Our money creation system creates hard times by design in several ways. It creates artificial scarcity which results in a highly competitive, fear-driven economy. And, unfettered exploitation of natural resources creates real scarcity. It creates boom-bust cycles, driven by speculators and hormones that benefit a few at the expense of the many.
Hard times are here now. According to the 2014 Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index, only 24 percent of adults in the US are thriving in social well-being, only 22 percent in financial well-being, 41 percent in community well-being, and 31 percent in physical well-being. The US ranks 23rd. We come in well behind our neighbors, #1. Panama, and #2. Costa Rica.96 In every category at least six out of ten of our citizens – the heart of our commonwealth – are only getting by or suffering.
Our money supply is all someone’s debt. It carries an interest burden. The only way there can be enough money in the system to pay principle and interest is for someone else to expand the money supply by borrowing more. Then we must compete to grab enough of the new money to pay our expenses and our debts and the interest on them. This creates a musical chairs situation. We’re working as hard as we can to get enough. But, the system by its nature never has enough for all of us.
In our system, if there is more for you, there is less for me. This creates a stressful and highly competitive work environment. Fear drives us – fear that we won’t be able to grab a share for ourselves and our families. It pushes people towards, “It’s mine!” instead of “How can we take care of each other and our commonwealth?” It pushes us to pick someone lower on the economic ladder to step on and it is at the root of racism and xenophobia.
Some argue the interest on money creation can come out of the churn of money. As a money unit moves around in the economy, it takes a little nip into the bankers’ interest collection pool and nips right back out again – no real draw on the economy. After all, the bankers will spend their profits and the money will continue to cycle. But, this is a rationalization of privilege by the money interests. Of course it draws from the economy. What must be dropped into the bankers’ interest-on-newly-created-money bucket is not available on Main Street for other productive purposes; it tends to pool in offshore accounts or it buys assets and control of future income streams. It shorts everyone but the bank owners, increasing people’s need to borrow. It is that giant straw described in Chapter 2.7.
Exploitation creates more scarcity
We’ve created real scarcities of many natural resources – drinking water, watersheds, bird refuges, forests and oxygen-producing trees, arable land for farming – through economic practices that demand growth and profits at the expense of long-term sustainable life (Chapter 6.67).
At the same time, those with the money power control our laws so they can extract from the common wealth at very little expense to themselves. While our aquifers shrink beyond life-sustaining levels, big corporations extract water for a pittance and literally blow it into the wind with wasteful agricultural practices…or use it to mist shopping malls in Arizona…or stick it in bottles and sell it to us at exorbitant rates. Water was once abundant. Our water was free to all and we just paid for getting it to our faucets. Now water is becoming truly scarce – and moving into the monetized private sector. We’re making this true for all our natural resources and seeding even harder times to come.