Dear President Bush:____________

 

Let's Face it; the Usefulness of Money is Over

We are the wealthiest and most powerful nation; but will we survive? We have complex and ugly economic problems that have no apparent answers. We have inequities and hypocrisies that make a mockery of our moral values. We have a future that is grim and uncertain.

What is happening to us? Is there an answer? Let us, for a moment, consider the following analogy:

There was once a master in need of a servant. He found a servant that proved to be most valuable. The master was able to achieve great wealth with the help of this unusual servant.

One day, the servant stumbled and fell; but the master lifted him to his feet. The servant stumbled and fell again; but again, the master lifted him to his feet. The servant, however, continued to stumble and fall; but the master kept lifting the servant to his feet. In time, the servant was carried by the master.

A medium of exchange has proved to be a valuable servant to civilized man. It has played a vital role in the success of our economy. We accept the problems it creates as part of our way of life. We do not question its need.

What is happening to us? The answer is clear. We have allowed the use of money to take control of our way of life. Indeed, what was once a valuable servant has become the master of our way of life.

Let us free ourselves. Let us learn to work and live together without the use of money. Yes, we have the ability. Yes, we will still use money when dealing with other countries. Yes, it's a whole new ballgame and here are the ground rules:

We must provide for ourselves according to need. Everything will be free. It is the most efficient and humane way to distribute our goods and services. Surely, we can provide both the necessities and luxuries for everyone.

We must eliminate wages. We must allow the incentive to work to come from within ourselves. We all have the need to work and succeed; it is a matter of finding the right job or occupation where one can be productive and be appreciated by his fellow man. We will choose our work according to our abilities and desires without any economic fear. The labor needs of the country, therefore, must be satisfied on a voluntary basis. In the case of the more menial occupations, perhaps some type of compensation is needed.

Our free enterprise system will remain in place the same as it is today. Cooperation, however, will replace competition. Government, industry and the people will work together as a team to meet the ever changing economic needs of our nation and of each individual. We will strive for quality and safety in our products without the hindrance of the profit motive. We will conserve our resources and protect our environment with a new vigor.

Thus, we are perfectly capable of conducting our internal economic affairs without the use of money. It is the way of life we are searching for. It is the American Dream come true for each individual.

We will first serve the neediest and those engaged in the more menial occupations. Our sense of value will therefore be lifted to a higher plane. We will live in an atmosphere of brotherhood. We will gain economic freedom without infringement on our present freedoms.

We will no longer suffer the hardships and the indignities of poverty and unemployment. The serious threats of inflation and depression will be removed. Crime for profit will diminish. The sale of illicit drugs will cease.

We will provide free medical care for everyone. We will provide a free higher education for all students. We will no longer worry about the payment of bills. We will live together as human beings rather than as individuals caught up in "the rat race".

A way of life without money has one demand. We must be ourselves. The task, however, of changing our way of life appears to be overwhelming. Do we have the strength? Do we believe in ourselves?

Today, the use of money dictates our way of life; but we have the ability to free ourselves. We can learn to distribute our wealth according to need. We can learn to satisfy the labor needs of our country on a voluntary basis. We can learn to all work together as a team.

What do people think of a way of life without money? One person said, "We're not ready for it yet". Another person said, "It's a good idea; but it will never happen". Most people, as one would expect, scoffed at the idea. Their comments are as follows:

"It smells like socialism to me." Yes, we will become economically equal. A man will be judged by what he is; not by what he has. Ownership of property, however, will remain the same as it is today. Our government will remain the same. The Democrats will still do battle with the Republicans. President Eisenhower said, "What is right for America is politically right".

"Why should I work if I don't have to?" Yes, we have a negative attitude toward work. In a way of life without money, however, we will be free to choose a job that is challenging. Work will become a stairway to learning, creating and achieving rather than be a means to "make a living".

"No, it just won't work; it's too idealistic!" Yes, we pride ourselves in being practical and we dare not allow ourselves to dream. Yet, we allow the use of money to dictate our way of life without a question being asked except, perhaps, by a curious child.

Let us free ourselves. Let us learn to work and live together without the use of money. We have the strength within us. It is the most powerful force on Earth. It is waiting to be unleashed. It is a time for courage and common sense.

Today, we learn not to trust one another "when it comes to money". It is a sad note on our present economy. A way of life without money, however, will lift the economic barriers that prevent us from living together as human beings.

John Steinsvold

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The following is in response to queries from readers:

Somewhere around the dawn of civilization, man found bartering to be a very useful way to exchange goods and services. It allowed mankind to reach a higher stage of civilization. In time, however, it became too cumbersome and inefficient. Next, a medium of exchange evolved which allowed mankind to conduct his economic affairs more efficiently. Again, it allowed mankind to reach still a higher stage of civilization. Today, however, we find the use of a medium of exchange has become too complex and inefficient. Our growth as a nation and as a people is being suffocated. There is an need to reach still a higher stage of civilization.

A way of life without money offers to eliminate needless poverty, unemployment, inflation, welfare, the threat of depression, increasing taxes, crimes related to profit (sale of illicit drugs, stolen IDs, muggings, bribery, con artists, etc.), conflict of interest, endless red tape, a staggering national debt plus a widening budget deficit, 48 states in debt, cities in debt, counties in debt, skyrocketing personal debts, 50% of Americans unhappy at their work, saving for retirement and our children's education, health being a matter of wealth, competing in the "rat race", the need for insurance, being a nation of litigation, being subject to the tremors on Wall Street, fear of downsizing and automation, fear of more Enrons, outsourcing, bankruptcies, crippling strikes, materialism, corruption, wasteful competition, sacrificing quality and safety in products for the sake of profit, the social problem of the "haves" vs. the "have nots" and spending money to fix the problems that money creates.

Yes, this list is awesome. There is no other word to describe it. Are these problems not a serious threat to our freedom if not to our very survival? Yet, a way of life without money promises to alleviate if not completely eliminate everyone of the above mentioned problems. This is not an assertion, this is a fact that cannot be refuted. It is a matter of learning how to conduct our internal economic affairs without the use of a medium of exchange.

Yes, in a way of life without money, the incentive to work must come from within ourselves and the labor needs of our country must be satisfied on a voluntary basis. The question is obvious. Why should people work if they don't have to? The following reasons are offered:

(1) Today, 50% of Americans do not enjoy their work. In a way of life without money, we will be free to do the work we love to do without any economic fear. We will all be completely free to follow our passion and pursue our goals in life.

(2) Cooperation will replace wasteful competition. We will all work together as a team. Work will become a way to help people, to meet people or to be part of a project. It is a proven fact that people like to help one another. An esprit de corps will naturally build up and make work more enjoyable. Even the most menial task becomes much easier if it’s done together with others.

Today, competition between companies results in duplication of effort which is wasteful. Can you imagine Ford, Chrysler & GM cooperating to satisfy the automotive needs of our country? This is one area where we need all the expertise available to build a car that is truly safe and fuel efficient so we can eliminate our need to import oil from the Middle East.

(3) The profit motive will no longer exist. There will be no need to sacrifice quality and safety in our products for the sake of profit. We will gain pride in our products. Our economic efficiency will increase dramatically.

Also, perhaps millions of people will be freed from jobs associated with the use of money. Perhaps millions more will be released from the ranks of the unemployed and the welfare rolls to do more useful work such as cleaning our environment, conservation, recycling, humanitarian work, conducting urgent research in many fields and other extremely important tasks which are not profitable in our present economy. Today, we can add the task of our National Security as one of our most urgent needs.

Who will do the more menial tasks? Yes, it may be necessary to offer "perks" to those who volunteer to do the jobs no one else wants to do. Can you imagine an NBA game where the celebrities are sitting in the back rows while janitors and dishwashers are sitting at courtside? Or your garbage collector is driving around in the latest model sports car?

What is the next step? We must make 290 million Americans aware of the fantastic advantages of a way of life without money. We may find 290 million skeptical Americans demanding to know more.

John Steinsvold

The Human Race has improved everything except the Human Race.

Adlai Stevenson