This conversation is closed.

Why Money?

Why do we value money above most things?, why not love?, are we conditioned to do this?, are we consumers who want stuff?, can we ever go back to a barter economy?, please share your thoughts.

  • thumb
    Feb 15 2013: I would guess that almost everyone values love more than things, except that being able to eat and secure shelter are typically extremely high priorities.
  • thumb

    Gail .

    • +1
    Feb 16 2013: Money is nothing more than barter in a more convenient form. We value it above almost everything else because, from the time that we were infants, we were indoctrinated into a cultural paradigm within which it fits. Almost all of our governmental systems are rooted in that culture - as are the Abrahamic religion's systems regardless of denomination. Given this, it is very hard to see outside of the box (prison) that our thoughts and preconceived notions creates.

    The rule of this system says that in our culture, we will not survive without it. If the economy were to collapse (as I am convinced that it will anyway), we will starve to death - with no access to food because no one can buy fuel to transport it to our cities. We will freeze in winter without proper clothing - largely made unnecessary by temperature controls in our homes, offices, & autos. No more air conditioning either - or, without workers at the sewage processing plants, no indoor plumbing either. (Etc.)

    That's the story line. It fits with our culture because our culture also says that we are a powerless, vulnerable species that is raised up above other animals because of our ingenuity and brain. We are vulnerable because we are individuals.

    But there is another story line that most in this culture deny and fear. That story line is that we are a very powerful species. Thoughts, being electromagnetic energy, are things. We can use those things to provide our individual and common wants. No one is vulnerable who understands that vulnerability is a choice. (I speak of physical vulnerability - not emotional).

    In the current culture, our greatest fear is our greatness, and our culture works very hard to ensure that we never see it. Fortunately, thanks largely to the Internet, more and more are figuring it out.
    • thumb
      Feb 18 2013: QUOTE:" our greatest fear is our greatness,". Are you saying you believe that the one thing people fear, more than any other thing, is their own greatness? I do not get that at all, and I especially don't get what it has to do with money. Can you explain please?
  • thumb
    Feb 16 2013: This seems to be in the realm of economics. Barter is limited. It is fine when you want to trade 2 eggs from your chickens for one candle from a candle maker, but as soon as you get into a disparity of trade then money is easier. How do you trade an entire cow to one person, or make up the difference if you agree that the cow is worth 3 pigs, but the farmer only has 2 pigs? So money was invented as a common item to represent the value of a bartered trade. That way the candle maker can trade with the farmer who then trades with the iron worker who then trades with miner. Money was used and passed along to handle the inequity of trades.

    Why do some people value money? It might be the same as asking why do some people value ____? Fill in the blank. Family, life, cars, sex, etc

    Most people seem to value what money can buy and money is the tool to use. LOL. Of course some people just love tools.
  • thumb
    Feb 18 2013: do you value money above most things?
  • thumb
    Feb 18 2013: Your question as to why we value money above most things fails to cite what the "most things" are and makes clarity in response difficult. In your opinion what things do "we" value higher than money? Your answer will allow better focus on your real question.
  • thumb
    Feb 17 2013: Money represents some very positive things, work done, service rendered. We have money because we did something good, we did some work, we rendered some service, we, you might say, showed some love. Now, having money, we can turn around and receive some service from other people, some work from others, also some love.
  • Feb 17 2013: Why not? It is not the money's fault.
  • thumb
    Feb 16 2013: Barter economy is surely impossible.
    You know, there is no scale for trade and carrying your belongings everywhere is too dangerous.
    In addition, maybe you don't have what the guy who owns what you want, wants. so there should be one or more mediums and it gets too difficult.
    The only other way comes to my mind is communism, which is not that much impossible, but our society and every one of us are full of greed to have more. More of everything: Intelligence, wealth and even love !
    For this undeniable greed, we need a capitalism system, or we'd better call it "economic jungle". Have more and be more, or stop and get removed.
    I know what you mean, but nowadays, the greedier people rule, and they slave other because of their own benefits.
    The best way to slave people is using their greed.
    We are in a some kind of local to global ratrace. They rank us by our grades, by our rate of working, by our amount of money.
    The best way to stop it is to get satisfied by what you got and who you are. Surely we cannot convince everybody to think so, but we can care about what we like to, love, for example.
    I hope I understand your mean correctly.
    Have a good time
  • thumb
    Feb 16 2013: TED Lover has said it all. Or almost.
    We don't value money, we value the promises it make. Those promises are extremely necessary for us to look forward to and have delivered. Love is free. A relationship and it's maintenance may not be.
    Of all the economic systems we know of including communism, Capitalism is by far the most effective. Not ideal but the only one to be working reasonably well. In this economic system money plays an extremely important role in determination of personal growth and progress.
    However, this system has flaws. In short, the promises of money is not beyond question. Human wealth is ultimately based on natural resources and our present economic system either undervalues or does not take into account the natural capital. When you buy a Chinese mobile phone you don't pay (with money) the real cost of the hardship of the slaving worker neither the environmental costs of the rare earth metals that mobile technology uses.
    I have attempted to seek answer to your question in my way, if you are interested.
  • Feb 16 2013: yeah yeah i asked for it......

    perhaps a barter economy was a bit off the mark, perhaps an alternative credit system which is more fair in an international way.
    Some great replies, thankyou soo much,

    Maybe, the question should have been "Is there an alternative to money, and what might that be"?
  • thumb
    Feb 16 2013: .
    Using money is much more convenient than barter.
    But it makes all evils of greed, inequality, crimes, wars, environmental crisis, .... human self-extinction.

    If "we ever go back to a barter economy", then all these evils will go away.
  • thumb
    Feb 16 2013: Lionel, The findings of Maslow and his published Heiarchy of Needs may disagree with you ... 1) psysological, 2) safety, 3) love / belonging, 4) Esteem, 5) actualization. Being smart is at the top ... excreation is at the bottom ... however if you are constipated you may disagree with how these are placed. LOL.

    Every thing has a value assigned .. even in bartering. How many potatoes for a small hog ... big hog, etc ... Money is bartering only more convienent than carrying your hog to the store. A persian rug has little value to the natives but when you and I arrive to haggle the low end cost goes up considerably. Your need for rice may outweigh your need for the pig so you are in a bad bargining position in bartering.

    And finally, I know nothing of you, what price do you put on your wife, your child, your / their health, etc ...

    Yeah ... all things are arguable and you may have a different priority system than Maslow.

    As always I respect the reply from Fritzie below.

    I wish you well. Bob.
    • Feb 16 2013: Bob,

      i think perhaps i do have a different priority system to Maslow, does that make me ill or neurotic?
      I mean does being not in the top 1% make me a psyc cripple? i dont think so, but its an interesting point
      • thumb
        Feb 16 2013: Lionel, The question was a generic "we" not an individual "I". The term 1% has certainly congered up a different picture than it used to. Are you talking about the rich? Maslow certainly cannot speak for the world ... however as a socialial norm he is probally correct.

        More to the point of the conversation ... paragraph two addresses the issue you presented.