Letters of Conservative Sour Grapes

I get a lot of forwarded e mails from Conservative groups, websites, media sources, and individuals, but some of these things really take the cake. I'll share one I received today with you, with my rebuttal, of course.

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Mr. Obama:

I have had it with you and your administration, sir.

Really? You've tolerated incompetence for eight years straight, but are "fed up" with the new president after three months? Wow, patience abounds!

Your conduct on your recent trip overseas has convinced me that you are not an adequate representative of the United States of America collectively or of me personally.

What happened to "support your democratically elected leader" and "love it or leave it"? So, respectful conduct doesn't represent this country or you personally? Remind me not to mingle with you, because I for one prefer good manners over arrogant self righteousness and violent behaviors.

You are so obsessed with appeasing the Europeans and the Muslim world that you have abdicated the responsibilities of the President of the United States of America. You are responsible to the citizens of the United States. You are not responsible to the peoples of any other country on earth.

Oh, diplomacy, the horror of it!!! Because minding one's manners when in a foreign country, and acting respectful to other world leaders is a heinous thing that takes away rights and lifestyles from Americans!!! Erm...

I personally resent that you go around the world apologizing for the United States telling Europeans that we are arrogant and do not care about their status in the world.

It's OK to admit we were wrong, honestly. It's OK to apologize for acting like the global playground bully. In fact, it's in our best interest to do so, if we wish to keep allies.

Sir, what do you think the First World War and the Second World War were all about if not the consideration of the peoples of Europe? Are you brain dead? What do you think the Marshall Plan was all about? Do you not understand or know the history of the 20th century?

Someone needs a history lesson! The US does not do things altruistically. We did not enter either war for glory or noble attempts to save the oppressed. We entered into those wars when, and only when, the wars affected us and our economy personally, and not a moment before then. When the city around St Peters was burning to the ground, we sent Churchill our "regards and condolences" not our troops and support.

Get a history book, man. We are not God's gift to the world.

Where do you get off telling a Muslim country that the United States does not consider itself a Christian country? Have you not read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States? This country was founded on Judeo-Christian ethics and the principles governing this country, at least until you came along, come directly from this heritage. Do you not understand this?

Just FYI - we're not a Christian country. No where in the constitution, Declaration of Independence, or other government documents did the forefathers of this country declare that this is a Christian nation. The founding fathers were deists, mostly - not Christians, and they certainly didn't push their beliefs on anyone else.

Or did you forget that we came here to get away from theocracies and religious persecution, so that we could freely practice whatever religion we wanted to practice?

Your bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia is an affront to all Americans.

Really? Customary diplomatic behaviors of respect to another ruler is an affront to us? No one was complaining when our government and presidents were in bed with these leaders, but showing a little courtesy...that's an affront?

Where are your priorities?

Our President does not bow down to anyone, let alone the king of Saudi Arabia. You don't show Great Britain, our best and one of our oldest allies, the respect they deserve yet you bow down to the king of Saudi Arabia. How dare you, sir! How dare you!

Uhm...Obama has shown the other leaders great respect. you're just mad because it was a "mooslum". How xenophobic.

You can't find the time to visit the graves of our greatest generation because you don't want to offend the Germans but make time to visit a mosque in Turkey. You offended our dead and every veteran when you give the Germans more respect than the people who saved the German people from themselves. What's the matter with you?

So uh, we're still supposed to hate the Germans, is that what you're saying? Are you aware that WWII ended, and that Germans are not, in fact NAZIs?

I am convinced that you and the members of your administration have the historical and intellectual depth of a mud puddle and should be ashamed of yourselves, all of you.

No, I think the confused and mud puddled historian would be you, sir.

You are so self-righteously offended by the big bankers and the American automobile manufacturers yet do nothing about the real thieves in this situation, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Frank, Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelic, the Fannie Mae bonuses, and the Freddie Mac bonuses. What do you intend to do about them? Anything? I seriously doubt it.

I see that you are not outraged at the Auto industries and insurance industries and the bank industries who have crippled this nation. Or did you forget to get mad at them? I also notice that you are not complaining about still having a job. You can thank the bailouts for that.

What about the U.S. House members passing out $9.1 million in bonuses to their staff members - on top of the $2.5 million in automatic pay raises that lawmakers gave themselves?
I understand the average House aide got a 17% bonus. I took a 5% cut in my pay to save jobs with my employer. You haven't said anything about that. Who authorized that? I surely didn't!

Pssst Feingold - a Democrat - is already all over that, like, last month. See? On Ending Automatic Taxpayer-Funded Bonuses Wednesday, March 18, 2009 As Prepared for Delivery
"Mr. President, I come to the floor today to discuss taxpayer-funded bonuses. These bonuses are paid every year, often without any public discussion or a recorded vote by those with the authority to approve or stop them. The people giving themselves these bonuses have made sure that they get them regardless of their performance.

"Mr. President, I am referring to the annual bonuses given to Members of Congress.

"There is some good news to report on this issue today. Thanks to the leadership of Majority Leader Harry Reid, we took an important step yesterday. Senator Reid moved legislation through the Senate that will end those annual stealth bonuses. I have introduced legislation similar to Senator Reid's for the past six Congresses, and am delighted that, because of Senator Reid's leadership, this proposal has finally passed the Senate.

It helps when you know what you're talking about.

Executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be receiving $210 million in bonuses over an eighteen-month period, that's $45 million more than the AIG bonuses. In fact, Fannie and Freddie executives have already been awarded $51 million - not a bad take. Who authorized that and why haven't you expressed your outrage at this group who are largely responsible for the economic mess we have right now.

And again...I see no outrage about AIG and other Corporate bonuses to CEO's and employees of "Too big to fail" companies, only Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Who, by the way, were privatized and made into share holder owned companies in 1968.

Oh, and, yes, there was outrage and action taken to prevent those bonuses as well. See:
On Tuesday, two key senators announced a plan to impose a hefty tax on retention bonuses paid to executives of companies that received federal bailout money or in which the United States has at least a 50 percent equity interest -- including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG.

"Millions of Americans are losing their jobs. Millions. And to some degree they're losing their jobs because of actions taken by some of these firms," said Sen. Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat and Senate Finance Committee chairman.

The House of Representatives passed one version of a bonus-tax bill Thursday, while the Senate will take up another version next week. Both versions name Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. -- Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) -- directly, the Post reported.

Financial Time.com
President Barack Obama on Thursday offered broad support for legislative efforts to claw back bonuses at bailed out financial institutions after the House of Representatives voted to impose a punitive tax on such payments.

In a statement, the White House said Mr Obama looked forward to receiving final legislation that would “serve as a strong signal to the executives who run these firms that such compensation will not be tolerated”.

What morons like this guy doesn't understand is that, just like the AIG retention bonuses, there are legalities to be dealt with. These are private companies who allocated this money last year, there are contracts to be upheld or battled in court. Not only that, but I love the flaming hypocrisy of the conservatives who are screaming that the government is interfering with free market businesses, but when a company does something they don't like, the government can't interfere enough.

Honestly, you can't have it both ways. You either want a free market economy (where these companies will dole out bonuses deserved or otherwise) or you want government regulation. What's it gonna be?

Oh, and about that $210 million:
In addition, the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been investigating accounting, disclosure and corporate governance issues at Freddie since late last year. The SEC issued subpoenas for certain Freddie Mac documents in January and February, the company said in recent securities filings.

Freddie's top leadership has changed repeatedly since fall. The government ousted Freddie Mac CEO Richard Syron in September and his replacement, David Moffett, resigned last month. John Koskinen, a board member, was named interim CEO.

New York Times
Last month, Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, demanded that the companies rescind $4.4 million in retention bonuses paid to Fannie’s four top executives last year. Such bonuses are often offered to keep executives from leaving a company.

“I’m skeptical that these people have job offers to go elsewhere,” Mr. Frank said in an interview. “And in this economy, I don’t think it would be hard to find talented replacements for anyone who leaves.”

I resent that you take me and my fellow citizens as brain-dead and not caring about what you idiots do. We are watching what you are doing and we are getting increasingly fed up with all of you.

You are brain-dead. You don't know history, understand economics, and believe all the propaganda Fox news and Hannity throw your way. The rest of the country, however, seems to be perfectly pleased with the way Obama is handling most things.

I also want you to know that I personally find just about everything you do and say to be offensive to every one of my sensibilities.

Respectful behavior, peaceful resolutions, returning rights to states, upholding equality under the law, and trying to fix the mess that Bush left us offends your sensibilities?


What kind of sensibilities do you have?

I promise you that I will work tirelessly to see that you do not get a chance to spend two terms destroying my beautiful country.

I'm sorry, why weren't you working tirelessly to stop Bush from spending two terms destroying this country? Oh, right, because you liked him, but not this "Mooslum Christian, Socialist, peaceful, respectful black guy" Nope, he's offensive.


Every real American

God I am so very glad that only 20% of the country identifies with this mindset.

P.S. I rarely ask that emails be 'passed around'.............PLEASE SEND THIS TO YOUR EMAIL LIST.......it's past time for all Americans to wake up!

God Forbid this man gets a second term in office!!!!

God forbid that you should have the right to vote, but the president you hate so much will ensure that you can speak freely, and vote your conscious, anyway.


America, Land of the...Indefinite Prison Sentence...

About this time last year, I wrote a long tirade against the privatization of public services (and many other things) in my post "Pillage Perfect". I went on and on about how the privatization of services such as police forces, lawyers, and court proceedings would render the poor defenseless when accused of crimes or in need of legal representation.

I was right, of course.

It has been brought to my attention that Debtor's Prisons are back in fashion. The states of Michigan, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida have begun claiming that the imprisonment and forced labor of citizens who cannot or have not met their debt obligations is appropriate to aid their economy, and, what's worse is that they are claiming that they no longer have the funds to detain these newly attained prisoners, and so they must pay for their own room and board as well. Many states have also now privatized the parole services as well, making the paroled citizen pay for their own parole out of pocket.

Now, aside form the absurdity of forcing people to pay for their own imprisonment, let's look at the gross miscarriages of justice that are occurring for the sake of a greasy buck.

On sending the indebted to prison:
From the New York Times:

Edwina Nowlin, a poor Michigan resident, was ordered to reimburse a juvenile detention center $104 a month for holding her 16-year-old son. When she explained to the court that she could not afford to pay, Ms. Nowlin was sent to prison. The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, which helped get her out last week after she spent 28 days behind bars, says it is seeing more people being sent to jail because they cannot make various court-ordered payments. That is both barbaric and unconstitutional.

From Democracy Now!:
Hospitals hound uninsured patients for bill payments and now rank among America’s most aggressive debt-collectors using one of the harshest and least-known collections tactics of all: seeking the arrest of no-show debtors. We speak with Jim Bean who was jailed in Illinois in part because he failed to pay a hospital bill and we hear from the CFO of the hospital that sought his arrest as well as a member of a grass roots citizen action organization in Illinois. [includes transcript]

From Tampa Bay.com:
In a little-noticed trend blamed on the state's hard economic times, several courts in Florida have resurrected the de facto debtor's prison — having thousands of Floridians jailed for failing to pay assessed court fees and fines. The shortsighted plan threatens to run afoul of the U.S. Constitution. It appears to generate little additional revenue relative to the misery it causes, and it should be stopped.

From Boston.com:
CHILDREN DESERVE fair child support. But I was outraged when I read, in "Amid layoffs, child support pacts fraying," about the man who fell $23,000 behind in what he owed, including fees to his ex-wife's attorney, and was handcuffed and put in jail for 30 days. What kind of unrealistic judge would do this, when this poor father had a modification petition pending? How does jailing a father who tries to play by the rules benefit the children? The judge needs a reality check.

The courts are now sentencing people to jail time because they are too poor to pay their fines or debts. This would be one thing if the courts issued either a finite jail sentence, or issued a definitive payment schedule for the fines, however, that is not the case.

On prisoners paying for their confinement, and indefinite detainment:
From the New York Times:
That has not stopped the practice. In Georgia, poor people who cannot pay off fines — plus a monthly fee to the private company that collects the payments — are often sent to jail for nonpayment, according to Stephen Bright, president of the Southern Center for Human Rights. In 2006, the center sued on behalf of a woman who was locked up in Atlanta for eight months past her original sentence because she could not pay a $705 fine.

From Tampabay.com:
At $53 per day of incarceration, it is an expensive way to try to collect from people who generally are struggling to meet the expenses of daily living. The center calculated that those incarcerated cost the system $62,085 to bring in $80,450 in debts.

From Infowars:
Despite her inability to pay, she was held in contempt of court and ordered to serve a 30-day sentence. On March 6, three days after she was incarcerated, she was released for one day to work. She also picked up her paycheck, in the amount of $178.53. This, she thought, could be used to pay the $104, and she would be released from jail.

But when she got back to the jail, the sheriff told her to sign her check over to the county — to pay $120 for her own room and board, and $22 for a drug test and booking fee. [...] In 2006, the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) filed a suit on behalf of Ora Lee Hurley, who couldn’t get out of prison until she had enough money to pay a $705 fine. But she couldn’t pay the fine because she had to pay the Georgia Department of Corrections $600 a month for room and board, and spend $76 a month on public transportation, laundry and food. She was released five days a week to work at the K&K Soul Food restaurant, where she earned $6.50 an hour, which netted her about $700 a month after taxes. Hurley was trapped in prison for eight months beyond her initial 120-day sentence until the Southern Center intervened. Over the course of her incarceration, she earned about $7,000, but she never had enough at one time to pay off her $705 fine.

From the Southern Center for Human Rights:
This lawsuit was filed in November 2004 on behalf of two former inmates of the Clinch County Jail against Clinch County, Georgia, Sheriff Winston Peterson, and Deputy Sheriff Patricia Suggs. In Georgia, even courts have no authority to impose fees on criminal defendants unless those fees are specifically authorized by statute. There is no Georgia statute authorizing the imposition of per diem fees on pre-trial detainees. Yet, the Sheriff of Clinch County charged all inmates $18 per day, resulting in bills exceeding $3,000 in some cases. Before release, some inmates were required to sign a contract agreeing that they would pay the fee or go back to jail.

I'd like to reiterate that the people involved here are not serving time to reconcile their debts. The courts are not ruling that they can either pay their debts, or spend X amount of days in jail, and then all is settled. They are being put into jail until they can afford to pay their debts, and are not being allowed to accumulate enough money to pay their debts, and so are serving time indefinitely. In the meantime, not only are they amassing profits for the justice system by paying for their mandatory jail time, and drug tests, but as we all know inmates in prisons also work inside the prisons to generate revenue. They have become indentured servants.

Perhaps our current justice system has forgotten that crimes are to be punishable with reasonable sentences. They are not to be indefinite, cruel, or unusual sentences. It also needs mentioning that by holding the debtors in a prison, the court system is preventing them from paying the debt that they were originally jailed for, and thus is preventing companies and courts from collecting the money they claim is the very reason for the debtor's prison. That leads me to two conclusions, either the system is paying the debts to the companies or courts on the side, and continuing to generate revenue illegally, or, this has little to do with forcing debtors to pay their debts, and everything to do with simply punishing them as much as they can. There are no other logical reasons for this system.

Essentially punishing the poor for being poor.

On privatization of the Judicial system:
From the Southern Center for Human Rights:
Approximately 300 people are currently without lawyers to represent them after Mack Crawford, Director of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council ("GPDSC"), in August of 2008, failed to renew contracts with three lawyers who were providing representation to defendants whose interests conflicted with those of defendants represented by the Northern Judicial Circuit public defender office.

From Infowars:
The task force trolled through predominantly African American neighborhoods, rounding up people who had outstanding court fines. After arresting and jailing them, the City of Gulfport processed these people through a court proceeding at which no defense attorney was present or even offered.

Many people were jailed for months after hearings lasting just seconds. While the city collected money, it also packed the jail with hundreds of people who couldn’t pay, including people who were sick, physically disabled and/or limited by mental disabilities. [...]In courts around Georgia, people who are charged with misdemeanors and cannot pay their fines that day in court are placed on probation under the supervision of private, for-profit companies until they pay off their fines. On probation, they must pay these companies substantial monthly “supervision fees” that may double or triple the amount that a person of means would pay for the same offense.

For example, a person of means may pay $200 for a traffic ticket on the day of court and be done with it, while a person too poor to pay that day is placed on probation and ends up paying $500 or more for the same offense.

To add further insult to injury, of the four states now in the hot seat for resurrecting Debtor's Prisons, three of the states party-over-people partisan politicians have rejected the stimulus money set aside for their states in part or in whole.

Let me restate that...the politicians in Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida (all Republicans) - some of the worst hit states in the US - has rejected stimulus monies allocated for lengthening unemployment benefits, health benefits, job creation, and other assorted revenues that could help keep people in the red, and out of debtor's prisons.

Is there no end to the Bourgeoisie's greed and hatred of the poorest citizens? Whether they were poor to begin with, or lost everything due to a global economic crisis, losing their jobs, their homes, and their belongings all a long the way? Or are the lower Red States really so bitter towards the poor that they welcome a perversion of justice and the jailing of otherwise innocent people simply because they are poor?
Privatization of public services leads to Fascism, plain and simple. It must be stopped.

Wiki debtor's prison
ACLU Nowlin press release
Nowlin Motion
Northern Circuit Complaint (Mississippi)
Criminal defense law
Constitution, Miranda warning and rights
Florida rejects stimulus
GOP rejects stimulus money
South Carolina rejects stimulus
Rejecting Stimulus aid may save states
Governors reject stimulus for unemployment
Senators divided over stimulus rejection
Georgia rejects stimulus money
Republicans torn over stimulus funds
All articles linked to in text.


Help Yourself to Some Humble Pie.

The news of the day, and the word on the street lately is the big Tea party brouhaha's that developed and manifested on "tax day" this year. All facts, numbers, bills and legislation aside, I don't care that conservatives are protesting. I protest hings I disagree with, so obviously protesting is not an issue for me. What I care about, and find highly amusing is the flaming hypocrisy of the conservative groups at the moment.

Let me elaborate.

Last year, and indeed for the last 6 years at least, I have consistently heard conservatives tell liberals - or any political leaning that was protesting Bush - to "Love it or leave it". More specifically, I and others have been called every name in the book, from anti-semetic, to unpatriotic, America hating, Terrorist sympathizing conspiracy theorist moonbats who hate America, hate freedom, and should go live in a Communist country. I was told, on more than a few occasions that Americans don't question their democratically elected leaders. They stand by them, win or lose. You don't protest, and if you do you're a stinky, hippie, whiner child who's spoiled and rotten and killing the American Dream.

This is what I've heard...for years.

I've also experienced the government backlash of speaking out, that is to say undergoing surveillance, protest ID'ing, harassment, being labeled as "extremeists" for going to protests etc and so forth. I've been reported to the FBI by conservative groups for simply attending a protest. I've been told by conservative groups that the Patriot Act was to "protect Americans" and "What do you expect when you go to a protest you un-American traitors!" in regards to complaints of being ID'ed and cataloged at protests. We (any left leaning protesters in the last 8 years) have been told that we deserve to be labeled as domestic terrorists, violent radicals, and to be listed on the Department of Homeland Security watch lists.

We deserved it, because we had the audacity to speak out against policies we felt were hurting the country, or the people in it.

Now I want you to pause...for just a second here, close your eyes and imagine all of that hatred spewing forth into the air. Now listen to what conservatives are saying now. Notice anything? Yes, you've got it - that's righteous indignation on their part.

Now...now protesting the government is the American thing to do. Revolution, or mentions of it is American tradition. Comparing the democratically elected leader to Hitler - well that's just dandy! Now it's OK to do that. Before though - oh no! Can't do that - that makes you a pinko commie scumbag! But if it's conservatives doing the name calling, I guess it's OK. If it's conservatives doing the protesting, it must be a good cause. if it's conservatives under the watchful eye of the government at protests and being researched, watched, and categorized as extremists - well that's tyranny! It's oppression! It's...it's...

fair play.

I suppose that conservative groups felt invincible to the invasive and broad language legislation they once supported. I suppose that they never - not once - realized it could be used against them. After all, they're perfect Americans, right? No one on the right has ever engaged in extremist activities. (Timothy McVeigh, Glen Beck and Micheal Savage calling for the deaths of liberals and conservative values gunmen spraying "liberal churches" full of bullets *cough* but their poop doesn't stink *choke*).

How dare the US government turn their surveillance on conservatives just for attending protests!!!

Welcome to the club, kids.

Wipe your feet, pay your dues on time, be sure to attend meetings, and don't get ID'ed. I'm sure your friendly neighborhood Anarchist can help you supply your groups with bandannas, balaclavas, and "How not to get ID'ed by the FBI and DHS" handbooks. They'll help you, I'm sure, for the ultra low, one time price of apologetic groveling.

Oh, and don't forget to get your "I hate America" bumper sticker and "Stinky commie hippie" membership card. If you recruit two members, you can get a free "Domestic terrorist" button to wear at protests. The FBI loves those.

So pardon me if I laugh hysterically while the conservatives have their righteous hissy fits over policies that haven't taken place yet, and cash in their stimulus, tax credit, and stimulus rebate checks that they are protesting, and crying about oppressive surveillance and unfair labeling as "extremists".

Karma's a bitch, with a twisted sense of humor.

Oh, and don't forget to help yourself to a steaming hot slice of humble pie before you leave.


Confusing Tyranny with losing..

Sometimes, just sometimes, Jon Stewart says everything I actually wanted to say. He's really been on a roll lately - just watch:

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Psychological Economics

The topic of bartering has come back up as of late, it would seem that with the economy looming over people's heads the notion of getting what you need or want in alternative ways has become a bit fashionable.

Or has it?

A while ago, I addressed the bartering topic with two posts, Capitalism vs Fair Trade, and it's follow up post, Fair Trade, For Real. At the time, the topic of bartering wasn't the most common topic on people's lips, and the idea received some lukewarm receptions. I would like to take a closer look at what I was proposing then, and what people are proposing now, with a focus on the resistance to bartering as an economic system.

It occurred to me, after having read many threads and discussions about bartering, economics, and money, that people could witness the use of bartering, see how it works, and still reject it. Why? I couldn't figure it out. I read many arguments about economic structures, historical accounts of economics, and currency's ease of use as reasons why bartering was bad, save for a few rare instances. Some of the arguments had some merit, but truth be told I wasn't convinced that the arguments were the actual reason for the rejection - there had to be more to the story.

And then I found it. Aha!

It hit me like a ton of bricks. After reading a very short, concise comment about bartering, I finally realized that people have attached so much importance on the dollar value of goods and services that if you remove it, they are lost. It is something so simple I can't believe I missed it. But they are not just lost, there is a deeper psychology involved with the attachment of money, value, material goods, and self worth at play here. While I have always understood that modern citizens have a particular obsession with the relation of material goods and social standing, I hadn't realized just how pervasive the obsession really is.

Until I saw the explanation laid out so plainly. If we use bartering, then we remove money. If we remove money then there is no dollar amount attached to goods and services, and thus, our goods lose their attached value.

My first reaction was, of course, to argue that things have an intrinsic value - things of import such as water, food, shelter, and protection. That taking away a price tag will not devalue items that are essential to our very survival. I stand by this, however before arguing, I took a moment to understand and evaluate the underlying message. Things of actual import do not help define a person in this modern world. If you remove the financial value of objects from the system, you force people to reprioritize the actual value of objects and, they may look at their inventory and realize that they have nothing of value at all.

That is a difficult realization to come to terms with.

Particularly in a society that measures a person's success by their bank accounts and material possessions. The concept of success being defined by one's salary, financial wealth, and material things is constantly being echoed through the halls of politics as we speak. The murmurings and arguments against taxation policies and salaries is another fine example of how ingrained the psychology is. "If we tax people who make $250k or more, then no one will want to make more money than $249k per year, it will ruin progress and competition! No one will want to be successful!"

Ah, there it is again - success and money. I've asked this many times over, but who says that making only $200k per year isn't successful? Or just a lowly $100k per year? Or no money at all? I've asked why we need to encourage a drive to continuously make more and more money? What is the point of it?

The point, is self worth. The point, is that we have been trained for centuries to worship and covet items which are rare but generally useless. We have been taught to associate our own worth to society by means of hoarding useless material possessions.

When you remove the ability to create an image of importance and value for the individual by removing the value of their "things" you are holding up a stark, cold mirror which reflects the actual accomplishments and success of a person. And no one wants that. After centuries of the wealthy condemning the poor and working class as being a burden to society, and otherwise useless - having the tables turned isn't exactly desirable.

That said, things will still hold a value when you barter. But it will be an intrinsic value, a worth that is closely related to usefulness rather than the arbitrarily ascertained appraisals based on rarity, and perceived value. The value of an object will be weighed and measured not on availability, not on preconceived notions, but on the desire and need of individuals.

It stands to reason that there are a great number of obstacles in the way of changing over completely to a barter economy, namely centuries of social conditioning would have to be undone. Defending a barter economy is not the subject of this post, but rather addressing the psychological barriers and reason for rejection of such an economy, starting with the individual.

We place an a great deal of importance to the things we possess. Be it sentimental attachment, or an overinflated sense of value real or perceived, we consider our things to be very valuable indeed. Removing the financial measure of value threatens our sense of self worth, because if your precious items can't retain their value without an economic system to say it's valuable, then it wasn't valuable to begin with.

And that is a scary idea for anyone who defines their worth to society by means of material possessions.