"Let us see, from the standpoint of modern knowledge, whether light can be thrown on the difficult and vexed question of the real nature of wealth".......
Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt
Voices From The Past
WERE THEY AUTHORS OF INSPIRATION?
WERE THEY AUTHORS OF CONFUSION?
It would be remiss to end such an extensive analysis without viewing the world condition through the visions of other thinkers. These thinkers or "The Worldly Philosophers" as Robert L. Heilbrower called them, in his book by the same name, had many things in common. Their most common trait was pure eccentricity. They felt licensed or somehow ordained by divine providence to pontificate upon the ills and cures of society without regard to the endurance of their readers or the effect their curious contemplation's might have on the real world. Hopefully, The Nature Of Wealth has avoided that trap. These thinkers, and their philosophies will be viewed from the perspective of Raw Materials Economics, to display their genius and their shortcomings with regard to actual political and economic history.
Adam Smith (England 1723-1790). Smith could be considered the Moses of modern economics. He believed that people, if allowed to follow their self interests without interference from government, would produce for each other and meet at a natural point of commerce influenced by the "invisible hand of the marketplace" where goods were exchanged at their rightful value. According to Smith, this would result in an ultimate balance and "coincidence of interests" . He believed that the creation of wealth was a by-product of competition, and competition was a by-product of selfishness. Smith, like Karl Marx, believed that labor was a final measure of value rather than currency, and that the real price of a product must equal a fair price, or in Smith's words, "the natural price" for the labor necessary to produce the product. Otherwise, Smith was a pure free marketer in modern terms. He deplored government intervention in the marketplace but readily condemned exploitive business practices. He thought free markets in the context of international trade (his doctrine of "comparative advantage") requires that labor and capital NOT freely cross international borders. Smith missed the mark by being too idealistic, especially in the terms of a free market. Smith not withstanding, working people can't afford to ignore the actions of government because governments can be abused by big business. Unfortunately, powerful business interests grant themselves sufficient privilege through government to capture the maximum amount of wealth from society with the least amount of social responsibility. Adam Smith, because of his protected lifestyle as a schoolman, personal tutor, and government official in pre-industrialized England was able to ignore the harsher circumstances in life that in today's business setting would cause him to face the paradox of free markets. In today's world, a free market is only free for those who grant themselves sufficient governmental privileges to make it free. In 1994, this is the real "invisible hand in the marketplace". The protection provided local telephone companies and public utility companies are excellent examples of businesses granting themselves special privileges from government. Smith's most remembered work was published in 1776. It's called "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the WEALTH OF NATIONS."
Francois Quesnay (France 1694-1774), was a French physician and doctor to King Louis XV who, along with his French (so called) Physiocrats made major contributions to the earliest development of economics. The Physiocrats believed that all wealth came from the soil and flowed continuously between producers and consumers. Quesnay and the Physiocrats charted this flow in a graphic representation called the Tableau Economique. Their economy had three classes: ·1. Raw materials producers; ·2. A class of elite comprised of government officials and property owners; and, ·3. a third class of manufacturers, merchants and servants of various types. The Physiocrats believed all wealth was created from raw materials and some of the income generated by raw materials was used for maintenance by raw materials producers, and the balance was circulated through the economy and was eventually returned to producers as income for the next cycle of raw materials production. Here is an example of how the Physiocrats explained the economy in Tableau Economique: Let's assume 5 Billion Francs worth of products were produced in a single production cycle. Of this 5 Billion Francs, 2 Billion were retained by producers for maintenance. Of the remaining 3 Billion, 1 Billion was paid for manufactured goods required by producers for inputs, and 2 Billion Francs were paid by producers to the elite for taxes and rents. Of the 2 Billion paid to the elite, 1 Billion was spent by the elite for food and thus returned to producers and 1 Billion was paid by the elite to manufacturers for other goods. This 1 Billion received by manufacturers from the elite together with the 1 Billion Francs originally paid to manufacturers by producers were re-channeled back to producers as payment for food and future raw materials. Thus the 3 Billion Francs that were paid out by producers finally cycled back to producers the next year. At best this is an over simplified foundation for Raw Materials Economics. At worst it's a very distorted reflection. This cleanly cut pattern could never account for the improved technology and efficiency of mass production, the currency dis-equilibrium caused by importing and exporting underpriced subsidized raw products, for laws that maintain domestic price dis-equilibrium between segments of the economy, or a fractional lending system that produces unnecessary debt. But for their day, the Physiocrats did an outstanding job of pointing out that tangible production is value. For the first time, the Physiocrats created a matrix that displayed a source of wealth founded in tangible production - intrinsic value, rather than currency or gold. This concept was discounted by those who represented the interest of what the Physiocrats called the "sterile class" (merchants, manufacturers and servants) and was repressed by the proprietary or elite class comprised of the government officials and large property owners.
THORSTEIN BUNDE VEBLEN
Thorstein Bunde Veblen (1857-1929) Thorstein Veblen was born to a Norwegian-American farm family in Cato, Wisconsin. He spent his early years reading and studying and quickly found it easier to read and think, than to do mundane farm chores which he became very adept at avoiding. He left the farm at an early age. He attended and was graduated from Carlton College. Later, he received his PhD from Yale. Veblen was a quiet and withdrawn individual who viewed the world as a movie or sports event. He was complicated and eccentric to the extreme and his reputation for eccentricities preceded him through his career. He could sit quietly for hours staring into space while being completely lost in abstract thought. Strangely enough, he was a ladies man and made no secret of his repeatedly indiscretions. The most noted portion of his professional career was spent at the University of Chicago where he bored his students to tears with his mumbling delivery and open ended abstract lectures. Veblen spent most of his career making fun of the privileged class which he so ably emulated. He was a walking brain, able to see and describe the world like few others. His eccentric thought patterns and unique writing style can be summed up through the following irreverent descriptions of several institutions as follows: ·Of a certain College Professor for which Veblen had a particular disdain, he remarked "The average number of words on a page is 400 and the professor averages 375." ·He described philanthropy as "essays in pragmatic romance." ·He described religion as "The fabrication of vendible imponderables in the Nth dimension." ·He called church organizations "chain stores" and the individual churches, "retail outlets." ·To the user of a walking stick he commented that "It appeared to be an advertisement that the bearer's hands are employed otherwise than in useful effort, and such a device must be very comforting to anyone gifted with even a moderate share of ferocity." ·He offered a biting indictment of the idle rich in the following passage: "A certain King of France is said to have lost his life through an excess of moral stamina in the observance of good form. In the absence of the functionary whose office it was to shift his master's seat, the King sat uncomplaining before the fire and suffered his royal person to be toasted beyond recovery. But in so doing, he saved his most Christian Majesty from menial contamination." Veblen could offend the leisure class in over two dozen languages. He was one of a kind. His most memorable works include, The Theory of the Leisure Class-1899; The Theory of Business Enterprise-1904; and, The Engineers and the Price System-1921.
Frederick Soddy, 1877-1956, was a British physicist who received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1921 for his work with Ernest Rutherford. Together they proved that radium breaks down by itself and gives off electrons and gamma rays which are like X-rays. Soddy gave the name "isotopes" to atoms of the same element which have different weights. He used his knowledge of physics to validate new and unpopular concepts in the field of economics. He wrote several books including Money Versus Man and Wealth, Virtual Wealth, and Debt. Soddy concluded that wealth takes on three forms but only one is positive and tangible. According to Soddy, virtual wealth is the paper representation of tangible wealth which in the past we've called either Silver Certificates or Federal Reserve Notes, but according to Soddy, these forms of money can only be considered IOU's or a reflection of the community's debt. Virtual wealth therefore is paper currency, or the amount of tangible value that the community owes the holder of the paper. He also concluded that "If the nation issued all the money it required, just as fast as it could be issued without increasing the price level, and that is just as fast as there were goods and essential services to exchange for it, there would be an abundance of money instead of a scarcity, to lend and borrow as well as to spend and invest." Soddy also pointed to the fallacy of interest and debt in terms of physical laws. He considered interest to be a double drain against the wealth of a society. Soddy concluded that tangible wealth automatically creates interest payments that continuously come due to other sectors of the economy as payments for property maintenance because tangible assets continuously deteriorate. Also, Soddy called the concept of capital debt impossible in the physical world because debt acknowledged the existence of a negative counterbalance to tangible wealth, but since tangible wealth can only be correctly represented in the economy as currency, or virtual wealth, debt in the physical world becomes impossible. He referred to interest and debt as a "minus pig" observing that in nature the least amount of pigs one can posses is zero, so it becomes impossible for a negative quantity such as debt to represent a pig or any other form of tangible value. According to Soddy, a society creates debt only to cause income to be removed from the producers of tangible wealth.
KARL HEINRICH MARX
Karl Heinrich Marx, 1818-1883. Karl Marx was born and raised in Trier, Prussia. Marx studied law at the University of Bonn and later studied at the University of Berlin. He received his Doctorate in philosophy at the University of Jenna. Marx was undoubtedly one of the most prolific writers of the modern world. Any effort to analyze or summarize the life of Marx in a few pages is futile. Marx was an economist, philosopher, social scientist and professional revolutionary and the ultimate idealist. Of all the old philosophers, he had the most impact on the modern world, both good and bad. Marx believed that a political economy organized around private ownership is unfair because it allows the bourgeoisie (the owners of the means of production) to exploit the proletariat (the working class) and therefore any profit earned by the owners of a business was the amount of income that the business stole from labor. Marx suggested that the worker is the largest creditor in the economy because workers provide their services to business as long as a month before their wages are paid. Marx proposed that all means of production be publicly, or cooperatively held so all citizens could benefit equally from production. History proves communism to be destructive in ways that Marx the idealist could not foretell. It, (communism) destroys the incentives of workers by removing the freedom of workers. It removes the desire toward excellence, when excellence is not rewarded, but instead is homogenized into the command driven collective that supports others with poor work habits. Marx failed to realize that the administrators of the communist collective automatically become the new ruling class that must exist from the surplus labor of the workers. And, this ruling class possesses a propensity for gain similar to the capitalist. Marx strategy for creating his perfect society, a society controlled by workers, was outlined in The Communist Manifesto that he and his close friend Frederick Engels wrote in 1848. It basically called for the nationalization of industry and the elimination of private property rights. Marxism is considered a fatal disease by capitalists that can infect the body politic of western culture the way AIDS infects the individual and therefore it must be avoided at all cost. Other than The Communist Manifesto, Marx's best known work is a three volume manuscript called Das Kapital. This book described the value of labor ad nauseam. It explains the free enterprise system as a most efficient and dynamic system, but a system that would eventually destroy itself because it is afflicted with periods of inflation and depression. Marx concluded that free enterprise could unveil a tremendous amount of wealth and at the same time cause the spread of immense human misery, and socialism was the only alternative available.
JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES
John Maynard Keynes, 1883-1946. John Maynard Keynes was a Cambridge born and educated English aristocrat, author, businessman, and economist who's ideas and theories affected the non-communist world more than anyone since Adam Smith. Keynes was the godfather of borrow and spend economics. Much of his theories and views were put into practice, but history has proven many of them to be flawed. Others were accurate prophecy. In 1919, Keynes wrote the book that brought him to international prominence. It was called "The Economic Consequences Of The Peace." The book attacked the reparation payments that the Allies demanded of the central powers, and it predicted the breakdown of the Treaty of Versailles that would eventually set the stage for World War II. Keynes continued to study and write and in 1923 published a book called a "Tract on Monetary Reform" that took issue with the gold standard. Shortly after the stock market crash of 1929, he published a "Treatise on Money" that attempted to explain the ripening depression as a situation caused by the lack of desire to spend one's savings. In other words, according to Keynes, if people save too much, they under-spend and under-invest, and this breaks down a so called "national circle of income." This theory fell flat when the great depression caused a complete destruction of savings at rock bottom interest rates. Keynes soon learned that not only could there be far too little demand for investment to absorb available savings, but there could also be far too little savings to support investment, thus his exposition on a savings and investment system that was modulated by interest rates met an untimely demise. Keynes set out to correct his mistake by writing The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money. "The General Theory" published in 1936, is known as his greatest effort, and it validated and explained the actions of the Roosevelt administration. The General Theory concluded that when the economy hits the bottom of a business cycle, it could rest there very comfortably, oblivious to the need to rise out of its depression. Thus, the economic pump must be primed with government spending to return the economy to a higher level of investment and consumption. Keynes saw this pump priming as a backup or reserve system that should be used heavily when needed, but should not be fed to the economy as a steady diet. In terms of Raw Materials Economics, this steady diet of debt which now sustains the economy, is the debt expansion component of today's combined economic generating system of raw materials income plus debt expansion. Keynes failed to properly identify the reasons that economies slump and why the bottom of a business cycle occurs. He missed the reasons for a declining national income. However, he correctly concluded that an economy (in mathematical terms) is very happy to exchange a smaller amount of goods and services each year even if it ignores the needs of a growing population in the process. Keynes' General Theory ignored the real problem of imbalances between segments of the economy. Keynesian economics uses a system of managed capitalism that's a temporary band-aid at best, because the interest imposed on the economy by deficit spending always results in greater subsequent imbalances in the economy that require even more offsetting debt. Even though the General Theory called for periods of public debt expansion, it was unique because it was inclusionary. It called for measures that theoretically could create enough business expansion to insure at least temporary full employment. In the end, the policies proposed by Baron John Maynard Keynes of Tilton, the conservative English economist and aristocrat, can be defined as modern liberalism. The Keynes solution is the nemesis of the Raw Materials Economics discipline.
JOHN STUART MILL
John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873. John Stuart Mill was born in London and educated by his father, James Mill who authored many books on economics and philosophy. The most important of the James Mill books was probably the first text book ever written on English economics, called Elements of Political Economy. James wrote the book for his son, and it soon became widely accepted. John was the good son that pushed too hard to please a father that wanted a prodigy with no equal. History has validated the dreadful parenting tactics of James Mill through the many outstanding works of his son. Among them are System of Logic (1843), Principals of Political Economy (1848), Utilitarianism (1863), On Liberty (1859) and The Subjection of Women (1869). John Stuart Mill understood that production and not distribution is at the core of business growth. He believed in cooperatives for farmers and equal rights for women. He believed a society would always violate any natural economic order for the benefit of the ruling class, and therefore rent and other forms of wealth and profits should be sufficiently taxed to expropriate excesses. John Stuart Mill concluded that the distribution of wealth depends on the laws and customs of society, and the evolution of these laws and customs must be founded on the premise of economic and social justice. So, according to Mill, when laws and customs are being amended, it is useless to appeal to a sense of fairness, because the "natural order" of a ruling class is to rule without producing, and this forever emasculates more abstract forces of fairness. Regardless of this skepticism, John Stuart Mill saw a hopeful future. He saw a system that could be refined and made manageable. In terms of Raw Materials Economics, Mill stopped short of the finish line by not recognizing the inherent fairness of properly priced raw materials production. In the world of Mill, the price of production was totally a political question and therefore was neither tied to laws of energy and exchange, or supply and demand. Two books stand out among Mill's efforts. The System of Logic published in 1843, has been compared to the works of Aristotle. The Principles of Political Economy published in 1848 is considered to be as important as Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, because it forced the ruling class to examine the excesses they imposed upon the workers and placed economics in the context of basic right and wrong.
Richard Cantillon, wrote Essai sur la Nature du Commerce in General in 1755 wherein he concluded "The land is the source or matter from whence all wealth is produced. It was Cantillion who shaped the thinking of the Physiocrats.
Robert Owen 1771-1858. Owen was a Welch born businessman and social reformer who used his business acumen to create a personal fortune in the textile industry in England only to lose it in an ill fated social experiment he called a "Village of Cooperation" in New Harmony, Indiana. Owen wrote and campaigned for equal opportunity for all, and proved that factories and working class communities could grow and prosper, and poor working conditions and exploitive long hours reduced productivity and profitability. Owen's greatest accomplishment was to organize 500,000 English workers into the Grand National Consolidated Trades Union. Although short lived, the union forever tipped the balance of power toward the rights of workers.
JEAN BAPTISTE SAY
Jean Baptiste Say 1767-1832. Say's greatest contribution to economics is known as Say's Law of Markets. In essence, Say's law holds that the act of production creates the credits that allow for the consumption of the original production. In other words, the total supply of goods must equal the total demand for goods. In terms of Raw Materials Economics, J.B. Say missed the fundamental component of the equation, and Say's law would be quite accurate with the following amendment. ergo; "production times the proper price will always create the credits to insure the consumption of the original production." This amendment makes Say's law the glue that bonds reciprocal markets together.
David Ricardo 1772-1823. Ricardo was a very successful businessman and economist who retired in his early 40's, being worth more than 1 million pounds. He concluded that economics is not a naturally organized system, but in fact is a fight for supremacy between opposing powers. Ricardo fought against the "Corn Laws" that impoverished the working class. In 1813 these laws demanded two weeks wages in payment for a bushel of wheat. Ricardo saw the imbalance between workers and landlords as in-humane, both to the industrialist and the worker. He was among the first prominent and wealthy people to concede that the amount of labor cost in a product or service should establish its value. The corn laws of the English have been incorrectly compared to proposals by the NORM organization that will establish a realistic floor under the price of primary raw materials. In fact, the corn laws of England bear no resemblance to Raw Materials Economics. The NORM organization argues that the proper price for an hour of labor at a minimum wage must equal the price for a bushel of wheat at the first point of sale. This would create the same balance that Ricardo sought by the abolition of the corn laws.
PASTOR THOMAS ROBERT MALTHUS
Pastor Thomas Robert Malthus 1766-1834. Malthus was born in Surrey, England. He studied to be a clergyman, and in 1796, after being graduated from Cambridge University, took a parish in Surrey. He later became a professor of history and political economy in the College of the East India Company. Malthus was a prophet of doom. In his book, Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus concluded that populations always increase faster than the food supply, and that starvation, disease, and population control were the balancing factors. His most frightening predictions haven't come true in the industrialized world, but his work always finds its way into discussions of third world hunger. Today, the term Malthusian, refers to modern day believers in a dismal future.
Henry George 1839-1897. Henry George was born in Philadelphia. In his early years, he traveled much and had many jobs but never attended college. Wherever he worked or played, he was always a maverick. Over the years, George developed the theory that land is a gift from nature, and therefore, it's unfair for a few people to own most of the land and control its resources. George heaped scorn on the idea of collecting land rent and proposed an unearned increment tax, or a (single land tax) as the source of public revenue. His best known work was called Progress and Poverty and was published in 1879. Personal Note from narrator: If Henry George had been alive at this writing, he would have found my father Fred Lundgren Jr. to be his biggest fan. My father, a soldier of the soil for 75 years, has farmed some of the same land for 50 years, and paid rents equal to 10 times its value, but always remained in servitude to landlords. On numerous occasions he condensed this long and productive history into the following self criticism "Son, it ought to be against the law to rent land" Henry George would have been proud.
WESLEY CLAIR MITCHELL
Wesley Clair Mitchell 1874-1948. Mitchell pioneered a new approach to the study of economics. He insisted that economic theories should be based on detailed statistics, rather than on ideas and observations. Mitchell measured the economy statistically and tracked changes in wages, prices and production. He looked in vain for a cause of depressions, recessions, and periods of prosperity, and finally concluded that the ups and downs of business activity occur in regular cycles in a free enterprise economy. Mitchell founded the National Bureau of Economic Research which was a predecessor to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. He served as its director from 1920 through 1945. Even though Mitchell stopped short of discovering the origin of wealth, his work is priceless, because it added arithmetic to the study of economics.
Simon Kuznets 1901-1990. Kuznets was born in Kharkov, Russia, but spent his adult life in the United States where he taught at the University of Pennsylvania, John Hopkins, and Harvard. Kuznets worked with Mitchell to organize national statistics into a reasonable pattern that could be used to draw reasonable conclusions that can either support or breakdown economic theories. This led him to write National Income And Its Components (1919-38). Kuznets' and Mitchell's methods are used today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis to calculate National Income and its components. Kuznets won the 1971 Nobel Prize in economics.
JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH
John Kenneth Galbraith 1908-2006. Galbraith was born in Iona Station, Ontario, Canada. He became an American citizen in 1937 and began teaching economics at Harvard in 1949. Galbraith has written numerous books including The Crash of '29, American Capitalism, The Affluent Society, The New Industrial State, and The Age of Uncertainty. Galbraith concluded that capitalism develops opposing forces that offset each others power and control of the market place. Therefore, the big corporation is always matched against the big union, and the big manufacturer is held in check by the big chain stores. Galbraith is known as a liberal economist who advocates public expenditures for the public good, even if such expenditures require tax increases that might reduce private purchases. Galbraith retired from Harvard in 1975, but continues to lecture and make public appearances until shortly before his death.
Elliot Janeway, 1913-1993, was the author of "Prescriptions For Prosperity". For decades, he was one of the foremost political economists in the United States. He proposed the theory that political pressures shape economic and market trends and was dubbed “Calamity Janeway” on Wall Street because of his many gloomy forecasts on the stock market.
Janeway stood beside this narrator and 55,000 other farmers during a farm protest at the nation's capitol in 1979. He condemned the unfair market forces that were destroying rural America. Janeway demanded that the federal government implement policies that would convert surplus corn into needed fuel, instead of exporting cheap corn and importing expensive oil. Janeway understood the concept of Raw Materials Economics but always stopped short of making declarations about the concept. He died in 1993 after a long and fruitful career as a professor and author. His call for alternative fuels such as ethanol were ignored until after his death.
Milton Friedman 1912 -2006. Friedman was born in New York and grew up in Rahway New Jersey. He won a scholarship to Rutgers University, studied mathematics and economics, and earned a bachelor's degree there in 1932. He received a PhD at Columbia. Friedman took a job with the National Bureau of Economic Research in New York City so that he could join Simon Kuznets in studies of income and wealth distribution, in particular the distribution of professional incomes. His finding—that barriers to entry maintained by the American Medical Association helped explain the much higher incomes of physicians relative to other comparable professional groups—was the source of some controversy when it was finally published. He taught economics at the University of Chicago from 1946-77. He then served as a senior fellow at Stamford University's Hoover Institute. Friedman insisted that the study of economics was not merely a mathematical game and that it should enable one to understand how the real world works. Friedman rejected the theories of John Maynard Keynes. He believed a free and open market can solve any problem facing the economy. Friedman was a "monetarist." He concludes that government should steadily increase the money supply to stimulate growth. In terms of Raw Materials Economics, Friedman and other spokespersons for monetarism are absolutely right about the need to expand the money supply, but they are absolutely wrong about the reasons. Here is the reason.
Under a fractional reserve banking system, such as the one governed by the Federal Reserve System in America, the money supply is expanded primarily by expanding debt, so most new production must be purchased by previous debt or new debt. As monetary expansion causes more interest to build up in a low profit economy, a syndrome of perpetual debt expansion follows that must be offset by greater production efficiency increases, but it's impossible to outrun the debt with efficiency under monetarist policies because new production is always carried through the economy by old debt expansion and more new debt expansion while the honest value of wages and prices within basic segments of the economy is forced to absorb more debt. Friedman's monetarist policies are destructive because they do nothing to re-balance the economy internally, but only serve to accommodate the direction and velocity of Laissez faire economic trends.
DID THESE GREAT THINKERS HOLD THE KEYS/?
The question posed by the title of this chapter remains unanswered. Are these men authors of confusion, or inspiration? Does their collective wisdom hold the key to prosperity unlimited, or to a Malthusian future of worldwide famine? The authors rest their judgement closer to the former than the latter. All these men were born into a world without satellites, computers, the Internet, cell phones, and other forms of instantaneous communications. The earliest of these men found themselves in a small world. They had to extrapolate any macro analysis through their visions. These men were all visionaries, right or wrong. They built new ideas from the available body of knowledge, and each of these men moved the world's agenda either sideways or forward. Anyone who studies these men will be most impressed with their steadfast conviction to their theory or belief system that evolved from their research. Most of these men would (and some of them did) march off the edge of cliffs and into the sea, rather than abandon their beliefs. Many of these men endured unbelievable abuse and ridicule, but refused to abandon their work. Some went without money and adequate food for long periods. They became emotionally trapped by their abstractions and their disdain for the political and economic dogma of the day. Many, like Marx, Veblen, and George, worked themselves into isolation and temporary starvation to prove their plan. Others, like Keynes and Ricardo prospered, but they all had a very strong core belief system that must be respected. This type of economist is largely a thing of the past. Today, most economists are hired by opinionated big business or government to give sanction to an otherwise indefensible position. Others procure work grants from tainted corporations whose soft money functions as a public apology for some past sin against society. Regardless, these "experts" are trotted out daily to extol the virtues of "free enterprise in a new global marketplace," always oblivious to the fact that their ramblings give sanction to, as Keynes called them, "the madmen of society." Isaac Newton said he could see farther than others, because he stood on the shoulders of giants. The economic principles of Raw Materials Economics are similarly situated, not only on the shoulders of dozens of great thinkers such as the ones reviewed here, but also on the cumulative work of men not widely known. These men have now retired to the permanently balanced economy of the Creator, but their relentless efforts allow us to see farther today. These men include: ·William Jennings Bryan, who brought the populist movement into the Democratic Party and demanded the free coinage of silver to place more money into circulation. ·George Peek of the Moline Plow Company, who recognized that imbalances existed between the different segments of the economy. ·George Warren of the USDA, who recognized these imbalances in terms of an index that could track any segment of the economy to a "base period." ·J. Carson Adkerson, the first president of the Raw Material National Council. Adkerson was a mine owner & operator who spent much of his life developing the principles of Raw Materials Economics and supporting the work of Carl H. Wilken. ·O.L.Brownlee who was the editor of the Sioux City, Iowa Tribune and the first economic analyst for the Raw Material National Council. ·Charles B. Ray, an engineer who worked with General Wood at the Panama Canal, and later helped organize the Raw Material National Council. ·Dr. John Lee Coulter, professor and Dean of the West Virginia College of Agriculture, and President of North Dakota Agriculture College. Dr. Coulter, served on the editorial staff of several economics and statistical publications. He helped Carl H. Wilken develop the concept of auditing the macro-economy through ratios. ·Carl H. Wilken, the keeper of the faith and author of numerous books about Raw Materials Economics, including "Prosperity Unlimited" and "All New Wealth Comes From The Soil", and "American Heritage". ·Frank M. LeRoux, the general sales manager of the USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service from 1961 through 1966, and author of 'The Worst Seven Years". ·Arnold E. Paulson of Granite Falls Minnesota, author of "Economic Solutions Are Possible". Arnold was Carl Wilken's most dedicated student who promoted the concept of Raw Materials Economics after Wilken's death in 1968. Paulson served as the Executive Director of the National Organization for Raw Materials from 1971 until his death in 1980, and tutored the authors in countless sessions. ·Dr. John Forbes, professor at Blackburn College, Carlinville, Ill., and author of "The Economy Is Out Of Balance". ·V.E.Rossiter, See his collection of NORM PAPERS AT IOWA STATE...President, Bank of Hartington, Nebraska. During much of his banking career, Rossiter prepared annual records concerning the loan to deposit ratio of U.S. commercial banks. He was a lifelong disciple of Raw Materials Economics. During the 1960's, he served as chairman of the agriculture committee of the Independent Bankers Association. He authored numerous papers and articles on Economics, including his most comprehensive work called "Putting it all Together
Vince became president of the National Organization For Raw Materials (NORM). In 1981 and assumed the annual task of updating Paulson's national economic audits.
Like Arnold Paulson, Vince was an ardent student of Carl Wilkin. Vince was also a respected banker, who developed a unique style and an "official" presentation.
Over the years, Vince wrote countless articles and publications on raw material economics and traveled the country educating rural and urban groups on the topic.
Vince Rossiter was involved with many civic activities. He served as president of the Hartington Junior Chamber of Commerce, President of the Senior Chamber of Commerce, Director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, Director of the Center for Rural Affairs, Chairman of the Independent Bankers Association Agricultural Committee and was always active in the Democratic Party on both the state and national level, and other civic actities. Many of Rossiter's papers can be found in the special collections department at Iowa State University.Vince died unexpectedly in 1991. His personal dedication, and his comprehensive analysis of the banking system is greatly missed.
Four State Commissioners of Agriculture must be added to this list. They are R.A.Trovatton of Minnesota, Math Dahl of North Dakota, Tom Linder of Georgia, and J.E.McDonald of Texas. As a result of their strong advocacy of Raw Materials Economics, and their open criticism of giants such as Lever Brothers and Procter & Gamble, they were investigated by the FBI and both Linder and McDonald were indicted in 1949 for "working for legislation that would raise farm prices and working against legislation that would lower farm prices," in Criminal Case No. 1212-49. This ridiculous indictment was handed down under Section 305 of the Regulation of Lobbying Act, but was ruled unconstitutional by Judge Alexander Holtzoff before Linder or McDonald came to trial. To this incomplete list of statesmen, we add the name of one soul, the late Charles Walters of Raytown, Missouri. For many years, Walters was the President of the National Organization for Raw Materials, and for 25 years, until his retirement in July of 1994, was the founder, publisher and editor of Acres USA, the Voice of Eco Agriculture. Walters uses his masters degree in economics to interpret the discipline of Raw Materials Economics for the academic community, and much of this text is an update that reflects his personal expertise.
Walters authored more than 30 books in his long career, including "Unforgiven" and the NORM primer called Raw Materials Economics, He was the ultimate Democrat with a small "d." He had the intellect of an Einstein, the generosity of a Carnegie, and the demeanor of Andy Rooney. This job would have been impossible without him. THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, CHUCK.