I feel we need to talk about “Money” and its uncertain future in our modern world!
(This is a ‘view’ from “Greenwood Cottage” on the “Back Forty”.)
The concept of “MONEY” is the subject most talked about from coast to coast; from north to south and all around the world. The manifestation of this concept is a “THING” that millions have died for and millions have died to obtain. “IT” is that something that causes starvation among millions. Without this commodity, millions are starving to death from lack of food; there is also endless suffering due to the lack of proper clothing, and housing to protect them from the harsh treatment of their environment. Numerous bloody wars are continually being fought, around the world, between nations or groups of nations, in order to obtain the physical advantage, or the physical wealth of the opposing group or groups. Money, in large sums is required to wage these wars, in order to obtain the wealth (money) of the ‘other side’. Is not this so?
When “Money” is in control, it does not matter what is produced, whether food, clothing, or ‘anything’, etc, these articles of whatever nature cannot be distributed unless some form of money is given in exchange.
Neither Private nor public Health is impossible to obtain unless a guarantee of certain sums is first given or promised. The same can be said about Education in any form. Our government finance departments are forever delaying to make much needed changes to both Health Care and to Education, because of lack of funding.
The operations of our several ‘public works’ programs, Light, Heat and Power, Transportation, Postal Services, Water and Sewage, cannot function, in spite of the existing installed equipment, without vast sums of money to meet the demands of labour, etc.
In the general world-view, money, in one or more of its accepted forms could be considered to be the key-stone of Civilization.
(Without a key-stone buildings would collapse.) The quality of a person’s physical life is more or less dependant on the use of this commodity. I say ‘more or less’ because it is a social necessity for an individual to possess as much of the ‘worldly goods’ as one can obtain, legally or not. The more one has and can get, the ‘better citizen’ he is reputed to be. The more prosperous, one becomes, the more one can (and should) spend in order to keep the “Economy growing and expanding”. Our economists claim that growth and expansion are sure signs of ‘Life’.
For a ‘money economy’ to be successful it is important to keep this commodity ‘on the books’, always in ’short supply’. It is not in the best economic interest that everyone should at least have some. There should never be enough to go around. This verifies that ancient statement that, in effect, assures the world there will always be those who are poor and destitute among us. ‘The poor you will have with you always” The old theory is that things never should quite balance out. It makes no economic difference that there will always be many among us who cannot even afford to stay alive without this commodity. There will always be those with chronic sicknesses and ill health in the world. There will always be contentions among individuals and warring among and between nations, as long as this concept of Money along with its fellow institutions called Business and Banking is allowed to remain active in the Public Mind.
As the total World Population increases, so does the total supply of money increase; but not in the same ratio.
Until now, the year 2004, our Civilization of “Free Enterprise”, consisting of Businesses, large and small, along with their common ‘Care-giver’ the “Money Price System” using its mad assortment of stimulants and gadgets, including “Credit Cards”, “Miles Cards”, “Bank Cards”, “Debit Cards”, “Lottery Cards” and “Visas”, etc, have had their way with the running of the Human Race. They have enjoyed almost a free hand in reaping (raping) the natural wealth of our Planet, almost to extinction.
In a real sense Money is addictive. We all seem to be caught in this addiction trap. Many of us do not have enough to meet our bare physical needs, let alone our social needs. We attempt to strike a balance in order to satisfy our natural longing to ‘feel secure’, by using whatever means there is at hand. On the other hand there are those who have millions; those who have more than enough to meet their daily requirements; but continually strive to acquire even more at the expense of others in society. This assures that those ‘rich’ will keep on getting richer while the ‘poor’ become even more destitute, hungry and in ill health.
However for you who are really concerned, there is a message of hope: In this mad dash for supremacy in obtaining the gross domestic product, INDUSTRY guided by Business and Finance, produced that ultimate device used for the Production of things and services. I refer to that everyday marvel, the Electronic Computer, along with its many offspring of electronic devices. These devices have created a revolution in our production machines and methods; but have stopped short of devising a way to distribute these things from the production stage to you and me, the consumers. Here at “Greenwood Cottage”, we have observed all of this and have marveled at the apparent stupidity and inhumanity of our Business Leaders, our Corporations, our Politicians and our Bankers. We believe that the Scientists, the Engineers and the Technicians who have been instrumental in producing these devices for producing,, should be challenged with an invitation to solve their distribution problems as well. On the other hand, we believe that the pull of the profit motive may be too strong for their legal minds to handle.
We maintain however, that this problem could be as simple as employing the computer technology to produce a special type of ‘debit-credit’ card. This special card would bear those necessary, though specialized magnetic strips and chips. For convenience and in keeping with its purpose, I would propose to call this a “Share Card”. When placed in the hands of each and every person (the consumer), along with the appropriate technology installed at the production end (Industry), as well as the distribution centre, this little gadget would forever solve society’s distribution problem. This system, when democratically approved by all the people, could very effectively replace both our inadequate money price system as well as our troublesome political system. By golly I believe, that in one fell swoop; most all of our social problems could be solved, including those of hunger, poverty, crime, and war and peace. Yes, this means that we Common People, employing Industry, could mandate control of those many sections of the inhabitable land, along with its natural environment. This could then replace the autocratic, pseudo-democratic control by ‘Big Business’(Corporations),in the name of Capitalism called “Free Enterprise”, that now rules over our land and our people, in many parts of the world.
In order for money to be functional, a thing or service must be assigned a value, a price tag which is represented by a definite number of money tokens. In Canada and in the United States these tokens are known as dollars and cents. For the purpose of a transaction however, an imaginary token is increasingly being used, which we call “Credit”. This is a promise to pay at some later date. This is one of the ‘worms in the apple’ and assumes many forms. “Mortgages”, “Lines of Credit”, “Loans”, “Bonds”, etc. are some of the most familiar terms used to indicate this unfinished exchange transaction. Each of these terms works in favour of the “Creditor”, resulting in an added value to the thing or service; thereby rendering it more difficult for the consumer, who then becomes a “Debtor”. The end result is the creation of many forms of social unrest, poverty, ill health, crime, etc.
PARTY POLITICS, CAPITALISM, FREE ENTERPRISE,
WA R S
For better & for worse, Money does rule the world, and has for a long, long time!