(Week 2 - Wednesday Aug. 6)
In the last two columns I have put forth the idea that public money issued out of the U.S. Treasury is the economic, legal and moral way to finance essential public works. This is a concept that is not new to the history of our nation, but it has been forgotten in our time by all but a very rare few.
But now, a vanguard of brave souls in and around the town of Concord, Massachusetts has revived the idea, and is seeking to put it back on the national agenda in the form of an initiative dubbed "The Concord Resolution." This is a grassroots educational and political effort aimed at formulating and bringing to the Concord town meeting a Warrant Article ("resolution" in more common language) to petition the town's Congressional representatives to introduce a bill which would set up a procedure whereby counties and municipalities across the nation could, in an orderly way, apply for interest-free loans issued directly out of the U.S. Treasury to pay for essential public works. This is in lieu of their feeling obliged to sell bonds on the private bond market to raise needed funds.
The problem with the bond method is that it typically causes the financial cost of the project to double or triple due to "interest" payments made to bond dealers and speculators. What the Concord Resolution proposes is the complete elimination of these "interest" fees through the issuance of public money for public works.
The town of Concord is a relatively wealthy community that in an immediate sense stands certainly in lesser need of the money-saving virtues of this proposed measure than others across the nation. Why, then, has the initiative arisen from this particular locale? The good citizens of Concord deserve some recognition for that. They are sensible people who, naturally, do not wish to pay any more money than is right and necessary for their schools, roads, bridges, parks and utilities.
Beyond that, there is a growing realization that this in not only good for building public works and saving taxes in their town, but is indeed necessary to redeeming the crumbling physical infrastructure of the nation as a whole.
Taking the idea a step further, this may be a first practical step to, not only save the cost of the "interest" charges on public works across the nation, but, more fundamentally, to redeem the American monetary system itself. What is more, the fact that this resolution arises from the soil of Massachusetts has profound historical significance. These are bold statements, I know. They will be the topic of tomorrow's discourse.
Postscript: For more information on the Concord Resolution go to http://www.concordresolution.org/