Like it or not, we're stuck with money as a medium of exchange, a fact I'm sure many of you have cursed many a time over the years. Why does it seem so hard to get? Where does it really come from (hint: it ain't the feds).
Boiling down our financial structure to a few simple statements may seem a gross injustice, but I'm going to do just that. Let's look first at the origins of money.
Initially societies did not have money. If you wanted something from someone, you bartered for it. I'll give you my cow for your daughter. You can have 50 pounds of wheat if you give me a goat. But of course this is very complicated, because more often than not, the other person didn't have what you wanted in trade. Enter money.
Money is simply a medium of exhange between two parties. It represents desires. I do X for you, and you give me a voucher, an "IOU," something to temporarily stand-in for that thing that I really would rather have. After all, you don't have one of Elvis' first albums, signed, do you? Didn't think so, so you give me this damned green stuff instead of what I really want, and I'll go find someone who does have that album and give him the damned green stuff to get it.
That's it. Money is a stand-in for desires that other as-yet-to-be-determined people will fulfill for you at some other time.
So why are we in this huge financial mess?
Leaving out all the conspiracy theories, many of which in my opinion do actually have merit, it is truly a puzzle. If money represents desires, the question is, has the number of desires in America decreased in the last year or so?
No. In fact there are more people now than there were a year ago, so in fact there are more desires than there were a year ago.
Well if money represents desires, and the number of desires have actually increased, then the amount of money must be the problem. In fact, is there less money in the US now than a year ago?
Yes. Banks have stopped lending as freely, and credit is tighter. The amount of money available is less than a year ago.
This is the heart of the problem. There is simply less money in circulation now than there used to be. Who's in charge of this? Ahem, the feds, the government, dark shadow figures, aliens...the point is, you and I have no control over how much money is in circulation.
Now this represents a fundamental flaw in our whole financial system. Money is supposed to serve the people. If I want you to mow my lawn, I could simply ask you to do it out of the goodness of your heart, promise to make you a sandwich, or give you some money. The point is, if I don't actually have money because there is a scarce supply of it, I can't trade it for your services.
How could this cause a breakdown of our financial system?
It can't! Unless we let it. We can decide to trade barbie dolls, or M 'n M's, or sea shells. We can decide to help each other out of the goodness of our hearts. We can decide, to hell with this bull and reach out to each other and assist one another. Because in the end, there is no real crisis. Hear that again, there is no crisis, except that we make it ourselves.
It would be like a thousand people all standing at the edge of a cliff, all agreeing, "we will fall over if we don't get money from someone, from somewhere."
Of course, that is patently silly. The thousand people could decide to move away from the cliff as a group, and there is no crisis. That is the level of this crisis. We are creating and perpetuating it, by all agreeing NOT to help each other unless we get money from each other. We are, in fact, each other's police dogs, creating the stress and the crisis from the ground up. That's the honest truth!
Honestly, think about it! We can decide to help each other regardless of how much money seems to be available. Money represents desires, and you've got 'em, I've got 'em, we all have them. I can do for you for free, if I want. You can give to me, for free. Or we can trade lemon drops for money instead of the officially sanctioned green paper that the government calls "legal tender."
Have you ever wondered why it is illegal to trade anything but "official" money? Why is it illegal? Is this a free country, or what? Sure, we need to safeguard against someone printing up a bunch of money on their inkjet printer, but then again, why are we trading worthless pieces of paper? Gold has stood the test of time, for thousands of years, as the most reliable and stable form of money in societies the world over.
But we're too good for that, see? We have to trade pieces of paper that some quasi-government office deems authentic. And they won't make enough of it available for you and I to trade. It's really that simple.THAT is the source of this supposed uncontrollable "business cycle" that is in fact being completely controlled by those who control the money supply.
Let's decide to NOT have a depression that the gangsters in Washington and Feds are creating. Yes, creating. Let's trade candy-canes this Christmas.