frogwfishIt really doesn’t matter, from an economic perspective, what useful endeavor people are engaged in, as long as they are compensated sufficiently with currency (money) to enable them to compensate others, who do the things they don’t have talent and time for, in turn.

What really undermines efficient trade and exchange of goods and services is the rationing or sequestration of the currency (money) we use to mediate those transactions. Rationing currency is comparable to restricting access to reading and writing skills in order to hobble the ability to communicate.

We have some of that. It accounts for the fact that thirty percent of American adults are functionally illiterate.

Why is there an interest in depriving people of currency and literacy? It makes it easier to practice human husbandry, the exploitation of humans by their own kind to their detriment. (I use the third person possessive on purpose to suggest that the detriment accrues equally to the exploiters and the exploited. It is not good to exploit members of one’s own species. Indeed it is a risky business, since it can end in self-destruction. Even dumb organisms know better than to do that).

Currency and literacy are physical manifestations of figments of the imagination – expressions of our (higher) cognitive abilities. When they are misused, the very core of our humanity is degraded. People who do that should be ashamed. That they are not suggests that they are less than human. Otherwise, one would have to posit that humans are mere instinct-driven predators, who can’t even recognize their own kind — no more intelligent than frogs.


Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."