A01: Stone Money–collegegirl

P1. Although money may be a small, rectangular, green piece of paper, a magnetic strip on a card, or a coin, people around the world see it as a prized possession, something extremely valuable to their lives. Quick keystrokes on a mobile device are also forms of money, like the Venmo app, which allows people to transfer money to each others account with the touch of a button. Money can also been seen as a way of having power over others. Despite the fact that there are many forms of money in the world we live in today, money, as a whole, can have an impact on our wellbeing.

P2. Money can also be seen as an enormous sized disk like object. At first glance, it seemed bizarre to hear the story of the Yap an how they consider, gigantic, limestone disk to be as valuable as a home would be to us. In the Yap village, the villagers lived to believe that these gigantic stones ranging to 10 feet high with large holes cut out in the middle of each stone, was their form of currency which they called fei. Strange. We, see currency to be something that is paper like and easily transferred from hand to hand. Because of the large size of the stones, in most cases, the stones did not move locations when given to the next person for their services. The villagers would walk past stones and know who they belonged to and would go along with their day. While reading Milton Friedman’s article regarding the Yap villagers, I discovered that, years ago, a voyager was returning to the village after finding a massive stone, when all of a sudden came a storm that sank the stone to the bottom of the sea. When the voyager returned to the village, he explained to his family of the incident that happened regarding the fei. Shockingly, after years later, it was believed by the entire village that the stone at the bottom of the sea, that no one has ever seen, was still valuable to the owner as if it was in their physical possession. Although the stone remained at the bottom of the sea, it certainly had an impact on the family’s well being. The Yap in the village always acknowledged the families wealth and was never questioned.

P3. Unlike what the villagers believed in about the stones not being moved when possessions changed, people around the world believe that if we do not have physical possession of something, then it is not considered to be ours. Having physical possession of money is a necessity for us unlike there Yap.  For instance, there’s a ten dollar bill lying in the middle of the street on a sunny day, someone picks it up, puts it in their pocket and now it’s theirs. They can spend it wherever and however they’d like and no one will ask them or bother them as to where they got the money. Our concept of currency compared to the Yap’s concept of currency have differences for obvious reasons. Around the world, we need to have possession of our currency for obvious reasons. When money is in our possession, it allows us to buy things that are essential to our lives such as water and food. Meeting these needs are essential to our wellbeing because without them we will suffer from not being able to provide ourselves with things that we need to survive.

P4. Most surprisingly in the NPR Broadcast was the statement: “Money is fiction.” How can it be that a rectangular thin green piece of paper with small symbols be something other than real? Money being as powerful as we’re making it seem to be, it’s just buying power. Online, it’s just a number jumping back and forth from screen to screen and account to account. Money can be the root of all evil. It controls almost everyone in the world besides those who are wealthy enough to not desire it as much. Money is just a means of exchange for us to get something that we want or need.  Before coins and dollar, people used fish, tools or wood for example as a means of exchange for good and services. If the world revolted back to exchanging things like these instead of money, then money would lose its value. If money loses its value, and people used things such as services in exchange for things, less people would rely on money. But, this can affect our wellbeing being that people will actually have to provide services for other people in order to get something that they need. Compared to now, when people have money they can easily spend it on the things that are essential to life and essential to them. When governments don’t exist anymore, there will be no need for money itself because it will lose its value. Then, we’ll return to a more direct exchange of good and services for other goods and services.

P5. Also shocking, CBN made a statement claiming that money is not the root of all evil, in fact its the love for money that is the root of all things evil. A wealthy man may begin to feel superior to those who have to earn a living. Because the concept of money being as powerful as it s, we can spend millions of dollars on flashy watches and fancy cars which are thing we don’t particularly need but want. Imagine what the world would look like if people spent those millions of dollars, or even less than that, giving back to communities or other parts of the world that are in poverty such as victims who lose everything due to natural disasters. If we as humans rely on money for our wellbeing, why not try to help others well beings who are unfortunate instead of buying things that mean nothing or have no value to anyone but your own self. All in all, money has certainly made a huge impact in the world we live today. Whether for the good or for the bad.

 

Works Cited

Friedman, Milton. “The Island of Stone Money.” Diss. Hoover Institution, Stanford University , 1991.

“The Invention of Money.” 423: The Invention of Money. This Is American Life, WBEZ. Chicago . 7 Jan. 2011.

CBN. “Is Money the Root Of All Evil.”  2017. Web.

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