Saturday, June 25, 2011

Money Is Imaginary

Even the Lord says it doesn't matter much. I mean, look at the lilies of the field! And the real treasures you take with you into the next life are so much more important and can't be taken away from you. And you might as well give what you owe to the government as it is that power setting up the financial system anyway. Well, He said it all much better.

Now we hear that Ron Paul wants to audit all the gold in Fort Knox! What if it's not there? Imagine the financial panic that would cause. And for what? Even if it is there, what is it good for? Gold has no intrinsic value. You can't eat it. You can't make much practical stuff with it. Sure, it looks nice and all. And it does make pretty good electronic components with its high conductivity. And I read somewhere that hoarding gold would be great if we lived in a 15th Century European economy (but then we'd probably have to take all the filth, disease, and brutal warfare of daily life along with it. Sort of like, say, Somalia today.)

What is it with the gold obsession of the far right and Libertarians? Gold makes you nuts! Haven't they seen this?

That's the fun part. There is much better exposition of the elusive and illusory value of gold and its power to corrupt the minds of men in this clip. Just a hint: that movie doesn't end well.

I'm obviously no great economic theorist. You can get all of that you want from the right or the left on a lot of websites. Have fun! It just seems to me that we live in a time when our economic well-being is based on our work to create and maintain a vital and broad market. Its that very marketplace and exchange of goods and services that creates value. Lest I sound like a free-marketeer, a lot of that vibrant market depends on the people deciding through government (yes, that's how it works) how to make that market as fair, inclusive, safe (trying not to harm ourselves or others with dangerous products or schemes), and open. We cannot ignore that it is a global economy. We have to work together as a nation. And we have to work together as a world to help it benefit all to the greatest extent possible. Good thing we have some mechanisms and processes to allow us people to govern this commerce taking all interests into consideration and working out our differences (our US Constitution). We even have some good mechanisms in the world in the UN and trade treaties (supreme law of the land, by the way, US Const. Art. VI, Clause 2).

Sure. Save your money. Pay your debts. Live with in your means. Plan for the future. Get educated. Work hard. Engage in our market economy. Pay your taxes. Give generously. Those are all good and vital things. But hoarding gold will only end up making you look as crazy as Walter Huston, or even (horrors!) Glenn Beck. Be a lily instead.

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