2. Conceptualizing Money



The Fountain of Money at the Heart of All Economics


This one is just a little conceptual aid, for those who might benefit from it. I think it can help to make sense of economic reality and aid in breaking down some unhelpful economic myths.


Now I'm sure you've heard people say "Money doesn't grow on trees!" Right? But how about if I said there really is a fountain of money, or you could think of them as magic money trees, at the heart of all our economies? And they've really always been there.


If you've read a little on this website already, you'll know that money really does just come into being when people (or in fact governments) need it, when they 'deficit spend' or go 'into debt'. In other words, without much work or effort or fuss, money really does just come into being, when it is called upon, as if from a magical money fountain or tree.


And perhaps one of the most important and obvious points we can make is that it's human beings who create money. It isn't created by anyone or anything else. Every unit of currency ever created like this was created by people. And so it should have been created fairly. For some to wield the extraordinary power of money creation, but then to craft for others an extraordinarily difficult relationship with money, is, in my opinion, the height of wickedness and cruelty.


The only thing that must be stipulated about the system (and it's what makes the system sustainable) is that money comes into existence, most usually, on the condition that we return it. As you'll see, governments can or should be exceptions to that rule, but for everyone else, for ordinary people like you and me, money comes into being when we need it, on the condition that we make a (legally binding) promise to pay it back.


Money - and thus our theoretical magic fountain - is effectively infinite. There's no real upper limit to the amount of money that can be produced. And that of course presents us with a problem. If money creation were allowed to go on unmonitored, it would soon become extremely unfair and might then go on to become unstable. Money, then, must be carefully controlled. And although it doesn't address the fairness of the system, insisting that most money created is returned again is an important part of how we control it.


We can be reasonably sure that money will always be like this. Money is not and surely cannot be some kind of physical 'thing', something inconvenient and expensive to ship about the planet each and every time a transaction is made - only to be shipped straight back again when the next transaction is made in the opposite direction. Money inevitably resolves to weightless, infinitely transferable numbers that can be sent and received all over the world with the minimum of fuss and expense. This is just an inevitable practical reality for money and was surely discovered by those working right at the very beginning of the stories of money and finance.


The one hope we have at this website is that more people will discover how money really works and be able to exert their power to make money democratic and fair. The magic money fountain or tree that exists at the heart of all our economies should clearly be democratic and should be subject to fair democratic rights/rules. Every single unit of currency created should be created according to fair democratic rules. Anything else just perpetuates the injustice of this already troubled world.










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