Sunday, October 12, 2008

The giant pool of money--think there's not enough for you and me and everyone else?

In this time of global economic melt-down, think about this: Take all the dollars spent everywhere in the world in one year. That's every dollar spent on the planet by every city, county, state, country, war machine, church, mega-corporation, small business, family, and yes, homeless drug addict. All those dollars, every dollar spent everywhere on the planet every single year do not begin to add up to the number high-roller investors the world over pump into sure-thing cash cows.

What the world's rich guys have left over to invest, after they buy their yachts, their fancy homes in three countries, their fast cars and luxury sedans, their five-thousand dollar suits and their $10,000-a-night resort hotel rooms amounts to seventy trillion dollars.

Think the 700 billion dollar bailout is scary? That's almost three-quarters of one trillion dollars.

The fat cats have seventy trillion dollars to play with. Remember, that's more than all of us--every person, organization, corporation, government body on the planet--spend every year, from bread to bombs.

They call this investment cash the giant pool of money.

So where did they get this giant pool of money? According to reporters on a recent This American Life episode titled The Giant Pool of Money, a lot of it came from you and me. When we bought gas for our cars, televisions made in China, clothing made in Indonesia, furniture made in Sri Lanka, pizza, McBurgers and the Colonel's chicken buckets, we threw our dollars, hand over fist, into the giant pool of money.

It's not all bad. While we filled the deep, deep pool in which the fat cats play, we also enriched offshore companies, often third-world countries. We were, quite literally, sharing our wealth and giving a hand up to people in countries who want all the glittery, glossy houses, cars, entertainment centers, I-pods and I-phones we have.

Because we are willing to pay, always, more than an object is worth, thus making a profit for the seller, we feed the wealth of those who figure out what we'll buy and get it to us while we're still eager to grab it.

So if you're thinking, during this time of economic crisis, while you watch your IRA and 401K plans melt away, while politicians tell you there's no way there will be Medicare or Social Security for the Boomers like they provided for their parents and grandparents, while you pay more and more for gasoline, car insurance, health insurance (if you're lucky enough to have it), and yes, milk, bread and shoes for the baby--if you're thinking there simply isn't enough to go around, think again.

The world has plenty of wealth. There is enough for everyone. Our task, should we choose to accept it, is to learn how to share. Greed has no place in Ordinary.

My thanks to blogger Hayden of Lyric Flight, whose comment on Talking up the green economy, suggested this topic.

1 comment:

  1. In one of the Conversations with God books, Neale Donald Walsch talks about society setting a cap on their annual income. Not to be a law, but a societal norm.

    Anything earned over that amount is poured back into the community. It will never happen, of course, but the idea that we should come up with an idea of what we, as individuals, would see as surplus cash and when we earn surplus, giving it back in some way shape or form---that's such a beautiful idea to me. It's insane to me that we don't do that already.


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