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Banbury Cross

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Post details: Simple solutions

Simple solutions

We do not live in easy times. The more people roam the surface of this Earth and consequently the more they interact, the more complex the dynamics of human race becomes.

The rules of conduct, legal or implied, have become so complicated that it is virtually impossible to know them all. Whether we like it or not, laws have become contradictory and even the lawmakers themselves do not quite know what every new piece of legislation entails. In immortal words of Nanci Pelosi - uttered during the big battle for Obamacare - "We have to pass this bill so you can find out what is in it."

We have lost our ability to think things through, we have lost our appreciation for sustainable solutions, we have lost our sense of social perspective. Our affairs have become so entangled in a chaotic dance of cause and effect that we cannot really tell what is the right way even if we wanted to. We wave our little ideological flags in lieu of rational discussion and we keep proposing quick fixes that do more harm than good.

And we do not care anymore. Because no matter what we do, the turbulence of life will grab our actions and produce something else anyway.

But it does not have to be this way. Simplicity still is the ultimate form of sophistication. Solutions could still be simple if only we were willing to employ our instincts in lieu of armies of lawyers and lobbyists. I think much of the what ails our time would go away if we implemented two basic principles:

1. all public entities must have a balanced budget
2. all control of money must belong to the people.

The balanced budget creates a necessary feedback loop that provides natural control to the extent of public spending. If people are not willing to pay for certain services (and that is what the taxes are), then those services are probably not sorely needed. The moment you start padding your budget with debt, you lose this natural control mechanism and all hell breaks loose. And if you start supporting the pyramid of debt with the crutches of loose monetary policy, you will just ask for a spectacular implosion down the road. And that brings us to the second point.

The expansion of the money stock yields immense powers. These powers should be brought back under the direct control of the people. Banks can still act as intermediaries between people with capital and people with business ideas, but the levers and pumps of the global money flows should be placed firmly in public hands. Specifically, any money printing operations should benefit all segments of the society equally. After all, we are all equal at the voting booth, so we should be also equal at the printing press. One man, one vote. One man, one dollar. As a corollary, any bank operating on the fractional reserve banking principles should effectively be nationalized. There is plenty of space for private industries in the productive sphere. National currencies and their management should not be a vehicle for profit generation. Those little pieces of paper that we use to represent wealth with should be - to paraphrase Lincoln - "money of the people, by the people and for the people".

I think these two simple principles would make the world as we know it more just and also more dynamic. But common sense does not get much respect these days, so I am not holding my breath.



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