking people throughout the economy.
Another big lie is that we need the banks to lend. We don’t need more debt. We need the stolen money returned. We need existing laws enforced. We need lawfulness. We need income. We need equity. We also need to be able to invest our equity where we want. Millions of Americans lose millions every day gambling on the lottery or going to casinos. At the same time, unless we are millionaires, it is nearly impossible to buy stock in our local businesses. Federal regulation says that it is “too risky” to invest in ourselves and our neighbors.
A really big lie is that we need consumption to keep the economy going. Indeed, if we start to circulate equity locally and through our networks, we can create a financial system in which we generate savings and financial capital gains from reducing consumption and building alignment between our financial ecosystems and our natural ecosystems. Indeed, the healthier the local environment or the better the local education and cultural life, the more it would cause stock values to rise.
I appreciate that this is not an attractive idea for the people who profit from selling $1 trillion plus of weapons and military services, but perhaps they would change if we collectively could find a way to tell them, “no.”
America’s economy is suffering from economic warfare and an organized crime tax designed to destroy it. The strength of the economy and of the American people despite this onslaught speaks volumes about the extraordinary wealth potential of America, our people and our democratic spirit.
Extraordinary wealth is possible. What is required is a change in spirit, in culture and in politics. To paraphrase Utah Phillips, “our economy is not dying, it is being killed. And the people killing it have names and addresses.”
Forget bailouts. Let’s stop doing those things that are destroying our real economy and let’s stop financing and supporting the people who are doing it.