Friday, December 12, 2008

Money, Banks and Free Trade – Common Sense Can Rule

-- by Ardi Keim

What would it be like if we weren't isolated from the real world?
What is real? And what is illusion?

Take the economy, for instance:

I'm not an economic analyst. I'm not even sure how the whole monetary system works. I do understand that money is supposed to be an instrument to make exchanges between people easier. And that banks are sort of the safe-keepers of money. I'm all for easy and safe. And that all would make complete sense to me if money itself had any real value. Like it did when it represented an amount of precious metal in Fort Knox. But, as I understand it now, currency has a somewhat arbitrary value. That value is completely outside the control of most people using it in exchange. If it was backed by gold or silver, or if those metals were still used commonly as legal tender, then I could understand the reason for banks. They would be intermediary (or point of use) forts with guards to protect against loss (theft) of the value therein. And I guess because currency is currently ever-decreasing in value, the fact that it takes so much more to buy what it could have bought when it was backed by gold — well then maybe banks are needed now.

But, since gold or silver isn't used anymore, why do we even need currency at all? Aren't agreements between parties in a trade all that is necessary? If I trade my potatoes for your flowers, or your hours of labor repairing my car (or the nuts and bolts to fix it myself) – a few words and a handshake would be the instrument of trade. If the transaction is to take place over time, then a documented agreement would be that instrument. Need any other party or institution be involved? If one side of the bargain was complete and the other was not, or if it was delayed beyond the agreed upon time, and no resolution was forthcoming, then a trade for legal service might be in order.

Keeping agreements, and respecting other people and their property seems so simple to me. Who is acting under illusion? Those who put their trust in an arbitrary system that devalues the worth of those using it? Or those who know what they want and know others with it, willing to make an exchange. Simple, free trade makes sense to me.

Do we really have an economic crisis? Or a shortage of common sense?

What do you think? How much do we pay in taxes for support of unnecessary government and laws that put us in servitude, instead of our public servants with six-figure incomes? Remember – they work for us. That includes county clerks, governors, senators, representatives ... all the way to the top.


  1. WELL - this all makes PERFECT COMMON sense to me. And then I remember that I am 100% responsible for the life I create and live - so knowing that, I proceed forward with my choice to make an exchange with others of PERFECT COMMON SENSE :-)

  2. We believe you are on the right track. We, on this planet, are going through a Shift in our human evolution & the breaking up of our systems like the financial system is a part of it. Your views of how it should be are very possibly our future. Already, in Portland & Hood River people are using a barter system with much organization & success.

  3. Don't get me started Ardi!..:O) It sure would be nice if some people even knew or understood what bartering is. I have found myself doing this a lot in the last year and a half in order to get by.

    I am so tired of corporations and CEO's taking so much money from their own employees that work for order to give themselves raises but not "lower" employees..we live such a selfish way here in this country. Just watching those silly survivor reality type shows on tv only remind us how to manipulate others in order to get our needs met but let others starve. Just my opinion however.

    Negotiating is also a way of working through things financially I think..I'm not much of an intellectual type person just go with my "gut intuition" but I've found there is such a division between rich and poor and not much in between..can live in the same neighborhood or even next door and the more well off and "comfortable" often stick noses in air and don't communicate or talk to someone who might be less priviledged than them..many people like this call themselves "Christians" and I'm speaking from experience...they have blinders on kind of like the "monkey no see, hear, talk" deal.

    As I read what I'm writing here, I'm thinking it might not make sense to you or anyone else reading it..but it's kind of where I'm coming from experience wise and what I've observed. Main deal is that we all stop being so divided and try a common ground in order to get this financial mess figured can work if we all "Barter" in ways we've never tried or done before.

    Thanks for the good post Ardi.



  4. Thanks you all for your comments. Common-sense exchange is all about trading real value--that which we ARE, not what we have. Value is in our creativity and resourcefulness, not in our posessions. Greed and corruption can get us more posessions, but at the expense of our value as human beings.

    Rhi, what you write, does ring true to me. And I don't think you mean to wrongly judge all who are rich, or all Christians. I know some wealthy people who made it rich by taking the higher road of creativity, then increased their real value through generosity. And likewise, there are those in all religions who live, act, earn and give on both ends of the spectrum. Beliefs don't make the person, but how one acts by them does. I know both athiests and fundamental religionists that are kind, generous and talented. I aspire to the higher qualities of Soul, not the labels of this media-fed culture. Do you agree?

  5. A lot of good common sense there, Ardi.

    Producing or distributing what another party wants means we have a medium of exchange with that party. The medium is what we have that they want. If we don't have something they want, we need another practical medium of exchange, such as precious metals or currency. So something such as currency is needed simply as a practical medium of exchange.

    My view is that Gold and silver don't have any intrinsic value, they have agreed-upon value that stems from scarcity and history. And that value can be manipulated. That doesn't mean it's arbitrary, only that its not predictable.The value of gold spikes suddenly sometimes, and I wouldn't want that to mean food became too expensive to buy for some because it was their only useful medium of exchange.

    Currency and precious metals are both scarce, and more of both are being manufactured. One problem I have with currency is that its manufacture and distribution is controlled by organizations with poor ethics.

    I believe Governments could have controlled the manufacture and distribution of precious metals too, similar to how the diamond cartel works. But it was easier for them to control currency instead.