More than once I’ve had someone slyly explain the golden rule to me as “the one with the gold makes the rules” This corruption of Jesus’ famous teaching of “doing to others what you would have them do to you’ upsets me, perfectly true though it certainly is.
I think it was Mayer Amschel Rothchild in the 1800’s who famously stated: “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!” His point, of course, is that money is power, control and absolute dominance.
To hammer it home yet one more time, my Greek colleague in the machine shop I worked in my twenties in whitehorse once asked me, “you know what it means to have money, Dougy? The world is yours!”
Well, money does have its limitations but it sure makes life easier too. I found that out early in life when I ran out of food nearly a week before payday and spent the rest of the time working hard physically on my feet with my belly button pretty close to my backbone, on a pretty low tank, having to look up to see the bottom of the barrel you might say.
But why do we pay any attention to money at all? I’ve never met a moose with a wallet and after all It’s just bits of paper or plastic or third-rate metal, or even less impressively, a number on a computer screen, created literally from nothing at all by an index finger on a central bank computer key somewhere?
Someone oughta… someone otta? (kinda like that phrase) anyway someone oughta make a movie about our little blue rock’s human inhabitants losing their trust in currency completely. I think this will actually happen soon as it has in Venezuela where the streets are littered with paper bills which have lost all their buying power. This is the inevitable result of governmental financial diarrhea, the currency moves to its true value of ZERO over time.
As proof of this, when I moved back to the yukon in 1998 with my family I considered buying a one ounce gold coin for each of the kids at 500 a pop but left them there in the store. (sorry kids). Today, gold is tickling 1800 an ounce and gold always tells the truth! Is the gold actually “worth more” than it was in 1998? Same exact stuff!
What has happened then? Inflation? Nope, though that is what nearly everyone thinks and talks about. What’s really happening is the value of the currency is rapidly moving to its final resting place of ZERO. This creates the appearance of inflation and people get excited when the value of their house increases as the shingles fall off but the fact is, the value is often decreasing as the price increases. Ponder this and it will come to you on the bus. By this accurate measure, the canadian dollar has lost almost three quarters of its buying power in the last 20 years!! Holy Canola Batman!
And the more govt central banks “print” which happens whenever money is borrowed by a person, a business or the state, the lower the value of our money goes until it’s just crap. In fact, the only thing that gives it any value at all is the trust we place in it. Add to that the fact that people’s money is normally held in banks, adding another potential layer of potential theft, (sorry confiscation) and it kinda makes you wonder if your “savings”, your “pension” or your “stocks” or even your “gold certificates” are “worth the paper they’re…..”
We could go down even deeper and question what exactly we mean by the term ownership. Ownership, is of course, is also based on societal trust and is a sort of bedrock on which to build a civilization and there are arguments both pro and con, but that’s a topic for another day.