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  1. The question that should be asked is not why wages can't cover childcare, but why small children have to be farmed out at all - ie, why does it now require seventy to eighty hours of employement (two people working full-time) to meet a family's basic living costs? Comparatively recently, those costs could be met by one person, working a 40- to 45-hour week. Advances in automation should have led to shorter working hours. Instead, governments invent useless jobs and pressurise both parents to consign their small children to nurseries and enter "the workplace" (since when did no work tak
  2. Without sufficient borrowing, the money supply will shrink - see http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/ - and it's mainly been ludicrously over-valued mortgages that have been providing the necessary borrowing. If we want a stable money supply, without having to rely on more and more people going deeper and deeper into the red on behalf of their country, we have to change the way we provide ourselves with a means of exchange. The Bank of England (Creation of Currency) Bill 2010 shows how this can be done. The Bill is online at http://www.bankofenglandact.co.uk/ .
  3. Don't believe George Osborne. There is a Plan B. What can you do? Support the Bank of England (Creation of Currency) Bill 2010, here: http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/2010/09/douglas-carswell-mp-introduces-bill-to-stop-fractional-reserve-banking/'>http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/students/conference-november-2010/.'>http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/students/conference-november-2010/. Stop feeling helpless - more of us are being harmed by the present financial set-up than profit from it. Get together with like-minded people, and demand reform. http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/ http:/
  4. Exactly. There's no reason why everyone shouldn't benefit from automation and the IT revolution ... no reason, that is, except the fact that we still depend on wage packets, salaries and means-tested benefits to distribute purchasing power. You could, in fact, distribute a non-means-tested national dividend "to everyone who is a citizen of the nation". This would encourage part-time work and job-sharing, and would act as a protection against sickness and redundancy. It would also make it possible for a family to enjoy a good standard of living with only one partner being employed outside
  5. People in full-time employment are working longer hours unpaid - so, fewer jobs available. More people can only find part-time work. Wages are being frozen, or forced down by competition for the diminishing number of jobs on offer. Most families need two wage packets to survive. Imports, out-sourcing and automation are increasingly displacing even moderately skilled workers. Even if we don't go into a double-dip recession, a "jobless recovery" is anticipated. Yet orthodox economics states that production automatically distributes enough purchasing power in wage packets and salaries f
  6. The only conclusion you can draw from these figures is that the financial system has broken down, and is dragging the remnants of the real economy (ie, the one that produces and distributes goods and services, rather than manipulating monetary units) with it. There is no light at the end of the tunnel for most people short of fundamental monetary reform - see The Bank of England (Creation of Currency) Bill 2010, at http://www.bankofenglandact.co.uk/.
  7. Why do you have to accept globalisation and so-called "free" trade (actually compulsory trade, in pursuit of purchasing power)? What exactly would be wrong with protectionism if nations were not forced to export as much real wealth as possible in order to get their hands on some debt-free money (ie, money borrowed into existence by people in other countries, who must continue to service and repay the debt even when the purchasing power it created has left their territory)? Only the need to boost national money stocks which are routinely depleted by the expense of servicing and repaying the
  8. What is actually pushing us over the edge is not Keynesianism but the decision of successive governments to rely upon debt - not only to finance public spending, but for our basic means of exchange. When a nation is dependent on systemic debt, owing its entire non-cash money supply at compound interest to the private banking system, is it any wonder that it ends up bankrupt? Yet there is no law of nature which decrees that every pound of money created must generate a pound of debt. Money is subject to laws of our choosing, and common-sense would make it a public utility, spent into circu
  9. The answer is not to regulate or nationalise the banking system. The answer is to nationalise the money supply. Deprived of their power to create and allocate all new non-cash money (97% of the total money stock), the banks could be left to sink or swim in the open market, like any other private, profit-making businesses. A simple reform would transfer sole authority to create our national currency to the Bank of England, making it as illegal for the commercial banks to issue non-cash money in the form of "credit" as it already is for them to print notes or to mint coins. It would then b
  10. Interesting comment. We may well be faced with austerity as an article of faith, if governments refuse to look at alternatives to policies that hit those with the lowest incomes hardest - for instance, the present increase in VAT, an indiscriminate tax which inflates prices at every level of production and distribution - with the rising cost of basic necessities eating deepest into the smallest wage packets. Before we accept that we all deserve to suffer indiscriminately, there are a few questions that need to be asked. Why have we been forced to increase an already over-sized nation
  11. Scroungers? Is it the banks you're talking about? They've had the biggest handouts of all, and don't seem to be suffering from too much "austerity".
  12. At present, governments do not issue non-cash money. The only money governments put directly into circulation is cash (notes and coins), which they actually sell to the banks at a small profit. Cash, however, now accounts for a mere 3% of the total money supply. Just after the war, it was roughly 50%. The remaining 97% of money in circulation is created in the form of compound interest-bearing loans issued by the commercial banks to their customers. Any government spending has to be financed either by taxation or borrowing, which can indeed not only raise taxation but inflate the money s
  13. That is the theory. Unfortunately the "deposits" they back their lending with aren't actually money (see my post above). A loan, once deposited in a different account from that of the original borrower, is considered to be money, and can be used to back further lending, creating an enormous superstructure of credit. As Andrew Crocket said (Money, 1977), "Taking the banking system as a whole, the act of lending creates, as a direct consequence, deposits exactly equal to the amount of lending undertaken. Provided, therefore, banks all move forward in step, there appears to be no limit to th
  14. You're right - any common-sense person would agree that you owe them nothing, because they "lent" you nothing. However, by law they may call the figures they type into your bank account money and call it theirs. The important fact is that we have chosen, by default, to let banks create all of our non-cash currency as a debt owed to them by their customers. This is why we are dependent on the banks - because, as things stand, we have no alternative way of providing ourselves with non-cash money (with the exception of acquiring money created as a debt against people in other countries b
  15. Yes, bank balances which are in credit are accounted as debts owed by the bank to the depositor. However, since all non-cash money originates as loans made by one or other commercial bank to its customers, a prior claim on all non-cash money is held by the banks which authorised the orginal "loans". You borrow a hundred thousand for a mortage. The bank creates the sum you want by tapping figures into your account. Because it debits nobody else's account, it has just created one hundred thousand pounds of brand new purchasing power, and you owe that sum to the bank. You pay the money "loa
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