On 12/15/2013 4:23 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:

On Sun, Dec 15, 2013 at 9:49 AM, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be <mailto:marc...@ulb.ac.be>> wrote:

    On 14 Dec 2013, at 23:27, LizR wrote:

    I haven't had a chance to watch it, but I do know that banks are stealing 
    wealth - as indeed are rich people generally, since "wealth breeds more 
wealth" and
    that more wealth has to be extracted from you and me.

    Money and richness is not a problem. It is the blood of the social system.

    Money and richness is a problem only when it is based on lies, and when it 
is used
    to hide the lies and perpetuate them.

    Honest money enrich everybody. True, it is slower for poor, and quicker for 
    rich, but when people play the game "honestly", everyone win, and poverty 

    In a working economy, there are few poor. Presence of poverty means that 
there are
    stealers and bandits (or war or catastrophes). Accusing the system and 
money itself
    is all benefices for the bandits. It dilutes their responsibility and 
wrong-doing in
    the abstract. It helps them to feel like not guilty.

    As I said, criticizing the economical system is like attributing to the 
blood cells
    the responsibility of some tumor since the blood cells feeds it. It hides 
the real
    root of the problem, and focus on the wrong target.

I agree, unsurprisingly. :)
I also agree with Liz, in that it is clear who is stealing the money.

The "rich get richer" is a very fundamental phenomenon. Even if we remove money from society, it will still happen because it also applies to social interactions. The more friends and alliances you have, the more likely you are to get new ones. This is the reason why every entrepreneur seeks the allegiance of celebrities. It's a more subtle form of currency.

However, we got trapped into a system that effectively amplifies "rich get richer" dynamics. This system is central banking -- since the powerful have the capacity to issue fiat money in the form of debt, two things happen:

It doesn't take central banking to make the rich get richer. Ever since civilization began the rich have been able to get richer just by owning stuff. For a couple of millenia it was owning land. If you owned land then serfs and peasants had to pay you for working the land. Then merchantilism added ships to what you could own. Then industrialization added mines and oil and factories. Banking and insurance added financial instruments that you could own. But it's all of a piece. If you own stuff that you can rent/lend you're rich and you can get richer. Of course you can also influence government and governments exist largely to protect your property rights.

- The money I have in my pocket is not safe. They can devalue it and there is nothing I can do about it. They have a strong incentive to devalue my money because they can give the new money they created to their allies, through sophisticated mechanisms. It is very cleverly disguised, but it's still plain old theft;

That means you have a strong incentive to invest/spend your money. And that applies also to a rich person that has a lot of money - inflation encourages him to spend it on something. So one of the reasons for the current recession is that wealth is very concentrated by inflation is quite low, so corporations and wealthy persons are not motivated to take much risk on investing their money; they can easily wait and see.

- The more wealthy, who can invest, can leverage their investments by orders of greatness. The more money you have, the more you can leverage it (by effectively creating new "fake" money). The poor are the most vulnerable to the inevitable systemic collapse that a debt-based economy will create. The poor implicitly risk their homes and means of survival when the rich play the big casino game of leveraged investments, derivative markets and so on.

But that money isn't fake. The poor may lose their home which has real value. And even if they don't lose their home they end up paying excessively for the money they borrowed to buy it - that's real labor value. The rich gain real money, not just fake. All over Southern California houses whose value dropped and are threatened with foreclosure are being bought up for cash. It's not poor people who can pay $500,000 in cash for a house.

Bitcoin might solve these two problems.

Naah. It's just another medium of exchange. Whoever owns a lot of stuff will still be able to use it to get more - without actually producing the extra value, rather by taking it from those who have little.


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