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Me and My Money

By       Message Margaret Bassett       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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The most important energy in the civilizing world is produced by human beings.  It's good to have machines to make tasks less backbreaking.  But who made the machines?  It's good to have electricity, petroleum and other forms of energy.  But who extracted the minerals and produced systems to carry them to new places?

Along came a thing called "capital" which is a name economists want to keep "liquid ."   When human beings do something, they store some of the energy for future time, and that's referred to, loosely, as money.  So, what is money but stored energy?  
Often, especially in small groups like families, no money exchanges hands.  In other words, children take out the garbage, clean their rooms, and wash the car, but may not get more than a pittance of an allowance.  It's a barter system where they have food, a place to stay, and maybe some treats.  At any rate, they are beginning to understand what is value and what is just talk.  As they get older they may be perturbed to find that their playmates have more money than they do.  It's keeping up with the Joneses, they hear.

However, in the adult world we come to think that money is the root of all evil, and we want to explain that to the landlord, the preacher who wants a tithe, or the car dealer.  We learn money is a medium of exchange, and others are dead serious about their take.  

I'm still  back thinking about money as congealed energy, because I'm retired and can't go to work everyday.  Numbers like lifetime earnings (per Social Security, which is only a fraction of what I earned all those years I worked) and my age make a difference.  Part of my congealed energy turned up in the US Treasury, since I was paying all that time for my old age.  Not that I  believed that what the law allowed me would be enough to  take care  of my needs as I  became frailer.  So best that I put some savings aside.  Whether they ended up in a bank, in some type of investment (perhaps a house), or in a safety box somewhere, savings were for a time of need.  Then comes the shocker!  

What I thought was the dollar I earned when I was young--with a little interest because someone got to use it until I needed it--turned out to be worth about 50 cents as far as buying goods was concerned.  Thus all my life, what happened to me in my advanced years was being determined by politicians and their economic advisers.  Every four years aspiring presidents make a case for saving the middle class--which is supposedly me.  Someone tells me "inflation is the cruelest tax of all."  Tell me about it!  I've been to the grocery store.  Someone else makes a  case for investing in prudent equities.  Tell me about  that too.  My "widows and orphans" stock just got gobbled up by a hedge fund.  

As long as I still have the wherewithal to go to the grocery store, come home and find out what the Federal Reserve gave the banks today, and then listen to the nightly news--Well,  I still have to watch what the government is doing with my once Almighty Dollar.
I just have one question.  Why would anyone ever enjoy going to Vegas to gamble?  Just going to bed and waking up to the morning news is enough to convince me that figuring out all this is a crapshoot. 


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Margaret Bassett passed away August 21, 2011. She was a treasured member of the Opednews.com editorial team for four years.

Margaret Bassett--OEN editor--is an 89-year old, currently living in senior housing, with a lifelong interest in political philosophy. Bachelors from State University of Iowa (1944) and Masters from Roosevelt University (1975) help to unravel important requirements for modern communication. Early introduction to computer science (1966) trumps them. It's payback time. She's been "entitled" so long she hopes to find some good coming off the keyboard into the lives of those who come after her.

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