I’ve got it! I think I’ve finally got it — the perfect meme to explain what money is. It came to me in writing a comment on Dailykos this morning.
Congress is the source of and responsible for the management of the currency. So, it is entirely appropriate for Congress to set standards regarding its equitable distribution into the economy. That some people and institutions have been permitted to hoard large quantities of currency to the detriment of the nation is evidence that Congress has not managed well. Not collecting the excess and making sure the currency flows freely is not a good thing; it’s evidence of laziness and wastefulness. Imagine leaving crops to rot in the fields by prohibiting access by the gleaners.
Of course, dollars do not rot like potatoes or beets or get blown away by the wind like cotton bolls. But, dollars are worthless if they’re not passed around and used. On the other hand, like the letters I’m using to write this comment, no matter how often a dollar is used by however many people in a multitude of transactions, its value is not diminished.
In a sense, dollars and cents are like the loaves and fishes — sharing them makes them last forever.
Of course, people who don’t care or share can’t understand that.