The Value of Money

MoneyValue is something humans cherish and is the cornerstone of all our economic and technological progression. However, when you hear about things like occupy wall street or idealistic quotations like, “money is the root of all evil” you may start to wonder about the value of value but anyone who believes money is the root of all evil has a fundamental misunderstanding of what money is, why it came into being, and why it gave us an incredible amount of freedom.

Imagine you wanted to obtain a chicken, and didn’t have money, how would you obtain it? The answer is simple, trade. So you go to a farmer and tell him you will work for him for a week for a chicken, excellent. Next you need shoes, so you go to a shoe maker; the only problem is he doesn’t want your help. So instead you ask him what he wants for shoes and he tells you a robe. So now you either need to make a robe, steal a robe, or trade for a robe. You could potentially do this to obtain everything you needed but the only problem is you would have very little time to do very much else and you would never really be able to master anything. Even if you did become a trade master of making shoes, there is no guarantee you would be able to find someone who would be willing to trade you for what you need for shoes and heaven forbid there is another shoe maker in town.

“Blaming created things such as money or even religion for evil is a way of masking the real problem, human imperfection.”

Money acts a medium and allows you to transfer any type of work you can do into almost anything. You can do one job, like making shoes, and then use currency as a way of obtaining food, tvs, or clothes and you don’t need to figure out exactly who needs what; this is the value of money. Unfortunately what money also allows for is the easy transfer of work into things like weapons, drugs, and war. However, it must be noted that even if money didn’t exist you would still be able to trade to accomplish the same tasks, but money makes everything easier both good and evil. The root of all evil is not money, it is want, and want is a human trait. Blaming created things such as money or even religion for evil is a way of masking the real problem, human imperfection.

This all said, we must not rule out the potential possibility for other means of value transfer and trade. Currently our best method is the use of currency, but that is not to say that as technology improves we might figure out a new method that puts our current system into the dark ages.


2 thoughts on “The Value of Money

  1. I am Sam

    I disagree completely. Money is unnecessary. Money slows human evolution down and in fact it may be the reason we are at war most of the time. What money reaffirmed is that there is always scarcity. The truth of the matter is that in this day and age, scarcity should be an obsolete notion. Today we have more technology and knowledge to make anything sustainable, even energy. So if nothing is scarce why should we trade for it? Using your analogy of the shoemaker, it should be easy to have your shoe made because it will be easy for the shoe maker to get a robe. Without the existence of money, anyone can make a robe – no capital needed for that, just a passion. That way production will become a culture instead of an economy. We will have people coming up with things just to see how it goes and not to supply to the most people. This would have significantly slowed down environmental degradation.
    Because money exists, all the extra people needed to make a robe will never bother to do so. To them that is not where the money is. So you see because money exists we have a highly imbalanced market that focuses on working for money instead of working for the value of what you are creating. Money impurifies any market system. If you wanted to hire people in your start up, you would ultimately look for someone affordable over someone who fits the talent and passion description. Why? its not because there arent enough talented people, its because there isn’t enough money. As a race, we would have been far much ahead if we did not rely on the money factor all the time. If we actually sought true value we would have the best creations of any technological advancement we have come up with so far.

    1. Jonathan Wagner Post author

      Scarcity isn’t an obsolete notion, because even if you had all the resources, not everyone is a doctor or a programmer. What will end up happening is these people will end up ‘richer’ because they have skill sets that are required and they can’t possibly help everyone all the time.

      You could make a robe right now, but there would be a huge time investment. Essentially money is a representation time, the more money you have the more time you have. Instead of washing the dishes, you could hire someone to do them etc.. I don’t think it is a bad thing that people don’t bother how to learn to make a robe, if they are a doctor I would rather them focus on learning the latest techniques. I think you’re a little optimistic on how much time people actually have. Even if you had all the resources in the world, you still will lack time.

      As for the notion you will hire someone more affordable, that is not how it is in technology at all. Developers make good money based on their talent, if they can’t get the payment they deserve they will get equity. The reason for this is because “affordable” developers can’t usually finish things, I have an article on this idea here

      I disagree with you, there isn’t enough talented people. They have now done studies and discovered that a large amount of the output actually comes from a very small percentage of the people. Check out this article If you look at any communist nation, the people have a lower quality of life. Even a janitor in a capitalist society probably will have a better QOL then a communist nation. This isn’t just money at work, however, this is because competition leads to quality and everyone trying to make money is a good a way to encourage competition.

      Humans are the way we are because we literally fought for our survival (evolution), the idealism that no one should have to fight for their survival is fundamentally flawed in my opinion. It is based on a notion that everyone is infinitely capable. We really aren’t all equal.

      The cold hard reality of evolution is that 99% died, it was the 1% with that slight evolutionary superiority that would then go on to become the 99% and then again be wiped out by the superior 1%. This is a trend I believe Elolight can end, but not immediately or suddenly. The political dialogue that is on going usually doesn’t address demand. This another issue completely, the idea that if the wealthy 1% flooded everyone with money people could run around and do whatever they want, but even in a capitalist society that kind of supply doesn’t exist. As a hyperbolic example certain high ends sports car require manual constructions because of the amount of curves they have, robots simply can’t do it. It would be literally impossible to give a Lamborghini to everyone. Sure we could give everyone a free cheap block like car, but that doesn’t really allow humans to express themselves.

      while I think hunger in third world countries is horrible, and the world does produce a lot of food, there is still logistical scarcity. We also don’t have machines that can produce or replicate food infinitely.

      All of this can be ignored though and you can answer this simple question, if you put in 10 years of work to get a talent no one else has do you think you should have to live in the same house and drive the same car as everyone else? The same car and house as the passionless person that has done nothing for the last 10 years. If the answer is yes, why would you have motivation? and what would incentive would that passionless person have to ever do anything? Humans are selfish creatures, if they can choose not to work a large percentage of them won’t. If the answer is no, you believe in the concept of money because money is fluid.


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