Sunday, March 15th, 2009
On March 5th, 2009, we were given the opportunity to present at the United Nations International Schools conference, at the United Nations General Assembly Hall
The theme for this year’s conference was “The Food Crisis, A Global Challenge” and included a number of prominent speakers. The conference started off with a speech from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, followed by Daniel Gustafson, director of the Liason office for North America Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.
J.W. Smith was third to speak. The presentation was on eliminating poverty and hunger once and for all. It went quite well with a lot of positive feedback from both student advisers and the students.
You can also view the conference webcast. The presentation by J.W. Smith is third out and goes well beyond the summary below.
Here are the slides presented:
Below is a short summary of the lecture that went with those slides.
Reaching Doubting Contacts and Audiences in 20 Minutes
Picture a fertile valley 10,000 years ago with fruits nuts, and vegetables growing wild along with lush thatch for building shelters. All the wandering settlers who found it have to do is pick their food, build thatch homes, and relax most the day.
But a cunning cabal forms and each lay claim to a part of the land. They make a pact with toughies to share the spoils if they protected their “exclusive title to what nature offers to you, me, and everyone for free.
The primary cause of poverty among plenty
The primary cause of poverty among plenty is “Property rights law, as applied to nature’s resources and technologies, denying others their rightful share of what nature offers to all for free.” Others have to share the food they pick with those “owners” and those protecting their “property,” have to build their houses, and provide them with other services while those cunning go on to claim more unearned wealth throughout history.
Today that same protection of exclusive title to what nature offers for free is accomplished through law. Seventy to 130 years ago, this error in property rights law was being studied and taught right in the university (Professors John Stuart Mill, Alfred Marshall, Thorstein Veblen, & others).
We have never had a “true” democracy
A good place to start your thinking on how this happened is Greece which is claimed to be “the birthplace of our democracy.” There only “land owners” could vote. That monopolization of the voting privilege carried though to the American political structure. Eventually and slowly other “men” were allowed to vote.
Women did not get the right to vote until 1920 and for all practical purposes African Americans did not gain that right until the 1960s.
Due to the massive wealth appropriated from you and me funding lobbyists, which means funding the elections of most legislators, those “rights” are still illusions. It is still effectively “their” government just as it was when those “exclusive titles to nature’s wealth” were first established thousands of years ago and protected by power and legislators of every shade ever since.
The proof is capital claiming all the gains in wealth produced by the ever-increasing efficiencies of technology the past 35 years (30% per decade compounded) plus a part of what once went to labor.
Wages are lower today than they were in 1972 but we do not realize it because the wives went to work to make up for that theft of labor’s proper share and today each family does have a higher standard of living.
But this is the economic story, not the political story and it is enough to know this thesis has a solid foundation in the classics. Please imprint in your mind:
Property rights law, as applied to nature’s resources and technologies, denies you your rightful share of what nature offers to all for free.
Our property rights laws are aristocratic property rights law
Your property rights law, again as applied to nature’s resources and technologies, is nothing more than aristocratic property rights law, exclusive title to nature’s wealth.
We are not talking about personal property which was built by labor and properly exclusively owned. We are talking about the wealth of nature which she offers to us for free.
This is why the powerful are privatizing everything in sight and why costs rise rapidly (frequently doubling) each time they do so.
Efforts are underway to privatize highways, water systems, and other social services. In this “monopolization process,” the descendants of those claimers of the wealth of nature 10,000 years ago, hope to privatize Social Security.
When Bolivia’s water system was privatized (monopolized), costs tripled as services went down. Bolivian citizens revolted, took back their water, prices dropped, services rose, and the legal system legitimized the recovery of everyone’s right to water.
We can each regain our rights to our share of nature’s wealth by paying land rents, meaning all resource rents, to ourselves (meaning socially collected) and using those massive funds to build roads, railroads, water and sewer systems, and electric grids (all natural monopolies). Those funds will also run governments and provide education, health care, and retirement which is the community process.
This is not socialism. This is the rental value of nature’s wealth, which is your and my wealth, funding the community process. We have only reclaimed what nature offered to all for free and we have more wealth yet to reclaim even as we retain the principles of “honest capitalism.”
Money and banking are centuries-old technologies—just as much a part of nature’s wealth as land, water and air—and thus are an integral part of the community process. The only tangible (labor created) values within banks are brick, mortar and furniture.
Operating those banks and paying for the use of those few tangible values are covered by ½ of 1% interest on loans.
Base Money is created out of thin air by the socially-owned Federal Reserve. Circulation of that socially-created money is our money supply. Thus they are also forms of wealth produced by nature and a key part of the community process.
Those earnings of nature are also properly paid to ourselves and used to augment the funding of governments, infrastructure, education, healthcare and retirement.
Currently your earned money becomes monopolist’s unearned money which is then loaned back to you. That unearned money, essentially the other side of the ledger of everyone’s unnecessary debts, grows greater and greater.
The huge gains from correcting today’s unequal property rights laws is your share not being appropriated from you in the first place. That is done through paying rent values on nature’s wealth to yourself (the community fund).
Health care is an integral part of the community process. For example: Britain provides coverage to 100% of her citizenry at 43% the per capita cost of America whose citizenry without health care is approaching 50 million.
Case proven. The superstructure above the monopolized health care industry in America claims massive sums of unearned money.
Another example, insurance: Social Security is retirement insurance operating on ½ of 1% of premiums paid. For every $2,000 you pay in, you get back $1990.
All except life insurance is essential. Yet market insurance requires almost 50% of premiums paid to cover costs and profits. For every $2,000 you pay, you get back only $1000.
Establish a central insurance office where banks or individuals can apply by mail, phone, or computer for home, auto, and business insurance and the costs drop to 6% of premiums paid.
The entire superstructure of monopolized insurance (offices and labor) is replaced by one central office. Again we prove monopolizations of the community process exist.
A third example, patents monopolizing technology: Those profits are collected through the stock market (the monopoly superstructure within that sector of the economy). This is wasted effort extracting wealth from you and me and doubling consumer costs in the process.
Simply pay inventors well, place those patents in the public domain for all to use and 85% of the casinos called stock markets disappear. Monopolies short circuiting the community process do exist.
The efficiency gains of paying inventors a capitalized value for their inventions drop consumer prices 50% or more and those unnecessary stock brokers and staff are available for productive employment.
An honest capitalist structure
This is an honest capitalist structure paying resource rents and banking profits to ourselves and using that money to fund the community process.
Wages cover food, fiber, shelter and recreation which are primarily provided by private enterprise.
Savings within that circulation of money is the multiplier factor building and operating industries which is also private enterprise.
The ethereal word of high finance, the 60% of all finance capital which is unearned wealth amassed through the private collection of rental values to nature’s wealth, simply disappears under honest capitalism.
All taxes disappear as employed working hours drop by half
By paying resource rents and banking profits to ourselves, meaning socially collected, citizens are quintuply repaid through those massive funds building roads, railroads, water and sewer systems, and electric grids (any natural monopoly) as well as funding governments and providing education, health care and retirement which is all part of the community process.
Restructure to that honest capitalist structure and taxes disappear as employed working hours drop by half even as all enjoy a quality, secure, life. This requires sharing the remaining productive jobs and equal pay for equally-productive labor.
Addressing the producers of our wealth, private industry, completes this economic thesis. Each region of the world, each nation, each region of a nation, each state, each county, each community, and each entrepreneur (that includes you) must have equal rights to their share of both created and saved finance capital (created money and savings).
With those full and equal rights within the community process, entrepreneurs will fill every niche within the production-distribution process which entails most economic activity and is properly privately operated.
Visualizing this efficient economy
You can follow those flows of money and commerce in your head and we will verbally do so now: Socially collected resource rents and bank profits run governments, build infrastructure, and pay for education, health care, and retirement which is the community process.
Those wages—plus those of private industry—pay for food, fiber, shelter, and recreation.
Entrepreneurs, providing the greater share of those wages, fill every private industry niche within the economy and funding is available.
There is your fully operational economy. Both the community process and private industry are fully visible.
An economic-property rights law thesis for full and equal rights in 170 words
By paying land (resource) rents to ourselves, meaning socially collected, a citizenry is quintuply repaid though those massive funds building roads, railroads, water and sewer systems, and electric grids (any natural monopoly) as well as fund governments, provide education, health care and retirement.
- Infrastructure and populations, not capitalists, establish the use-value of land and resources and their rental values fund those same required infrastructures as well as essential social services (the community, social credit, process).
- Restructure to the just described honest capitalist structure and taxes disappear as your employed working hours drop by half and all enjoy a quality, secure, life.
- This requires sharing the remaining “productive” jobs and equal pay for equally productive labor.
- Each region of the world, each nation, each region of a nation, each state, each county, each community, and each entrepreneur must have equal rights to their share of both created and saved finance capital (created money and savings).
- With those rights, entrepreneurs (private industry), will fill every niche within the production-distribution process.
Thousands of books can be written expanding from this foundation. But, to avoid waste, monopolization, hunger, poverty, and war—which consumes over half our resources, wealth, and labor—an honest social structure must be built upon the principles of this simple, 170 word, economic treatise.
Most social problems are alleviated or completely resolved under this economic structure. Funds are available for Universal Health care, retirement, infrastructure, education, and funding governments, all social needs currently starved for funds. Poverty and famines disappear and free time for family interactions are doubled.
All the stated goals of Capitalism, Socialism, and Comunitarianism are attained and those living standards can be set within the earth’s capacity to provide resources and absorb wastes.
The gains for you and I are many: Both taxes and poverty disappear even as our employed working hours drop by half and the pressures on our resources and the environment are alleviated roughly to the same degree.
How did such an inefficient social structure such as we have today evolve? Throughout the past 800 years and yet today only powerbrokers protecting their monopoly position created these monopolization laws.
In Mercantilism as a Rent-Seeking Society, Robert B. Eklund, R Tollison and about 70 authors they reference on the subject—including Adam Smith and many other classics—address mercantilism, monopolization, privatization and rent seeking (both in world trade and internal trade) as being the same thing. Thank you.
We have only opened the door; help us expand this
Most funding problems we face today are covered within those 168 words. This simplicity came together as we prepared the conference presentation.
We have only opened the door. Your comments will further expand our and others’ understanding of this school of thought. The short list of professors 70 to 130 years ago point you towards classics on this thesis.
After explaining this to a listener for roughly 20 minutes, we ask, “You have never heard any of this ever before, have you?” “No I haven’t.” “And you understand everything said, didn’t you?” “Yes I did.”
We have tested this over and over, including it being the primary focus of this presentation at that UNIS-UN conference, and we reach everybody. Please refine this to your views of the world and make your own tests as to how easy it is understood.
Then teach others. Hopefully this will spread exponentially and we will all have done our little bit to eliminate hunger, poverty, and war.
With the exception of insanity, we can’t think of any problem that will not be at least alleviated under this school of thought for full and equal rights for every citizen of this earth and the biggest problems—hunger, poverty, and massive waste of resources—are almost totally eliminated.
We encourage each to put clothes on this 168 word full economic-property rights law thesis and write articles and books. We would like to be cited but it has all been said before so it can be used without fear of plagiarism. Our only contribution is assembling those individual stories and bringing that economic-property rights thesis down to as few words as possible.
Please blog your thoughts on this site. We want to learn from you and surely others do also. If browsers doing so keeps increasing exponentially, this expanded school of thought will be on this site for all to read and this school of thought will become firmly established across the world.
For that purpose, this author keeps everything he writes on this site to be read worldwide. The Plunder by Trade story is now understood around the world and developing countries are refusing to sign those unequal trade contracts.
This unequal property rights thesis is closely tied into the Plunder by Trade thesis. Since it is even more unknown, we feel it is crucial that it too gets out there. Thank you
- Notes that go with these UNIS-UN Conference PowerPoint slides
- An Understandable Full and Equal Rights Economy in 170 Words
Please let others know
Please help us get this simple thesis on elimination of poverty, hunger, and war to the world (newspaper editors, listserves, links from webpages, your contacts, etc.).
With it we reach anybody and everybody in 20 minutes.
Put this thesis into your own arguments and develop your skills for quickly reaching people on subjects dear to your heart.
With the exception of insanity, all problems will be at least partially alleviated and the world’s gravest problems will be eliminated.
Thank you. Respectfully, J.W. Smith and the IED team