This episode of the Planet Money podcast was really fun (as many of them are), but the first segment was particularly concerning. They talk about how the Fed (literally) conjured $3 trillion from the aether and banks didn't bother loaning it out. All this money is just sitting there, doing nothing. Hopefully, the banks won't loan it out all at once, which would seem, to me, like a reeeally bad idea (steroidal inflation!). In fact, the banks just sitting on it seems like a bad idea, too. I mean, the point was to stimulate the economy. However, according to the experts, it is recovering just fine.
$3 trillion just seems like a LOT of money to wish in from the Cornfield Bank. It's not as bad as that one time, but still. The fact that the Fed can invent money at all is irksome and with everything the USG, banks, and corporations have done over the last ten years, it's hard to trust them.
Just on principle, think about how the Fed works.
They help keep our economic system stable by creating money from nothing. But who benefits the most from our economic system? The 1%. And who runs the Fed? Members of the 1%. So, really, it's just the rich protecting the rich while making sure we get enough table scraps to survive, but not enough to get into a position of power so we can do something to stop this lop-sided system.
If you think about just how much money is in our economy, you realize that a ton of problems that America is dealing with could go away. Do you know how many homeless people that $3 trillion could house? How many it could feed? How many medical bills it could pay?
Ugh... I feel gross just thinking about it.
Yet, all this money exists and is moved around in circles you and I will never experience.
Then again, here is a segment of the Daily Show from January of 2015 that reports on how Salt Lake City, Utah, solved its homeless problem by giving the homeless homes. That's right, they gave them homes.
The clip is really funny, but the gist is this: it's cheaper to house everyone who can't house themselves. Between law enforcement costs, medical costs and other costs that occur thanks to people being homeless, it's cheaper to just put them in apartments.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country still has this lopsided system.
So much emphasis is put on making money and spending money that we don't even think about the fact that there are other ways our system can work.
Should we get away from Capitalism altogether? I don't think so. But the idea that some of us should suffer for not being able to play the game as well as some? Yeah, that's not right. We can certainly use a combination of both capitalism and socialism to the benefit of all citizens, except the 1%, of course. But I think they've gotten most of the benefits over the last 20 years. I think they'll survive.
Help my personal economics and go buy a Ballpoint Adventures T-shirt or my novel from Amazon!