David points to the cause of the economic crisis we are undergoing now: the illusionary belief that money is wealth. It is a mere number created on a balance sheet. Yet we believe it is something with intrinsic value.The major failures of our economic system can be traced back to this misconception of money as wealth. The consequences are dire: destruction of the middle class, nature, and the social fabric.
Money is not a storehouse of value, but of expectations. Wall Street has been allowed to assume control of our economy and we now see the results of that mistake. The author calls Wall Street an illusion factory, that creates phantom wealth unrelated to real wealth. This is known as "counterfeiting, a form of theft". And the stunning fact is, that it is a legal form of theft, which makes it a perfect crime. When things go wrong, the tax payer has to pay the bill.
Our hope lies with Main Street real-world economy, where people produce and exchange goods and services that meet the real needs of families and communities, and where exists a "natural interest in maintaining the health and vitality of their natural environment". This is much in line with the vision of Adam Smith, according to David.
A real wealth economy will require a complete "bottom-to-top redesign of our economic assumptions, values, and institutions".