Almost every person has bought into a single scam. This scam is larger than Bernie Madoff’s and Charles Ponzi’s scams combined. Only people in isolated tribes are immune to this scam that we all bought into. The scam we all bought into is the economy itself.
Money Itself Is Worthless
Pull out the cash in your wallet. How much is it worth right now? Now let’s say the economy is gone in a flash, how much is it worth now? It is literally paper. What about in your bank accounts? They are 1s and 0s. If something happens in the economy, or governments, which makes our currency worthless, there would be chaos (to say the least).
I will issue a final spoiler alert warning for Rick And Morty season 3, if you want to watch it and have not, please check some other posts.
In Rick And Morty season 3 episode 1, the main character, Rick Sanchez (nihilistic, inter-dimensional hopping, super genius), is held prisoner by the galactic government for his many crimes including murder, and terrorism. (He is the protagonist, not the good guy). He wants to escape so he hacks into their central computer to destroy the government. His grandchildren, both about as sadistic as he is, suggested nuking the government or making portals to consume their military. Instead Rick said “watch closely as grandpa topples an empire by changing a 1 to a 0.” He made their currency worthless. Their government and citizens panicked trying to determine how to pay people and what would actually be of value, and ultimately they left Earth. This strongly shows how much we rely on numbers which represent our currency and pretty much nothing else.
We center the economy on pieces of paper where the value is determined by politicians who frequently prove they are ignorant about how the economy works, and that is at the best of times. At the worst of times, we center the economy on 1s and 0s where the value is determined by politicians who frequently prove they are greedy and corrupt. And then there is everything in between.
How Did It Get This Way?
Ever since there was any centralized economy that has literally always been the way. Even when gold was currency. I hear people say that the economy has been going to down the drain ever since we eliminated the gold standard in the 1970s. The gold standard, for those who do not know, backed all US paper currency with a certain amount of gold. People say that now currency is worthless.
Tell me, what is gold used for? Most people answer “money” or “to buy things.” But why? Some say it is simple, people like shiny things and gold is shiny. In reality it is because gold never corrodes, therefore the currency would always be sustained. Gold still has some uses, it does not corrode so dentists use them for fillings. Gold is also a very good conductor. Special electrical components are made of gold. Otherwise, gold will not be valuable to most people. Before gold was commonly used as currency, cowry shells were used because they could withstand frequent trading.
The ultimate lesson is even when currency was tangible, currency was always worthless.
The Truth About Currency And Trade
Before currency was a thing, people traded tangible goods. For instance let’s say I grew peppers and wanted to trade with you for potatoes, we would trade these two items and be on our merry way. That is an overly optimistic scenario, what if you do not want my peppers and what if I really wanted potatoes to expand my harvest not only for my family, but also for better trade? There would be no transaction because you simply do not want my peppers, or at least, not more than you wanted your potatoes.
How would you like your hard work to toil to practically no trade, essentially you would die unless you produced food. Unless you could trade, your family would eat nothing but the literal fruits of your own toil. You know people who complain about how it is boring to eat the same meal twice in a row, it’s kind of like that, except it happens for seasons and maybe even years.
Worse yet, how would you pay people to do other work? Some of the work done in ancient times did not yield a tangible resource. Some one had to build ancient irrigation systems and graineries to increase agriculture and save resources for future use. How were these workers paid? With grain or something like that. What if those workers did not want those resources? How do I put this lightly? That was not too much of an issue. Usually after winning a war these civilizations had an abundance of people who had no choice but to build these structures.
How Currency Changed That?
This changed with currency (not every part). But with currency, people could trade something universal that they knew everyone would value. Now trade could be completed under practically any conditions. If people did not want a certain resource/service in exchange for a different resource/service, they could work for currency, which they can use to get their desired resource/service. With that in mind, it is no wonder the economy is the one scam we all bought.
Now people can perform work in which is not really tangible, but useful for the progression of society. Don’t believe me? How many of you have built a grainery or an irrigation system recently. Now people build products and businesses which progress society. My career as a scientist would not be possible without this because although generally people recognize that scientists help progress society, not many people are willing to trade hard toiled resources for the hope of progression.
With these jobs, we now have air conditioning, food that has far less than a 5% chance of killing you, and electricity just to name a few. Even the mightiest kings a few centuries ago would never imagine living like the average person.
The economy is the scam we all bought. But with this purchase, we also created many things we value. It would be harder or even impossible to obtain security, warmth, and many of our comforts (needed or not) in a society which relied on the barter system.
The economy has flaws, literally ever system does. These flaws allow for changes to allow society to progress. It is a hard truth to accept that the money you work for has no intrinsic value. However, I have explained that money is not the end all be all, it is a tool, a tool to forge your wealth. Learn to exchange your resources and services for money and you will not only live in this economy, but you will thrive in this economy and the next one.