Defining Money and Productive
page 5 of 7
(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)


There is one simple way to address the idea that money comes from production.

This is to simply answer this question: Is the work of mothers productive?

To answer"no" would negate your own existence.

To answer "yes", is to recognize that mothers' work is productive; this then has massive implications for the idea that money supply corresponds to productive output.

If the universal work of mothers (who make up the biggest "set" of people in the unpaid, essential, beneficial work category) were included into the "set" of what is considered "productive" — everything changes:

Set 1 called "unproductive"
Set 2 called "productive"

Unpaid, essential, beneficial work
( considered "unproductive" and excluded from Productive set )

Mothers are the biggest # in this group, however, volunteers, and all kinds of work done that is unpaid is also in this set. See The Swarm Economy.

Paid work
What happens when we combine unpaid work with paid work in the set of 'productive'

If unpaid, essential, beneficial work were included in what was counted as "productive" -- the GDP (the current economic measure) would be incalcuably bigger.

(Future economist?) --------

This exposes the flaw in the idea that money comes from production, or that money should come from production.

If the money supply (as a set) is supposed to directly correspond to productivity (as a set) then what gets counted as productive is the key issue in a discussion of guaranteed income (basic income).

If the set of "productivity" includes the work of all unpaid caregivers and all unpaid work of all kinds; and "productivity" determines money supply; then this totally changes the money supply.

This is the achilles heel of economics. This is why economics text books define "human capital" not as the production of new humans beings, but "skills", "education" and "training". Yet "training" cannot happen without a person to train first. And people are 'produced' by mothers.

"Of course everyone leaves out that vital ingredient, reproduction of the human species, from the equation, for all the models would collapse with its sheer magnitude if this value were imputed."
(Footnote, Marilyn Waring, Counting for Nothing, What Men Value and What Women are Worth 2nd Edition, 1999)


Many people have pointed out that real wealth (as opposed to monetary wealth) is made up of the things that we rely on for life and health: fertile soil, clean water, and clean air. This is sometimes summed up in the statement "you can't eat money". Yet economic growth and high profits (financial success) are often derived from economic activity that depletes human and environmental health.

There really is no way to rationalize the monetary system because it is impossible to put monetary values things that are essential, beneficial, and life-enhancing — good soil, air, water; social goods like caring for family, community and environment; and cultural/spiritual 'goods'.

This is why groups like Zeitgiest say the monetary system cannot be reformed and must be abandoned. However, right now the vast majority of people in the world use money to meet their needs. Zeitgeist is asking people to do the impossible. This is evidenced by the fact that even the Zeitgeist movement still uses money.

But there is another option: a universal livable income as a peaceful, low-'cost' and nonbureaucratic way to transition from a death-cycle economy to a life-cycle economy to allow maximum individual freedom within natural and social limits. People may worry about various problems; however, once people no longer have a desperate vested interest in keeping massive numbers of non-wealth producing jobs, we will more easily be able to solve problems as they arise.

As an example of how the current system distorts natural systems of wealth, documentaries about farming and the food industry are instructive. (See Life and Debt, Darwin's Nightmare, We Feed The Word, King Corn, Food Inc. etc. And the book The World's Wasted Wealth documents in great detail all the waste incurred by many industries and jobs.)

"We find all the no-life-support-wealth-producing people going to their 1980s jobs in their cars and buses, spending trillions of dollars' worth of petroleum daily to get to their no-wealth-producing jobs. It doesn't take a computer to tell you that it will save both Universe and humanity trillions of dollars a day to pay them handsomely to stay at home." (Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path 1981)

Next...We can just change the rules