How Interesting

by stephenpalmersf

Let’s imagine the entire scale of wage earners in Britain, from the very highest to the very lowest. Allowing for local variations, a striking fact emerges. The lowest-earning ten percent of the population pay out more in interest than they receive. The middle eighty percent of the population pay out roughly as much as they receive, while the highest earning ten percent receive more from interest on savings than they pay out elsewhere. Within that top ten percent, the top ten percent likewise “perform” at an even more outrageously exaggerated financial rate.

You would expect this. Since the time of the first residents of Sumerian temples 5,000 years ago, people with more money have lent people with less their funds on the understanding that payment back would include a small percentage extra. In other words, the interest rate mechanism is a way of the rich funnelling money from the poor.

But there is a consequence of this scheme which isn’t so obvious. The almost universal use of the interest rate mechanism means that money is not being used to benefit humanity out in the real world; it is instead being stored, useless and motionless, simply so that a minority of lucky winners or landed gentry can make more off it. What this does is massively restrict the ability of money to do good for the largest number of people. It means a huge chunk of accrued potential to do work in the real world is lost to those who through luck happen to have more than anybody else.

Various ecologically minded thinkers have pointed out that a far more reasonable approach – from the point of view of humanity in general rather than individuals – would be to charge a small rate for people to store their money, should they want to. In other words, there would be a small levy on the act of keeping money out of general circulation.

Of course, with greed and selfishness a major factor in all contemporary life, this suggestion is unlikely to come about in the near future. But still… makes you think. How much money is wasted in this world, inactive like so many dull stones, simply to allow a tiny number of people the ability to funnel more towards themselves?