In the latest edition of Occupy Money, Professor Margrit Kennedy (co-author of People Money) shows how at least 35% of what we spend goes on interest payments. This interest, in turn, goes to the banks. This is not greed - just the inexorable mathematics of our private banking system.
We could reclaim this money by nationalising the banks and turning their profits into public assets. [Ironically, this is what everyone got so upset about in 2008 when the UK government had to buy a big stake in RBS and Lloyds.] Profits then return to the public, reducing taxes [US/UK] or giving more money to spend on public services and infrastructure [Europe].
As Ellen Brown elegantly says:
"Public banking may be a radical solution, but it is also an obvious one. This is not rocket science. By developing a public banking system, governments can keep the interest and reinvest it locally. According to Kennedy and Creutz, that means public savings of 35% to 40%. Costs can be reduced across the board; taxes can be cut or services can be increased; and market stability can be created for governments, borrowers and consumers. Banking and credit can become public utilities, feeding the economy rather than feeding off it."