Everybody now just has to make up their mind. Is money money or
isn’t money money. Everybody who earns it and spends it every day
in order to live knows that money is money, anybody who votes it
to be gathered in as taxes knows money is not money. That is what
makes everybody go crazy.

-Gertrude Stein – All About Money

As far as I can tell, about 1% of us believe that money is not money, and the rest of us believe that money is money.
Money
Most of us believe that money is money because as Gertrude Stein said:

Everybody who earns it and spends it every day in order to live knows that money is money…

So here’s the problem: the 1% of the people, the ones who believe that money is not money, are in charge of everything.

It’s not natural that so few people should be in charge of so much, and that they should be in charge of ‘everything’ is truly crazy. (Please excuse the slight digression)

The people who are in charge of everything believe that it’s right, proper, indeed ‘natural’ that they be in charge of everything because they believe that no one could do as good a job of being in charge of everything because they think they are smarter than everybody else.

The reason that the 1% of people believe they are smarter than everybody else is rooted largely in what they believe is their self-evident, superior understanding of money; that is to say, the understanding that money is not money.

The trouble is, the difference between the 1%’s understanding of money, and the common man’s understanding of money is not evidence of the 1%’s superior intellect, so much as of their lack of a moral compass and their ability to rationalize the depraved indifference they show to their fellow man.

You’ve all heard the old saw:

Money isn’t important, it’s just a way of keeping score.

Most of us understand that’s not true, money is very important; but for the 1% who believe that money is not money, it’s a rationalization that explains/excuses their psychopathic behavior, the manipulation, and control of the systems of finance and commerce exclusively to their own benefit, at the expense of, and to the detriment of, everybody else.

All the manipulations, and game playing, and ‘score-keeping’ done by the 1%, who do not believe that money is money, make the lives of the rest of us much more difficult and precarious because it distorts the worth of the money we trade for our labor, and the cost of the things we must pay for in order to maintain our well-being.

It’s time to talk about gambling.

People who believe that money is money tend to be careful when they gamble, they only wager what they can afford to lose. They never bet the rent-money for instance, rather, they save up some ‘mad-money’, so-called because it is intended to be spent in a ‘crazy’ manner, and its loss will not result in eviction.

OTOH, people who believe that money is not money tend to gamble with any funds that they can lay their hands on, including not only their own rent-money, but other people’s rent-money as well.

This fact is so well known, or at least it used to be, that our country enacted laws to keep those who do not believe that money is money from gambling with other people’s money.

This of course was back in the days when at least some of the people we sent to Washington still believed that money is money.

Anyway, I’m tired of going crazy, I think Gertrude Stein is right, it’s time for us to make up our minds: is money money, or is money not money?

If money is money, then there should be clawbacks of bailout funds on a grand scale, and there should be a lot of bankers going to jail; if money is not money, then a lot of us deserve mortgage modifications, and to get bailed-out of our credit-card and student loan debt.

For starters anyway.

It’s a very important choice, why aren’t we making it?

Or at least talking about it?

Picture from 401(K) 2012 licensed under Creative Commons