(noun, etymology Dutch from ‘boedel’: estate, possession, inheritance, stock.). 1. Crowd, pack, lot, as in ‘the whole boodle.’ 2. a. Counterfeit money b. Money acquired or spent illegally or improperly, particularly when used in bribery for political purposes. 3. Slang for money in general.

The Story of I, We, and It

Posted on: Aug. 9, 2011  |  By: Ronnie Kahn  |  Category: General

The History of the Future of Money (Part I)

Before this Little Piggy went to market, there was a big ol’ hairy Rat that took all his money and started a race.  This was a grand race, called the It-diderod which most everyone called by the diminutive of It.  The further that the race progressed, there became changes in the course that were so unexpected and profound that each racer was challenged to figure how to best navigate their way through.   Since turnabout was fair play, the Rat designed the race to include a trap that very few could escape from.

Our story though is about two particular race entrants of the It race who were named I and WeI was a hare who was known for being a little too self-assured.  He thought long and hard about various ways to get to the finish line of that race and decided that the faster he got there, the more he could kick back after the race was over.  We was, of course, a tortoise.  She decided to take her time and enjoy the race, even to the point of stopping along the way.  She knew that by stopping it would most likely cost her in the sense that when the race was over she would probably have less time to relax during the green years (a tortoise’s version of the golden years).  In fact, she didn’t really see that there was a true finish line and end to the race.  She figured she would just keep moving in the right direction and that was what really mattered.

When I got to the finish line, he did just what he planned.  He took a deep sigh and just laid down right at the finish line and started to relax.  He was there for days and just relished in the day to day ennui of doin’ nothin’.  He had no desire to see a carrot hanging in front of him anymore with a stick.  It was his time to be that carrot, to be in the vegetative state he had so justly earned from getting through the obstacles while running so fast.

We got a little sidetracked along the way and something reminded her of how much she missed being with her children.  She decided that even though she was in the middle of the race, she wanted to spend time, as she always had, with her children and now grandchildren.  She also still needed to keep moving in the right direction so she had her kids meet her along the course.  Even after taking time to be with the children, she wanted to do more.  She decided that when she finished the race, she wanted to volunteer her time to help those having trouble with the race.  There were some especially vulnerable creatures that just couldn’t seem to make it through the It-diderod.  There were single mom creatures, elderly creatures that felt the race passed them by, and many who ran a good race but still felt there was something lacking in their lives.  This is not to mention that We felt the race course was ruining the environment and wanted to make sure that others would be able to keep on running the race in the future.

When looking back on how I and We ran the race, who is to say which decisions that I or We made were the smarter ones and whether those economic choices made for a better life?  For I, he has accumulated enough wealth to now kick back and coast.  He looks at We’s choice and is glad he has enough to retire now.  For We, she is still somewhat not quite there in the wealth game but she has developed one strategy that puts her far ahead in the race.  She discovered that there is no retirement when it comes to improving one’s life and the lives of others around her and that by keeping her life goals intact she has left herself with a vast stake in a feeling of well-being.  I, on the other foot, has not had time, going so fast, to have made many friends along the way.  He hopes he will be able to restart this side of himself now that he has time to slow down.  Also, the only goal I knew was being as fast as possible.  It was as if he had blinders on when it came to his life’s goals.  Now, he also hopes he will be able to start focusing inward on some of the values and things that he wants to motivate himself with.

When it comes to society’s needs though, don’t we need the I’s and We’s of the world?  We need the I’s out there to push the envelope and create new ways for all of us to move in the right direction?  Don’t we need the We’s to cooperate and do more together than we could individually?  Society’s first goal is biological in that we need to be able to feed, cloth, and house ourselves.  Society’s next goal is when there is a social basis for existence, which money utilizes, we must be able to cooperate and connect with each other in some type of systemic way.  Lastly, society must have individual behavior that allows the species to survive.  So there is no problem with competitive I’s putting themselves over and above everyone else as long as it doesn’t lead to our or the planets extinction.  Each Society’s needs work by a grand cultural story of our very friends, the I, the We, and the It.  If a society is barely able to feed its population than most of its resources will probably go to the first survival goal.  Once that goal is taken care of though, we come back to an emphasis or worldview that speaks to the individual and to the group for our motivation.  In modern political and economic terms, we can think of the I, We, and It in the terms of liberty, fraternity, and equality respectively.

In part II, the great narrative of money has always been about a tug of war between the I and the We and how we structure the It.  We will look at a brief history of this clash and how it plays out in such things as how to handle government debt and what the goals of money need to change to in order to keep moving in the right direction and not get caught in the rat trap.  We will also find out that we need a new story of money and how I and We are the key to that change.

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