Friday, November 21, 2014

Wal-Mart and Getting Beyond Money in Economics

I don't wish to trade numbers on Wal-Mart. In my head, I believe Wal-Mart has too much money, and it is also in my head that it is important to redistribute that money. What we have here is an issue of money plumbing. The pipe leading from Wal-Mart executives out to the real world is clogged. It is time to get the plumber. Believing that money isn’t always in the right hands should be no more difficult than the unfortunate occurrence of a drain clogging.

The issue of unclogging the money drain is to make the economy fit reality. In reality, Wal-Mart has more than its fair share of money, and consequently Wal-Mart executives are not permitted to spend their money by Hashem. Sure they can admire their bank accounts, but Hashem forbids that they spend.

Some suggest that the reason executives don’t spend is due to confidence. They suggest that nervousness or uncertainty is the monkey wrench in the economic machine – imagine that billionaires more uncertain that folks making minimum wage - but their ability to spend has very little to do with confidence, especially in comparison to karma. If Wal-Mart had better karma, then they would be able to spend more of their money.

We need to take the money out of Wal-Mart's hands and do something constructive with it rather than waiting the rest of our lives for Wal-Mart to get some "confidence." Perhaps, the most important thing that we could do with this money is tackle the debt and deficit. We could also use the money to build infrastructure. Therefore, I do not suggest just handing it out to the poor at random though there should likely be some of that too.

Economics and money are 2 separate things. I looked it up in my Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and found that money was nowhere to be found in the definition of economics.

To believe that one will die without money is a popular lie. It is true that some people may die without money, but it is important to know that money isn’t life sustaining in the way that Gd creates this universe to be sustaining. You could live a wonderful life and have no money because money isn’t always the way of acquiring more stuff. It is only true that if money is demanded by you, then your experience will reciprocate that. If you demand money from others, especially those deserving and who do not have money, then money will be demanded of you at a time when you don’t have the benefit of money.

Belief that money is the solution, and that money is more important than hard work, is as the snake in the Garden of Eden telling us that if we only believe provision comes from money (and not Gd), then we will surly die for lack of money. The snake tries to trick us into selling our labor at a cost. However, I suggest working hard, and hoping in Hashem that everything will take care of itself and goodness will arise from this hard work.

I am not saying that all money is a bad thing. Money may certainly be a powerful and useful tool for good, especially in trade. However, I don't equate increasing money to increasing gain. For instance, I do believe wellness and hard work go together. I don't believe hard work, or even any work results in increased cash flow or that money equates to personal wellness. For me it is all about being well.

Historically, since capitalism has become prominent, the state of the world has drastically improved. This has led many to attribute capitalism to wellness. However, it is not just money that has improved. The world is radically different now from how it used to be, and that may be attributed to various forms of technology as well. However, money is as the training wheels of a bicycle. Sooner or later, the training wheels should come off. And then, once they do it is my hope that it doesn’t result in poverty or increased laziness. On the contrary my goal is that people work hard because working hard is rewarding.

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