Kolejny przykład na to, że jeśli chcemy dowiedzieć się czegoś istotnego o pieniądzu czy kryzysie w kapitalizmie – lepiej nie pytajmy ekonomistów; a już szczególnie nie pytajmy o takie rzeczy ekonomistów neoklasycznych. Poniżej krótki fragment wykładu Alana Watsa „From Time to Eternity” (prawdopodobnie z lat 1960-tych). [Alan Watts był to filozof, a jednocześnie entuzjasta i propagator Zen, no i świetny gawędziarz.]
Do you remember the Great Depression? One day everything was going on all right. Everybody was pretty wealthy and had plenty to eat. The next day everybody was in poverty. What had happened? Had the fields disappeared, had the dairy vanished into thin air, had the fish of the sea ceased to exist, had human being lost their energy, their skills and their brains? No. But on the morning after the Depression a man came to work building a house, and the foreman said to him „Sorry chum you can’t work today. there ain’t no inches.” He said „What do you mean there ain’t no inches?” „Yeah” he said, „Yeah, we got lumber, we got metal, we even got tape measures.” The foreman said „The trouble with you is you don’t understand business. There are no inches. We have been using too many of them and not got enough to go around”. Because what happened in the Great Depression was that money, there was a slump in money. And human beings are so unbelievably stupid, that they confused money with wealth. And they don’t realize that money is a measure of wealth, in exactly the same way that meters are a measure of length. They think it is something valuable in and of itself.