It goes without saying that it has been said that money is a means of exchange. It
has been that for a long time. It has at least that purpose in every country of
every political coloration and to every reasonably rational individual including
those who have none and those who have renounced it.
recently money was arguably as good as any other conceivable means of exchange
and so it remained the predominant currency; and in fact is defined almost universally
as currency. And currency is defined as a means of exchange. Now, unlike before,
there is the computer. It is a far better, and much cheaper, means of exchange.
now money and the computer perform the same function: they direct the movement
of things. Money directs wheat into flour, tomatoes into bottles, olives into
oil and pizza into ovens; cars into showrooms and thence up driveways; bodies
into bikinis and onto operating tables; cable into TVs; phone calls along wires;
gas into tanks; presidents into white houses. Money directs much of what gets
done all day and all night everywhere. It just does a terrible job of it.
computer directs planes onto flight decks; missiles into targets, ink to printers.
And it directs many of the things that money too directs: cars into showrooms,
calls along wires, even grain into flour. The computer does, except for one glitch,
a great job. Poetically, replacing money with the computer as currency repairs
glitch is a programming error, immediately correctable, which arises from the
assignment of value to money in computations. Money has no value, and assigning
it value, or the inclusion of it at all in any computation skews the result. The
computer will always produce a wrong answer, just as man in his pre- computer
wisdom has, when money of any assigned value other than zero is entered into his
computations. Remove money from any computation, and, all other data being reasonably
accurate, the answer will be reasonably right.
are meter maids and men who drive around our city streets in little gas vehicles
chalking the tires of larger gas vehicles parked in these streets for no other
reason than to make money. The men and maids grow nothing, feed no one, heal not
a wound. Nor do they even bend over to pick up one scrap of the national tonnage
of trash they drive by and wade through on their daily rounds. Their products
are chalk dust, deadly gases, sebaceous glutei, wasted paper, wasted fuel and
day, using computers, a few men and women who have never missed a meal, buy zillions
of tons of corn, beans and chickens, for no other reason than to make money. The
same few sell the same commodities for the same reason - to make money. The commodities
didn't move from their warehouses and the brokers didn't move from their glutei.
While millions of men, women and children, who spend a lifetime missing meals,
can't buy an ear of corn, a handful of beans or a chicken because they have no
day countless millions of people drive to work and spend untold unhappy hours
doing it for what is completely valueless - to make money. We clog our highways,
pollute our planet, squander our resources, lie, cheat and steal for the same
valueless purpose. We say we need jobs to make money to buy corn and chickens
lest we starve. But all the money in the world, no matter how well watered and
fertilized, can't grow a stalk of corn, and chickens won't eat the stuff. God
grows all life and makes all things. Man can direct where some of the life forms
and things go; the computer can be a better currency in that task.
doctors for example. They know that having more money thrust at them to perform
better operations is stupid. They'd have to take off their gloves, lift their
gown, pocket the cash, or even a check, wash their hands of lucre's filth, and
call for a new pair of gloves. The patient expires. The doctor has to get more
money to pay his escalating malpractice insurance. Money's only function in medicine
is to slow productivity, and guarantee malpractice.
money as currency and with it go malpractice awards and any need for an insurance
industry. Doctors would still regulate their industry, and in a kinder, gentler
fashion than its present governance. But the operations that got done would be
those that are needed. And stupidities in the name of insurance would be not only
not de rigueur but absurd.
is the undeniable risk that perhaps unhappily for some the elimination of money
might annihilate the advertising industry. After all, who would advertise if there
wasn't money to be made in it? It is true that sectors of the ad industry would
disappear. Who in his right mind, for example, would run an ad to sell a table,
even his second one, when he could just give it to somebody who didn't have one?
And would somebody who had just one table, if he were in his right mind, advertise
to sell it because he didn't have enough money?
however, the ad industry can become the education industry; Madison Avenue populated
by ed men. "The best message wins." (R) They can have real clients for
a change, doing "real things for real reasons." (R) " Each word
can be memorable in its own right." (R) And the ed men can stay at home more,
lie less, live longer, love a lot, and stop sucking up to Philip Morris.
is a worthy subject. Right now there are lawsuits being filed for no other reason
than they make "economic sense." Good people are not defended because
they can't pay, and bad people are because they can. Remove money from judgments
and legal consideration and American jurisprudence becomes rational and fair.
Include money in justice's deliberations and its decisions will always be skewed
and therefore unjust.
is the question, of course, if people don't take money in payment, who will do
the work. The immediate answer is, the same person who has been doing it. Bankers,
brokers, insurance blokes and bookies obviously wouldn't have to show up. They
can get real jobs of any kind they want and have all the time in the world to
learn a useful trade. There will be lots of people to take care of all the needed
work. Bridges still need painting, but they don't need toll booths or people to
can figure out what jobs really need to be covered and what ones should be eliminated.
For the most part, people will be able to do ergonomically what they want to do;
which is a bunch better than the way it is now with most people doing what they
don't want to do because they need money, and unable to do what they're called
to do or love to do because no one will pay them to do it.
general rule regarding priorities is that they don't matter. Rules are always
qualified by safety, courtesy and wisdom. Stupidity has no effect so it's silly
to engage in it. Time is here as far as the eye can see; so don't be concerned
about losing it. Except in matters of safety, courtesy and wisdom, where there's
no time to be lost.
© Gerry Armstrong 1992, 2000, 2002