Monday, April 22, 2013

Twitter Message Of The Day

While we're on the subject of Earth Day, here's a Twitter message that sums our priorities up pretty well:

Twitter Message from @FearDept, April 22, 2013

The reason I find this message as profound is that it mocks the sort of values we so often see reflected in our government's policies these days, particularly the abject hysteria over deficits. Money isn't a thing, at least at the national level. Economists (the ones who don't have their heads up their butts, at least) refer to money as store of value, which is a way for us to benefit from our own contributions to the economy in ways of our choosing. Instead of paying me by giving me a chicken and some bread one day, and a tank full of gasoline the next, an employer can just give me a check, which I can then use to buy what I want or need, now or in the future. That is a far more efficient way of compensating me for my work, both from my perspective and an employer's. Money isn't a thing, at least not in the sense that dollars aren't resources that can be directly used for some purpose. Money is only useful when it is converted into something, like chickens or gasoline.

You can't eat money. You can't use it as fuel, or build something with it. It just makes it easier to do all those things by providing a means to transfer value from people who want something to those who can provide it.

When we have the resources to do something that's needed, like fix our infrastructure, educate our people, or defend ourselves, and we don't do it because "we can't afford it", meaning we can't persuade the rich to cough up money to pay for it, then we're being fools. Our future prosperity doesn't depend on our society having collected a lot of money. It depends on what we choose to do with that money.

No comments: