Economic outlook could be different

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 15, 2010

So often in The Democrat I see speculations regarding the local economic woes, but never have I have I seen any of the local newspapers address some of the most relevant issues affecting us.

The first issue that should be recognized and addressed is the way the local banks manage the deposits of local citizens. The banks operate in a way that is mysterious to most people, yet most people think they understand it. If most people did understand, then our local economic climate would be far sunnier, as the people would press for banking reform on a national level that would filter down to the local level; at the same time they could be more demanding of the local banks.

The first thing the people, who go hat in hand when seeking a loan for whatever reason, need to realize is that the banks who project the image that the people are at the mercy of the banks are really at the mercy of the people. Any local bank could be shut down overnight if the depositors simply withdrew their money.

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It would quickly be revealed that the local banks are all essentially insolvent, because they loan out multiples of the money actually on deposit. They are in fact forbidden from loaning out the money on deposit unless they function strictly as a loan bank.

The truth of this statement is seen upon reflecting that if the banks were actually loaning out the depositors actual money, as some of the loan officers will wrongly tell  you they do, then how could the depositors write checks and how could they make withdrawals from the savings accounts on demand? Where does the extra money come from that allows banks to make loans and pay out cash for demand deposits? The banks create it at the banks whenever someone signs for a loan. So they didn’t have it to begin with and if all their depositors demand their money, as is their right, the banks are unable to meet their over-obligations and don’t have this money they loaned out in the end.

The  bankers, of course, command and demand a great deal of respect from the community because they are aware of the low level of education now extant in society regarding banking activities. The truth is that when you deposit your paycheck in your bank, you have just made a loan to the bank. How much interest does your bank pay you for this loan? And how much interest does your bank charge you for money it loans to you.

The second issue that should be recognized is that the local school boards overtax the people and salt this money away; the state does the same way with the excess money collected in taxes.

For all the southern states, only 16 percent of the hundreds of billions of dollars represented by this over-taxation kept in cash and investments is re-invested in the south. The rest of it goes to build things like high speed Internet systems in Europe and factories in India, while locally we suffer substandard service and industrial jobs have gone to those factories we financed in India and China.

We suffer because our representatives are either ignorant of how money works or because they are complacent. Our local bankers are quick to loan money to wild casino schemes run by companies with dubious records, but loathe to make loans to the very people whose money they are loaning!

We suffer because, simply, we are being used as producers of capital, money milk-cows, in a sense, useful only for milking and not deserving of any greater respect, certainly not a asset at the table at the farmhouse. Those seats are reserved for the favored, whose family names can be found on plats going back before the Civil War and cling to their privileged positions at the expense of the community.

Marty Ellerbe

Vidalia resident