Next up: a chicken in every pot?

I get a lot of e-mail from Congressional candidates; it’s part of the job. But this one intrigued me, slight grammatical errors, sentence fragments, misspellings and all.

Maryland’s 6th District Republican voters will have a little bit more spending money after today.

Thanks to Peter James, who is mailing voters 1/2 Green JUST MONEY notes.

“The bankers loaned themselves trillions of dollars from money they essentially created out of thin air. I thought the average Joe could use an interest free loan for a change. So I am mailing money to voters throughout the district.”, James said.

According a recent partial Federal Reserve audit the Fed loaned $16 trillion at near ZERO interest. $7 trillion of these loans went to foreign banks.

US banks now have $1.5 trillion in excess reserves for which the American taxpayer is paying them interest.

“While America suffers, big bankers grow rich on interest payments on their excess reserves. These reserves represent $1 million for each and every one of 12.8 million unemployed in America that could just as easily be injected into the economy in the form of low interest loans.”, exclaimed James.

All JUST MONEY notes are backed and redeemable in lettuce. A growing list of farmers and local merchants redeem JUST MONEY for goods and services. The advantages of a JUST MONEY over private bank credit money is that it bears no interest and does not loses it value over time.

The concept is explained in somewhat more depth here, but if the money were legal tender wouldn’t this be considered buying votes?

Peter is no stranger to politics, and it may come as a surprise that he actually has been a Republican nominee for Congress before. In 2008 James won the nod in the Fourth District over three other candidates before losing to Donna Edwards in the general election with just 13% of the vote. (He did get 26.7% in the Montgomery County portion of the district, though.)

But one has to ask whether the “Just Money” is really all that much different than the system we have now. After all, even if one pegs the value of the currency to that of a head of lettuce or other commodities, wouldn’t an oversupply of the commodity make the currency worth less? Truly it’s no different than the farmer who considers whether to plant wheat, corn, or soybeans based on what his prediction of the market will be come harvest time, except the farmer is paid in dollars which he can use in other places. Sure, the value of a dollar isn’t what it used to be years ago but there’s no guarantee that Just Money will buy the half-head of lettuce a year from now either unless the grower is convinced he can use it for other items, too. Perhaps it’s more like a coupon in this respect.

Moreover, there are many methods of trading value which don’t involve dollars. For example, we’ve often used the lasagna trick for getting people to help us move or do other tasks – sharing in a pan of good lasagna can be worth the afternoon of toil.

So in essence James is trying to buy votes, and enrich himself in the process. Because he is one of the farmers who accepts Just Money at his place of business (I presume it’s a vegetable stand of some sort) he would also be able to receive actual dollars for other items purchased as well – I sincerely doubt his stand is completely independent of our national legal tender. I can pretty much guarantee you that not all of his suppliers are Just Money fans.

I get the point that we need to shore up the purchasing power of our dollar, and the best way to do so is to not continually ratchet up debt. But sending out Just Money notes seems more like self-promotion than actually addressing the issue.

Oh, and Peter: please have someone review your press releases before they’re sent out. I’d be happy to give it a shot, but you’ll have to pay me more than Just Money.