Friday, February 17, 2017

You Don't Need Money to Live

            You don't need money to live. Money has no intrinsic value. What you need in order to live are the basic needs that money buys.
            Almost everything else that you buy are wants, not needs. You can obtain things that are redeemable for your needs, without working to earn mass-printed Federal Reserve currency (whose value is determined by government fiat, and public faith therein).
            You can work for real constitutional currency made of precious metals (like the U.S. Golden Eagle). You can work for non-monetary compensation, or use local currencies (like the "Mountain-Hours" currency in Colorado), or alternative e-currencies such as Bitcoin.
            In the past, you could work for interest-free money such as Greenbacks, and gold and silver certificates. Admittedly, eliminating interest and debt from money doesn't go anywhere near as far as necessary to solve the money problem. To eliminate interest would merely halve the infinite profit on money; and of course half of infinity is infinity).
            But you can also sell something you have. Of course, when you sell something, you're trading something with intrinsic value, for money that has no intrinsic value, so selling is out. But if you feel that the value of your labor can be expressed as an hourly wage, then you might prefer to use labor notes and time-based currency (for more information on this, read about the Cincinatti Time Store, and TimeBanks and TimeDollars).
            But if you reject the wage system entirely - remember, you don't buy things with money; because of the wage system, you buy things with hours of your life that you trade away for money - you can also trade-out, barter, gift, share, or donate your time. Additional developments in non-monetary trade include free stores, social credit, mutuum checks, and mutual aid. Finally, "paying it forward" could help avoid coercive reciprocity and help achieve truly voluntary reciprocal altruism.
            Regardless of whether you engage (or want to engage) in monetary or non-monetary transactions, your purpose of engaging in these transactions is always the same. That purpose is to satisfy your six most basic needs - air, water, food, medicine, shelter, and clothing - and, once you have satisfied those, to satisfy your wants and desires.

            There is nothing that money can do for us that the things we trade it for can't do much better. You can't eat or drink money, and you can't make a house out of it. That is, unless you're using Chinese tea bricks as currency, which are used as construction material, and also for making medicinal tea. They can even be eaten as food in emergency situations such as famines. Durable foods, foods that don't go bad, well-preserved foods, and foods that are meant to go bad - like canned goods, honey, beef jerky, and sour cream and croutons (respectively) - could potentially be used as food-based currency. After all, as the Greenpeace slogan goes, "When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money."
            And you can't use money as a medicine; you can't rub it all over yourself to make yourself feel better. I mean, you can, but there won't be a medicinal effect. Unless you consider that 70-80% of American bills have trace amounts of cocaine on them. Unless you also consider that American bills are processed with the hormone disruptor bisphenol-A (B.P.A.). Money is literally covered with poison; you can buy medicine with it, but you're going to need some extra medicine to treat the B.P.A. that you're absorbing cutaneously when you touch it. I'd warn against handling money without gloves on, but some sterile gloves contain toxins as well.
            I suppose it's also possible to make clothing out of money, and to burn it for energy and heat. However, making clothing out of money is only practical on a mass scale if it is almost totally worthless (although perplexingly, it is).
            My point is that money buys our needs, but it shouldn't be the only way to get our needs (I mean, they're our needs, for God's sake). I'm fine with working to pay for my wants and desires that I have in excess of my base needs. But we shouldn't have to pay taxes or fines or fees on being alive or taking up space; things we can't help but do, if not for killing ourselves. Furthermore, money isn’t the only way to get our needs.
            We must make the negative rights vs. positive rights dichotomy obsolete. We will do this by developing an open-access theory of rights, which holds that nobody is obligated to do anything for anyone, except leave them alone, and also cease to impede them from accessing basic means of survival. After all, nobody goes into the food service industry because they want to deny people food. Nobody goes into health care because they want to hurt people instead of heal them, nor because they get a kick out of denying people care. People come in to work because they want to give goods, and provide services, to people in need.
            Safe foods and drinks are usually specialty items, and for the most part, foods and drinks are not available in generic forms. This means that most foods and drinks do not resemble raw materials sufficiently to qualify as land; at least not in the sense that the full economic definition of land includes raw materials. Hence, foods and drinks are not strictly common resources.
            However, even without commonwealth of (that is, common possession of, or common access to) our most basic needs, each one of our needs could each be made so accessible, abundant, cheap, and distributed so widely, such that anyone could access them on demand without being expected to pay, nor to use money, nor to work to earn the given need.

            As I explained above, money shouldn’t be the only way to get our needs. But moreover, money isn’t the only way to get our needs. It’s the simple law of supply and demand; when demand and other variables hold constant, lower prices (and, eventually, free products) are the results of increased supply.
We can improve the quality of the air we breathe by imposing intentionally punitive Pigouvian taxes on pollution and the release of toxins into air, streams, groundwater, and land.
            We can start programs to distribute and drive down the costs of straw devices that filter water. We can continue to refrain from preventing people from accessing free water on both public and private property.
            We can improve the efficiency of food distribution. Spread information about the T.L.C. (The Learning Channel) program Extreme Couponing, and teach people the time- and money- saving couponing techniques featured in the show. These techniques allow people to afford their expensive needed items by coupling them with the significant savings provided through coupons for small, cheap, mass-produced items for which shoppers often have little need. Additionally, we can make it easier for people to grow produce, and keep small livestock, in their own yards, in order to decrease dependence on mass-produced foods; foods which would otherwise have to travel long distances and go through questionably healthful sanitation procedures before they reach our plates.
            We can boycott companies that send food overseas to be processed, and protest against any subsidies that your tax dollars provide to such companies (but of course, to fully boycott such companies, we would have to lobby our governments to get them to stop sending those companies our tax dollars). We can give supermarkets tax incentives to donate excess food to the needy. We can stop enforcing food patents, or stop enforcing them for such long periods of time. We can get our F.D.A. to stop bleaching farm-to-fork meals, stop destroying homemade baked goods, and stop disposing of donated meals simply because they haven't been inspected by local authorities.
            Most nurses and doctors would have no problem becoming formally subject to the provision of the Hippocratic Oath that says they can't turn people away due to inability to pay. Either government or non-state dispute resolution agencies could enforce these obligations. This would render the health insurance industry obsolete, since no co-pays would be necessary on a zero-dollar charge.
            We can repeal vagrancy laws. We can loosen homesteading laws such that people do not have to occupy homes for such long periods of time before government recognizes the homestead as the new occupant’s legitimate property. We can extend homesteading tax credits, by allowing them to apply to apartments, trailers, and other small residences. We can give apartment owners and boards tax incentives to allow homeless people to sleep in their empty units. We can stop arresting members of the public for sleeping or squatting on public land. We can relax local building codes in such a way that allows for experimentation in architecture, in order to allow the re-use of safe building materials that would have been otherwise discarded. For more information on this, please look up Mike Reynolds and Earth Ships.
            We can do less to hinder people's abilities to donate clothing to clothing drives that benefit the poor and homeless. Set up free laundry services in homeless shelters. We can repeal public nudity laws and other laws that dictate dress codes to the public.
            There are six vacant homes for each homeless person in America. There are car graveyards, sitting in deserts because they're not in perfect condition, and the people who own them think that they can't make money off of selling more of them, because they would flood the market and prices would plummet. We can do something about that.
Most importantly, we can increase awareness that scarcity is a myth; and increase awareness that hoarding – and police protection of the right to accumulate unlimited capital and wealth on private property – is the true cause of the scarcity that we think we experience and feel.

These steps will help ensure universal and open access to the basic means of survival for all human beings. Additionally, they will ensure that nobody is harmed, nor stolen from, for failing to purchase goods or services in what the government judges to be insufficient quantity or of insufficient quality.
            Universal access to our basic needs will help eliminate the need for money, taxation, the social and corporate welfare state, the criminal justice system, the health insurance industry, the for-profit market for land, the banking industry, competition for reasons other than recreation, and the study of economics.
            Without having to devote so much of our rewards from labor on bare subsistence, cut-throat competition in the job market would drastically decline, as would competition whose purpose is neither entertainment nor leisure (such as games and sports).
            Human attention could be dedicated to more worthwhile ventures; such as the development of medical technology and biological and astrophysical sciences, the healing of communication disorders and preventable diseases, and the eradication of toxins from our consumer products and environment (especially air; common property that is arguably the primary human need).
            Additionally, the engineering and advancement of robotics and training in the maintenance of automatons, and the study of episodes of slavery in history in order to avoid repeating the same bad habits that have plagued human experience since the dawn of global consciousness. We shouldn't stand for this indoctrination any longer; we're only perpetuating our own servitude by using money and agreeing to associate and transact with others who still use it because they have no idea how harmful it is.

            The money creators at the Federal Reserve Bank make astronomical, exponential profits off of the creation of money. They loan-out money - at face-value, plus interest - to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, in exchange for government bonds. Through the low cost of printing money, the Federal Reserve makes 95% profit off of the creation of $1 bills, and about 99.88% profit off of the creation of $100 bills. But that's only the first stage.
            After the Federal Reserve lends this money out, it makes its money back again - almost in quadruplicate, nearly doubling that original near-doubling of value - off of their investments in business, and in the government. They do this in such a way that they receive the bulk of our taxes as well, the bulk of the proceeds from most of our rent and property taxes, and the bulk of the profits from nearly all of our purchases (of goods and services alike).
            Land owners, laborers, and capitalists all need land, labor, and capital. That's why loaning money to government workers (under the guise of paying them), and collecting the money over and over again (through each stage in the processes of loaning and trading), makes for theoretically infinite profit off of the creation of money (that is, money creation in exchange for more than the cost it took to produce it, factoring in the interest at which it is loaned).
            If all of your disposable income goes to paying for the space that you occupy, paying taxes, and paying for the things that you need to consume (and services that you need to use) in order to survive, then you are arguably in the position of a slave. Neither you, nor the slave, has any means with which to obtain the wants and desires that you have in excess of your bare subsistence needs (such as entertainment). Just like slaves, we are told that we aren't working hard enough, and that we are free to buy our way to freedom. It's a con.

            Our merely agreeing to continue to use this money has rendered us, and will continue to render us, impoverished. On top of that, it renders us liable to fill out all sorts of forms for as much as a solid year-and-a-half after we earn the money to begin with. This tax calendar keeps us from escaping the use of money. You can pay your taxes in Bitcoin, but you can't avoid paying taxes, and the government prefers that we pay it back in the money that it buys from the Federal Reserve.
            We don't fully own the things that are really worth owning, like "our houses" and "our cars"; we merely purchase some of their use-rights, pay sales taxes on that, pay to register them, and then we occupy and use them. For the most part, we can't sell them without filling out paperwork and obeying all kinds of regulations. For the most part, we can't exclude the police from our houses, nor from our cars. If we can't keep people out of our property, then it's not our property. And that excludes our own bodies, which we still can't manage to keep police out of, in so many ways. If you can't own property, then you are property.
            There's no point in owning any property at all, if we're just going to be taxed for "owning" it. Whether the highway robbers masquerading our government "tax" us out of our property, or whether it's highway robbers not masquerading as our government "taxing" us as we walk down the street, displaying wealth with our sharp suits. Property makes you a target. Your labor is wealth, too, so owning your own body as property makes you a target even if you use no currency, as long as you are able to work, and agree to do favors for people (whether compensation is assured or not).
            If you don't use any form of currency, you can't be taxed. You can't tax away a third of a favor; not without enslaving someone. Quantifying the value of that favor in national currency (that is, monetizing it), and commodifying a social exchange, makes that involuntary servitude easier and less noticeable. Now we know.

            Quit your job and put some money aside for next year's taxes. Do with your savings whatever you think is appropriate; put it in a safety deposit box, bury it somewhere, or exchange it for durable items that will help you survive more easily without money. Pay your taxes next year with U.S. dollars, and then don't ever use national currency again.
            Exit the rat race.

            For more information, look up Daniel Suelo, "the man who quit money".

 Written on February 17th, 2017

Edited on February 18th through 20th, and 25th,
March 19th and 23rd, and April 4th, 2017

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