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We Can Change Our Programming!

18. Real Wealth

Financial speculation and creating artificial money and economic games do not produce real wealth.  Real wealth is in things like healthy, productive, sustained lands, waters, air and ecosystems; happy, healthy and engaged people; functional and supportive communities; thriving and balanced sharing; effective and efficient social systems; well-being and spiritual fulfillment.  Speculative wealth is just control of fake money.  Money, getting it and much of what we do with it, is fictional, make-believe; yet, for most that’s a main focus of our attentions and efforts in life.  Money is just pieces of paper, metals and numbers on paper and in machines.  It’s not real.  It only has value if we agree to give it value.

Why do we assume converting natural living wealth to financial wealth creates real value, or maximizing financial return maximizes real value creation?  Real wealth has intrinsic value.  Financial wealth doesn’t.  We easily confuse phantom financial assets with real wealth for which they can be traded.  Those who benefit from phantom wealth creation are unfairly diluting everyone else’s claim to available supplies of real wealth.  Wall Street and its international peers have generated total phantom-wealth claims far greater than the value of all the world’s real wealth combined, creating expectations for future security and comforts that can never possibly be fulfilled.  Economic mumbo jumbo.  That’s not sustainable.

The deceptions are baked into our language. We call speculation “investment” and phantom financial wealth “capital.”  When we hear words like wealth, capital, assets or resources, we don’t know if we’re talking about real or phantom financial assets.  Our language has no way to make this crucial distinction.  It’s no surprise we get confused and fail to see Wall Street does not produce things of real value.[1]  Create, value and share real wealth, not fake money and phantom wealth!

 

[1] “The Illusion of Money”, David Korten, January 18, 2011, Yes Magazine, http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/david-korten/the-illusion-of-money

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