TED Conversations

Bill Harrison


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Money doesn't exist, not really.

Money doesn't really exist. Money is just a claim check upon the capital resources of the real economy. It's just a virtual artifice built upon real output.

Therefore, I agree with TEDster Malcolm Gladwell in believing it is socially justified to raise the top marginal tax rate to something like 90%, so no one can make more than ~2 million per year, and also to raise the estate tax, capital gains taxes, and the effective corporate tax rate.

First, because speculators, bankers, and hedge fund managers are not socially productive at all, let alone enough to justify making what they make.

Second, because every human being is entitled to food, water, clothing, and education, because there is more than enough to go around - just because you work on Wall Street doesn't mean you can squander the (finite, but growing) capital production of society on luxury goods while people starve.

"Those who create phantom wealth, and those who are the beneficiaries of mutual funds or retirement funds invested in phantom wealth, may never realize that they are giving its holder a claim on the real wealth produced by others, and that phantom-wealth dollars created out of nothing dilute the claims of everyone else to the available stock of real wealth. They may also fail to realize that Wall Street and its international counterparts have created phantom-wealth claims far in excess of the value of all the world's real wealth, creating expectations of future security and comforts that can never be fulfilled."

David Korten

Money doesn't really exist, but people do...think about it.


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    Oct 1 2011: Robert Reich explains the economy in under 2 minutes and 15 seconds, including how the economy has doubled in size since the 1980's, while real wages have remained stagnant, because all the gains have gone to the wealthiest 1%:

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      Oct 10 2011: reiteration of what is visible on the surface, but nothing about the fundamentals
    • Oct 26 2011: This video link you gave is a wonderfully short and truthful explanation of what has happened in the last 30 years. I think we should stop debating with Mr Pinter, he seems not to have realised that when private central banks finance government spend, it is the public who pay for that debt short and long term. Nothing similar happens in the flour and bread baking analogy, so his core argument that money is MERELY another commodity like flour, is simplistic, silly and misleading. They key to understanding is by whom and how money is created and released into the system, and whether or not public debt is created.

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