Monday, April 26, 2010

Money, Money, Money Makes the World go BOINK!

I was just watching C-SPAN out of boredom, and a republican senator was talking about economics. I was was shocked to find own some of the things he said actually makes sense, but then again in the realm of economics I usually have no problem with republicans. It's how they tend to treat people I hate.

Anyway, most of the talk was about the bank bail outs (which for the record, I thought was a bad idea) and spending, with a little about the IRS (which I similarly think should be abolished). He had some negative remarks about the "new deal", but since I basically live on the welfair system I tend to try and defend that. However, really, I don't see why welfare and such should be a forced system funded by the tax system, I think it might be able to exist as something more like a charity or governmental project funded by other means. I do think he sort of missed the real root of the problem though.

The problem with our economy, as I see it, is the way we treat money. Perhaps even the fact money even exists. Now I am no Communist or Socialist, hell, to me Objectivism makes a lot of sense, though I am more of an Anarchist then a Capitalist, and do believe in people working for a common good, but voluntarily rather then forcefully. The problem isn't capital, it's MONEY, as in paper money, or dollars and cents, and the problem isn't even in money directly, but how we use it.

The basic idea is sound, we trade goods or work for units we can use to obtain other goods or work. The problem comes when money becomes abstract and virtual enough that it isn't attached to any real value for anyone, it just becomes numbers in an account somewhere. The idea of "credit" makes sense if one person decides there is a value in letting people pay later, but when any money payed may also be on credit, simply virtual money that doesn't really exist anywhere, it just becomes pushing imaginary money from one place to another. What this causes is a system where most all of the money we use is simply imaginary numbers in a computer somewhere, and as soon as anyone gets wise to that fact, the whole system becomes valueless to anyone outside it. It doesn't help that most or all of the real money is kept by small groups of people, who have to basically either have to encourage everyone with real money to pump the rest of the economy with real money and hope it makes the rest real enough to make a profit, or cut off ties to the rest of the economy and hoard all of the real money they can.

So what can we do? We can do one of two things if you ask me. Either stop using loans and credit, or stop using money altogether. Either way, there are going to be problems. If we stop using lones and credit, likely or not, a lot of people will simply not be able to live without it. Even the social security and welfare systems can in large part be seen as a form of credit. Not to make money directly, but indirectly to help make more spenders or more people in the economy, with income taxes being a way for them to pay back the credit. This way of thinking makes a system where the economy and the worth of human beings can only be measured in meaningless empty numbers that provide no value to anyone, and puts a burden on everyone for everyone else. It would make more sense to have people directly show their worth to everyone else... even if a human life can have no value by most people, others for whom life IS precious would donate and raise awareness for the downtrodden... hopefully. At the very LEAST, economically savvy people would see the need for more spenders and fund their own welfare system, even if they would have to grumble they need to pay more now.

The other way, is getting rid of money. This would probably become more like a communist and socialist system, and while I have never seen one in the history of man that I liked (China would that one if it would get over it's self and stopped censoring everything and abusing people), I am still willing to grant the idea has SOME good points. I myself am more of an Anarchist, and it's ironic and slightly depressing that, in some ways, our strange method of moving little numbers around inside a computer and just using money as a valueless construct is almost like Anarchy in a way. If we would just give up on the silly idea these numbers actually meant anything, and just changed them as we saw fit, then this would BE Anarchy. Heck, just imagine if there was a system of economics based entirely on perceived value. People would give people things based on their connections and how much they worked for them or others they knew, or used a barter system for goods. In essence a 100% credit system with out any of that troublesome money to bring it down. The depressing part? People who don't provide any value to anyone are simply ignored, and it becomes more a glorified popularity contest. Also, everyone could only rely on their friends or family to provide things, unless a quasi-money system would be agreed on for a community (Fun fact: My town already has or had one for community service), and wouldn't that sort of defeat the point? I guess as long as large banks and lone offices stayed out of it, no. Although it might be possible to do this easier if you used marks independent of all value and had people simply dive you good and bad marks for things in some rule based way, but that would make it so impersonal and therefore people may not go along with it.

Anyway, I for one think most of this bad economy stuff is just that the market is over saturated with people who do the same thing and needs more innovators and people willing to sell to niche markets more then anything else. People are probably MORE likely to get rich following crazy schemes and selling special services.

And if all else fails, you can always try crime. :P

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