I am Aeragild, the spirit of the goose that laid the golden egg. I came here long ago and offered my very life to teach humanity how to live. Am I only a myth? Does it matter if you learn from me?
But I birthed something human beings agreed was quite valuable, despite its actual utility being limited to making tools that needed to be highly malleable and rust free. My gold did not make a good hammer, nor due to its weight, even a good spoon, but it was shiny and bright and made fine decorations.
Most importantly to my journey, humans had deemed it the most valuable substance on earth and traded it for everything they needed to live and everything they wanted to enjoy. The man with the most gold was (is) considered the wealthiest, and therefore, in this societal construct of this human epoch, the most powerful.
So I came to offer a lesson. You know my story. Every human hears it as child. Few humans learn it though, much to your repeated misery. Soon, perhaps, to your destruction. I laid one golden egg each day. I came into the hands of a fairly well-to-do man, who found me to be an extraordinary gift.
The greed and impatience of my owner soon became too much for him to bear. Rather than remain contented with the comfortable lifestyle my one golden egg provided him, he came to insist on having all the golden eggs I could lay at once. Not a man of science understanding how waterfowl create and lay eggs, or perhaps assuming science did not apply to a goose who laid golden ones, he decided to accelerate the process. Though I knew it was coming and had agreed to this sacrifice, my heart still broke as he approached me with his cleaver. He, of course, killed me and cut me open, gleeful in anticipation of getting so much gold all at once.
As you know he was crushed and angry and felt incredibly stupid when he found nothing inside me. I was not a storehouse of golden eggs. I created and laid exactly one golden egg each day. My owner went from very comfortable with a consistent source of wealth and sustenance to broke, with one chop of his greed-ensconced cleaver.
As individuals and as a society you have repeated this mistake again and again, most recently with your current economic "crisis." Wholly self made, this emergency. Wholly manufactured from greed, impatience, infantile inability to delay gratification and a confusion of real abundance -- having what you need when you need it -- with massive wealth and obscene luxury. Worst of all, fashioned from heartless disregard for, even intentional causing of, the suffering of others from whom you take or with whom you refuse to share your outsized bounty.
President George Bush and your so-called economic experts all agree on how this began: an unprecedented flood of money hit the world financial system from the early 1990's through the middle of the third millenium's first decade. Most trace this flood of plenty to the stagnating grip of the former Soviet Union being lifted from Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, combined with the expanding, opening and capitalizing of once small and closed economies in China, India and Southeast Asia. This could have been viewed as a great gift. Suddenly the world had plenty of money with which to sustain itself and bring a measure of dignity to the billions of starving or barely surviving human beings of the world.
Only humans who cannot learn from wisdom so simple it can be taught to a small child could have so quickly turned more than enough money into too little to even keep small businesses running and banks lending to people buying homes. Wise grown-ups would have put the money to good use, nurturing it and allowing it to grow as needed, preserving what needed to be preserved and intelligently seeking to use the rest to create more in a sustainable and shared way. Instead, your greediest and most powerful chose to extract as much as they could for themselves and make more and more money faster and faster, and for them, there was never enough and it was never fast enough.
So they took the greed-cleaver to sane, profitable financial instruments and methods, stocks and bonds, but especially the basic home mortgages that had worked just fine ever since the system was corrected after the last money and greed explosion thrust the world into depression (so appropriate to have used the same word to describe a psychological malady and an economic one). After blowing up and shrinking the market for stocks, the great greedy ones made up new types of loans to get even more money out of real estate, even from people who did not have enough money to buy it in the old, successful way. They even convinced many who would have done it the reliable way that they should instead try the greedy way: get as much house as they can for as little as possible now and wait for the value to go up and cash in later. The golden egg of the personal home and fixed mortgage began to be viewed as an insufficient creator of wealth, just as had I by my greedy owner.
And then something entirely predictable and inevitable happened. The increase in values of real property artificially inflated during this hyperventilated process began to fall. Next and following common logic, the entire house of paper reseting upon these inflated values fell too.
Fell hard and empty, like my lifeless body, riches and consistent daily sustenance once provided by dependable, sensible nurturing of the world's wealth all gone in one swoop of the greed cleaver.