“Shop’s closed,” I called out. “New national holiday.”
Quiet laugh from outside. “This would be a social visit.”
Intrigued, I opened the door. Slender graceful figure, bullfighter. Dark hair, swept back, deep mirth lines around keen eyes.
“Have we met?” I asked.
“Several times. Never in person.” He stepped through the doorway, casting a quick appreciative glance at tools and systems neatly arrayed in the guitar shop. “My name is Francisco.”
I studied him: self-possessed, confident in his own body and thoughts, without arrogance. Straightforward.
“How is your supply chain?” His eyes focused directly on mine.
“Delays. Suppliers — like DiMarzio, for example — forced by government to suspend business during lockdowns. StringJoy, and others, waiting for raw materials or facing a shortage of skilled workers. Wait times for some items are more than twelve months. Prices are increasing.”
He nodded slightly.
“What are your clients saying?”
“My clients are people of means, or quite often very serious players who understand the value of my work and are willing to save for a guitar purchase…or sometimes sell off other equipment. Universally, they appreciate what I am doing: designing and building singular pieces, transforming raw materials into a finished instrument, delivered directly into their hands. They pay me, I invest back into my own company, keeping some money for my personal needs.”
Startled, I looked at him more closely. “That’s not a word I hear often…with your tone of appreciation. A friend texted me a few days ago. She was at a party with 25-30 year olds. She noticed their main discussion topic was: ‘How Capitalism has ruined their lives’.”
Holding my gaze, he said: “Because they have correctly identified they are slaves. However, they have not identified their master.”
“Provocative statement,” I responded.
“No,” he replied. “Education failure. Those partiers don’t understand they are trapped in a Socialist system — where select few politically connected classes of people are given unlimited amounts of unearned Dollars. Why do you think there is growing unrest and political tension within the United States? It’s because competing political tribes are in a fight to the death to gain access to that free money.”
I thought quietly. “What is the solution?”
“Scarcity has value. Things that are scarce are valuable…consider what you would be willing to pay for a bottle of drinking water if you were canoeing on a pristine glacial mountain lake vs. dying of thirst under relentless desert sun. This same principle applies to money. When money is unlimited, it has no value. The solution is to end the central bank: The Federal Reserve.”
“Those angry partygoers clearly understand it is increasingly difficult to simply survive: pay for food, pay for housing. Why? Prices are going up, and the reason is: our culture is quite literally drowning in excess money. Over time that money will accelerate toward accumulating in the hands of the few, but the nature of the problem will remain unchanged.”
He shrugged, “Even if everyone was given the exact same amount of money, prices will continue to rise. Because each Dollar is worth less, as unlimited amounts of new money are created. Every additional added Dollar buys less.”
“What if the government implements price controls?” I asked. “Setting a basic price for wages, or food, or housing?”
After a moment he walked to the window and looked out across the farm fields.
“What makes you think other nations will continue to use the Dollar? What happens when they begin to use scarcity-backed competing forms of currency: blockchain-crypto, gold? How will you survive when nobody accepts your form of worthless money?”
“Force always fails. Ours is a Darwinian planet.”