Money has long since ceased to be anything solid, We don’t use gold, silver, gems or any rare commodity that might have what we call “intrinsic value.” We have replaced “real money” with fiat money, which is money because a government claims it is money. And like the “real money” it can only be called currency if everyone accepts it as a reliable, stable store of value that others will take from you in exchange for goods and services.
If you take a complete poll of everyone on all ends of the political and religious spectrums, you will find that there about as many opinions as there are people. Faith in G-d, Moses, Jesus, Muhamid, Buddha etc. is strong in many places but not others. And then you have the problem of five religions each claiming to be the “true religion.”
In order for government fiat money to retain its status as currency, people must have full faith and confidence that the money remains a stable source of value that other people will take in exchange for goods and services. That requires faith, approval and acceptance of the government. Paradoxically faith in currency is backed by faith in government. Faith in government is now at an all time low, and money is being manipulated to retain power.
That faith in money is what has gotten us into so much trouble with no end in sight. Our faith in money transcends our religious beliefs and customs whether we admit it or not. Our faith in money has become so strong that we measure nearly everything in money. A good man will be presumed to be good if he has money. He receives no such presumption if he is penniless despite the life of a saint.
Pope Francis arrives in the U.S> with a simple message, not unlike the message of Golda Meir speaking about peace. She said war will stop when we value our grandchildren more than our grandparents. What she missed is that we value money more than either grandchildren or grandparents. We value money more than ourselves.
With a hat tip to Bernie Sanders, here is what the Pope has to say about our obsession with money:
“The current financial crisis… originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.”
He also states: “There is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone. Money has to serve, not to rule.”
As long as our primary faith and devotion is money, people will continue to lose their homes to thieves, courts will continue to reward thieves and the government will fail to punish thieves. If the time comes that we return to regulating currency like a commodity that serves mankind (not rules it) most of the problems in the world will subside. We will take care of our planet, our poor, and disadvantaged; but most of all we will take care of each other. And money paradoxically linked to confidence and faith in government, will return to a stable medium of stored value and exchange.