John Steward of Jesus
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Claims against wealth

August 27, 1980

When men produce more than they need from day to day and engage in exchange of the surplus production, they make use of claims for wealth (goods) in the form of money. Trouble starts when bogus claims are prepared through one or another form of trickery for the benefit of those preparing the claims. Problems develop as the number of claims grows. This distortion must be corrected. Several possibilities exist as "solutions" to the problem of growing claims for the wealth (goods).

1)    Increase production of goods simultaneously, so that claim holders never realize the erosion of the power of their claim. This is equivalent to printing an additional (11th) certificate of a one-tenth interest in the combined wealth if the wealth has been increased by one-tenth.

2)    Destroy some of the claims. This occurs when bankruptcies force the wipe-out of debts and creditors' claims are destroyed.

3)    Decrease the value of each claim. This occurs when inflation results in higher prices.

4)    Require special permission for redeeming claims, such as ration coupons, freezing bank accounts, etc.

5)    Postpone the date for redeeming claims, as is done in bank holidays, restrictions on commerce, rationing of money, etc.

6)    “Discover” a reason why all claims cannot be met by limited goods, such as a war or other national emergency.

7)    Try to force production of goods to increase the supply, as might be done through a draft into national service, state-controlled industry, etc.

8)    Declare all claims void. Declare all currency and/or debts to be voided, or some of them.

9)    Declare claims of certain classes of persons to be voided.

It should be clear from the above list that it is bordering on suicidal for any free society ever to give its rulers the authority to “manage” the claims against its wealth. Only the claims acceptable to free and independent individuals should be permitted to develop in the society. Each will benefit or suffer from his decision to honor the claim. Management of claims leads easily to management of all wealth and all men. We need honest money!

Today we face the possibility of the theft and confiscation of all wealth---of wealth produced in the past through depreciation of the currency and through inheritance taxes; of wealth produced now through income taxes; of wealth yet to be produced if deflation comes and debts must be pald.