Once upon a time, money was made out of gold or other precious metals. It was a finite resource and everyone could agree on how much it was worth.
But precious metals are heavy and hard to carry around all the time. Especially on long journeys.
People started trading coins for promissory notes that they could trade back for coins when they got to where they were going. A fairly honest system started by the Knights Templar.
Other folks quickly got into the idea.
Pretty soon, people were trading with the promissory notes and not the precious metals.
Then a banker got a brilliant idea. Since hardly anybody actually used their coins, any more, he could lend WAY more than he actually had. As long as the growth rate stayed the same, nobody would be any wiser.
Until a disaster occurred and there was a run on the bank.
Some centuries later, another banker got a brilliant idea: Why base money on precious metals at all?
The debt dollar was born.
We all know it as “fiat currency” if we know it at all. Basically, banks base their loans on the capital they possess. But that capital also includes how much debt they are owed. Banks can trade debt. They buy, sell and break up debt into shares and sub-loans until the whole tangle is incomprehensible to an outside observer.
When someone pays off a debt (a feat in and of itself, these days) the money that was fictionalised for it vanishes. The system becomes poorer.
So, in its own best interests, the system scrambles after itself to generate more and more ways for the plebes to get into deeper and deeper debt.
Take the “no-interest” credit card. This is a scam worthy of some kind of award. They hand out fliers with a big, bold 0% on the cover, and incomprehensible, teeny-tiny fine print on the page that nobody looks at.
Poor people, desperate people (the best kind of victim in this scam) sign up for a card and promptly use it to eliminate some of their existing debt. Bad mistake. The fine print that nobody reads boils down to “If you use this card for ANYTHING, we will raise the interest rate”. There’s also nice clauses like, “if you look at buying a high-ticket item, we will raise the interest rate,” and, “if anyone checks your credit, we will raise the interest rate.” Basically, even owning the card is an excuse to raise the interest rates.
Pretty soon, the poor sod who signed up for the card is thousands in debt and there’s a whole bunch of laws preventing the poor from declaring bankruptcy.
Yes. The poor can not declare bankruptcy.
Businesses can. Banks can. The rich can. You can’t.
Why? Because the businesses make money out of your debts. They have comoditised your impoverishment for their benefit.
It is, in essence, legalised slavery. The only thing you can do once you’re in the hole is work until you can’t work any more. And all the time, the industry that has enslaved you is piling interest on top of the interest you already owe.
Another scam is Direct Debit. Companies love you to sign up with direct debit. Why? Because the money is taken from your account automatically. And it’s done by a different company, so that even when you cancel the service/membership/whatever, the debt continues. They can say, “oh, that company hasn’t been notified. We’ll get right to that,” and then turn around and laugh all the way to the bank.
If the money for the transfer isn’t there, you get saddled with overdraw fees from your bank.
I have known them to attempt to take money away from someone who had died. Yes. The corporations were stealing money from a dead person.
They’re stealing from the living, too. All in the name of having the most numbers of pretend money.
The system is rigged, folks. The best thing you can do for yourself is try not to fall for the scams. If they only take direct debit or cash - pay cash. Don’t sign for any credit cards unless you understand ALL the terms and conditions. Save for the big ticket items and make do until you can afford it.
Remember, it’s people who drive the market. Drive it towards good, not evil.