Money is Fiction
Sure you can see, hold, and feel a dollar bill in your hand. Simply theres no way money can truly be fiction. But if you look at it from a different angle you may know exactly what I’m trying to say. Value is how much something is worth and to think we have a system that places everything in our world to a certain value is pretty cool. At the same time it may seem impossible. Through the ups and downs of our economy and the use of whatever item you may be putting a value will always vary. Let’s see if our friends from an island called Yap can help us understand how exchange with a legal tender really works.
Your house is for sale and I’m going to purchase it with a large rock at the bottom of the ocean. Deal? This may sound crazy to you but this actually happened on this Island called Yap. Well I’m not so sure about the house part but they use large, carved stones as currency called fei. You’re probably wondering what’s so significant about some crazy people on an island using rocks, some heavier than a car, as currency. Well hopefully this will help you understand why these people are so crazy.
Everyone wants to live the American dream, right? And in most instances an American dream involves wealth, money, the green paper everyone seems to be obsessed about. What if I told you money isn’t real? It’s completely fiction and is merely just a legal tender. It represents an exchange but the actual bill isn’t literally worth what is says on it. An example, used in the pod cast “The Invention of Money”, when you pay an online bill all you do is click a button. And the money goes from your bank account to your supplier just like that. You don’t have to literally walk the money to the seller.
Who makes the green bills everyone strives for worth what they’re actually worth? What makes a dollar really worth it’s value? Who says that a flimsy green bill with a one on it is only worth 4 gum balls? Meanwhile the same flimsy bill with the number one-hundred on it is worth 400 gum balls. If you were to close your eyes you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a one and a hundred dollar bill. Although one of them will have you chewing for a lot longer time. Another reason why money is essentially fiction.
Another issue mentioned on the pod cast, that may help you better understand this concept is what happens when someone tries to count all of the currency out there at once. It is hard because you may end up double counting some money. For example, I deposit my cash into my bank account. Then the bank loans it to someone else to start a new business. So this man may have just bought into the system but he used my money right? It’s a very hard thing to understand and that’s why it’s so surprising to hear that money is fiction.
Of course we are the ones who place the values on material items. In an article I found called “Billionaire mind: Money Is NOT Real” the author goes on to say, “The material things have no ‘money’ value in themselves – we give that to them.” In the end it is a truly amazing concept that we place so much trust and value on a green piece of paper. Imagine if money just didn’t exist. Everyone would go out and do their jobs for no pay. It would seem as if there would be no point but then again you wouldn’t have to pay for anything. Everybody would help each other for free, what a great world that would be.
Friedman, Milton. “The Island of Stone Money.” (1991): 1-5. Feb. 1991. Web.
Glass, Ira, and Chana Joffe-Walt
Friedman, Milton. “The Island Of Stone Money.” (n.d.): n. pag. Feb. 1991. Web. 08 Sept. 2015.
“Billionaire Mind.” : Money Is NOT Real ? Web. 9 Sept. 2015. http://mynikaya.blogspot.com/2009/05/money-is-not-real.html