The Billionaire

Have you ever had a billion anything? Let alone dollars with unquestionable, government-insured value. Once you get enough money to feed a single generation of your family, you start squirreling away nest eggs for your grand kids to make omelets with later on, and their kids, and so on. No one has a billion dollars. Not even the humans in the world who do. You see, there’s this funny thing about money. It actually all exists in a state of perpetual gambling.

It’s an investment, you see, because if there were to be some hiccup in society, I’m not sure how far paper money will take you. It requires a lot of institutions to be in place to funnel all of us to be so dependent on one form of trivial, flighty currency. Never before has it been like this. Never.

Salt used to be money. Grass. People even. Never flimsy green printed paper. There are shepherding policies all throughout our government that keep us herded onto this singular commercial token. First off, taxes. Can only be paid in dollars. Though value has infinite forms. No matter your trade, your content, your product, your crop, before you pay the debt you owe to society you will have to convert it all through greasy means into our economic system’s sole currency. And you will lose out in the translation. You always do. In fact. You’ll be taxed for the sales transactions you were forced to commit in order to exchange that little morsel of prized value you wrought from life and effort. My time is money. Why am I not invited to offer two weeks of labor to pay any tax debt I owe. Why can I not grow food, are there not welfare programs in place to provide food to people in need? I have land. You know. You’ll see where we’ve paid taxes on it as long as it’s been in my family. I could grow you some food, or build some housing you could offer, or I could show up with a shovel and give two weeks of labor.
A couple grand worth by my own math.

The things we don’t question. It’s not on accident.

My dream is a different form of economic thinking for the rural areas of America, and the world as a whole. An agrarian, barter based system where we are only bound by our mutual need as a community. You have to know the creeks that part your land don’t end where your property line is. You’re not being a good person, or a good neighbor, by considering having a formal relationship with the people living and farming in the area around you. That’s called common sense. We could do half the work we are putting on our government if we intentionally built communal and agricultural infrastructure in our local areas.

National, global issues, they’re like advanced courses you only take once you’re near the end of your major. They’re not for everyone. Most people only want a basic, general understanding of what it takes to be alive, to sustain any substantial, generally happy life over time. The prime focus of any person should not extend further than fifty or so miles out from where they live. Where they’re rooted. Water systems. Growing seasons. Sustainable agriculture. Barter-based local businesses. Education. Recreation.

Then, when our lists are marked off, the chores are done, we can sit on our porches and fail to imagine a thing left to do. We light our pipes. Cross our legs.

Rock back, and ask, so what’s been going on with Kanye West?

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