Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pen Meets Paper Sept. 28 '09

Opinion by Helge Nome
Today I want to discuss the meaning of one of the most used words in the English language. A word that denotes a very confusing concept floating around in our heads and represents one of the fundamental cravings of humankind.
No, I’m not a “Freudian” so you can forget about the word “sex”.
However, I’m just as deprived of what this words stands for as a good number of you readers out there.
You likely guessed it, the word in question is “money”.
And right now money is in the process of becoming rather scarce to many people that need the tickets to ride on the bus we call “modern society” so that they may feed and clothe themselves and provide for a roof over their heads.
What happens if they can’t get their hands on any of these tickets? To the south of us here in Canada, the answer is literally “blowing in the wind” in the form of tent cities occupied by people who can no longer afford to pay for a mortgage or pay rent to a landlord. They have no money, no tickets to the wealth of the society they used to belong to. They have been excommunicated because the tickets to wealth, also called “money”, have been made scarce.
The wealth is still there, but the tickets have been withdrawn.
Its like having a bus service without any tickets. The bus is there; the road is there; the passengers are waiting, but the ticket agent has decided that very few tickets will be issued because he is not in the mood to hand them out today. Except maybe a few to some of his trusted buddies so that they can ride on the bus by themselves in comfort to the exclusion of all those waiting passengers.

But wait a minute. Is the ticket agent the legal owner of the bus, or the road; the fuel for the bus, or even the tickets themselves?
What gives him the authority to withhold the tickets from the people that built the bus, the road, and refined the fuel to put in the tank?
If you accept the notion that money, as it appears on a note, in a ledger, on a computer screen, or wherever, is simply a ticket system to access the real wealth created in modern society and has no inherent value apart from that, the world suddenly changes.
If you share in the belief that every human being, by virtue of being a member of society, has a claim on this wealth in the form of a certain number of tickets, then there can be no valid reason for tent cities with vacant homes in the background. The wealth is there but the tickets to that wealth are being withheld.
By whom? And for what reasons?