20 November 2011

Who Is Ellen Brown?

Ellen Brown is the author of "Web of Debt," a book about the U.S. monetary system, published in March 2010.

She has only come to my attention quite recently, though.  Apparently, she has both a following within the Tea Party movement and powerful detractors therein. This is intriguing: we need more people who break through the old predictable lines, both where they are right and where they are wrong.

Gary North, of the Specific Answers blog, is clearly among her detractors. 

If I understand the polemical situation rightly, it is this: the Tea Party rank and file is ticked off about the Federal Reserve. They largely (and rightly IMHO) see it as responsible for our screwed-up banking system and, by extension, for our screwed-up economy.

Both Brown and North agree with that.  The problem is this: Brown seems to believe that the big problem with the Federal Reserve is that it is unaccountable, i.e. anti-democratic.  A centrally controlled monetary system that was accountable to the democratic process would be a vast improvement.

North, on the other hand, contends that the problem with the Federal Reserve is simply that it is a central bank. It should not exist because central banks should not exist. The particulars of how it is run don't matter to him and, in his view, should not matter to the grass roots of any populist movement worth supporting.

Accordingly, Brown favorably cited a German researcher who said that interest now composes 40 percent odf the cost of everything one buys at a store. "If the government owned the banks, it could keep the interest and get these projects at half price."

I'll be keeping my eye on Ellen and on the disputes she seems to excite.

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.