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“There is no true independence without financial independence”.
This book was written before the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014 in an attempt to influence the economic and finance policy of the Independence campaign. It gives a short history of economic theory from Adam Smith to JM Keynes and his influence on the Attlee Labour Government. It argues that the Post War Attlee Government was the most economically successful UK Government ever and that lessons from that economic experience, coupled with a major banking reform and an independent currency would be ideal for an Independent Scotland.
The co-authors, a successful businessman and a senior trade unionist, combine to argue against the present neo-liberal economic dogma and its close association with shadowy financial markets. “Moving On” offers the open-minded reader an alternative blueprint – that of a society where private enterprise and full employment can contribute equally to the ‘common weal’.
“Moving On” reviews the current status of the UK – its unscrupulous banking (which continues unrestrained), its National Debt, and the monetization of society.
It defines how Scotland might develop a different model more appropriate to the Scottish perception of a fairer society. Key to this change is a fresh assessment of the place of ‘finance’ relative to what the authors define as a more ‘real’ economy. Economic activity should be driven by capacity and ability rather than preconditioned by affordability and the precondition of financial profit. The development of this process reveals significant research into the role of financial markets and the more familiar banking institutions which at almost predictable intervals fail the society they purport to serve. The task of reforming these deeply flawed institutions is seen as practical in the context of an independent Scotland in control of its own currency and banking laws.
It looks in detail at
- the history of public debt,
- why reform is imperative,
- finding the money,
- financial markets,
- fractional reserve banking,
- why we need our own currency (Sterling is “unfit for purpose” and
- Constitutional money (defined in a new constitution as being the prerogative of the Scottish State to issue on a full-reserve basis, similar to the old building societies). It defines the functions of the banking system (and merchant banks) and government regulation.
It proposes a virtuous circle of
- financial sovereignty,
- managing the currency (both a domestic Scotmerk currency, and international trading using sterling)
- paying for employment,
- setting up a debt-free Scottish Investment bank to fund government agencies and investment,
- financing the impact of automation.
It covers the transition from Sterling to the Scotmerk (similar to the process followed for decimalization), setting up a National Bank of Scotland at Gogarburn as the Central Bank, reforming the banking system, and the impacts on contracts and foreign exchange.