Money - 3.22.2021
I think money is a tool.
It's an attempt of a society to perpetuate services rendered and trade. Before money, if one had potatoes, and wanted oranges, one would have to find someone who both wanted potatoes and had oranges to trade. With money, one only need to find someone who wants potatoes. And one can then find someone who has oranges.
It allows for two people to be traded instead of one in a transaction. It provides a bridge, or an intermediary between two services. Now we can perform half trades instead of full trades, which greatly increases trade.
But what is the value of this nebulous item? This is decided practically every microsecond now in our world, with currencies going up and down.
In my view, one can define money by whatever it acquires. When people say they want money, what they really might be saying is they want a roof over their head. Or they want food. Or they want to go on vacation. Or they are stressed at work. Or they want a bigger house. Or they need medical attention for an illness. There are countless reasons, necessary and unnecessary, noble and evil, for why people want money.
Money I believe then is really desire. It represents perhaps the intentions of people, particularly socially. Money allows them to get certain services and goods from the society. So what do they want from society?
The holder of money may then attempt to demand from society. So this is another definition perhaps. Money represents what people want from other people. What we produce and what we consume.
When someone says they want more money, whether this is spoken explicitly or within the subconscious, they're really saying they need or want something from society.
So what do I want from society? My future family needs food, education, a good home, opportunities, good wholesome recreation, etc. I want to be able to use my talents. I want to be able to do good in the world. And I actively acknowledge I cannot do this alone.
So then why would society give me these things? What have I done for society? Well therein perhaps lies the question of entrepreneurship, what needs or wants will I help others with? The world is full of people who have needs and wants. Even if someone charitably gives to one, money is often spent somewhere in the equation.
People often construct business plans to lay out to investors how they will solve some problem, and how others may pay for it. Or in the case of a charity, the charity asks for donations by telling others what needs or wants they are solving (often needs not wants for charities). Money can be organized, or in other words, what people give to others can be orchestrated into systems. Governments, businesses, charities, individuals, etc. all orchestrate what others do for them, and what they do for others. We make shopping lists to ensure we get the right food that other people have grown, processed (in varying degrees), and transported to us. If we mess up on our shopping list, we might end up getting the wrong things, or things we don't need, or not getting enough. Charities and businesses are entrusted with capital by investors and/or customers, and they orchestrate such to either great success, great failure or something in between, short-term and long-term. Governments decide how these things will be orchestrated by those who hold power, whether it be one person, a few, many or all, and with its own processes for doing so, either being effective, not or anything in between. All of these are the cause of debates, decision making, opinions, etc.
It's a great responsibility. I believe companies can either have too little or too much money at the start. Too little and they don't have enough support from others to survive or fulfill their mission. Too much and society doesn't hold them accountable and continually renders services to them whether or not they actually create a profit or not. In starting out, my goal is to use it effectively.
By the way, money exists perhaps conceptually as well. I've felt at times that after someone helps me out, I want to give them something back to help them out with something. In this, "money" has been created. It doesn't exist physically, but there's this thought in my head that I should give something back in return. Would it be good enough? Is it something they want? It's quite difficult to assess as both sides likely think differently about this. This is important, because the value of money, or the value of what we give or take from society, is often defined differently by every party. Some people might think what we do is worthless, and others might think it is very worthwhile. Therefore, money itself has an ever debated value, and the goods or services we provide, or take, have ever debated values. This complicates so much.
I'll throw another wrench in the machine. There's so much we do for others which is not paid for. Parenting a child is often an unpaid service one renders to another. Many people in society do good things without being paid. This even further complicates money's definition, though I do feel indebted to my parents for raising me. Can I put a number on how much I value this service they rendered? The definition of "invaluable" is interesting to think about. When it collides with real, tangible money, such as in this question: "how much do we pay school teachers, policemen, firefighters, paramedics, etc.?" what exact number do we place on those who provide public goods? Is the amount defined by normative economics or positive economics?
Am I saying that all of our relationships we have with different people are all about money? No, not in the typical sense you might see. It's a good question to ask. Other people do things for us, what do we do for other people? Money represents desire.
If we want money, we should really just ask ourselves why? This will help us identify the underlying need or want we have. Is it that we don't want to work? Is it that we want to provide for a family? Is it that we have a child we want to give the best opportunity in life? Identification is crucial. Sometimes, and often times, money is not the answer. But money can be used for good.
One might think they don't do anything for other people. Or that they don't have value. I'm sure there are things one provides for others that one might not realize. Many entrepreneurs goes through similar questions, where they ask themselves what their passion or talent is they are to give to the world. I like the concept of acquiring talents. If we don't know the one or two or five talents we have, we can gather more. The world cries out for help of every individual in it. For the earth has now just been blessed with you, and there's no one else like you.