Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Have You Ever Wondered?

Have you ever wondered how governments, corporations, small businesses, and families can all be in debt at the same time and at such astronomical amounts?

Have you ever wondered how there can be that much money to loan? Where does it all come from? Who has it on hand?

Have you ever wondered how it can be that the people who work to produce all the real wealth in the world are in debt to those who loan it to others?

Or how about this? Why do governments choose to borrow money from bankers at interest when they could issue it themselves and have no interest to pay?

In fact, why does debt seem to be necessary to have for what's considered a good economy? Is it possible to have a currency that circulated permanently without debt?

I have often wondered such things, but I must admit I gave up long ago trying to understand why our economy operates the way it does. But from the time I was a child I was puzzled by questions like this. Why do prices have to continually rise? Why do we constantly have to make more and more money year after year? Why couldn't we just settle in at a comfortable level? After all, most people in the US did that and were satisfied until the 1920's.

These are just a few of the questions asked .... and answered ... in a 45 minute video called Money as Debt. It took me awhile and some repetition of various segments to grasp many of the points, but once I got it, I finally understood financial issues that have long baffled me and have been of particular concern in the past few months as it became clear that our economy is in serious trouble.

I also noticed something quite alarming in this clip. The red curved line illustrating exponential growth. I recognized this curve right away. It's an incontrovertible principle of nature that demonstrates nothing can grow exponentially forever. Growth will peak and then collapse.

This little red line symbolizes of what lies ahead for our current growth-based economy. It cannot be sustained indefinitely. Period.

The clip presents some promising changes we could make in our national monetary system, but I don't hold much hope for those any time soon. The best part of the clip is that it also mentions, almost as an aside, what we can do and what I think it means we had all better do FAST in our own local communities: set up barter, trade, swap, and time exchange systems and issue local currencies. They work and are imminently doable.

If you've ever shared some of the questions I've posed above, please watch this clip, share your comments here, and let's have a dialog. Money as Debt



g2tazman said...

Sarah I applaud your view point. We need to move away from being "consumers" to being satisfied with what we have. If your car is in need of repair, then do it! Don't think the answer is to go out and buy a new one and put it on the housing ATM. A very good website that you might be aware of takes the MONEY AS DEBT topic even further is "THE CRASH COURSE" by Chris Martenson at
Thank-you for your insights and encouragement.

Sarah Edwards said...

Thanks, I'll check it out. I've seen some of Martenson's blogs before.

Kathleen, RN said...

Your poll is closed, bu I do vote yes! I hate to see jobs collapse, but don't we have enough "stuff" on the planet already?