Friday, 25 May 2007

Just How Much Cash Are We Talking About?

Try to buy one of these things and it will set you back 15-20 dollars, yet the denomination of the coin is one dollar.

(Fictional Scenario Follows)

I was just thinking about money, can you imagine that? Funny how we tend to dwell on those things we don't have…

Anyhow, Supposing we had a machine that could transport us through a multi-dimensional universe and we found ourselves in Geoftopia (my imaginary world), I occasionally muse upon what it might look and feel like. Now Geoftopia is not Utopia, it is bound by those very same universal physical principles that bind us here on 21st century earth; bad things and unexpected things happen, there still is death and taxes; people still are people, and they are capable of doing shitty things to each other. But I am President of the U.S. of A., Congress has seen my wisdom, the people are behind me, and all eight planks of my platform have been made into law with a few concessions and adaptations, implemented to varying degrees of success, and we have begun to work to build a new future that promises to be one of the most free, just and equitable societies ever created by civilization. Our founding fathers (and mum's too) have finally stopped turning in their graves and are at peaceful rest. (I can dream, can't I?)

So in my internal reality, I was thinking about cash, moola, dinero. I am thinking about how much I might possess, how much it might be worth, and even what it might look like. I'm imagining my palms laced with silver, twenty dollar gold pieces and shiny, coppery pennies that can actually buy you something.

As far as possessing money, nowadays there's really no point in it unless you're saving up to buy something, 'cause it's not worth anything in and of itself. But gold and silver will always be worth something, they have inherent value. There's a stability to that kind of money that makes possession of it desirable. Of course the true, spiritual value of money is not the money itself, it is the power that it wields – namely the ability to buy things, trade things and create things we want. But saving for a rainy day, one's inevitable old age and leaving an inheritance of value to one's progeny is not just gratifying, it is savvy and altruistic. On a large scale, such saving allows each progressive generation to one-up the previous one. Is that not the whole idea here?

We have simply embraced our oppressive servitude for momentary pleasures and the hollow void of empty consumerism, and we leave our children mired deeper in debt, with little concern for the world they'll inherit. We have debased ourselves and betrayed our true inheritance as children of God, and refusing to act as responsible citizens when we accept anything less than liberty. What good is this life without liberty? We might as well be dogs living the way we do with no thought for the future, satisfying our own needs with no thought for our brothers. Only dogs have an excuse, and might actually show more love than what we routinely do. We may not be worthy of our inheritance after all.

But I digress. We are in Geoftopia right now, where people are becoming accustomed to the responsibilities inherent to liberty and are not averse to sacrificing momentary pleasure to building a more just and equitable future for their children. But ironically, along with such uncomfortable adjustment and occasional pain that growth brings, we find ourselves liberated, empowered and more fully human.

After the dissolution of the financial oligarchy and the return to the gold and silver-based currencies, there was a rapid deflationary period. Of course, wages decreased simultaneously, the minimum wage was no longer held in place, and instead labor unions were allowed to organize (with the N.L.R.B. actually representing labor for a change). Since the establishment of a Universal Healthcare Insurance had occurred prior to the monetary reforms, employers had already saved millions, labor relations improved immensely without the health insurance obstacle, employees saw their wages increase and more jobs were created as companies reinvested the fortunes that were being siphoned off to the "health for profit" industries. Labor unions were then allowed to concentrate their efforts on issues of workplace safety, seniority, and job classifications, along with wage negotiations that produced results.

People that work in service sector jobs that made wages close to $20 per hour are currently making around $1.50 per hour, but the purchasing power of $1.50 is closer to what $30 bought one previously. One does not see many $100 bills any longer, unless they're picking up their pay (which employers must pay in cash on a biweekly or semi-monthly period mandated by law). The same service sector worker can expect to earn roughly $120 biweekly (equal to $2400 prior to reform). Even though this same worker has essentially seen a real pay increase of close to 100 percent due to monetary and tax reform, he now has to pay a quarter on the dollar for goods and services, but there are "prebate" cheques from the government for "necessities" that compensate for lower paid workers. The net result is the average worker has seen his spending power increase dramatically, and the economy has grown exponentially as a result, since most of these people were previously living at subsistence levels and can now invest in things like college educations for their kids. Billionaires are now millionaires, but they're still rich, and if they don't feel like giving the government a quarter for every dollar spent on their next Ferrari, they can always invest their money or save it.

There are no longer any payroll taxes since the IRS was dissolved. All government programs are now financed by a national tax on goods and services, it is a hefty tax equal to a quarter on the dollar, but it is based on the Fair Tax Code and fully transparent. In other words, Joe Citizen can actually see where his tax goes and what it funds. As a result, the military-industrial complex took a severe beating. People figured they already have enough nuclear warheads to unleash Armageddon, and enough is enough. Instead, the existing industrial sector is undergoing a vast "retooling" to maintain employment and reinvest in infrastructure that will provide energy, transport and communications and allow the economy to thrive for years into the future – and all while looking at sustainable, ecologically intelligent means of doing so. The States get a portion of the tax as well, so there is no longer any justification for a separate State Income Tax. Social Security Reform cinched up the existing money and prevented it from ever being used for anything other than payments, and the remaining funding now comes from the sole National Tax. Citizens are allowed to make direct contributions towards their own retirement as well, which they have begun to do now that they have discretionary income.

Lastly, it was decided that the days of religious meddling would be put to a quick rest. Separation of Church and State was fully comprehended. The government would no longer be in the business of determining morality, and God would be respectably given his due place as Creator of the Universe and taken off currency. No more mottos of "In God We Trust" (all others pay cash). No more idolatry on our coins. Instead, we began to trust one another, and with each passing day, new-found freedoms we had all but forgotten empowered us to become more fully human. The government had become "of, by and for the people". Never in history had man been so in charge of his fate. The prospects of an equitable future seemed imminent.

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