Systems that Control You: Means of Transaction (Currency)

J.C. LaCroix Personal Finance, Personal Productivity, Power Tactics

For a long time, people bartered. Now, let me be clear, I’m for currency, but I want to point out a trend that few notice. Bartering is such that two people come together and trade things. They have a thing of value, and both agree to a swap of equal value, or the transaction aborts. The downside is that each has to have something the other wants. Thus, currency steps into play. The medium of exchange is created, and facilitates transactions. First, this thing was gold (sometimes, rice). Gold has an inherent value. We all can agree on that. We all can also weigh gold, and watch for shaving or short-weighing. We can be duped for a short time, but never forever. This makes us active monitors of our own value.

But then the bank arose. The bank is a mediator between you and the portion of your value that you receive from an Employer. The Bank will hold your value and facilitate it in transactions, for a fee. These fees (which we are all familiar with today), are a further reduction on your value. People could reject banks, and for a long time, most people did. Banking was for Owners. But today, it is not.
Why? Because money has no inherent value. Its not tied to anything.

This is hard to explain, but let me try it this way – when you see money allowed to float with no inherent value, something else stops – price negotiation. The two go hand in hand. Without banks, the shift of paper money could not have occurred. All people, in the market, now rely on the financial institutions to tell them the value of their money. What was before inherent and understood by all, gets very complicated very quickly. In a world where value is no longer inherent, financial institutions become the Owners of Value, not the market participants. Just like the Employer Owner, they take a cut.

But, it also forces you to make other concessions. This process evolves slowly, until it finds its modern day expression, price-based shopping. When you enter a store today, you see a price. Your option is to buy or not buy. The value itself is not a negotiation. Discounting, which used to be something you could negotiate, now happens as the Owners compete with each other. You have no say in the matter. For the longest time in human history, this was unheard of. In short, you have been excluded from value-determination. While you have the option not to buy, you are much closer to a price-taker than a price-maker, than your ancestors ever were. Unless, you are an Owner, then you have much more leverage.

The antidote to this is simple – first, seek out as many venues and markets as you can find, where negotiation still occurs, demand from yourself that you shop there first, and re-learn this ancient skill. Become much more active in the process of determining value. Farmer’s Markets, Flea Markets, Small Stores. You’re going to learn amazing things, like buying what you can in bulk gets you discounts. There are groups of people who buy things in bulk together, for large discounts. Seek them out. Get a tax I.D. number, and reach out to drop-ship wholesalers. You will be infinitely shocked at what you can get, for what price. At first, this will be hard, very hard. You may have an undiscovered talent for it, but you will probably suck. But, don’t deceive yourself, you are Capitalist by nature – you’ll quickly get in the groove.

Second, become a member of a credit union. I am a member of a credit union, and am active with the board of directors. I will not do business with other banks. Why? Credit Unions are member-owned. I am, in effect, part owner of the bank I am using. Things shift dramatically in this context. In this dynamic, the bank is what it was most people think it was intended to be – a group of people coming together for mutual benefit. From lower fees and penalties (often, I can get these flat out forgotten), to better terms when I (rarely) choose to finance – the differences quickly become apparent.

Remember, the traditional bank has one objective alone, to use you as a resource to turn profit.

Also, get yourself some gold or silver on hand. Just a little, stored up somewhere. If that is out of your reach, store up some hard-liquor bottles, ammunition, or cartons of cigarettes. Every time we have seen a currency collapse, these items have always stepped in as the replacement currency until public faith was restored.

Finally, check this out to see how your money really works:

The Secret of Oz

Are you starting to see how this works?

Profit, is the kiss of death for the Owned, but a Horn-of-Plenty for the Owner…