Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Money makes me feel stupid

I have been striving off and on to reach a better understanding of how money works. And it's amazing how hard this is given that I'm a fairly highly intelligent person. I'm not bothered by my initial state of ignorance, or rather, not on a personal level, because we're basically all profoundly ignorant on the subject, and there really are vested interests that wish to keep us that way. THAT is, needless to say, extremely bothersome, but at least it's not because I'm a dumbass or because I snoozed through civics (I did). It does make me feel stupid, though, when I'm actively seeking to understand things--like, say, my mortgage--and am completely boondoggled.

Actually, I think this is because basically I can't bring myself to believe the bullshit that makes the system run. I come from a few thousand years worth of farmers, same as pretty much anyone else, and have the basic agrarian distrust for merchants and money. In feudal Japan merchants were considered the lowest class of people--parasites who created nothing useful. Other cultures, certainly my own, have held similar attitudes. Now, mind, I'm not saying that these attitudes are appropriate--actually, I think they're about as ignorant and counterproductive as the current habit of believing that the people handling our money are basically trustworthy and benevolent and we don't need to worry so long as we play by the rules. What I'm saying is that probably my problem is that I keep expecting this stuff to make sense, and by my sights, it just doesn't. That is, it really is smoke and mirrors without substance.

I keep persevering, though, and I'm making some progress. I feel like I need to, because we still need to make the money system as it exists work for us so long as it does exist. Very little of what we're trying to do around here will matter at all if we can't keep our home, and that, for the forseeable future, means paying our mortgage, which means money and banks.

Right now, I'm finding this video to be enormously helpful. Watch it.


Que' Cera said...

"boondoggled" Love it! I feel the same way...I watched the video. I feel a little more cheated than I did before. Maybe even angry. I told my husband that we should start to slowly invest in gold. rather slow because we have so much debt, but hey..I have a great education. Hmmppfff!

Hausfrau said...

Hi there, saw your comment over on Casaubon and wanted to say hi. I have a one year old too so I know the drill! Although fortunately we have NO STAIRS :). Tough to garden while running after a toddler isn't it?