Wednesday, September 24, 2008
"MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND..."
The above, of course, an identifiable refrain repeated in a song from Liza Minnelli's movie version of "Cabaret,"
If one were to ask most people in the US, what is money's purpose, how does money function, what does it do, how is it's value defined, they certainly could not answer.
Some would give the shibboleth about gold.
Others, nothing at all.
Those who PRIVATELY own the country, understand perfectly well.
Lina Wertmuller did an interesting little movie sometime ago, 1975, "Swept Away," in which she inverted and stripped naked the socially maintained fictions behind the interrelated categories of money, power and private property.
For those who have not seen the movie and might like to do so, I will say nothing more about it.
Here's one simple link which reveals not much,
But, one can do a similar thought experiment on one's own by simply utilizing the same proverbial deserted island shipwreck with two or more individuals and a stack of "money."
If you prefer, you can make the money gold, silver or any other "precious metal" instead of paper.
Well, as is everything else, money is a privatized commodity, controlled, here, by our private, Federal Reserve banking system and borrowed by the US government's Treasury Department, backed by US taxpayers, i.e, the working class.
Of course, money is borrowed, loaned, traded, and speculated, as is any other commodity.
And, then, there is cross country currency speculation and manipulation, as well.
And, debt, of any kind, no matter in what form, represents money due. Debt is a recognized, legal claim to money.
Take one's own, individual, private bank account, as an example.
One can put one's money under the proverbial mattress, as they say. Instead, one lends/deposits one's own principal in a bank and receives interest for the cash loan.
The bank is in debt to you for borrowing your principal and dividends accrued, presumably, for investing your money and ostensibly making a profit on your invested, borrowed money.
But, what happens when the bank goes bust, does not make a profit, investments sour, does not have enough cash to pay everybody, or, some people, at the same time, etc.?
That's a liquidity crisis.
The Federal Reserve insures personal, individual bank accounts for just such a possibility.
The maximum is $100,000.
Of course, the liquidity problem multiplies and amplifies when it extends beyond a few banks.
What happens when the private insurance agency is overwhelmed?
And, so it goes.
A snowball effect.
So, when the private profiteers assert a "liquidity crisis" exists and it can/will have enormous negative repercussions and ripples throughout the system, they are not exactly lying.
Money is the measure, the medium, the currency of exchange, for everyone, everybody and every economically defined transaction in our society.
Without money, i.e., liquidity, our economic transactions grind to a halt, a standstill.
Everybody, like an addict on a drug habit, is financially and economically tethered into the money-go-round system.
So, everybody needs their fix, their medium of exchange, to keep the system afloat.
So, let me assure everyone, an agreement, a "deal" has already been decided in principal behind closed doors about the current US financial bailout.
Our legislative government, Congress, and, the President, are simply the hired help, paid employees, representatives of the very private interests they are supposedly attempting to regulate.
Mind you, not own, but, regulate.
Everything done and said publicly is all for purposes of political posturing.
So, the "deal" must appear to be the product of hard bargaining.
Thus, Congressional hearings, the dance macabre, some delays, tinkering, modifications, a little give and take, some compromising, etc.
But, if they/we were serious about "change," they/we would immediately seize this opportunity to demand compensation and collateral damage by shifting real, worthwhile, tangible assets, national resources and industries, away from the private to the public sector and, thus, create an equal and corresponding diminution and liquidation of the realm of possible private financial manipulation and capital.
Nationalized, public assets cannot be privately purchased, exchanged or traded.
No shares held, whatsoever.
That would immediately help shift, tip the balance of the equation.
Without that, nothing changes fundamentally.
There are other, additional steps. But, they never do that or any others. Instead, they maintain the length, breadth, width, depth and scope of private ownership through working class tax subsidies, without ever demanding an equal and compensatory growth of the public sector or any additional corresponding class actions.
They still can't even demand a universal, single payer health care insurance system in this country, let alone much of anything else.
Of course, our foreign policy corresponds with the above.
More on that another time.