I was over at minds.com and doing something I rarely get to do anymore which is review some posts other people have put out on the feed. This night a reoccurring theme was presented by a poster implying that his page was somehow related to “news” and his content seemed to emphasize the idea that money was somehow evil as is your struggle for it. Such opinions are pretty acceptable from teenagers who are about to enter the adult world and have had everything handed to them on a silver platter and are beginning to realize that money doesn’t grow on trees, but from a full grown adult such opinions are extremely problematic and displays the kind of ignorance that propels the idea of a minimal intelligence quotient for potential voters.
What always makes me laugh when presented with the money and the strive for it are the roots of evil argument is that these same people with declare their solution with the bravado of someone who floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee …. barter.
Barter is a funny thing. The practice can turn just about anything into money. In all cases barter is the exchange of commodities. You have something I want and I have something you want lets trade. In ancient Egypt beer was money. Gold, silver, and bronze are all commodities and all have been made into money. Fundamentally money is a commodity which is why it is traded on the commodities markets across the world. Cash money represents a contract of debt. You employer owes you something, he gives you a certificate of debt in the amount you have agreed that he owes you, you trade the certificates of debt for the items you want. People trade debt like other commodities all the time. Remember the housing bubble? In a very real sense you are always bartering when you use cash (credit is a whole other fun topic). And before you ask, yes labor is a commodity.
As far as your struggle for money is concerned, that part of the “evil money” narrative is the most humorous of all. This is the part where we remind ourselve that that it is ok for teenagers to believe that the struggle for money is a bad thing. Teens often have no idea where things come from and have depended all their lives on their parents for the basics in life and in America generally a whole lot more. Flat-screen TVs, video game consoles, computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, iTunes, Nikes, and tons of others extravagances are the cornerstones of many an American household and the shock of their minimum wage part time workers paycheck is a real smack upside the head into the reality that is only a few very short years away.
Adults however realize that all of the things they want must be traded for something they have. What most people have to trade is their own labor and what kind of labor and the value of that labor depends solely on the person who is offering that labor to someone else for something they want, usually money. Money is easy to carry around and because money represents a debt already incurred it is a much better bartering tool than your sofa. If you want more money for your offer of labor then it is imperative that you acquire as many skills and as much knowledge as you can to make your labor more valuable. Because we all know that the more money you have, the more comfortable your life has the potential to be. Of course money isn’t the only factor in happiness but it usually is a very significant one.
Money isn’t simply a commodity though. Successful people have money and the more successful they are the more money they usually have. If you’re the best at anything you will be rewarded to a higher degree than someone who is not. Cash is the adult trophy. It measures the effort you have made in your life to learn, to master skills, to utilize wisdom, to focus, to refine a good work ethic, and to navigate the economic abyss.
But hey if you have the mind of a child and sincerely believe that money and the quest to make more of it is evil, feel free to forward all your cash and financial assets to me. I’m pretty cool with being evil about money especially your money so at least it will be used in ways that fit your childish little narrative.