Such tangled webs we weave, yes? And none more so than mankind’s economic system. Not that I am an expert on this subject.

But after spending two hours weaving my way through provincial income tax forms yesterday, I have emerged with the idea that the economy is an abstract mess — and that it is simply a bunch of numbers on paper or, even more abstract, symbols in the sands of computer chips . . . as in, dust corralled in the wind.

Sometimes I wonder how we’ve let this abstract system of numbers strangle us to the point where so many people suffer for lack of numbers on paper. Yes, I understand that the economy is simply an extension of the barter system. But it has clearly gotten beyond itself — it’s antiquated, and in dire need of repair.

So, here is my solution. On, say, June 1, we turn the clocks of debt to zero throughout the world. All debt — personal and national — is wiped out with the stroke of a pen. And, hey, while we’re at it, let’s reset the bank accounts of individuals to a minimum of $1 million — unless you already have more than that in your account. Sort of like the Monopoly game, when every player is given a wad of cash at the start.

Then again, we’ll probably end up in the same abstract mess we’re in now somewhere down the line . . .

Hey, how about doing away with the economic system all together? And the barter system. Everything is free! But you still have to work . . . to make all the free stuff.

Sigh . . . I told you I’m not an economist. But I do know I spent two hours of my precious time entangled in the rough draft of a provincial income tax form before I got to the bottom line: they owe me $20. Sure, if I had done the form online, it would have been easier because the software would have done all the calculations for me. But it would have cost me $30 or more for the software program, so I would have ended up losing money . . . Yes, I know, it’s only abstract numbers, but . . .

Which is all to say that I wish we lived in a world without money. I do believe it could be done, and that some day it will be done.

What say you?

How would you change the economic world?

Happy Earth Day, everybody!

— Jillian