February 17th, 2013

What If Each State Had Its Own Public Bank?


silver dollar

by: Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor

I was reading an article at Global Research, today, “It’s the Interest, Stupid! Why Bankers Rule the World” by Ellen Brown. I’m not normally a big fan of Ellen Brown’s, but this article struck a chord with me. I urge you to read it.

I have known for quite a while that the power of the Central Banks, including the Federal Reserve, to create money out of thin air and to then charge interest on it has been the cause of our debt slavery. How to defeat the Central Banks, each a private entity, serving private interests, who have a blank check to create their own money and reap the interest on it? Her idea, which is not new, is to create a National Bank, (a US Government owned Bank), which would issue the money, at interest, to the Government as it needed, at interest, (of course), but because the Government owned the Bank, all profits would return to the Government. The question then comes to mind, why must the Federal Government pay interest on money its own Bank created in the first place? The Constitution provides that the Treasury shall coin the money, (not the Federal Reserve). If it coined the money, it would not involve any interest at all. It would merely be spent into existence, with no debt involved. No, the idea of a Federal Government owned National Bank doesn’t interest me in the least. I would much prefer the Treasury to retake its power to issue money, (debt free money), thereby eliminating the enormous debt load, along with the interest due to the Fed resulting from money being created as debt.

What interested me in her article was her discussion of North Dakota’s State Bank. She writes:

The only U.S. state to own its own depository bank today is North Dakota. North Dakota is also the only state to have escaped the 2008 banking crisis, sporting a sizable budget surplus every year since then. It has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, the lowest foreclosure rate, and the lowest default rate on credit card debt.

Hmm…. It looks like they have their act together and are prospering. Admittedly a good deal of their prosperity comes from the Bakken oil fields development, but the point is, that they have created a State Bank that is thriving. This puts them, at least partially, out from under the control of the Federal Reserve System. If every State in the Union were to create their own State Bank, the power of the Federal Reserve would be greatly reduced. And it would be accomplished with no Federal Government involvement! Each State would be relieved of interest payments now currently going to the Banks. North Dakota did it. Why can’t other States? I’m sure the big banking interests would fight it with everything they had, but if the people realize the benefits to be accrued, it could be done.

Now, let us assume, for the sake of argument, that the Treasury has taken back its Constitutional duty to coin money, and each State has created its own State Bank. Is there something else we should do to place ourselves under a Constitutionally sound financial system? Let’s take a look at the US Constitution to find the answer.

Section. 10.

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

I find two points of interest germane to our discussion.

  1. No State shall coin Money

  2. No State shall make any Thing but gold and silver coin a Tender in Payment of Debts

We’ll get to #1 after I discuss #2.

The second item tells us plainly that as far as the States are concerned, it is gold and silver which are the legal form of Tender in Payments of Debts. Back when the Paper Currency, the Federal Reserve Notes, were backed by gold and silver, their use by State governments could, by a little stretching of interpretation of the Constitution be considered abiding by the Constitution, but since the removal of all backing with gold and silver, it becomes obvious that the States are in direct violation of the Constitution when they accept, and make payments with, Fiat Currency.

It has been the History of the Federal Government, particularly among the Executive and Legislative branches, to ignore the Constitution when it was expedient to do so. So too, it would seem, has it been the case with the States, as we see with the ignoring of Section 10 of the Constitution. Expedience has been the bane of our Republic. It is expedience, rather than commitment to principal and Law, that has taken us down the slippery slope we find ourselves traversing. The Oaths of Office, swearing fidelity to the Constitution, taken by every politician at every level of government, are mere words in too many politicians mouths.

And what of we the People? Have we demanded our politicians keep their Oaths? Or have we, like them, bowed to the expediency of the moment? It is time for all the People to search their consciences regarding this matter.

Returning to the subject of State Banks and what may be done, I would suggest that in order to follow the Constitution, the answer becomes obvious. Each State should establish a State Bank, with these Banks offering the ability to make payments in gold or silver. State taxes would be paid in gold or silver, as would all expenses incurred by the State in its daily operations. The people of the State could be allowed to open gold and silver accounts in the State Bank, and all levels of Government within the State could also open accounts there for the purpose of accepting payment in gold and silver, or to make payments with them. With such a Bank handling gold and silver transactions in each State, they would all be in compliance with Section 10 of the Constitution.

States cannot coin money, according to Section 10, but they are required to use gold and silver as Tender in all Payment of Debts.

Some will say there is not enough gold and silver to satisfy the needs. At today’s prices of the two metals, this is quite possibly true. It is a sure sign that they are undervalued. Let’s look at a time when the dollar was fully backed by gold and silver. In 1900, the average yearly wage was $449.80 . The yearly average wage for 2011 was 42,979.61. In 1900, a silver dollar could be exchanged for one paper dollar. Therefore the average worker in 1900 could exchange his/her paper dollars for 450 silver dollars. At today’s silver prices, and today’s average wage, he/she could buy roughly 1870 silver dollars. This implies silver is undervalued by a factor of roughly four. 4 x 450 = 1800. This is also an indication of how much the Federal Reserve has devalued the Federal Reserve Notes, the paper, Fiat dollar. The silver dollar, the coin, didn’t change. It was the value of the Fiat currency that changed. If silver was at an equivalent value, adjusting for the devaluation of the Fiat dollar, its current price, in paper dollars, should be $90-$100 dollars. (This is also an indication of the price suppression being carried out by Central Banks and large financial interests.)

The point is, if silver and gold were the basis of the currency, there would be little to no inflation. A gold and silver currency makes for a stable economy. Sure, there will be some speculative “financial panics”. Throughout history there have been panics fueled by wild-eyed speculators. The Federal Reserve has done nothing to stop this. We have had a severe depression since the Federal Reserve came into being, plus numerous recessions and crisis. We have had a Tech bubble, a Housing bubble, and now we have a Bond bubble waiting to burst, along with a derivatives bubble. The Federal Government and the Federal Reserve are bleeding this country of its wealth. It is time for the States to step forward and say, enough. A State Bank, utilizing both the Paper Fiat Currency, (at least for now), and silver and gold, can break the power of the Federal Reserve and its Fiat Money System, and place each State on a sound monetary basis. It will also bring the States back into compliance with the Constitution.

As a footnote, I would encourage you to read the works of Edwin Vieira. It was his ideas that pointed me in the right direction. There is an archive of a number of his writings at NewsWithViews.com.




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11 Responses to “What If Each State Had Its Own Public Bank?”

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  1. 1
    Austrian Economics is Color Blind Says:

    Shorty Dawkins,

    Ellen Brown actually supports the inflation being done by the Federal Reserve. She said so, herself:

    Bait-and-Switch: Ellen Brown Announces That “QE2 IS the Populist Solution.” Her Followers Just Sit There.
    http://www.garynorth.com/public/7303.cfm

    In my November 22 article announcing Ellen Brown’s defection to the Federal Reserve, I wrote this:

    If she tries to defend herself by saying, “This is consistent with what I have always said,” then she is dumber than dirt, or else she thinks her followers are dumber than dirt.

    She responded on November 24 with a long article saying that this was no defection.

    Gary North, who purports to be an expert on the errors in my book “Web of Debt,” has evidently not actually read it. In an article posted on the Market Oracle on November 23, he says that in calling QE2 a “bold precedent,” I have switched sides. He apparently missed the chapter I wrote on this subject, first published in “Web of Debt” in 2007, saying exactly what I am saying now.
    The Federal Reserve is finally using its “quantitative easing” (QE) tool to good purpose, and I’m endorsing that, not just for our central bank but for any central bank anywhere that would be so bold.

    We are back to these two choices: (1) she is dumber than dirt; (2) she thinks her followers are dumber than dirt. I really can’t decide whether it’s #2 or both #1 and #2.

    My articles smoked her out. She finally came clean. She is — and says she always has been — a supporter of mass monetary inflation, no matter who prints the money. If the central bank does this, that’s fine with her.

    When we were using Fed notes that were backed by gold and silver, that actually wasn’t just a little stretching of interpretation, but a gross violation of the Constitution.

    Federalist paper 44
    http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa44.htm

    The extension of the prohibition to bills of credit must give pleasure to every citizen, in proportion to his love of justice and his knowledge of the true springs of public prosperity. The loss which America has sustained since the peace, from the pestilent effects of paper money …

    In addition to these persuasive considerations, it may be observed, that the same reasons which show the necessity of denying to the States the power of regulating coin, prove with equal force that they ought not to be at liberty to substitute a paper medium in the place of coin.

    No one of these mischiefs is less incident to a power in the States to emit paper money, than to coin gold or silver. The power to make any thing but gold and silver a tender in payment of debts, is withdrawn from the States, on the same principle with that of issuing a paper currency.

    States are not constitutionally permitted to issue their own money, whether it be gold, silver, or paper.

    (Part of our Founders’ reasoning on this issue was wrong, though; There was never a danger in people using different sizes of gold and silver coins. Gold is gold; Coins with more gold would be worth more, and people would trade for smaller coins for smaller purchases if they wanted. No need for government intervention.)

    On the issue of North Dakota and their state bank, the very first thing we should be clear on is that simply printing new money does not create wealth. More paper does not equal more wealth. Period.

    Newly printed notes can TRANSFER wealth to earlier users of them – this is the Cantillon Effect – but it cannot create wealth. It does create increasing prices, depending on where it’s spent (assuming it gets spent).

    Oil has to be paid for in Fed notes, so gas prices, in terms of Fed notes, have gone way up due to inflation. The Fed is buying 90% of new Treasuries to keep the price up. The Fed is buying $40 billion of mortgage backed securities a month, so housing prices are a bubble. And Bernanke not too long ago admitted there was a student loan bubble (or at least the danger of one – I forget which he said; but there is one, regardless).

    What I strongly suspect is happening with North Dakota (I’ve mentioned this in previous articles) is that the Bakken Oil production is a false boom created by a combination of the state bank offering easier than normal credit; and inflation of the price of gas through Bernanke’s Quantitative Easings, artificially making shale oil look more cost effective than it actually is.

    And keep in mind that the Left has been wanting to get America to transition off of gas and onto natural gas, for some time. Consider these sources:

    “Exxon Retreats from the Synfuels Industry”, by Douglas Vaughan, In These Times, May 26, 1982, p. 3
    http://www.unz.org/Pub/InTheseTimes-1982may26-00003a02

    Only two years before, Exxon chairman Clifford Garvin had declared that the U.S. must build 150 oil shale plants the size of the Colony project at a cost of $500 billion or more [...] in order to achieve the illusive goal of energy independence.

    After a year of debate, Congress passed the energy Security Act authorizing up to $88 billion in synthetic fuels price supports, loan guarantees and purchase agreements that would be administered by a quasi-public Synthetic Fuels Corporation (SFC). The Defense Production Act allocated another $5 billion as part of an interim program to stimulate synfuels for military use until the SFC was operating.

    What drove the blind rush, into synfuels? In the ’70s the combination of the quadrupling of oil prices untethered demand and the uncertainty of the Mideast supply pushed the market closer toward synthetics. This was reflected in the flurry of activity on Colorado’s western slope.

    With the world in the grip of the worst economic crisis since the Depression and the price of crude holding at around $30 per barrel, there is little incentive to invest billions in risky synfuels projects.

    But depressed oil prices are not the only obstacle to synfuels. Because of high inflation rates, the real cost of borrowed money was negative or close to zero most
    Continued on page 5

    From the same story, which continues on Page 5:

    http://www.unz.org/Pub/InTheseTimes-1982may26-00005

    Continued from page 3
    of 1973 to 1980. But since the passage of the Energy Security Act, the real cost of capital has jumped to 5 percent. As Michael S. Koleda, president of the National Council on Synthetic Fuel Production, put it recently, “Synfuels projects, already farther back in the investment queue following revised (lower) oil price projections, now find the entire queue delayed.”

    What would it take to bring Exxon and the others back to Parachute? Exxon won’t say. But another major round of OPEC price hikes would help. Many smaller companies want oil shale badly but will proceed only if they get subsidies. Several others are experimenting with exotic techniques such as ultrasonics and steam injection to free the kerogen from the shale in the hope that a technical breakthrough will shift the equation in their favor. Until that is found, however, the most obvious and ominous solution to the synfuels riddle still lies in the Middle East.

    But at any moment, war or revolution could jolt the sleeping corpse of oil shale back to life and send it crashing across the Western landscape once again.

    So, the Left has wanted to subsidize the hell out of shale for some time, as you see; And I think that’s exactly what’s happening through Bernanke’s great increase in the money supply.

    And then there’s this:

    Three factors behind the ‘progressive’ flip-flop on shale gas, the Left’s new Public Enemy #1
    http://www.aei-ideas.org/2011/12/three-factors-behind-the-progressive-flip-flop-on-shale-gas-the-lefts-new-public-enemy-1/

    Just a few years ago, the liberal Pew Center of Global Climate Change, among many environmental groups, was heralding natural gas as a “bridge fuel to a more climate friendly energy supply”—an interim step on the transition from fossil fuels to wind and solar. Now, “progressive” environmental groups demonize natural gas, and shale gas in particular, as a “bridge to nowhere.” What’s the real story behind the flip-flop?

    The author of that last article believes that shale actually is cost effective, it turns out, and that this accounts for why Progressives now oppose it.

    I don’t think so. I think inflation just artificially makes shale seem more cost effective.

    But the point of that article is to show that shale at least used to be considered a Progressive pursuit because it could be used as a step toward further de-industrialization.

    And I also believe that the state bank of North Dakota artificially makes their state seem more solvent than it is. By having a state bank, they are able to use Cantillon Effects to fraudulently transfer wealth to their state.

    That’s my guess.

    By the way, you’ll notice that the “In These Times” article mentions the quadrupling of oil prices in the 70s.

    Here is Peter Schiff explaining how the depression of the 70s was a result of the monetary inflation in the 60s, which caused a bubble and crash in the Nifty Fifty stocks:

    Why the Meltdown Should Have Surprised No One | Peter Schiff
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgMclXX5msc#t=1h10m26s

    And Cato argues that the high gas prices were NOT the result of turmoil in the Middle East:

    Time to Lay the 1973 Oil Embargo to Rest
    http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/time-lay-1973-oil-embargo-rest

    It’s time that we exorcised the ghosts of 1973 once and for all. The embargo was a non-event. The production cutbacks were trivial. The wrong lessons were learned. In short, everything we think we know about the events triggered 30 years ago today is wrong.

    Let’s start with the embargo. Most people believe that it was directly responsible for long gasoline lines and for service stations running dry. The shortages were, in fact, a byproduct of price controls imposed by President Nixon in August 1971, which prevented oil companies from passing on the full cost of imported crude oil to consumers at the pump (small oil companies, however, were exempted from the price control regime in 1973). In the face of increasing world oil prices, “Big Oil” did the only sensible thing: It cut back on imports and stopped selling oil to independent service stations to keep its own franchisees supplied.

    Did the subsequent embargo stoke the crisis further? No — it was an economically meaningless gesture. That’s because the embargo had no effect on imports. Once oil is in a tanker, neither Petroleum Exporting Countries nor OPEC nor Knick-Knack-Paddywack can control where it goes. Oil that was exported to Europe during the embargo was simply resold to the United States or ended up displacing non-OPEC oil that was diverted to the U.S. market. Supply routes were shuffled but import volumes remained steady.

    Saudi oil minister Sheik Yamani conceded afterwards that the 1973 embargo “did not imply that we could reduce imports to the United States … the world is really just one market. So the embargo was more symbolic than anything else.”

    On a related note, Austrian Economist Bob Murphy explains how, after Hurricane Sandy, it was actually the government’s price controls that lead to the shortages and long lines for gas:

    Hurricane Sandy and Gas Lines
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi__4Yt-dJQ

    So, the 1970s depression was caused by prior artificial credit expansion, just like the stock market crash of 1929, and like the Dot Com crash, and like the recent Housing Bubble.

    As for the whole debt-slavery thing, it is not the case that by loaning newly printed money into circulation it creates a never-ending debt obligation to the banks due to there not having been enough money printed to cover the interest. If the Federal Reserve stopped printing notes, then prices would fall due to an increase in productivity, so the amount of money that would be available to pay off debts would increase. (we’re in a phony boom right now, so there would need to be a correction first).

    Tom Woods has recently written about the “debt slavery” claim made by Greenbackers:

    Why the Greenbackers Are Wrong
    http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/why-the-greenbackers-are-wrong/

    The Greenbacker complaint about interest payments in a fractional-reserve system is that the banks create a loan’s principal out of thin air, and that because they don’t also create the amount of money necessary to pay the interest charges as well, the collective sum of loan payments (principal and interest) cannot be made. Some people, the Greenbackers concede, can pay back their loans with interest, but not everyone.

    Suppose I, a banker, lend you ten ounces of gold, at ten percent interest. Next year you will owe me 11 ounces: ten ounces for the principal, and one ounce for the interest. Where do you earn the money to pay me the interest? Either by abstaining from consumption to that extent and saving up the money, or by earning it through providing goods or services to others. In other words, you earn the money to pay the interest the same way you earn the money to pay for anything else.

    (Even under the classical gold standard, in which gold backed only some of the paper money in circulation, there is still a portion of the money supply – namely, the money substitutes that have gold backing – that were not lent into existence, and which can therefore serve as the source of interest payments.)

    The reason so many people are in debt is because inflation is increasing the cost of living for people on fixed incomes. This would be true whether the Fed is doing the inflating, or if the Treasury [unconstitutionally] printed “debt free” money.

    Our problems are caused by fraudulent credit expansion, not greedy bankers who charge interest.

    Gary North explains:
    http://lewrockwell.com/north/north1075.html

    Let’s get to the heart of the matter. I ask this question – the question that every free market economist asks whenever he finds someone arguing that anyone can get something for nothing.

    If a seller is charging something for nothing, why doesn’t a competing seller charge slightly less?

    Let me put it a different way:

    If something is really worth nothing, how is it that anyone can charge anything for it?

    If you ever come across a defender of Greenbackism, ask the person to explain this. Why does it take a government-created monopolistic bank to offer zero-interest loans? Why doesn’t the free market provide this?

    “… Why doesn’t competition among sellers lower the price?”

    If he/she says: “Because there are government restrictions on entry into the field,” the person is close to the truth. The correct response is this: “Then we citizens should demand that Congress get the federal government out of the field of money and banking. You should stop calling for a government bank.”

    A commodity money standard would severely restrain inflation, which is a good thing; And there is no benefit to having the Treasury print “debt-free money”.

    Further, having the government directly control the money supply would not only not solve any economic problems, but it would make them worse, because instead of having a private cartel (albeit with government protections), with profits and losses driving the availability of credit from local banks, what you would have instead is the amount of money being printed being decided based solely on political reasons.

    And like all government involvement in the economy, there is no way to stop the cronyism because it is inherent to the process of government regulations:

    How Cronyism is Hurting the Economy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSgUENZ9O94

  2. 2
    Shorty Dawkins Says:

    Austrian Economics is Color Blind Says:
    February 17th, 2013 at 6:12 pm edit

    “Shorty Dawkins,

    Ellen Brown actually supports the inflation being done by the Federal Reserve. She said so, herself:

    Bait-and-Switch: Ellen Brown Announces That “QE2 IS the Populist Solution.” Her Followers Just Sit There.”

    As I said, I have never been a fan of hers. The one thing about her article that appealed to me was the idea of a State Bank, mainly as a way of corralling the power of the Federal Reserve and the big, International Banks. It is through the concept of State Banks that, I believe, is the hope of a return to gold and silver backed currency, or even the actual return to the use of gold and silver coin. Edwin Vieira speaks of State Banks intended for this very purpose.

    Eventually, I would like to see competing currencies, not just the competition of Fiat versus gold, but actual open competition between all currencies. First things first, however. It is imperative we break the control of the Federal Reserve and all Central Banks, plus those who have profited the most from the Federal Reserve Fiat System of Fractional Reserve Banking. Fractional Reserve Banking is next on my list of evils. It is, quite simply, fraud. Third on my personal list is the end of Corporations, but that is down the road. Let’s start with breaking the power of the Federal Reserve.

    Shorty Dawkins

  3. 3
    Crocodile Says:

    Shorty : I have known for quite a while that the power of the Central Banks, including the Federal Reserve, to create money out of thin air and to then charge interest on it has been the cause of our debt slavery…..

    Unfortunately the truth is even worse.
    “To create money” is GOOD. You don’t think so ? Then THINK again !
    “To charge interest” is BAD. Just you don’t know why !
    This space is not enough to explain it….. You need to read the work of Silvio Gesell to understand.
    If you keep reading in the Internet – you will stay uneducated and with no knowledge of the nature of MONEY.

    Shorty, for your own good, learn about MONEY.
    After that learn about the fractional reserve system. This is the WEAPON against productive people.

  4. 4
    Austrian Economics is Color Blind Says:

    Shorty Dawkins @ comment #2,

    We can break the control of the Federal Reserve, of Corporatism (not Corporations; those are not bad), and of Empire by choosing to use commodity money.

    As long as the currency can be created out of thin air, these things will continue to happen.

    As for some of the other issues you’ve raise, such as being against Corporations, being for a “public national bank”, being for currencies that are merely backed by commodities, etc., if followed to their logical conclusion, they actually lead us right back to where we are, now.

    For example, to be against Corporations is to claim that people may not contract with each other how they see fit, and that there are third parties to a transaction which define, at the outset, what may be traded between two willing parties. And once the government does that, it necessarily creates cronyism because those regulations prevent new entrants.

    The problem has never been Corporations, but a failure to protect private property rights. If penalties for engaging in some perceived harmful business practice can dissuade businesses from doing them, then the enforcement of private property rights can dissuade businesses from hurting people even without regulations.

    Similarly, regulations and fines can’t stop businesses from engaging in perceived harmful business practices or from hurting people, directly.

    Just enforce private property rights, and you don’t need regulations. And if a company makes no claims of a particular level of safety from using their product, then the customer should not expect it. Food wasn’t always labeled, and products didn’t always have warning labels.

    The profit motive is enough to keep most people safe, and the fear of penalties for non-compliance with regulations just causes businessmen to want to take “short cuts”.

    It’s like Ron Paul says about the environmental regulations: those regulations actually CAUSE pollution, because it is said that at lease some is needed for progress. But if the government would just enforce private property rights for those individuals who had a complaint against a business owner (no class actions in a free market) then there wouldn’t be any pollution of people’s private property.

    Just get the government out of the way. The free market will work.

  5. 5
    Shorty Dawkins Says:

    Austrian Economic says:
    “For example, to be against Corporations is to claim that people may not contract with each other how they see fit, and that there are third parties to a transaction which define, at the outset, what may be traded between two willing parties. And once the government does that, it necessarily creates cronyism because those regulations prevent new entrants.”

    I speak of eliminating the Government Granted permission to incorporate as a limited liability Corporation. Nowhere have I suggested that people cannot associate as they desire. I merely wish to eliminate the false notion of the LLC (Inc). The limiting of liability makes the Corporation have rights that an individual doesn’t.

  6. 6
    Austrian Economics is Color Blind Says:

    Shorty Dawkins @ comment #5,

    Limited Liability for shareholders need not be granted by government, though. It could happen in the free market:

    Corporate Personhood, Limited Liability, and Double Taxation
    http://libertarianstandard.com/2011/10/18/corporate-personhood-limited-liability-and-double-taxation/

    Just because someone funds a business doesn’t mean they are responsible for the crimes of individuals who are running the business do. This is true with or without Limited Liability.

    You can’t hold someone guilty for someone else’s crime.

    Besides, if someone is guilty of an actual crime, then Limited Liability doesn’t even apply, because Limited Liability applies to breaches of contracts, and crimes aren’t a contract issue.

  7. 7
    Shorty Dawkins Says:

    Austrian Economics,
    Corporations are legal fictions. They have not always existed. My big problem with them is that Corporations allow for the concentration of wealth. With the concentration of wealth comes concentration of power. We have seen this concentration of wealth and power in action. The big corporations, big financial institutions and Central Banks wield enormous power. It is this power I wish to decentralize.

    Shorty Dawkins

  8. 8
    Austrian Economics is Color Blind Says:

    Shorty Dawkins @ comment #7,

    Corporations are not legal fictions, they could exist in the free market through voluntary contracts, as Murray Rothbard explains:

    Chapter 3—Triangular Intervention
    http://mises.org/rothbard/mes/chap15d.asp

    Finally, the question may be raised: Are corporations themselves mere grants of monopoly privilege? Some advocates of the free market were persuaded to accept this view by Walter Lippmann’s The Good Society.[77] It should be clear from previous discussion, however, that corporations are not at all monopolistic privileges; they are free associations of individuals pooling their capital. On the purely free market, such men would simply announce to their creditors that their liability is limited to the capital specifically invested in the corporation, and that beyond this their personal funds are not liable for debts, as they would be under a partnership arrangement. It then rests with the sellers and lenders to this corporation to decide whether or not they will transact business with it. If they do, then they proceed at their own risk. Thus, the government does not grant corporations a privilege of limited liability; anything announced and freely contracted for in advance is a right of a free individual, not a special privilege. It is not necessary that governments grant charters to corporations.[78]

    As for your concern over the concentration of wealth (which is a misnomer in a free market, as I will explain below), I will argue the issue with you on its own merits;

    But you should understand that this concern of yours is the heart and soul of Socialism. I wanted to point that out to you. What you have expressed is the reason for the Socialists’ being; this misguided fear of “wealth concentration”.

    (As I’ve said before, many of us are collectivists without even knowing it. We say that we’re for free markets but we’re not.)

    On the merits, then: The fruits of a person’s labor belongs to him alone – meaning he is not a slave to anyone.

    And when people voluntarily exchange, both parties are benefitted, otherwise they wouldn’t trade.

    So, then, if many more patrons want to trade with one or a few businesses, no one’s rights are being violated, and what you have is a business with a huge market share.

    This isn’t a “concentration of wealth”, though; It’s not a zero-sum game. Wealth is CREATED through every voluntary trade (assuming the trade isn’t for debased currencies such as fiat money).

    So, the great wealth that is accumulated from having a huge market share has not been stolen from anyone. Therefore, the owner of that great wealth is entitled to whatever his wealth may trade for on the free market. He has earned his luxury items.

    For government to bust up this business so it doesn’t have as much market share is to violate the rights of people to voluntarily exchange.

    It’s only when government regulations (or other kinds of force) have imposed artificial distributions of market share that it can be said that wealth has been stolen.

    It’s true that we have a lot of crony capitalism, and therefore a lot of theft, going on – but that is the fault of government interventions as opposed to market share.

    Without the government regulatory agencies that get created due to people’s unjustified fear of Big Business, these businesses could not use the government to steal wealth. It would be impossible, since government wouldn’t be getting in the way of people’s voluntary transactions.

    Your concerns about Big Business are addressed by the Austrian school of economics. Did you know that businesses actually like the regulations because they create barriers to entry for competitors?

    Did you know that Predatory Pricing was never the problem people thought it was? Or that Predatory Pricing is extremely difficult, even if you’re a chain store?

    Did you know that cheap imports make the costs of living go down, and that it actually destructive to the economy to impose tariffs or otherwise prohibit outsourcing?

    Please watch the videos below, because they will answer your concerns to a great deal of satisfaction, in my opinion:

    Dominick Armentano: The Case for Repealing Antitrust Laws
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBT-fnJsfo0

    The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Lecture 8 | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
    Myths and Facts About Big Business
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGeA1Sbd4XM

    Defending the Undefendable (Chapter 23: The Importer) by Walter Block
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTT_WHyzZ54

  9. 9
    Shorty Dawkins Says:

    Austrian economics said:

    (Quote)Corporations are not legal fictions, they could exist in the free market through voluntary contracts, as Murray Rothbard explains:

    Chapter 3—Triangular Intervention
    http://mises.org/rothbard/mes/chap15d.asp

    Finally, the question may be raised: Are corporations themselves mere grants of monopoly privilege? Some advocates of the free market were persuaded to accept this view by Walter Lippmann’s The Good Society.[77] It should be clear from previous discussion, however, that corporations are not at all monopolistic privileges; they are free associations of individuals pooling their capital. On the purely free market, such men would simply announce to their creditors that their liability is limited to the capital specifically invested in the corporation, and that beyond this their personal funds are not liable for debts, as they would be under a partnership arrangement. It then rests with the sellers and lenders to this corporation to decide whether or not they will transact business with it. If they do, then they proceed at their own risk. Thus, the government does not grant corporations a privilege of limited liability; anything announced and freely contracted for in advance is a right of a free individual, not a special privilege. It is not necessary that governments grant charters to corporations.[78] (End Quote)

    I ask, if Limited Liability Corporations can easily be established in the Free Market, (which is what I look to one day have), then why do we need the Government granted Corporate status? The fact that Government grants them this privilege is, I’m sure you will agree, an intrusion into the Free Market. That the Government intrudes on the Free Market in one manner, leads to other intrusions.

    When has there been a time in American history when there have been truly Free Markets? The simple fact that Government claims the right to coin money, and regulate the value thereof, is an intrusion into Free Markets. What I seek is a path to Free Markets. I see the first obstacle is Central Banks and their Fiat money schemes. the next obstacle is the creation of competing currencies. Eventually, the sound currencies, gold and silver, it is hoped, will drive out the Fiat currencies.

    As long as the opportunity exists for financially powerful individuals and Corporations to control the Electoral process, as we are witnessing today, you can bet that they will attempt to do so. Free Markets cannot exist with any Government interference. Any. The granting of Corporate status is an interference. If, as Rothbard mentions, Corporations are formed as a result of private contracts, that is well and good. My suggestion for the establishment of public State Banks is, in my opinion, a means to break the power of Central Banks and put us on the road to truly Free Markets by creating a competing currency (gold and silver in actual use). Other competing currencies may come into the marketplace. That is well and good, also.

    Free Markets will not be achieved overnight. (With the possible exception of after a total market collapse.) It will be necessary to move toward them down a steady path.

  10. 10
    Shorty Dawkins Says:

    I should have added that I will seek my goals through the Constitutional process, by amending the Constitution where necessary.

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