Are You Rich Enough?

I was browsing the web when I chanced upon a link that says “Are You Rich Enough? The Terrible Tragedy of Income.”

I thought to myself that that was a very profound title, describing perfectly how our society has become twisted and how people have mixed up their priorities in life, and how I would very much like to read what it says.

So I clicked the link and found out the title was incomplete. What the title really said was “Are You Rich Enough? The Terrible Tragedy of Income Inequality.”

I then laughed at myself for thinking I woke up to a different world. How typical. To see people frame the situation as a problem of inequality as opposed to a problem of systems. You know people don’t understand the problem when they think giving everyone the same amount of money fixes everything. It’s a serious misunderstanding of how the economy works. If you gave everyone the same amount of money, everyone would have the same purchasing power – leading to an equal capacity to buy anything. That’s all fine and dandy until you realize that the things you can buy are finite, and that most people probably want to buy the same things you do – which of course leads to an increase in demand – which of course leads to a supply problem – which of course leads to an increase in prices on goods that are in demand – which of course leads to inflation – which finally leads to everyone’s money being devalued. Those who saved their money in a bank now have less purchasing power than what they started out with. Those who spent their money, now don’t have any, and those smart enough to hold onto theirs and sell the goods in demand are now richer than before. And we’re back right where we started. In a world of income inequality.

Simply put, even if everyone started out with the same amount of money, the system works in such a way as to always end up in income inequalty. We will never ever have equality under this financial system. And to think otherwise is simply to be ignorant of the economic interactions at play.

While I was disappointed the article turned out to be not what I expected, I still felt my initial reading of the incomplete title as the real profound lesson that needs to be taught.

Today, when we think of wealth and the richest people in the world, we always frame it in percentages. We’ll say “Oh, they’re the 1 percent of the world.” News outlets carry the headlines “Richest 1 Percent of the World Own Half of Global Wealth.”

I shake my head sometimes at how people view wealth and value in the world. People have a serious misconception of what truly matters and their priorities are seriously messed up. How you view the world truly changes your life.

There’s a sad, sad tale for everyone who thinks wealth = money. And there’s an even sadder tale for those who equate financial wealth = success. The saddest tale meanwhile, is reserved for those who earned their wealth at the cost of losing their loved ones.

Here’s how I view the world:

Do you have someone you love who also loves you back?
You’re part of the 1%.

Are you healthy?
You’re part of the 1%.

Are you happy?
You’re part of the 1%.

Are you contented?
You’re part of the 0.01%.

Do you live a life of love and forgiveness?
You’re part of the 1%.

99% of the people in the world are unhappy, scared, lonely, and always living in fear.

So the next time you envy someone with more money than you, remember that wealth is a state of mind. And happiness is a consequence of viewing the world differently than 99% of the people in the world.

The question isn’t “Are You Rich Enough,” the question is “Are You Wise Enough to Know When You Are Rich Enough?”

Don’t sell your wealth for a couple of lousy bucks.

Because some random comments on the web are too precious to be allowed to be lost buried under the din of the crowd

I came accross the comment/s below while reading this article written by Adam Hartung in

it’s just too good a comment/convo to be left to wallow in anonymity. Posted by someone using the handle “kishind,” the comment/s below reflect the same philosophy i believe in, and which i feel, majority of ppl also feel deep in their hearts to be correct.

Occupy Wall Street is so disorganized it doesn’t even appear to have specific leadership, or hierarchy. – Adam Hartung

Adam, you’re half-mistaken. It’s organized, but the organization rejects hierarchy. Personal autonomy is a critical issue for us, so we organize bottom-up instead of top-down. You may think we have “no clear agenda about what [we] would like done differently”, but that’s not the case. We are doing what we want done differently and the plea we make is for others to join us, not for corrupted leaders to placate us with word changes in their paper castle while retaining their undeserved power. Our one demand is “stop interfering with us so we can focus on more important things”. Like ending homelessness, poverty, and hunger in America. For a start.

Left alone, we will create a better monetary system for internal exchange, one that is directly reflective of productive contributions, while ensuring necessities are had by all. Left alone, we will connect to each other on a national and then global scale and express our love for humans all over the world. Left alone, we will acquire the means of small-scale local production, like sewing machines and 3D printers, and use them for good. Left alone, we will create full employment under the principle “many hands make light work”. Left alone, we will create what the bankers fear most: a society that has no use for them.

So tell me, what policy changes will make that happen? What congressional issues will bring that about? What candidate will promote the path towards his own irrelevance? This movement is about People over Profit, and People over Politics. Not even everyone inside the movement realizes how far this can go.

Left alone, we will have a working alternative in place before the next derivative market collapse, before the USD loses its reserve currency status… and when the western economy fails, all the go-along-to-get-along bystanders will simply walk away from a non-functioning political-economic system into a fully functioning one. No depression. No panic. No Mad Max “every man for himself!” dystopia. No totalitarian mandates. No martial law. No need for a new global centralized government or its security force or its currency. Just people working with people for the sake of people. -kishind

Thanks for commenting Kishind. It is difficult for business people to understand the unconventional (to us) organizing principle of OWS. Bottom-up is definitely not the norm in business – as I’m sure you are aware. Thus, we find issues of leadership cloudy. Simultaneously, the fact that these events keep growing in number and size is tantamount to some level of success via the unorthodox approach. I think businesses can learn from this leadership/management approach. However, it will be helpful the more people communicate how it works – so it might be understood better and replicated successfully.

Your goals, such as a strong monetary system and maintaining the U.S. Dollar as a reserve currency are things most business leaders would likely support. Where business leaders struggle is interpreting how “many hands make light work” turns into a jobs policy. Where would you like to see government investments? What policies would help “the 99%” achieve employment and move toward an end to homelessness, poverty and hunger — all goals I think every business leader would endorse?

If you and others can help push toward recommendation specificity I believe it will help those in the business community understand how to interact more effectively with the OWS cause. – Adam

Your reply amuses me immensely. You’re still trying to see how all this could fit inside or merge with the system as it currently exists.

I’m sorry but I’ve lost all faith in the ability of the current power structure to make effective changes. We have a bought congress on both sides of the aisle. We have the wealthiest people in the world subjugating government not for the sake of greater material wealth, but to achieve ever-greater ever-more-centralized control. Seedless crops are a perfect example. It’s not about the money; it’s about creating artificial scarcity in the food supply. It’s about destroying any hope of independence from the corporate behemoths. You have to invert the pyramid – oil subsidies for oil giants and crop subsidies for agribusiness giants are destroying any chance of a new competitor, and friendly competition drives efficiency and innovation.

So when I make these suggestions, don’t get the impression that any of them have a chance with the people and systems of power on this planet. The most essential issue here is that these suggestions DO NOT SERVE THE BOTTOM LINE. As long as that is the primary motivation in our organizational systems, they can’t happen.

Let’s start with the reserve currency. I don’t want the USD to retain that power. The defense of reserve currency status is the real motivation behind the invasion of Iraq – Saddam wanted Euros for oil. That motivation was used to murder over a million Iraqis and litter their land with poisoned weapons (depleted uranium rounds). The strength of one money over another is irrelevant. Does an American farmer that produces two tons of grain produce more value than a Nigerian farmer that produces two tons of grain? The trade imbalance leads to fuel-wasting imports and exports, and can even lead to the starvation of the neighbors of that Nigerian farmer. Money needs to reflect productivity, and by that measure the entire financial industry doesn’t get any, as they do not produce anything. A non-transferability of labor credit eliminates both panhandling and financial traders.

Thanks to technology (computers and automation), people are increasingly freed from monotonous or dangerous work. Rather than using this for layoffs and profits, this would be used to reduce working hours across the board with no change or even increase in weekly pay. While we wait for technology to eliminate work in the health industry, there should be no cost (or even pay the student) for attending education that leads to more doctors and nurses.

Business leaders turn their businesses into democratic co-op models and step down from leadership to join the workforce. Now that the business has no leaders, only workers, the “many hands” policy is easily understood.

So-called “free energy” has been a reality for a long time, possibly as far back as Tesla – at the very least, he was incredibly close. JP Morgan refused to let that happen, since there was no way to limit distribution of this electrical energy – when you have all the material wealth you could desire, you aim for tighter control. We don’t need fossil fuels AT ALL.

The whole system has been set up to consume the planet like cancer and treat the workers like slaves. That is what is rewarded in $ terms. We need a fundamentally different understanding of VALUE. Now, at the small scale money works fairly well, like Newtonian physics. If the only businesses were small businesses, we might not even see these problems. But once you reach relativistic conglomerates, the abuse of the planet and the people is inevitable (because again, the bottom line is served this way). And the people who are TRULY successful in this system, where the wants for material wealth in any form is trivial, are people who will never, ever change the system that got them where they are today. To quote an anonymous senator, “The system isn’t perfect, but it’s the one that got ME elected.”

So again it comes down to this issue: what’s good for people is bad for stockholders. It’s bad for short-term profitability. The BP oil spill happened because the proper safety procedures were expensive. Bad for the bottom line. Decentralized means of production, as public as the library, is bad for bottom lines, and bad for GDP, but good for people. We have to let go, as a species, of our modern understanding of money. Business leaders and politicians are not capable of doing that now. #Occupiers are. So they need to be left alone to create a society that has morality built into its very fabric.

Facilitation training (for GA-style direct democracy) is free on YouTube ( So are videos explaining the variety of hand gestures that expedite the process. These are the issues of (non-)leadership. The approach is publicly available knowledge. It gives everyone a voice. The facilitator has the only unequal voice, and the person who holds that position changes daily.

So here’s my actual, specific recommendation. Assign a handful of cops to each occupation. Their job is to protect the citizens from violent and criminal elements. #Occupy has a good neighbor policy, a non-violence policy, and a sobriety policy, but they cannot legally take over police duties. Every major city can spare a few cops, the way the police state is going. Then, join or watch. That’s all.

We don’t have a strong monetary system. The USD will not maintain its position as the reserve currency. The economy will not survive the next derivative crash. We are nearly past the point of unpayable federal debt. You and I, we can’t affect these things. But we can replace these things. We organize through paper and imagination. Is it so radical to suggest different paper, and different imagination? Maybe it is for now, but just wait a few years. I can’t predict the exact timing of the coming financial apocalypse, but I can see the signs, and I understand that no politician or business leader will take effective action to prevent it. #OWS is just giving us a model for post-apocalyptic society. You’re welcome. – kishind

Financial freedom is when the world becomes a moneyless society

I plan to contribute to the moneyless society movement by sifting through the thousands of material available through the internet and summarizing all ideas into simple, easy to understand articles that will (hopefully) be more accessible to others. This will be the placeholder for this project.

To start, I have bookmarked some websites that have good material regarding the movement. I’ve noticed that the movement is gaining ground and is starting to become mainstream. However, I’ve also noticed that the movement, just like any large organization, has started to fracture into different factions with differing views on how to achieve our goal of a moneyless society.

My hope is that we can encourage differing opinions and plans of action and yet maintain solidarity on the one thing we all agree on – that money needs to go and that we need to build a more sustainable way of living.