The Purpose Of Money Is To Provision Government (or, “How To Turn Litter Into Money”)

The Purpose Of Money Is To Provision Government (or, “How To Turn Litter Into Money”)

Right, so, say we’re in a card game. (Right) And I’m the scorekeeper. It’s like, how many points do I have? I don’t have any. Well then how do I give you 100 points? I just write them down in your account. I write them down in your account. Do I have fewer points? No. And then somebody else has a bad hand and
I take points away. Do I have more to give the next person? No. Somebody in the card game says, like, “well
that’s not right, I should be able to just change my own score.” It’s like, fine, you want to have a card game
where people can change their own score? It’s not going to work. It’s not going to function. You’re not going to be able to provision the
government. The whole point of the monetary system…the
initial point…what I would say, as a point of logic the whole point – I know there are
other points, lots of lobbyists have all kinds of points – is to provision government. You want to be able to move people and real
resources from the private sector to the public sector. I like these people who get together and say
“we hate government. We’re just going to get together ourselves,
and we’re going to do this.” Well that is government. And so, you start off and you say, “we’d like
to have an army, we would like to have a legal system.” Well how do you get people to move from the
private sector to the public sector? You could ask for volunteers, doesn’t really
work all that well. It’s been tried. The way that we do it – now, you might come
up with a better way – is you slap on a tax in something that nobody has, then in order
to get the funds to pay that tax, you’ve got to come to the government for them, and that
way the government can spend its otherwise worthless currency to provision itself. So the way I like to do that – explain that
– is I take out my business card here. And I ask, “does anybody in this room want
to buy -” and this is called, ‘How To Turn Litter Into Money’ – “does anybody want to
buy one of these cards for $100? No, ok. Does anybody want to stay afterwards and help
vacuum the floor and clean the room? I’ll give you my cards. No? Oh by the way, there’s only one door out of
here, and my guy is out there with a 9-millimeter, and you can’t get out of here without one
of these cards. Can you feel the pressure now? You are now unemployed. In terms of my cards, you were not unemployed
before. You were not looking for a job that paid in
my cards. Now you’re looking for a job that pays my
cards, or you’re looking to buy them from somebody else who will take a job. The difference between the issuer of the currency
and the user of the currency. Yeah, absolutely, and that’s government. And I’m not saying you can’t come up with
a better system. (And the last thing, there’s no one out there
with a 9-millimeter?) *Laughs* Yeah, in which case this thing goes
from being money back to litter. The difference between money and litter is
whether there’s the tax man. The guy with the 9-millimeter is the tax man. If you can’t enforce tax collection, the value
of the dollar goes to zero.


  • Earl Pierce

    February 11, 2018

    Taxation is NOT what gives a national currency it's value or demand for use. First and foremost it's the acceptance by the general public to use the currency issued by its government. Second, it's a law backed by penalty that REQUIRES people to use the national currency in exchange for goods and services. Once the currency system gets well established, then it's a matter of convenience.

    Taxation is another level of control and manipulation that is given to the state or currency issuer. It allows the state to endorse or limit the monetary power of the currency users. It is one of many tools that is used to control inflation. . Although I would argue that the best tools are not even being used, but the best tools requires developing a system in which the national currency is designed in a way to create profit sharing for all and a baseline of equity for every adult and equality of basic, necessary services. But that is a deeper topic that begs the question, "how do we design our monetary structure to meet the goals of our democratic society from the smallest communities to the international level, and what do we believe all humans should be able to access at any point in time.

    Personally, I think everyone should be given a line of credit to buy basic transportation, pay for advanced education or training, pay for healthcare services, and provide a personal safety net in times of financial downturns, and a portion of the taxes that we pay go toward paying back the equity line of credit that we acquire when we reach adulthood or 18 years of age. This could be one account or separate accounts with different structures.

    We have limited our usefulness of the monetary system to generate profit rather than thoughtful purpose and human decency. We spend a lot of our efforts to earn money on frivolous projects when we could have pulled the entire would out of "poverty" without even creating the first dime of debt. But that type of system does not give advantage to the 0.1%. It does not allow a few to own the many. Instead, this type of system would help liberate all of humanity in an effort that says in one similar voice. . "This is our goal, and this is how we will make it happen". Now. . Any "volunteers" that would like to get paid this much money per month to make it happen???

  • FuzzyBlue

    November 8, 2019

    In the full length version of this discussion Mr. Murphy says something along the lines of… 'Why does it have to be this way? People have voluntarily accepted gold and silver as money for 1000s of years. Why does there have to be a guy outside the door with a 9mm forcing us to use Gov't paper?"

    I'm with him. The unholy alliance between Gov't and business caused the crisis in 2008, and just as those banks should have been let to fail, a fiscally irresponsible Gov't should also be let to fail.

    The taxman with a gun should be a last resort, or the start of a civil war, not the de facto value creation mechanism.

    Common people, in large part, have not been properly represented by their elected officials at the federal level in a long time, and it is detestable that this huge driver of wealth inequality is blamed on capitalism by so many.

    If we say that MMT will work as long as we believe and have confidence in Gov't to take care of the citizens, then past performance is a big indicator to me that it will not work.

    I do like this debate and I love to learn, but it seems to me all this can be summed up by saying; you're trying to teach the most successful thieves in the history that being a thief is bad. Which is fine, as long as you are also preparing for the inevitability that you will be robbed.


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