TRUST IN MONEYSubmitted by GREEDisBAD on Fri, 06/20/2008 - 00:56
Below are excerpts from THE GRIP OF DEATH, A study of modern money, debt slavery and destructive economics by Michael Rowbotham.
‘The Grip of Death’ is a literal translation of ‘mortgage’, when the owner of a house pledges his or her house to another with a handshake…until death.
Trust in money
It is assumed by everyone - and clearly by economists - that money is a neutral and accurate medium; that money does no more than reflect the economic facts. This trust is shown by the unquestioning acceptance, not just of unrealistic debts, but of a whole range of other monetary data. For example, America is currently expanding its already colossal output - but not to supply itself - simply driven by the need to obtain export revenues to improve its balance of payments. At the same time, many Third World nations are striving to develop a stronger export sector, again not producing goods for themselves, but to improve their balance of payments in order to fund debt repayments. Thus we have the bizarre situation in which the richest nation in the world is seeking to increase output simply to remain financially viable, whilst the poorest nations, who desperately need to improve their domestic agriculture and industrial infrastructure, are orienting their economies towards a glutted world market - all this being driven by monetary considerations. This again places economics, and financial economics in particular, quite simply in the realm of unreality.
It is not just in the macro-economic sphere that questionable monetary statements prevail. Every budget and every election is dominated by spending plans, spending cuts, savings made here, and accusations of money wasted there. ‘The other party’s spending plans don’t add up’ they all chorus. Scores of economists and political commentators then huddle around their calculators to check whether one party’s promises have more financial credibility than the other’s. With a triumphant shout, the claim is made that ‘there isn’t enough money’…So we can’t do it. Money is trusted. Money is accepted as the final arbiter. Money is the overall economic truth; the limiting reality. And if there isn’t enough money, well that’s that…
But this perennial shortage of government funds, enshrined in the repetitive cry ‘We haven’t got the money’, has got to be challenged. Money is a man-made device, and for an entire economy to be perpetually in the position of not being able to do what it wants, simply for lack of bits of paper with numbers on them, is strong evidence that the shortage of those bits of paper and numbers lacks all validity. Consider some of the decisions taken in pursuit of cuts in expenditure… The building is already there, the equipment is in place, the people that are employed there can be good at their jobs, providing a much valued service to local residents. And then along comes a ‘Grey Suits’ who tells us that the hospital, collage, library, post office, coastguard station, research laboratory, swimming pool or whatever has to be closed for lack of money. But in what possible sense can we not afford what we already have, and which is already there? A town can be in desperate need of a school, community centre, or repairs to its roads and drains. The raw materials may be lying idle in a builder’s yard, people may be desperate for work, but there isn’t enough money… so we can’t do it. In what possible sense can we not afford to do what we plainly can, in physical terms, achieve?