“For the United States to be a prosperous country, it must have strong cities, towns and neighborhoods. Enduring prosperity for our communities cannot be artificially created from the outside but must be built from within, incrementally over time.” ~ Strong Town Mission Statement
By Catherine Austin Fitts
One of the most inspiring things to happen to me over the last year was discovering Chuck Marohn and his team at Strong Towns. Chuck was a successful engineer working with municipalities, who in turn discovered and exposed what he calls the “Growth Ponzi Scheme” – significant public investment that harms local economies. He created Strong Towns to inspire a new conversation about how we plan and organize our investment to produce strong towns enjoying enduring prosperity.
This week on the Solari Report, Chuck joins me to discuss what has happened as Strong Towns leads conversations around America – town by town – about reinventing resource allocation at the local level. This is conversation is both hopeful and inspiring – a reminder that real solutions are available when the group intelligence gathers and goes to work.
Our global society has used central banks – both fiat currency and the global bond and derivative markets – to create massive investment in public projects that often have a negative return on investment. That investment has generated hundreds of billions in “fees for our friends,” fueling a rising stock market and political contributions to politicians who keep the bond deals and construction misallocation going. In the process, local communities have allowed ourselves to be “bought” by government money that ultimately bankrupts them as well as the rest of us.
In Let’s Go to the Movies, I will review Ric Burn’s New York: A Documentary Film. Long and rich, the series does a remarkable job of making Marohn’s case that large public investment can do significant harm to local economies. The documentary covers the harm done to New York’s small business economy by large public projects that contributed to New York’s famous fiscal crisis, requiring federal intervention to prevent bond defaults in 1975. It also highlights Jane Jacobs remarkable contribution to stopping new highways in Manhattan and to our understanding of cities and their contribution to the wealth of nations.
In Money & Markets this week I will discuss the latest in financial and geopolitical news. Please make sure to post or e-mail your questions for Ask Catherine.
Talk to you Thursday!