— Equality Between
article of Louis Even, first published in the February, 1966 issue of
the Vers Demain Journal.)
a glance over all the objects that are in your home: a piano, ties,
beds, forks; whatever object, they have all been purchased. If they are
a gift, the person who gave them to you had to purchase them first.
you are a farmer, all that is on your table or in the refrigerator has
also been bought. Even farmers have on their tables things they had to
buy — just to mention pepper and salt — and they also had to
purchase the ploughing implements that allowed them to produce the food
that is on their tables or that they sell on the market.
is modern life: people work to produce goods that will not be consumed
by themselves personally, that will not end up in their homes. These
goods are made to be sold on the community market, nation-wide.
each person goes to this community market and chooses what he wants. One
can choose as long as one has the means to choose, since the products
are not given away; they are sold. They are marked with a price tag, in
dollars and cents. In other words, to be able to buy something, you must
possess the equivalent in dollars and coins. The more money you have,
the more choices you have to purchase goods. If you have no money at
all, well, you can choose absolutely nothing: you must then live off the
charity of others.
Prices and purchasing power
means that our standard of living depends on the existence of two
things: first, the existence of goods before us, and second, the
existence of purchasing power in our pockets.
existence of goods before us — whether in stores or warehouses — is
no problem today. Goods can come in stores as fast as they are ordered
— except, perhaps, in wartime, when the production of consumer goods
is stopped intentionally in order to produce deadly weapons.
if goods arrive on the market quickly and in plenty, the purchasing
power in our pockets comes at a much slower rate. To prove it, wallets
are often empty, but stores are never completely empty. New goods arrive
faster in the stores than money does in our wallets.
is a price on every good for sale. What is this price made up of? Look,
it is made up of figures.
Money is figures
what about the money in your pockets — when you have some, what is it
made up of? Look, it is made up of figures. Take bank notes of $2, $5,
or $10: they are all rectangular pieces of paper of 6 inches by 2.75
inches. What differentiates them from each other is the figures printed
on them, nothing else. The 10-dollar note is worth twice as much as the
5-dollar note because one bears the number 10, and the other, the number
you have a bank account, you can say: “I have some money deposited in
the bank.” What is this money in the bank made up of? Look in the
banker's ledger, or in your bankbook: you see nothing but figures.
you write a cheque to pay somebody, or when somebody writes a cheque to
pay you, what gives value to this cheque? The amount that is written
upon it — the figures.
on goods are figures. Money to purchase goods is also figures.
the figures that are prices and the figures that are money corresponded,
there would be no more problem to pay than there is to produce.
this is not the case, and that is why goods pile up even though
retailers try to sell them; that is why they do not reach the consumers
who need them.
Lack of purchasing power
is a lack of purchasing power, whereas goods are far from lacking.
Purchasing power consists in the relation between the figures you have
in your wallet and the figures that are marked on goods.
the figures that are marked on goods increase, people say: “The cost
of living is high.” But say what you like, it remains high.
the figures in our wallets diminish or disappear, people say: “Money
is tight. We do not have enough money.” But say what you like, it will
not make money come into your wallets.
who has little money, who is continuously short of money for his needs,
says: “I am poor.” There are many people who say: “I am poor.”
are some of these people who say: “I am poor because there are other
people who are too wealthy.” We, the Social Crediters, never say this.
We know that one does not have to impoverish the wealthy in order to
make the poor richer.
us suppose there is not much money in your wallet. Go to a store; go, if
you wish, at the same time as a rich person goes. What do you notice?
The rich person easily buys everything he needs. He leaves the store
with one or several full boxes. Is the store empty because of this? If
you cannot bring home what you need from the store, is it because this
rich person took so much with him that there is nothing left for you? Of
course not. The real reason is because your wallet is too slim. So, if
money was put in your wallet without taking it from the rich person's
wallet, would this not suit you?
what prevents more money from being put into the wallets when there are
still unsold goods and a multitude of unemployed people who could make
even more goods if the quantity of goods threatened to diminish? If
money is figures, what prevents the money-figures from being put at the
level of the price-figures? The rich person does not possess all the
figures of arithmetic. Figures are the most inexhaustible thing that can
exist. It is a very strange thing indeed that people have to suffer, not
because of a lack of goods, but because of a lack of figures.
I could imagine some distinguished economist who says with a shrug:
“Money cannot be created just like that; what would be the use of
money with no goods to match it?”
would certainly be useless! But please tell us, Sir, what use are goods
with no money in front of them? They are only useful to make people
unemployed, deprived, and exasperated. But if you have goods in front of
needs, and money on the same side as needs, then both goods and money
will be useful.
course, money must not be created in any way, without any relation to
goods. Money must be issued in an intelligent way, so that the
price-figures and the money-figures can correspond, and so that everyone
can have enough money-figures to live.
A dividend and lowering of prices
are two ways to have price-figures and money-figures correspond: prices
can be lowered, or wallets fattened.
Credit would do both without harming anybody, by suiting everybody.
the present financial system, it is impossible to lower the prices
without harming the producers, and impossible to fatten the wallets
without raising the prices.
have seen, quite often, workers demanding pay raises. Why? Because their
wages, which are made up of money-figures, are too small in comparison
with the price-figures marked on goods. They are right to complain since
they have needs that remain unanswered in front of goods that pile up.
if workers get pay raises, these pay raises are included in the prices,
and the price-figures increase accordingly. The gap remains between the
price-figures and the money-figures.
must be increased without increasing the price-figures. For this,
additional money must come from a source other than industry. This is
what a Social Credit financial system would do. This is what the Social
Crediters call “a dividend”: a dividend to all, since it is not a
salary as a reward for work.
the other hand, Social Credit also proposes a monetary mechanism to
lower prices, without harming the producers, because the retailers would
be compensated for the sum the consumers do not have to pay.
two mechanisms put together — the lowering of prices and the dividend
— would be calculated so as to balance price-figures and
are needed. If there is only a dividend, the prices could tend to raise,
even if the actual cost price of goods remains the same. And if there is
only the lowering of prices, without a dividend, it would be of no use
for people with no income.
Progress at the service of the human person
and more, technological progress allows to produce more with less human
progress, the many inventions, scientific applications, discoveries of
new sources of energy, are not due to the work of a single man, nor the
work of a few, not even the work of the present generation only. All
this progress is capital that has been increased and transmitted from
one generation to the next. It is a communal good that must not benefit
a few only. “The discoveries of human genius,” wrote Damien Jasmin,
“must benefit every man, and not only a few fortunate and rich
a capitalist invests some money in a company, if this company is
profitable, the capitalist gets a dividend, even though he does not work
personally in this company. Those who work in that company receive
wages, but the capitalist who invested money in it receives a dividend;
and if he also works himself in the company, he receives both a salary
and a dividend.
Social Credit says that progress — the great capital we have just
talked about above, which is a community capital that is more and more
productive — must bring in dividends to all, since all the members of
society are the co-owners of this progress. Those who do not work remain
just the same the co-owners of this communal capital, and are entitled
to a dividend. Those who work are also entitled to this dividend, and to
their wages as well.
is where the Social Crediters stand on the progress issue.
who persist in saying that one must be hired to be allowed to purchase
goods, are obliged to create new jobs, whereas progress eliminates the
need for human labour. They go against progress! They try to create new
material needs to keep people employed, thus making progress lead to
materialism. Or else, they direct the economy towards war production,
and to war itself, which is the most efficient way to destroy production
and to keep people employed.
Social Crediters want to put progress at the service of man, and free
man, more and more, from material worries, thus allowing him to devote
himself to functions other than the sole economic function.
dividend to each and everyone, besides being an acknowledgement of the
right of all to an income issued from a productive communal capital, is
also the most direct method to guarantee to every human being at least a
share in the material goods, which are meant for all. This method is all
the more urgent since there is no other method proposed today to ensure
this right. In a world where at least two-thirds of the population have
no means of production of their own, they need a compensation so as not
to be reduced to choosing between total starvation and becoming the
slaves of those who concentrate more and more into their hands the
sources of wealth.