“With every inhalation, I take. With every exhalation, I give. How grand it is not to buy, sell, hold, or hoard breath. Would that it were so with money. Enjoy breathing while you can, for unless something changes, it won’t be long until government awards ownership of the atmosphere to some commercial corporation to price and meter out as they please” — Dee Hock
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In this quote, Dee Hock is drawing a comparison between breathing and money. He notes that with breathing, people simply inhale and exhale without needing to buy, sell, hold or hoard their breath. Hock expresses a wish that money could function in the same free and open manner.
However, he warns that unless things change, it’s possible governments may one day “award ownership” of shared resources like the atmosphere to commercial corporations. This would allow those entities to price and meter out access to something universal like air as they see fit, similar to how the financial system works.
Overall, Hock seems to be criticizing how money is treated as a commodity under the control of corporations and subject to market forces, rather than something freely available to all for basic survival. He laments that money does not share the open and equitable nature of breathing. So the quote reflects on the differences between essential natural resources and the financial system.