American Monetary Institute
The American Monetary Institute is a
non-profitcharitable trust organized in 1996for the "independent study of monetary history, theory and reform."
The American Monetary Institute is dedicated to
monetary reformand advocates taking control of the monetary system out of the hands of the private banksand placing it into the hands of the US Treasury. They argue that this would mean money would be issued by government interestfree and spent into circulation to promote the general welfare. They argue that this would mean that substantial expenditures on infrastructure, including human infrastructure (education and health care) would become the predominant method of putting new money into circulation.
Its research results are published in Director Stephen Zarlenga's 736 page book, [http://www.monetary.org/lostscienceofmoney.html "The Lost Science of Money"] .
This book asserts that money did not emerge from barter between individuals, but rather through
tradebetween tribes and as part of religious worship and sacrifice. Though this is not the mainstream view, there are other scholars of money, such as Keith Hart, who agree that money developed in this way. The reason this distinction is believed to be important is because, according to the Institute, it is the definition of money which determines how the public will allow the money supplyto be controlled. If moneyis a commodityto be traded, then all that matters is that the money is 100% backed by some commodity, like goldor silverfor example. If money is credit, then it makes sense that bankers control it, as they do in the United Statestoday. But if money is an artifact of law, whose value is derived from law (payment of taxes and legal tender laws) then the Institute argues it would only be proper for the government to issue, and control the money supply. According to the Institute, it is this last definition that is supported by the history and nature of money. Government-controlled money is also postulated to be more stable than credit money or commodity money.
The institute is involved in drafting monetary reform legislation based on the historical case studies examined in Zarlenga's book.
Each year the Institute holds a monetary reform conference at
Roosevelt Universityin Chicagoin late September.
* [http://www.monetary.org American Monetary Institute]
* [http://www.feasta.org/documents/moneyecology/contents.htm "The Ecology of Money"] by Richard Douthwaite.
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