Friday, September 28, 2007

New Amazon MP3 Store Sucks...

If you live in Canada. Or anyplace alse that isn't America. Actually, I've heard great things about the new Amazon MP3 store. I hoped I could finally clear my conscience by buying all those songs I've downloaded over the years...

But I live in Canada so I can't. It feels ironic that I started by trying to buy a song from a Canadian band, Barenaked Ladies, only to get this message:
We could not process your order because of geographical restrictions on the product which you were attempting to purchase. Please refer to the terms of use for this product to determine the geographical restrictions.
Despite this, Amazon continues to taunt me about its MP3 store. I click on their central banner ad and get a popup window explaining how "Amazon MP3 offers music lovers these great benefits". It tells me, "Hello, David. We have MP3 Downloads Recommendations  for you." But I click the link and it says "Sorry, we have no recommendations for you in this category today."

How dare they make me keep my money like this.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Money is Debt

I've just seen the most fascinating video called "Money As Debt", in which it is explained that banks create money by lending it. I had no idea it worked this way; in fact the video's content is so amazing I have to wonder if it is actually true. I can usually tell when something is made by a conspiracy nut, extremist or somebody with a self-serving agenda, yet this video doesn't set off my bulls*** detector very strongly, except that its history of the monetary system is extremely vague, real-world details are minimal, and some things said in the video really need more explanation. Although the YouTube poster called the video "Corrupt Banking System", the video itself does not say the system is corrupt; it only points out that power is overly concentrated in the hands of bankers, and that the system need not work the way it does.

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the video is the quotes by prominent men--U.S. presidents, bank heads, economists--quotes which not only suggest that the monetary system works just how the video says it does, but which openly admit a degree of corruption in the system.
I have never yet had anyone who could, through the use of logic and reason, justify the Federal Government borrowing the use of its own money....I believe the time will come when people will demand that this be changed. I believe the time will come in this country when they will actually blame you and me and everyone else connected with the Congress for sitting idly by and permitting such an idiotic system to continue. - late Congressman Wright Patman, Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency

"The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banking was conceived in iniquity and born in sin. Bankers own the Earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough money to buy it back again…Take this great power away from them and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, and they ought to disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. But if you want to continue to be slaves of the banks and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit." - Sir Josiah Stamp, director of the Bank of England 1928-1941

"The inability of the colonists to get power to issue their own money permanently out of the hands of George III and the International Bankers was the Prime reason for the Revolutionary War" - Benjamin Franklin

"We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world-government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the National auto-determination practiced in past centuries." - David Rockefeller, In an address to a Trilateral Commission meeting in June of 1991
And the most fascinating thing about the issue is the silence about the subject in the media and in our education system. Speaking of the education system, they don't teach us (me, anyway) anything about managing money, let alone how the monetary system works.

I'm certainly left wondering about certain issues.
  • It says that if there is no debt in the economy, then there is no money. But of course governments can print money, so there will always be money. Right?
  • In an example in the video, a hypothetical person deposits $10,000, but with no explanation from the narrator, on the screen that number becomes $9,000 before it is divided by the reserve ratio 9:1 for a result of $1,000.
  • At the end it postulates an improved money systems in which loans are interest-free. But if loans are interest free, then what is the incentive for people to pay off their loans? Clearly people will not pay off debts without some incentive to do so, and since they get real resources by spending the loan money, it's obviously not sustainable if they don't give anything back to society by working to pay off the debt.
  • The video claims "P/(P+I) will fulfill their loan contract" and "I/(P+I)" will be foreclosed, formulas that seem impossibly simple. What do they mean exactly?
Nevertheless, it's so interesting that I'm tempted to buy it from If only it were cheaper. Anyway, I hear there's another good video out there called "The Money Masters". I shall have to see it.