Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I have been thinking again (be forewarned). I have been thinking about the way we arrange our economy; and I have concluded after 493 years of experience with the quasi-feudal, quasi-capitalist and quasi-socialist model for an economic system that we have (I’d call it a hybrid, but that implies some rational thought and care in its development) is that it is a unmitigated disaster. Yes, I know, it has brought us this far, but think how much farther an economy that works could have brought us.
Beginning with our existence as 13 colonies of England during which experience, the English Parliament largely ignored the need for money in a colony (largely to keep us from trading with each other and keep us dependent upon England for trade). While our colonial legislatures did not invent it, they used paper money—fiat money with varying degrees of failure and a success or two thrown in. Indeed, even the Continental Congress got into the paper money game. What characterized our economic systems under colonial and then early independence was that those with money were given special advantages under law that protected their ability to hang on to their money. For example, rather than letting the “continental dollar” sink to a level representing its purchasing power (which was occasioned by the Continental Congress not taxing which would have kept the numbers of continental dollars at a level reflecting their worth), the first Secretary of the Treasury (a fellow by the name of Hamilton) suggested they be redeemable at face value by “hard currency.” At that point, rich speculators held most of the Continental Currency.
Essentially throughout the remainder of our economic history, when there has been a contest between the masses and the rich over how much money will exist, the rich have won: The two Banks of America, the State Chartered Banks issuing money, Greenbacks, free silver (the Byron Cross of God Speech), right up to the bailout in 2008 and after.
Now, well you may ask. Just how do you arrive at that conclusion? Simple, look at the data on what proportion of the wealth is owned by what proportion of the population. Look at the income gap, over time. Take the wealthiest individual in each decade since when data exists, adjust his wealth by purchasing poser and note that you will find, he (in the abstract) has gotten wealthier. In purchasing price dollars look at the gap in CEOs and their employees.
The argument that the wealthy provide jobs and hence we need to cater to them may or may not be true. The facts are that as we have catered to the wealthy with this trickle-down philosophy over the past 496 years it has only made them richer and the rest of us work harder and fall farther behind. So, I am concluding that it is time for a change in our economic system (whatever name of description you want to append to it). Specifically, the change I propose is to distribute the new money that is created, equally, to the people. Give some to the government so the government does not have to tax the peoples’ new money. For arguments supporting my position, I have posted them on a blog: https://democratizemoney.wordpress.com . I will add more to that blog.
Why did you think about this today? I cannot lie, it is because of my negative reaction to what I see going on in the establishment of a moneyed administration tomorrow.
I do hope this finds you warm, healthy and happy.
The next installment of the Amanda Saga is appended below. It is a bit long today (sorry about that).
Warmest regards, Theo
042 An Interview and a Realization
Fiction in 1832 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
At Four O’clock on the dot, Edith Gunderson rang Amos and Mary Sheahan’s door bell. When Mary Sheahan opened the door, she greeted Edith Gunderson warmly. “Ms. Gunderson. It is so good to see you after all these years. Do come in.”
Edith Gunderson smiled and said, “After this long, I am surprised you remember me.”
“You were so helpful. Judge Belemany told us that you were not privy to Davey’s sealed record. You didn’t know.” Mary Sheahan said. “Let me take your coat. Amos is in the living room and Phillip is upstairs in his room.”
Edith took off her coat and handed it to Mary Sheahan and asked “What was I not privy to about David Anderson? I did not know he had a sealed record.”
“Oh, it was those unfortunate incidents with the neighborhood cats.” Said Mary Sheahan.
“Cats?” Said Edith Gunderson. “What about the cats.”
As the entered the living room Amos Sheahan got up and said “Welcome to our home. I assume you are here to check up on how Phillip is getting along. Please have a seat.” Turning to his wife, “Mary, get Ms. Gunderson some coffee.”
Edith Gunderson held up her hand, “No thank you. It is too late in the day for me to be drinking coffee.”
Mary Sheahan said, “I do have decaf, tea or soda.”
“No, I am fine. But I would like to know about the, how did you put it, the incident with the neighbor’s cats.” Edith Gunderson said.
Mary Sheahan said. “Amos, you tell her, I’ll go get Phillip.
Amos Sheahan said. “There isn’t much to tell. The Judge showed us a file of cruelty to animal complaints against the boy and suggested that he would need serious psychiatric treatment. I believe he said we would save the state hundreds of thousands of dollars by taking on the obligation. Well I have to tell you we didn’t have that kind of money and since the kid had the condition before an adoption, our insurance would not have covered it. That was a long time before preexisting conditions were covered.”
Edith Gunderson said. “Thank you. The judge was right, I didn’t know. Tell me about Phillip.”
“The Judge sent us to King County and had arranged for us to adopt Philip out of State.” Replied Amos Sheahan. “No fuss no muss. I must say, it has worked out rather well. Phillip is a good kid.” Amos paused and at the moment his wife walked in with a young man. The young man was about 20 years old, tall, sandy hair, and a lopsided grin. He looked like the brother of a young David Anderson that Edith Gunderson remembered from the photo in his file.
When Ms. Gunderson returned to her office
she found Jeremy Eastman waiting in the outer office with Millie. Taking off her coat she asked. “How did it go.”
Jeremy Eastman said. “I heard you say to be gentle. I was. I don’t know if I could have pushed her to tell me what the Judge did to them; but, I don’t think she would have been a threat to him. She and her late husband were really concerned with reputation. The judge had their number. How did it go with you?”
Edith Gunderson said “the Judge pulled a different scam on the Sheahans. He . . .
Detectives Philipson and Batan entered the Child Protective Services Office interrupting Edith Gunderson’s explanation to Jeremy Eastman. Detective Philipson held a file up and spoke first “That Judge was a cleaver bastard.”
Detective Baran cringed. “Language, there are women present.”
Detective Philipson grimaces, “Oops, sorry, but that was the truth he was devious, and, er a, well, er a crook or something.” He looked around and went on. “I Interview two couples who had adoptions jerked out from under them. In one case the Judge told them the kid had a terminal illness and wouldn’t last the year. In the other the Judge told them the kid was under investigation for a series of arsons in a city nearby. In both cases, he arranged for them to adopt other children out of state.”
“I found the same pattern.” Said Detective Batan. “In my two interviews, he implicated one girl in a sex for sale scheme and another in a theft of Girl Scout Cookies. Then he sent the parents to other jurisdictions for new placements. Eddie and I, I mean my partner and I, met upstairs an hour ago; we checked the four stories we got from the applicants and none of them have any paperwork to indicate the Judge’s statement about the children are true or have any factual basis. There were no sealed files in any of the four cases. He made stuff up to get the couples wanting to adopt to withdraw their applications at the court appearances, in our four cases in chambers, and then sent them to other cities, counties and states where they quickly complete adoptions. Since they got to adopt children none of them would have been inclined to complain or be evidence for any investigation.”
“Well, we all know what Jeremy found. Mrs. Wythe would not have been a problem. I found a similar thing.” Said Edith Gunderson. “The judge told the Sheahans that David Anderson was cruel to animals and under investigation for criminal charges. Further that the boy would need very expensive psychiatric care. Like the people you interviewed,” looking at Detective Batan, ‘he also sent them out of state with some prearrangements for a fast adoption.
As Ms. Guncerson was explaining her interview, Detective Batan had walked into Ms. Gunderson’s office and stood in front on the board with patent information, children’s names and the parents who would have adopted them but didn’t at the last moment. When Edith Gunderson finished, Detective Batan signaled for the others to join him and then said, “We have talked to the applicants in five of these cases in which the Judge prevented the child from being raised by supportive parents.” He picked up the yard stick lying on the table and pointed to one. “In the Case of Patrick Sullivan by not being adopted by the Wythes the boy was kept away from learning more about computers. Hence, he would not file the patent that the Judge had with his name on it dated some years after the foiled adoption. I think the Judge changed the personal history’s” and he waved his arm to encompass the entire white board “of all of these people. He stole the patents and made sure that the real inventors never got the training and nurturing they needed.
“It is important to remember the judge took the patents in the binder we found from the archives hundreds of years after they were filed. When he stole them they were obsolete, historical curiosities or mementos at best. But, he brought them back to a time before they were filed. He filed them exactly as the originals he pilfered, but substituted his name as the applicant and inventor. Since the Judge interfered in the real investor’s lives, they could not file the patents for he sent them in a different direction because he was a judge and could.”
Detective Philipson brightened up, “I get it, he only messed a little bit with history. He messed with the personal stuff, the day by day lives. But the history making stuff those kids would do, their inventions, got done by his filing the patents. So, he didn’t make a big or noticeable change in history.”
“What about Amanda White’s patent?” Asked Jeremy Eastman.
Detective Batan held up his hand to indicate he was going to speak. After a few seconds, he said. “I have thought about that. You recall that Mrs. White told us she and another woman who had the same name were working to find a way to speedup metals as conductors for computer chips at the Colorado School of Mines when Mrs. White was arrested? Well, that ended her participation in that research. So, that left the other woman to finish. Finish she did. I think, the Judge in this case changed the personal history for Mrs. White by taking her out of the big invention equation before she could file. I think it was in the Judge’s mind to file that patent in his name like the others. The first mistake the judge made with the White patent application is he didn’t understand there were two Amanda Whites on it. I’m guessing he thought the name appearing twice was a mistake; or, he simply did not notice. So, he did not replace the history making stuff as he planned by disrupting Mrs. White’s personal history because Miss Amanda White, whose existence he obviously did not know about, was still working and filed the patent. Indeed, I will bet we will find a copy with his name on the application someplace in the Patent Office Archives under patent applications received, duplicate requests or applications for patents already granted or the like depending upon how their filing system is set up. Indeed, I suspect we will find, since the other Amanda White’s home was in Washington D.C., that she filed in person. The Judge probably filed by mail and scheduled the patent to arrive a few days after the date on the application. The Post Office is very good about no more than two to three days for first class between here and DC. I’ll bet if we can find a copy of his application we will find her application beat his by days.”
“That is a lot of conjecture, Partner.” Said Detective Philipson.
“Perhaps, but it fits the facts and there are two ways to find out. The old-fashioned way by going and looking in the archives or we could ask Special Agent Fleishman to peek in and see what happened.” Said Detective Batan as he looked around the room. “Say, where is Special Agent Fleishman, anyway?”
Jermay Eastman replied. “He wasn’t here when I left.”
Edith Gunderson nodded, “Nor when I left. Mr. Murphy was here but not Special Agent Fleishman.” Edith Gunderson went to her office door and stuck her head out. “Millie has Special Agent Flieshman been around in the last few hours?”
Millie could be heard in the office. “No Mam. I haven’t seen him since he and Detective Batan went in your office this morning after you moved the white boards in.”
Jeremy Eastman looked thoughtfully at the white board Detective Batan has just been using to illustrate his theory of what the Judge was up to and finally said, “So, the late Judge Belemany got rich by stealing orphans’ ideas and ruining their chances at happy fruitful family lives.” He looked around at the others who were all shaking their heads in agreement. “Well mixed company or not, Detective Philipson was right on the mark. The Judge was one evil bastard.”