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Money and How It Gets That Way

All work is empty save when there is love; work is love made visible. These are the words of renowned author and poet Kahlil Gibran. Ever since we were born, we have been made to attain a distant calling, and what can be more edifying to our natural inborn gift when we are awaken to the realization that it’s a dream made real on earth. We work because it’s our livelihood, our sustenance – and when it manifests itself as a passion, it doesn’t even feel like work. Everyone has products, talents and time to sell, so whatever money is produced from our labor is used in the end as a quid pro quo tool of trade. It naturally follows that whatever fruits we reap of our efforts should be money well spent on the very best; it should be a means to fulfill our desires. We work to shop, don’t we? The Financial Times tells us How To Spend It; similarly, The Economist was founded in 1843 to support the cause of free trade.

No matter the type of money it always remains the effect made only by men who produce. In Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged – which outlines just what would happen if all the great minds of the world went on strike – she tells us that “wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think; money will not serve the mind that cannot match it.” If money did not come to you of your own worth, it will not stay with you either. If the means in which you obtained your money is corrupt, then your wealth will also be corrupt, teetering much like a pirate on a wooden leg – and they tell us to beware of wooden money. As a foundation money is good, money is a moral responsibility; if you’re fortunate enough to have a few coins in your pocket, put it to use. When money is put into circulation, it picks up velocity, which economists call a “circuit velocity” that comes back to the spender’s advantage according to the “boomerang” principle. Money is active, it never sleeps.

Who then could ever fathom crematophobia – the fear of money. The lovers of money know the worth of the last diamond of sweat to fall off their temples because they earned it, therefore they can only deserve it. Looking at our current fiduciary condition it’s no surprise this word exists. How befitting then that it was in America where the phrase “to make money” was first coined. Looking at the downfall of Wall Street one can only conjure up how it came to be the biggest heist in history. “When you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot” (Rand).  

When we have thieves masquerading as stately aristocrats of finance, who are goaded by unfettered greed and not by virtue, we are bound for troubled waters. It is more troubling though that the government hasn’t been quick to prosecute the offenders and doesn’t intend to do so.  Because although the acts have been deemed unethical, they are not necessarily illegal. The running roster of crimes committed by numerous financial firms include: securities fraud, bribery, Sarbanes Oxley violations (false accounting) and Rico (Racketeer Influenced and Criminal Organizations Act) offenses, amongst many others. In an essay titled Money and How it Gets That Way, Henry Miller describes to us the condition of white heart rot. “That is to say, though outwardly all may seem well, the eye of the forester can detect beneath the bark the disease which lurks in the very heart of the tree and ravages it mercilessly […] White heart rot is encountered chiefly in metropolitan areas, among city trees. If the disease has not completely eaten the tree away, cement may be administered to preserve what life is left.” Right, that is 0 Billion in taxpayer money, easy enough.

This is how one can fall into the abyss of believing money is evil. The thinkers, hard workers and persistent amongst us know that the root of money is good. In good hands, entrusted to great minds it has unfaltering momentum. It is also the tool to recognize the intelligence, labor and skill of others too as a basis for an exchange rooted with mutual trust. It is a catalyst for life, to set us off doing what we’re really meant to do. Life and work are one in the same. It will always be salutary no matter the person who ventures to prove otherwise. 

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