Someone asked me an interesting question once. Do you believe in money?
Money what can you say about?
"Money is the root of all evil."
"Money makes the world go round."
You can't buy love?
I Thought a lot about it...
My first thought was if I say no, I will be branded a socialist or communist. However most people don't really have an idea what Socialism or communism are, as they have been bombarded with propaganda since they could walk. The truth being at this point I am as much a socialist as a capitalist, as I don't particularly care for government at all. The truth being that this country is more socialistic than anyone in government will admit. Capitalism in theory is unobstructed free market, nothing but greed and sorrow.
You should always keep in mind, that when they say that the economy is good, what they mean is that the rich are getting richer, and the only way they can do that is if other people's work contributes to their wealth. Western capitalism is always linked to democracy but are Capitalism and Socialism incompatible?
But what does all that have to do with money? Money is a medium for bartering, that is why shiny stones were the first monies. Brief History of money By itself, money has no value, the value comes from belief. Belief that someone else believes it has a perceived value...
If you can spend it then it's money.
Sometimes money can have no value.
Every try to spend Canadian money in Kansas? Can you spend a dollar in the middle of the ocean, floating around in a life jacket?
Money is worth what you can buy for it. Sometimes money isn't money, everybody knows that cigarettes were the standard fair at county jail, then they were banned so now it's probably drugs.
The art of bartering evolves into capitalism, a game devised by men who wanted more than what they had. There is no winner to the game, because you win, when have everything and that would end the game. We practice the game as children, it's called Monopoly... The reason for monopoly money is too keep score.
This is good place to introduce the reality that money is just a way to keep score, of the things you haven't purchased yet...
The basis of the "real" capitalist game is that you trade your time and work skills for money and then buy what you want or need. If you don't want to play that game, then you survive by bartering, trading things back and forth, this is the art of capitalism.
Social economic problems arise because not everyone wants to play monopoly. Some people are unable or unwilling to play these games. It Used to be you could go just off by yourself into the wilderness, if wished not to play.
Some people have to or want to steal things and then we need governments to judge and punish these people.
Government's basic calling is to control those are not playing the approved games. Economic theories arise when the various games interact.
Today, thanks to Credit and Debit Cards, we now have Electronic Money, money that rides on electrons and only exists in computers....
Think about it, if you get direct deposit, pay bills online, and swipe your cards for all purchases, you could easily get by without coin or paper money. Your money is just bits of light projected on a computer screen.
My position on money would be best discussed by explaining what I am done with my life. Over the years I have tried to lead the capitalist dream, make money, spend money, borrow money, make more money. I fell into most of the economic traps.
After years of busting my butt, and not seeming to get any where, I decided to figure out exactly where my money was going to. I kept track of every cent for a couple of years and realized that the largest part of my money went to support various branches of government in one way or another, about 28 cents of every dollar went to support these men that I neither voted for or approved of, these men who can give themselves raises and take your property because they need it. Its called eminent domain, they called it manifest destiny when they took the lands from the Native Americans (I see it as stealing no matter what they choose to call it).
I found that 18 cents went to pay for interest on the loans for everything I bought on credit, but didn't have time to enjoy. I found that 10 cents went to some sort of insurance... This left me with 44 cents for each dollar I earned!!! I decided I had to work even harder if I was to get away from being constantly broke.
So I Started working double jobs and soon found that the more you make the more they take. After working at a suicidal pace for a couple of years I found that various government agencies were taking 41 cents out of every dollar and I had even less time and money. The realization came one week when I worked an extra hour at one of my jobs and when I received my pay check it was for a dollar less than usual, my extra hour of overtime pushed me into a higher tax bracket and it cost me a dollar to work that extra hour.
I finally completed the American dream by going bankrupt. Which in short is paying a lawyer to take your last red cent and push you though the most embarrassing time of your life. It is when friends and business contacts suddenly stop talking to you, like bankruptcy is contagious...
I gave up my home, my new car, my position as a respected businessman. The ordeal was so disheartening that I left my home state and moved on to start over. I decided that I would never borrow money again, I adjusted my life style to my income and when I wanted something I couldn't afford I worked an extra job or volunteered for overtime. So I had eliminated the "interest part of my budget". I also eliminated all but the required insurance (automobile in this state).
Meanwhile it was the eighties and taxes kept rising, and my checks became smaller and smaller, while my living expenses kept rising. Unable to afford a real vacation I decided to go back packing on the Appalachian trail for a month and found that when you are nowhere you don't need money... I spent $20 over a three week period and found life without stress has a great deal of appeal. I wondered if life could be this simple. Soon the kids grew up and left home and I found I wasn't spending as much money, but the problem with having extra money is that some how everyone knows and figures out new ways to get it from you.
Finally in complete disgust I decided to retire and be independently broke. I quit my management job, bought an old van and became voluntarily homeless. It was a great three months but eventually I ran out of money, the van broke down and I had to return to the world of the working. At first I went back to the management world and soon found myself working seventy plus hours again and giving my forty cents on the dollar to the government. I realized that I had to break the cycle, so I took a second job for three months and saved the pay... I bought an old beat up trailer and said the hell with aesthetics.
I moved into a small, make that non-existent town. I got a part time low stress job. I gave up cable TV, I gave up eating out, I gave up new clothes. In the end I make less than half of what I made when I got out of college, but now the government is getting it's 28 percent of a lot less of my money. Now I have time, and in the end, time is what money is all about.
The trailer lasted about ten years, with the freedom of having no housing expenses. I became John Galt jr.
How much money is worth giving up your time? Well I still get regular offers from the business world, but they can't seem to offer me enough to rejoin that insanity. Winter is tough, one may even say boring, but I have come to believe that boring is better than stressed out! People sometimes ask me how can you live like that no security, no savings, no health Insurance? What if something happens? Well shit happens all the time and insurance always has deductibles, I spend a lot less now than when I was insured... Now I have belief, more powerful than any insurance, I believe that when I need something, not want but need it will be provided and it always is... Sometimes I find cash or am offered a chance to make extra money. occasionally I buy a lottery ticket, it does't matter how, just that I am being taken care of... But alas I really haven't addressed the "Reality of money"
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