● human capital , our health, our skills, our education, our knowledge etc.
Money is used as an all-purpose proxy to represent everything a human might want or need to buy or sell. In some ways it does this effectively, in other ways less so. Not everything identified as “real capital” necessarily has, or even could have, a dollar value. Over time as the economy grows (or shrinks), the relationship between the “amount” of money in existence and what it is trying to represent changes. For instance, a cup of coffee used to cost a dime. In previous eras there was an attempt to peg the “value” of money to something tangible like gold (a non-renewable resource) so it would remain relatively stable. Nowadays, that relationship of money to the physical world is gone. If you have studied economics or business, you’ve been taught about money in relation to human “demand” as the creator of supply. You’v e been instructed in various stories about where money comes from, what it is, and where it goes. But given what we’ve learned about the importance of energy to natural and human systems, it becomes clear that money – which is no longer tied to the physical world - is primarily a claim on future energy and non-renewable resources - the things which actually make the industrialized human world function. TaaL: The stuff you call “money” is one of your human ‘beliefs in belief.’ If you think about it, there’s nothing magical about crinkly green pictures of dead presidents, or about plastic charge cards or ones and zeros on your bank’s spinning hard drives. But if you and the other humans absolutely believe that the others will always believe it, it works (until it doesn’t). That is, you believe that the plumber will unclog your drain in exchange for crinkly president pictures, and he believes that he can use the c rinkly president pictures to make his car payments. So this shared belief lubricates the entire edifice of human commerce. But money is really an abstract claim on the future products of net energy, which works perfectly well as long as one knows how much future net energy there’s actually going to be. Unfortunately, humans mostly look to mythology and evolved optimism bias to make such projections, and implicitly believe the future is awash in cheap net energy. Your governments officially project it! By the year 2075, using your econo- human’s assumptions, the USA alone will generate the same GDP that the entire world produces now! Zowie!
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