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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Banksters: Same As It Ever Was

I've mentioned before how much I enjoy learning about the sordid details of history, the pettiness and evils they usually try to sweep under the rug but that anyone who knows anything about the human species has to suspect occurred.

From Colin Woodard's new book American Nations:  A History of the Eleven Regional Cultures of North America, comes this charming little tale of banksters, creditors and their government enablers absolutely screwing over the 99% Americans immediately only a few years after the Revolutionary War was over:
In the dark hours of the wars of liberation, the Continental Congress had no money to pay salaries to their soldiers or to compensate farmers for requisitioned food and livestock.  Instead Congress gave all these people government IOUs.  This practice continued for years until, under the financial administration of the notoriously unethical banker Robert Morris, the state of Pennsylvania announce it would no longer accept the congressional IOUs as payment for taxes.  With no other form of money in circulation in much of the countryside, many poor families had no choice but to sell the notes for whatever they could get, and wealthy speculators purchased them for one-sixth to one-fortieth of their face value.  Soon  just over 400 individuals held over 96 percent of Pennsylvania's war debt, and nearly half was controlled by just twenty-eight men, most of whom were Robert Morris's friends and business partners.  Shortly thereafter, Morris and his protege Alexander Hamilton took control of federal financial policy, rigging it so as to literally turn their friends' worthless paper into silver and gold.  Under Morris and Hamilton, the federal government would buy back the bonds for face value, plus 6 percent interest, paid in precious metals raised by assessing new federal excise taxes designed to fall most heavily on the poor people who'd been forced to take the worthless congressional scrip in the first place.
But, wait -- there's more.  Most people in Appalachia hadn't seen hard cash in years.  The closest thing to cash that Borderlander farmers could create was whiskey, which was nonperishable, marketable, and easy to transport.  Knowing this, Morris and Hamilton cynically imposed a sharp tax on this all-important Appalachian product, even as they discouraged their underlings from collecting taxes owed by merchants on the coast.  Meanwhile, they used their influence to give themselves and their private banker friends effective control over the new nation's currency supply -- much of it printed by Morris's private Bank of North America -- but with federal taxpayers on the hook to clean up their mess if things went wrong. . . .
But unlike in 1929 or 2008, the victims of this scheme were well aware of what was going on, and it was the people of Appalachia who resisted the federal elite's machinations most strongly.  The greatest uprising that followed would come to be known, derisively, as the Whiskey Rebellion.  But what it was really about was the fact that enlisted war veterans had gone unpaid and had been forced to sell the government's IOUs to pay government taxes, only to then be taxed again to allow vultures to make a 5,000 percent profit on their misery.  Those taxes had to be paid in gold and silver, which nobody in the countryside had seen in years.  When they couldn't pay, their farms and possessions would be seized and liquidated to further enrich Morris, Hamilton, and their speculator friends from the coastal nations.
(emphasis added).

That is just awesomely stunning.  How charming to know that the United States of America's 1% demonstrates such continuity of history when it comes to manipulating debt in order to effectively steal from the remaining 99%.  You might even say it's in our national DNA.

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