In two past articles I have, I think, proven that money is not wealth and that large central banks when they issue currency usurp the economic power of everyone who uses that currency. In my eyes, this constitutes a very powerful argument in favor of severely limiting the actions central banks, perhaps even prohibiting their existence. But there’s more.
As noted in my second article on the subject, there is a great deal of danger in mistaking money for wealth. The primary danger is that it leads to hoarding. As I pointed out in the last article hoarding can lead to the demise of the currency. But there are more and worse repercussions to this confusion.
Real wealth is material goods. There is an old adage that says if you own it, it owns you. This is true of all material goods, whether it's a house, a car, a large plot of land or the equipment to work the land and grow food. All of these things are real wealth and all of them require maintenance. Having a vault filled with money requires no maintenance. So if you mistake money for wealth, money becomes a preferable form of wealth because of the lack of necessary maintenance. This is the point where we all lose sight of reality. This is where we begin to mistake money for wealth.
Money can be made to work for you. You can let someone else use your money to purchase goods at a discount and then sell them at a profit – retail sales – and the two of you can then divide the increase. You have now increased your representation of wealth by doing nothing. You can do effectively the same thing with real wealth. You can let someone else work your large plot of land and divide the food that comes from it, but that requires you to oversee the transaction to insure that your land isn’t destroyed in the process. This requires your time. You should do the same thing with money, but it gets easy to go in after the fact and demand money back should your merchant mishandle it. Being only a representation of wealth, money doesn’t get damaged by mishandling and any money will do. Unlike rich farmland which requires some attention to keep it productive and can’t be replaced by an equivalent sized plot of desert.
This is important!
Because you don’t have to keep watch on what is done with money, it can be used to destroy instead of build and it will still come back increased, while the overall wealth it represents is decreased. As an example I will cite weapons production. You can invest your money in a company that produces guided missiles. That company will then use your money to produce those missiles and they’ll be purchased – at a higher price in money – by an army. That army will destroy the product of your investment and with it the investment of others in form of whatever the missile is used to destroy. Overall, the wealth of the world is decreased, but the money in your vault increased. Your money can’t buy as much wealth because there isn’t as much wealth to buy. But you have more money, and mistaking money for wealth you think you’re wealthier. You’re wrong. Your transaction has mad it more difficult to obtain food, housing, clothing, tools and anything else that constitutes real wealth. The only thing that is made easier to obtain is money, which is worth . . . less.
It doesn’t stop there. The private individuals who, by means of loaning you the money they produced from nothing, own the entire economy can interfere with the flow of that money. They can make it easier to obtain or more difficult to obtain, and in doing so they can manipulate the amount of currency required to obtain real wealth. There are those here at PolicyMic who would blame this action on government. I submit that when the action has global effect, governments cannot be blamed. Multinational companies work very well together because their ownership is interconnected, governments can’t even agree on seating arrangements at conference. And as I’ve pointed out in several comments and articles, the central banks are all privately owned. There is only one major country in the world where this is not the case, and that’s China. Notice how China fared in the financial debacle of 2008. While the European and American economies hit the skids simultaneously, China continued to grow, right up to the point that they ran out of customers (in Europe and America).
This tirade of mine has gone on for 3 articles, and there’s still more. But enough is enough. Using my perspectives, as laid out in these articles, I recommend the following: (1) Private entities should never be allowed to print money. That should be the sole providence of governments. The failure of the Euro and the eminent looting of Germany should be ample proof of that. (2) Allowing unlimited and anonymous campaign contributions is tantamount to turning your (our) government over to multinational corporations who have no loyalty to any country and have an interest in the destruction of national governments because they stand in the way of profits. And (3) Money is not wealth. Wealth is a warm house in the winter and enough food to not worry about the next meal for the rest of your life. Once you have achieved this level of wealth, and obtained all the toys you wish to play with, what is the point of gaining more money?
I’m very interested in the answers to the last question.