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Money - what is your take on it?


cougar

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You watch movies and aside from violence and sex, they are all about somebody stealing money, losing money, inheriting money and once a guy gets the money usually the movie ends- a happy life ever after.  Really?

Then you live life and  what you hear around you is money, money , money. 

What kind of a miserable way to spend life, constantly talking about the money, trying to make the fucking money, worrying about not having enough money.......and life usually goes by in this mouse trap.

So what is your understanding of money, and what do you value?

Going back in time, people were trading goods. 

Not a bad system, because you traded one item you needed for another item you needed - meat for vegetables,  pelts for guns and so on and so on.

But then someone got smarter and started trading things that had no significant practical value - diamonds, gold, silver.  You can live without all of those, but you can't live without water, food, air, clothes and a list of other practical items.

And since the precious metals and stones had some limitations, people thought of even more intricate ways to store value (or hide the lack of it), like paper money, bonds, artwork, real estate and even crypto currency.   It can be anything and nothing.     

Let's think about it for a while.  I find a common rock in the garden but there are no such rocks in other gardens, so I somehow manage to promote the perceive value of my unique rocks and I have money!  The value of the rocks was close to nothing before, but it is sky high now.

What did I get?

As we can see and already must know, money is not a material thing.  Well, we may call the paper or piece of plastic the money is printed on "material", but...you know what I mean.

Money is just a promise that you will get a certain amount of property, goods and services on the global market.

However, it appears the amount of money available in the world is in the stratosphere and shooting up while the amount of property, goods and services is limited or even may be going down.

In other words, it appears we have been living in a great scam for generations.  It was possible because we had not reached the limits of resource extraction or property development.  Possible, because the scammers knew they would not be able to collect on all promises they have been able to amass while playing the game. they do not need to.  They are happy to just run the shit-show and control the rest of us.

No matter where I look, insanity is appalling.

Is there any humanity left somewhere  - people appreciating a good time and the real values in our lives?  I bet it is fewer and fewer of them.  What a dark lost world it is.

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1 hour ago, Michael Hardner said:

Read Das Kapital then get back to us.

It seems you are on your way there...

You can start by either telling us your own thoughts on the subject, or relating to us what you learned from Das Kapital.

Did you see me asking for relevant literature anywhere in the post?

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29 minutes ago, cougar said:

You can start by either telling us your own thoughts on the subject, or relating to us what you learned from Das Kapital.

Did you see me asking for relevant literature anywhere in the post?

No but do you ever consider that people not on this board have some wisdom to offer ?

From the top of my thoughts:

Money was 'created' around the same time as writing and accounting and was related.  The common accounting of commerce essentially gave birth to the world we live in now.  It allowed for virtual storage of surplus and specialization also.  If you had a crop, you could deliver it to the common 'store' for credit, meaning that your production would not be wasted and would be used more efficiently.  And now people didn't have to generalize their output, you could specialize in one area and trade that in for equivalent value.

from the birth of the economy, you end up eventually with coinage, then fractional banking and credit, corporations with limited liability and personhood, Keynesian economics, the 'political economy', the Chicago School (Reagonomics eventually) and eventually the digital money world we have today.

Is it a scam ?  Well, it works... and that's evident in many ways including in how people consider the 'economy' as being part of nature.

You are lamenting the loss of something, but really our economy only evolves in steps from what came before.

Karl Max wrote about capitalism being a scam because the person who hires you gets to keep part of your work, and you don't.  He thinks that's essentially unfair and doesn't see the value added by investors, owers and so on.  

Anyway, my two cents... I haven't written anything controversial here so let's see if you come after me like an angry cat this time...

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The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation. -  Some dead guy.

But he had a point, and it seems that money runs through every part of our lives, in one way or another.  Part of the problem is capitalism without ethics.  That’s why processed food has become next to nutritionless, but makes the producers wealthy with the right ad campaign. 

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4 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. Is it a scam ?  Well, it works... and that's evident in many ways including in how people consider the 'economy' as being part of nature.

2. Karl Max wrote about capitalism being a scam because the person who hires you gets to keep part of your work, and you don't.  He thinks that's essentially unfair and doesn't see the value added by investors, owners and so on.  
 

1. The scams , of course work, till the scammed realize they have been scammed.

2. I do not refer to the money concept as being a scam simply because someone gets richer on your back.  What I not only suspect but believe to be true is, this world has more money than assets that can be bought with it, unless it goes through a cycle of inflation in a 1:1,000,000 ratio or more. 

Think about a company.  In accounting you can add goodwill on the assets side and put the same amount on the retained earnings side to balance your sheet.  This will inflate the company.  You can also decide your existing assets are worth more, add some "appreciation of assets", again add the same amount to your retained earnings and bingo, you have more.  This is what our property assessment office has been actually doing to us - telling us our depreciable assets actually appreciate.

So yeah, scams upon scams, - investments, interest, appreciation  - all big scams.

 

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On 2/7/2022 at 11:59 PM, cougar said:

Money is just a promise that you will get a certain amount of property, goods and services on the global market.

Can’t the piece of paper hold whatever value we agree that it holds?  Isn’t that the most basic premise of money?   Obviously, it’s not quite that simple…  but…

 

 

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18 hours ago, TreeBeard said:

Can’t the piece of paper hold whatever value we agree that it holds?  Isn’t that the most basic premise of money?   Obviously, it’s not quite that simple…  but…

In theory, yes, in reality, no.

On notes sometimes you may find a statement "Backed by gold and other assets of the bank".   But what does this mean anyways?   If you do not need gold but food and they can only give you gold, while there is no food, how is it going to work for you.

This is not the only problem , though.    The statement may also be a lie and there may be no gold to back up the note.

 

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1 hour ago, cougar said:

In theory, yes, in reality, no.

On notes sometimes you may find a statement "Backed by gold and other assets of the bank".   But what does this mean anyways?   If you do not need gold but food and they can only give you gold, while there is no food, how is it going to work for you.

This is not the only problem , though.    The statement may also be a lie and there may be no gold to back up the note.

 

But the only reason gold is valuable is because we agree that it is.  At least, for most of its uses. 

It is a commodity that does have its uses as well, but that would put it in the same category as copper, not a special category where it is used to prop up values of currency.  

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4 hours ago, TreeBeard said:

But the only reason gold is valuable is because we agree that it is.  

Yes.  And now think about the process of extracting it - all the millions of tonnes of carbon emissions we put into the atmosphere juts to put the bullions in some volt.  For all we know , we could put anything in this volt, if we could agree it is valuable.

In the Netherlands, they valued some black tulips very high, till too many were grown.  And of course the tulips wither away and turn into dust.  

Artwork turns into dust too, or burns.  Just about anything can be destroyed, apart from the chemical elements that are always the same.  

The most common form of money though is paper money or electronic money - the question remains as to the value behind these.

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On 2/10/2022 at 4:25 PM, cougar said:

???

I expected more people joining this thread, but maybe nobody is so interested to find an explanation for something we use and are trying to make every day.

Imagine you had $1,000,000 in cash that burnt in your house and there was no insurance for it because you did not tell anyone there was that much money there and you can not prove it now.    Then imagine, somebody is able to print $1,000,000 of fresh money and put it in his pocket.  What did just happen?  It is like the guy took your money and can now spend it for himself.

Now imagine, you have $1,000,000 saved sitting into an account and is not used for anything, it is not invested in the stock market.  It just sits there like it does not exist, for any practical purposes, like it is lost or burnt.  But the same print house can print $1,000,000 and use it.  It should not lead to inflation, because your $1,000,000 is sitting in a bank account like it is lost; right?

Do you see any issues here with how money works?  It appears if money is not immediately tied to a material asset it is rendered worthless.

 

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2 minutes ago, cougar said:

1. Imagine you had $1,000,000 in cash that burnt in your house and there was no insurance for it because you did not tell anyone there was that much money there and you can not prove it now.    Then imagine, somebody is able to print $1,000,000 of fresh money and put it in his pocket.  What did just happen?  It is like the guy took your money and can now spend it for himself.

2. Now imagine, you have $1,000,000 saved sitting into an account and is not used for anything, it is not invested in the stock market.  It just sits there like it does not exist, for any practical purposes, like it is lost or burnt. 


3. But the same print house can print $1,000,000 and use it.  It should not lead to inflation, because your $1,000,000 is sitting in a bank account like it is lost; right?

4. Do you see any issues here with how money works?  It appears if money is not immediately tied to a material asset it is rendered worthless.

 

1. Yes it would be like that.  But in the larger picture the appearance or loss of a million or two means little to the economy.
2. The 1,000,0000 in the bank can be leant to other people many times over.  Not sure if it is.
3  In the larger picture the appearance or loss of a million or two means little to the economy.
4. If you are talking about money taken out of the economy completely, say kept in cash in a vault, then sure.  But that issue is a small one in the big picture.  

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3 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. Yes it would be like that.  But in the larger picture the appearance or loss of a million or two means little to the economy.

It was just an example.  Where does all gold sit?  I imagine in a vault.  If you rendered all gold in the world worthless, do you not think this might have an impact on the economy ??????  For all I am concerned, gold bullions in a vaults are worthless to us.

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5 minutes ago, cougar said:

1. It was just an example.  Where does all gold sit?  I imagine in a vault. 
2. If you rendered all gold in the world worthless, do you not think this might have an impact on the economy ??????  3. For all I am concerned, gold bullions in a vaults are worthless to us.

1. Sorry I should have been more clear.  If you have gold sitting in a vault that nobody knows about then it's "out" of the economy I guess.  But if you are using it as collateral on a loan then it's "in".
2. Even the disappearance of $1,000,000 has some impact.  it's all a math game because economics is ultimately a math game.

To answer the question - all the gold ever mined has an estimated value of $7.5 trillion so it would have a huge impact on the economy if it disappeared, all other factors being ignored.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_reserve#:~:text=At a price of US,and using WGC 2017 estimates.

3. Worthless to 'us'.  Well if it's worth something to somebody then it potentially has a market impact.  $7.5 trillion has a huge impact. 

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On 2/13/2022 at 11:46 AM, Michael Hardner said:

Well if it's worth something to somebody then it potentially has a market impact.  $7.5 trillion has a huge impact. 

Can I and you live without it?

It has always been here; it will always be here, unlike the more valuable wildlife , fish, trees, topsoil, climate etc.........

Do you not see any problem with our whole concept of money to begin with?

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Just now, cougar said:

1. Can I and you live without it?

2. It has always been here; it will always be here, unlike the more valuable wildlife , fish, trees, topsoil, climate etc.........

3. Do you not see any problem with our whole concept of money to begin with?

1. You and I can't but some do.

2. Not true.

3. I think that its success in providing a system for economic... uh... management... is now overshadowed by its shortcomings in providing for other needs.

 

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18 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. You and I can't but some do.

2. Not true.

3. I think that its success in providing a system for economic... uh... management... is now overshadowed by its shortcomings in providing for other needs.

 

1.  It is exactly the opposite

2. This is the opposite as well

3.  It is a system of mismanagement.  Works for as long as we have food on the table at the expense of becoming more in debt to those who run the scam

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19 minutes ago, cougar said:

1.  It is exactly the opposite

2. This is the opposite as well

3.  It is a system of mismanagement.  Works for as long as we have food on the table at the expense of becoming more in debt to those who run the scam

1. So you and I can live without money but others don't ?
2. Money has always been here ?  There was coinage minted during the big bang ?
3. You are talking about the current economic system, I think, not 'money'.  You can have money without banking, without lending and even without coins.

I have a lot I can explain to you, but are you just looking to argue with me ?  It's fine either way, I'm not judging but I don't understand your answers.  They're nonsensical.

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8 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

Example of the nonsense:

Q: Can I and you live without it? [money]
A: You and I can't but some do

To which you respond: it is exactly the opposite.  🤫

[gold] - the 7.5 trillion worth of gold you were talking about.

I have a minimal quantity of gold which I can easily live without , so can you, so can everyone.

You can't destroy gold.  It has always been here and will be here - it is a chemical element on the Mendeleev's table - now called periodic table mostly because Mendeleev happens to be Russian.

Stay focused, don't get confused so easily.

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3 hours ago, cougar said:

 

1. I have a minimal quantity of gold which I can easily live without , so can you, so can everyone.

2. You can't destroy gold.  It has always been here and will be here - it is a chemical element on the Mendeleev's table - now called periodic table mostly because Mendeleev happens to be Russian.

3. Stay focused, don't get confused so easily.

Ok - you were responding to the previous post then...

1. I think there's gold in my electronics that I need.  I don't have any gold jewelry or keepsakes.
2. OK 
3. You started the thread - about .. money.

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35 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

Ok - you were responding to the previous post then...

1. I think there's gold in my electronics that I need.  I don't have any gold jewelry or keepsakes.
2. OK 
3. You started the thread - about .. money.

The amount of gold in the electronics you need is so small that it will choke the production of gold, if we mined it just for this purpose only.   I am speaking about the 90% of the gold which is in bulluions or jewelry.

It is not just the gold.  Precious stones will be equally useless.  They needed to add the word "precious" so people don't get confused and consider them just rocks.  Diamonds - same thing.

Money , the subject of this thread, is unique in the way it is worth nothing in itself - it is just an intermediary.  Same as the crypto currency which is not even linked to a paper carrier. 

If I asked country X to produce and supply 100,000 live tigers, country X will be f*d as they cannot produce nothing.  If we determined the price of those 100,000 tigers was lets say $1 trillion; then the country can print you those $1 trillion or borrow it and be in debt forever, but they can supply what you asked for.

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10 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

Printing $1T is something that the US can do but not Togo.   

There is always the Foreign Currency Exchange.  They can print the equivalent amount in Togo Francs.

But this is not the issue at hand.   

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