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Monday, December 17, 2012

A word about the vultures for Ngati Toa

Ngati Toa. Congratulations on your Treaty Settlement, but the Banks are not clamouring around because they see you as key economic players. They are vultures. The $75 million provides the banks with a reserve on which they can use as leverage for more loans. Yes, they can lend out more money and put more people into debt because their ledgers will show your settlement proceeds as an asset. Whats so bad about this? The Banks are not actually empowered to create money by any form of legislation. However, no doubt they'd rely on the 'third source' the fact that there is no law prohibiting them creating money in this way, since they are not technically 'printing' it. Additionally, they will lend money out, that they created out of nothing, that is associated with your deposit and then they'll charge interest on that loan. That interest rate ensures that there is less money circulating in the economy than the debt that is actually owed. Its how fractional reserve banking works.

I'm not kidding. The financial advice you'll likely receive is to invest the proceeds of your settlement in overseas schemes. Your advisor's will talk about the benefit of profits to iwi. But what are profits? They are the monopolisation of money in the economy. Profits mean that the person or companies who benefit from them do so at the demise of those who are forced out of work so that companies can continue to make profits. In the 1980's this happened to be predominantly Maori, because Maori were unskilled factory workers and the companies had machines replace them. Its a vicious circle. (Although admittedly, machines have replaced menial work giving people the opportunity to pursue more interesting and fulfilling life paths - however, in NZ because education came at a cost at the same time those in menial work were replaced by machines, this had an adverse effect on Maori in particular). Moreover, if you transfer the money in your account out of NZ, say an overseas investment, then this means there is less money circulating in our economy and the less money in circulation the harder it is on the least well off members of society to improve their own economic positions.

However, using a bank is unavoidable on your part really. But you have the opportunity not to be part of the system that caused the injustices that you received redress for but instead to use it as a means of transition. Maori values are not capitalistic. Maori values are egalitarian. Think about that before allowing the banks to use you in a system that necessarily creates injustices to benefit the few.

But hey, who am I to tell you what to do with your money or what your values are. I am just reminding you that the system is deceptive and to be careful not to become corrupted by the very system that used its corruption to disadvantge you and pillage your villages, lands and resources.

But do note: its not your money in reality - its just numbers in a computer system that have no value. It is not backed by any value. Its created as debt - every dollar of your settlement is a debt owed by someone else to someone else.