June 5—The Founding Fathers of the United States were firmly convinced that one of the prerequisites to preserving our Republic was an informed citizenry. Yet today, the U.S. public is woefully uninformed, or misinformed, of even the most basic policies upon which the United States, and especially its economy, were founded.
It is my hope that this website will contribute to changing that situation, by broadly publicizing the crucial history of the American System of Political Economy, analyzing some current debates on economic policy from the standpoint of American System principles, and providing a picture of the activity underway to restore that system today.
And indeed, there is a great deal going on. As I write, we are on the verge of what may be the first hearing on the potential reinstatement of one crucial element in restoring that system, Glass-Steagall banking separation. Thanks to the courage of Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Walter Jones (R-NC), an amendment to the 600 page, deregulatory Financial Choice Act passed by the House has been proposed, which would replace the current Wall Street-backed legislation for “financial reform” (HR 10) with the Return to Prudent Banking Act (HR790). That bill, introduced by Kaptur, now has 50 sponsors, but has not been permitted a hearing in the Financial Services Committee. But, by introducing the amendment, Kaptur and Jones have forced a hearing in the Rules Committee on the question of whether HR790 amendment can be brought to the House floor for debate and a vote.
Yet most citizens are unaware of this fact. If they were informed, they would be deluging the Congress with demands that Glass-Steagall, which would cut off the Wall Street speculators from the public trough, be reinstated.
There’s more, a lot more, activity underway. As of the present writing, Memorial resolutions have been presented in 17 states (in both houses in some of them) demanding that Congress take action on Glass-Steagall. Most of these resolutions present Glass-Steagall as the first step in a four-point action plan for an American Industrial Recovery. The other three points are the establishment of a credit facility (either a new National Bank or National infrastructure bank) for funding real physical investment; the launching of a massive infrastructure rebuilding program; and the revival of a science driver program concentrated in the space program and developing nuclear fusion power.
U.S. Senators are also taking action, which ranges from the re-introduction of the Senate bill for a 21st Century Glass-Steagall (S881) to challenges being issued by Senator Elizabeth Warren to the Trump Administration, which has indicated interest in Glass-Steagall, but so far, in the words of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, opposed the very core of the legislation, the separation of commercial and investment banking.
One of the biggest deficits which the American public faces today is not any budget deficit, or even the infrastructure deficit, but the deficit in the knowledge of our fellow citizens.
For example, do you realize that, according to a broad range of recent financial reports, the U.S. corporate debt situation is approaching the breaking point in the near term? Given the size of the debt, this would be a crash putting 2007-8 to shame—and you better believe that the bankers will be looking for a bailout again.
It was to prevent financial disaster and further looting of our citizenry that President Franklin Roosevelt, in alliance with Republicans as well as his own party, moved in 1933 to institute the banking separation law commonly known as the Glass-Steagall Act. It was the one of the first steps in his American System program of economic recovery. FDR signed that historic bill on June 16, 1933. It is in the spirit of that action that I launch this website. It’s time Americans became reacquainted with what the real American System of Economy is all about.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur Addresses a Capitol Hill News Conference, Feb 1, 2017