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Ellen Brown's War on the Constitution
Gary North

Nov. 15, 20911

Ellen Brown leans so far to the left that her left shoulder scrapes the pavement.

That this extreme leftist should get a hearing within the grass roots conservative movement is just one more bit of evidence that tens of thousands of members of the grass roots conservative movement do not know "come here" from "sic 'em."

She has already praised Ben Bernanke to the heavens for QE2. You can read about this here.

Now she comes out four square behind Franklin Roosevelt's most radical speech just before he died. She then praises Martin Luther King for attempting to implement FDR's vision.

She has called for a New Bill of Rights. She means a New Deal Bill of Rights. She refers back to Roosevelt's 1944 State of the Union Address. This was the most radical call for a centrally planned economy in the history of Presidential addresses. Here is a sample.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights--among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however--as our industrial economy expanded--these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. "Necessitous men are not free men." People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

I ask the Congress to explore the means for implementing this economic bill of rights- for it is definitely the responsibility of the Congress so to do. Many of these problems are already before committees of the Congress in the form of proposed legislation. I shall from time to time communicate with the Congress with respect to these and further proposals. In the event that no adequate program of progress is evolved, I am certain that the Nation will be conscious of the fact.

The 1791 Bill of Rights granted rights that are immune from state interference. FDR's bill of right was a laundry list of voters' rights to government subsidies and guarantees.

Obama has never come close to a list like this. But it was FDR's vision of the future.

It is also Ellen Brown's vision of the future.

WOMB TO TOMB

As always, she blames everything on fractional reserve banking. She quotes Henry Ford, as if Ford knew anything about economic theory, politics, or history.

Henry Ford said, "It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."

What evidence was there that Ford understood any of this? If he did, why didn't he lead a revolution?

We are beginning to understand, and Occupy Wall Street looks like the beginning of the revolution.

Occupy Wall Street is not Occupy Wall Street is not Occupy Liberty Street, meaning the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. These kids and aging hippies have no program. They have no economic theory. They have no influence. They have weird back-and-forth chanting led by well-organized Leftists.

She then quotes some woman with a degree in planning. The woman is a promoter of the same Greenback fiat money inflation that Brown is.

According to Margrit Kennedy, a German researcher who has studied this issue extensively, interest now composes 40% of the cost of everything we buy. We don't see it on the sales slips, but interest is exacted at every stage of production. Suppliers need to take out loans to pay for labor and materials, before they have a product to sell.

For government projects, Kennedy found that the average cost of interest is 50%. If the government owned the banks, it could keep the interest and get these projects at half price. That means governments--state and federal--could double the number of projects they could afford, without costing the taxpayers a single penny more than we are paying now.

Who is Margrit Kennedy, and why should anyone pay attention to her? We read on Wikipedia:

Kennedy is an architect with a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning and a Ph.D. in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, and has worked as an urban planner in Germany, Nigeria, Scotland and the United States. In 1991, she was appointed Professor of Ecological Building Technologies at the Department of Architecture, University of Hanover.

She has stated that her work on ecological architecture in 1982 led her to the discovery, that it is "virtually impossible to carry out sound ecological concepts on the scale required today, without fundamentally altering the present money system or creating new complementary currencies".

Margrit Kennedy offers no theory and no evidence for her statement. She wrote a 57-page booklet without a single footnote or reference. She wrote another booklet in which her main supporting expert was Silvio Gesell, the former Minister of Finance for the one-week Bavarian Soviet Republic of 1919. Gesell was promoted by John Maynard Keynes in The General Theory (pp. 354, 371).

Interest rates today are at all-time lows in the United States. Banks have $1.6 trillion on deposit with the Federal Reserve, held as excess reserves, earning about 0.25%. Treasury bills are around 0.1%. Yet this planner wants her readers to believe that 50% goes to banking. No one except Ellen Brown is silly enough to believe her.

This opens up exciting possibilities. Federal and state governments could fund all sorts of things we think we can't afford now, simply by owning their own banks. They could fund something Franklin D. Roosevelt and Martin Luther King dreamt of--an Economic Bill of Rights.

As I have said for over a year, Ellen Brown is a hard-core Leftist.

She offers what she calls "A Vision for Tomorrow." She begins with Roosevelt's 1944 speech. "Roosevelt's own vision reached its sharpest focus in 1944, when he called for a Second Bill of Rights." She quotes a portion of the section of speech that you have already read.

She then goes far beyond FDR. She presents her case for the government's take-over of the country's economy.

First, government health insurance, i.e., Obamacare.

Health needs have changed too. In 1791, foods were natural and nutrient-rich, and outdoor exercise was built into the lifestyle. Degenerative diseases such as cancer and heart disease were rare. Today, health insurance for some people can cost as much as rent.

But wait! There's more!

After World War II, the G.I. Bill provided returning servicemen with free college tuition, as well as cheap home loans and business loans. It was called "the G.I. Bill of Rights." Studies have shown that the G.I. Bill paid for itself seven times over and is one of the most lucrative investments the government ever made. The government could do that again--without increasing taxes or the federal debt. It could do it by recovering the power to create money from Wall Street and the financial services industry, which now claim a whopping 40% of everything we buy.

There is of course no evidence that Wall Street absorbs 40% of what we buy. If there were, where would we earn a living to buy it? What about the 40% that government takes? She never mentions that. So, Wall Street plus government get 80% of everything we buy. This is nuts. But she expects people to believe it.

So, how can we get all these free goodies from the government? Why, by printing money!

Governments--state and federal--could bypass the interest tab by setting up their own publicly-owned banks. Banking would become a public utility, a tool for promoting productivity and trade rather than for extracting wealth from the debtor class. Congress could go further: it could reclaim the power to issue money from the banks and fund its budget directly. It could do this, in fact, without changing any laws. Congress is empowered to "coin money," and the Constitution sets no limit on the face amount of the coins. Congress could issue a few one-trillion dollar coins, deposit them in an account, and start writing checks.

It's all so simple! Just let Congress print up pieces of paper with politicians' pictures on them! That will create wealth for all!

But why should we hold to FDR's vision? Because Martin Luther King recommended it.

After President Roosevelt died in 1945, his vision for an Economic Bill of Rights was kept alive by Martin Luther King. "True compassion," King declared, "is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring." MLK too has now passed away, but his vision has been carried on by a variety of money reform groups. The government as "employer of last resort," guaranteeing a living wage to anyone who wants to work, is a basic platform of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). A student of MMT declares on his website that by "[e]nding the enormous unearned profits acquired by the means of the privatization of our sovereign currency. . . [i]t is possible to have truly full employment without causing inflation."

But what about the United States Constitution? It did not grant the right to government-funded security to Americans. She has the answer -- the same answer that the Left has offered ever since 1900. The Constitution is old fashioned. It is out of date.

What was sufficient for a simple agrarian economy does not provide an adequate framework for freedom and democracy today. We need an Economic Bill of Rights, and we need to end the privatization of the national currency. Only when the privilege of creating the national money supply is returned to the people can we have a government that is truly of the people, by the people and for the people. (http://bit.ly/BrownFDR)

CONCLUSION

Ellen Brown is taken seriously by thousands of confused, angry Tea Party people. They say that want small government. They say they believe in the Constitution. Yet this Leftist has recruited a following within the Right, as generations of Greenback Leftists have ever since the 1930s. These poor souls want a guru so badly that they are willing to abandon everything they believe about the Constitution and Limited government. She can get them to swallow the Left's agenda because they hate bankers so much.

This is bad news for the Tea Party. It has enemies with the rank and file.

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