Our money was once valued by the worth of goods, but today it is our goods that are valued by their worth in money. Banks create money out of thin air by loaning it into existence. Increasing the money in the market creates inflation. This also means the system is required to continually grow in order to offset this inflation.
Money is not a real object, its value is abstract, and controlling large sums of it is imaginary wealth. We have given the power over our currency to private companies – they are greedy black holes, constantly starved for more. The good news for them is they can create more money. The bad news for us is that they can create more money.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is our nation’s bank, created at the beginning of the last century (big thanks to President Wilson) to centralize our banking system and stabilize our currency. It is quasi-public, having both private corporations and public agencies with controlling interest.
“The Fed,” as they call it on the street, controls our money, interest rates, “supervises” banking institutions, and has other means to inflict chaos into our economy. Despite being a blend of private and public the Fed keeps its business behind locked doors. It is hard for a government by the people, for the people to have a functioning banking system if they have no control or oversight of it. We should do something about it!
New Scientist this week features an article casting money as a psychologically-rooted instrument. It may be a tool in the market to trade for goods, but it can be perceived by our minds as something with deeper significance and even activate the same centers of the brain as addictive drugs like cocaine and nicotine.
We have long associated money as the “root of all evil,” but perhaps it is more accurately a source for bad behavior. In the article, author Mark Buchanan explores the recent studies done in the fields of marketing, anthropology, and psychology showing an interesting trend linking money with narcissistic and competitive behavior. Of course, this might not be news to you. Turns out some of us are predisposed to this type of behavior, while others are inclined to treat money as an friend rather than a drug or compulsion.
Tax cuts in 2006 gave 70 percent of their benefits to the top 5 percent of Americans
The growth-centered nature of our world economy is relatively new. For most of human history, growth has been slow and almost stagnant. Over the last 200 years (essentially since the invention of fossil-fuel driven machines) that has changed significantly and our growth has largely benefited us: increased our health and means. That is, until sometime between the 1950s and the 1980s when growth become uneconomic and actually harmful to our happiness.
Today, most of that “economic” growth now goes to the Liquidating Class, the top 1 percent of our economy. According to some Northwestern University economists quoted in Bill McKibben‘s book Deep Economy, “the top 1 percent of wage earners ‘captured far more of the real national gain in income than did the bottom 50 percent'” between 1997 and 2001.
“We have created a system for growth that depended on our building more and more stores to sell more and more stuff made in more and more factories in China, powered by more and more coal that would cause more and more climate change but earn China more and more dollars to buy more and more U.S. T-bills so America would have more and more money to build more and more stores and sell more and more stuff that would employ more and more Chinese …
We may see a short upswing, perhaps even a temporary rebound, but it is likely to be years from now. We have yet to really see the impact of 3.6 million lost jobs until each one of those people run out of unemployment benefits – that’s when the proverbial shit will hit the fan.
However, this stimulus package is no better than using a bucket on a barn fire – any relief will be an illusion and not a fix to the real problem. The system doesn’t work, so the stimulus will not work. Consider the following…
When Franklin Roosevelt initiated the first “New Deal” he pushed through reforms in the banking laws. Today we are faced with one of the most dire financial crises since the depression. Why? Because our system is broken. Most of us know this, but many feel as though it is still the only or best option we have for an socioeconomic model.
You may believe that a steady-state economy cannot happen. Or perhaps you have doubts about it’s full-fledged ability to “rule” as the new standard. Whatever the case, you are still a consumer to some extent, right? We still need to eat, you still need clothes, you still need certain things to conduct a happy life (regardless of whether you like the idea of needing stuff for happiness). Sometimes it is difficult to not buy the new and improved computer for work (or play)…
This underlying need to buy food, clothing, and other essentials (arguably, the computer is not really essential) – these are the very things that will keep our economy moving, especially as we transition into a sustainable economy.