In a shocking new discovery, scientists have declared that money, the foundation of human society, the engine that drives the world economy, doesn't really exist. "We've placed all of our faith in this vaporous intangible abstraction," explained fiscal theologian Calvin Jackney. "We can't eat it, we can't drink it, we can't wear it. Yet we're hopelessly in love with it."
The announcement drew howls of outrage among true believers. "This is just more cynical, fear-based claptrap by a bunch of jealous eggheads!" said multi-billionaire Elkton Cheesedale IV. "I wonder how much they're being paid to spew these lies."
But the cold facts are hard to ignore. Nearly 95% of all scientists are now in agreement: money is a dangerous fallacy. "It's just another religion", said financial atheist Sylvia Tandridge. "Our obsessive fetish with this so called 'money' will lay waste to our planet if we don't pull ourselves back from the brink."
The long and twisted path to the global money cult goes back thousands of years. At first, people traded actual useful objects with each other, such as food or clothing, in order to fulfill their needs. The first tumble off the wagon came when useful items got replaced with chunks of shiny hard-to-find metal and colored stone (that somehow represented value). Suddenly, survival took a back seat to shiny stuff.
And then, in the early twentieth century, humans realized there wasn't enough shiny stuff to go around. So they replaced it with paper. "This is a major turning point in human de-evolution", explained historian George Stenkins. "Colorful paper with pictures of dead guys on it became more important than air, shelter and food. In some instances, farmers were even given piles of this colorful paper as an incentive NOT to grow food."
"Look," said billionaire Elkton Cheesedale IV "Money is real. It's not just some magical illusion like they say. I have lots of it, and I've even turned it back into real stuff, like porterhouse steaks, diamond poodle bracelets and mirrored ceilings."
But the madness didn't just stop here. Eventually, humans became dissatisfied with their colorful paper, and they began to convert their wealth into phantom numbers on a computer screen. "These 'numbers' have absolutely no mass at all," explained quantum-economist Jackson Hubbard. "Basically we now worship nothing, and this 'nothing' has come to represent our accomplishments, our self-esteem, our sexual prowess and even our breeding eligibility."
So what will happen when everyone wakes up and realizes that money doesn't exist? "We'll find a use for all that colorful paper," said bankrupt stockbroker Ted Snuffbuck. "Just stack it next to the toilet. Or on a cold winter day, build a nice cozy fire with it and it will keep your hands warm for a while."