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What Is Money? Let's Get Real

Wray Edwards

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What is 'MONEY?'

One day back in the 80s after my radio show, the courageous Irwin Schiff (now a political prisoner) and I spent an afternoon discussing America the Ideal versus America the Real. His first dictum was that,

"MONEY is someTHING of VALUE that can be used as a medium of exchange."

By "thing" he meant such items as a ham sandwich, a goose, a golden egg, a Volvo, an idea (patentintellectual property) or an hour of a person's life ("Time is money" ­ Franklinas in spend some time with me). Primarily, the thing must have intrinsic, tangible value. But what determines value? What Is value?

His definition of the origin of "value" was two fold. First, how much time, effort and ingenuity went into the mining, transporting and/or fabrication of the thing. And, Second "What's it good for?" Can you eat it? Can you ride around in it? Does it shelter us while we sleep? That's all there is to it. This principle of value derived from creative effort which leads to a utilitarian commodity of some sort is the sum total of what money is. That's why our Constitution states in

Article 1, Section 10 - Powers prohibited of States

No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts;

In general, economies which operate exclusively by the exchange of intrinsics, or certificates which are 100% backed and redeemable, are systems of barter. The slippery slope appears the very minute monetary authorities allow reserves to become the least bit fractional. This leads to a plethora of nightmare machinations. The instant fractional reserves are allowed the shell game begins, and a vast, international festival of Three Card Montey marches forth like the water-toting brooms of Mickey Mouse in Walt Disney's "Fantasia." He should not messed with the sorcerer's wand.

What is not money?

Money is not a promise to pay as agreed upon a handshake, a piece of paper or a cyber notation (loan agreements).

Money is not a piece of paper or a cyber notation which says you own a certain portion of a corporation, or an insurance policy as a guarantee of a stock's worth or some loan document's enduring value (credit default swap).

Smoke-and-mirrors are not money

Currencies are not money.

So-called "complementary currencies" (airline miles, credit card rewards points and other scams) are not money. They are rooted in the same pathetic hype-lies as "buy three, get one free" promotions which still work, and sadly, reveal just how completely stupid the average consumer really is. Bottom linethey overcharge you for the first three so they can appear to be giving you the fourth for "free." If we cannot disabuse people of such infantile responseswe are doomed.

Finally, Money is most assuredly not a piece of paper shot through with silk threads, having occult symbols printed upon it in prismatic ink which has a declaration of worth as "legal tender" printed on the front side. Federal Reserve Notes ("note" ­ a promise to pay) are EXACTLY the same as Monopoly money. Whole nations have been duped into allowing the life's blood of their socio-economic survival to be displaced by transfusions of parlor game chits. Meanwhile the issuers confiscate all tangibles and secret them in private vaults or ownership title documents for lands and infrastructures.

Money and currency are two completely different concepts. Money is reasonably well defined above. Now, what is "currency?" For the past twenty years I have been reading everything I could get my hands on about money and value. University economics professors and so-called monetary "experts" regularly confuse the concepts of money and currency. To a monetary purist the word money is sacred, and its meaning is carefully proscribed by restricting its definition to the identification of those things which have intrinsic value.

On the other hand, there are economic authors who throw the words money and currency around like a male cabaret dancer in Marseilles treats his female partner. They allow misogyny between the words money and currency. That is especially unfortunate because it blurs the line between tangibility and a completely cosmetic, ersatz concept. The two words are absolutely not interchangeable! Your average MBA headed for Wall Street or The City, studies the practice of appearances rather than substance. The word currency is cryptic for various documents or tokens upon which national economies are built, and which are like the toy Stretch Armstrong.

The doll (economy) looks deceptively normal until a sadistic human stretches and twists it all out of shape in order to milk and glean every possible permutation of profit potential from the battered carcass of the population (sorry about thatthe alliteration got the upper hand for a moment). Any suggestion that real money backed by gold, silver, real assets or a 100% insured contract to perform, which does not exceed the net worth of the enterprise, be used to conduct monetary affairs, threatens every self-respecting robber baron. They immediately scream and scoff that it would be too cumbersome, plodding and inefficient in this "modern" world."

Hogwash!! So their skulking techniques of fanciful figures and finance are so great? Have a look around at the absolute chaos and criminality of the current institutions which enjoy the nobles oblige of Ivy League Cabals, which spares them the fickle fate of the Enroniacs who's major crime was to try their scam in the same state which consumed the Hunt Brothers. If you are not Down East, eventually you will be just down.

How ironic it is that the Bush family was even able to make Texas work for them as they carried the cozy insulation of Kenny Bunkport to their petro state. Though exiled catty-corner to the land of oil and cattle, the long arm of the eastern establishment wonks eventually found the right strings to bring the marionette in line. But I digress.

Really, the great issue should be concern for the implementation of humane practices. We all run the risk of fame and fortune and many having achieved same find Lincoln's warning very apt:

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

I have never aspired to high office, high profile, or public fame and when offered entree (several times) I declined. I abhor most of popular culture with the exception of AC/DC. As the greatest rock band of all time, they get a pass. When my program manager allowed my photo to be published in the local liberal rag, I lost my privacy and gave up my show. I had extracted a promise from him not to do so. What a dork.

This life is one in which I am meant to keep a low profile, reflect on history and formulate a viable counter proposal to the current trends. Abba Eban's observation that "Humans resort to common sense only after having exhausted all other alternatives" works as well for a young warrior in the upper reaches of the Amazon as it does for Cesar, Alexander, Napoleon, Timujin, Hitler or Emperor Rothschild.

One need only look at the ebb and flow of history's conquerors and armies across the Fertile Crescent, and other regions, to realize that the humble farmers (ex. the Etruscans of northern Italy in the early days of Rome), carpenters and other tradesmen are the salt of the Earth; Not the megalomaniacs who seek dynastic nirvana. After the dust settles, tradesmen and farmers creep back out on the landscape to once again ply their talents to the human cause of nutrition, shelter and mobility.

I have known people very high up in the corporate, entertainment and political world. My conversations with Dr. Paul always centered around the concept of Judo in which one great talent is to be able to step aside with adroit precision in order to allow the other guy's momentum to be his undoing. Now, however, conspiratorial dynasties have such broad bases that unorganized individual citizens are helpless in the face of compromised media and national sovereigns who are complicit in corporate criminality.

It goes without saying that finance is the lynch (as in hanging) pin of civilizations whether local or global. Having a talent for numbers and hidden agendas which play both ends against the middle is the ultimate prescription for global domination. False flag attacks, superior communication, massive surveillance (you should see the hundreds of cameras being installed in our towne) and equity ownership (no matter what the denomination or currency) give absolute power unfettered by the inconvenient niceties of law, ethics or compassion.

My position is one of bemusement at the foibles of dynastic avarice. I am content and thankful at having been introduced to a healthy skepticism which has enabled me to relax in Moscow, Mexico D.F., L.A., New York, Georgetown and many other locals, and listen to all points of view without worry or active prejudice. If Super Dave Osborne is going to try to jump the Snake River...I hope he makes it. If Delbert Rothschild wants to rule the world...bring it on ????.

The Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times" certainly applies. As some believe the planet Nibiru is approaching in a parallel universe closely associated with our virtual reality; we must think globally and act locally. I am first a carpenter...then a thinker...a great combination you must admit.

I am honored that you would take the time to share your insights. For me, the greatest freedoms are to think (imagine) and share. In all the galaxies of time and space, the comfort of friendly discourse is the Golden Rule of existence. The most valuable works of man are not the material wonders he hath wrought...more admirable still is the gift of mutual understanding.

Keep your heads down as the s**t begins to fly, for it will be in the fan for quite some time. Have we been warned over the centuries by example and explicit statements? The answer is yes; and next time we shall explore the handwriting on the walls of history. It's not like we weren't warned.

Take care ???? (friend in Ukrainian)