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Life After Growth: How the global economy really works - and why 200 years of growth are over by Tim Morgan

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Chapter 7: The Servant, Not the Master

MANY PEOPLE PROBABLY THINK of money as something that has value, and is the bedrock of the economy. In reality, neither is the case. Money has no internal worth, and commands value only to the extent that it can be exchanged for the goods and services produced by the real economy. The best way to think of money is as a ‘claim’ on the real economy and, since the real economy is itself an energy dynamic, money is really a claim on energy. Debt, meanwhile, as a claim on future money, is therefore a claim on future energy. The term ‘claim’ is used throughout this book in order to emphasise the real nature of money and debt.

Unfortunately, the real and the monetary economies have diverged over the last three ...

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