Monthly Archives: October 2008

The entrenched notion of Public Debt in America – will take a gestalt shift to overcome! A seeding–prose for Collaboration

The entrenched notion of Public Debt in America – will take a gestalt shift to overcome!

A seeding–prose for Collaboration


On the US Treasury department website, there is a service called:

It’s job, as stated,

You haven’t heard of the Bureau of the Public Debt before? We’re a small agency within the Department of the Treasury. Our customers are your neighbors, co-workers, and most likely you, too. You’re our customer if you’ve ever bought any type of Treasury security for yourself or, as millions have done in the case of savings bonds, as a gift for someone else.

Our job is to borrow the money needed to operate the federal government and to account for the resulting debt. In a nutshell, we borrow by selling Treasury bills, notes, and bonds, as well as U.S. Savings Bonds; we pay interest to investors; and, when the time comes to pay back the loans, we redeem investors’ securities. Every time we borrow or pay back money, it affects the outstanding debt of the United States.

The second para is blatantly interesting as it is quintessentially axiomatic: “Our job is to borrow the money needed to operate the federal government and to account for the resulting debt.”

On the same home page, is also this axiomatic quote from Alexander Hamilton, the father of private central banking in the newly independent former colonies, the Bank of North America, followed by the First Bank of the United States when he was the Secretary of the Treasury: “The United States debt, foreign and domestic, was the price of liberty.”

So – the coupling between the federal government’s Treasury department, and private central banking, is as old as America. It is irrefutably captured in that quote of Hamilton. Despite the occasional bouts of heroism by presidents like Andrew Jackson “You are a den of vipers. I intend to rout you out, and by God, I will rout you out.”, and after killing the Second Bank of the United States, “I killed the bank”, for the brief respite of 77 years until 1913, it has become such an axiom that today, generations later, a federal government department is created to monitor the size of that debt. Well, clicking the correct combination of links on the home page, I ended up here:

One of our primary responsibilities is to account for the U.S. public debt. We update this number daily at

See the Public Debt

And clicking that green box brought up this oft repeated shocking number, which hitherto, I had often heard mentioned, but didn’t know where that number came from, or who tracked it. Well, there is a department at the US Treasury very proudly keeping track of it – apparently bigger that number, greater the benefit to the nation, purchasing her more ‘freedom’ as per Hamilton’s axiom, and as per their own excitement: “The strategic plan for Public Debt sets an exciting and challenging course that is filled with promise”

( Debt Held by the Public vs. Intragovernmental Holdings )


Debt Held by the Public

Intragovernmental Holdings

Total Public Debt Outstanding





And one can read about their “promise” in their 30 year strategic plan, of which the next 5-year snapshot – “This is Public Debt’s strategic plan for fiscal years (FY) 2009 through 2014.” – can be found at: Bureau of the Public Debt Strategic Plan 2009-2014 (PDF, 4MB).

So surely all of you know all this – why am I rehearsing it here?

It is to point out that any monetary reform attempt, away from this deeply entrenched axiom of Hamilton’s, is likely going to be tantamount to a Galilean gestalt shift.

Just to ponder the mammoth implication of that is sobering. What I cite above is so empirically entrenched that even Nobel Prize winners don’t question the axiom of private central banking, and more importantly, “money as debt”, and you can observe that of both Milton Friedman and Paul Krugman. While they may critique the Fed, they will not critique the underlying axiom. And one can also observe that in the nationalization of the Bank of England, as in the nationalization of the Fed that is happening before one’s eyes. The key axiom, money as debt, now exists in the entire western world, and controls international finance.

Furthermore, as cited elsewhere, Thomas Edison’s commonsensical statements of 1921 regarding Henry Ford’s Muscle Shoals project proposal reported in the New York Times, receiving absolutely no consideration by any of the entrenched monetarists, shows me that monetary reformers have to ab initio re-think implementation architectures.

This is the single most important point that Project Humanbeingsfirst is humbly attempting to drive home among would be ‘revolutionaries’. Some of the realistic challenges in effectively overthrowing an entrenched system that is maintained by power-wielders who overwhelmingly control the triumvirate of political, social, and financial agendas, is discussed in Project Humanbeingsfirst’s reality-check essay: “Monetary Reform: Who will bell the cat?”. And this letter highlights the additional challenge of overcoming an entrenched worldview so ingrained in the myopic consciousness of an entire generation, that even its axioms remain unexamined by its highest lauded thinkers. I refuse to accept the un-stated premise among some, that the US Treasury department is run by morons, just as I refuse to accept the premise that Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, and Dr. Ben Bernanke the Fed Chairman, both MIT alums with Ph.D. in economics (1977, 1979), holding prestigious chairs at imperial Princeton, are morons. A worldview so entrenched, and a un-hidden power so pervasive which nurtures this worldview in pernicious ways that only become apparent a hundred years later, as Mr. Norman Dodd revealed to Mr. Griffin for instance, is the nemesis, not peoples. I use the singular advisedly, because indeed, the root nemesis is mainly one.

And I feel that among all of you, it is Mr. G. Edward Griffin who seems to have hit on the principle modus operandi that might surely be effective. If the existing power-brokers and their aficionados in this present generation cannot be converted to the non-flat-earth-society view, and they really can’t – this is my conclusion too – one must endeavor to create a new generation, and propel them in various positions of power and public opinion, ab initio. It is like my son quoted this Chinese proverb in one of his speeches at his school, “a society in which wise men plant trees under whose shade they will never have the opportunity to sit, cannot go astray.”

So then, the question arises, given that it is only the long term in which any benefit will be derived, how to pursue that path effectively over time and space in which we ourselves may not exist, but the forces we might unleash must? Where will these “wise men” come from who might fund such long term vision? For without funding, vision will remain mere hallucinations.

This letter, sent to some monetary reform thinkers on October 29, 2008, with minor edits, is being made a humble seeding–prose for new peoples wishing to come aboard this train to quickly come up to speed as to what the overarching challenges really are. Those wishing to acquire a historical perspective may refer to the excellent video “Money Masters”. Those wishing to acquire a basic understanding of “money as debt”, may watch the video by that name. And those wishing to get a more quantitative handle on how the Federal Reserve System actually works, may see the booklet issued by the Chicago Fed, “Modern Money Mechanics”. The Urls are noted below. It is essential that good intentioned peoples, experts and novice alike, from all fields of endeavors including doctors, lawyers, scientists, financiers, engineers, politicians, and journalists, to name only a few – invariably bringing different perceptions and expertise level to the fray – are quickly able to come up to a common set of “initial conditions” before they start imposing their own “boundary conditions” and “solution-sets” upon everyone else. I apologize for the geek-speak, but I use it to delineate my own background as an engineer in a former life, and while the geek-speak is mainly MIT lingo, all can surely understand what it means.

The challenges are formidable, and can easily transcend any one individual’s ideas, expertise, and capacity – unless one happens to be a David Rockefeller or a Rothschild and can put down a $100 million per year for the fulfillment of one’s dream. When one is not that, then, in order to build an evolving consensus towards what is rational, and simultaneously drive it politically forward amidst real-world challenges of entrenched big money and entrenched big political power, surely requires there be few prima-donnas, but rather, that real leadership of thought and of peoples is allowed to emerge. Such will naturally emerge – as I am sure most have witnessed time and again in open collaborative group settings – not by force of assertion, but by natural inspiring of confidence. We must endeavor to create a framework where all these things can happen – keeping in mind the Chinese wisdom that my young teenager reminded all the parents one day in his school speech. I must rehearse it once more because it not only underscores the oft neglected blatantly obvious wisdom, but also the practicable reality-space: “a society in which wise men plant trees under whose shade they will never have the opportunity to sit, cannot go astray.”

The place to begin is surely by getting some financiers aboard who can seed-fund some of these visions for kickoff. I wrote a letter to one such financier who had expressed an interest in long term philanthropy. And the first thing I would wish to do is to get all the relevant peoples together to permit each one to exhaust themselves talking, so that we can all begin listening.


Zahir Ebrahim

Please redistribute freely.

[1] URL for this seeding–prose for collaboration

[2] Monetary Reform: Who will bell the cat?

[3] Money Masters video:

[4] Money as Debt video:

[5] Modern Money Mechanics booklet:

[6] A detailed bibliography of monetary reform topics, to be kept up to date, is forthcoming at

The entrenched notion of Public Debt in America – will take a gestalt shift to overcome!