by Fred Lundgren & Jerome Friemel Authors of "The Nature of Wealth"

In the beginning, all people went directly to Mother Nature to gather their necessities of life. People realized their very existence depended entirely upon the bounty of nature.

As time went by, people desired to elevate their standard of living. They tired of living on nuts, insects, berries, and various seeds. They evolved better gathering techniques. Some enterprising primitive man fashioned a spear from stone and attached it to a wooden shaft. Eureka! People became hunters; able to kill animals for food, clothing and shelter. In primitive economic terms, they raised their standard of living.

Soon, one person could "harvest" enough for a family, and have enough surplus to share with other people such as the "medicine man," who in turn helped the "hunters" improve their standard of living.

Over the centuries, the concept of progress developed, allowing hunters to cultivate and harvest more and more necessities of life with less physical labor. This advancement allowed more people to become "professionals" such as carpenters, shoemakers, tailors, etc. Through barter, remaining hunters were able to exchange the bounty of nature for all the new finished products and services provided by the first "professionals." However, the original medium used for barter was the raw materials released from the bounty of nature and the new labor released by more efficient raw materials harvesting.

As societies grew and advanced, the direct use of raw materials and labor for barter became cumbersome. People found it convenient to give each other a token or receipt for materials or services which could then be exchanged with other persons. Alas, money was invented!!!

Eventually, "money" became very popular. Most people forgot that everything needed by mankind to sustain human standards of living came directly from the bounty of nature. People became obsessed with money and considered it "wealth," thereby degrading the importance of the necessities of life, especially the raw materials from nature. This money culture gave birth to debt and usury, in spite of the warnings of great social and religious reformers over the ages, including Jesus Christ. Soon, people were taught the economy works like a poker game. No one can gain without someone else losing. They falsely learned that the economy is a zero sum activity that there must be losers in order to have winners.

Today, tangible raw materials are considered as just another commodity with no value unless and until speculators in a "casino-like market" declare a value for those materials through a process professional economists call "the law of supply and demand."

It's very difficult for people to understand and believe that wealth is created by producing tangible raw materials, when they were taught everything is considered a cost, and nothing is considered to be of value, except for money.

Therefore, most Americans believe that wealth is created by banks and Wall Street stock splits, since that's where credit (pseudo-money) and investment capital (pseudo-wealth) originates. Hence, today's economy does indeed operate very much like a poker game.

However, when the money is propagated through credit, it must be repaid plus its interest cost. Wealth must be earned from a source that doesn't demand repayment. Otherwise, any unpaid amount accumulates to become permanent debt, with no means of repayment.

Mother Nature is the only source in the universe where humanity can acquire something of honest value that demands no repayment and does not draw interest. THE ONLY SOURCE OF TRUE WEALTH is raw materials production and the labor it releases. All tangible resources required by mankind for a comfortable lifestyle are provided by nature, and nature doesn't ask us to repay a single cent for these materials!

Our studies have found that a society's standard of living is directly related to the value it places on its raw materials as they enter the various channels of trade. Raw materials can generate sufficient barter power for a society to buy and consume its own production and maintain its standard of living without adding debt to the equation.

If society allows its raw materials to enter the channels of trade at a very low price level, as is the situation today, barter power is substantially decreased. This shortage must be replaced with debt so retail consumption can continue. In this system, continuous debt expansion is mandatory, or the standard of living will decline in direct proportion to the lowering of raw materials value.

Whenever humanity understands how to recognize and maintain the true value of its natural resources, all the necessities and luxuries of life can be produced, processed, distributed, and consumed without the need for debt. The resources are here for people to use without the need to repay Mother Nature a single coin or paper token.

There is absolutely no reason for the citizens of America to be burdened with 15-trillion dollars of public and private debt! This mountain of debt is the product of almost 50 years of under-pricing the nation's raw materials production (and the compound interest) that under-pricing created. The historic record of the United States -- when analyzed scientifically as we've done -- proves it!