TaN: When is money not wealth and wealth not wealth? When they neither represent nor are grounded on labor, nor on natural resources, nor on anything natural but on artificial things? When it draws its value from itself. This is what is happening today – making money from money and neither from labor, from natural resources, from anything real but from artificial creations of man.
Today, much of the so-called “wealth” are derived from imaginary wealth resulting from interest, from the stock market (specifically from financial instruments as in debentures and as in derivatives), and from virtual or intangible things. These cannot be considered wealth anymore since they do not really exist; they are artificial. Their only value comes from the confidence or trust endowed on them by people – and only by people who give them value. Artificial values are created by definition. Because of this, they can be changed or manipulated at will.
On the one hand, a stock certifcate has value only to the company, to the stockholder, to the stock broker, to anyone who considers it valuable. To someone in the hinterlands, on a remote island in the middle of nowehere, or even to someone in an urban area but have no use for it, a stock certificate would be a mere piece of paper with markings.
On the other hand, food, wood, land, water, and such natural essentials would always have value. Their values are intrinsic (and are universal and are eternal).
When we begin on relying on things that derive their value from what we give them, we become slaves to our own desires and our greed. This is what the financial world presents to us. Their continued existence depends entirely on our trust and the value we assign to them. If we were to, suddenly, withdraw our trust, the financial world would come to an abrupt collapse. And, this is where it becomes dangerous – to put our faith and trust on things (and on people) who have only their own agenda in mind and on things that have artificial value (i.e., value that are not intrinsic or are valuable only for as long as we consider them to be worth something). We become victims – of speculation, of manipulation.
Since artificial value is created by definition, we only have to redefine the value to change it from something valuable to something completely worthless and vice versa. For example, in the case of currency eachanges, speculators earn from the differences during fluctuations. The difference may be miniscule but the tiny amount is magnified due to the massive volume of currencies involved – “wealth” is created, wealth that is not based on productivity.
Another case in point is one explained by the eminent and premier Filipino economist Sixto Roxas (in one of his seminars that I attended). If a piece of real estate is bought for 100 million and remain idle for a year before being resold for 150 million, the additional 50 million will be reflected and considered as (created) wealth. (It will be raise the GNP – an economic measurement of growth.) However, since no economic activity transpired, the wealth created is empty. But, empty as it may be, it will bring pressure on those who have little, pushing them further down.
It is high time that the true creators of real wealth be awakened – have their epiphany, their enlightenment, their realization that true power is in their hands and they can change the world. By continuing to subscribe to the status quo, the 99% will never rise out of their morass. The 99% must understand that the 1% needs the 99% more than the 99% need the 1%. Without the 99%, there will be no 1%. It is the 99% that made the 1%. If the 99% can make the 1%, so can they unmake the 1%. Let the 1% try to survive without the 99%.
As in the name of this blog spot, another world is possible for all. I propose that the 99% agree among themselves to trade and interact among themselves. Let the 1% keep their wealth. We created the wealth for them – through our blood, sweat, and tears. We can do it again – create new wealth – for ourselves.
TaN: Do not attribute your misfortunes to acts of God. We have the propensity to blame everything misfortune on everyone else (including God), except ourselves. Our misfortunes are of our own doing. Though God is not as interactive with us as He used to – in the Old Testament – He did not “leave us” without ensuring and seeing to our needs. He left us plenty of (detailed) instructions for life but we chose to ignore them. The result are the misfortunes that befall us – karma, law of action-reaction, or whatever we decide to call them.
God loves everyone of us so it does not make sense that He will punish us. Sometimes, things and events that we perceive as bad or detrimental but it is just that – perception. The goodness or the malignancy of something is (sometimes) a matter of perception.
In fact, in the Chinese language, the term for crisis is composed of two concepts (danger+opportunity). This means that there will be a certain about of danger, fear, apprehension in any crisis. However, the crisis presents an opportunity – to make changes, to turn things around, to do something.
So, let us stop pointing fingers at others, looking around for someone to blame, and grab the misfortune and turn it into an advantage. Remember the age-old concept of: when you point to someone or something (with one finger, usually the index finger), three other fingers are pointing towards you (the middle, the ring, and the pinky fingers).