Once upon a time, sticks became popular. All the rage among the fancy people and sycophants, sticks grew quickly in demand. Sticks had not changed in thousands of years, and remained just as temporary as they ever had been before their popularity.
Until now, sticks had been used for a variety of things, not the least of which included the building of houses and huts, the burning as fuel on cookfires, the scraping of property lines, the posting of fences, the waging of wars … there were few things in life sticks had not been employed. Use of sticks stretched back to the very first people to try and do more than just with their hands, and since then, regardless of the type of wood or shape of the branch, sticks have been used to perform work and speed accomplishment of tasks.
Sticks eventually evolved beyond merely being the tools of effort, but became a go between of other tools later created. Instead of offering his trade of women’s underwear to a single man who wore no such clothing, a woman would trade three quality sticks in exchange for his labor. He then could trade those sticks to a woman who didn’t need his ability to dig ditches so that he might get a new hat.
Sticks, in various forms, have been valuable for a host of things, and always sticks grow from the same source they always have — Trees.
But trees, you see, don’t care about the people. Trees do not care what people want. They only care about growing, not about catering to other people’s concepts about how they should grow or what they should produce. And that’s when the problems began.
One day, someone made the announcement that it was wrong for trees only to grow tall and strong and produce small branches. People needed sticks and branches to live. He said it was selfish of the trees to care only about themselves.
At first people thought he was daft. Of course trees only care about growing — that’s what trees do. They grow. If you want more branches, you help the trees grow by enriching the soil, and it takes time. You can’t invest one year’s of effort and expect the tree to suddenly sprout two or three times as many branches. Branches are not the source of a tree’s growth, they are a byproduct. The tree must grow as proportionately to support the size and number of its branches, which take time to grow, develop and die off season by season, creating sticks and branches people use.
But this one man didn’t care. He needed sticks, more sticks, so he said, and kept repeating it. Kept repeating his idea how trees should obey the will of the people and produce sticks instead of trunk. What did a tree need with all that trunk, anyway? Trunks didn’t serve people, unless you cut them down … and he had an idea.
It took time, but people began to listen and change their thinking. Soon people forgot that trees require water and time and began yelling at the trees that they should spend less time growing slowly and spreading their roots and sucking up water and more time producing sticks! People need sticks! Trees should exist only to produce the sticks people need!
And the trees did not respond — could not respond. They are not stick makers, they are trees, and so could not be anything but trees. It only enraged these new believers, and they began to rip off the branches to make sticks. Soon trees grew barren as people ripped from them healthy limbs that still carried nutrients trees needed in order to survive the winters. Many trees died and the people grew angrier, blaming the death of the tree on the selfishness of the tree instead of their own.
And when the surviving trees still would not obey the people, the man drew out a new weapon — made from a stick he had ripped off the tree, itself — and began to chop down a tree. The people, in awe of his brilliance and his ability to “get things done,” marveled at him, and began making axes of their own, and for those who would not do the deed themselves, gave up their axes to a chosen few who could, and soon trees began falling.
A few with wisdom collected what seeds they could, preserving them for a later day, a day when those around them came to realize that the trees they were killing were life. The trees were strong, providing shelter from the cutting wind of difficult times, shade from the hot sun of changing seasons, sticks at a healthy rate reflective of the natural environment, and they hid these seeds hoping they, themselves, would not die before the day came where the foolish believers came to their senses.
And the trees died, all of them, at the greed of the people, who demanded from the trees what they were never meant to provide in a way the people thought was morally right. But the trees, you see, never changed. They had only and ever done what they were mean to do — grow. Only the people changed, their perceptions of time and growth manipulated into believing that the needs and wants of NOW trumped the responsibility and methodical processes of the nature of trees.
And then people died, at loss from their needs as branches became scarce for the lack of trees altogether, trade slowed, work slowed, food was less produced, and people died.
What does all this mean?
Sticks are money. It represents the currency of trade and coin. It represents what people use to avoid bartering. When people understood that money was a byproduct of production, itself, they did not demand more money in the form of printing or higher taxes, as they knew that money via taxes was their own, and that printing money only cheapened it. Instead, they knew that as the trees grew taller and thicker, more branches would be produced, so that in order to achieve more money in the economy, more money to be spent on life and leisure, it required bigger and healthier trees.
Those trees are businesses, growing thick and tall for themselves. Businesses were not born out of their owner’s desires to serve the world, but to serve themselves. One man’s barbershop satisfies his passion for cutting hair and shaving faces. One woman’s floral shop was to satisfy her natural desire to deal in flowers. People do not start car shops to save the world, they start car shops because they love working with cars. And through this self-serving growth, businesses grow strong and healthy by serving themselves, and in turn provide much for those around them, including stability of soil, shelter from rain and wind and sun, nesting for birds, seeds and nuts for squirrels, dens for badgers and bark for beetles. Not to mention that the sticks trees drop naturally go back as investment to its own soil! But the tree does not grow for these other agents, the trees grow for themselves, and by doing so provide more than they would otherwise.
Our public demand that businesses and people serve the whole at the cost to themselves spits in the face of natural development, the foundation of the self-interested free market. It is through healthy self-interest we have things like cars, TV’s, air conditioning, electricity, carpet, comfortable and inexpensive clothing, copious amounts of food and smart phones. These were not sprouted by people engrossed with the common good — they were engrossed with their personal, self-interesting passions that, through personal growth and innovation, paved the way to make everyone else’s life easier.
Through taxes, regulations and “moral-minded” rules for businesses, we are stripping off their branches, threatening their lives by taking monies companies need to reinvest in growth and hold onto during difficult times. This so-called “hoarding” is a natural processes trees need to survive long-term. Those who would call that evil choose to ignore that people and businesses alike operate in this exact manner, and that both need to be left to keeping what they make for themselves. People tear off these branches, mistaking the branches for the source of value, but the trees are what creates such value! It’s the trees who produce such value, not the branches. It’s the trees that should be watered and tended. When we do that, more branches will come! But if we tear at the branches prematurely to have a “morally acceptable” distribution of branches, we will serve only to destroy that which provides them in the first place.
It’s time we ended this absolute bullarkey about the political morality and obligation of business to the people and start trusting in the natural processes of economics, which is not about money, but the positive interactions of people that promote production over profit, and in so doing increases profit as a byproduct, not the premise of such interaction.
Stop following after short-term solutions and start understanding the real long-term nature of growth sticks, trees and public demand.