As interesting as ximenez's writeup is, I still have two confusions.

First, isn't actual money a rather small part of all the stuff that is actually in circulation--what they call M1? And by far the most important part of all the stuff that really affects us is checks, real and virtual, and credit.

Who issues that stuff? It sure isn't the government. The recent crisis in credit has been caused, as I understand it, by the overgenerous issuance of credit by private companies.

This is M2, I think, and there is M3, and a few more that I can't remember at the moment.

And all this stuff is issued, not for some goal of public policy, but to meet the profit motive of all these private companies that do the issuing. This, of course, is subject to all the abuses and distortions that any industry is--after all, this is just another industry: the money and credit industry.

As for my second confusion. 401(k)'s, as best I understand them, are similar to the Registered Retirement Savings Plans in Canada. These allow tax sheltered investments in the stock market. Sure. But what is the mechanism?

Just because I own some shares, probably indirectly through some Mutual Fund, means very little. Do I direct the actions of the companies? Can I tell it where to build its plants? Can I tell it how it must treat its employees?

Ownership is empty without control. This remains where it is has always been.

I can't imagine Karl Marx sleeping comfortably when his name is taken as any possible goal of this bait and switch.

Workers of the World, you have not yet lost your chains!