Did you ever wonder where money came from?
Want The Earth Plus 5%
was excited as he once more rehearsed his speech for the crowd certain
to turn up tomorrow. He had always wanted prestige and power and now his
dreams were going to come true. He was a craftsman working with silver
and gold, making jewelry and ornaments, but he became dissatisfied with
working for a living. He needed excitement, a challenge, and now his plan
was ready to begin.
generations the people used the barter system. A man supported his own
family by providing all their needs or else he specialised in a particular
trade. Whatever surpluses he might have from his own production, he exchanged
or swapped for the surplus of others.
day was always noise and dusty, yet people looked forward to the shouting
and waving, and especially the companionship. It used to be a happy place,
but now there were too many people, too much arguing. There was no time
for chatting - a better system was needed.
the people had been happy, and enjoyed the fruits of their work.
each community a simple Government had been formed to make sure that each
person's freedoms and rights were protected and that no man was forced
to do anything against his will by any other man, or any group of men.
was the Government's one and only purpose and each Governor was voluntarily
supported by the local community who elected him.
market day was the one problem they could not solve. Was a knife worth
one or two baskets of corn? Was a cow worth more than a wagon … and so
on. No one could think of a better system.
had advertised, "I have the solution to our bartering problems, and
I invite everyone to a public meeting tomorrow."
next day there was a great assembly in the town square and Fabian explained
all about the new system which he called "money". It sounded
good. "How are we to start?" the people asked.
gold which I fashion into ornaments and jewelry is an excellent metal.
It does not tarnish or rust, and will last a long time. I will make some
gold into coins and we shall call each coin a dollar."
He explained how values
would work, and that "money" would be really a medium for exchange
- a much better system than bartering.
of the Governors questioned, "Some people can dig gold and make coins
for themselves", he said.
would be most unfair", Fabian was ready with the answer. "Only
those coins approved by the Government can be used, and these will have
special marking stamped on them." This seemed reasonable and it was
proposed that each man be given an equal number. "But I deserve the
most," said the candle-maker. "Everyone uses my candles."
"No", said the farmer, "without food there is no life,
surely we should get the most." And so the bickering continued.
let them argue for a while and finally he said, "Since none of
you can agree, I suggest you obtain the number you require from me. There
will be no limit, except for your ability to repay. The more you obtain,
the more you must repay in one year's time. "And what will you receive?"
the people asked.
I am providing a service, that is, the money supply, I am entitled to
payment for my work. Let us say that for every 100 pieces you obtain,
you repay me 105 for every year that you owe the debt. The 5 will be my
charge, and I shall call this charge interest."
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seemed to be no other way, and besides, 5% seemed little enough charge.
"Come back next Friday and we will begin."