The Analogical Story of How Money is "Created from Thin Air"

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In his seminal article ‘The Money Myth Exploded,’ penned in 1936, Louis Even masterfully unravels the enigma of money creation.

This timeless piece remains a cherished favorite, providing lucid insights into the mechanics behind the conjuring of currency. Available in multiple languages—English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, and Portuguese—it continues to illuminate minds across the globe.

Following is our rewritten version of the story with added dialogue and drama. Enjoy the story and learn something along the way.

Shipwreck Survivors

Louis Even

The storm had torn their ship apart, leaving them clinging to bits of wreckage. Five souls, battered and desperate, huddled together on a makeshift raft adrift in the vast ocean. The waves toyed with them, pushing them aimlessly toward an uncertain fate. The other victims of the disaster had vanished without a trace.

For endless hours, their eyes scanned the horizon, searching for salvation. Would a passing ship spot them? Could their flimsy raft somehow find its way to a friendly shore?

Then, just when hope seemed to wane, a cry pierced the salty air: “Land! Look! Over there, in the direction the waves carry us!”

The survivors squinted, their hearts racing as the distant shoreline materialized. Faces that had been etched with fear now brightened with newfound hope. There were five of them:

Frank, the burly carpenter, his hands calloused from years of labor. He was the first to shout, “Land!” His eyes sparkled with determination.

Paul, the weathered farmer, knelt at the raft’s edge. His sun-kissed skin bore the marks of toil, and he clung to the mast as if it were his last lifeline. “We’ll make it,” he whispered, his voice gritty but resolute.

Jim, the eccentric animal breeder, wore faded striped pants. He squinted toward the distant shore, imagining the lush greenery awaiting them. “Think of the exotic creatures we might encounter!” he exclaimed, his enthusiasm infectious.

Harry, the portly plant specialist, sat cross-legged on a salvaged trunk. His round face beamed with anticipation. “I wonder what unique flora awaits us,” he mused, rubbing his hands together.

And then there was Tom, the towering geologist. His broad shoulders supported the group, and he stood at the back, steadying himself against the carpenter’s sturdy frame. “We’ll study these rocks and cliffs,” he declared, pointing toward the land. “Learn their secrets.”

Together, they clung to hope, their shared survival forging an unbreakable bond. The waves carried them closer, and as the shoreline loomed larger, they whispered silent promises of gratitude and determination.


The Providence of Salvation Island

Louis Even

To our five men, stepping onto the sun-kissed shore felt like a resurrection—a return from the very brink of oblivion. Their clothes clung to their salt-streaked skin, remnants of the tempest that had cast them upon this remote island, far removed from civilization.

After they had dried themselves and warmed their chilled bones, their first impulse was to explore. Salvation Island lay before them, a verdant mystery waiting to be unraveled.

Frank, the burly carpenter, squinted at the horizon. “Look around, mates! This place ain’t no barren rock. There’s life here—life that once thrived.” His calloused hands brushed against the coarse grass as he surveyed the landscape.

Paul, the weathered farmer, nodded in agreement. “Aye, Frank. These soils—they’re fertile. We could plant crops, sustain ourselves.” He knelt, fingers sifting through the earth. “Potatoes, maybe. And tomatoes.”

Jim, the eccentric animal breeder, crouched near a herd of semi-domesticated goats. “These critters,” he declared, “they’ve got potential. I’ll improve their bloodlines, turn 'em into prize livestock. Profit, lads!”

Harry, the portly plant specialist, wiped sweat from his brow. “Fruit trees!” he exclaimed, pointing toward a grove. “Mangoes, guavas, and those exotic ones with names I can’t pronounce. With care, they’ll yield a bounty.”

And then there was Tom, the wiry prospector, eyes fixed on the rocky outcrop. “Minerals,” he murmured. “I sense it. Copper, perhaps. Maybe even gold.” His gaze swept the cliffs, imagining veins of precious ore hidden within. “Tools or no tools, I’ll find a way.”

Together, they formed an unlikely brotherhood—a carpenter, a farmer, an animal breeder, a plant specialist, and a prospector. Each would ply their trade for the collective good. Frank would fell trees and construct sturdy shelters. Paul would till the soil, coaxing life from the earth.

Jim would breed hardy animals, their bleats echoing across Salvation Island. Harry would tend to the fruit trees, nurturing abundance. And Tom? Tom would delve into the rocky heart of Salvation Island, seeking its hidden treasures.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a golden glow upon their newfound haven, they clasped hands. “Providence,” Frank declared, “has smiled upon us.” And so, with gratitude in their hearts, they christened their refuge.


True Wealth

Louis Even

And so, they set to work—their hands calloused, their hearts resolute.

Frank, the carpenter, swung his hammer with purpose. “Houses,” he declared, “we need sturdy houses.” His sawdust-covered beard twitched as he measured planks for walls. “And furniture—chairs, tables, beds. Real things.”

Paul, the farmer, wiped sweat from his brow. “Fields,” he said, gazing across the sun-drenched soil. “We’ll till 'em, sow 'em, reap the bounty.” His fingers traced invisible furrows. “Corn, beans, and maybe a patch of sunflowers for hope.”

As seasons danced by, Salvation Island’s wealth burgeoned—not in glittering coins or promissory notes, but in tangible treasures. Harry, the plant specialist, cradled a ripe pineapple. “Fruit,” he grinned. “Sweet sustenance.” His eyes sparkled. “And coconuts for hydration.”

Jim, the animal breeder, herded chickens toward their coop. “Eggs,” he announced. “Feathers for pillows, too.” His laughter echoed. “We’ll have a poultry empire, lads!”

Life wasn’t always smooth. They missed the trappings of civilization—the hum of streetcars, the scent of freshly baked bread. But here, on Salvation Island, their struggles were different. No more crowded markets, no more bills piling up. Just survival, raw and honest.

“Remember Canada?” Tom, the prospector, leaned against a boulder. “The Great Depression.” His eyes held shadows. “Empty bellies, empty pockets.” He clenched his fists. “But this—this is different.”

No bailiffs prowled these shores, no tax collectors haunted their dreams. They worked hard, yes, but the sweat on their brows tasted sweet. They reveled in the fruits of their labor—the tang of pineapples, the crunch of sunflower seeds, the warmth of a freshly hewn chair.

And so, Salvation Island flourished. Their makeshift community grew—houses sprouted like mushrooms, laughter echoed through the palm trees, and gratitude filled their hearts. They thanked God for this second chance, this haven where needs were met, and life and health were cherished.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a golden glow upon their humble abodes, they clasped hands. “True wealth,” Frank declared, “isn’t in vaults or ledgers.” His eyes met theirs. “It’s in the wind rustling the coconut palms, the taste of salt on our lips, and the promise of tomorrow.”

And so, on this providential island, they thrived—not as paupers, but as kings of their own destiny. 🌴🌊🔥


A Currency Conundrum on Salvation Island

Louis Even

Our men gathered beneath the swaying palms, their voices a symphony of determination. This wasn’t a casual chat—it was business. And business, as they soon discovered, had its quirks on Salvation Island.

Under their simple economic system, one glaring inconvenience gnawed at them: the absence of money. Barter, that ancient dance of goods for goods, had its pitfalls. The timing was never quite right. Wood, felled during winter storms, couldn’t be swapped for potatoes until the sun kissed the earth six months later.

And then there were the mismatched trades. Picture this: Frank, the burly carpenter, lugging a massive oak table to Paul, the wiry farmer. “I need spuds,” Frank would say, sweat dripping from his brow. “But not just any spuds—spuds from your summer harvest.”

Paul would scratch his head. “Sure, Frank. But first, I need a dozen chairs. And maybe a chicken coop.”

Frank’s eyes widened. “Chairs? Chickens? I’m a carpenter, not a poultry whisperer!”

Jim, the eccentric animal breeder, chimed in. “I’ve got chickens, but I need a new roof for my coop. And maybe a rocking chair.”

And so it went—a tangled web of favors, debts, and mismatched desires. They yearned for a better way. A practical way. A money system.

“All in favor?” Harry, the portly plant specialist, raised his hand. “Money—real coins, not just promises. Imagine it!”

Tom, the wiry prospector, squinted at the horizon. “But how do we make money when there is none?” His fingers traced invisible symbols in the air. “We can’t mint coins from palm fronds.”

They scratched their heads, these island pioneers. They knew how to coax pineapples from the soil, how to weave roofs from palm fronds, but the art of currency eluded them.

“Perhaps,” Paul mused, “we could trade our skills. I’ll build you a chair if you teach me how to graft mango trees.”

Frank grunted. “Skills are good, but we need symbols. Something to represent value.”

And then, like a distant memory surfacing, Harry grinned. “Remember the old stories? How civilizations started with seashells, shiny stones, or even dried fish?”

They nodded. “But how do we decide?” Jim asked. “Who says a seashell is worth a chicken?”

Tom leaned against a driftwood log. “Maybe we decide. We agree. We create value.”

And so, on Salvation Island, they embarked on a curious experiment. They carved wooden tokens, etching symbols for chickens, coconuts, and woven mats. They agreed that a chicken token was worth three coconut tokens, and a mat token was worth half a chicken token (or so they hoped).

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a golden glow upon their makeshift marketplace, they exchanged tokens. Laughter mingled with uncertainty. “This,” Frank declared, holding a chicken token aloft, “is our wealth.”

And so, with faith and a dash of ingenuity, they birthed their own currency. No bailiffs, no taxes—just a handful of wooden tokens and a dream of prosperity. 🌴💰🔥


The Currency Whisperer: Oliver’s Arrival

Louis Even

As the sun dipped low, casting a golden net upon the beach, the five men huddled together. Their brows furrowed, minds churning like the restless waves. They were castaways, marooned on this forgotten shore, their dreams of rescue fading with each passing tide.

And then, like a mirage, it appeared: a small boat, its wooden hull weathered by storms, gliding toward them. A solitary figure manned the oars—a man with eyes that held both weariness and hope.

Frank, the burly carpenter, squinted. “Who’s he?”

Paul, the farmer, wiped salt from his lips. “A fellow survivor, perhaps?”

They scrambled, their legs unsteady on the shifting sand. The stranger staggered ashore, limbs trembling. They tended to him—water, warmth, and words of welcome. His name, he revealed, was Oliver.

Delighted to have a new companion, they led him on a tour of their humble colony. The thatched huts, the coconut groves, the makeshift chicken coop—all laid out like offerings to fate.

“Even though we’re lost and cut off from the rest of the world,” Harry, the portly plant specialist, confessed, “we can’t complain. The earth provides, and the forest shelters.”

Jim, the animal breeder, nodded. “But,” he added, “there’s a hitch. A snag in our survival tale.”

Oliver raised an eyebrow. “What might that be?”

Tom, the wiry prospector, leaned in. “Money,” he said. “We lack a system for trade. Barter’s clumsy, like dancing with two left feet.”

Oliver chuckled. “Gentlemen,” he said, “you’re in luck. Money has no secrets for me.” His eyes gleamed. “I’m a banker.”

Frank dropped his hammer. “A banker? You mean—”

Oliver nodded. “In no time, I’ll set up a currency system. Tokens, coins—guaranteed to grease the wheels of exchange.”

Their reverence was palpable. An angel from the ledger books, Oliver stood tall. “We’ll mint our own fortune,” he declared. “Chicken tokens, coconut coins, woven mat dollars.”

And so, on that forsaken shore, they bowed—not to gods or kings, but to the man who held the key to their prosperity. For bankers, you see, were the architects of dreams—the weavers of fate. And as Oliver sketched symbols in the sand, they whispered, “Thank Providence for this currency whisperer.”


The Golden Pact: Oliver’s Arrival on Salvation Island

Louis Even

“Mr. Oliver,” Frank, the burly carpenter, addressed him, “as our banker, your sole duty is to tend to our money.”

Oliver straightened, his gaze steady. “I shall carry out this duty,” he replied, “with the satisfaction of forging prosperity.”

Paul, the farmer, grinned. “A house worthy of a banker awaits you,” he said. “But for now, would you mind lodging in our meeting hall?”

Oliver nodded. “That will suffice, my friends. But first, let us unload what I salvaged from the wreck.” He gestured toward the boat’s cargo. “A printing press, paper, and accessories. And”—his voice dropped to a whisper—“a little barrel.”

Curiosity danced in their eyes as they unloaded the mysterious barrel. Oliver’s hands trembled as he opened it, revealing its contents.

“This barrel,” he declared, “contains an unequaled treasure. It is filled with gold!”

The word hung in the salty air, heavy as the sun sank into the horizon. Five souls teetered on the edge of disbelief. The god of civilization had landed upon their shores—the golden god, elusive yet omnipotent. His whims could reshape empires, topple kings, and ignite wars.

“Gold, Mr. Oliver," Jim, the animal breeder, stammered, "you are indeed a great banker! Accept our humble homage and our oaths of fidelity.”

Oliver’s eyes gleamed. “Yes, my friends,” he said, “gold enough to rival continents. But gold is not for everyday trade. It is the soul of sound money—the heartbeat of prosperity. And so, it must remain hidden.”

They nodded, their reverence palpable. Gold—the currency of kings, the silent architect of nations. Oliver’s promise echoed: “I’ll explain further when I lend you money.”

And so, on Salvation Island, they forged a pact with the golden god. Their fate now danced between the tangible and the invisible—a currency of dreams, a promise etched in gleaming ore.

For in this wilderness, where survival was inked in sweat and salt, money flowed like a river—a lifeline to hope, a bridge to tomorrow. 🏝️💰🔥


The Golden Deception: Oliver’s Cunning Game

Louis Even

Before the night swallowed them whole, Oliver posed a final question to his newfound companions. His voice, like the rustle of palm leaves, carried weight: “How much money will you need to grease the wheels of trade?”

They exchanged glances, these five souls—Frank, Paul, Jim, Harry, and Tom. Their eyes, once wide with dreams of gold, now bore the gravity of the decision. They turned to Oliver, their banker, as if seeking divine counsel.

After hushed calculations and the kindly banker’s advice, they settled on a sum: $200 each. Enough to spark commerce, to weave their island into a tapestry of prosperity.

And so, they parted—enthusiastic murmurs trailing behind them like comet tails. Late into the night, they lay awake, their minds spinning webs of possibility. Gold, they whispered gold in their dreams.

But Oliver? Oliver wasted no time. Fatigue fled, replaced by the thrill of deception. At dawn’s first blush, he dug a pit—a secret grave for secrets. The barrel, heavy with its golden cargo, rolled into its earthen bed. Tufts of grass covered the truth, and a transplanted shrub masked the betrayal.

Then, with hands that knew the dance of deceit, Oliver fired up his little press. A thousand crisp $1 bills emerged—a clandestine currency, inked with illusion. He watched them stack, their faces unmarked, their value a mirage.

“How simple it is to make money,” Oliver mused. “Value is drawn from thin air, anchored by desire. These bills—they’ll buy goods, services, dreams. But without products, they’re but paper whispers.” He chuckled. “My naive customers, believe in gold’s alchemy. Little do they know—I hold them in my palm, their ignorance my fortress.”

And so, as night draped Salvation Island, the five came running. Their eyes were wide, their hearts hopeful. Oliver, the puppeteer, awaited them—the golden god, the keeper of secrets. They bowed, unknowing, and pledged their fidelity.

“Mr. Oliver,” they chorused, “our humble homage.”

Oliver’s smile was a serpent’s curve. “Welcome,” he said, “to the dance of deception. Money, my friends, is a conjurer’s trick. Its value? A collective illusion. And tonight, as you clutch your $1 bills, remember this: Ignorance is my currency, and you are my unwitting accomplices.”

And so, on Salvation Island, the golden game unfolded—a masquerade of trust, a pact with shadows. The sun dipped low, casting a golden net upon their faces. Oliver’s secret was buried deep, and Salvation Island spun its fragile web of prosperity. 🏝️💰🔥


The Banker’s Bargain: Gold, Debt, and the New Money

Louis Even

Five bundles of crisp banknotes sat on the table, their ink still drying—a promise etched in paper. The room hummed with anticipation, like a hive before the honey harvest.

“Before we dive into this newfound wealth,” Mr. Oliver, the banker, began, “let’s have a little chat.”

His voice, smooth as polished mahogany, held their attention. The five men—Frank, Paul, Jim, Harry, and Tom—leaned in, their eyes wide as saucers.

“Now, gentlemen,” Oliver continued, “money’s roots run deep. Gold, my friends, is the bedrock. And the gold locked away in my vault? Well, that’s my gold. So, by extension, the money is mine.” He paused, gauging their reactions.

Their faces fell like children denied a sweet treat. But Oliver wasn’t done. “Fear not,” he said, “I’m not a Scrooge. I’ll lend you this money, and you can spend it as you please. A mere 8% interest, considering our island’s scarcity, seems fair, doesn’t it?”

“Oh, that’s quite reasonable, Mr. Oliver,” Paul, the farmer, chimed in. The others nodded, their minds already calculating possibilities.

“But wait,” Oliver leaned forward, eyes gleaming. “Business is business, even among friends. Before you pocket those bills, sign this little document.” He produced a parchment, its ink still wet. “Promise to repay both interest and capital—or face the wrath of confiscation.” His smile was a cat’s grin. “Your property? Irrelevant. I’m after the green stuff.”

Jim, the animal breeder, scratched his head. “Confiscation?”

“Formality,” Oliver assured them. “Your chickens, your coconut trees—they’re safe. I trust you’ll keep your end of the bargain.”

“We will,” Frank, the carpenter, vowed. “Hard work, sweat, and honor.”

“That’s the spirit.” Oliver handed out stacks of bills—two hundred dollars each. “Your banker is your best friend,” he declared. “And remember, when life gets tricky, knock on my door.”

And so, the five men left, their pockets jingling with promise. Their heads buzzed with plans—new roofs, better tools, maybe even a feast. But Oliver? Oliver watched them go, the architect of their dreams. Salvation Island whispered its secrets—the golden pact, the debt, the dance of dollars.

As the sun dipped low, casting a golden net upon their paths, Oliver chuckled. “Gold,” he murmured, “isn’t just in the vault. It’s in trust, in bonds, in the hunger for more.” And he, the puppeteer, pulled the strings, weaving a tale of prosperity and debt—a currency of hope, a banker’s game. 🏝️💰🔥


Salvation Island’s Equation: Tom’s Dilemma

Louis Even

Oliver’s money flowed like a current through Salvation Island, greasing the wheels of trade. Barter transformed into crisp bills, and prosperity danced in the salty breeze. Everyone—Frank, Paul, Jim, Harry, and Tom—greeted the banker with nods and gratitude.

But Tom, the wiry prospector, sat hunched over, his brow furrowed. His precious minerals still lay hidden underground, and his wallet held only a few crumpled dollars. How could he repay Oliver’s impending loan?

Tom’s mind churned like the restless waves. He needed a solution—a communal one.

“Can Salvation Island, as a whole,” he pondered aloud, “meet its obligations? Oliver issued $1000, but he’s demanding $1080 in return. Yet, even if we scraped together every dollar bill, we’d still be $80 short. We’re creators, not printers. Oliver could seize the whole island, since we can’t repay both money and interest.”

His fellow islanders listened, their eyes wide. “But what if,” Tom continued, “those who can repay do so, without regard for the rest? Some will survive, but eventually, the banker’s grip will tighten. We must unite now, settle this as a group.”

And so, Tom rallied the others. They nodded, their resolve firm. Oliver’s golden illusion had blinded them, but Tom’s arithmetic revealed the truth. A meeting was set—a confrontation with the banker, the puppeteer of their dreams.

As the sun dipped low, casting a golden net upon the shore, they marched toward Oliver’s hut. Salvation Island’s equation awaited resolution—a balance between debt and defiance. 🏝️💰🔥


The Benevolent Banker’s Equation

Louis Even

Oliver, Salvation Island’s enigma, sensed their unease. His smile—a mask of benevolence—never wavered. Frank, impulsive as a storm, voiced their collective worry:

“How can we return $1080 when our island’s coffers hold only $1000?”

Oliver leaned back, fingers steepled. “Interest,” he replied, “a dance of numbers. Your production bloomed, yet the money stayed put.”

“But it’s not goods you seek,” Paul, the farmer, interjected. “It’s dollars. You, the sole conjurer.”

Oliver’s eyes sparkled. “True, my friends. I minted $1000, yet demanded $1080. A paradox, isn’t it?”

Jim, the animal breeder, scratched his head. “So, what now?”

“Listen well.” Oliver leaned in, voice a velvet whisper. “For our island’s sake, I’ll ease your burden. Pay only the interest—$80. Keep the capital.”

“But the $200 we owe?” Harry, the plant specialist, asked.

Oliver shook his head. “Debts, my dear friends, linger. I won’t erase them. But—here’s the twist—each year, redeem only the interest. No pressure for the principal. Some may falter, others thrive. It’s life’s arithmetic.”

Tom, the wiry prospector, frowned. “And if we falter?”

“Organize,” Oliver urged. “Become a nation. Tax those with more, and ease the burden for the rest. As long as, collectively, you repay the interest, I’ll be content. Your prosperity, my legacy.”

And so, the five left—minds churning, hearts calculating. Oliver, the benevolent banker, watched them go. Salvation Island’s equation shifted—a balance between debt and survival. As the sun dipped low, casting a golden net upon their paths, they pondered the cost of prosperity. 🏝️💰🔥


Oliver Exults

Louis Even

Oliver stood alone on the rocky shore of Salvation Island, the waves crashing against the jagged rocks. The salty breeze ruffled his hair as he gazed out at the vast expanse of the ocean. His mind was a whirlwind of thoughts, each one more audacious than the last.

“Business is good,” Oliver muttered to himself, his eyes narrowing. “These men—these simple laborers—are like sheep, blindly following my lead. Their ignorance and naivety are my greatest assets.” He clenched his fists, feeling the weight of his newfound power. “They asked for money, and I gave them chains instead. They covered me with flowers while I was picking their pockets. Fools.”

As if in response, the wind carried a mocking whisper: “Oh great Banker, I feel your banking genius coursing through my entire being!” Oliver’s lips twisted into a sardonic smile. “Illustrious master, how right you were when you said: ‘Give me control of a nation’s money, and I care not who makes its laws.’”

He paced along the shoreline, the pebbles crunching under his boots. “I am the master of Salvation Island because I control its money,” Oliver declared, his voice echoing off the cliffs. “But why stop here? Why limit myself to this forsaken place?” His eyes gleamed with ambition. “I could rule the universe. What I, Oliver, have done here, I can do throughout the world.”

He raised his arms to the sky, as if commanding the very heavens. “Let the day come when I can leave this island!” Oliver’s laughter echoed across the waves. “I know how to rule the world without wearing a crown. Money—the lifeblood of nations—is my scepter.”

And then, as if by divine revelation, the whole structure of the banking system revealed itself to Oliver’s delighted mind. The gears turned, the cogs interlocking, and he saw the intricate web that connected every transaction, every debt, every hidden power. His heart raced. Salvation Island was just the beginning. The world awaited his ascent, and Oliver exulted in the knowledge that he held the strings.

The waves continued their relentless assault on the shore, but Oliver paid them no mind. He was already plotting his next move, his eyes fixed on a distant horizon where continents and empires lay waiting. The sun dipped low, casting long shadows, and Oliver whispered to the wind, “Watch out world. Oliver is coming.”


The Unbearable Cost of Living on Salvation Island

Louis Even

The sun beat down mercilessly on Salvation Island, its rays scorching the earth and withering the crops. Oliver squinted at the parched fields, his once-pristine suit now stained with sweat and dust. Things had taken a dark turn, and Salvation Island’s inhabitants were paying the price.

“Production is up,” Oliver muttered, wiping his brow. “But at what cost?” Bartering had dwindled to a mere whisper, replaced by the clinking of coins in Oliver’s coffers. His interest grew like a weed, choking the life out of Salvation Island. Money, once a means of exchange, now clung to its hoarders like barnacles on a ship’s hull.

Salvation Islanders are divided into factions. Those burdened by heavy taxes pointed accusatory fingers at their less-taxed neighbors. “They raise their prices,” they grumbled, “to compensate for our losses.” Meanwhile, the less fortunate—those who paid no taxes at all—struggled to make ends meet. The high cost of living gnawed at their bones, leaving them gaunt and desperate.

Morale plummeted. The once-vibrant community now moved through life like ghosts. No one cared about their work; why bother when the fruits of labor were siphoned off by Oliver’s insatiable appetite for wealth? Products languished on shelves, gathering dust, while taxes flowed into the banker’s vaults. The recession settled like a fog, obscuring hope and suffocating dreams.

And then there were the accusations. Each islander pointed fingers at their neighbor, blaming them for the rising tide of misery. “Lack of virtue,” they whispered, casting sidelong glances. “You’re the cause of this suffering.”

But Harry, sitting amidst the gnarled branches of his orchard, saw beyond the blame game. His calloused hands cradled a ripe apple, its sweetness a bittersweet reminder of better days. He pondered the situation, tracing the roots of their woes back to Oliver’s monetary system.

“This so-called progress,” Harry mused, “has spoiled everything.” He spat out the words, bitterness coating his tongue. “All five of us have our faults, but Oliver’s system magnifies them. It brings out the worst in human nature.”

Determined to prove his point, Harry sought out his friends. Jim, the grizzled fisherman, listened intently as Harry laid out his case. “I’m no genius,” Jim grunted, wiping fish scales from his hands. “But I’ve sensed this for a long time. Oliver’s system is more rotten than last year’s manure.”

One by one, they rallied to Harry’s cause. The blacksmith, the weaver, the schoolteacher—they all saw the truth. Oliver’s grip tightened, squeezing the life out of Salvation Island. And so, with resolve burning in their eyes, they decided to confront the banker.

Their footsteps echoed through the narrow streets as they marched toward Oliver’s imposing mansion. The sun dipped low, casting long shadows. But Harry’s heart blazed with purpose. “We’ll show him,” he whispered to the wind. “We’ll break free from these chains.”

And so, on that fateful day, Salvation Islanders gathered in Oliver’s opulent study. Their voices rose, a chorus of defiance. “Enough,” Harry declared, staring into the banker’s eyes. “We won’t be pawns in your game any longer.”

Oliver’s laughter echoed off the mahogany walls. “You think you can defy me?” he sneered. “I am the master of Salvation Island.”

But Harry stood tall, his voice unwavering. “Not anymore,” he said. “Today, we reclaim our lives.”

And so, the battle began—the cost of living pitted against the price of freedom. Salvation Island held its breath, waiting to see who would emerge victorious. And in that moment, Harry knew: they were fighting not just for themselves, but for the very soul of their home. The unbearable burden had become their rallying cry, and they would carry it no longer.


Enslaved by Oliver: A Battle for Freedom

Louis Even

The air crackled with tension inside the opulent banker’s office. Oliver sat behind his mahogany desk, the flickering candlelight casting shadows on the walls. His eyes bore into Salvation Islanders who stood before him, their faces etched with desperation.

“All hell broke loose at the banker’s,” whispered Jim, the fisherman, his knuckles white as he clenched his hat. “Money is scarce on Salvation Island, sir, because you take it away from us.” His voice trembled with suppressed rage. “We pay you and pay you, and still owe you as much as at the beginning. We work, we improve our land, but find ourselves worse off than the day you arrived. Debts! Debts! Over our heads with debts!”

Oliver leaned back in his leather chair, a smirk playing on his lips. “Now, my friends,” he said, his voice silky, “let us reason. If your lands have improved, it is thanks to me.” He gestured toward the window, where fields stretched to the horizon. “A good banking system is a country’s best asset. But to benefit from it, you must first have faith in the banker. Come to me as you would to a father.”

Harry, the orchard owner, stepped forward. His calloused hands clenched into fists. “Do you want more money?” Oliver continued, his eyes glinting. “Very well. My barrel of gold is worth many times a thousand dollars.” He leaned closer, the scent of expensive cologne filling the room. “See, I will mortgage your new properties and lend you another thousand dollars at this very moment.”

“Twice the amount of debt?” Harry’s voice cracked. “Twice the interest to pay every year, forever?”

Oliver’s laughter echoed off the walls. “Yes,” he said, “but I’ll lend you more, as long as you expand your domain. And all you will have to pay are the interests.” He leaned back, steepling his fingers. “You’ll lump together your debts—this will be called a consolidated debt. And you can add to your debt, year after year. But your income will rise also. Thanks to my loans, you will develop your country.”

“So then,” Jim interrupted, “the more Salvation Island is developed, the more our total debt will increase?”

Oliver’s eyes gleamed. “As with all civilized countries,” he declared, “the public debt is a measure of a country’s prosperity.”

But Harry wasn’t convinced. He glanced at his fellow islanders—the blacksmith, the weaver, the schoolteacher—all standing united. “Prosperity?” Harry spat out the word. “Or enslavement?”

The room held its breath. The battle lines were drawn: Oliver, the puppet master, versus Salvation Islanders who dared to defy him. Harry’s heart pounded. They had come seeking answers, but now they sought something more—a way out, a glimmer of hope.

And so, in that dimly lit room, the stage was set. The cost of living had become a weight too heavy to bear. Salvation Island trembled on the brink of rebellion, and Harry knew that their fight was not just about money—it was about reclaiming their dignity, their autonomy.

“Enough,” Harry said, his voice steady. “We won’t be pawns in your game any longer.”

Oliver’s smile faltered. “You think you can defy me?” he sneered. “I am the master of Salvation Island.”

“But not for long,” Harry replied. “Today, we break free.”

And with those words, the battle began—the clash of ideals, the struggle for liberation. Salvation Islanders stood tall, their voices rising. Oliver’s grip tightened, but Harry saw a spark in their eyes—a fire that would consume the chains that bound them.

The room erupted into chaos, and Harry knew that this was their moment. The cost of living had pushed them to the edge, but now they pushed back. Salvation Island would either crumble under the weight of debt or rise, phoenix-like, from the ashes.

As Salvation Islanders surged forward, Harry whispered to the wind, “Watch out, Oliver. We’re coming for our freedom.”


The Wolf’s Debt: A Battle for Freedom

Louis Even

The salty breeze swept across Salvation Island, rustling the palm fronds and stirring the dust. The villagers gathered in the shadow of Oliver’s imposing mansion, their faces etched with defiance. Harry, the orchard owner, stepped forward, his fists clenched.

“Is this what you call sound money, Mr. Oliver?” Harry’s voice crackled with anger. “A national debt that strangles us? This is not sound; it’s unsound.”

Oliver leaned back in his plush chair, his eyes cold as steel. “Gentlemen,” he drawled, “all sound money is based on gold. It flows from the banks like a river of debt. The national debt? Ah, that’s a good thing. It places governments under the wisdom that rests in bankers.” He tapped his temple. “As a banker, I am the light of civilization here on your little island.”

“But we don’t want your kind of civilization,” Jim, the weathered fisherman, spat out. “We may be simple, uneducated folks, but we won’t borrow another penny from you. Sound money or not, we’re done.”

Oliver’s smile tightened. “Gentlemen,” he said, “I deeply regret your ill-advised decision. But remember, I have your signatures.” His eyes gleamed. “Reimburse what you owe me—capital and interest.”

Harry’s hands trembled. “Impossible,” he whispered. “Even if we gave you all the money on Salvation Island, we’d still be in your debt.”

Oliver’s laughter echoed off the marble walls. “Can’t help that,” he said. “Did you sign? Yes? Then, by virtue of the sanctity of contracts, I seize your mortgaged properties.” He leaned forward, his breath hot on Harry’s face. “You were so eager for my help, weren’t you? Now serve the supreme authority of money willingly—or obey it by force.”

The villagers exchanged glances. Oliver’s grip tightened, like a wolf closing in on its prey. “You’ll continue to exploit Salvation Island,” he declared, “but under my conditions.” His eyes bore into theirs. “Now, be on your way. Tomorrow, I’ll give you my orders.”

As the sun dipped below the horizon, Harry’s resolve hardened. They might be lambs facing a wolf, but they had something Oliver didn’t—a fire burning deep within. The cost of living had become a battle cry, and they would fight for their freedom.

And so, under the moon’s watchful eye, the villagers scattered. But in their hearts, a rebellion simmered. Oliver’s reign would end, one way or another. The wolf might devour the lambs, but sometimes, just sometimes, the lambs fought back.


The Puppetmaster’s Game: A Battle for Minds

Louis Even

Oliver leaned back in his plush armchair, the scent of cigar smoke curling around him. The dimly lit room held secrets—secrets that fueled his power. He knew the game well: whoever controlled the nation’s money held the strings of destiny. But Oliver was no fool; he understood that maintaining that control required more than mere wealth. It demanded manipulation, distraction, and a well-timed dance with ignorance.

Salvation Islanders—his unwitting pawns—gathered in the square, their faces etched with weariness. Oliver had noticed the divide among them: two conservatives, three liberals. Their evening conversations crackled with tension, especially since they had become his slaves. Arguments erupted like wildfires, fueled by ideology and frustration.

Harry, the orchard owner, stood apart—a quiet observer. Less partisan than the others, he saw beyond the labels. “We must unite,” Harry had whispered on different occasions. “Exert pressure on the authorities.” Dangerous words for any dictatorship.

Oliver’s smile tightened. A united front? That would spell the end of his rule. No dictator, financial or otherwise, could withstand a people who stood shoulder to shoulder, eyes wide open. So Oliver set out to sow discord, to fan the flames of political strife.

The printing press hummed to life, its gears churning out two weekly newspapers. “The Sun,” for the Liberals, its ink-bleeding passion. “The Star,” for the Conservatives, its headlines sharp as daggers.

“The Sun” argued, “If you are no longer in control of your own life, it is because of those traitorous Conservatives who have sold out to big business.” The ink dripped with venom, painting the enemy in shades of betrayal.

Meanwhile, “The Star” fired back: “The national debt is due to the Liberals, those political daredevils.” Its pages crackled with indignation, pointing fingers at the other side.

And so, Salvation Islanders read, their minds ablaze. The two factions fought, forgetting the puppetmaster who had woven their fate. Oliver reveled in their distraction, their anger. They danced to his tune, unaware that the real chains lay not in ideology but in the hands that held the purse strings.

As the printing press churned out propaganda, Oliver whispered to the wind, “Let them fight. Let them forget.” His eyes gleamed with malice. “For in their strife, I remain the true master—the money controller.”

And so, the battle raged on, ink staining hearts and minds. Salvation Islanders clashed, their voices rising. But somewhere in the shadows, Harry watched. His resolve hardened. The cost of living had become a battle cry, and he knew that true liberation lay not in party lines but in breaking free from the strings that bound them.

Oliver’s game was cunning, but Harry had glimpsed the truth. The press churned out lies, but Harry would write a different story—one of unity, awakening, and rebellion. Salvation Islanders might forget him, but Harry would not forget Oliver. The puppetmaster’s strings were fraying, and soon, very soon, they would snap.


The Hidden Truth: Tom’s Revelation

Louis Even

The sun hung low in the sky, casting long shadows across the deserted beach. Tom, the weathered prospector, squinted at the lifeboat that lay stranded in the small cove. Its wooden hull bore the scars of saltwater and time, but something else caught his eye—a trunk, nestled in the boat’s belly like a secret waiting to be revealed.

Tom’s calloused hands worked the rusty latch. The trunk groaned, as if awakening from a long slumber. Inside, among faded clothing and forgotten relics, lay a treasure—an unassuming book, its spine cracked but intact. The first issue of the Michael Journal.

Curiosity danced in Tom’s eyes. He settled on a weathered log, the sand gritty against his skin, and began to read. Words leaped off the yellowed pages, igniting a fire within him. The Michael Journal—a Social Credit publication—held secrets that had eluded them all.

“Listen,” Tom whispered to the wind, his voice carrying the weight of revelation. “This is what we should have known.”

His companions—Harry the orchard owner, Jim the fisherman, Mary the weaver, and Sam the schoolteacher—gathered around, their faces etched with wonder. Tom’s finger traced the lines, his voice rising:

“Money does not draw its value from gold,” he declared, “but from the products it can buy.” His eyes met theirs, daring them to understand. “It’s a form of accounting—a ledger where credits flow from one account to the next, following the dance of purchases and sales. And the total amount of money?” Tom’s voice grew fervent. “It mirrors the total amount of production.”

Mary leaned closer. “But what about interest?” she asked. “Shouldn’t we pay interest on new money?”

Tom shook his head. “Never,” he said. “Interest is a parasite, feeding off our labor. Progress isn’t measured by a public debt; it’s measured by an equal dividend given to each individual.” His finger pointed to the words. “And prices? They should adjust to our purchasing power through a compensated discount.”

Sam scratched his head. “Social Credit,” he murmured. “It’s a radical idea.”

“But a necessary one,” Tom insisted. “We’ve been blind, shackled by a system that favors the few. Oliver—the money controller—has kept us in the dark.”

Harry’s eyes blazed. “What do we do now?”

Tom stood, the book clutched to his chest. “We share this knowledge,” he declared. “We break free from the chains of ignorance.”

And so, with the Michael Journal as their guide, they set off—four companions and a priceless bit of flotsam. Tom’s legs pumped, the sand flying behind him. Salvation Island trembled with their footsteps, and Tom whispered to the wind, “Watch out, Oliver. We’re coming for our liberation.”


Money – Elementary Accounting

Louis Even

Tom stood before his four companions, the sun casting long shadows across the makeshift classroom. The lifeboat-turned-lecture-hall had become their sanctuary—a place where ideas flowed like the tides that lapped at the shore.

“Listen up,” Tom declared, his voice carrying the weight of revelation. “This is what we could have done—without the banker, without gold, and without those underwriting contracts that bind us.”

His companions leaned in, eyes wide. Harry, the orchard owner, scratched his head. Jim, the grizzled fisherman, squinted as if deciphering a cryptic code. Mary, the weaver, adjusted her spectacles. And Sam, the schoolteacher, sat on a piece of driftwood, ready to absorb wisdom.

Tom paced, his boots crunching on the sand. “I open an account for each of you,” he explained. “On the right, you’ll find the credits—the amounts that increase your account. On the left, the debits—the ones that decrease it.”

He paused for effect. “We all wanted $200 to start. So, let’s credit each person with $200. Now everyone has $200.”

Frank, the burly farmer, raised his hand. “But what about transactions?”

Tom grinned. “Ah, my friend, that’s where the magic happens.” He pointed to the ledger he’d drawn in the sand. “Frank buys $10 worth of products from Paul. I deduct $10 from Frank’s account—leaving him with $190. But look!” He added $10 to Paul’s account, and it bloomed to $210.

Jim leaned forward. “And if I buy from Paul?”

Tom nodded. “Exactly. Jim buys $8 from Paul. I subtract $8 from Jim’s account—now he’s at $192. Paul’s account? It swells to $218.”

Mary’s fingers traced the imaginary numbers. “And the wood Paul buys from Frank?”

Tom’s eyes sparkled. “You’re catching on. Paul spends $15 on wood. His account drops to $203. But Frank gains $15, and his account dances to $205.”

Sam squinted. “So it’s like banknotes passing from pocket to pocket?”

Tom clapped him on the back. “Bingo! And if anyone needs credit to expand production—no interest. Repay once you sell your goods. Public works? Same deal.”

“But wait,” Harry interjected. “How do we all benefit equally?”

Tom’s grin widened. “The national dividend. Periodically, each account gets a boost—without taking from anyone. Money becomes an instrument of service.”

The sun dipped low, casting a golden glow. Tom whispered to the wind, “Watch out, Oliver. We’ve cracked the code.”

And so, on that sandy stage, Tom became their teacher—the harbinger of a new way. Salvation Islanders listened, hearts alight. Money, once a shackle, now danced in their minds—a tool for progress, not oppression.


Oliver’s Despair

Louis Even

Oliver stood in his opulent office, staring at the letter in his trembling hands. The words blurred as tears welled up in his eyes.

Everyone in the small community understood. They were no longer reliant on Oliver, the banker. The following day, a letter arrived, stark and unforgiving, signed by the five influential members of the community.

"Sir," the letter began, "you have needlessly driven us into debt and exploited us. We no longer need you to run our money system."

Oliver's heart pounded as he read on. 

"From here on, we will have all the money we need, with no gold, no debt, and no thieves. We are establishing, at once, the system of Social Credit on the island. The national dividend will replace the national debt."

The words echoed in his mind. "No gold, no debt, and no thieves..."

"If you insist on being repaid, we can return all the money you gave us, but nothing more. You cannot claim what you have not made."

Oliver slumped into his chair, the letter falling from his hands. "What have I done?" he whispered, the enormity of his actions crashing down on him.

His secretary, Helen, entered the room, concern etched on her face. "Mr. Oliver, are you alright?"

Oliver looked up, his eyes haunted. "They're leaving me, Helen. The whole community... they've turned against me."

Helen picked up the letter and read it quickly. "They're serious about this Social Credit system," she said softly.

Oliver buried his face in his hands. "My empire is crumbling. Everything I've built... gone."

Helen placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Maybe it's not too late. You could talk to them, apologize..."

"Apologize?" Oliver's voice cracked. "How could I, a financier and a banker, ask for forgiveness? I've spent my life exploiting them. They'd never accept me."

Helen sighed. "It's worth a try, isn't it? What's the alternative?"

Oliver stared out the window, his mind racing. "To live alone," he muttered. "I'd rather do without them and keep to myself than face their judgment."

The room fell silent, the weight of his words hanging heavy in the air. Oliver's despair was palpable, a man torn between his pride and the stark reality of his crumbling empire.


The Fraud Unmasked

Louis Even

To avoid any future claims, the five men decided to have the banker sign a document attesting to the fact that he again possessed all he had when he first arrived on the island.

"Oliver, you need to sign this," Frank said, thrusting the document at the banker. "It's just a formality to make sure there are no future misunderstandings."

Oliver's hands shook as he took the pen. "Very well," he muttered, signing the paper with a flourish. 

An inventory was taken: the boat, the oars, the printing press, and the famous barrel of gold.

"Where's the barrel, Oliver?" Tom demanded, eyes narrowed.

Oliver hesitated, but under their stern gazes, he finally relented. "It's hidden in the grove, behind the old oak tree."

Our boys followed him to the spot. They dug out the barrel with considerably less respect this time around. Social Credit had taught them to despise gold.

"Here it is," Oliver said, his voice tinged with resignation.

Upon lifting the barrel, the prospector found it to be surprisingly light. He frowned and shook his head.

"I doubt very much whether this barrel is full of gold," he said.

Frank, without hesitation, swung his axe. With a mighty blow, the barrel split open, exposing its contents. Gold? Not so much as a grain of it! Just rocks. Plain, worthless rocks!

Our men couldn't believe their eyes.

"To think that we were mesmerized to such an extent by this low life!" exclaimed George, his face red with anger. "How could we possibly go into raptures over the mere mention of gold?"

"That we should have mortgaged all of our possessions for a few pieces of paper based on a shovelful of rocks! A thief and a liar!" Tom spat, his voice shaking with rage.

"To think that we have sulked at and hated one another, for months, for such a fraud! That devil!" Henry shouted, his fists clenched.

Oliver, seeing their fury, began to back away. By the time Frank raised his axe again, the banker had already fled toward the forest, his heart pounding in his chest.

"He's running!" George yelled. "After him!"

But the banker was quick, disappearing into the dense undergrowth before anyone could catch him.

The men stood there, staring at the pile of rocks, their anger and betrayal palpable in the air.

"What do we do now?" Tom asked, his voice heavy with despair.

"We move forward," Frank said firmly. "Without him and without his lies. We build our new system, our new lives."

And with that, they turned away from the shattered remnants of Oliver's deceit, ready to forge a future free from the shadows of the past.


Farewell to Salvation Island

Louis Even

No one ever heard of Oliver after his barrel was gutted and his hoax revealed.

"He's vanished into thin air," Tom said, shaking his head in disbelief as they searched the forest for any sign of the banker.

"Good riddance," George muttered. "We don't need his kind around here."

Days turned into weeks, and Oliver became a ghost story told around the campfire, a cautionary tale of greed and deception.

Shortly after, a ship that had run off course noticed signs of life on this uncharted island and anchored off at a short distance from shore.

"Look! A ship!" Henry shouted, pointing towards the horizon where the vessel loomed large.

The men rushed to the shore, waving frantically. "Over here! We're here!" Frank yelled, his voice cracking with excitement.

A small boat was lowered from the ship, and a group of sailors rowed towards them. As they reached the shore, the captain stepped out and greeted the men warmly.

"We saw your signal fires," the captain said. "We're en route to America but lost our bearings in a storm."

The men learned that the ship was indeed heading to America. So they decided to take with them what they could carry and return to their country.

"We're saved!" George exclaimed, tears of joy streaming down his face.

"Pack only what you need," Frank instructed. "We can't carry much, but we need to take what’s important."

The men hurriedly gathered their belongings, each carrying a small bundle of essentials. As they boarded the ship, they looked back at the island that had been their home and prison.

"It's over," Tom whispered. "We're finally going home."

"Yes," Frank agreed, his voice filled with determination. "And this time, we'll build a life based on trust and fairness."

The ship set sail, the island fading into the distance. The men stood at the railing, their hearts filled with hope and anticipation for the future.