Once, there was a modern Kingdom ruled by an enchanting King.  The King had five sons and no daughters. Their name was the Despot family, and descendants of their family had ruled the Kingdom for as long as anyone could remember, or as long as their history books told them.  According to what citizens learned in school it was the ingenuity, strength, sacrifice, and financing of the Despot family that had built the village of Merica.

The King and his family were known for being boisterous, and generous.  The Despot family built many things to improve the Kingdom and in turn the lives of the villagers.  They built bridges, schools, libraries, clinics, dams. They built and maintained roads, and the water and sewage systems.  In school, they learned about what it was like before the Despot’s had so generously provided all of these services.

In their parents and grandparents time, they had to walk through decrepit, filth infested muddy streets, only to walk miles to gather water.  Now the roads were paved, and water flowed through the Kingdom. Times were undoubtedly hard before the Despot’s provided for them. There were no books or schools at all. People were ignorant and illiterate. Now they had a library, teachers, professors, and a prestigious University.  

The Kings five sons, of course, held the most important jobs in the Kingdom.  The next most essential jobs went to people who were friends of the Despot’s, like other wealthy families.  The sons were in charge of banking and finance, education, social services, law and order, and finally land acquisition.  The Kings five sons oversaw these areas of the Kingdom by the instruction of the King.

People in the Kingdom had regular jobs, the same way that we do today.  There were teachers, lawyers, doctors, prison guards, bankers, salespeople, etc.  A long time ago in the kingdom people used to pay for things with coins. But over time things became expensive, and coins got very heavy to carry around.  

So the Kings son J.P. announced that there would be no more coins, and they would be switching to paper money. And so they changed to this new currency of paper money.  The Kingdom used paper money for many years without a problem. It was easier and very convenient for everyone. Prices were still rising rapidly, and things were more expensive, but it was still no problem to carry enough to pay for things.  

When citizens were paid by their job they had to give 10% of everything that they earned to the Despot’s, it was a tax.  They also paid 5% on everything that they bought — the fees paid for all of the things that the citizens enjoyed. Places to swim, police to protect from roamers, and even protecting the forests that surrounded the kingdom.  10% was a lot to the citizens, and they didn’t like to pay for it. But they had no choice, they enjoyed the services that it offered and would be put in jail if they did not pay. So they paid. Or most of them did at least.

The King’s son J.P. got another great idea.  He wanted to get rid of the paper currency and have people use a new digital currency, a credit card.  See, the Despot family was desperate for money. They were bringing in vast sums of money from taxes. More money than any of their ancestors had ever seen.  But, they spent over 50% of the money they brought in on weapons. They were obsessed with war. Partially because of their lust for power, but there were other reasons.  A considerable number of people in the Kingdom worked for factories that made weapons. Wealthy Friends of the Despot’s owned the factories. The more money they spent on weapons, the more money their friends made.  The more money their friends made, the more money and favors they earned. But it gets worse.

Even with all the money made from their nefarious activities, they were still basically broke.  After all of the luxuries, traveling the Kingdom, paying friends too much, and paying prostitutes all over the Kingdom there was nothing left, no money.

The people of the kingdom were living a modest life.  They were working hard but, they were earning money, and despite the taxes they were happy.  Some things were lacking in their lives, but they weren’t starving, and life was all in all good.  

J.P. the king’s son who oversaw Banking and Finance returned to his father with his idea.  They would do away with the paper currency. People were able to hide the paper currency, and sometimes they can amass large amounts of wealth untold.  He expressed to the king how this could be dangerous. Also, people underpay their taxes, by lying about how much was earned.

J.P. proposed that they use the digital currency, this would allow them to see every action that people made with their money.  No one could hide. Second, they would offer what he called credit. Credit would allow people to borrow more than the amount that they made each month. The not so free, free money would allow them to make more purchases, which would mean more taxes for the family.  The King scoffed at the idea until J.P. clarified further.

With paper currency, citizens can get up and leave the kingdom at any time.  With digital currency, they will be our slaves until their debts paid, which will never be.  Second, when citizens borrow money, we will charge them interest, as long as the debt goes unpaid they will always have to pay the interest.  Millions can be “earned” from the interest alone. If they can not pay the debt for a long period, then the interest increases and our profits will be higher yet. The secret is, we will never pay them enough to pay off the loans. It is voluntary enslavement.  

Now that the king fully understood the opportunity, he agreed.  And so the kingdom moved to a digital currency. For a time, a long time things seemed better than at any time in the past.  People were able to buy all sorts of things for themselves. People began feasting even on days that did not warrant a feast.  People paid others to do what they used to do for themselves. Everyone was happy, happily indebted to the Kingdom, and at the mercy of the Despot’s.  

Things began to change over time throughout the Kingdom.  Bridges began to crumble, and they were not tended to or repaired.  The schools, the libraries, the forests, many things began to show signs of degradation.  But how could this be possible? The Despot’s had to be making more taxes now than ever before thought the people of the Kingdom.  Why wouldn’t these areas be improving, and not declining, they asked themselves? The pool that was once free was sold by the Despot’s to another wealthy family.  The new owner began charging $5 to get into the pool. The free popsicles that they once gave out to the children were no more. Now they had an ice cream machine with sprinkles and caramel, and all sorts of toppings, but it cost $6.  The only people that can afford any are the rich kids. This once public place seems to have become very private, and very exclusive.

The citizens are busy.  They are busy paying for all of the things they own but don’t actually own.  They are so busy working to pay for life, that they can no longer live it. They are so consumed with staying afloat, that there is little time to be critical of the family that is putting the only scraps on their table, the Despot’s.  J.P. eventually persuades the entire kingdom that the last remaining dollars that they have stashed in cookie jars, under mattresses, and in shoe boxes, is in danger. He convinces them, and the education department begins teaching, that if they don’t bring those last remaining dollars out of the closet, and into the banks, then they will wither away into nothing.  Something they call inflation. These principals of inflation are taught right up through that prestigious University.

The citizens can hardly tell which way is up and which way is down.  Partially from just being burnt out, and the other part is just plain ignorance.  J.P. has a brother remember, and his name is Devo. Devo is in charge of education.  He has been making sure that the citizens remain ignorant so that the Despot family will never have any competition or revolution.  It’s not that the citizens are stupid, no way. The citizens are brilliant; they don’t have all of the information. Devo and the rest of the Despot family see to that.  If the people were able to understand what’s happening to them, the family would be ruined, and no way can the king, and the Despot family let that happen, no matter what. No matter what.  No matter what.

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