Driving Down the Road and Surrounded by Capital and Debt

While driving down the street, I am frequently amazed at the capital and debt–the money–that surround me.

I’m driving on a road across town and pass under bridges. There are road signs and road lights. This infrastructure and the related maintenance, of course, results in very high costs. 

On the left, I quickly see the following: Chick-fil-A, Petco, UPS Store, Verizon Store, Wal-Mart, and many other restaurants and retail stores.

On the right: Red Lobster, Starbucks, Brazos Mall, a new hotel, as well as banks, houses, and apartments in a matter of seconds.

These buildings cost anywhere from hundreds of thousands of dollars to a few million to build and supply. These restaurants and stores are constantly depositing cash in the register or swiping credit cards. Generally, they process thousands of dollars, at least, every day.  

In view, there are at least 800 or so cars. Cars today are expensive! They start at least $20,000 – $30,000 these days. That’s $20,000,000 worth of cars – not even counting the car dealerships at the far end of the road. 

All around me, taxes are being collected on every building, every car, (almost) every item sold, and (almost) inch of property every second of every day. 

All around me, money is being spent to air condition and light and otherwise modify human environments. 

In the space of not even two full city blocks, there are objects society has collectively deemed worth amounts that easily approach or even surpass a billion dollars. 

Have you ever considered how much wealth is on one street? How did society get this much money? How much of this exists as debt? How much of this would be different if people were paid fairly?  

Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda