What makes me a bad American? I don’t have debt. I don’t have an auto loan, mortgage, or credit card to feed money into the economy. I am actually making it harder for you and everyone else to pay off their debts because I have not created money by getting a loan.
It’s surprising, but true. If everyone were to pay off their debts, which is literally impossible, there would be no money. The way our economy is set up and every economy with a central bank, for that matter makes bankruptcy inevitable for at least some of the population. Even worse, this economic system cannot be sustained indefinitely.
Way back in the olden days of trade, when currency was first invented, we used tokens which actually held value to buy and sell what we needed. Gold is the most commonly known currency, but other cultures used things like shells and gems.
The gold (or what have you) itself held value. It took hours of labor to find and mine gold and due to its rarity, the more you had in weight, the richer you were. Banks were founded to help people keep their gold secure since it obviously took up a lot of space and weighed far too much to carry around every ounce all of the time.
To account for the gold, bankers issued paper receipts. Eventually these paper receipts started to be traded as if they were the gold itself, and people started asking bankers for receipts in smaller amounts hence the very beginnings of paper currency as we know it.
Of course, this isn’t where our economic troubles really began. Our economic system didn’t begin until the public uproar about a little something called usury. Scholars and leaders called it slavery, an outrage, and banker greed. But more on that next time.