WELCOME - to the 5 W’s & H
WHAT: This site’s function is to serve as a public de-mystification (in both the academic and common language) of: a] basic monetary-economic terms, b] their origin and how they became ‘mystified’ (mostly over the course of the 20th century), c] while also introducing (a global-historical consistency to) core political-economic concepts that comprise why such terms were and/or are necessary (for the common good).
WHY: ‘Everyone’ these days (2020’s) seems to have their own long list of observations on how the ongoing crises (or ‘long crisis’) of the 21st century is challenging-- if not upending-- many 20th century institutions. Not to pick or play favorites here, it seems that what (at least the lion’s share of) the institutional crises have in common pertains to the (already much remarked upon) great millennial-era transition from the ‘2nd Industrial Revolution’ (c.1870’s-1970’s) to the often contrarian ‘3rd Industrial Revolution’ (from the 1970’s--); and this truly revolutionary transition is of course also concurrent with mankind having to negotiate a hitherto unprecedented environmental crisis in the Earth’s biosphere. Crises, of course, are not all bad, given a long-term orientation (危机). Like it or not, salient institutional “change” is now upon us, as a species (negotiating with its physical-trophic environment); Monetary Economics is (increasingly) the one mystery factor that circulates, like blood, between and within nearly all of these institutions-- making them, it is presumed, more effective and efficient. But ‘effective & efficient’ for whom, and at what cost? Monetary and other political-economic institutions should be growing more comprehensible and accountable with the monetization phenomenon, not less.
Why wait another, say, twenty years or so for formal academia to essentially ‘prove what we already know’ (or what has already long been in existence)? The Crisis (in political economy) is now, and is not being resolved with (second millennium-esque) judgement-based ‘reaction-think’ of the past. It is possible to bring clarity and coherence sooner rather than merely later, in an ethical and consistent manner.
WHERE: The bird does not stop its flight at the imaginary/abstract political boundaries that demarcate mens’ political institutions; neither have the sea or wind currents that primarily distribute the things that mankind needs for basic sustenance and growth. This site’s analysis, though encompassing the world economy, is primarily from the vantage of a longterm American viewpoint and perspective, bearing in mind the American people’s tradition of constitutional and historical charge (concerning open, accountable, and clearly-articulated public institutions).
WHEN: All of human history has been a relationship between mankind and the trophic-eco resources of the Earth’s biosphere/environment. It is not (ethically) possible to ‘start from scratch’. Today’s institutions have roots that are often very deep, if not culturally ‘sacred’. From a historian’s perspective*, getting one’s head around the interplay of institutions requires a lot of digging and a consistent application of ‘5 Ws & H’ type questioning, in addition to open-mindedness to the (common sense) demands of changing evidence.
HOW: A world of increasing institutional complexity is a world with an increasing number of puzzle pieces. This does not have to be overwhelming; it can also be edifying, given the discipline of intellectual consistency and coherent organization. One doesn’t have to be ‘Shakespeare’ to take certain liberties with the (built for liberality) English language** and information age capabilities of word processing and formatting. Tools are made to help us.
WHO: Your '3rd Estate’ EDITORS and primary CONTRIBUTORS
Editors and Contributors
Michael White (in addition to being internationally-vetted: https://www.peoples.ru/state/teacher/?page=10) has taught a number of subject levels (from undergraduate business studies and English to history and cultural communication), visiting approx. 100 countries, and living and working on 4 different continents. A thirteenth generation American and 3rd generation educator, White grew up in a ‘History family’ and has held life-long determinative research interests (pertaining mostly to truths-myths and/or different cultures). Sample writings (sometimes collaborative) may be viewed at: http://www.nationalityinworldhistory.net , and www.nationalityinworldhistory.net/LanguageandCulture.html .
White's monetary-focus within empirical political economy began with the Financial Crisis of 2008-09, while a doctoral candidate in World History at Wuhan University. Subsequent participation at the 2014-2019 American Monetary Institute conferences in Chicago followed suit.** White still travels widely and resides in (the multiethnicity of) Austin, Texas.
**- White initiated collaboration with (fellow AMI participants) Kenaga from the winter of 2015-16, and Smith and Marks in 2018, in addition to briefly meeting Cook and Perry (being invited to their weekly discussion group) in 2019-20.
Allen Smith has taught “Money and Banking” at the Henry George School in New York City for ten years, and has long been an independent-minded reader in political economy classics. A sometimes monetary conference participant, his formal background is in computer programming languages. Smith resides in Manhattan, New York City.
Dennis Kenaga is a retired computer programmer with the Michigan Department of Transportation, and a member of Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church of Lansing. He attended the multi-day American Monetary Institute conferences from 2014 through 2019 and is active at the local, state, national, and international levels of political economy and politics.
Randy Cook was elected President of the National Organization for Raw Materials (NORM) in 1997. The group was formed in 1936 to analyze the economic heritage and record of the USA. The results of that continuing research demonstrate the viability of a “Par-economy” as a sound strategy for generating national prosperity-security for current and future generations. Cook has authored numerous issues of NORM’s Economic Report of the Producers, concerning primary sector-based economic practices & policies, the “American System” of economics, and humanely practical solutions for local, national, and world conditions++. Cook resides on his blueberry farm outside of Charlotte, Michigan.
Geraldine Perry is an award-winning author from Orland Park, Illinois, whose environmental writing is academic, yet approachable. Her books (https://www.geraldineperry.com ; https://thetwofacesofmoney.com ) and articles have tended to focus on longterm solutions for economic, health, and environmental problems. She is also active with local farmers who supply her locally engaged food community with some of the best nutrient-dense food on the planet. Perry resides in the southwest Chicago suburbs.
Howard Marks is a physicist, mathematician, statistician, consultant, retired export-import entrepreneur and serves in several non-profit sectors, such as for the benefit of senior citizens. Howard is a founding member for the Alliance for Just Money (2017) and an associate of the American Monetary Institute since 2007. Marks resides in the metro Chicago area.
Most frequent CONTRIBUTORS to this work-in-progress include:
From over the past-century or so
(helpful material has been sourced from):
Steve Keen, Catherine Austin Fitts, Michael Hudson, Joseph Huber, Perry Mehrling, Edgar Wortmann, Michael Kumhof, Richard Werner; Carroll Quigley, Herman Daly[MW1] , Thorstein Veblen & Frederick Soddy (the great critics), and Simon Kuznets & Benjamin Graham (the great synthesizers).++ ·
And from further back
Aristotle (middle class), 重农主义 (physiocracy), Thomas Aquinas (moral pricing), Spinoza (‘modernity’), Montesquieu (empirical social science), Smith & Bentham (on being wrong), Thomas Jefferson (Americana), Alexander Del Mar (the great critic), and Henry George (the great simplifier).
“The people is a beast of muddy brain
That knows not its own force and therefore stands
Loaded with wood and stone; the powerless hands
Of a mere child guide it with bit and rein.
One kick would be enough to break the chain….”
- Tomasso Campanella, “The People”, early 17th century
4 Centuries Later, in the early 21st century…
Most people’s lives are dominated by money & monetary institutions, but they do not even know what money, currency, and monetary institutions are-- a very dangerous situation for any republic-- yet alone a Republic with democratic pretensions (in our Information Age-to-Knowledge Age transitional era).
++Although there are, of course, too many contributors to mention here (in addition to the comprehensive Sources list), Editors would also like to acknowledge the contributions and initiative of Stephen Zarlenga and his successors Bob Poteat, Jamie Walton, and Steven Walsh in hosting the annual AMI conferences for the general public; we also acknowledge Christine Desan's and Morgan Ricks’ hosting of the Just Money conferences at the Harvard Law School in 2018 and 2023. James McAndrews and Lev Menand have also provided key intell on contemporary regulation of money & currency, while Perry Mehrling, Robert McCauley, and Joseph Wang have been revealing the (past half-century’s) whale-in-the-living room of “eurodollars”. The puzzle simply does not work without these pieces.
We welcome serious reader Comment (public) and
Queries (private): private Feedback and public Comment.