Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko Churchill | February 18, 2015

The Case For The Drahma as a Stamp Scrip and a modern economic solution to Europe’s woes

Let’s today think of how to rekindle the morbidly flatlined European economies.

Let us visualize the contest of Leadership and Ideologies in Europe.

And let us compare for a moment, the terms demanded of the Greek government to those offered to the banks. Eurozone ministers from the Northern countries, now insist upon total surrender of Greece, that is tantamount to a national abasement that makes a mockery of democracy or federal aspirations for Europe.

There are only two ways for the Greeks and the Greek nation to prosper today:

First and foremost is for Greece to get it’s own currency back. The Drahma. If the Drahma was good enough for our ancestors who through the smart use of the Drahma, created the Golden Era of Democracy, fashioned all sciences, used Reason as Philosophy, and built the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the mightiest naval empire the world had ever seen — it must be good enough for us too. If the Drahma served us so well to assist in winning both the battle of Marathon and Salamis — who are we to wish to supplant it with the worthless Euro of today being managed by none other than the fascist German banker-wankers?

Second is to create a vibrant new Economic sector through central intervention like the Ministry of industry of Japan did when they selected a sectoral focus to restart their economy as a peace time vehicle after the Second World War. Greece needs the equivalent of this and since automobile and appliances are not Greece strong suit — maybe we choose agriculture. And by that I mean the modern variety of a cash crop. I am observing at present the incredible economic growth of the economies of the states of Washington and of Colorado where legalization of cannabis, has taken place. Within a year since “cannabis” and the hemp plant were legalized, the economy of the mountain State of Colorado has increased by $ 700 Billion USD and within six month of legalization the economy of the state of Washington has increased by $ 300 Billions. The tax base created is enormous and the coffers of the government are filling fast with newly minted taxes from the vast agricultural, entertainment, tourism, and medical industry — this will spawn for Greece being the first country of the European Common Market to do this. This legalization of cannabis will also unburden the penal and judicial system of Greece and bring fresh money into the economy from foreign remittances now that the trade of “marijuana” is being realized through the internet and mail services. Also it’s good to remember that regardless of the bad trip of BBC’s Jon Snow — we should never underestimate the power of marijuana to gladden the minds and also lighten up the hearts, of the much maligned people of Greece.

So following these two solutions and working them in tandem — Greece can be out of the woods and in a vibrant economic state of Growth, Full Employment, and General Prosperity for many years to come. And to me it seems that this current administration of young people has the “cojones” to do just this.

Let’s see.

Now back to the old standard Economic Debates:

If history serves us, and if our memory is supple, then it is great to remember that when the banks were bailed out, a few short year ago and in some of Europe’s countries are still being bailed out — the governments “magicked-up” the necessary money almost unconditionally. All money i a mirage and the euro is no exception. Money is “fiat” creations and as Gordon Brown so eloquently put it: “We’ll print enough paper to stuff Queen Elizabeth II [the ship, not the real Queen] and ship it off to the continent to ave their banks and governments. Anyway the only cost we have is the ink and paper and God knows we have many good stationers in London”

Thus immediately money was printed by the boatload, and was shipped to all the banks of Europe, literally overnight, by helicopters, and fast aeroplanes, and then was offered to the banks to disperse. A lot of that ready made cash found it’s way back into the Swiss accounts of most corrupt Ministers and Banking officials but who is counting…

And of course the Government Ministers shyly requested a few token reforms from the lame wankers still running the banks, but then looked away quietly, when the bankers disregarded them completely.

Yet the German government, is now demanding an Austerity program that is crushing the life out of southern Europe. And they do this, after printing so many Billions of Euros for the Banker-wankers, that they run out of ink and paper to make more money, and had to go to the Bank of England to help them print even more. They had given it all up to these corrupt German Banks, and even offered their own asses to their banks. as security deposit. But when came the time to regulate them — the willy Germans merely tickled the belly of their own banks.

But we now know that as the New York Times repeatedly reported, today’s thoroughly corrupt German banking system at the crash of the Great Recession, “required a bailout far bigger than the one, the combined American banks had received”

Still the New York Times goes, on that after all that: “There is little appetite for change in Germany because the banking system is so deeply intertwined with its politics, serving as a rich source of patronage and financing for Government Ministers, German politicians, and for all their pet projects and reelection campaigns.”

Yet now that the other shoe has fallen, and worn on the other foot — it’s the poor Greeks who complain tbut nobody’s listening. It is beyond evident that they have been milked to death and have been reduced to penury amid injustice, as colonial subjects of Europe’s Masters.

Yet, nobody is listening.

Thus the once proud and resilient Greeks are right to revolt and should do so forcefully until they are out of the Eurozone and perhaps out of Europe too.

No sweat.

After all as Winston Churchill famously said: “Who wants to be in bed with a German?”

But for all their unshakable belief in Freedom and Democracy the Greeks forget to see that their true colonial masters are not just the northern members of the eurozone, but the large private banks in tandem working with Europe’s central bank and European administration of Brussels and Berlin. The Ministers that use the power of Germany, Brussels, and all the other Northern governments, that seem determined to destroy the sovereign state of Greece and all it’s people, for its impudence, and insubordination — are merely the intermediaries of power.

The real “masters of the universe” here are the banker-wankers who destroyed all of the European economies and are now again behind the curtain playing their tune.

And much like in the parable of “Alice and the Wizard of Oz” — the bankers are simply tiny weeny versions of Pee-Wee Herman playing the huge pipe organ, fearing that if they are revealed when the curtain s drawn back — their whole world will collapse.

So now all that Greece like “Alice needs to do is to draw back the curtain to expose the foolish mirage… Alice being Greece in this metaphor we can all see where am going with this, through the help of C S Lewis and the brilliant Oxford Economic Minds that advise me on this people’s rescue plan for Greece.

Of course none of this is to deny the corruption, the thievery, and the general fiscal promiscuity of previous Greek administrations, nor that they should be prosecuted for theft. But while the banks have got away with far far worse, and Germany is the biggest sovereign debt defaulter in History still owing money to Greece from war time debts and loans made to Germany by Greece — the bullies of the eurozone insist on extracting every last drop of blood from the poor Greek people who had no role in their governments’ deceptions, and who are at the moment in total penury.

You can’t turn blood from a turnip no matter how hard you try. Greece is stuffed, or so almost everyone asserts. Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Because am thinking that there are certain possibilities that we have scarcely begun to examine.

I should warn you first that no one in their right mind should take financial advice from German Banker-wankers or from German politicians because they are simply corrupt. Or, for that matter, from most Eurozone economic and finance ministers because they owe their position to the bankers who install them there.

However let us seek here what may be some possibilities of hope among the ruins that Greece is and that we will soon see all of Europe engulfed into — unless we do something drastic right now.

Right now we need radical and drastic medicine to forcefully wake up the economies of Europe sleep walking into the deathly hollows.

One of these radical ideas was proposed a few months ago by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times. He suggests stripping private banks of their remarkable power to create money out of thin air. Simply by issuing credit, they spawn between 95 and 97% of the money supply. If the state were to assert a monopoly on money creation, governments could increase its supply without increasing debt. Seignorage (the difference between the cost of producing money and its value) would accrue to the state, adding billions of pounds to national coffers. The banks would be reduced to the servants, not the masters, of the economy.

An entirely different approach is proposed by Ann Pettifor, in her fascinating but badly written and chaotic book, titled “Just Money”.

In “Just Money” Ann Petifor argues that governments have failed to understand what money is. It should not be seen as a commodity, she says, but as a social relationship based on trust. Unusually for a radical critic of finance, she sees the creation of money by private banks as “a great civilization advance”, freeing nations from the usurers who once monopolised and restricted wealth.

The supply of money is, in effect, unlimited: as long as there is sufficient productive activity to absorb it there is no obvious restraint on the amount of money that can be issued. So when governments and central bankers tell you that the money has run out, Pettifor argues, they are either deceiving us or deceiving themselves.

What holds back economic activity is an unnecessary and artificial restriction of the medium of exchange.

Banking’s great civilisation advance has been all but destroyed through deregulation, whose result is a new system of usury, speculation and exploitation. Private banks borrow cheap and lend dear, forcing us to work ever longer hours and to inflict ever more damage on the natural world to service our debts. Pettifor suggests that governments should reassert control over interest rates at every level of lending.

But perhaps the biggest transformation could happen at the local level, where an astonishing money creation scheme from the 1930s that could help to save the Greek economy, is already being tried in mall measures, but in many places…

Greece already has some hyper-local currencies, that have kept “fiat-digi-money” and paper scrip or stamp-scrip circulating through the local economy in several small towns and cities, as it cannot be siphoned away. Volos, and Lamia, are two examples of small market towns and port cities that have small local currency type “paper” coursing through their tiny and fully stressed out economies. These town local currencies call their scrip stamp currencies “Drahma” because that is their classical name but all they are trying to do is combat the record breaking unemployment by keeping their resources within the city. None of these micro currencies is legal and none has received any sanction from the central government, but they work and seem to persist…

There are today similar systems in Britain, such as the the local currency run by progressive towns and cities. The Bristol, Lewisham, and the Totnes “pounds” are all winning combinations of free market and full employment ideals expressed through local micro-currencies. All of them are community based in towns that have all issued their own hyper local stamp-scrip that they call “pounds” prefixed by the name of the market town or city they hail from, and they all seem to work in combating unemployment. The “Totnes pound” in particular is a runaway success and the guiding light for all other such local currencies.

And in America there is the digicoin, the bitcoin, and many other block-chain cryptocurrencies, unsuccessfully mimicking scarcity — that unfortunately have been the prefered “no paper” currency for criminal and criminal mastermind thus causing harm to the uninitiated.

But although there are so many claimants to the stamp-scrip, or hyper local currency, or the more global digital money throne — we have no clear winner. And that is pure genius because they all seem to work for the specific application they are geared for.

Couple that winning trend with the opposing trends of all of the central bank’s efforts at diminishing anything that reduces their power — and it’s no surprise that we don’t make use of the thrilling, transformative, and hyper local monetary system that we have at our disposal today, and that could reduce unemployment and serve the people we all care for.

Regardless of the fact that this hyper-local currency monetary system has proved itself and it even almost saved Europe from fascism — this hyper-local currency as developed by the economist Silvio Gessell and was called “stamp scrip” is not being used today. This stamp-scrip is explained fully and competently in Bernard Lietaer’s magnificent book “The Future of Money”.

Here however is a summary and a primer for it:

In its original form, stamp scrip was a piece of paper on which a number of boxes were printed. The note would lose its validity unless a stamp costing 1% of its value was stuck in one of the boxes every month. In other words, the currency lost value over time, so there was no incentive to hoard it. Stamp scrip projects took off across Germany and Austria after national currencies collapsed in the early 1930s.

In 1932, for example, the Austrian town of Wörgl was broke, and completely unable to finance public works or to support its destitute population, until the Mayor of Wörgl, heard of Gessell’s proposal and decided to give it a go.

He put up the town’s tiny remaining fund as collateral against the same value of stamp scrip, and used it to pay for a building project. The workers then passed on the currency as quickly as they could. Like the magic pudding, this little pot of money kept circulating, enabling the city of Wörgl, to repave the streets, rebuild the water system, construct new houses, a bridge and even a ski jump. In the 13 months of the experiment, the 5,500 scrip shillings in circulation were spent 416 times, creating between 12 and 14 times as much employment as the standard currency would have done. Unemployment vanished, and the stamp fees paid for a soup kitchen feeding 220 families.

This success was followed by many other towns and cities across both Austria and Germany — eager to offer public works, and precipitate growth by employing and feeding their own people. Soon prosperity and wealth creation followed…

Unfortunately the Central Bankers objected and since they had the ear of the Minister then as now — they asked for a ban of the local currencies.

Soon the governments of Germany and Austria, feeling that their banks were profoundly threatened by the success of these “stamp-scrip” local currency projects, and fearing the comparison with their own underperforming fiat money — shut them all down. Employment promptly collapsed and once more, people moved to the political extremes losing faith in Democracy, and thus a twisted but charismatic Austrian house painter and militant ideologue — Adolf Hitler — found the opening he had been waiting for.

Nazism prevailed, Europe went up in flames, and the rest is history…

Let’s draw some lessons from this rich history if only to avoid repeating the past mistakes.

Yours,

Pano

PS:

Today with tool such as Mobile Internet and fast smartphone and always On telecommunications, stamp-scrip can be reused to maximum effect easily enough.

And it has been true since the 1930’s that these hyper local currency systems work well.

Because when the great American economist Irving Fisher of the 1920’s and 30’s examined these experiments, he concluded that “the correct application of stamp scrip would solve the depression crisis in the US in three weeks.” Roosevelt’s government, aware that such currencies could invoke a massive loss of federal power, promptly banned it.

Today the same is true. They work. That is the simple way of it because for all the digital currencies out there – there is no “digital stamp scrip” yet anywhere in the world, and I aim to remedy this by creating the Seattle Scrip…

More on that later.

However now the matter is imminent for the salvation of Europe’s ancient Democracy of Greece.

So we should examine how could the stamp-scrip and all of these ideas be useful to Greece.

Could they also be of relevance in other parts of Europe?

Even in Scotland, where the currency issue was unimaginatively fudged before the referendum, we could revive the issue of quasi independence, full employment, and economic responsibility, through a new local currency.

I don’t know, whether anyone who is a smart enough Leader, is listening here, but if Greece leaves the eurozone, there is a silver lining in the darkest of clouds — because the use of a stamp scrip in Greece, could open up a world of possibilities, to which Greece and many other nations have closed their minds to…

And as History is full of “accidental discoveries” and “Major Miracles” maybe this would be one of them.

Yet as they say in Greece along with Gods help we must keep moving our hands and feet to tread water if we are to keep afloat swimming and thus avoid drowning when we are shipwrecked — as it periodically happens in a small nation that has been shipwrecked hundreds if not thousands of times in it’s seven Millennia long existence.

And in all of these years the Greeks had always had their own local coin, and various local currencies that served them well through the ages much like the Drahma and the Talant did.

So what’s the big deal with using our own “scrip” now?

So do this now and use the stamp-scrip maned Drahma, but do it right along with full legalization of marijuana and the God will smile upon you yet.

But for the maximum benefit of the hemp plant we need not only the legalization of recreational hemp production, weed, pot, and cannabis, but also the full agricultural industrialization of the cannabis and hemp plant production and research and development for medical use of marijuana for various medical reasons, and we need full economic exploitation of the cash crop of “hemp” and only then we will see the Greek Miracle unfolding all over again.

Only the blending of these two policies would save Greece from further debasement and turn the tides to include all of the people of. Greece and Europe in a magnificent recovery.

God Bless and God Speed.


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