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Friday, July 10, 2009

Can You Believe It?

The Silly Series Number 1

by Vincent Vickers

They kept it a profound secret. They said it was "not in the public interest" that the news should be broadcast. The fact remains, that I myself was present when the Great Logical Professor arrived here direct from Mars, and met the World's leading orthodox economist.

"Well, boys said the Logical Professor from Mars, "Everything okay up here?"

"Alas! Far from it", said our orthodox economist. "This world is in economic eruption! Wars and rumors of wars, millions of people unemployed, ill-fed, ill-clothed, suffering malnutrition and great poverty, and discontent everywhere!"

"Oh", said the Martian professor. "I suppose, then, that you are finding it impossible to produce sufficient to feed your increasing population, and supply them with what they need for a comfortable life?"

"On the contrary", said the orthodox economist, "we have wonderful machinery! We can produce far more than all the people need; in fact, we are actually destroying food."

"You don't say", said the astonished professor, "Then there must be something wrong with your shipping and transport facilities - you can't carry the goods to the consumers".

"Wrong again", said the orthodox economist. "We have to most up-to-date and ample transport, and marvelous ships - no, that is not what is wrong".

"But what else can be wrong?" asked the Martian professor, lifting his eyebrows.

"Well, you see", said out orthodox economist, "The poor people can't have the goods because they have not got enough money".

"Money", said the professor from Mars. "What on this earth is that?"

"Fancy you not knowing about money!" said the orthodox economist. "It was invented by Mankind for his own special benefit long before 1066, to make everything simple and easy for the exchange of one man's goods for another man's goods. It enables us to do away with the previous cumbersome procedure of barter. We do not have to lead a cow down Bond Street in order to exchange it for perfumes and jewelry; all we have to do is to exchange the cow for 'money' and then hand over the money for our other requirements. A wonderful invention, affecting the lives and happiness of all Mankind!"

"So that is where the trouble lies!" said the professor. "Then, obviously, what you have got to do is to alter your money system, so as to enable these discontented millions of people to buy the things they need, and employ your unemployed!"

"Oh, we must not do that", exclaimed the orthodox economist, with a shocked expression on his face. "We must not alter out ancient money system! No, that would never do!"

"But why not?" said the professor from Mars. "Am I to understand that this invention has become a sort of 'religion' with rules and regulations that cannot be changed?"

"Well", said the orthodox economist, gazing down rather sheepishly at his white spats, "I had not thought of it that way before, but you are right - it is a 'religion' with us. We call it 'Sound Finance!'"

The big, thick lips of the professor slowly curled themselves into a Martian grin. Without a word, he clambered back into his rocket-apparatus and started off for home. And when he had reached a height of some eighty thousand meters, he looked down on the World, flapped his great ears, and laughed, and laughed, and LAUGHED.


Vincent Vickers was a Director of the Bank of England, a Director of the Vickers Limited, and a Deputy-Liutenant of the City of London. He had exceptional inside knowledge and experience of trading and banking. This knowledge convinced him that the present economic system is so dangerously unwise that he felt it his duty during the later years of his life to work whole-heartedly for its reform.

In 1926 Vickers told the Governor of the Bank of England, Montagu Norman, that henceforth he would fight Montagu and the Gold Standard and the Bank of England Policy until Vickers died. And he did. Vincent Vickers died on November 3rd 1939 after a long illness. All the while he was sick he was working and writing on economic reform.

Before his death Vickers started The Silly Series, which he intended to be a series of short humorous leaflets on economics. He never got beyond Number 1 before his death. Arian Nevin plans to continue The Silly Series started by Vickers.

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Bill Totten


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