The Greenbacker Who Loves FDR

Recently by Gary North: The Coming Break-Up of the Nation-State



Ellen Brown leans so far to the left that her left shoulder scrapes the pavement.

That this extreme leftist should get a hearing within the grass roots conservative movement is just one more bit of evidence that tens of thousands of members of the grass roots conservative movement do not know”come here” from “sic ’em.”

She has already praised Ben Bernanke to the heavens for QE2. You can read about this here.

Now she comes out four square behind Franklin Roosevelt’s most radical speech just before he died. She then praises Martin Luther King for attempting to implement FDR’s vision.

She has called for a New Bill of Rights. She means a New Deal Bill of Rights. She refers back to Roosevelt’s 1944 State of the Union Address. This was the most radical call for a centrally planned economy in the history of Presidential addresses. Here is a sample.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights – among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however – as our industrial economy expanded – these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.

I ask the Congress to explore the means for implementing this economic bill of rights- for it is definitely the responsibility of the Congress so to do. Many of these problems are already before committees of the Congress in the form of proposed legislation. I shall from time to time communicate with the Congress with respect to these and further proposals. In the event that no adequate program of progress is evolved, I am certain that the Nation will be conscious of the fact.

The 1791 Bill of Rights granted rights that are immune from state interference. FDR’s bill of right was a laundry list of voters’ rights to government subsidies and guarantees.

Obama has never come close to a list like this. But it was FDR’s vision of the future.

It is also Ellen Brown’s vision of the future.


As always, she blames everything on fractional reserve banking. She quotes Henry Ford, as if Ford knew anything about economic theory, politics, or history.

Henry Ford said, “It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

What evidence was there that Ford understood any of this? If he did, why didn’t he lead a revolution?

We are beginning to understand, and Occupy Wall Street looks like the beginning of the revolution.

Occupy Wall Street is not Occupy Liberty Street, meaning the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. These kids and aging hippies have no program. They have no economic theory. They have no influence. They have weird back-and-forth chanting led by well-organized Leftists.

She then quotes some woman with a degree in planning. The woman is a promoter of the same Greenback fiat money inflation that Brown is.

According to Margrit Kennedy, a German researcher who has studied this issue extensively, interest now composes 40% of the cost of everything we buy. We don’t see it on the sales slips, but interest is exacted at every stage of production. Suppliers need to take out loans to pay for labor and materials, before they have a product to sell.

For government projects, Kennedy found that the average cost of interest is 50%. If the government owned the banks, it could keep the interest and get these projects at half price. That means governments – state and federal – could double the number of projects they could afford, without costing the taxpayers a single penny more than we are paying now.

Who is Margrit Kennedy, and why should anyone pay attention to her? We read on Wikipedia:

Kennedy is an architect with a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning and a Ph.D. in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, and has worked as an urban planner in Germany, Nigeria, Scotland and the United States. In 1991, she was appointed Professor of Ecological Building Technologies at the Department of Architecture, University of Hanover.

She has stated that her work on ecological architecture in 1982 led her to the discovery, that it is “virtually impossible to carry out sound ecological concepts on the scale required today, without fundamentally altering the present money system or creating new complementary currencies”.

Margrit Kennedy offers no theory and no evidence for her statement. She wrote a 57-page booklet without a single footnote or reference. She wrote another booklet in which her main supporting expert was Silvio Gesell, the former Minister of Finance for the one-week Bavarian Soviet Republic of 1919. Gesell was promoted by John Maynard Keynes in The General Theory (pp. 354, 371).

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November 15, 2011

Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit He is also the author of a free 20-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.

Copyright © 2011 Gary North