"A working person toiling away on an automobile assembly line or in a restaurant kitchen must have found it difficult to understand how the bankers and brokers who have brought the economy to its knees made so much money simply by selling pieces of paper. When workers make cars, houses or meals, and when farmers produce food, they are producing something that people need and can use. But those who sell complex financial instruments don't produce anything tangible at all. Something doesn't seem right about making money without producing a useful good or service. And indeed, no society can survive if the only economic activity - or even the dominant activity - is lending and borrowing money. The same can be said for buying already-made things at one price and selling them at a higher price. If the only economic activity is merchant trade, everyone will soon die because nothing is being produced. At its most fundamental level, an economy is a system of production of at least some useful outputs. When so much labor is devoted to the buying and selling of pieces of paper, with the sole aim of converting money into money, something profoundly irrational is taking place."
-Fred Magdoff and Michael D. Yates. The ABC's of the Economic Crisis