Word of the Day — Money

The ignorant way that politicians talk about money these days is not only irritating, but it’s also dangerous.

Many seem to think that money is an object. They are wrong. Money is a concept, not just a thing. Money has shown its face in numerous different guises throughout the milennia of time on earth that is known to us.

Some money is tangible to our human senses. But in this century of  the “financialization” of all things, money is becoming more and more intangible. and even hidden from us. Money is now bits of data in computers—computers that are networked with other computers on and off of the World Wide Web.

Here is why I strongy object to the view of a member of Congress saying on TV that “Government money is ‘Confederate money'”. Money may be hidden in places where it isn’t transparent to others, but the chief essential thing that makes money be real money is trust!

Money is only valuable where more than one person has trust in it.

If  there is no trust in money it becomes an object, a thing that is treated by every other object that is bought and sold in any kind of market—or hoarded. Confederate money is indeed an object. It cannont be circulated for use when buying other kinds of goods or services. But U.S. government money has won trust all over the planet.


Financialization is an economic jargon term used to describe the overwhelming amount of valuation of things in terms of how much those things cost. Price is now the dominant measure of the value of all things to us. All other measures of value have been sluffed off, or are made up from stories we tell each other.

Even money itself has no intrinsic “real” value. It is only measured by the quantity of it that is owned or owed. The old saying, “The value of money is in the eye of the beholders” is the prevailing definition of money. Money is measured by the prices bid and asked for in our markets.

The loss of other forms of eocnomic value in goods and services leaves us with only quantity. But who can get their minds aruond the concepts of billions and trillions of  U.S.  dollars? Who could figure out what costs what and why when there are only numbers involved?

When it comes to government spending, there is little accountability. We watched as “helicopter” money was circulated to many who least needed it while millions of others stimulus were lost never to be found again. Untargeted stimulus money can only do so much.

The Coming Housing Crisis

Today a courageous black Congresswoman is sleeping on the Capitol steps while Congress goes on vacation. She is protesting the lapse of eviction bans on landlords on behalf of herself, her constituates, and 11 million other Americans, as renters  in many states are soon going to become homeless.

U.S. Government money was set aside for renters and landlords, but almost half of the states in this country are not spending that moneh. California is one state where the governor has stepped up and promises to keep the state’s eviction ban going by using its federal funds for both landlords and tenants.

Yet tents are going up all around the San Francisco Bay Area in a fire season that threatens to burn every kind of home a spark could ignite.

Will California’s eviction ban be enough to save homes? And will other states follow suit? And what about this winter?

The Coming Inflation Crisis

Here is where the balance between spending (credit) and owing (debt) is so key right now. Inflation happens when too much money is chasing too few goods.

This is a shame because many workers have used their stimulus payments to pay down debts. Now we all will have to pull out those debit and credit cards and see their personal debt creep upwards again.

When the prices of scarce things go up, the owners of wealth will  prosper from investing and sales, while the not-wealthy are forced to spend more of their money to buy less.

Income inequality is bound to rise, not from government overspending, but from goverment unwillingness to spend and ensure that its spending goes to the right places.

Actually, the inflation crisis is already here. Millions and perhaps billions of U.S. dollars are owed by American manufacturers who say they cannot produced promised goods because their foreign countries “supply chains are broken”.

It isn’t just the supply chains broken; it’s the government that is not paying attention to the oncoming train crash. Economists are hoping that inflation will be short-term. Meanwhile Congress is on vacation.

But There is a Solution

Instead of just hoping inflation will go away, the Biden administration’s infrastructure bills are investments in our states economies’ future. That’s vitally necessary.

Because un-targeted stimulus payments are not long-long term solutions.

But spending U.S. government money for long-term targeted projects us good. When American workers can get training, and  go back to work and feel safer doing so will bring balance to our economy. Workers and corporations will both benefit. Not to mention consumers.

And maybe ,just maybe, this is the start of better reblalancing how our federal and state governments spend their monies.