Bretton Woods Monetary Institute & Festival
“The aim of the Bretton Woods Conference was the creation of a dynamic world community
in which the peoples of every nation will be able to realize their potentialities in peace.”
Henry Morgenthau, Chairman 1944 Bretton Woods Conference & United States Secretary of the Treasury.
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A New Economic Paradigm
Concordian Economics integrates Theory, Policy & Practice into An Economics of Common Sense. Two iterations follow. One is for “the experts”; the other is for the people, the majority of fellow citizens who are not versed in economic “lore.” We begin with the latter.
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~ An Economics of Common Sense ~
“Every man is a consumer, and ought to be a producer. He fails to make his place good in the world, unless he not only pays his debts, but also adds something to the common wealth.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Wealth”
1) Every human being, each one of us is different, unique — not only outwardly, with respect to our countenance or fingerprints, but inwardly. That is, each of us has our own particular gifts, talents, abilities. To give expression to such abilities is viewed as our inalienable birthright as Americans. For such a “calling” has brought us into the world. It is why we are alive, what gives meaning to our existence: the unfolding of our full potential as human beings.
If this first cornerstone is clear, it leads to the second.
2) As such, We the People have not only the right — which, if left at that, i.e. “my right,” we can choose to disclaim — but, more to the point, we have the responsibility to give expression to our unique calling, our gifts, talents, abilities, in service to the greater community: our common wealth. We have the responsibility to give our best to those around us — even if our beginnings are as “rude” as the log cabins from which Abraham Lincoln and Booker T. Washington took their first steps. For, if we withhold our unique piece of the puzzle (be it within our family or community, small or larger), then that piece is missing. The puzzle is incomplete. This responsibility, we suggest, gives our rights their ultimate right and meaning.
If clear, this second cornerstone leads to the third. That is, having established the broader human framework, human measure, human element, the broader human context for what, as noted, has come to be referred to as the increasingly in-human, “dismal science” of economics, we have a foundation for addressing the practice of economics itself — with the healthy, human understanding spoken of in the spirit of common sense.
3) In order to assume responsibility, give our best — in a modern economy that has moved beyond subsistence and barter — in order, that is, to be true to our individual calling, We the People require access, reasonable access to money, credit, our common wealth. That said, such access occurs most fully when the creation, issuance, and circulation of money, our “life-blood,” is overseen (as opposed to managed) by public servants, committed to the common good, as opposed to being controlled by minority private interests. This point is supported by an Oxfam International Report, which noted that in 2017: The 1% appropriated 82% of all wealth created.” More than of every of new wealth.
This public control of our common wealth is clearly stipulated in the United States Constitution. Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 5 states: “Congress shall have the power to coin money; regulate the value thereof.” Congress as the representatives of the people. The Founding Fathers enshrined this article in the Constitution for a reason. That is, without reasonable access to our national credit, We the People end up merely “going through the motions,” “punching the time clock,” “getting a job” — “good” or otherwise. Our “pursuit of happiness” remains unending. Our lives and labors are relegated to working to fulfill our “boss’” dream, while all too often our own dream becomes a nightmare.
If both this third cornerstone and the two that preceded it make sense, common sense, what more needs to be said about our financial affairs, fortunes, humanity’s fate and future? In human terms, can it be any more simple and straightforward? If money is, as expressed, our common wealth, the “life-blood” of our nation, it must flow unimpeded throughout the entire body-social, enriching every cell/individual in the organism/society — as opposed to being pooled in privileged and selective organs/accounts where it becomes, in effect, a blood-clot that undermines the health of the system, as we experienced with the 2008 financial crisis. If these three cornerstones are clear, they lead to a fourth cornerstone, fashioned in the form of a question:
4) What keeps us, We the People, from recognizing this truth and, thereby, assuming responsibility for our “life-blood,” common wealth, national credit — alongside our national debt for which we are obliged to pay our taxes? What is the “cost” that the Concordian, Thoreau refers to in his words that follow, drawn from his perennial best-seller, “Walden,” whose first chapter is entitled, “Economy”?
“The [true] cost of something is the amount of life that you exchange for it.”
This question and the words by Thoreau introduce the presentation for the “experts” on Concordian Economics: An Integration of Economic Theory, Policy & Practice. [Link Forthcoming]. That presentation is set within the Indispensable Framework for Monetary Reform.