Compulsory Private Health Insurance: Just Another Bailout for the Financial Sector? by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
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Dandelion Salad
webofdebt.com
Dec 23, 2009

[Note: slightly revised]

Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, is quoted as warning two centuries ago:

“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an underground dictatorship. . . . The Constitution of this republic should make special privilege for medical freedom as well as religious freedom.”

That time seems to have come, but the dictatorship we are facing is not the sort that Dr. Rush was apparently envisioning. It is not a dictatorship by medical doctors, many of whom are as distressed by the proposed legislation as the squeezed middle class is. The new dictatorship is not by doctors but by Wall Street — the FIRE (finance, insurance, and real estate) sector that now claims 40% of corporate profits.

Economist L. Randall Wray observes that ever since Congress threw out the Glass-Steagall Act separating commercial banking from investment banking, insurance and Wall Street finance have been “two peas in a pod.” He writes:

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EU/IMF Revolt: Greece, Iceland, Latvia May Lead the Way by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
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Dandelion Salad
webofdebt.com
Dec 15, 2009

Europe’s small, debt-strapped countries could follow the lead of Argentina and simply walk away from their debts. That would shift the burden to the creditor countries, which could solve the problem merely by a change in accounting rules.

Total financial collapse, once a problem only for developing countries, has now come to Europe. The International Monetary Fund is imposing its “austerity measures” on the outer circle of the European Union, with Greece, Iceland and Latvia the hardest hit. But these are not your ordinary third world debtor supplicants. Historically, the Vikings of Iceland repeatedly repulsed British invaders; Latvian tribes repulsed even the Vikings; and the Greeks conquered the whole Persian empire. If anyone can stand up to the IMF, these stalwart European warriors can.

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Lessons from the Japanese: Time to Stop Borrowing Money and Start Printing It by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
webofdebt.com
Nov 23, 2009

“We are completely dependent on the commercial Banks. Someone has to borrow every dollar we have in circulation, cash or credit. If the Banks create ample synthetic money we are prosperous; if not, we starve. We are absolutely without a permanent money system. When one gets a complete grasp of the picture, the tragic absurdity of our hopeless position is almost incredible, but there it is. It is the most important subject intelligent persons can investigate and reflect upon.”

–Robert H. Hemphill, Credit Manager of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1934

Miners used to keep canaries in coal mines as an early warning device. If the air was so bad that it killed the canary, the miners would soon be next. Japan may be the canary for the out-of-control deficit spending policies now being pursued in the United States and the United Kingdom. In a November 1 article in the Daily Telegraph called “It Is Japan We Should Be Worrying About, Not America,” international business editor Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote:
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Ellen Brown: Financial Meltdown: Why it Happened and How It Can Be Reversed (1.17.09)

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Nov 13, 2009

Ellen Brown – Democracy for America, Tucson AZ – Jan. 17, 2009

1:10:04

Ellen’s explanation of the roots of the current economic crisis and a way out

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A Little Populist Retribution: Making Wall Street Pay Its Fair Share by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
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webofdebt.com
Nov 11, 2009

“Regular people know that they got done in by excesses on Wall Street, and they see a Democratic administration shoveling trillions of dollars to the same Wall Street banks that caused the mess. . . . What is overdue is a little bit of populist retribution against the people who brought down the system — and will bring it down again if the hegemony of the traders is not constrained.”

–Economist Robert Kuttner arguing for a “Tobin tax”

In the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, Goldman Sachs is having a banner year. According to an October 16 article by Colin Barr on CNNMoney.com:
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On the Edge with Ellen Brown + Max Keiser: Geithner has gone native

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Nov 7, 2009
http://maxkeiser.com
On the Edge with Ellen Brown

Press TV

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Cut Wall Street Out! How States Can Finance Their Own Recovery by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
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Dandelion Salad
webofdebt.com
Nov 1, 2009

Pouring money into the private banking system has only fixed the economy for bankers and the wealthy; it has not done much to address either the fundamental problem of unemployment or the debt trap so many Americans find themselves in.

President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan has so far failed to halt the growth of unemployment: 2.7 million jobs have been lost since the stimulus plan began. California has lost 336,400 jobs. Arizona has lost 77,300. Michigan has lost 137,300. A total of 49 states and the District of Columbia have all reported net job losses.

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Reviving the Local Economy with Publicly-Owned Banks by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
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webofdebt.com
Oct 15, 2009

The credit crunch is getting worse on Main Street, despite a Wall Street bailout that is now in the trillions of dollars. The Federal Reserve’s charts show that “base money” is rapidly expanding – meaning coins, paper money, and commercial banks’ reserves with the central bank. But the money isn’t making it to where it needs to go to stimulate economic growth: into the bank accounts of American businesses and consumers. The Fed has been pumping out money to the banks, and their reserves have been growing at unprecedented rates; but the money supply in the real economy has been declining.

According to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, writing last month in the UK Telegraph, U.S. bank credit and M3 (the broadest measure of the money supply) contracted over the summer at rates comparable to the onset of the Great Depression. In the summer quarter, U.S. bank loans fell at an annual pace of almost 14 percent. “There has been nothing like this in the USA since the 1930s,” said Professor Tim Congdon of International Monetary Research. “The rapid destruction of money balances is madness.”

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The IMF Catapults from Shunned Agency to Global Central Bank by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
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webofdebt.com
Oct 2, 2009

“A year ago,” said law professor Ross Buckley on Australia’s ABC News last week, “nobody wanted to know the International Monetary Fund. Now it’s the organiser for the international stimulus package which has been sold as a stimulus package for poor countries.”

The IMF may have catapulted to a more exalted status than that. According to Jim Rickards, director of market intelligence for scientific consulting firm Omnis, the unannounced purpose of last week’s G20 Summit in Pittsburgh was that “the IMF is being anointed as the global central bank.” In a CNBC interview on September 25, Rickards said, “They’ve issued debt for the first time in history. They’re issuing SDRs. The last SDRs came out around 1980 or ’81, $30 billion. Now they’re issuing $300 billion. When I say issuing, it’s printing money; there’s nothing behind these SDRs.”

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Landmark Decision Promises Massive Relief for Homeowners and Trouble for Banks by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
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webofdebt.com
Sept 22, 2009

A landmark ruling in a recent Kansas Supreme Court case may have given millions of distressed homeowners the legal wedge they need to avoid foreclosure. In Landmark National Bank v. Kesler, 2009 Kan. LEXIS 834, the Kansas Supreme Court held that a nominee company called MERS has no right or standing to bring an action for foreclosure. MERS is an acronym for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a private company that registers mortgages electronically and tracks changes in ownership. The significance of the holding is that if MERS has no standing to foreclose, then nobody has standing to foreclose – on 60 million mortgages. That is the number of American mortgages currently reported to be held by MERS. Over half of all new U.S. residential mortgage loans are registered with MERS and recorded in its name. Holdings of the Kansas Supreme Court are not binding on the rest of the country, but they are dicta of which other courts take note; and the reasoning behind the decision is sound.

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Cindy Sheehan interviews Ellen Brown on Monetary Policy

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Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox Blog
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
Sept. 1, 2009

Cindy interviews Ellen Brown
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Listen:

http://sheehan.streamguys.org/SoapboxInternet08302009.mp3

This Sunday (August 30th), Cindy presents a Martha’s Vineyard special.  She hosts attorney Ellen Brown, author of Web of Debt.   Continue reading

Mercury Mischief: As Obama Warns of Hazards, the FDA Approves Mercury Dental Fillings by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
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Dandelion Salad
webofdebt.com
August 29, 2009

President Obama has proposed covering the costs of his new medical plan with “smarter” medicine, meaning the adoption of procedures that eliminate inefficiencies and stress prevention. At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on August 11, 2009, he gave the example of a diabetic needing to have a foot amputated, at a cost of $30,000 to $50,000. It would have been smarter to counsel the patient on diet and weight loss and monitor his medications before amputation was required. The insurance company would have saved money and the patient would have saved a foot.

The 2008 Obama/Biden Plan for a Healthy America also stressed preventive approaches to disease, including the reduction of toxins to which the body is exposed; and chief among these toxins was mercury. The Plan stated as a fundamental goal:

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The Secret of China’s Miracle Economy: The Government Owns the Banks Rather than the Reverse by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
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August 17, 2009

“The banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. They frankly own the place.” — U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Democratic Party Whip, April 30, 2009

While the U.S. spends trillions of dollars to bail out its banking system, leaving its economy to languish, China is being called a “miracle economy” that has decoupled from the rest of the world. As the rest of the world sinks into the worst recession since the 1930s, China has maintained a phenomenal 8% annual growth rate. Those are the reports, but commentators are dubious. They ask how that growth is possible, when other countries relying heavily on exports have suffered major downturns and remain in the doldrums. Economist Richard Wolff skeptically observes:
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The Public Option in Banking: How We Can Beat Wall Street at Its Own Game by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
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webofdebt.com
August 5, 2009

President Obama has repeated his call for a public option in health care, in order to create some competition for the insurance companies and keep them honest. We the people need to call for a public option in banking, in order to create some competition for the private banks and keep them honest.

In Wall Street’s latest affront to the public trust, the nine mega-banks graced with $125 billion in taxpayer bailout money under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) were reported last week to be paying out billions of dollars in bonuses to their executives. At least 4,793 bankers and traders received more than $1 million each in bonus payments, although it was one of Wall Street’s worst years on record. After months of investigating banker compensation, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on July 30, “The repeated explanation from bank executives that bonuses are tied to performance in a manner designed to promote (national economic) growth does not appear to be accurate.”

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How California Could Turn Its IOUs Into Dollars by Dr. Ellen Brown

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by Dr. Ellen Brown
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webofdebt.com
July 22, 2009

California has over $17 billion on deposit in banks that have refused to honor its IOUs, forcing legislators to accept crippling budget cuts. These austerity measures are unnecessary. If the state were to deposit its money in its own state-owned bank, it could have enough credit to solve its budget crisis with funds to spare.

“We make money the old-fashioned way,” said Art Rolnick, chief economist of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve. “We print it.” That works for the federal government’s central bank, but states are forbidden by the Constitution to issue “bills of credit,” a term that has been interpreted to mean the state’s own paper money. “Sacramento is not Washington,” said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in May. “We cannot print our own money.” When legislators could not agree on how to solve the state’s $26.3 billion budget deficit, the Governor therefore did the next best thing: he began paying the bills with IOUs (“I Owe You’s,” or promises to pay bearing interest).

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