The bank gave me a dollar bill
To give the bill to my good friend
To build my shop atop the hill
And see construction to the end.
I thought that I had taken care
To guess the cost to build my store.
But he replied, “I’ll help you there.
It only costs a dollar more.”
He had my dollar, I had none,
The bank had zero dollars too.
They gave me credit, minus one,
So I must pay them back with two.
He started planning up designs
And buying up the wood and bricks.
But not long after gave a sigh
And said the piping needs a fix.
I sought the bank for one more loan
Which filled them with anxiety
My debt was large and now had grown
So I must pay them back with three.
One day I asked when it’d be done
He said that it was hard to know
Since nothing’s free under the sun.
But where did all my money go?
He laughed and said to think it through,
“The money goes around and ’round,
And it will all come back to you,
The store will rake in pound for pound.”
I paid my friend, who bought the wood
From others in the lumber yard,
Who paid the grocer for the goods,
Ensuring wife and child don’t starve.
Then they would use that money too
Investing in their businesses
And hire one more lumber crew
To reach much further distances.
But then I had an awful thought
What if the money never came?
Just stopped up at the very top
By wealthy hoarders playing games?
If funding does not circulate
Then how will I repay the bank?
For payments which are paid too late
Will make my credit rating tank.
And interest fees will pile up high
Undoing everything I made
Until my value’s sucked up dry
While hoarders end up getting paid.
“You borrowed from the future you
And risked it on this present bet.
The banks did only what they knew
To roll the dice that you had set.
You’re too far in to try and stop.
You’ve got to trust the system works.
So open up your hillside shop
And gamble with those banker jerks.”
Of course, he egged me on to try
The risk was mine and mine alone.
The system rigged to watch me die
And suck the marrow from my bones.
I cannot trust that they would play
By rules so everyone would win
Because if I were them I’d say
“Well, don’t you know what game we’re in?”