Imagine you are going about your daily duties and visit the grocery store. Where for a specific amount of confidence and hope, you complete an exchange for a product groceries. Another trip sees you investing hope and faith in retirement using confidence to help protect against the vagaries of the future. April 15th is fast approaching, where confidence in the government is measured through tax revenue, and government officials then spend your confidence on various projects where you hope the investment will be rewarded by improved roads, better economic conditions, and safety inside defensible and sovereign boundaries.
What is Hope?
Hope, according to Webster, is a feeling of trust, as an extension of an expectation, and desire, that something will occur. For example, I hope for my diet to work, as I desire to lose weight, an expectation that exercise will aid in losing weight, and trust that my weight will reduce over time. Does this make sense?
I ask, because too often, when hope is mentioned, people immediately tie religious expectations and connotations to the word, then plasticize hope into being something it is not. Hope is not an end goal but the journey to an expectation born of desire and bounded by trust in a system that supports a person’s hope.
What is Faith?
As detailed by Webster, Faith is both an expression of religion’s doctrines and complete trust or an expression of confidence. Faith is the launch process of hope. Going back to my desire and expectation to lose weight, I have trust that the doctor was correct in ordering me to lose weight. Hence, my conviction in the doctor’s words is an expression of faith, and my action is putting faith and hope to work actually to lose weight.
Complete trust is observable all around us daily, from inserting the key into the car ignition to start a car to the hours spent working where we trade our time (a precious resource) for a tangible item (paycheck) and in so many other ways and means. Consider grocery shopping; we make selections using our best judgment, with complete trust that the products purchased will not make us sick from food-borne illness or the ignorant or malicious actions of other people. Why does spitting in a police officer’s cup of coffee make us mad; because it breaks that complete trust that the same will not happen to us.
What is Confidence?
Confidence is a unique term, and Webster spends an inordinate amount of time trying to capture the power of, and reality is confidence. Confidence is “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities; firm trust, a specific feeling regarding the truth of something, a feeling or belief upon the reliance of someone or something.” The key to confidence is your own self-assurance. For example, you are assured through past transactions that your employer is not kiting paychecks. Your confidence in receiving a salary drives you to be motivated and return to work each day. When that trust is broken, you will leave and find new employment. Hence, people do not work for companies, but for managers and leaders, they like.
Confidence is a reality when many people all have trust in the same thing, which creates societies, social standards, and governments. Confidence in the government is expressed using the government’s monetary system to trade for products and services you would not have if you had less confidence in the government system. Firm trust in the “value of the US Dollar (insert your own currency here)” leads to gains and losses in economic values. Consider the events of the Christmas Holiday, which is fast approaching. The individual expresses confidence, faith, and hope in holiday shopping. The government uses the data of the volume of trades of confidence as a measuring stick in how well they are doing in government to improve a person’s return on investment. Shopkeepers, stores, and others selling products and services represent a two-way street of faith, hope, and confidence as they trade with customers and with other suppliers, government, and stakeholders in conducting business.
Confidence is never an unconscious decision! One cannot have firm trust, faith, or hope, in something without being consciously aware and possessing experience and knowledge in that someone or something. Hence, confidence is the conscious use of trust as a destination in the journey of hope, launched by faith.
What is spent when money exchanges hands?
Confidence, faith, and hope. But, you claim, “That was my money.” Really, what value does your money have? The answer is nothing! If I give you a piece of cloth/paper stamped with a 20 symbol on it, you interpret this as a $20 bill, having the value of 20 dollars, pounds, euros, etc. That which we call money is nothing but faith, hope, and confidence in a governing system where products and services are exchanged for time and faith and hope through our individual confidence in the government. But the reality is that the piece of paper/cloth is nothing, has no value, and can do nothing without the express faith, hope, and confidence of the one trading services or products for that value statement.
By removing the Gold Standard from money, we stopped trading in a fungible and tactile substance (Gold, Silver, Grain, Salt, Animal Hides, etc.). We began trading in a measured system of confidence as provided by the government. Your “money” is nothing but your faith and trust in the government sponsoring your system of confidence be that confidence called a US Dollar, a Rial, a Pound Sterling, a Euro, etc., you deal in nothing but confidence. Raw products with tradable value, grain, precious metals, oil, etc., are all injected into the monetary system through investment and speculation markets, not the individual farmer, rancher, miner, etc. Who receive their wages not through trading their products but by trading their efforts and time with their confidence in an employer-supported by a functioning government system.
I love this phrase! Rather, I like asking the question, “What does ‘Your Money’ mean to you personally?” The answers never cease to amaze and horrify me. I asked a 20-something this question and was told it was what they spent on college. So, I wondered does your education and academic success provide the value of the investment of money? To which, the 20-something had no coherent answer. Let me be clear, the value of an academic gamble is not found in the money made with an employer but in the power of changing how you think and approach the world. Educational costs have far exceeded the value of the academic experience. The connection between the value and cost of education is warped and twisted, and the only people winning are governments, unions, and the controllers of educational experiences.
If I hold a piece of paper/cloth with 100 stamped upon it, I could claim I have money. Except, I do not have money; I have a bit of cloth/paper with ink declaring that piece of cloth/paper had value, but only if I trust that government. Consider the trouble Venezuela is currently in, the thin ice of economic problems Mexico, Greece, France, and so many other countries exist presently. The confidence in those government systems is shaken. The value of that currency is weak compared to other currencies. If a blacksmith in Ohio produces a sword, and similarly skilled blacksmiths create the same sword in Saudi Arabia, China, Vietnam, Peru, and Cuba, why does the value of that sword change? Are the sweat and efforts of the blacksmiths different; no! Does the value of experience change; no! Did the cost of gaining that knowledge, experience, and talent change; no! Is the steel cost to mine different; only because the governments’ currencies are different. Does the value of the sword adequately represent the value of the currency exchanged; more than likely, No!
What is “Your Money?” For when we lose confidence in the government, the value of the currency slips, which leads to expressions of fear, a lack of faith, and a refusal of the citizens to hope and trust. Recently, I had a statement arrive declaring I had XX thousand dollars in a retirement account. Is the value of those funds found in the report received; no! The value of those “retirement funds” is located in the government system’s future, invested with faith, on a journey of hope to the time that I can remove those funds without being taxed to death. If the value of the dollar goes down, those retirement funds are useless. If the dollar’s value goes up, more faith, hope, and confidence are being invested in the government operations over time.
A “Liberty FIRST Culture” understands their money relationships to government, is engaged in preventing government abuse as that leads to lower values of currency, and the lower the value of a currency, the more expensive products and services become. Kate, the blacksmith from the (2001) movie “Knight’s Tale,” is absolutely correct, “Each drop of sweat has a price!” But the price of that sweat is not always competitive with the currency used to remunerate that effort, all because of hope, faith, and confidence in the government managing the currency. Think about that the next time you are asked to vote!
© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
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