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Is money economically viable? watch

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    Money - An invention of man that now controls man.

    We are religious zealots concerning the use of money. We are almost blind to its hold over everyone. It is an outmoded, insanely inefficient system, which is holding back civilisation. In the supposedly civilised world it takes up on average over a half of our working lives. It controls governments, nations the world. We no longer have control, and it is seriously affecting our ability to improve our civilisation. Of all the things we can do to improve the lot of mankind, getting rid of the monetary system is by far the most important.

    Money was a way of easing the exchange of goods and services. It was a way of sharing the proceeds of our endeavours and converting them into the things we need, in as fair and simple a way as possible. This no longer applies. It simply does not perform these functions in a remotely efficient manner. It no longer works. It is too open to abuse. Manipulators of the system benefit to such an extreme, that they now more or less equal the producers of goods and services.

    Those currently involved in jobs which produce goods or provide useful services, already produce everything that we currently need or enjoy. They are true the contibutors. Money contributes nothing to the process. Our endeavours and use of resources are what makes things happen.

    The real purpose of money was to decide how things were shared out, when we did not have the means to provide everyone with everything they need. This is no longer the case. Advances in technology mean that we have the means and the resources for everyone to have everything they need; we simply share them out very badly.

    Whilst money was a useful way of trading favours, it has unfortunately been mistaken as something of value in itself, and now dictates many government and social policies, which control our lives. Much of real value in the world survives only in its shadow.

    Trade has been one of the success stories of cooperation. Gold (or other easily converted valuables) and subsequently money helped fuel the growth of trade, and the expansion of the range of goods and services available for people. The system was relatively simple, and provided a way deciding who should have what when demand exceeded man’s ability to supply. Most of the available workforce was involved in producing what was needed using the available technology, with a limited number engaged in handling money.

    Nowadays in the developed world where, organisation, knowledge and technology are centred, we have a ridiculously disproportionate amount of people involved in the handling of money. There is now far more money involved in speculation than in use to exchange the things we need. Organising our finances dominates our lives to an unacceptable level. It clouds our moral judgement. The man hours we need to spend actually producing the things we need and want to have is reducing, due to technological gains. We now instead waste this advantage by using up lots manhours passing money around uselessly in a distorted way of distributing what is produced. The recent recessions have highlighted just how out of control it is all getting. Recessions are the manipulation of money, gone bad. They have a destructive effect on the productive part of civilisation, which has no control over them.

    According to the UK Off ice of National statistics.
    (Figures are from 2010, but they only seem to get slightly worse year on year.)
    There are around 31million working people in the UK.
    Of these around 8.5 million are either administrative civil servants, financial service workers, or other adminstrators.
    The rest around 22.5million work in production and useful services. However included in this figure are all the accounting, sales and administrative staff, who at a rough estimate 20% of these. So around 18million produce, the rest (4.5million) deal with the money.
    So we have 18million productive to 13million non productive.
    There are around 2.5million more people who want to work. This pushes the unproductive total up to 15.5million.
    There are also another 2.5million who could work, but don’t want to. (Includes early retirers.)
    At total of 18million non-productive to 18million productive.

    If everyone was productive, we could all either work half as much, or produce twice as much.

    When it comes to sharing out what we produce, it gets even worse.
    (figures from 2005)
    1% of the population owns 21% of the wealth (I wonder how many of them actually produce anything)

    10% of the population owns over half the wealth (53%).
    To be in this half of the wealth, you need to have over £175,000 (House equity, cash, shares, trusts). If you think you might be one of them, don’t forget to deduct your mortgage, and halve your joint assets if you have a spouse/partner.

    Half the adult population have only 7% of the wealth between them.

    A few people have much more stuff than they need or know what to do with, while others struggle to get what they need. Those involved in passing the money around, effectively live off those producing the things we need. These are not bad or lazy people (many work very hard, and are also some of the most intelligent), they are simply working within the current system to provide for themselves.

    Money has outgrown its original useful purpose and has become a highly uneconomical motivator. The argument that competition and the desire for money motivates people to work harder, as well as increasing stress levels, fails to take in the wastefulness of the system. With the current system using more than half our man-hour capacity in unproductive pursuits, those of us working would theoretically have to be twice as productive, just to break even. We are keen to point the finger at possible malingerers, but the true wasted effort comes from those putting their full effort into jobs that in reality produce nothing of real value to anyone. Add to this all those who would gladly work, but are unable to find it.

    Accountants, Bankers, Tax collectors, Lawyers, Welfare, Checkout staff, Insurance, Pensions, Credit Card companies, Copyright, Stock market, Money handling equipment etc etc.

    Even for those not involved directly in these activities, handling money wastes a large amount of almost everyone's time, whether in their work or domestic lives, and causes vast amounts of stress.

    Money results in an unjust and wasteful distribution of resources. It is uneconomical.

    In the twenty first century, man’s knowledge and technology has reached a level where it is easily possible for everyone on the planet to live well and provide more or less everything anyone (who is not stupidly greedy) wants.

    Money is has now reached a point where it is having a serious negative affect on progress.

    If we take a step back and look at our true resources.
    We have more than enough people to produce everything.
    We have the knowledge and technology to produce everything.
    We have the knowledge and technology to manage and provide the materials needed.

    Money is a tool we no longer require.

    We just need a more efficient way of sharing out the work required, and we can all have everything we need and want, and each spend a lot less time involved in doing it. This would free up time for everyone to enjoy life more, spend it in more worthwhile pursuits, and also for new progress in whatever form it may take. It would shift our focus from the acquisition of “stuff” to quality of life.

    Money does have rather a lot of other serious problems.

    It places power in the hands of those with money.
    It fuels crime.
    It makes greed acceptable
    It makes us ungrateful
    It encourages dishonesty
    It wastes huge amounts of time
    It causes high levels of stress
    It prevents a large part of the population from being productive
    It hides true values
    It distorts our moral judgement
    It makes it harder to change profession
    It harms relationships
    It narrows personal choice.
    It controls governments.

    As money has become so heavily entrenched in our psyche, many of us will find it hard to get our heads round this concept.

    If we don’t have money how are we going to buy what we need?
    How will I get paid for what I do?
    What is all the stuff and money I have already going to be worth?

    Who would lose out?
    Those currently living on unearned income.
    Those currently earning vast amounts for little effort.
    Those living off large amounts of inherited wealth.
    Anyone who doesn’t want to work, who is currently living off the state.
    The 10% who currently own the 50%, though if they are working ridiculous hours to maintain this, their quality of life would be a lot better.

    Who would win?
    In reality nearly everyone; even those above. We would have more time, less stress, more job satisfaction, less reason or opportunity to commit crime and be more appreciated for our contribution to society.

    It places power in the hands of those with money
    People with money exercise control over others who would otherwise reject that control. The more money, the wider the level of control.

    It fuels crime
    Due to its ease of transference and relative anonymity it allows the easy movement of wealth, legitimate or not. A large part of criminal activity is solely for game, and would not be conducted if it had no monetary value.

    It makes greed acceptable
    If we have considerably more than we need, but can afford it, while others have less than they need, we do not necessarily see this as unreasonable. Provided we have made our money without breaking the law, we can accumulate as big a share of the pie as we can afford to buy. It is theoretically possible for one individual to own everything quite legitimately and without ‘feeling greedy’.

    It makes us ungrateful
    We all benefit from the activity of others. When we pay for it we take it as our due. We should all be grateful for the contribution of others, and receive gratitude in return for what we contribute. Yes, be critical of poor quality, but as well respect the efforts of others.

    It encourages dishonesty
    Why is it that when we go to buy something, the last person we trust to give impartial advice is the seller? When we go to get something we need, the person providing it generally has the most knowledge about that item, and is a better position to discuss suitability or suggest alternatives. Currently that person’s motives are driven by profit. Their priority is for us to choose what will provide them with what they perceive is the best profit, not to help us select what is best suited to our requirements.

    It waste huge amounts of time
    How much time do we spend waiting to pay, waiting to be paid or organising our lives so we can pay, and this is before we engage in our working lives, which in many occupations even revolves entirely around the handling of money. Almost the entire activity of our civil service is moving money around.

    It causes high levels of stress
    For almost all of us this one doesn’t even need explaining. With money controlling our lives, we often behave with each other, in ways which go contrary to how would like to behave. If our financial circumstances are difficult, we are often depressed or irritable. Relationships are strained. There is often no way to rectify the situation.

    It prevents a large part of the population from being productive
    Under the present money system, for someone to be able to “work” (be productive) as an employee, they need to find someone or some organisation, that considers that (after expenses) they can make a profit out of that individual’s endeavours. The ability or willingness of that individual to produce, is secondary. The current system tends to favour having less people doing more hours (it is more profitable), rather than distributing the work more evenly. We then have the insane situation of people competing with each other for a greater share of the required work. Then to stop people starving or freezing a welfare state, where we take from those working, and give to those we have prevented working, at the same time treating them like spongers. In the third world.
    Money complicates the process of sharing the workload.

    It hides true values
    The environment, individual liberty, choice, security, relationships and much more, often take second place to monetary ‘necessity’.

    It distorts our moral judgement
    It makes it harder to change profession

    An idea for an alternative (but there may be others or variations on this one) is outlined in the chapter ‘The things we need’.

    We are now experiencing a period where the abuse of the money system is affecting everyone, no matter how prudent, hard working or diligent they have been with their personal or business activity. We have no control. Governments around the world are struggling to address the situation, but with only monetary solutions available to them, are simply fuelling a long-term problem, which unless tackled with a new strategy, is doomed to failure.

    Nice post! Have you read Marx on money?

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