It never seizes to amaze me how many people are really indoctrinated in the system. Often on forums folks blame new movements without realizing their current predicament. When you earn your living and pay your taxes, there's a whole system behind that and to figure out who's really pulling the strings in your life you only have to follow the money. Americans seem to excel in criticizing new schools of thought and promoting their free market system while apparently having little to no understanding who it is that is pushing their buttons. Sure, it is the government but upon further examination you'll see that they are intertwined with banks and large corporations.
America, the world leader of the free market, has a debt of 12 trillion. That's 12.000 billion dollars. What's so funny about that (from my perspective) is that they call it "public debt." You can read the Wikipedia article here. Public debt basically means that every American citizen is financially responsible. How are you as an American citizen required to pay off that debt? With taxes of course. You can thank the politicians you choose who uphold the monetary system for that one. They make policy and ultimately you get the bill. But lets take a look at who the American people owe money.
While a quarter of that debt is made off various institutions and companies, it's far more interesting to look at the bigger slices of that debt. Roughly one quarter of the total debt is owed to "foreign and and international." Those are other countries such as China and Japan (who nearly have one trillion of the American debt each) but also other institutions such as "oil exporters" and banking centers. (By the way, the 5 trillion take over of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are excluded from the balance!) That gives countries such as China and Japan a great deal of leverage over American policy because basically they own a large part of the country. Nonetheless, the main creditor of American debt is the Federal Reserve (or Fed).
Who is the Fed? You would think it's the bank of the U.S., a governmental institution. That's not entirely accurate. The Fed is also a private organization all be it with (limited) oversight from the U.S. government. A better question would be, who owns the Fed? And here it gets interesting. From the Wikipedia article;
The Federal Reserve System is an independent government institution that has private aspects. The System is not a private organization and does not operate for the purpose of making a profit. The stocks of the regional federal reserve banks are owned by the banks operating within that region and which are part of the system. The System derives its authority and public purpose from the Federal Reserve Act passed by Congress in 1913. As an independent institution, the Federal Reserve System has the authority to act on its own without prior approval from Congress or the President. The members of its Board of Governors are appointed for long, staggered terms, limiting the influence of day-to-day political considerations.
Basically, the shareholders of the Fed are private banks. That means that the institution that supplies the American public with money is not owned or directed by its people, but simply by the banks themselves. It's also stated that the Fed doesn't make a profit, but the "member banks" receive a guaranteed 6% interest per year. That's profit for the banks. When the U.S. government wants (new) money they go to the Fed who makes that money in return for U.S. treasury bonds. Basically that's a loan that has to be paid back with interest. How does the U.S. government finance this money lending system? By imposing income tax on its people.
This system guarantees that you as hardworking citizens become virtual slaves of the economy. The flow of money is channeled in such ways that the higher echelons of our world society will always profit from you. While this is called a monetary system and a 'free' market system, you're not as free as you might think. You're only as free as your purchasing power will allow.
The U.S. national debt is expected to increase to $16.3 trillion in 2012 and $20 trillion in 2015. Some people would say that basically means the U.S. is bankrupt. You do realize who's gonna pay that debt, don't you? Where that money goes, those are the people in charge. Just follow the money.