Archive for August, 2013

Why having a high net worth is a destructive thing to do.

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

In my previous post, I explained a few things about my views surrounding money.. now I’m going to do a stream-of-consciousness on people with a high (>$10 million) net worth.

Please note this is based on my current understanding of the reality model I’m experiencing, which may be flawed.

We have a fixed amount of capitol in the system. We add too it sometimes, but not very much nor very fast, because whenever we add a lot, a bunch of people not in possession of all the facts think it means the capitol is worth less, instead of realizing that it’s because we’re actually generating wealth out of thin air all the time – new ideas, new intellectual property, new ways of getting things done – and new children who will grow up to create and build more wealth. Because we’re becoming more wealthy in real-world things, we need to print more money to match, or things are gonna break.

Because we have a fixed amount of capitol, it’s important to *keep it moving*. If it stops in one computer register (i.e. some billionare’s bank account or a stock in the market), it’s no longer a available resource in the system for facilitating getting things done. People can’t pay wages with money they don’t have. In addition, the value of money sitting in a bank account beyond a person’s conceivable personal needs is *negative*, because the reduced amount of money floating around ‘live’, migrating, making transactions happen will result in less of those transactions occuring and those transactions often generate value. (Think of the inventor who doesn’t have enough money for a lab vs. the one who does). Holding onto money beyond your personal needs *reduces it’s value* by a real-world, food-and-drink-and-housing-and-entertainment definition of value.

On money, debt, politiks, etc

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

TL:DR=People are making decisions based on dollars when they should be considering the real value – concrete and steel and the like – involved.

I’m not really sure how to write this, so I’m just going to do a stream of conciousness writing and hopefully it will capture some of the ideas I have.

First of all, I have concluded that some of what the department of defense does is in essence a entitlement for people who like to hurt people. So, if you are one of those madly anti-entitlement people, you really should be upset about the DoD. There’s no way that we need the level of military technology we have. It’s a gift for the DoD contractors, pure and simple. Nor do we pay the actual people who put their lives on the line very well – so it’s not even a entitlement for the group of people who one could argue deserve it for putting themselves in harm’s way in the interest of implementing the decisions of our government. It’s pork for the people who want to make a bigger bomb, a better rifle, a larger aircraft carrier, even though we already have a vastly larger army than anyone who would conceivably want to pick a fight with us.

Now I must mention in all fairness that the DoD is not all bad. My father worked there for a while, and every project he ever chose to share with me that he had chosen to support was one that generated value for the human race, that made us all richer. But people who make bombs, and guns, are making tools for destroying value.

Beyond that, however, I think that our culture has a very sick idea about money. We think it’s worth something – that it’s more important than people. Money is our tool, but instead of us using it it has come to use us.

Money is not value. Value is what money buys – and what we want. No sane person really wants money – they want value. You can’t eat dollars, and they’d make a lousy house – but dollars buy food and shelter, which you can eat and live in. However, money can’t *accurately* abstract value, for a whole host of reasons:

1) Some types of value are forever and infinite. Once a great book is penned, or a song or movie is laid down on tape, that content is now ours, now and forever. With our current level of technology, distributing and copying it cost fractions of a penny. Using money to try and pay for that content is having a finite resource (dollars) try to chase a infinite one (content). In terms of real value – things like great movies and works of art and automation that works and whatnot – the human race is far, far, far wealthier than it ever has been. In terms of minds and hands to create amazing things, the human race is wealthy indeed. But the amount of money in the world has not kept pace with our wealth, and things in the economic world are coming unglued because of it.

2) Some types of value can be destroyed, but we do not attempt to match that with money. When a war happens, we should really take a bunch of money, and burn it, because we’re destroying the value that it represents. (Although, for some wars – WWII, for example – we also need to mint a bunch more for the scientific discoveries that were made by necessity to cope with the war). In a recent war, we burned one of the oldest libraries on the planet.. that ought to be a huge pile of bills thrown on a bonfire somewhere.

3) Some types of value are multiplicative – that is, they create other value. Automation is a great example. Once discovered, automation is in category #1, but it also enables us to get more resources for less man-hours. This makes us all wealthier, but it can also make that wealth inaccessible to the people who just lost their job to a perl script

We need to make sure we – and especially our children – see money not as value, but as a symbol that represents value – and understand that it can only work properly if it accurately maps to the amount of value our race has. (And probably not even then! ;-)). Deciding not to give health care to people – live minds and hands that create the value money is based on – because of our debt – is in essence increasing our debt. We’re destroying real value by letting those people suffer and die, and we ought to be destroying money to match the loss of value that results.

Whenever a hardworking immigrant walks “illegally” over our borders, our nation becomes wealthier by the value that person can create, be it fixin’ cars or pickin’ strawberries.. and we ought to be printing money to match. Whenever someone leaves, we ought to be burning money to match the loss of their creative power and energy.

What’s most important is that the people making decisions.. the presidents, and kings, and governers, and senators.. understand that money isn’t value, but a symbol that abstracts it. Whenever we make a decision that reduces the amount of value in the world in order to increase the amount of money in it, we are demonstrating stupidity on a colossal scale, and the tool is using us instead of us using the tool.

What scares me is that NO WHERE in the recent government budget discussions did I hear anyone talk about this! And I see many people – mostly conservatives – who seem to be under the delusion that the money *is* the value, and use this argument to justify treating their neighbors and friends horribly for the sake of dollars. This to me is the ultimate in fiscal irresponsibility – letting the tool use you, instead of you using the tool.

Similarly, I see liberals who think that enough money can somehow will a resource that’s scarce into existence, without having to come up with some way to get it. While I talk about giving everyone everything, I do in fact have concrete plans (more on this later) on how we would do that. But I have heard liberals talk about shutting down all oil pipelines – right now – without considering how we would then get food given that our transit network runs on oil.

For some of my evolving thoughts beyond this, read

For more about this, read

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