Don’t hoard the Means of Exchange! (Part 3)
“Panta Rhei” Heraclitus
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal” Yeshua
As we have been discussing extensively on these pages recently, money is a means of exchange, and not a store of value. But there is the age old human desire to maintain wealth for future use, instead of current consumption. So how should we go about it? And is storing wealth a good idea to begin with?
It’s useful to note that there is a profound difference between a good investment and a good store of value. A good store will maintain value, a good investment is expected to generate value.
There are two kind of investments. One is productive, the other is ‘financial’. The productive kind is using some of our wealth to cut costs, or increase productivity. By buying machines. Or improving our education. Not only our own wealth increases, but also that of the community that we belong to as a whole.
The financial kind is exploitative. It does not create wealth, it redistributes wealth. To the community it is a zero sum game. The basic driver of ‘financial investments’ is the lack of cash of the multitude. Financial ‘services’ and ‘investments’ exist to ‘help out’ those who are strapped for cash. With a loan, for instance. Or ‘insurance’.
Economists call this ‘the optimal allocation of capital’. But a cursory glance shows that it really reallocates capital from the non-haves to the haves. Many of the 99% are often busy looking to share in the proceeds of this rigged game or they try to explain it is all normal and desirable. But they shouldn’t, since they’re the ones providing the return that ‘capital’ is so eager to obtain.
By far the majority of people would be served best by an immediate end of all financial ‘services’, but clearly this is not a popular proposition. Most people still hope to beat the casino at some point and strike it rich themselves. And the Money Power has always been very apt at swinging the carrot in the face of the many, which are called ‘unsophisticated investors’ by the insiders. A recent example was the Facebook IPO. Banks have a long tradition of floating much overvalued stock, it goes back centuries, but still many people fall for it and still the con men behind these schemes are on the A-list of metropolitan society.
The blinding glitter of gold
Another example is gold. By selling a few ounces to those realizing something is brewing, the Money Power not only creates momentum for the coming Gold Standard, it also disables potential opposition by buying them off with a small part of the massive windfall it stands to gain when gold becomes money again.
Gold, of course, is plugged as the ultimate store of value. That’s why our misguided brethren of the Austrian persuasion believe it is the only ‘Real Currency’.
Nowadays the Gold dealers will tell us gold was only at $200 per ounce a decade ago while currently at $1600. “Now that is storing value!” they will exclaim.
Clearly it is not: if it were a good store of value, it would buy the equivalent of $200 2002 dollars. In reality gold has been a good ‘financial investment’. And who have been paying for the gains of the gold owners? Well…….those that didn’t buy gold. Or better: that only just bought some.
Gold is not a good store of value. Simply because it’s value is not stable. It rises and declines. It has been appreciating over the last decade because of broad speculation, fueled by the Money Power itself, that it will be money again. More and more countries non-aligned with the American Empire are looking to gain independence from the dollar by creating gold based units. Even America itself seems to be moving toward a Gold Standard of some sorts.
This won’t last long. A Gold Standard will create the deflation the Banking Fraternity seems to want. And when the masses will have risen, creating the havoc our masters seem to be aiming for, and do away with the horribly deflationary Gold Standard, killing economic growth and horribly raping debtors, gold will be relegated to the 2002 $200 dollar per ounce territory once more. Sure, this is still quite some time off, and it will go up before it goes down. Way up, actually, if this scenario indeed comes to fruition.
“But gold still buys the same amount of wheat as 5000 years ago!”, we hear the gold dealers clamor. Sure, in the long run gold has shown to be reasonably stable. But, as it has been said: “in the long run, we’re all dead”. Meanwhile, people buying gold on the top of its price, hoping to ‘store wealth’ will be holding the bag when it comes down to its natural price again.
If not gold, then what?
So if storing cash is not the way and buying gold is not saving, but an exploitative ‘financial investment’, then what?
The crucial thing to understand is that storing wealth is not about ‘liquidity’, but about ‘net asset position’. It’s not about the cash in one’s pocket (or bank account), it’s about the assets on the balance sheet. For millionaires this is a total no brainer but most people are financially illiterate, so it’s worth while mentioning this.
Another thing, cliche or not, to keep in mind is, that it’s always good to have more than one egg in the basket.
The first thing I’d suggest is to pay off debt. The financial wizards have skewed the system so badly that they can nowadays somewhat plausibly claim debt is actually favorable in many cases. Forget about that. The least we can say is that being in debt increases the wealth transfer to the Money Power through interest. It’s a bind that makes us vulnerable to all kinds of shocks. Dump all your cash in paying off debt, it saves interest payments too, so in terms of your net asset position and net income stream it is always a decent proposition.
Investing in local businesses, your own perhaps, or your education, new tools, new skills. These are all very worthy ways of disposing of cash while improving one’s net asset position.
If there is no debt left, or investments are available, start paying in advance. Our local shopkeeper certainly will be interested, as it constitutes an interest free loan to him. He might even give a discount in return. This is a serious mutual win-win. In fact, local business men should be far more proactive in developing such schemes. It allows them access to capital they desperately need and it also is an excellent way of committing their customers to their business.
To local people it is beneficial, because it strengthens their local economy tremendously, in this way a fist can be made against the combined onslaught of Wal Mart and non-lending banks.
The spiritual laws governing this issue
But even paying your taxes in advance is better than sitting on your cash. Money must flow, it must circulate. Even if it is not directly beneficial to one’s self, it still is a wise way of dealing with money. It makes you tap into the abundance of Providence.
As is written in ‘God Calling‘, January 5th:
“Do not be afraid of poverty. Let money flow freely. I will let it flow in but you must let it flow out. I never send money to stagnate – only to those who pass it on. Keep nothing for yourself. Hoard nothing. Only have what you need and use. This is My Law of Discipleship.”
Saving money stagnates the flow of abundance. I know this is hard to digest for many people, but it is worth mentioning nonetheless.
And the final issue is this: storing wealth, accumulating wealth is vastly overrated. In fact, it is highly risky. Jesus was not kidding when He warned us we cannot serve two masters. Accumulating wealth leads to poverty of the Spirit. This is a Law of Nature.
We can own what we need and use, all the rest is simply a hindrance. It requires care and attention. It must be maintained. It can be stolen. We become defensive (because) of it. It distracts us from our main priorities in life. Long before Jesus, Buddha was already explaining this.
First and foremost: the desire to store wealth is a sign of fear. Fear for the future. Fear of want. Anything driven by fear leads us astray. It is uncalled for. Providence provides. We can really trust on that. We must shed the fear of want and we must shed our desire to measure our ‘standard of living’ by the norms of our neighbors. We should not be working hard to create wealth, but to learn how to live in tune with the One Volition, to do His will, because that is the real source of everything.
Yes, the Old Testament tells us to be frugal, work hard and create wealth. But that is the Old Covenant. That is Law. Christ brought the New Covenant, based on Grace. The gospels clearly are very outspoken on hoarding and wealth accumulation. Most (but certainly not all) people will agree wealth is of lesser import than family, let alone our own life, but Christ implores us to even shed the fear of losing them:
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
So we can hardly be surprised to read a few verses later:
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33)
To many people these matters may seem abstract. They are not. They are fundamental, simple and to the point. All they require is a little contemplation and appreciation.
Hoarding cash is obstructing the flow of life itself. Wealth accumulation is a very low priority and can easily overwhelm our perception of our real priorities.
Economics, if it is to be a sacred science once more, must be in accordance with the simple laws of the Spirit.
I highly recommend two little books:
God at Eventide
They are two wonderful, inspired texts that provide essential keys to living in and with the Spirit, including the matters we have been discussing here.
The full texts can be found at:
here’s Lori Harfenist saying it all in two minutes: