- One who habitually takes advantage of the generosity of others without making any useful return.
- A person who habitually lives at the expense of others; sponger [Greek para- beside + sitos grain].
- A follower who hangs around a host (without benefit to the host) in hope of gain or advantage.
- An animal or plant that lives on another animal or plant without giving anything in return.
- Parasites are generally harmful to their hosts.
No matter how I view society these days, no matter what opinion is being expressed by so called 'economics experts' in the media I cannot shake my conclusion that the financial woes of the world are the result of the avarice and ineptitude of the financial institutions, in particular the banks.
It seems to me that recent generations, raised and educated in a credit-based economy base all their opinions and perceptions on the status quo, disregarding the possibility that the system itself is flawed.
As a precursor to what I am about to talk about let me say first that all the wealth that exists is created by the makers of things.
Each productive member of society that has an innate skill is able to produce many items or part of an item based on that skill. In other words, someone with a particular skill is able to produce far more items than required for his or her own needs.
To deal with this situation society created mechanisms to exchange the surplus things. For example, a carpenter who makes chairs can barter his surplus chairs for food and other items outside or beyond his skill level.
To ease the unwieldy practicalities of the direct exchange or bartering of things, society created a neutral commodity called money. Originally, the value of everything that is made was to be represented by an equal amount of money.
What a simple system, exquisite you might say, everyone making things and exchanging the fruits of their labors in a balanced society through the medium of the neutral (and technically worthless) commodity, money. Everyone is a winner.
Until that is, the bankers came along.
The Rise and Rise of the Bankers
I opened this narrative with some definitions of the word ‘parasite’, for there is no other way to describe that element of today’s society that operates in the financial services sector. Their actions and effect on society cannot be described in any other way than as a parasite upon those who create society’s wealth.
Before I go any further, I would say that in a society where the wealth created is represented by money there is a need for a benevolent financial institution that:
- Determines the amount of money to be printed based on the wealth being created.
- Determines the amount of electronic money in the system and reduces the amount of printed money proportionally.
- Acts as a depository for money that is surplus to the requirements of individuals or companies.
- Acts as intermediary in the exchange of money between individuals or companies.
- Lends money up to the maximum amount it has in reserve from deposits, investors and profit. (Effectively re-issuing money taken out of the system and re-establishing the balance with created wealth).
Such a financial institution would be beneficial to society.
Unfortunately, in all my research I have not yet found any financial institution in the world operating this way. The reason is not hard to find, there is far more money to be made by creating schemes that maximize the extraction of wealth from society and diverting it into the coffers of a minority who create absolutely no wealth at all. OK, they become wealthy, but at the expense of those who create the wealth in the first place. They steal wealth they don’t create it.
Now you might say; so what? If they are clever enough to trick people into parting with their wealth then good luck to them.
Well, there was a time when these tricksters represented just a small proportion of society, given the vast amount of wealth being created their economically suspect antics, went unnoticed.
In today’s world of unlimited false credit, plastic and electronic money, electronic dealing and banking and a belief by many people in society that it’s cool to make money from nothing and where there are perhaps too many over-educated people, then there are now just too many people on the ‘money for nothing’ bandwagon. That’s why we have a so called ‘credit crunch’ and the financial services meltdown circa 2008/9.
During the last hundred years or so, the banks and other financial institutions have coerced Governments into accepting changes to the financial system that has maximized their wealth stripping mechanisms in every country worthy of their attention. I will not dwell here on what these mechanisms are because that is a whole other chapter. I will just say that the current corrupt, fraudulent financial system has been around for so long that whole generations have grown up to accept it as normal. Several generations of economists have studied the causes and effects of a financial system flawed at its root, accepting it as being the only system. They argue left, right, up and down about a system that is innately flawed, it’s no wonder they never agree.
We need to break the mold, it’s time to step outside the box and see the whole corrupt system for what it is, flawed, fraudulent and above all a parasite on the body of society that create or provide support in the creation of wealth.
Having said all that and with a President in the White House who appears to be sympathetic to the cause of ‘financial reform’, I do not expect to see any fundamental changes. The symptoms of the financial disease society is suffering from are now all too obvious but unfortunately, though we now know the cause, the number of parasites is just too overwhelming. The powerful strain of parasite that’s now in control is unstoppable. We just don’t have anything in the medicine cabinet.
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