Newsletter No. 35 - April 2012
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1. My new book FUTURE MONEY: Breakdown
or Breakthrough? - www.greenbooks.co.uk/en/book/414/future-money.html -
will be published on 19 April by Green Books.
to this newsletter will be given access to a free
pdf copy of the book. I will be sending you the
link on publication day.
If you’d like to order a printed version, you
can do so via the Green Books link above or at Amazon
UK - www.amazon.co.uk/Future-Money-Breakthrough-James-Robertson/dp/1900322986.
The book will be distributed in the US and
Canada by Chelsea Green later on in the year.
Meanwhile, in the past week or so the UK has been divided
by public and political debate on whether VAT (value
added tax) should be imposed on hot pasties, while cold
pasties bought from the same shop or cafe should stay
uncooked - sorry, untaxed. Pictures of leading politicians
from the two main parties eating pasties in shops and
cafes have aimed to show that classwise "we are
all in this together"!
At a slightly higher level of sophistication about
taxation, a more respectable red herring has recently
been launched. Would it be fairer and more efficient
to tax wealth instead of incomes? Ha! This could run
and run among professional economists, until someone
sees that it isn't what matters after all. What matters
is how wealth and income have been acquired. Have they
been acquired by subtracting value from common resources
for private profit? If so, they should be taxed. Have
they been acquired exclusively by activities that serve
the common interest? If so, they should be untaxed and
Roll on 19th April, when all
will be revealed!
2. MONEY REFORM
(1) Just Banking -
Building a banking sector that serves society,
19th & 20th
April, University of Edinburgh Business
School - www.justbanking.org.uk.
by Friends of the Earth Scotland, the New Economics Foundation,
World Development Movement, Christian Aid, and other
recommended. Many of the speakers figure in Future
Money. I hope
it may be possible to have copies of it there.
(2) The New Economics Institute in
the USA is an influential new organisation, incorporating
the former E.F.Schumacher Society in co-operation with
the New Economics Foundation (nef) in the UK. See www.neweconomicsinstitute.org for
details of its important conference on Strategies
for a New Economy on 8th-10th June. Also recommended
highly, with several speakers mentioned in Future Money.
Again, I hope it may be possible to have copies there.
(3) "Wonderful news" from
Stephen Zarlenga at the American Monetary Institute, 30.1.2012
(a) The 29,000 member Chicago
Teachers Union have passed a strong resolution supporting
Congressman Dennis Kucinich's HR 2990 NEED (National
Employment Emergency Defense) Act . That proposes
to dismantle the Federal Reserve System and end "fractional
reserve" banking. In fact, it contains all
the proposed reforms of the American Monetary
(b) Eighth Annual AMI Monetary
Reform Conference in Chicago, September
20-23, 2012. See the announcement at www.monetary.org/2012-conference.
(4) Positive Money - www.positivemoney.org.uk -
shows Ben Dyson and his colleagues making real progress
in the UK. For example, a growing number of parliamentarians
are now expressing support, like Steve Baker MP (Conservative)
- www.positivemoney.org.uk/videos/steve-baker-MP - and
Michael Meacher MP (Labour).
(5) Sensible Money in Ireland - www.sensiblemoney.ie/home -
has been launched in conjunction with Positive Money
- www.positivemoney.org.uk. Information
(6) Where Does Money Come From? An
important recent book from nef - www.neweconomics.org/publications/where-does-money-come-from.
James Bruges’ review of the book from The
Friend can be read
here - www.neweranetwork.info/reports/where-does-money-come-from-james-bruges.
(7) The James Gibb Stuart Trust is
a new educational charity working to reduce debt at the
personal to the national level. See www.jgstrust.org.uk.
3. OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS
(1) Capitalism in the USA - www.countercurrents.org/sullivan210112.htm Very
good, and thanks to Pedro di Girolamo for sending it.
But for countries other than the USA not only capitalist
tweedledum is to blame; socialist tweedledee is in the
same boat. They are both in it together.
(2) Which Social Class Is More Likely to Behave
Unethically? What's your guess? Research
by psychologists at the University of California,
Berkeley and the University of Toronto in Canada have
come to a fairly clear conclusion - www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=123301.
(3) For "The Revolving Door" that
politicians, advisors and civil servants pass through
to lucrative corporate posts and sometimes back again
into government service, see www.political-cleanup.org/?p=5144.
(4) The Quilligan Seminars in London,
7th-18th May on The
Emergence of a Commons-Based Economy. More information
at www.schoolofcommoning.com/content/what-role-commons-economy and from
(5) One World Trust. If you are not
already familar with their important work, you can find
out about them and their current projects at www.oneworldtrust.org/about-us.
(6) Green House Think Tank
- www.greenhousethinktank.org - an
important group for the future. Also
see www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2012/jan/04/climate-politics-future-generation-justice on
one of the future new developments they are proposing.
(7) Degrowth. Interest is growing
in the meaning of this concept for the future of humanity
- see www.degrowth.org.
(8) Population Our Biggest Challenge? See www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/
5 April 2012