Money money money

Friday, 19. June 2009

Part of my contribution to a larger debate for a brief initiative called “Hunger Week” on Ecademy c. 2005, long before the economic crash, when people in the west were still booming in the bubble…

One contributors says this (which puts me in mind of the wonderful work being done by the banking system in Bangladesh to enable start up business among the disadvantaged:
I believe that by a small change in the money system, we can unleash huge
improvements in our social system. It’s the highest leverage point for change in
our society, and surprisingly few people are looking at it.

Roger Hamilton responds with this interesting statement:
Water always flows from higher ground. Similarly, money flow allows us to create a hierarchy of values. Money always flows from higher value.

So money that flows is an entirely different thing to money that does not. Quantum mechanics identifies a similar property in electrons. Fix a location, and it becomes a particle. Fix a time, and it becomes a wave. Try and fix a location and a time, and ‘poof’ it eludes you.

As I’ve said somewhere else in this forum, wealth is a quantum phenomena, and there lies the magic.

And Ron gives it this spin:

Money is like attention, is like the river. It is the carrier of (social) energy. In the case of money, the energy is called “value” or “meaning”. It is in fact emotional charge. Which is the value of money, and not money itself.

Energy goes where attention flows. Value goes where money flows. I think this is the wealth paradox in essence.

My question is how does all this metaphysical talk about money relate to the simple truth that we in the West are generally speaking saturated with what money can buy and making ourselves sick with the results of greed as we fascinate ourselves with personal gain and our personal wealth profiles…

Whereas: billions of people lack infrastructure, routes to market, legal protection, a voice in their own lives, protection from rape, murder and torture, medicine, food and even water.

The image of the tourists at the airport somehow does it for me: happy to be home to their safe lives, thrilled at how adventurous they just were, smug about how far their money went and how great the service was from the people eating crumbs at our table.

Any answers to these conundrums gratefully accepted, the more real the better. Somehow I have the feeling that the energy of money is going to take longer than forever to “cascade” down to our brothers and sisters who are dying from want of even a couple of dollars a day. Hungry Week participants have a remote idea of the torment but imagine what it must be like for growing bodies to never know the simple satisfaction of a full belly. Doesn’t sound too metaphyical to me, though I imagine those kids in Darfur could do some wealth profiling* to show what’s left after you have nothing left.

What’s real, people? am I just barking up the wrong tree?

*Wealth Profiling is a personality test offered to Ecademy members as one of the tools that will help them grow their business; I think it is based on Roger Hamilton’s concepts.

11 Responses to “Money money money”

  1. Vincent Says:

    To my understanding those metaphysical concepts of money are of no worth, and I have often thought it would be a good idea for the speakers to be parachuted into a poor country – Mauritania, say – so as to teach their metaphysics to the natives; or more likely, learn something useful about life.

  2. Steven Holmes Says:

    People who have radiotherapy or chemotherapy sometimes get to experience real hunger where your belly swells like some Biafran child in the famous photos. It’s actual agony, believe me, and it destroys ever second of your existence and your will to go on. It’s not at all like going on a diet and feeling a bit peckish.

    We should all remember that when we walk by on the other side, and further remember that all those further human beings on a dollar a day may be eating but they’re getting no pleasure and not much nutrition.

    Sharp contrast with an article I read on Sunday about “Hedge Fund Wives” in New York making do with three $50 bottles of wine at dinner instead of something “nice”. But then lavish expenditure is a crude form of ostentation, is it not?

  3. Jeff Mowatt Says:

    Well Steve, Here I am. Like you 60 this year, no offspring and little chance of a job. I do have a house though and try to run a small business against all odd from it.

    10 years ago I got chatting on a forum to an American living in Russia and we found that we shared a favourite in the Ignorance and Want allegory from A Christmas Carol. I was to find out later that he was pioneering the moral collateral form of microfinance as deployed by Grameen – in Russia.

    He’d been invited to serve on Clinton’s re-election committee where he delivered a white paper about capitalism and a new way of doing things. then he became homeless.

    While still homeless and with a little bit of money left he took himself to Russia in 1999 spending what he had to research and source the Tomsk initiative. Over 4 years the bank supported creation of 10,000 new businesses.

    He was homeless again in 2003, blogging from a tent about economic rights and fasting. I offered him the chance to work together and he came here to launch the new economic paradigm he’d described to Clinton.

    Both of us tried and floundered when it came to adopting a family, he’s lived now for 5 years in Ukraine after UK government made him unwelcome as a visitor.

    I guess how things turn out sometimes has an influence on what matters and to both of us, neither fathers in our own right, the existence of so many children abused and neglected in some parts of the world takes us toward wanting to do something radical about it. We have made a good start I think.


  4. VLAHAKISA Says:

    I’m not quite sure about why the use of lots of buzz words and metaphors is all about, but rather than ‘unleashing huge improvements’ by making improvements in our money system, I’ve always thought it more simple than that.

    Why do we need new systems – we have systems in place already to get help to the people who need it, most people are too greedy and lazy to give that help (money)is the problem.

    I can’t quite get past the sheer simplicity that if everyone in the world who had money, was willing to give some of it up to help others, there would be no poverty, suffering… because there would be enough affluence for everyone.

    I imagine the problem to be that not enough people are willing to hand over some of their cash to save other people and those that are willing can’t do it all by themselves because their own cash won’t stretch to save the world. Am I making it too simple?

    An example is Kevin Allen of Banana Appeal, he’s giving his all to save children in Africa, he couldn’t do any more than he has done, but it’s still not enough to feed/care for all the children he wants to support. If everyone in the western world who had money gave him just £5 each he’d probably be able to feed and house all those children in Africa. Why is it all on his shoulders and a few others whilst everyone else just ignores it.

    The fact that charities are still struggling for enough funds makes me think that there are a huge amount of people in the western world giving bog all.

    Again, am I simplifying things?

  5. stevenhealey Says:

    I fully agree that Kevin Allen of Banana Appeal is doing a great job , having made it HIS mission.

    I also agree that we cannot on our own solve the worlds problems.

    There are many practical ways we can help named individuals directly , is a micro loan system.

    Simply you invest in small businesses by making loans and they repay over a schedule.

    When they have repaid , you can then invest in other businesses.

  6. stevenhealey Says:

    As a practical example of Kiva

    They have already repaid 50% of the loan I made .

  7. Stan Wright Says:

    Why don’t the needy around the world get help? Apathy

    My view is that most people in the back of their minds want to help, but just won’t move that extra foot to actually do something, because the problem is too remote.

    I believe it will take the likes of “Red Nose Day” to mobilise people; because they can relate to the event rather than the issue.

    Government experts and Quangos will never solve the problem.


  8. Martin Halfacre Says:

    So we live in a society which relies on the flow of money to keep it afloat. And if it stops flowing, or the flow is restricted – either to the whole, or a part, then the system starts to die. Start the flow, and it begins to ‘live’ again.

    And from this perspective we view the World -the have’s and the have nots (and all shades in between), in the monetary sense. So if suddenly all the money flow is directed away from its current direction to those who are currently cut off from the flow, what happens? I’d guess not a lot in general after a period of restabalising. You’ll just have a load of new people doing the same stupid things with money that we do, wouldn’t we?

    Is it possible for everyone to have access to forms of wealth which provide at least food, shelter and health care? Of course, I’d say, but this kind of Global environment can’t be created from a current mindset which is locked into our dominant economic structure, can it?

    Too much fear around to share pieces of the pie.

  9. VLAHAKISA Says:

    I think it’s entirely fiscally possible for everyone to have food, shelter, and health care.

    I actually rather militantly think that all the governments should make an agreement to tax every single working person an extra monetary value monthly tax that is to fully enable this to happen.

    As the years go by and countries are providing with the resources and recovery to allow them to support themselves we probably won’t even need to carry on with it forever.

    Not only is it the right thing to do (and if we have to force people so be it), but it’s likely to reduce war also, which in itself will save money.

    It’s never going to happen though.

  10. VLAHAKISA Says:

    I’m bizzared out, last night heard Sivash on Big Brother say exactly the same as I said about taxing everyone globally to sort out the problem with poverty and suffering.

    I’ve been saying it for years, funny to hear someone high profile on tv say the exact same thing. Maybe I should contact him like some crazy fan to start of some sort of website venture about it ;)

    Halfwit (very clever man with political aims – a housemate whose name was changed by depole for gags and to assure his position in the house) found issues with the solution suggested, but despite his rather logical words, I still think it’s the best solution by miles and his objections could easily be resolved.

  11. Steven Holmes Says:

    Very exciting. You can have a large corner of this website if that would be a quick solution for you to get it going. Of course we need to share the world’s resources. A visitor from Zog would be astonished that we do not.

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