Story 13 - The Flat Earth Society
She had to laugh.
"Don't laugh, Ushi," I replied. "He told me that the people brought in their money cheerfully and gave it to the brokers, but did the brokers buy them investments that build industries with their money, investments that created productive processes or infrastructures which
are required to produce useful things that enrich society? No, they didn't."
I said to Ushi that he told me that the monies which the investors shelled out was immediately paid out as profit to somebody else. He had told me that no thought was ever given about paying anything back. It was understood that this wouldn't happen, because the real liquidity, the real value that the investments were rated at, didn't exist for a repayment to take place, except
perhaps on the very small scale of a few isolated cases. He pointed out that for as long as nobody wanted their money back, things worked great. Everybody was happy in their illusion that they were rich. He told me that the people who ran the investment business knew that the investments which they solicited
people to buy, can only be paid back when something of value is being produced, which wasn't happening. But the illusion that this was happening was
He told me that he suddenly realized that he had become an honorary member of a new type of Flat Earth Society.
I told him that this was a poor analogy, since the people of that
the financial society were fully aware of the truth.
He just laughed. He told me that the times had changed, that the rules had been altered. He
told me that his Flat Earth Society was fully aware that the earth is a sphere, but that it was their goal to convince everybody else that it wasn't.
"It represented not a perception, but a lie for creating an illusion. It was their goal to convince the stupid public that the earth is flat, that the markets produce
profits. And that is what they did. They were successful in that, and were well
paid for their effort to tell the public what the public wanted to hear."
The man said, "They would take the people who had the slightest doubts about the
process and drive them to a sea shore resort and invite them to see with their own eyes that the earth is absolutely flat. They would even gently ridicule their perceptions if they didn't agree. They would tell them to invest for the long
run, in the hope that their illusions would not be so easily shattered. That's how the modern Flat Earth Society works."
He explained to me how it works in detail. He took the sugar basket that was on the
lunch room table and dumped everything out, all the sugar bags, the ketchup, the salt. He said the empty basket is the market. The market is always empty. It never pays anything back. Then he threw four sugar bags in and took them back out again, and said that somebody just made a lot of money by this process. He asked me where the money came from that made the market such a rich place. Then he pointed to himself. He told me that the money gets sucked out of the real economy.
It is being poured into stocks, bonds, derivatives, etc.. The end result is that no investments are made anymore in the physical economy, so that nothing of value gets built, or very little of
it, and the stuff that we need we import through free-trade. That's the reason why society gets poorer and poorer. The jobs disappear, the industries disappear, food becomes scarce, people become
beggars. Then people catch on, and become thieves themselves.
"So you see, the Flat Earth Society has made converts out of everyone" he said in the end.
Ushi punched me with a grin, "Isn't that what Steve had told you, although in a different context?"
"Sure, he did, Ushi. I understand the process. I just found it fascinating that this simple minded fellow had figured this thing out on his own, when all the experts tell everybody the very opposite. The market is stable. Invest for the long run. The market is rich. The earth is flat. Your investments have made you a millionaire. Your illusions are true. People love to be lied to if it makes them feel richer. They bow to these lies so deeply that they give all their living away, cheerfully. Its an amazing, convoluted world."
"Yes," Ushi agreed, "it is amazing that this person had figured the whole
crazy game out all on his own."