THE JOHN J. JONES JAUNT
By HARRY STEPHEN KEELER
One Penny For Your Thoughts
ON THE 201st day of the year 3221 CE. the second peer professor of history
at the University of UniTerra seated himself in front of the university's
310th robotic PodCaster and prepared to deliver his daily lecture for his
class. Those members resided in different portions of earth but their
receptions were being made through the Internet's wireless satellite
He could see himself seated comfortably at his desk, and just behind the podcaster were all three hundred and 25 frosted glass squares visible one for each student. As soon as he saw that he looked comfortable his right knee touched the escape button and the podcaster space was covered with a hologram of white board that he and his students shared. All of them could see his input, he could see and identify the input originating from each of them. A simple button at his left knee would make any input worthy of class attention would make those remarks visible to all of them, just as he was seeing it.
Only one square in front of him still remained empty. He knew whose square it was without looking, and frowned as he commenced his address: "Ladies, gentlemen, it is indeed a pleasure to see virtually all of you are applying yourselves to my class this afternoon.
I have prepared today's discussion upon a subject which is, perhaps, of more economic interest than historical. Unlike the previous lectures you have experienced this one will embrace the con course of ten centuries, the ten centuries, in fact, which terminated almost exactly three hundred years before today's date.
My lecture will in fact be an exposition of the effects of an investment made by one John J. Jones in the year of 1921CE.. This was during that period of time now known as the dawn of civilization.
At this point the frosted glass square in front of him, which hitherto had shown no image, now filled up with the head and shoulders. Sternly he gazed at the head and shoulders avatar that had just appeared. "B262H72476Male, you haven't missed anything vastly important yet. What excuse have you to offer today?"
The professor kneed the response to public so that everyone could see the avatar's lips move in unison with the words: "Professor, you will perceive by consulting your class book, that I have recently taken up my residence near the North Pole. For some reason, wireless communication between the Central Energy Station and all points north of 89th parallel was cut off a while ago, on account of which fact I could not appear in my podcaster. Hence "
Thee professor chuckled without mirth. "Always ready with an excuse, B262H72476Male. I shall immediately investigate your tale for the education value to the class."
The professor raised his coarse collar to his lips and spoke in public: Central Energy Station, please. A split second pause followed. Central Energy Station? This is A19G639A981Male, professor of cyclic history at the University of UniTerra, speaking. One of my students insists that the North Pole region of terra lost connection with the Internet this morning. Is that statement true? I would
With regret it is admitted this is true, Professor. A train of our ether waves accidentally fell into a harmonic parallelism with a train of waves from the Venus Substation. By the most peculiar harmonic mischance, the two troughs were unilaterally displaced, with each wave emitting discharges at and through each other, by one half of a wave length. The negative harmonics of each one were diverted to coincide with the positive harmonics of the other wave's maximum amplitude. This has resulted in a loss of signal to all points above the 89th parallel until a young man, B262H72476Male by name, stepped outside and launched a subanatomical torch into the ether, capturing our attention. Our Damage Control Department has completed a temporary patch that should function until the earth has revolved far enough to throw the two harmonics out of parallelism.
Did everyone hear that, asked the professor with a bright grin. B262H72476Male is now a certified hero. Let's all give him two LIKES on the UniBoard. He winced as the LIKEs poured in with vocal enthusiasm. I apologize, B262H72476Male, for my previous suspicions but I did have several former experiences to draw conclusions from. He grinned as he added, I will now resume my talk.
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A moment ago, gentlemen, I mentioned the investment of John J. Jones in that
period of time now known as the dawn of civilization with the sum of $1.
Yes, B262H72476Male, your question please.|
Sir, what is a John Jones? And what is a Dollar?
Good question. Becoming a hero becomes you B262H72476Male; you really must make it a habit. Your answer to this question is, in the early days, before the present scientific registration of human beings was instituted by the National Eugenics Society, men either assumed or were made to wear crude multi-reduplicative systems of nomenclature. Enough historical records remain to sustain both suppositions, that these nomenclatures were voluntary or that they were forced upon individuals.
As that may be, under this system there were actually more John Joneses on earth at one time than there were calories in a British Thermal Unit. But there was one John Jones, in particular, living in the twentieth century CE. to whom I shall refer in my lecture. Not much is known of his personal life except that he was an ardent socialist pig a bitter enemy, in fact, of the concept of acquiring private ownership of wealth.
There was frantic speak button activity, but the professor simply smiled and held up his hand until silence returned. Now as to identifying the Dollar, that was, or is, at that time a unit of wealth equal to 1/30th of an ounce of gold. There was another burst of frantic speak button activity, which took longer to quell.
To put it another way, one dollar would purchase four generic hours of human activity in the public weal, using the long end of a shovel handle to distribute dry doggie manure. he ignored the choking sounds with a grin. In the dawn of time this was known as WORK. By working twelve hours per day a man could earn $3.00 and a woman could earn $2.00 per day for working ten hours.
The actual Dollar was a milled circular disk made of almost pure silver. The mills along the outer edge were there for protecting the integrity of the disk from crude acts of parity. It was passed physically from hand to hand in exchange for the various essentials of life.
Man exchanged his mental or physical energy for these Dollars, usually in private agreements that occasionally were documented. He then re-exchanged the Dollars for sustenance, raiment, pleasure, and operations for the removal of the vermiform appendix.
"Individuals were not required to spend all of their dollars. By wise investments in capitalistic ventures, men could deposit some of their Dollars in a stronghold called a bank. These banks invested the Dollars being accumulated -- in loans and other commercial enterprises. Consequently, every time the earth traversed the solar ecliptic, those banks compelled each borrower to repay, or to acknowledge as due, the original loan, plus six one-hundredths of that loan. To the depositors, the banks subsequently paid three one-hundredths of the deposited Dollars for the use of their silver dollar disks. This was known as three percent or, as we would say, bank interest.
"Now, bear in mind that the safety of those Dollars, when deposited in banks, was not absolutely assured to the depositor. Any time you have wealth accumulating in one location you will have thieves and scoundrels gathering in a swarm. In pre-civilization days the thieves and scoundrels were united under kings and queens. Those that stole the most were honored with class distinctions and were allowed to keep a substantial portion of those tokens of wealth that they had stolen.
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Now, now, all that was above board and openly appreciated by the masses. The
victims were not happy with the arrangements, but a huge proportion of them
were terminated in the process anyway, so their lamentations were not that
important. The custodians of these Dollars were also wont to appropriate
them and proceed to portions of the earth, sparsely inhabited and accessible
only with difficulty. And at other times, nomadic groups known as 'robbers'
visited the banks, opened the vaults by force, and departed, carrying with
them the concentrated forms of wealth that interested them. This was
classified as legitimate enterprises by the government and all robbers were
compelled to pay taxes on the funds they had stolen from the banks. In fact,
by the end of that first century of civilization, the government was
charging some individual robbers 75% of their gross incomes. Private
citizens cheered each of these transactions as they appeared in the news.|
"But to return to our subject. In the year 1921 CE., one of these numerous John Joneses performed a transparently inconsequential action which has caused the name of John J. Jones to go down in history. What did he do?
B262H72476Male hit LIKE and responded.. He proceeded to one of these institutions called banks, known at that time as 'The First National Bank of Chicago,' and deposited therein, one and only one of these disks a silver Dollar, if you will to the credit of a specific individual yet to be born. And this individual to whose credit the Dollar was deposited was no other person than the fortieth descendant of John J. Jones who stipulated on a recorded paper which was placed in the files of the bank, that the descendancy was to take place along the oldest child of each of the generations which would constitute his posterity.
The professor was beaming as B262H72476Male continued breathlessly. The bank accepted the Dollar under that understanding, together with another condition imposed by this John Jones, namely, that the interest was to be compounded annually. That meant that at the close of each year, the bank was to credit the account of John J. Jones's fortieth descendant with three one-hundredths of the account as it stood at the beginning of the year.
When B262H72476Male paused the professor beamed and resumed his lecture. Yes. History tells us little more concerning this specific John J. Jones except that he expired in the year 1931, leaving eleven children behind.
"If you are taking mathematics under Professor L127M72421Male, of the University of Mars, you will remember that where any number such as X, in passing through a progressive cycle of change, grows at the end of that cycle by a proportion p, then the value of the original X, after n cycles, becomes X(1 + p)n.
"Obviously, in this case, X equalled one Dollar; p equalled three one-hundredths; and n will depend upon any number of years which we care to consider, following the date of deposit. By a simple calculation, those of you who are today mentally alert can check up the results that I shall set forth henceforth in my lecture.
At the time that John Jones died, the amount in the First National Bank of Chicago to the credit of John Jones the fortieth, was as follows.
The professor seized his mouse and wrote rapidly upon the oblong space in the public center of the class:
1931 10 years had elapsed and that $1 was now worth $1.34
The peculiar sinuous hieroglyphic you see here, he explained, is an avatar representing the Dollar. Time went on as time will, until a hundred years had passed by. The First National Bank still existed, and the locality, Chicago, had become the largest center of population upon the earth. Through the investments which had taken place, and the yearly compounding of interest, the status of John Jones's deposit was now as follows. He wrote: In the year 2021 CE. 100 years had elapsed and that $1 was worth $19.10
In the following century, many minor changes, of course, took place in man's mode of living; but the globe was still pretty much divided between so-called socialists and capitalists. The First National Bank still accepted Dollars for safe keeping, and the John J. Jones Dollar investment still continued to grow.
With about thirty-four generations yet to come, the account now stood at $364 in the year 2121 CE. When 200 years had elapsed.
"By the end of 300 years the accrued value had mounted to $6,920. Now the century which followed contains an important date. The date I am referring to is the year 2299 CE., or the year in which every human being born upon the globe was registered under a numerical name at the central bureau of the National Eugenics Society. In our future lessons which will treat with that period of detail, I shall ask you to memorize that date. But for now we simply wave at it in passing. The First National Bank of Chicago was now the first International Bank of Earth. And at the close of the 400th year since it was deposited that inconsequential deposit of $1 had grown to become $132,000 But it still had not reached the point where it could be termed an unusually large accumulation of wealth.
Far larger accumulations existed upon the earth. The descendants of an individual once known as John D. Rockefeller possessed an accumulation of great size, but which, as a matter of fact, was rapidly dwindling as it had passed into a generational circle of fools that wasn't smart enough to admit they were fools. The descendants of Carlos Slim Helu have quietly acquired the gems of prosperity that the Rockefellerites were shedding in order to maintain the outward appearance of wealth. Bill Gates, and others created dynasties that endure to this day with various sums of wealth lost or accrued.
So, let us leap ahead another one hundred years. During this 500 year interval the John J. Jones account had grown $2,520,000
Those of you who are most astute, of course know what is coming.
"During the age in which this John J. Jones lived, there lived also a so-called scientist called Metchnikoff. We also know, from a study of our vast collection of Egyptian Papyri and Carnegie Library books, that this Metchnikoff promulgated the theory that old age or rather senility was caused by colon-bacillus. This fact was later verified. But while he was correct in the etiology of senility, he was crudely primeval in the therapeutics of it. He proposed to combat and kill this bacillus by utilizing the fermented lacteal fluid from a now extinct animal called the cow, models of which you can see at any time at the Solaris Museum."
A chorus of shrill, piping laughter emanated from the public center. The professor waited until the merriment had subsided and then continued: "I beg of you, do not smile for long. This was merely one of the many similar quaint superstitions existing in that age.
"But a real scientist, Professor K122B62411Male, again attacked the problem in the twenty-fifth century CE.. Since the cow was now extinct, he did not waste his valuable time experimenting with fermented cow lacteal fluid. He discovered the old v-rays of Radium the rays which you latent physicists will remember are not deflected by a magnetic field were really composed of two sets of rays, which he termed the g rays and the e rays. These last named rays only when isolated completely devitalized all colon-bacilli which lay in their path, without in the least affecting the integrity of any interposed organic cells. The great result, as many of you already know, was that the life of man was extended to nearly one hundred and forty years. That, I state unequivocally, was a great century for the human race. You should remember it for our next test.
But I have spoken of another happening one, perhaps, of more interest than importance. I referred to the bank account of John J. Jones the fortieth. It had grown to such a prodigious sum that a special bank and board of directors had to be created in order to care for, and reinvest it. By scanning the following notation, you will perceive the truth of my statement:
After 600 years had passed the account had accrued to $47,900,000
By the year 2621 A.D., two events of stupendous importance took place. There is scarcely a man in this class who has not heard of how Professor P222D29333Male accidentally stumbled upon the scientific fact that the effect of gravity is reversed upon any body which vibrates perpendicularly to the plane of the ecliptic with a frequency which is an even multiple of the logarithm of 2 of the Naperian base 'e.'
Immediately thereafter, special vibrating cars were constructed which carried mankind to all the planets. That discovery of Professor P222D29333Male did nothing less than open up seven new territories to our inhabitants; namely: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. In the great land rush that ensued, thousands who were previously poor became rich.
But gentlemen land which so far had been constituted one of the main sources of wealth, was shortly to become valuable for individual golf links only, as it is today, on account of another scientific discovery.
This second discovery was in reality, not a discovery, but the perfection of a chemical process, the principles of which had been known for many centuries. I am alluding to the construction of the vast reducing factories, one upon each planet, to which the bodies of all persons who have died on their respective planets are at once shipped by Aerial Express. Since this process is used today, all of you understand the methods employed; how each body is reduced by heat to its component constituents: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, calcium, phosphorus, and so forth; how these separated constituents are stored in special reservoirs together with the components from thousands of other corporeal bodies that had expired; how these elements are then synthetically combined into food tablets for those of us who are yet alive, thus completing an endless chain from the dead to the living. Naturally, agriculture and stock-raising ceased, since the food problem, with which man had coped from time immemorial, was solved. The two direct results were, first that land lost the inflated values it had possessed when it was necessary for tillage, and second that men were at last given enough leisure to enter the fields of science and art.
"And as to the John Jones Dollar, which now embraced countless industries and vast territory on the earth, it stood, in value after 700 years had passed: at $912,000,000 In truth, it now constituted the largest private fortune on the terrestrial globe. And in that year of 2621 CE., there were thirteen generations yet to come, before John J. Jones the fortieth would arrive.
Let us continue. In the year 2721 A.D., an important political battle was concluded in the Solar System Senate and House of Representatives. I am referring to the great controversy as to whether the Earth's moon was a sufficient menace to interplanetary navigation to warrant its removal. The outcome of the wrangle was that the question was decided in the affirmative. Consequently
But I beg your pardon. I occasionally lose sight of the fact that you are not so well informed upon historical matters as myself. Here I am, talking to you about the earth's moon, totally forgetful that many of you are puzzled as to my meaning. I advise all of you who have not yet attended the Solaris Museum on Jupiter, to take a trip there some Sunday afternoon. The Interplanetary Suburban Line runs trains every half hour on that day. You will find there a complete working model of the old satellite of the Earth, which, before it was destroyed, furnished this planet light at night through the crude medium of reflection.
On account of this decision as to the inadvisability of allowing the moon to remain where it was, engineers commenced its removal in the year 2721. Piece by piece, it was chipped away and these pieces were then propelled by Zoodolite explosive, in the direction of the Milky Way, with a velocity of 11,217 meters per second. This velocity, of course, gave each departing fragment exactly the amount of kinetic energy it required to enable it to overcome the backward pull of the Earth from here to infinity. I dare say those moon-hunks are going yet.
At the start of the removal of the moon in 2721 A.D., the accumulated wealth of John J. Jones the fortieth, stood at $17,400,000,000 Of course, with such a colossal sum at their command, the directors of the fund had made extensive investments on Mars and Venus.
By the end of the twenty-eighth century, or the year 2807 A.D., the moon had been completely hacked away and sent piecemeal into space, the job having required 86 years. I give, herewith, the result of John J. Jones's Dollar, both at the date when the moon was completely removed and also at the close of the 900th year after its deposit After 900 years that original investment was worth $332,000,000,000 The meaning of those figures, gentlemen, as stated in simple language, was that the John Jones Dollar now comprised practically all the wealth on Earth, Mars, and Venus with the exception of one university site on each planet, which was, of course, school property.
And now I will ask you to advance with me to the year 2906 A.D. In this year the directors of the John Jones fund awoke to the fact that they were in a dreadful predicament. According to the agreement under which John J. Jones deposited his Dollar way back in the year 1921, interest was to be compounded annually at three percent. Unfortunately, in the year 2900 A.D., the thirty-ninth generation of John Jones was alive, being represented by a gentleman named J664M42721Male, who was thirty years of age and engaged to be married to a young lady named T246M42652Female.
Doubtless, you will ask, what was the predicament in which the directors found themselves. Simply this:
A careful appraisement of the wealth on Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, and likewise Earth, together with an accurate calculation of the remaining heat in the Sun and an appraisement of that heat at a very decent valuation per calorie, demonstrated that the total wealth of the Solar System amounted to only $6,309,525,241,362.15. Then, a simple computation showed that if Mr. J664M42721Male married Miss T246M42652Female, and was blessed by a child by the year 2921, which year marked the thousandth year since the deposit of the John Jones Dollar, then in that year there would be due to the child, the amount of $6,310,000,000,000.
In short, by the year 2921 CE., we would be $474,758,637.85 shy that we would in fact be unable to meet the debt to John Jones the fortieth.
I tell you, gentlemen, the Board of Directors was frantic. Such wild suggestions were put forth as the sending of an expeditionary force to the nearest star in order to capture some other Solar System and thus obtain more territory to make up the deficit. But that project was impossible on account of the number of years that it would have required.
It was therefore decided instead that the John J. Jones Dollar Directorship should be appropriated to fulfill its public weal obligations to the poor. On the very brink of one of the biggest civil actions in history, the High Court of the Solar Stem ratified that responsibility of one particular individual and demanded that he give until it hurt and thereby reduced his fiscal evaluation to the point of penury.
The public cheered the decision but insisted that John J. Jones 40th receive his original $1.00 back.
At that instant, of course, the concept of private property expired. In the twinkling of an eye almost, we have reached the true socialistic and democratic condition for which man had futilely hoped throughout the ages.
That is all for today. Class is dismissed.
There was a scramble of voices but then a resounding LIKE pounded on the public screen and B262H72476Male cried out.. YES, but if he received that original dollar it has a historical value of 3,000,000 ergs on the long-tailed handle of a shovel, professor!
The professor grinned. You will get a passing grade yet, B262H72476Male. Actually it had a value closer to 4,000,000 ergs. But with the government now taxing its citizens at 92% John J. Jones 40th was totally broke before he was 62 years old. He ended his life shoveling out doggie-doo just like all the rest of us will. And that is as it should be; those that shovel hardest should be charged the most. Those individuals who won't donate their share to others that need it must be forced into being generous. It is not only right, it is fair.
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