Mary Strachan Scriver

Dec 1, 2021

4 min read


”Money is an economic unit that functions as a generally recognized medium of exchange for transactional purposes in an economy. … Money originates in the form of a commodity, having a physical property to be adopted by market participants as a medium of exchange.”

Now that we’ve established (I hope) that money is a social fantasy related to governance and trade, which is one of the main purposes of governance. Now we can consider all the other social fantasies that are built on the idea that money is real. Here’s a quick list that develops from the fantasy that “money” is something concrete and can be treated like objects, though no one has an office full of what “money” stand for — neither sheep nor coal.

These strategies are all legal, meaning they are invented and supervised by governing bodies. But none of these things are “real” in the sense of actual, concrete, existing things — just marks that stand for them by general agreement. Most of these definitions are from Google.

1. Debt — owing an amount

2. Interest — payment for the use of money. It can be stipulated or “variable” depending on the circumstances at time of defining the amount.

3. Borrowing — that a stipulated number can be treated like an actual concrete thing

4. Gold standard — if the fantasy of money collapses, it is backed up by the value of a precious metal. This was once true in the US

5 “virtual”? money based on nothing but the good will of the government

6. “Corporation” — a business that is treated like a person with a body except that it can be divided into

7. “Shares” which are fantasy fractions of “ownership” — a term that is itself in question. They can be doubled and otherwise jiggered by the company but are purported to be related to the profits as defined by the company. In theory there are votes but in practise votes are always just for profit, undefined.

8. 401(k) A legal arrangement between a company and the government that one can take money for retirement as part of one’s compensation — a sort of private version of social security.

9, Mutual funds take into account that individual “ownership” of fractions of companies might fail, compensate by pooling the shares of different people. This is especially popular for group retirement funds, like teachers or public employees.

10. Investment gives someone else or a project or corporation some money in the belief that they will grow and produce profit that you can share.

11. Capitalism is the idea that if money is made by investing money in actual profit production, this can amount to a system good for everyone. We had not realized how vulnerable to manipulation this system is and how thoroughly it closes out people with no “money” — just skill and labor.

12. Subsidies is when the government gives money to a whole category of businesses in the belief that they are of key importance, too vital to fail.

13. Taxes are fractions of personal and business profit that the government requires in order to provide the infrastructure and services of being a nation. As soon as the rules are drawn up, the search for loopholes begins. There is enormous variability.

TariffsA tariff is a tax imposed by a government of a country or of a supranational union on imports or exports of goods. Besides being a source of revenue for the government, import duties can also be a form of regulation of foreign trade and policy that taxes foreign products to encourage or safeguard domestic industry.”

Federal ReserveThe Federal Reserve System is composed of 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks that are each responsible for a specific geographic area of the U.S. The Fed’s main duties include conducting national monetary policy, supervising and regulating banks, maintaining financial stability, and providing banking services.”

Wall Street. The term “stock market” often refers to one of the major stock market indexes, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the Standard & Poor’s 500.

When you purchase a public company’s stock, you’re purchasing a small piece of that company. Because it’s hard to track every single company, the Dow and S&P indexes include a section of the stock market and their performance is viewed as representative of the entire market.

You’ll usually buy stocks online through the stock market, which anyone can access with a brokerage account, robo-advisor or employee retirement plan.

You don’t have to officially become an “investor” to invest in the stock market — for the most part, it’s open to anyone.

The stock market is regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the SEC’s mission is to “protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.” In June 2021, the SEC launched a public service campaign to encourage new investors, particularly those in historically underserved communities, to use the stock market to build long-term wealth.

You might see a news headline that says the stock market has moved lower, or that the stock market closed up or down for the day. Most often, this means stock market indexes have moved up or down, meaning the stocks within the index have either gained or lost value as a whole. Investors who buy and sell stocks hope to turn a profit through this movement in stock prices.”

One could call it investing, or one could call it gambling.


Scams in the News:

Pump and Dump

Pyramid schemes

Most expensive scams

  • Romance Scams $139 million in losses.
  • Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries: $69 million in losses.
  • Business impostors, $65 million.
  • Government impostors, $58 million.
  • Investments, $47 million.
  • Tech Support, $37 million.
  • Online Shopping, $33 million.
  • Impostor: Family/Friends, $21 million.

Common Kinds of Scams

  • Advance Fee Scams. …
  • Tech Support Scams. …
  • Phishing. …
  • Emergency Scams. …
  • IRS or Government Imposter Scams. …
  • Foreign Money Exchange Scams. …
  • Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks. …
  • Bogus Debts.