Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

life = money  §

The serious job hunt, which is something I haven’t really done for a few years, has brought home to me once again just how much of our culture is bound up in cash (i.e. money, moolah, dollars). 95% of all jobs are explicitly about the movement of money, nothing more, nothing less! Banking, investing, accounting, insurance, marketing, sales, real estate, health maintenance organizations, manufacturing, consulting, shipping, auditing, staffing, blah, blah, blah… more than 50% of the duties associated with jobs in any of these industries (and in most cases, more than 90%) are basically just worrying all the time about the bottom line and adding columns of numbers up.

There are only actually two jobs in America: money manager (95% of the population) and nonprofit/education hippie (5% of the population).

My question is: if only 5% of the labor in this country is real (i.e. exists outside of money, which is supposed to simply be a marker of exchange value ultimately based in goods or labor) then what exactly is the other 95% (all of that fucking money) referring to/based on/representing?

Is the whole thing just a bubble? I mean, yes there are goods here and there, but these days goods are just markers of value referring ultimately to exchanges of money, not vice-versa; it is the goods that are temporary, shifting, transient, symbolic; it is the money that’s real, that occupies both thought and expression. Reality seems to have been inverted?!

I thought I understood economics, I mean I have an M.A. and everything, I’ve read Marx and Keynes and Schumpeter, but maybe I just never took a step back and looked at it in the concrete sense before. There is no labor economy, there is no goods economy. There is only a cash economy; we pay each other to move each others’ money around between ourselves; we spend money to facilitate the spending and earning of money; we build things to represent the money that underpins them; we use money to make or lose money. Then we come home and eat and go to bed. As far as I can tell right now, that’s the only real thing any American does: eat (and, I suppose, shit).

The rest is all just shuffling and shifting money, like a decks of cards used for endless card tricks!

I suddenly feel insane.