Economics/Class Relations

Robert Stark interviews Charles Lincoln on Economics

The Stark Truth

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Robert: I’m joined here with Charles Lincoln. We are going to be discussing some of his economic views.

Charles: Thanks, Robert. Always good to talk.

Robert: So on one of our previous shows we touched on economics and how our economy is based on credit as opposed to real capital. You talk about issues such as big government and socialism but what about your economic views are different from the tea party and libertarian crowd.

Charles: Well, I do not favor corporations. I guess that’s the place to start. When you think Republican, when you think conservative, you think big business, you think major corporations, and you think corporations against the government, and my position is very simple. The corporations are only as big as they are because of their cooperation’s with the government, because of for example things like the gigantic regulation of big pharma. If you didn’t have government regulations, the pharmaceutical companies could never be as big as they, they could never be charging as much as they are, they could never have the kind of control over prices, always going up as they do. Everywhere else in the world drugs are cheaper than they are in the United States and it’s only the government that maintains this corporate power. Now that’s true of big pharma it’s also true of things like airlines, air travel, and the automobile industry. You understand that since 2008 that the US automobile industry is basically nationalized. Every major industry in the United States is controlled completely by the government or its existence is entirely dependent on the government. One way or the other there is no such thing in America today as real private enterprise that really depends on free market. So the biggest thing I would take to this campaign is a turnaround from Waxman’s policies of supporting the biggest in big corporations and the partnership between big corporations and big government.

Robert: You have a thing you wrote a while back. You can discuss that. It says the people have a right to a home, a right to healthcare, and a right to protection against monopolies. It talks about the nationalization of banks and oil companies which can achieve these goals and restore power to the people.

Charles: Yes, that is a very good summery of what I believe in. The nationalization of the banks and oils companies in particular is part of an overall plan of not nearly nationalizing them which sounds like government takeover, but simply abolishing them. When I say nationalize I mean nationalize and take over their wealth, their resources. My position on the banking industry is very simple. The Federal Government needs to get out of the banking business completely. When most people hear about nationalization they think the government is going to operate it and that sounds inconsistent with what I usually say the government can’t operate anything, but what I’m saying is the government is currently the only power that has the ability to act as a receiver for all the assets of the banks and oil companies. We need to abolish Title 12 of the United States code, the banking code. We need to restore banking entirely to the states and to the people and I don’t state any particular position on how that would happen except banking has acquired and aura of priesthood that it needs to be de mystified.

Robert: Now you are really getting somewhere.  So go ahead and explain about the banking system.

Charles: Well, basically banking starts with some very minor functions but it has become an octopus that is strangling the country. The most elementary kind of banking is warehouse to put your money in. Everybody understands that it’s very difficult to set up your own home so you can guard against all your own wealth and everybody understands that its convenient sometimes, especially if you accumulate a lot of money to have a place to store your treasures. The treasury function of the banks is legitimate, the warehousing function is legitimate, but by using those analogies you can see how to reform it. Money has become a fiction; money has become a symbolic expression of things that do not exist. Money has become entirely a creature of credit. All we have is a credit based economy and the use of money oppresses some people and empowers others, and what I want to get back to is a production based economy, not a credit based economy. A production based economy where anyone who produces a marketable product can offer security which is a representation of his wealth in the products he produces. Anyone who offers a good service and this is how legitimate borrowing always use to happen and its borrowing should happen now. We should take away the power of this nationwide monopoly of Federal Reserve banking of federal banks. We should take that away and we could give to each individual the power to say, “I am a farmer,” “I am an actor,” I am whatever you are, whatever you do. If your work has value to other people, you should be able to issue your own security. And money is basically a series of notes that constitutes security. Instead of using these standardized forms exchange that we call Federal Reserve notes or dollar bills we should let negotiate their own worth throughout their lives. It sounds like it could be a very radical change, but its puts all this responsibility, all this power back into the individuals.

Robert: So how do you define a credit based economy?

The experiment of credit is all about letting other people decide what your worth, what your labor is worth, what your products is worth. Credit destroys the marketplace because it gives to the banks all the power to fix prices and to fix interest rates, which is the cost of money. So the price of everything is set in money, and the price of money is set by the banks. And specifically is centrally set by the Federal Reserve and that means that you have no control over what your worth. You have no negotiating power of what your labor is worth. You have no negotiating power over what anything you produce is worth. And I say that is wrong. We are tending so much is this modern socialist world to disregard the individual in favor in favor of the collective. This maximizes the power of the government. It maximizes the power of the banks, the major corporations, and it makes everyone else. We need to restore life to where we can each negotiate our existence freely and you need to be able to say “Charles, here’s what I’m worth,” will you pay it to me. And if you went to work for CBS of course, you would never be able to do that. Why? Because CBS or CNN or any of the major news networks are entirely creatures of the government. The government, corporate, financial monopoly that is the ant hill of the modern world.

Robert: So if you abolish the credit based economy, all those corporate entities, are you saying they would cease to exist?

Charles: I’m not sure they would all cease to exist. They would have to reorganize themselves radically based on proving to each other and to the people they serve that they actually produce anything worthwhile. This would entail a gigantic change in the world. People would have to start thinking about what is really worth something as opposed to advertised. What’s advertised of course is what being funded. People are under such a terrible delusion in that they think there is a free market economy in this world today. There simply isn’t. Because what there is, is banks. The central banking system decides who gets credit for products. And then they decide who gets credit for advertising and who gets credit for any kind of exposure, media time, or information dissemination. Up to a point the internet has provided an alternative and that’s why you see everyone trying to close down the internet. Everybody including Bill Clinton during his Presidency, that the internet started becoming universal, and it’s astounding to see him saying that the internet must be more heavily regulated and censored. It’s one of the last truly free platforms. Anyhow, the world I see is one in which prices are no longer standardized because there would be no central banking agency setting prices. Everything would have to be done by negotiation. And that means everything would slow down, and one of the things I see is that the world is over heated with this obsession with speed. Getting everything down quickly. The world needs to slow down and the world needs to start thinking again. And the people need to start thinking again, and we don’t want to delegate are value system to the banks or to the social engineer in Congress or the Federal Government. Much less imagine World Government which is something you can see that Waxman, and Feinstein, and Boxer, and Pelosi, are all working towards constantly.

Robert: So in the article you say that a lot of the property is accumulated by the banks, and that is one of the main reasons real estate is so expensive. You say that every individual or family would be granted their own home.

Charles: Well here’s the situation. We have empty houses all over the United States as a result of this foreclosure crisis that’s been happening for almost ten years. It only became noticeable in 2008 but it’s been going on for a while. It’s been going on for ten full years. They have ever since the Clinton years accelerated the ways and means nationwide that which they can seize peoples properties. They have been inventing new credit products constantly for 25 years now to increase bank ownership or property and decrease any notion of private property in humans. I say if we abolish centralized banking the first thing we would do is everyone would suddenly own the house where they live mortgage free. Now that’s not a giveaway, because remember basically they got it on false pretenses. They’ve gotten this property; the banks have taken this property from people through advertising of difference credit schemes through manipulation of these schemes, and through falsely advising people about how to manage their money which is their credit obligations. That’s all money is, credit obligations. You abolish credit obligations you can restore property to the people. Now the awkwardness of that and here’s how government nationalization is necessary. The awkward of that is once you given everyone the houses there living in, you’re left with the fruits of one big government project which was called overbuilding. That was welfare for the construction sector and then the foreclosure madness of the last ten years, which has been to make everyone play musical chairs, and seize the property which has been overbuilt, and keep prices up, a monopolistic practice. You’ve got to have a way of taken the inventory that the banks have and granting homesteads to every American family.

Robert: Well there’s people talking about abolishing the Federal Reserve, but no one is talking about abolishing the mortgage industry.

Charles: I have been calling for a nationwide boycott of mortgage payments for at least ten years. I have been advocating that since at least 2004, 2005. I think there is nothing more dishonest than the way property is allocated by the mortgage finance system. I think if people were to understand just how false it is based on false advertisement; people would go out and start murdering bankers. We don’t need to do that. What we need to do is take the banks power away. Everyone who’s in a house now can keep it. True ownership. Here’s what they can’t do. They won’t be able to sell it real fast. This will hurt people who want to sell their houses but why do people have to keep be constantly moving. In other words we have been moving people around as part of this system of destroying neighborhoods, of destroying communities. Once we land everyone in a house that they own, communities are going to have to be redefined. Some people are going to want to exchange houses. They may have been there because it’s the only place they could afford, or it’s where their relative were. Who knows how people ended up? The government and the corporations and shaking people up through these credit manipulations. They’ve been telling people to move from different jobs. They create crisis in one area and turn a place like New Orleans into a complete basket case for nine years since Hurricane Katrina, and the destruction was relatively minor compared with the destruction that’s gone on since.

Robert: You have an extreme amount of wealth that’s been generated from this credit based economy. You have the assets of the banks themselves but you also have the individuals who are at the high levels of the banks. What would you do with their wealth? Would you say it’s invalid because it’s based on credit and there not able to provide a service? What you invalidate it or would you seize their wealth and redistribute it back to the people?

Charles: If you think of wealth as only created by law obviously created by law is going to abolish the wealth. If you repeal Title 12 of the United States Code, there is all that bank generated wealth evaporates into this air. It was thin air to begin with, but since it only exists because of law, you repeal the law and it won’t be there anymore. The same can be said of the securities. The securities that are built on top of the banking system. Those to are just thin air. Now the difference is a security up to a point as opposed to pure money. Securities do represent some sort of ownership in something, and that is going to be a little more difficult. But what we’ve seen is a hundred years now since basically the stock market has been dominated everyone’s conciseness as a measure of wealth. Do you know what the Stock Market really is? How it operates? It’s like a casino. It’s the most insane, irresponsible way of creating and managing wealth that’s ever been invented in the history of the world. When people talk about the Stock Market going up and down, it’s nowhere nearly as meaningful as change in the temperature from day to day.

Robert: So you’re saying that if you abolished Section 12 of the US Code than the whole Stock Market would cease to exist.

Charles: It will affectively cease to exist. Slowly but surely it’s more complicated than that. What I’m saying is that all securities will have to be re appraised in a non-monetary way. We’re going to have to start comparing one product with another, which will require a level of thinking that people are not used to. What is a movie worth compared to corn?

Robert: And then the economy would become much more localized and decentralized.

Charles: Unless there are major products that people would actually want. People are really used to airlines for instance. I think that airlines and trains will continue to exist. I’m kind of of the opinion that the gasoline automobile industry might go out of existence. It’s an interesting feature of history. Of course the gasoline automobile industry only became dominant because of certain government supported corporate choices in the late 19th and early 20th Century, specifically the alliance between Henry Ford and the Government. And then latter in Los Angeles, Dallas, New Orleans. Every city used to have a very very competent train system that connected every neighborhood to every other neighborhood over vast areas. Those were all torn up in the 1940’s and 50’s by Government fiat, by Governmental order for the benefit of the corporations. Those things were gigantic frauds on the American people. And I think that the automobile industry worked hand in hand to destroy a large part of the world with unnecessary building and very destructive building. This is where I begin to sound like a radical ecologist.

Robert: Yeah, I remember we were driving through some place. It was somewhere in Southern California. You saw the scenery, the mountains, and you said “there’s the beauty of California and there’s the ugliness of California.” And you saw a bunch of ugly strip malls and you were saying that a lot of this really horrific development that you see, like track housing and strip malls all over California is a product of the credit based economy.

Charles: It’s not like it’s just California, it’s everywhere. It’s Texas, its Florida. Florida’s a nightmare, I mean in my life time what I’ve seen happen to Florida is even worse than what I’ve seen happen to California. Florida was so pristine back in the 1970’s. The Florida Gulf Coast was irresponsible credit based growth during the Clinton and Bush era building booms. What they did was an ecological nightmare, and to no purpose.

Robert: Your article touched on the oil companies, where I am off the California Central Coast there is a lot of oil wealth being produced. Oil is different than a good or service provided by an individual. The question is who owns the oil wealth? So you would nationalize and abolish the oil companies.

Charles: I would. At first it would be a nationwide nationalization because it was the Federal Government who created the oil companies but basically there’s nothing more destructive than the petroleum industry in terms of ecology and health. Whether you believe in Global Warming or not, there is no question that petroleum products are bad for the environment. Plastics and gasoline are contaminating every corner of the world we live in.

Robert: Yeah, out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean there is this massive island of plastic clustered together.

Charles: A year and a half ago I was in Hawaii and I got a chance to fly over that, and it is quite horrifying. It’s real and there are people in Hawaii who are very worried about it. It could eventually expand to include Hawaii at some point. But basically it all started in the 1950’s in regard to plastics. The plastic contamination of the world only started in the late 1950’s, and we have created this monstrosity all based on petro chemicals, and petro chemicals are related to big pharma. Everything that’s affecting our world is inter connected. It all comes down to, the original sin; it all originates with the creation of the financial system. And that’s why I say we have start with tearing down the national banks and destroying the elite, the parasitic elite that grew up from this international banking system. And we got to start with the National Banks with Title 12 and by having a much more fair legal and political system that puts the power back in the hands of the individuals. And as far as the transition would go, obviously the transition from the banks finance to other systems of finance for homes. You mentioned that I believe every person, every family; every social unit has the right to a home. I don’t want anyone to be homeless. The number of forcibly homeless people in this country is appalling because the bank has this giant reservoir of empty houses all over the country. I have heard estimates of as high as 2 million empty houses in Florida, and all I can say is that Florida has a truly awful climate. And if these houses are shut up for too long a lot of them with have to be torn down because they are rotting on the inside from mold and fungus. This is waste that people have been forced out of these houses and the banks have held on to them with the purpose of maintaining high prices and people become homeless or renters as a consequence. That is sinful. There is no other word for it. That is sinful greed that benefits absolutely no one. And so I want to see it end. I would want to see a systematic way of redistributing, of giving away these unoccupied houses that were wrongly and illegally foreclosed. I want to see those given to people who need them and want them.

Robert: What are your thought on the water crisis in California?

Charles: Other problems that I see are relating to the development of areas that should have never been developed. Southern California regrettably being one of those areas. Southern California basically was a semi desert area. Los Angeles County itself had some of the richest soil in the world but a very low annual rainfall. And so the conversion of agriculture required a great deal of water but not nearly as much water as the urban setting now consumes. We need to realize that Los Angeles as it exists is unsustainable.  So another radical proposal that I have is we need to start tearing down the dams that feed Southern California. And we need to start encouraging people to move elsewhere.

Robert: The other issue that ties in with population and the banking industry is mass immigration. Explain the connections.

Charles: It’s pretty simple because it does go back to the wise use of our resources and the honesty of our financial system. If you cut off credit, if you cut off irresponsible building, if you cut off the irresponsible occupation of land that is not fit for human habitation, there will be emigration from California, not immigration. People will leave but basically the reality is that illegal immigration has been totally encouraged. They have all demanded the influx of new people to replace the population that doesn’t want the ant hill. Poor people from other parts of the world make much better ants than people who grew up on farms or homes of their own, basically the American tradition. The American middle class is a very poor source for slaves. I see the United States turning into Mexico where the elites have the freedom to do whatever they want to the people. I don’t want to see the rest of America stuck at the very bottom, and your children and mine living like Mexican peons. Sadly enough for the Mexican peons themselves, their lives may be marginally better but for ours it will be a sad thing to look back on the world that we lost. And I think that’s really the message of my campaign is lets cease control of our world again before we lose control. Let’s restore the American dream before it’s completely forgotten by our children and grandchildren. Let’s rebuild freedom as the greatest value and greatest incentive to production and good life that’s ever been found, and let’s give back to the individual and take away from the government and corporations the definition of our destiny.

Robert: Thanks Charles. Always a pleasure.

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