Keynes’s point of departure was the economist’s standard view that money has no utility in itself, but is simply the means to acquire goods which possess utility. People want goods, not money. Keynes, however, saw the capitalism of his day not so much as a goods-generating machine as a cash-generating machine: people acquired money to get more money. What should have been a means had become an end. This disposition to value money above the things it could buy was true of both the moneymaker and the money-hoarder, but the pleasure in the possession of money took different forms in the two cases. The overvaluation of monetary gain could be seen in the fetish of cheapness. Keynes suggested that standardization, stimulated by advertising, had ‘raised the price of idiosyncrasy’. If we all consumed exactly the same thing, prices would be much lower and we would all be ‘better off ’. But variety is a good in itself.
But an economy which treats money as goods…, because, as Keynes said, abstract money will always seem more attractive than concrete goods. Our imaginations race ahead of our senses, filling us with unsatisfied desires, and money is the continual stimulator of our imagination, creating a perpetual sense of dissatisfaction with what we already have.
Keynes: The Return of the Master by Robert Skidelsky
May we spend our time and invest our imaginations on working and dreaming of all that God can and will do.
“And I, because of their actions and their imaginations, am about to come and gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory” (Isaiah 66:18)
Spirit, breathe into our imaginations.