What is money?

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by Michaelangelica, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dtlzn
    We dream about it, argue about it, worry about it, celebrate it, spend it, save it, we transfer it from one emotion to another. But what exactly is money? And why do we trust it? Frances Stonor Saunders takes a journey through some of the fundamentals of money.
    During her journey she dips her toe into the world of quantitative easing. How is that money invented? Is it as real as the pieces of paper in our wallets? And she explores some of the reasons for the calls to return to a gold standard. Essentially, she tries to gain a better understanding of what this stuff which we call money is really about; how and why do we maintain our faith in it, or has it just become too complicated?
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dtlzn (radio)
     
  2. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Someone explained to me that money was just an idea backed by confidence.
    When confidence was high money had more value, less and the value dropped.

    That was many a year ago and sort of made sense then but doesnt now.
    Maybe part of the problems we have with money is that we dont really understand what it is but rather hope we got enough of it anyway.
     
  3. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    It is just a means of energy transfer and not the only one. That way it can fluctuate in perceived value.
     
  4. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day All

    Holmgren's 'essay' on 'money' (among other things) is available here.

    Cheerio, Markos.
     
  5. Finchj

    Finchj Junior Member

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    A tool which has been elevated to God-like status among many humans.
     
  6. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  7. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Thats a pretty powerful message and makes me feel ashamed for being so cowardly and not following suit.
    Especially the point that money is the thing that distances us from the comsequences.
    Time for time out to think more on this and actually do something alittle more effective.
     
  8. adiantum

    adiantum Junior Member

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    The person in that article reminds me of myself ten years ago. What he's doing is squatting, or interning, or caretaking on someone else's land. Someone else who is dealing with the money issues and who, sooner or later, but very likely, will have had enough of him and will give him the boot. The fundamental problem is land access. It's quite easy, as that article describes, to live on very little or no money, provided one has land access (and the knowledge to utilize the resources available from land access to obtain a subsistence). Something needs to change, and something seems likely to snap. In the US at least there's a large amount of unused/uncared for land and buildings and a large number of landless/houseless and increasingly desperate people. It's a big problem in what permaculture calls "invisible structures" that is begging and pleading for a creative solution...hopefully one not involving violence!
     
  9. JolyV

    JolyV Junior Member

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    or the devil between us
     
  10. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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  11. Unmutual

    Unmutual Junior Member

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    After reading all of the links, I have to wonder how the monetary systems have existed this long. Like law and order, it all seems to be one large trick of deception.
     
  12. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    A lot of it is held together by fear.
     
  13. Farside

    Farside Junior Member

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    There is a difference between money and currency. Currency is a medium of exchange - something that is widely accepted to facilitate the efficient act of trade. Barter is good but it's a little clunky.

    A fiat currency is a medium of exchange which has no intrinsic (real) value and so it relies of the faith and trust of the people who use it. Modern paper currency is a good example as it is itself worth nothing but the paper it's made of. We trust that the value it represents does not change over time.

    Money is a claim on human labour, or energy if you prefer to see it that way. If a loaf of bread costs a dollar then it takes a dollars worth of human labour to make the bread. This translates easily into the barter system and you see why money became so important. A farmer can now compare and exchange his harvest with that of the fisherman, the builder etc.

    When money is also a currency then the medium of exchange has an intrinsic value. Gold is a good example because it takes labour to extract, refine and mint the coin. There is no trust or faith involved in determining the value of the medium of exchange.
     
  14. Tildesam

    Tildesam Junior Member

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    I'm very much looking forward to reading Holmgren's essay - thanks for that Marko!

    I've also invested in Your Money or Your Life which arrived today to get a bit more insight.

    Surely, from looking at historical accounts of civilisation currency (even in the form of money) must have had a golden point where it was at it's most useful (particularly for putting a lot of effort into purchasing something out of the ordinary, say a particularly well-bred horse, like Farside mentions)

    The point we're at now though, where a) countries no longer attribute money to tangible value (think U.S withdrawing from Gold Standard) and b) where people now consider money to be fundimental to their wellbeing (to the point where they sacrifice wellbeing to earn money for it) - is just sheer overkill.

    I've been brought up in the thick of the latter here ^^ and I'm determined to break this cycle of money = happiness. (It's proving quite a challenge, let me put it that way)
     
  15. Farside

    Farside Junior Member

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    If you are really interested to learn about money, currency and their roles in history then the worlds #1 person is most likely Martin Armstrong. He is a monetary historian and his writings about the Roman empire and their money system is very interesting.

    Now he is likely the worlds #1 most hated economist type guy from a political perspective and he spent 10 years in prison for contempt of court (yes, in the USA, you can be imprisoned indefinitely for contempt) so he's quite critical of the US judicial system, the West's incarnation of democracy and "the system" in general. I'm not saying he's wrong though :shake:

    Anyway, he's also identified cycles within monetary systems, economic systems, political systems and civilisations that go back all the way to the dawn of civilisation.

    He uses these cycles to make predictions and so most of his writings are examples of monetary or political history that form precedents to and support his predictions.

    It's all rather complicated but it gives you a great insight into human nature and the nature of time.

    Here is his website:
    https://armstrongeconomics.com/693-2/

    Although I generally use the following to read his latest essays (they get posted faster here lol!):
    https://www.martinarmstrong.org/
     
  16. Farside

    Farside Junior Member

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    In case anyone's interested, this week both the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve have publicly stated that they will effectively print currency to infinity. This marks the beginning of the terminal phase of a fiat currency system.

    A fiat currency system historically lasts around 40 years and the one we are currently in began in Aug 1971 when Nixon announced the end of the Gold Standard.

    From now on, it pays to hold your wealth in anything that is easily transportable and "off-grid" meaning gold, silver, jewellery, art, gems, wine, liquor and such.

    Notice that land wasn't in there. This is because historically, the political establishment raises property taxes to offset the lost revenue caused by unemployment (less income tax) and increased debt costs (higher interest rates on the bonds they sell).

    The rules will change so that we can't easily access funds (like daily limits on withdrawals), move wealth (border checks and seizures), and they will introduce more "incentives" to stay in the system (like making rural life impractical via the cost of licenses to produce anything small scale or just outright banning them for our own safety).

    The policy of search, seizure and retrospective prosecution will become even more prevalent so only those who can afford to go to court and fight to have their possessions returned will be able to keep what they lawfully have.

    As far as a practical action for us, based on what history is saying, to avoid this is to move somewhere where this isn't going to happen. There are many places in Africa, Central Asia, Central and South America who need permaculture, welcome its presence and respect the rule of law.

    I suggest we all start looking for potential projects in these locations and get the ball rolling. the chances are that within 5 years, 2026 at the very latest, you'll need this place.
     
  17. Farside

    Farside Junior Member

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    I watched a reality show called "Mountain Men" last night and it follows three guys in different parts of North America living in the wilds of Alaska, Montana and the Appellations.

    What struck me is the guy in the Appellations lives in the absolute middle of nowhere and survives off his land - real 1800's kind of existence. Well, he gets a letter informing him that he owes $$$ in property tax, a lien has been placed on his land and a bank will be coming to take it from him. He lives off the land and doesn't need money so he doesn't have money to pay the taxes. Meanwhile the land next to his is being clear felled for timber...

    Some here might think I'm a little off my rocker for these posts I made but these things are happening right now.
     
  18. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    It's already happening. People have tried to take stuff out of Italy and Greece and have been caught and prosecuted. News laws to stop money being transferred to other countries. People in the states being grilled about why they want to take money out of the bank, what they want to do with it etc. Big Banks stealing depositors money (MF Global) and no one being held to account. QE 3 open ended will destroy whatever value the US dollar has (but makes exports cheaper). Europe same deal.

    I don't think there are 'safe' places to go. A lot of Africa, Central Asia and south america are very corrupt.


    I remember my mum telling me about the times when the oldies hid the money under the mattress to protect it from being stolen by the government. In the states everyone had to hand in all their gold to the government so that is no protection.

    https://reality-bytes.hubpages.com/hub/What-is-The-Gold-Confiscation-Act

    People have to remember that governments of all persuasions can dream up anything to put into law to do what they want. Best idea is to work towards getting out of the system as much as you can.
     
  19. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    In australia Part 1V of the Banking Act allows for confiscation of personal gold.

    All countries have a confiscation risk on the basis that we are dealing with politicians. In our view, Australia has a relatively high risk of gold confiscation theft because Australian law already has a mechanism in place to require delivery of gold to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). If you read Part IV of the Banking Act 1959 (the compilation was prepared on 7 July 2008, taking into account amendments up to Act No. 73 of 2008), you will notice the Governor-General may confiscate gold "for the protection of the currency or of the public credit of the Commonwealth". Section 41(1) says "A person shall not, except with the consent in writing of the Reserve Bank, take or send any gold out of Australia". Section 42(1) says "a person who has any gold in the person’s possession or under the person’s control shall deliver the gold to the Reserve Bank, or as prescribed, within one month after the gold comes into the person’s possession or under the person’s control". Section 43 says "all gold delivered in pursuance of section 42 shall thereupon vest in the Reserve Bank absolutely, free from any mortgage, charge, lien, trust or other interest in or affecting the gold". Section 44 says "the amount to be paid for any gold delivered in pursuance of section 42 shall be an amount determined in accordance with such price as is fixed and published by the Reserve Bank". Section 45(1) says "a person shall not sell or otherwise dispose of gold to a person other than the Reserve Bank or a person authorized in writing by the Reserve Bank to purchase gold; and a person, other than the Reserve Bank or a person so authorized, shall not buy or otherwise obtain gold from any person."
     
  20. brandondstafford

    brandondstafford New Member

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    Money is any object or record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given socio-economic context or country. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange; a unit of account; a store of value; and, occasionally in the past, a standard of deferred payment. Any kind of object or secure verifiable record that fulfills these functions can serve as money. Money is historically an emergent market phenomena establishing a commodity money, but nearly all contemporary money systems are based on fiat money. Fiat money is without intrinsic use value as a physical commodity, and derives its value by being declared by a government to be legal tender; that is, it must be accepted as a form of payment within the boundaries of the country, for "all debts, public and private". In the earlier days the batter system was working instead of money. In the batter system there were to much complicated things such as if i want to buy flour from a person then i have to give a thing that he want like pot if that person do not want the pot then he will not replace flour with me. To prevent these thing money was introduced.
     

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