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Money Game

By Terry Sterrenberg
Our Indiegogo campaign to get us started with OUR New Economy documentary went live last week.  We sent out the notice to our mailing list.  You can read the campaign, sign on as a backer and give us a donation here.  Thank you for your generous gifts, and know that truly any level of giving is very helpful and greatly appreciated.

I truly hate asking for money.  Most of my friends are on limited budgets and need to use a lot of discretion in their giving.  That is definitely true for me.  I hate that it is true, but it is. I wish I had unlimited money to give to all the causes on my list of great causes.

I find asking for money ironic while the movie we are creating illustrates how abundance for everyone, i.e. shared prosperity, is possible.

Our present economic system is based on scarcity and – regardless of the promises we hear on TV – it depends on inequality and the illusion that any individual can become a millionaire if he/she works hard enough.

This country allows politicians to legally be paid large sums of money for political favors. Last night Laurie and I went to a Directors Screening of a movie with the working title “Dark Money”.  We all know that “Dark Money” is a thing.  It is money given to an organization such as a 501c4 (charity) which can legally give away 49% of its funding, usually to benefit a political cause, strategy or candidate, without revealing the source of the funds. As a result there is no way of tracking where this money for political favors comes from. It is a way that wealthy people can legally make a huge difference with their money by giving large sums for political purposes such as electing a candidate anonymously.

The name “Dark Money” in my mind is perfect for this mechanism of underhanded and back room dealing.  Everything about it is dark including the hearts of the people who participate in it.

As I was growing up I never thought of money as any color aside from Green. As a child I was taught the necessity of making money was the way to get things I wanted in life.  This was balanced out with a liberal religious education and church life that instilled in me the value that the most profound experiences in life come not from making money but from human relationships and caring for others.  These two elements seemed mutually exclusive and separate.  Perhaps in some way all money seemed “dark”.  Consequently I never learned the “money game” very well.  As an adult I now can see that this “game” has different rules for different groups of people.  People achieve wealth in many ways and likewise people are poor for many reasons and in both cases it has very little to do with them as persons and more to do with their social circumstance, their heritage, and perhaps “damn luck”.

I suppose these days it is only appropriate that my relationship with money makes it difficult to have much.  Ironically,  in spite of owning little I continue to have more access to things than ever before in my life.  So if asking for money for a movie project about abundance is ironic, not asking seems like hiding a very important secret under a bushel. The secret is out.  Money is not on the chart of essential elements for life.

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