Accountability in Currency

May 22nd, 2014   Submitted by Elizabeth Kibby

AccountabilityImagine a world without a regulated currency, in which the legal system has no part in the flow of the people’s money. A world where individuals are responsible for their own purchases, transactions, and consequences. What would it be like? Could this world and its inhabitants exist, thrive, and function peacefully and cooperatively?

Deregulation Experiments

Consider traffic lights. Bohmta is a village in northern Germany that removed all their traffic lights, signs, and sidewalks. They found people became more cautious, alert, and even considerate of each other after doing so. What’s more, the roads actually became safer. This isn’t an isolated incident.

The idea behind this decision was to develop a shared transportation space for all people to enjoy, not just motorists. By removing the enforcers that were intended to impose smart decisions these towns relied on the actual people to take responsibility for their own actions. People didn’t drive safely because they feared the legal consequences of not obeying enforcers, but because they genuinely wanted a channel of transportation that was safe for others.

Knowing that one’s children are out walking or biking leads to an understanding that one is directly playing an instrumental role in the safety of other children by driving responsibly. This changes the accountability felt while navigating the roads.

Without traffic lights it became the duty of each person to travel at safe speeds, not engage in distracted driving, and to look out for pedestrians and motorists. They stopped expecting someone, or something, to do it for them.

Self-respect and social responsibility foster a deeper sense of community where people do not rely on authority to tell them what is right. What if we felt this way about money?

A New Form of Accountability

The internet is a beautiful thing for one very important reason: there are no traffic lights, signs, or sidewalks. The internet as a whole is largely unregulated, thanks to the people who develop and use it. Although the government attempts to control the web from time to time, it has never succeeded, thanks to the people.

Even in countries where the government has succeeded in imposing some type of censorship on the web, circumvention has not been a problem for the tech-savvy.

The internet is the largest medium of information exchange and worldwide connection that has ever existed. Nothing like it has ever come before, and it is indeed a hallmark of things to come in the future. So how, if the government is unable to protect us from the dangers of the web, have we remained safe for so long?

As in the example of traffic enforcement, drivers who have children are not going to knowingly endanger them. Likewise, this can apply to drivers with friends, colleagues, neighbors, and others in the community.

The internet is similar to a very large system of unregulated roads. Although there are ways to get in legal trouble on the internet (child porn, for example), there is no one there to tell you what you can and cannot do.

If you download a virus onto a computer that is your problem to deal with. If you call the police they aren’t going to track down the origin of the virus and prosecute the makers of it. No one is there to arrest scammers that live in Nigeria.

However, you may notice that there are ways to stay safe online with programs and software designed by individuals and companies dedicated to helping us avoid trouble. It really is up to the people to make smart decisions.

When societies remove this personal accountability in favor of appointing enforcers to determine what is right and wrong we forget the reasons why we made laws in the first place. Speed limits are just a number to someone who never lost family to a collision with a speeding car.
Laws are made to take the responsibility off the individual in favor of making someone else decide what is right and wrong and what the consequences should be. However, getting a speeding ticket or a fine doesn’t necessarily help people understand why they should not be driving recklessly.

The communities in Europe that have removed traffic enforcement have rediscovered personal accountability, and they make safe driving decisions because now they are more actively involved in their own actions.

The Concept of Value

So, how does this relate to how people treat each other fairly and respectfully when it comes to value? How does a society that doesn’t rely on one regulated form of universal currency function properly?

Bitcoin is not the first, but it is definitely the most successful virtual currency in the history of the internet. Unlike keeping money in a bank, paying transaction fees, keeping a minimum balance, and having all your purchases tracked, Bitcoin costs minimal amounts to use, transfer, and with the proper precautions, keep anonymous.

The biggest possible threat to Bitcoin would be if the users decided it wasn’t worth anything. You see, Bitcoin, the US dollar, and all forms of currency have that in common.

Whether or not a currency is regulated, the users of it will determine whether or not it has value, and what that value will be. With regulation, though, it becomes much harder for individuals to collectively determine and adapt to what is valuable.

The world is over $58 trillion in debt. Why is that? Because the money was never there in the first place. If humanity simply decided to turn its back on the dollar, and other forms of fiat money, we would be in the exact same place we are now.

Accountability or Enforcement?

With the entire world in debt, does it really make people want to pay off their comparatively tiny car loans or student loans? With the rate of inflation, a direct result of printing money, $1,000 borrowed today becomes more costly to pay back over a period, not counting interest on top of the repayment.

The only thing keeping some people from simply not paying their debts back is the threat of punishment, and the forceful seizure of collateral. In the case of student loans, this can even be the government taking money directly from their tax return.

So, let’s get this straight. The government wants young people to go into massive debt so they can get a good job, so they can pay back the debt back with interest. Unless they can’t, in which case the Feds will seize what money they have left over after paying taxes on the increased income they went to school to make.

Then, of course, there is the matter that the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers, and all the big names have us right in their pockets where they want us. This would be like letting a private cartel own all the roads, and enforce all the traffic laws to keep us in line. No one was holding them accountable, because no one could. Until now.

We Get to Choose

Now that we have alternatives to the world banking system it is no longer a utopian dream to image a better world without a universal form of currency.

I am not suggesting that everyone switch over to Bitcoin, or that we need to replace this system with something else. Whether you use fiat money, virtual money, or even simple bartering, the point is we get to decide what we consider valuable, not anyone else.

When the Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913 it clogged the currency roadways with more traffic lights, signs and sidewalks than ever before. There was no internet, which meant there was no way for the people to circumvent those in control. There was no way to be different, without attracting unwanted attention from the enforcers.

Today, we can have as many currencies as we want, virtual or otherwise, without anyone standing in our way. Accountability and social responsibility have been developed and honed through the internet.

Our only enemy is those who regulate us. Someday there will be as many currencies to choose from as groups of people dedicated to developing their own form of value.

In Europe we have seen that even when they took away the law enforcement on the roads people learned to actively hold themselves accountable for their own actions, and to take responsibility for shaping the world they were a part of.

Freedom isn’t easy, but it is certainly becoming more attainable than ever before. Simply put, if we don’t like the world we live in, no one else will fix it for us. So yes, it may seem far-fetched to dream of a world where we don’t have to rely on a universal form of currency, and still thrive, but to me and those like me, it is inconceivable to not dream of such a world.

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20 Responses to “Accountability in Currency”

  1. VanmindNo Gravatar says:

    Great stuff, Ms. Kibby, thanks.

    “Because the money was never there in the first place.”

    Sure it was, as much as any unsound money, existing in the form digitized accounting entries and the insistence from users that it has legitimate value (at that level of debt it’s mostly insistence from all-in bankers and finance ministers). A conjured dragon exists for exactly as long as you stay under its dreamy spell, even though it “doesn’t really exist.” The elemental aspect of the one-world con is magic — or at least the lying and sleight of hand and torture-based mind control that goes into conjuring the make-believe dragons after which everyone is expected to chase (yes that’s a drug reference used to illustrate the addiction of being first in line to receive inflated money supplies).

    “We Get To Choose”

    That’s never not been the case. It is, as you say, only the threat of violence that keeps people compliant with fiat schemes. Several generations later it becomes time for a few billion individual gut-checks.

  2. Hi there! Thank you for the feedback.

    I find a lot of truth in what you say about the money existing as merely a sort of enchantment that resides in the minds of the bewitched.

    I remember when studying business in school, part of one of my accounting courses was to actually learn how the process of lending more money than you have in reserve works (fractional reserve banking), and to figure out how to do that on our own.

    I was appalled to say the least that this is what passes for higher education in our society. It was quite soon after that I left college for the second time, and I am so glad I did.

    Hopefully now is the time to right those gut-checks you spoke of.

    Take care!

    • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

      Yeah, good stuff. Twice a dropout, twice as wise. Or something like that (recall that Buckminster Fuller had a good laugh at Harvard’s expense as he was dropping out).

      Try not to swing that pendulum too far the other way, though. Money isn’t always a figment of some society’s imagination, only faith-based schemes rely on the phoniness of so-called magic tricks. Legitimate commodities often become legitimate backing for legitimate monies.

      So, when the NWO forces a fiat currency onto an unsuspecting population, there is a period of time during which head-in-the-clouds faith dominates secular reasoning. The make-believe magic works on just about everyone, at least until enough people start to recognize the Cantillon Effect (those with political connections happen to always be first to receive the benefit of inflated money supplies). Once the masses start to clue in, that’s when the self-professed elites turn toward the whole threat of violence thing.

      Please do post more. This avatar enjoys learning.

      • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

        Oops, I probably shouldn’t have implied that there is a general benefit to inflating money supplies. Sure, the NWO and its cronies might benefit from the scam surrounding the whole inflation thing, but that doesn’t make inflated money supplies any less of an economic problem.

        • Those are some really great points, and I agree that caution is just as important to accountability.

          Your comment on the Cantillon Effect is quite interesting, I was unaware there is a term for that.

          I understand what you mean by the violent reaction that may come once we become more knowledgeable about these things.

          My feeling, and sincere hope, is that we are entering a time of intellectual – rather than physical – means of negotiation.

          I do believe that openly sharing what you are about and what your beliefs are is the best thing to do in these situations.

          That way, when you get knocked down or messed up by those who have something to lose by the spreading of your ideas, anyone who looks into this is going to know who was responsible.

          I certainly hope nothing of that sort happens, but I do understand the potential risks of speaking honestly, morally, and openly to others.

          Thanks again for the comments, I will certainly be posting more on here when the inspiration strikes. I appreciate your concern for this matter!

  3. I admire the hopeful enthusiasm for individualism, but i disagree with constructive criticism highly emphasized. The Brenton Woods agreement made the United States dollar the worlds currency, because it was backed by gold. Nixon Took us off gold, and it’s the reason they killed Kennedy. Bitcoin is backed by nothing, other than the strength of all of the current currencies. It is a piggyback currency. Not very ingenious, and totally not attainable to most people. It is a clique currency at best. Very ignorant, and selective currency, in my opinion. Currency in todays markets, are backed by opinions, and the strength of those opinions and what is wholly contained in the nation that is sponsoring the currency. This is why Ukraine is getting attention. Russia wants its bill paid, since Ukraine is broke, they took some land. The United states Dollar will not collapse, even though other currencies are coming on the world stage. The BRICs countries will be strong, as coupled with the European Unions currencies, and the U.S. Dollar. Ideals and Individualism back the U.S. dollar. Manufacturing, and high end products, back the Euro. Sheer numbers back the Rembini [Yuan] in China. The “sea change” is crazy right now – The U.S. is losing some clout, as others rise up. Our economy is still #1, China is number 2, but as far as comparisons, it’s not apples and oranges. It’s correlative and subjective. Syndicalism and revolution will not happen because the structure and systems now, are built to enforce themselves, and snuff out rebellion. I do agree with you on your views of value, and accountability. The Internets are making humanity WAY more accountable, and, it has opened up whole new avenues of revenue streams with all currencies. The U.S. has done a stellar job of not f*cking with it, so as to keep it very open. Snowden has helped as well, as dissent is now more attainable for more and more people. The best currency in my opinion, is the currency of thought. It is totally free, and accessible to all. Nice post Liz – very important topics that more people need to be talking about!;)

    • Hello Jason, nice to hear from you as always.

      As far as Bitcoin, it was more of an example than a suggestion. I do believe through research that it was more than likely created through government research and a virtual currency that existed before.

      This office, as I have read, was located in the World Trade Center and was one of the targets for its demise.

      This is, of course, only an opinion. The main point is we really have look into anything we assign value to and weigh it objectively.

      So I definitely understand how you could call Bitcoin a piggyback. And I certainly understand that the US dollar used to be backed by gold. The point is, it did not remain so for long.

      I don’t know if the US dollar will collapse or not. It isn’t something I would prefer, but it depends on how far we let it go. The Euro definitely has many merits, true.

      I don’t necessarily agree that rebellion is off the table. I do think it will have to be a rebellion of words rather than violence however.

      Snowden is one my heroes for sure, as the way he addressed things was just that way: with words not violence. Peaceful dissent. He paved the road for many coming after him.

      I enjoy your comment about thought being the best currency, I couldn’t agree more.

      Thanks for the feedback Jason, I always enjoy hearing what others feel about my work. Take care!

    • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

      Good stuff.

      “Nixon Took us off gold, and it’s the reason they killed Kennedy.”

      It’s easy enough to grasp what you’re trying to say here, but the phrasing is a bit awkward. Makes it sound like they killed Kennedy because Nixon closed the gold window.

      “Bitcoin is backed by nothing, other than the strength of all of the current currencies.”

      Yep. As this avatar has stated, fiat currencies are backed by nothing but government promises, which makes bitcoin (a derivative of fiat currencies) backed by nothing but promises to broker the respectability of government promises. The entire concept is preposterous, and is fueled only by the insistence of neophytes who pretend to have discovered the “magic” of cryptography. It’s a psy-op, and they are the BITCOINTEL victims.

      “Snowden has helped as well”

      I wouldn’t be too sure about that. More than likely, it’s all just more psy-op nonsense, keeping people snowed for a while longer about the whole Great Man swindle: “Just relax and let FMSM-assured heroes take care of all the difficult stuff” (FMSM being an acronym for Former Mainstream Media). Hell, who do you think it was that sprang the whole Snowden thing on people in the first place? And now Brian Williams is in Russia for an “exclusive” interview, ha.

  4. Don DuncanNo Gravatar says:

    I did not hear an explicit definition of money in the film or in the discussions. This lack of a clear understanding of the concept of money handicaps our thinking. Money is a medium of exchange. It makes exchange of wealth easier. It is not wealth. But it has value just as goods and services have value because it is useful. Its usefulness can be overcome (negated) when it no longer can be used as a standard of value. Fiat money does not serve as a standard when it can be created rapidly. Perhaps BC can be a standard if it is not possible to create it too rapidly. That is the hope. The reality remains to be determined.

    Meanwhile, the problem with fiat money is not mainly the rapid creation as much as the threat of violence associated with it. Without legal tender law to force the dollar on us, it could be determined by the market if it was viable. People could use their minds. Choice would be made on rational grounds, not on fear of govt. violence. If an idea is valid, no threat of violence is needed to spread it. Time and reality will do it. For example, would a paper dollar, unconnected to gold be accepted? Of course not. It is fear of govt. that supports the dollar. Iraq tried to boycott the dollar by forming an oil bourse not bound to use it. That’s why it was invaded. The dollar is not backed by oil or gold, but the threat of violence. Take away the faith in violence, substitute reason, and the problems of the world will be solved.

    • Elizabeth KibbyNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Don!

      Nice comments on the piece. I like a lot of what you are saying about money vs value and wealth. It seems like you really understood a lot of what I was trying to say here, which is always great to know.

      As far as the rapid creation of Bitcoin goes, the creators have stated that only a certain amount of it will ever be released, in a format that features a declining scale each year until all of it is available for use.

      At that point, the value will be determined by reducing Bitcoin into fractional amounts for use.

      I agree that the threat of violence is prevents the markets from from being able to work as they are intended to.

      Hopefully, as you say, we can substitute reason with violence at some point to solve the problem.

      Cheers.

  5. low blows Vanmind, and sarcasm. that is your retort? it’s depressing that you refer to me as an avatar, not a person – tells me all i need to know. Fiat currencies – the Federal Reserve is a private institution; not backed by government. The FED runs the government, not the other way. you sound defensive, and pretentious, and kowtowing to Liz – you should give her more credit. I’ll take your shots, because i enjoy debate, dissent, and knowledgable discussions – and also some of your emotional writing seems a bit routed in an “Alex Jones”/negative.angry.conspiratorial tone. I would appreciate it if we could just debate themes and topics, not slander. it’s ok though.

    • VanmindNo Gravatar says:

      This avatar would feel shame and remorse about all those imaginary transgressions … if avatars could feel.

  6. Thanks Liz – I really enjoyed your piece – primarily because these are “hot topic” issues right now, and they are very much shaping our new world view, and the overall direction of just where the United States leadership in the world, just is going to take us. I was in a p[sych ward in 2005, and I said I wanted to kill George W. Bush. The FBIO cam,e and interviewed me, and followed me for two years, then closed the case. The Patriot Act is no joke, and I like the themes you touched on, especially the Internet – because now more than ever, just one person really CAN start a revolution of thought, and change the course of human history. It is such an exciting time to be alive. Great posts per usual, looking forward as always to new stuff from you. Have a great Saturday!;)

  7. OH! I forgot Liz – yeah, The World Trade Center – fak, what a day. I agree with you: the theft in those buildings that day was extremely alarming. My son is 11, aqnd when he is older, I have often daydreamed of trying to explain to him just how different the world was before 9/11. Bitcoin IS a very interesting idea, it falls short in my opinion, but just like a lot of things in life, it will most likely inspire something greater. The U.S. govt is just going after it so aggressively, I can’t see how it will survive. I don’t want that, mind you, it just looks like a losing battle unfortunately. oh well…onward and upwards! take care -

    • Elizabeth KibbyNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jason,

      Thanks again for the comments and feedback. It sounds like you have been through a lot when it comes to many of these subjects.

      I look forward to contributing more on this site, and I hope you and Vanmind can get along a little better in the future :) but it is always nice to be able to start a debate and see that my words are having some sort of an effect!

      Cheers.

  8. Jim DaviesNo Gravatar says:

    Nice piece, Elizabeth, thank you. I like the analogy of Bohmta’s traffic.

    I’ve always had trouble with debits and credits and which go on the left and which on the right, but I’ve done a double take on your “With the rate of inflation, a direct result of printing money, $1,000 borrowed today becomes more costly to pay back over a period,”

    Surely, with inflation it becomes LESS costly to pay back?

    That assumes that revenues (wages, profits) rise in nominal terms as money is printed, and that one thinks of “cost” as a fraction of what is earned.

    In my Transition to Liberty I foresee that as people get re-educated about freedom and government and so join the “white market” in geometrically increasing numbers, government will have to accelerate its money-printing to make up tax-revenue shortfalls, while the white marketeers increasingly use alternative currencies like Bitcoin and silver and gold.

    Those who can get a home mortgage in paper dollars will negotiate for as large a one as possible, because they know they will soon be able to pay it all back in “money” that is worth no more than wallpaper. Thus will real assets often be transferred to liberty-seekers.

    Or do you say I have it upside down?

    • Hi Jim, great comment about that sentence, it really made me think.

      When I originally wrote the piece, I intended it meaning that wages unfortunately have not increased with inflation. I should have been more clear and included that, because you make some very valid points.

      The way I see it this: a finite amount of actual deposited money, or value, enters the banks from the people. The banks then use fractional reserve lending (http://tinyurl.com/mjqbcow) to lend almost all of the money to others, in order to make more via interest and repayments.

      This leads to the appearance that there is much more money circulating than in an actual physical sense.

      Because the banks only keep that small amount in reserve, when people want to withdraw more than is held, then additional money is printed to keep them happy.

      But that money was never truly there in the first place, but rather was “created” to represent what was already loaned out to others. Thus, the physical, paper money becomes worth less all around.

      It would be true that it could be less costly to pay back that loan with, as you say, wallpaper money, IF wages increased with inflation.

      If, every time the fed printed more money, employers increased pay, then it would be cheaper to pay back loans. But the banks wouldn’t make any money that way. http://tinyurl.com/lu2x4pw

      So, when more money is printed, the existing value decreases while pay and wages stay the same. I should have been more clear on that, so hopefully this makes more sense.

      I like your ideas about the future, and your books seem very interesting, I am going to definitely take a longer look at your writing.

      I agree with your prediction that those who choose to find alternative methods of value to the dollar will be able to own real value as opposed to the idea of it.

      Hopefully, we will be getting there sooner rather than later. Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate clarifying my words to get my message across.

      • Jim DaviesNo Gravatar says:

        Got it. If revenues (incomes) are fixed, then inflation makes everything more expensive; yes. But that would I think be an exceptional case; those on the minimum wage as you show, and those on a fixed pension.

        If you work for a salary of $4,500 a month of which $1,500 is spent to service a home mortgage and the Feds then create new money so as to cause a 100% inflation, your employer will double your pay to $9,000 so as to retain your valuable services. That won’t buy you any more at the grocer’s or the liquor store, but the terms of the mortgage will keep that payment fixed. Hence previously it gobbled up 1/3 of your earnings, but now it takes only 1/6th. Less costly.

        Very true, the new arrangement will sadden the bankers. I’m not vindictive and don’t believe in punishment, but I do see a certain poetic justice there.

        If I live that long I hope to be a founder member, after government has evaporated, of the First Honest Bank.

        • You make really great points here, Jim. However, I hesitate to say that all salaries increase with inflation. Even so, those who are making salaries have other benefits generally that do not change for the most part. Health insurance, stock in the company, 401(k), etc.

          There are many people in this country who unfortunately only will make minimum wage in life. Because one of those jobs is not enough to support most people or families completely, multiple minimum wage earning jobs are necessary.

          What is more is that many of those employers are not willing to give employees over 30 hours, because of the Affordable Care Act, so there is no easy way for them to obtain proper health care through employment any longer.

          But there are multiple sides to any issue, so it is good to consider as many viewpoints as possible, in my opinion.

        • Don DuncanNo Gravatar says:

          Wages have always lagged way behind currency depreciation. Crony capitalists (the politically connected) get the new money first.

          Printing is not the main source of money creation anymore. Electronic entries are. It’s faster and cheaper. That’s the main reason it’s extremely difficult to get a large pile of cash out of your account. When you do, you run the risk of getting robbed by a thug with a badge.

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