You and your economy: a guide

I will start this post with a question; do we have more stuff now than before? By we I mean humanity, and I would answer with a resounding no, or at least not much. Aside from the occasional mineral gifts from the heavens we have exactly the same amount of stuff as we always have,   about 5.972E24 kg of it. That has not changed, and it will not change anytime soon… We do however have different ( and I think we can all agree better) stuff now, so while the amount of material we have is constant, the value we place on said material has ( and dose) change. This is not a hard point, but it has VERY deep implications if we’re talking about an economy where the difference is marginalized ( or just outright ignored) if we start talking about the value of something being not related to its material component we are going to run into problems ( as we have) for the following reason: event if something has in our view a small material component, like my PC, just a few lbs of plastic ( an oil derivative) and some semi-precious metals, metalloids ext. and say the value is all in the knowledge made to create it. If we base the price on only the specialized knowledge required to make it. To ignore that there is only oh so many billions of tons  of silver TOTAL doesn’t make a difference, until we reach that limit ( or start to get close). That is where we run into problems having the “price” or “value” not being tied to their material value (as part of a whole) but instead just tying it to the small % we have available right now. This problem comes from two sources working together so to speak. First from a day to day perspective the concept of the world running out of something is rather far gone from most people’s minds, a hunter dose not worry about hunting deer to extinction, a miner cares not if he mines out all the copper he’ll just find a new mine. This has been our practice for thousands of years, only recently ( last 100 years) have we event being talking about conservation, and even then only about fish and trees when it became clearly apparent that we were running out. So it is natural to just assume that something is plentiful, or at least to not worry about the earth running out. Also the people who are harvesting benefit from not thinking about the resources in a global way, if we start speaking about the “worlds supply of copper” that implies there might be a finite amount, and ( … dramatic music) we should really share, as appose to letting a first come first serve system run free.  This ideology is only going to cause more problems the longer we employ it, when a few fishing fleets fish the north Atlantic salmon almost to extinction we end up with less salmon ( in the long run) and some out of work fishermen, not good, but not a global crisis either. Imagine of the same were to happen with zinc, or argon or energy?

Why would “we” keep doing this? Well again I’ll start with who I mean by “we”.  Sadly not everybody is in the driver’s seat when it comes to national & international finance and exchange. So humanity at large has been content to enjoy the benefits of a do first think later economic system, we get cool stuff out of it, the people who are in change are the wealthy, and here the problem becomes clear, it is a case of letting the fox guard the hen house.  The wealthy among us want more money ( go figure) so being honest and up front about value in any manner is bad, if I know the VALUE of a hammer is 5.00$ I’m    disinclined to buy it for more than that, profits cannot exist. If I lie about the value of a hammer ( or just have a convoluted system where the true value of a hammer is IMPOSSIBLE TO DERERMIN) than as a business I can charge whatever I want as long as it is greater than my cost.   So we have cost but it is only the sellers cost, we have value, but it is only value right now and we have limits on resources, but only what is available right now, all this intention looking at the right now and not the future benefits the seller, the lender, the investor, the entire section of the population who deals with finance… go figure.

It was not always this way, there was a time when money was not used much, and a time before that where personal ( or privet) property was a luxury that none could afford.  Our hunter- gatherer for fathers ( were talking per-5000 BC.) did not have use for money, everything that was had was shared for the most part, think of it like a family today, if your brother/sister borrows your sweater you don’t charge them a rental fee, rather things are held and used in common for the common good. This model stops working when there is no common good, like when dealing with another family, if your neighbor took your sweater you may be inclined to charge ( or event be angry and try to take it back).  So as what we considered to be “family” shrank the need for a way to trade and barging grew. Enter money, besides needing to be a recognized means of representing value, money needed one more important aspect, it needed to be permanent, a 20$ that louses .50 $ a day  after the first 20 days is of little value to people who are not going to be spending it, it would also not provide for the accumulation of grate wealth. So metals were commonly used as a means of exchange. It was not until the invention of the bond in Italy that modern finance as we know it today really took off.  If I were a wealthy merchant, no matter how well business was there is only so much money that can be made selling physical objects, and as I get more money there is less available for others, so the value of it increases as well, decreasing the value of my products as well. In order to go from a wealthy merchant to change the world, upset nations, god-king levels of money I would need a device that allows others to spend more money there is in existence, I need debt, the idea that something is owed and must be repaid. With debt I can now have wealth that is greater than the value of the entire economy that I am part of. This is what allowed bankers to become the new kings, by selling debt.


To conclude: Today we are born with nothing, but the necessities of life require us to spend or die ( food, water ext… our society does not count theses as free). SO we are ushered into debt before we know how to talk.  Why setup such a system, whom is benefiting from this? Certainly not society at large, no it is the wealthy, and I don’t mean the rich, I mean the super wealthy, the people whose power controlled the development of the “3ed world” for over 60 years, the Breton woods wealthy.  So today we may pay homage at the altar of our economic oppressors or be outcasts, the choice is not binary, but it is on a slider, there exists no place that is safe from the taint of capitalism …

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  • acetheguy  On September 16, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    A bit rambley… but it gets two main ideas across, first our system is NOT sustainable, second that our system is not close to fair, in fact it is just the same old line of “were in charge, so shut up and get back to work, or else….” that most of humanity has had for thousands of years.


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