This is something we have been unwilling to examine very closely – thinking somehow, that money was immoral. And best not discussed in polite society.
The American attitude towards finance and banking has been especially ambivalent. Everybody wants money – and wants to keep it from everyone else.
Thomas Jefferson’s attitude toward money was typical – he borrowed recklessly from British banks (he died heavily in debt to them) – but opposed the creation of an American bank. He wanted America to remain agricultural (including the use of slaves) and not to become industrial.
This led directly to the American Civil War – that the North, with its strong industry and financing – won over the South – that had little of either.
Much later, we now have a tremendous need to understand our economy – and an equally strong need – to not understand it! What is going on in our minds? Perhaps it is the belief that money is dirty, but highly desirable at the same time. An attitude we inherited from our Christian ancestors.
I have a solution. We could make all financial transactions visible, so everyone could see what was going on in the Economy. This could easily be done with plastic money – the banks do this already, but do not make these transactions visible. Paper money would also have identifiers – each bill with is own serial number. When they are deposited in a bank, they would be scanned – and a record of these deposits made visible. This would also make money laundering impossible. The idea here, as you can see – is making the economy visible. Making it part of the Information Economy.
This will never fly – it will not even be considered. People do not want understand the Economy.
Or much of anything else.