When traditional systems falter and fail, new ideas spring to life. Little noticed by most observers, handholds on processes of potentially important new forms of change have been quietly developing around the country.
It's all good fun -- or is it? Most commentators have missed the real significance of the trillion-dollar coin. It is not just about political gamesmanship. For centuries, a secret battle has raged over who should create the nation's money supply -- governments or banks.
Many homeowners were strained by mortgages that were underwater prior to the storm, and their properties have now depreciated to the point of having no market value at all. They have no choice but to try to rebuild, but how can they take on more debt?
Slashing services, selling off public assets, and raising taxes won't cure these ills. To maintain a sustainable and productive economy requires a visionary leap into the new. A new economy needs new methods of public financing.
It will not achieve those things because it consists of no more than an asset swap on bank balance sheets. It will not get dollars to businesses or consumers on Main Street. So what is the real purpose of this exercise?
All of this has implications for Americans concerned with an out-of-control national debt. Properly managed and directed, it seems, the debt need be nothing to fear. Like Japan, and unlike Greece and other eurozone countries, the U.S. is the sovereign issuer of its own currency.
San Bernardino and other counties are drowning in debt from a crisis created when Wall Street's real estate securitization bubble burst. By using eminent domain, they can clean up the destruction of their land title records and 400 years of real property law.
As the early weeks of the presidential campaign have shown, the American electorate can expect a mind-numbing election season devoid of a real debate on real issues offering real solutions for millions of desperate citizens.
Why does there always seem to be enough money for military expansion, prisons, bank bailouts and tax cuts for the wealthy, but not enough for education -- or for jobs, housing, healthcare, or old age pensions?
U.S. taxpayers now pay nearly half a trillion dollars annually to finance our federal debt. By financing the debt itself rather than paying interest to private parties, the government could divert what it would have paid in interest into tuition, jobs, infrastructure and social services.
We have forgotten our roots, when the American colonists thrived on a system of money created by the people themselves, debt-free and interest-free. The continued dominance of the Wall Street money machine depends on that collective amnesia.
The time has come for an intelligent, independently-governed, public infrastructure bank, ideally partnering with real banks that see their public purpose as a profession, focused on productive lending in the real economy.