Why the U.S. “Middle Class” is Poor

The Federal, state, and local government takes in over five trillion dollars in the form of tax revenue each year.  Guess where the majority of that tax revenue comes from?  No, it doesn’t come from huge corporations, or investment banks, or insurance companies, or Wall Street.  Close to 90% of that tax revenue comes from you and me and really small businesses.  Never mind that these government entities can’t break even with all this money as that is a topic for a much longer post, but just imagine for a moment that we the citizens of the United States provide the Federal, state, and local governments with approximately $4+ trillion in tax revenue.  Larger corporations only provide roughly 6% of government revenue through taxes.

Large U.S. based multinational corporations have been enjoying record profits during the last few years while main-street american citizens are struggling.  Large corporate profits are approaching $2 trillion a year.  As a result, the stock market is fairing pretty darn well considering the struggles many Americans are facing economically.  Huge American corporations are enjoying cheap international labor and a lean base of U.S. employees that are terrified of losing their jobs.  Labor productivity is very high for these large American companies.  Why hire U.S. citizens when profits are hitting historical record highs?  Those at the top of these large U.S. corporate entities are rolling in the money as are investment bankers, Wall Street, and the rich that are in the know and invest money to make more money without doing anything to make that money.  Is it any mystery why the income gap in our great country is wider than any other developed country in the entire world?  Is it no wonder that the gap is still increasing?

Now, in addition to the enormous tax burden individuals and small businesses absorb, there is another high-priced burden — prices of everything we buy.  How do corporations make a profit?  Because we, the ordinary citizen, pay more for those products than they cost to produce and distribute.  Because we believe all the advertising bullshit that makes us think a product is worth more than its cost.  The marketing gurus call this “perceived value”.  So, as a result, not only are we supporting all our governments with the majority of their tax revenue, but we are also giving excessive money to huge corporations so that they can enjoy profits.  We, the middle class, are getting fucked on both ends.  And guess who gets all our money?  The government and the 1% that runs corporate America (huge corporations, investments banks, Wall Street, banks, insurance companies).

Now, in addition to the above two burdens, most of us must resort to forms of credit and loans to enjoy life.  As a result, we end up forking out money in the form of interest payments to the altruistic banks.  If we a buy a car, a house, or simply enjoy a vacation or dinner out — along comes the extra expense in the form of monthly interest payments.  Or, if you are young without wealthy parents and want an education to get a job then you also need to take out a loan (a loan you will be paying for the majority of your youthful life).  And since the corporations we work for aren’t going to give us annual pay raises above the rate of inflation (or hire you young folks after taking out that big loan to get an education) we will never be in a position to pay off that debt.  Therefore, monthly interest payments simply become a life-long additional expense in addition to income taxes, sales taxes, and inflationary prices coined “perceived value”..

The final piece of the elimination of the “middle class” comes in the form of higher inflation above an beyond the already considerable price inflation forced on the individual through corporate prices that are far above production and distribution costs.  This additional inflation is caused by the incompetence and cronyism of the Federal Reserve combined with our governments that can’t contain spending to the some $4 trillion bucks we hand over to them.  The crook-like Federal Reserve just keeps printing more and more U.S. dollars which simply waters down what little dollars we have left in our wallets.  Why do they keep printing more and more dollars?  I am not the one to answer that question, but it has something to do with our mounting Federal debt, trade deficits, and currency wars.  But it really doesn’t matter why when you consider that in the end it is the “middle class” that ends up disappearing.  How much more are you spending to fill up your gas tank?  How much more are you spending at the grocery store?  How much more are you spending when you travel and have to check bags?  How much more are you paying to heat or cool your homes?  How much more are you paying for entertainment and dinner out?

I don’t have a fully developed solution outside of a Utopian creation, but I do have a broad fundamental concept.  It is time to tax the shit out of the rich.  It is time to tax the shit out of huge corporations that are taking our money by shipping jobs overseas, charging us too much money to buy their products, and working current employees like dogs without raises greater than inflation.  It is time to cut the shit out of government spending.  I don’t care if the stock market takes a major hit.  All I want is the middle class to have a chance to get back on its feet.  A country without a healthy and strong middle class isn’t going to be around long in its current form.  And I for one am reaching the point where I would be more than willing to ensure that current form no longer exists.  But, a new form must first be envisioned through logic and true leadership.  Tearing down a corrupt and broken form without envisioning a radical but workable new form simply leads to a bandwagon of buffoons beating their chest and demanding a free bushel of bananas in exchange for nothing.  My Utopian visions could solve our problems, but then again, people would have to understand and agree that money is a myth and that the true form of currency is human energy, motivation, cooperation, sacrifice, and acceptance of some inequality not in gender or race, but in ability..

Advertisements

Our “Silent Great Depression”

I made a post a few days back regarding Mike Stathis and summarized some of his views, but I think the below short excerpt from a three-part article he wrote at the end of 2010 should be shared.  I provide the links to the three-part post below at the end of the excerpt for those that want to better understand what transpired during the collapse and what may happen in the near future to most of us ordinary American citizens.  Although Mike is a financial advisor and expert in his field, he writes in a manner such that the non-financial expert can comprehend his points.

Mike accurately predicted the economic collapse in great detail via a book he published in 1996 called America’s Financial Apocalypse.  In my opinion, and based on personal experience and intuition, I think he has and is hitting the nail on the head.  I am interested to know your thoughts on the below excerpt and if you have time also your thoughts on the three-part detailed post provided via the links after the excerpt.

Excerpt from “America’s Second Great Depression Year-end Update 2010 Part 1”, by Mike Stathis:

….”Instead of the severity of unemployment seen during the first depression, this depression will be characterized by chronically high unemployment combined with massive underemployment. Thus, full devastation of the real unemployment picture will be masked.

We won’t see bread lines as we did during the previous depression because Washington issues food stamps ( Tincup comment:46 million Americans currently on food stamps). But unless Washington decides to provide housing to the homeless, we will see tent cities similar to the Hoovervilles from the previous depression. We are already seeing this today.

As well, we won’t see banks close their doors because we have the FDIC which was created in response to the previous depression. But what good is money if its being printed continuously?

The inflationary forces building up will certainly create severe problems for the U.S. and the rest of the world since the dollar is the universal currency. All of this will put further downward pressure on U.S. living standards for many years to come.

The most harmful effects of America’s current depression won’t be due to a crisis. It will be only heightened by a crisis. The real devastation will be due to an accelerated transfer of wealth and jobs overseas. It will be a silent depression.

In a few years, the real estate and banking crisis will have cooled off and Washington will start reporting much improved numbers; numbers that will continue to be manipulated and boosted by deficit spending.

In reality, things will only get worse. Real wages won’t budge, inflation for basic necessities will continue to rise, and job quality will continue to decline. We are already seeing this now. It will be a silent depression because there will be no crisis. But the effects of this depression are likely to be more severe because they will persist for decades.

You won’t feel the full effects on any given day. If you’re in the lucky majority, you will go to work and carry out your life as usual. But you just won’t be able to make ends meet like in the past. Each year things will get worse so you’ll spend more on credit.

It will be more difficult for your children to move up in socioeconomic status because higher education is becoming an unaffordable luxury for the wealthy. Many younger Americans who are willing to take on the enormous debt burden required for higher education won’t be able to find jobs in their field. This will be true even for the most secure of majors like engineering, math and science.

Some Americans with math and science degrees will seek employment as high school teachers, due to lack of options. This will be an ironic fate, as America’s educational system has been designed to keep the people stupid, all while brainwashing them to accept America’s fascist philosophy. Some won’t have the skills of their counterparts in Asia.

Others will be pushed out of a career they prepared for due to the effects of unfair trade. Some will opt for a 1 or 2-year program in healthcare by one of the hundreds of for-profit colleges that understand America’s healthcare system is a gravy train. Others will work for Wall Street criminals and banking vultures; some naively, others not caring that they will be selling their souls to the Devil.

Millions will be stuck in slave labor, working for low wages and no benefits. But they won’t be working in factories churning out goods for the global economy. They will be working in service jobs, tailoring to the needs of America’s wealthy.

In fact, I predict in coming years we will see an ironic trend in the U.S. Instead of U.S. consumers speaking with Indians in Bombay for customer support from U.S. corporations, Indians will be speaking with U.S. citizens who will provide them with phone support.

Many Americans will never realize they lived through America’s Second Great Depression, because the effects will be spread gradually for many, many years. Most Americans will never be able to fully retire. They simply won’t have enough money to live on. Many will end up selling their home to pay for medical bills, even though they have health insurance. Others will have a much worse fate.

What the “experts” don’t get is that this depression will be much more difficult to reverse because it will be gradual. There will be no urgency. But the effects will be cumulative.

Many will wake up one day and realize that they just can’t make ends meet; they’ll have very little if any retirement assets. It will be a continuation of declining living standards to a point that could lead to some major permanent societal problems.

Economists have claimed that the depression in the 1930s was caused by the failure of the Federal Reserve to open up the currency printing presses. This is not at all true. You cannot print your way out of a recession and you cannot print your way out of a depression.

Although there were certainly numerous causes, America’s Second Great Depression was caused by use of a fiat currency, unfair trade policy, cronyism and years of mismanagement by Washington.

Today, the criminal Federal Reserve Bank continues to kick the can forward by printing trillions of dollars. This is having significant adverse effects, not only in the U.S. but throughout the globe. Instead of deleveraging, the global bubble has been reflated as discussed several months ago. We are now seeing global inflation begin to take off. [55]

Washington, Wall Street and their many hacks have even made preposterous claims that the recession ended in June 2009. Of course this is a complete fabrication.

I want to remind you that a recession is caused by an oscillation of the business cycle from peak to the trough. In contrast, a depression is a long period of social, economic and financial decline. Within a depression you are likely to see two or more recessions. But this merely accounts for the economic consequences of a depression.

The social consequences found within a depressive period are a reflection of the devastating effects of chronic economic catastrophe. But the useless media has used the term “Great Recession” in order to downplay the true severity of this period.

Haven’t you had enough lies, deception and hype from the media?

Despite what some of you may think, there is NO ONE in the media, not a single person that truly understands what is going on AND is committed to helping you. That includes all of the perma-bears and gold bugs who have been preaching doom for decades. If you think otherwise, then you haven’t been documenting their track records.

The contrarian crowd is trying to scare people so they will buy gold so as to pump up the price. At the end of the day when these delusions of gold $10,000/ounce and hyperinflation have NOT materialized as salesmen and hacks like Peter Schiff, Marc Faber and others have insisted, the media knows that its audience will run back into the arms of Wall Street.

You will never win if you embrace extremes. Neither the perma-bear or perma-bull market extremists offer you anything other than a chance to lose more money. Never forget that. So if you are unable to navigate an up and down market, you might be best to remain on the sidelines because even many of the big boys have gotten thrashed over the past two years.

If you pay attention to the media, you are sending them money because they sell ads based on the size of their audience. And because Wall Street buys the ads, the media serves their interests by flooding you with extremists and other hacks. Thus, by paying attention to the media, you are serving as an accomplice in your own exploitation.

I leave you with my best piece of investment advice. It’s one of the rare exceptions of investment advice that never changes.

BAN THE MEDIA.

DON’T READ THEIR NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES, AND DON’T TUNE INTO THEIR TV AND RADIO SHOWS.

If you don’t follow this advice you will be just as responsible for your demise as the media and Wall Street.”

Americas-Second-Great-Depression-2010-Year-end-Update-Part-1.html

Americas-Second-Great-Depression-2010-Year-end-Update-Part-2.html

Americas-Second-Great-Depression-2010-Year-end-Update-Part-3.html

 

America’s Financial Apocalypse — Mike Stathis

Have you ever stumbled upon an author or thinker that confirms your intuition and broad thoughts, but due to their higher expertise or intelligence refines or improves your understanding of those instincts?  Well, last night I stumbled upon just such a person – Mike Stathis.  Usually I find people of interest in Penguin Classics and the author has been dead for hundreds or thousands of years.  Normally, these authors I connect with are philosophers or poets.  My most recent discovery was Robinson Jeffers (poet), but he has been dead for a few decades.  I always connect with or admire authors that attempt to portray or explore the truth.  I don’t think many can know the truth in full, but very special individuals can attempt to be as objective as possible to at least seek the truth to the best of their ability.

I stumbled upon Mike Stathis as a result of my previous post (Inflation – Fuse to the Debt Bomb).  I wanted to read expert opinion of the risk of future inflation.  Based on my intuition and experience at the grocery store, bars, restaurants, and the gas pump, we are already experiencing higher than usual inflation despite what the government and the media report.  But I wanted to get some expert views on how bad inflation might get in the next few years.  I found an article by John William’s who argues we are going to experience hyperinflation, which would essentially make the dollar worthless.  I liked this article because it sided with my intuition that inflation is going to get worse and expose the financial Ponzi scheme created by Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, huge corporations, investment banks and banks, the government, and the media.  I also found that Ron Paul, the only presidential candidate I somewhat like sides with the argument that we are going to experience hyperinflation.

Hyperinflation is an extreme case of inflation so I also wanted to get some opposing views.  I then stumbled upon Mike Stathis who actually took John William’s argument head on piece by piece.   I was so impressed by his objectivity, knowledge, insight and the fact that he took the time to address the issue in such a methodical and logical manner.   I decided to do further research on who this guy was and suddenly realized I had found a gem.  I never expected to find a great philosophical mind that was also a finance/investor expert that attempts to portray the truth despite the consequences or loss of financial gain or media influence.

Mike puts forward a very interesting argument against hyperinflation and I am not going to recap that argument here, but I will provide the link. Dismantling-John-Williams-Hyperinflation-Predictions.html  I do want to make a few broad comments about his point of view regarding inflation and the economic future of America.  Although he doesn’t predict hyperinflation, he does believe we will experience inflation or massive inflation.  And I tend to align more with his argument than those that predict hyperinflation.  Those that predict hyperinflation claim that because the Federal Reserve keeps printing enormous amounts of money combined with no link to an asset like gold means the dollar will eventually become a worthless piece of toilet paper.

Mike makes a few key arguments that I never thought about.  He says the dollar is heavily linked to oil since oil is traded in U.S. dollars.  He also makes the same argument about commodities.  Therefore, as long as the dollar is the currency involved with these important transactions it will maintain worth.  I have probably over-simplified his argument, but it makes sense.  He also makes the argument that since the dollar is the key currency used in international trade that we actually export inflation and reduce the potential inflationary impacts on the United States when we print more money.  He also makes another important point.  Given oil is a key ingredient to supporting the value of the dollar, the U.S. will not hesitate from using its superior military power to prevent any attempt to begin trading oil in another currency.  Guess what?  Iran trades oil in a different currency than the U.S. dollar.  Where do you think World War III might ignite?  Look at the media focusing on the nuclear threat as opposed to Iran’s attempt to undermine the U.S. dollar as a means to trade oil.  Guess what other middle east country was attempting to create a mechanism to trade oil without the mighty U.S. dollar?  Yep, it was Iraq.

The other excellent point Mike argues is that the powers that be (Wall-Street, large corporations, the Federal Reserve, investment banks and banks, the government, and the media) will do everything in their power to prevent a major collapse or something like hyperinflation.  This argument challenges my previous post in which I stated the upcoming higher inflation will blow up the debt bomb and awaken American citizens to the Ponzi scheme.  But his argument makes much more logical sense.  Rather than allow a total collapse, the powers that be will continue to push-off dooms day well into the future.  As a result, what we will experience as normal U.S. citizens is a “Silent Great Depression”.  We will be put through a long and extended period of pain, but not the type of pain that erupts into a revolution.  In other words, the powers that be will continue to take all our assets and quality of life but ensure we can still limp along nibbling on bread crumbs to keep us relatively content.  This is a much more intelligent strategy.  In reality, the good American citizens should stand up and start a revolution and demand a complete overhaul of our country.  But the forces and powers will employ all their influence to subdue the masses of normal American citizens as to further draw milk from the cow.

Here is a link to Mike’s firm and website that has many interesting articles that you may wish to read.  AVA Investment Analytics

I must warn you that some of the articles are very controversial, but he attempts to express the truth based on his real life experience in the investment community.   He has also published several books.  The book on the above image (America’s Financial Apocalypse) was written before the recent economic collapse.  He has correctly predicted many economic events that we have experienced in the last decade.  I am going to purchase and read his books to learn more about his thoughts and predictions, but based on what I have read thus far, he is a voice to be taken seriously.  But, as with any author or great mind, one must always further probe and question their thoughts and points of view.

Inflation — Fuse to the Debt Bomb

www.usdebtclock.org

This clock displayed in the above link (click it…it is very enlightening) calculates not just America’s federal public debt which is 15 trillion, but it also shows total debt including citizen debt, business debt, state and local debt, and other forms of debt like social security and medicare/medicaid.  The total debt of our country is approaching 57 trillion. Our GDP is only 15 trillion.  Do you mind telling me how our GDP will ever catch up to pay off 57 trillion?  Even if we liquidated all our assets we still couldn’t cover our liabilities.

Now, if you extrapolate the situation in America to Europe, the picture is the same.  world-debt-clock.html This clock only shows public debt relative to the countries GDP.  Look at the European countries relative to China and India.  Do you think China and India can bail out the western civilization?  Do you think they even care?  Shit, they have almost a third of the world population to take care of and don’t have the resources to bail out our bleeding asses.  But, when we implode they will also experience hell, but to lesser extent.  The changing of the guard is here.  Time to start teaching Mandarin, Cantonese, Hindi, and perhaps Spanish in the schools.  English, German, and French can become electives.

Inflation is here folks and it is going to get much worse.  And when inflation hits hard, the cat will be out of the bag.  Inflation is the fuse that will awaken the public to the Ponzi scheme that is paper money printed at will, debt issued at the push of a button, and the electronic casino that is the stock market; and the debt bomb will explode world-wide leading to chaos.  Greece is a prelude.  I am not alone in this perspective.  There is another way my friends for human beings to create our existence without money.  Just watch some little kids play a little league baseball game.

“Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave.”

Leo Tolstoy

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

Henry Ford

“The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is, perhaps, the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banks can in fact inflate, mint and un-mint the modern ledger-entry currency.”

Major L L B Angus.

“The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it… The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent.”

John Kenneth Galbraith

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value —- zero.”

Voltaire

“I sincerely believe … that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large-scale.”

Thomas Jefferson

“Thus, our national circulating medium is now at the mercy of loan transactions of banks, which lend, not money, but promises to supply money they do not possess.”

Irving Fisher

“If, however, a government refrains from regulations and allows matters to take their course,  essential commodities soon attain a level of price out of the reach of all but the rich, the worthlessness of the money becomes apparent, and the fraud upon the public can be concealed no longer.”

John Maynard Keynes

“Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.”

George Washington

Weight of the American Dream

                                                                           College Debt

Monthly payment on college debt

Credit Card Debt

Interest payment on credit card debt

Mortgage Debt

Interest payment on Mortgage Debt

Car Debt

Interest payment on Car Debt

Gasoline purchases (prices rising)

Parking expense (prices rising)

Car insurance (price rises after collision)

Car maintenance (should have bought a Toyota)

Life Insurance

Property Insurance

Health Insurance (rising)

Cell phone monthly payment

Internet, cable TV, and land-line monthly payment

Electric and gas monthly payment (rising)

Grocery bills (prices rising)

Clothes purchases

Things purchases (all made in China)

Beer and wine purchases (increasing amounts)

Entertainment expenses

Vacation expenses

Christmas expenses

Taxes (not enough to cover expense of American Dream)

Engagement ring (must be at least 1 carat)

Engagement ring monthly payment

Wedding expense

Babies expense (and the cycle continues)

Isn’t the American Dream great?  Who makes out in this deal?  Thank goodness we can toss what little money we have left into the 401K so our Wall Street buddies have some cash to play with at the casino.

Maybe in our next life we can soar freely like the Albatross.

The “Human World” without Money, Debt, and Financial Institutions

When you look at the economic state of America, the former beacon upon a hill and economic dynamo, one cannot help but to muse about how the country has fallen so hard and so fast.  But rather than dive too deeply and get into facts and figures and economic / political theory, I want to get to the point and highlight what I think is the core problem — our creation of money, debt, and financial institutions. 

At some point in time, human civilization decided that money, pieces of paper and coins, could represent value and value created. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/history-money.html  Here is the first step we took into obscurity.  I find it very strange that a piece of paper or coin can accurately represent value.  Trade and barter made sense.  Give me your basket of fruit in exchange for my hunk of meat and we have a fair deal.  Imagine, if we could put a modern man back in time, and he was to offer a hunter a ten-dollar bill in exchange for a hunk of meat.  The hunter would look at the piece of paper and say, “what in the hell am I supposed to do with this?”  I have a broad question when it comes to assuming money has intrinsic worth.  How much money would it take to buy the sun, fresh rivers, a bountiful ocean, clean crisp air, and fertile soil?  These elements have immense value for they are the basis for life, yet we can’t put a monetary value on what they are worth — although I am sure there are some economists modeling out the worth of the elements to support the new green economy.  Good luck with those calculations. 

The next step into obscurity was the idea that the money supply could be increased or in current terms printed.  Hey, we are out of money so lets just print more.  Brilliant! There is a limited supply of gold, jewels, and goods and therefore one can make a reasonable leap of faith that these limited items could be linked in some shape or form to value.  But when you can simply print more money it obviously waters down the relationship between approximate value and true value.  At one point money was linked to the gold supply (gold standard), but apparently the powers that be didn’t like that restriction and elected to sever the relationship.  

But Man didn’t stop there.  He also came up with an even more entrepreneurial and innovative concept — the loan.  Why wait until you have earned enough money to buy this or that when you can have it today for a small monthly fee and the promise you will pay back the original amount some time in the future?  Finally, man capped it all off with the invention of financial markets.  Thus the invention of Wall Street and Investment “Bankstas”. Now you could print more money and take out a loan and then throw it all into the financial market and make more money without actually doing any work.  As long as you made a good guess where to invest your money you can hit the jack pot!.  And if your are connected and obtain inside information your chances to hit the jack pot increase.  And if you are a trader controlling huge funds and can move the market up or down with rumours or a touch of a button, your chances increase exponentially to make lots of money for doing nothing of value. 

Currently, vast amounts of money flow so fluidly and rapidly (thanks to electronic flows of money…yet another step into obsurity) through financial, business, and government institutions that nobody understands what is going on.  Watching the talking business heads on tv is a true comedy.  “Well, the Dow went down 100 points in the morning due to the debt crisis fears in Europe but rebounded in the afternoon because an article mentioned that China might step in to help stabilize Italy”.  The most comical aspect is that these talking heads  claim to understand what is going on with the economy and interpreting what is causing the stock market to go up and down on any given day probably make over six figures.  This leads me to my next point.

Money, which has a watered down assumed intrinsic worth as previously mentioned, flows rapidly to sources that we “perceive” to have value equal to that already inflated assumption of the intrinsic worth of money.  If our “perceived” value of the source receiving vast amounts of money is wrong, then we have really dug ourselves in a hole.  And I would argue that our perception of what is valuable is off-base in many cases.  From a big picture perspective, looking at the earth from space and then zooming in on our society, is a rookie NFL quarterback fresh out of college really worth $20 million?  I enjoy watching football especially college, but the amount of money we pay folks for hitting or throwing balls is out of line.  Is the latest and greatest reality star that has suddenly emerged from obscurity worth millions of dollars?  Those Jersey Shore celebs sure are valuable human beings.  I have watched the show a few times so I am guilty of increasing the net worth of these boneheads.  Is the hottest rap or pop star worth multi-million green backs?  I do think Rhianna is pretty hot.  Guilty again.

Jeff Skilling -- President Enron (currently in jail)

Was Jeff Skilling (Enron president) or Bernie Madoff ever worth the huge sums of money they earned through compensation and stock grants?  Do the top earning 20% of Americans really generate 84% of the value in America?  Are 40 million people in the United States (and 1 in 5 children) that are below the poverty line really worth what their measly earnings say they are worth or could be worth?  Clearly, something is out of whack.  And in my opinion,the distortion is caused by the possibility that our perceived value of what has value is way off base and we have made an erroneous assumption about the intrinsic value of money.  Combine the above flaws with loans, debt, and financial speculation and you have a house of cards and misallocated “wealth”.  Two movies worth watching on this topic are “The Smartest Guys in the Room” (documentary on Enron implosion) and “Too Big to Fail” (the mortgage-backed security frenzy).

But what would we do without money, loans, credit, debt, banks, Wall Street, and Investment “Bankstas”?  How would society function?  This may come as a surprise, but every society on this planet, excluding the “Human World”, operates without money and the related baggage.  And man himself at one point operated without money.  In every other society on Earth, including the Apex species, value is pretty clear and money has no meaning or intrinsic worth.  And there certainly aren’t any problems with “perceived” value.  The currency in all other societies on earth is energy.  Some of the more advanced societies combine their energy via cooperation to obtain one of the ultimate valuable prizes — food.  They also work together for protection and ultimately survival.  And many of these societies have been around much longer than ourselves. 

Imagine the sense of freedom these apex predators enjoy without money and particularly debt!  But their societies aren’t free from stress or hardship.  If the society or individual doesn’t find food, they die.  No one is going to come to their aid.  But that doesn’t mean that these apex predators don’t find time for fun or enjoy being alive.  The bond between members of these societies is strong for without each other it would be a very lonely and dangerous world.  Not all members of these societies are treated completely equal — Only the lucky few earn mating rights through various competitions and the prize certainly has value and a bit of pleasure!  Although some inequality exists, they each play a crucial part such that the whole has access to the fruits earned through cooperation.  Of course we would be in position to adapt lessons from these societies because we have an opposable thumb, a large brain, and free hands since we walk upright.  We have the power to create and manipulate the environment around us.  All we need to do is define true value, define our missions, use our brains, thumbs, free hands, and spend our currency (our energy) to make it happen. 

Otherwise, the vast majority of us will remain like domesticated pigeons huddling together looking up at the few fortunate hawks.