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The Perverse Roots of the Mentality of More

By       Message Derryl Hermanutz       (Page 3 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink    (# of views)   14 comments

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The for-profit production system systematically adds more prices of goods for sale (cost plus markup) into the economy than it adds incomes (cost price) to purchase those goods. Some argue that investment adds the necessary income money, but capital investment must be recaptured in the prices of future goods for sale, so lengthening the term of the negative sum arithmetic equation does not solve the negative sum arithmetic problem. Producers need to earn profits, but as long as the earned incomes that producers pay out are the only non-debt income money in the system, the negative sum arithmetic of producer profit (and bank issued money-at-interest) cannot be solved.

19th century political economists like JS Mill dreamed of industrial age freedom from the curse of Adam, as machines replaced the need for human labor. Imagining a coming age of leisure, they talked about development of our human attributes, made possible by our freedom from lives of heavy labor. But human freedom and development of our "higher nature" was not to be allowed.

A combination of deification of enormous personal wealth (plutocratic Mammon-worship), and Puritan worship of endless toil to keep idle hands out of the devil's playground, has prevented reasonable public discourse on the topic of structural industrial era unemployment and systematic supplements to the earned income system. These prejudices run very deep in the US. Many Americans are morally outraged at the very idea of people getting something for nothing, even if there is plenty of extra stuff to go around, nobody with money to buy it, and there is literally nothing "productive" for tens of millions of Americans to do. Even though machines have freed most people from lives of physical labor, people's minds have not been freed from the belief that humanity was born to work, not play.

So work we must, even if that means scarifying the planet to keep producing evermore junk that we don't need and wouldn't even want were it not for pervasive psychologically sophisticated advertising and the built-in obsolescence of what used to be called consumer "durables".

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"Money" should be the elastic factor in the economic production and distribution equation, because money is simply accounting numbers, and numbers can be pulled out of nowhere and added into equations to make the arithmetic work. We don't have to take $numbers from some people to give them to others (redistributive taxation), if our government exercises its constitutional imperative to provide the nation with an adequate supply of money.

The bankers' private for-profit monopoly of money issuance is the root of the problem. Until the money system is modified to enable governments to issue, not borrow, the money that they deficit spend, the only solution to the profit problem (and the bank loan interest problem: interest is the bank's income and profit) will be MORE asset production to secure MORE loans of bank-issued credit money which is MORE total debt to government and private sector borrowers. "More" (and war) is baked into the arithmetic of our present money system.

If you try to have "less", without first making the needed reforms to the money system, the whole money-based economy collapses and stops producing and delivering food and goods for sale. If no money changes hands, no goods change hands, and unless we are peasant farmers we need money to buy food and our daily necessities of life.

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"Less" material production and consumption is good. "None at all" is death.

Government-issued debt-free money, distributed in equal monthly amounts to everyone with a SS number (including Bill Gates, you, and the crack dealer on the corner), is what a real solution would look like. Public banking to finance infrastructure investment is probably the most politically feasible beginning of a solution to the money problem, given that all previous efforts to relax the bankers' monopoly of money-issuance have utterly failed.

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I spent my working life as an independent small business owner/operator. My academic background is in philosophy and political economy. I began studying monetary systems and monetary history after the 1982 banking crash that was precipitated by (more...)

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