Spot the similarities

October 10, 2012

Gerry Eckhoff spots the similarities between social credit and quantitative easing:

. . . I intend to follow the current fashion and print money. Some of you will say that is a heinous crime deserving of the most severe punishment.

Counterfeiting, after all, destroys our monetary system. Society cannot allow the printing of money just because there is a need for more cash. Society’s politicians however now promote printing our own money to solve the world’s financial problems so I figured “sauce for the goose … ” If our politicians believe printing a couple of billion dollars annually to pay for their pet projects is such a good idea, then surely my idea of printing a paltry few dollars for my projects is even better.

As I have no wish to be found guilty of plagiarism, as well as counterfeiting, I must acknowledge the idea to print money as required is not new. Many years ago a Major C. H. Douglas thought it was such a good idea he called it “social credit”, to legitimise the printing of money if and when needed.

Social credit sounded so much better than “money printing”. The good major failed to notice if you increase the supply of a product its value trends downwards. That applies to milk, lamb, beef, timber as well as the money you are printing, so you have to keep printing and producing to retain the status quo. One well-known advocate of this approach is one Robert Mugabe, from Zimbabwe, where his printing presses simply couldn’t keep up with the daily devaluation of their currency but would have been great for the local paper mill if they could only have printed enough money to build one. . . .

Rather surprisingly, the idea of the good Major Douglas and the not-so-good Robert Mugabe, is now fast becoming orthodox monetary policy endorsed by no lesser political and economic giants as our very own Green Party. This print-and-distribute policy has the backing of their MPs who have obviously studied President Mugabe’s model and commitment to printing money as the way to pay off debt. The sheer brilliance of the Greens scheme is that interest rates for borrowers will be zero. This policy will, of course, severely punish those not responsible for the monetary collapse the world’s savers. Those rapacious and retired folk who had scraped together a nest egg in the local bank to assist in their retirement will get no return for their deposit. I do struggle to understand how this policy offers an incentive to all others to save. Meanwhile, it’s business and bonuses as usual for Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan et al. The printing presses are rolling as the international banking industry and politicians now speak not of printing money nor of social credit but of “quantitative easing.” This phrase sounds more like a description given to a ewe about to give birth to triplets rather than a monetary expression but there you have it. All of which gave me the idea to print my own money. If the Feds can do it, if the euro zone can do it, why not me – or you?

. . .  counterfeiting or increasing the money supply for a private benefit is illegal but increasing the money supply by Government for public benefit and electoral advantage is not.

Both however have the same effect on savings and the purchasing power of our dollar and both should be illegal.

I go to jail and Mr Norman goes to Parliament. How does that work?

Gerry isn’t the only one to spot the similarities between social credit and quantitative easing. Democrats for Social Credit leader Stephnie de Ruyter has given the proposal her blessing.


Meeting the candidates

October 17, 2011

A long serving MP told me that the incumbent in a safe seat was always at a disadvantage at pre-election meet-the-candidates-meetings.

The other would-be MPs could say almost anything ,secure in the knowledge they’d never get to parliament to be held to account. The incumbent had a much harder task of making no promises s/he couldn’t realistically deliver.

With MMP the MP might expect to have at least one other candidate on the same side of the political spectrum to balance the opposition but at North Otago Greypower’s meeting on Saturday it was five to one against the sitting MP.

However, National’s Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean was more than a match for the other five candidates representing the Alliance, Green, Labour and Democrats for Social Credit parties and an independent.

She presented the facts and figures on National’s term. This included the explanation that superannuation had gone up 18.9% since National came to power and the sobering reminder that around half of New Zealand households were net tax recipients and 71% of net tax was paid by the relatively small number of people earning more than $150,000.

She also explained the importance of continuing to rebalance the economy to move from high spending, taxing and borrowing to savings and export-led growth.

Unlike the other candidates Jacqui is actively campaigning for both the party and constituent votes and she gave examples which showed her knowledge of Waitaki, its people and their concerns; and the breadth and depth of her work across her 34,888 square kilometre electorate.

As for the other candidates?

Like Jacqui, the Green’s Sue Coutts was articulate and exuded warmth and conviction. She was clear about her party’s policies, though unlike Jacqui, was much stronger on aspirational goals than practicalities.

Labour’s Barry Monks began by saying he didn’t realise he was expected to make a five mintue speech. This showed he’d failed candidates 101: if invited to a meeting, ascertain date, time, venue and purpose and what’s required.

The independent, David Ford, told us he was an entrepreneur. Any positive impression this might have created was spoiled when he went on to say he’d returned to New Zealand after 38 years overseas with only $10,000 which suggests he wasn’t a particularly successful one.

The Alliance candidate, Norman MacRitchie, who received 93 votes in the last election, wanted to repeal the States Services Act.  The Democrat for Social Credit candidate, Hessel Van Wieren, who gained 140 votes in the last election, tried to convince us the Reserve Bank could solve all our problems by creating more money.

When the speakers finished the man two along from me accused the bloke between us of having made up his mind before he got there. I suspect that was true of most of the audience, but at least they’d made the effort to get to the meeting and listen to other points of view, even if it only confirmed preconceived ideas.

For less biased reports on the metting see: party candidates set out policies for voters in the ODT; and Waitaki Candidates grilled on asset sales in the Timaru Herald.


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