The Almighty Dollar

Modern money is idolatry. Its very existence is a social contrivance. Like a lot of human institutions, it is representative, more so than authentic. For our ancestors, one of the stupidest, and most dangerous form of savings, was money. The wealthiest derived that status through land possession, crop stores, timber, chattel. Money was a placeholder, a tool for conversion. Lots of things have been money. Metal. Salt. Beads. And now, green pieces of paper and your hard fought credit score.

It is a relatively recent development. Even just a couple hundred years ago, money didn’t mean nearly what all it means to us now. You could have no money to speak of whatsoever, and live on your land, and eat from it. This idea that taxes just take a percentage of something that already exists is false. Taxation requires any land owner or laborer to convert some of their time or assets into the almighty dollar. And considering one of those trade goods is priceless, invaluable, and rare, and the other is as cheap as you need it to be, we always end up losing out on the conversion. We’re taxed. Even people who can only work a little, and are on food assistance programs, they get taxed. The goal is for all of the economy to pass through this government sanctioned, printed, malleable tender. Even if it is being spat right back up on people left in unsustainable economic conditions. Our government has become a glorified middle man. Our ancestors wouldn’t understand this.

I just wonder, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, why can’t we, as a community, simply take stock of our needs, and the ability of the lands within our regions to produce and meet that need. Instead of taxing our food producers and forcing them to convert their labor intensive products into money, why couldn’t some of those required taxes be rendered in providing food to the community, jobs, housing, even arts, culture and entertainment. I don’t know if you’ve read at all about what farms used to mean for people, but the idea of running a monotonous, one crop operation was almost unheard of. Very rare. Once, farms were cultural and economic institutions. Seasonal jobs to offer, cheap or even free housing for workers, hosting community events and celebrations. Fairs and concerts and markets.

Why would our government not want to send hungry people to this sort of place to get food, and possibly short term employment, or housing? They’re already taxing the farm, why not give a call, and ask, instead of these tens of thousands of dollars we were going to force you to render at peril of keeping your assets and freedom, there are three thousand people in your area on government assistance, what could you do for them?

That’s a good question, why exactly would our government not simply operate as a big picture, national seamstress quilting all the various agricultural regions together to form one solid, cohesive food system that could actually outlast the almighty, yet highly mortal US dollar. Don’t they care about us? Haven’t our leaders seen how currency is prone to inflate, and shrink back. I mean, by design, capitalism, our current form of economy, creates a recession or even a depression every decade. Don’t people lose all their savings even in mild recessions? Could we research what happens to the suicide rate during a recession, or god forbid, depression? People literally, and in more than a million ways, die with the dollar.

So this seems to me an insufficient vehicle to distribute basic resources we all require to maintain the little things, like breath, and open eyes, and a body that works, and a reasonable mind.

I don’t have some inscrutable authority to determine the rightness or wrongness of any issue, but same as you, I do have the ability to say there are some issues that truly effect all of us equally. Such as access to food, water, shelter, healthcare. Products we expire without. And knowing how many of those requirements exist naturally, easily on a farm, I wonder why our government talks about agriculture systems so infrequently.

Not really. I don’t wonder. I’m being ironic. It is because farms are true government. The first government. And that group of men who gathered up on the east coast and claimed to be this country’s new government, were mostly farmers. Problem was, they didn’t want to be any longer. So they became judges and congressmen and senators, and established a system that would allow their children to not to have to be farmers also.

If a farm is run right, and smart, a person could disappear into one like a black hole, and never be seen again, except for at a produce stand, strand of grass hung out from their mouth, while they turn a little bit of their best corn into petty cash, just to have some pocket money.

The base of our economy should be a barter based, agrarian community of farms, connected by foot trails and train tracks and highways like ivy vines all leading back to that rooted base. A productively laid back home place. People should be able to wade into it like a kiddy pool beside the high dive and sixteen foot deep end of the rest of the economy. Mark ups and tax rates are disrespectful and dangerous when they stand between someone and their survival.

Food, water, and shelter are not appropriate commodities for purely monetary economies.

Which, ironically, was the way it always was, even back when America was established. Everybody had a back-home and family farm they could retreat to when their city endeavors were taxed too high, or like we have now, a government that refuses to operate outside of its own self preservation. We literally have a system of government where our leaders can never make an unpopular decision, because they have to be elected again next season. Most of our workers are paid by the hour, so the harder and faster they work, the less they take home.

Why have I never read these ideas before? It’s like every other person who has this realization thinks forward, launches into new systems buried in the ideals of socialism, or the standardization and equality of communism. But I look back, just a few hundred years, and this is exactly the agricultural world our ancestors lived in.

Money was a trifling, mostly seasonal object for them, a vessel for trade, and security, so one could sit back and feel safe, and manifest their own autonomy while they lived off the food, water and shelter almost every piece of land on earth can provide.

But now money is being worshiped. This is beyond the borderline of idolatry.
The whole economy has become its sanctuary. And I really don’t believe in irony.

It’s just that survival is scary.

And money, the almighty dollar,
makes for a great place to hide.

Shipbuilders

Our political system is having conversations that we, its citizens, are not.

We have used our collective, national imagination to finally do what we have always murdered prophets for doing. We’re predicting our pitfalls. Our future failures. It is a massive blow to the ego. But before we go building up the nuclear arsenal and battening down the hatches, remember, nothing has actually happened. Nothing whatsoever.

When the boat rocks, every hand is on deck. We don’t argue tax plans. We just start writing checks. What we call government is a pie crust of individuals incessantly campaigning to be popular enough to keep their careers. And really, the sanctity of their names. All on top of this massive creamy filling of neverending government office jobs. Courthouse clerks. Cops. Janitors. Receptionists. Those kids they hire to get their coffee. So surprised when something they did not stop at eyes leads their hands to committing a crime.

Our turmoil is their job security.
The last administration’s failures are always fresh fodder for this one.
How they explain away all the choppy water during this American expedition.
We’re all on deck still for yesterday’s storms.

But nothing has happened. Politically, globally speaking, there are blue skies and very few dark clouds on the horizon. We’re actually in good, clear, steady water, comparatively speaking.

Now is not the time to argue over captains, or suggest mutiny.

Before this bubble bursts, let’s get to dry land. Find some forests. Cut fresh timber.
Patch the holes in the sails.

Let’s build a better boat.
Not bigger. Not greater.

This last election turned a new generation of Americans on to politics. Politics, is an industry. Industries put on shows, and hide doubts, and even losses, in order to keep their stockholders confidence. They will decry and bemoan abhorrent figures into American history. Into great military power and media attention. A lot of people are making a lot more money because of how much we now pay attention. Spoiler alert. It is going to be a cliffhanger. There is always going to be part forty five, and forty six and so on. The new one will always blame the state of this nation on the actions of the previous administration. And by the time they’re out, let’s just say no one cares to see their tax return as much after that.

I don’t know. I tend to get deep, and preachy, and metaphorical.
But this needs a base. This argument needs water.

The current boat is the dollar. It is our national, global representative currency. And there are at least three things that can not be industries, because they will always be monopolies. Because they’re essential to our basic access for life.
Which is not a government, but a universally guaranteed right.

Food.
Water.
Shelter.

There is absolutely no reason other than our own obliviousness that these basic resources should be translated through a national representative currency before reaching us.

The end result is, if you have no money, you lose the right to life.
You do not eat or drink or sleep inside.

It happens to people all the time. The aid they receive is not connected to the environment capable of producing such means. Farms. Taxed for the land they work on. And hungry people. Fed by a government program.

The revolution is food production infrastructure.

Little cashless economies all across the country that end up supplementing most, if not all our basic dietary requirements. Water is tied up in food production. So is shelter. The idea of someone being homeless, or unemployed, could be laughable. Farms should absorb these people like water into a sponge. And if there is any government spending to be done, or taxation required, cut out the middleman every now and then, pick up a phone, and call a farmer. Damn.

If the boat would stop rocking for just a minute, maybe we’d see it different. It is very much like our entire nation, politically speaking, still has post traumatic stress
leftover from the World Wars.

And almost every one of these desperate decisions we’ve coerced into sense,
has been in response to a trigger.

Every single conflict we’ve been involved in since, started in the minds of our representatives. And they are having conversations about us neither you or I or anyone we know would ever have. To them, our lives are math.
Telling us we’re divided. Calculator in hand.

Assuring us we’re cut clean in half. But I don’t buy that. And you shouldn’t either.
Now is as good a time as there has ever been for us to get ourselves together.

We could forget hiring the right captain. For the time being.

Americans should go back to shipbuilding.