Money: good or bad?
Money obviously plays a large role in our lives, but is it a good thing or a bad thing? Does it do more harm than good? Would the world be a better place without it?
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It's not as if it has a mind of its own. It's a tool, like a wrench of hammer.
It's useful as a means of exchange, and something must be given worth in order that people can dependably "trade" goods and services. Otherwise you are literally trading goods and services which is a very inefficient way to run any society.
The things that money are used for, its tendancy to consolidate and serve the few more than the many in some instances are just reflections of human nature. While it can be a bad thing it would not be the inanimate object which is bad but the way it is used, by who, etc. For each time money is seen as harmful or unjust or encouraging some criminality or immorality though, there are cases when it is charitable, encouraging and useful.
You could say that it's really a good thing. It shows you how much effort you're putting into a job (As in a rational world, you would earn money for the amount of work you do), but also, it puts a proper price on things. If there was only haggling, people could be scammed out of their items very easily. I know this can also be done with money, but it's harder, depending on where you buy goods and services from.
Neither good nor bad.
Money is a tool; a means for exchanging resources.
Profit, Greed, Ownership, Selfishness
These things may or may not be good or bad. For what are ideas of good or bad but insubstantial fruits of perspective?
What can be practically debated is not about terms of good or bad, but whether or not a system that promotes greed and consumption is beneficial to a species’ prolonged survival. Temporarily it may work, and it may solve the problem of resource distribution and scarcity, but as resources become less scarce due to an abundant energy supply, it might be more beneficial to the species to adopt a new economic design.
I think it’s obvious that the people who have the most money also have the most power in a group, and we are taught, through society, to accept and aspire to that position. But I personally believe that ‘the players’ that should be regarded in the Nash-equilibrium (see below) are not a team or select few within the population, but the species as a whole, and the game is the progression of the species and our opponent is our own self induced extinction.
Such a concept would require a shift in paradigm from the desire of power (resource allocation) to a desire of compassion and volunteerism. Those who inherit or gain resources would have to include in their group those who have not inherited or gained resources. Likewise, those who have not inherited any resources ought to strive to better themselves by gaining them all the while keeping in mind the betterment of the group as a whole. It’s a hard mindset to accomplish, easier said than done apparently.
Nash Equilibrium (www.gametheory.net)
Think about this, if there was no money, what would drive a farmer to grow food for people who live hundreds or thousands of miles away that he/she will never meet? What would cause every farmer to want to work hard from sun rise to sunset for people they don't know if there was no reward in it for them? What would drive anybody to get up and go to work all day? Without money, society would break down and we would go back to living in the wild.
In my opinion, money cannot be good or bad. money is just a kind of power. Everything depends on person who use it. However, power can bring to greediness, avidity and covetousness. Meanwhile, it can help to many people. If you want to be good, and use your money for good things, no one can prevent, cause it is up to you. Money is necessary for our daily life. In our time, people cannot imagine a life without money. People just cannot live without money.
All people think differently but each of them wants to full their pyramid of needs as American professor of psychology at Brandeis University, Maslow A. emphasizes in his great study, It is the physiological needs, safety needs, love/ belonging needs, esteem needs and self-realization needs. Money is only source which helps to full all points. To drink a quality water (it is your health) you need to buy the filter...again it is a money, to support yourself the protection you put the alarm system or you hire the bodyguards: money, to have the good relationship between your relatives or with your second couple again you need to present them your attention and of course your time..as all of we know "the time is money" again. Again and again money...the things which is your only source to help you survive in this life.
Maybe if currency had never existed then the world would be better. But now, society could not operate without money- its essential. Even if we didn't have money as we know it- there would be some form of currency. People have always traded so money is just an extension. In the past people would trade animals, produce etc... money is just an exchange like this in another format and helps human development. If money didn't exist, then trading wouldn't either. If humans didn't work together in such a way they would have to do everything for themselves and that would be beneficial to no one .
It could also be said though, that it's bad. People assume that the more wealth you have, the higher up you are in the chain of authority. This creates a rift between those in poverty, and those in luxury, which could be considered a bad thing. It also makes those who have less money feel more insignificant, and when people can't pay their bills etc, even if they are working incredibly hard, it makes them feel like life isn't going so well.
I see what you're saying, however if people say used goods as payment, you will still get the the gap between rich and poor, whenever there is a method of someone getting more wealthy (in any way) than someone else, somebody will be richer and someone poorer.
Unless you have a system like communism where everybody is equal, someone with less will feel more insignificant and vice versa. There always be someone well off than you, unless you're the guy at the top of the tree. Not using money will not get rid of that effect. Getting rid of inequality will, and that's a different problem.
Money is the best type of currency; its a neutral ground that is easy to store, it's exchangeable for anything, and personally I think it is better than a lot of other options, things like goods are just inconvenient to exchange, that's why money was created and stuck.
Just saying, I think money is very helpful as well xD Also, one of the major problems with using a system like Communism, is the human nature side of it. Most humans want to earn as much as they work for. If someone works harder than someone else, but they both earn the same wage, jealousy will most likely come into it. Also, how much 'money' do we really own? It's all just electronic now. There are definitely not enough notes for the amount of money in the world, but it's all just based on an online system. But still, you make a lot of very good points! Up vote needed there xD
The following argument by Hu008 is misleading: "and personally I think it is better than a lot of other options" - But Hu008 refers only to barter(singular) as the other options(plural). To say that money is good simply because it is more practical than barter is an insufficient claim. There are a lot of problems with the monetary system: It encourages greed, It divides the rich and the poor, It encourages war for profit, It encourages drug pushing for profit, It encourages prostitution for survival, It distorts the real value of things, It contributes to unemployment when budget is lacking even though there is plenty of work to be done, It causes oil companies to suppress clean energy so that they can maintain monopoly, It facilitates bribing and judges will acquit murderers and politician will pass legislations that are beneficial to elite groups even to the detriment of the many, It is unstable and can cause a financial crash like in 2008 resulting in millions of people losing their job and/or ownership of their home. The list goes on and on... In conclusion, Money has its undeniable practicalities; however, it also comes with a wide range of problems and undesirable effects, some devastating. These negative traits make Money a candidate for being replaced by a completely new system which possesses more positive traits than money.
Money is indirect exchange. Without money, an economy would merely be primitive. Money is not the means of wealth, goods and services are the true source of wealth because men and women produce things in exchange for other things.
Money is just a commodity just as is everything else purchased in an economy. Money is just a medium of exchange, which makes an indirect economy possible.
"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Aconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?
"When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor – your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money. Is this what you consider evil?
"Have you ever looked for the root of production? Take a look at an electric generator and dare tell yourself that it was created by the muscular effort of unthinking brutes. Try to grow a seed of wheat without the knowledge left to you by men who had to discover it for the first time. Try to obtain your food by means of nothing but physical motions – and you'll learn that man's mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.
"But you say that money is made by the strong at the expense of the weak? What strength do you mean? It is not the strength of guns or muscles. Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it? Is money made by the intelligent at the expense of the fools? By the able at the expense of the incompetent? By the ambitious at the expense of the lazy? Money is made – before it can be looted or mooched – made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he can't consume more than he has produced.
"To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except by the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return. Money permits you to obtain for your goods and your labor that which they are worth to the men who buy them, but no more. Money permits no deals except those to mutual benefit by the unforced judgment of the traders. Money demands of you the recognition that men must work for their own benefit, not for their own injury, for their gain, not their loss – the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery – that you must offer them values, not wounds – that the common bond among men is not the exchange of suffering, but the exchange of goods. Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best your money can find. And when men live by trade – with reason, not force, as their final arbiter – it is the best product that wins, the best performance, then man of best judgment and highest ability – and the degree of a man's productiveness is the degree of his reward. This is the code of existence whose tool and symbol is money. Is this what you consider evil?
"But money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires. Money is the scourge of the men who attempt to reverse the law of causality – the men who seek to replace the mind by seizing the products of the mind.
"Money will not purchase happiness for the man who has no concept of what he wants; money will not give him a code of values, if he's evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if he's evaded the choice of what to seek. Money will not buy intelligence for the fool, or admiration for the coward, or respect for the incompetent. The man who attempts to purchase the brains of his superiors to serve him, with his money replacing his judgment, ends up by becoming the victim of his inferiors. The men of intelligence desert him, but the cheats and the frauds come flocking to him, drawn by a law which he has not discovered: that no man may be smaller than his money. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
"Only the man who does not need it, is fit to inherit wealth – the man who would make his own fortune no matter where he started. If an heir is equal to his money, it serves him; if not, it destroys him. But you look on and you cry that money corrupted him. Did it? Or did he corrupt his money? Do not envy a worthless heir; his wealth is not yours and you would have done no better with it. Do not think that it should have been distributed among you; loading the world with fifty parasites instead of one would not bring back the dead virtue which was the fortune. Money is a living power that dies without its root. Money will not serve that mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?
"Money is your means of survival. The verdict which you pronounce upon the source of your livelihood is the verdict you pronounce upon your life. If the source is corrupt, you have damned your own existence. Did you get your money by fraud? By pandering to men's vices or men's stupidity? By catering to fools, in the hope of getting more than your ability deserves? By lowering your standards? By doing work you despise for purchasers you scorn? If so, then your money will not give you a moment's or a penny's worth of joy. Then all the things you buy will become, not a tribute to you, but a reproach; not an achievement, but a reminder of shame. Then you'll scream that money is evil. Evil, because it would not pinch-hit for your self-respect? Evil, because it would not let you enjoy your depravity? Is this the root of your hatred of money?
"Money will always remain an effect and refuse to replace you as the cause. Money is the product of virtue, but it will not give you virtue and it will not redeem your vices. Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit. Is this the root of your hatred of money?
"Or did you say it's the love of money that's the root of all evil? To love a thing is to know and love its nature. To love money is to know and love the fact that money is the creation of the best power within you, and your passkey to trade your effort for the effort of the best among men. It's the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is the loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money – and he has good reason to hate it. The lovers of money are willing to work for it. They know they are able to deserve it.
"Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it.
"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another – their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun.
"But money demands of you the highest virtues, if you wish to make it or to keep it. Men who have no courage, pride, or self-esteem, men who have no moral sense of their right to their money and are not willing to defend it as they defend their life, men who apologize for being rich – will not remain rich for long. They are the natural bait for the swarms of looters that stay under rocks for centuries, but come crawling out at the first smell of a man who begs to be forgiven for the guilt of owning wealth. They will hasten to relieve him of the guilt – and of his life, as he deserves.
"Then you will see the rise of the double standard – the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money – the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statutes are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law – men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims – then money becomes its creators' avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once they've passed a law to disarm them. But their loot becomes the magnet for other looters, who get it from them as they got it. Then the race goes, not to the ablest at production, but to those most ruthless at brutality. When force is the standard, the murderer wins over the pickpocket. And then that society vanishes, in a spread of ruins and slaughter.
"Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that it does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot.
"Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it becomes, marked: 'Account overdrawn.'
"When you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good. Do not expect them to stay moral and lose their lives for the purpose of becoming the fodder of the immoral. Do not expect them to produce, when production is punished and looting rewarded. Do not ask, 'Who is destroying the world?' You are.
"You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization and you wonder why it's crumbling around you, while you're damning its life-blood – money. You look upon money as the savages did before you, and you wonder why the jungle is creeping back to the edge of your cities. Throughout men's history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, but whose method remained the same: to seize wealth by force and to keep the producers bound, demeaned, defamed, deprived of honor. That phrase about the evil of money, which you mouth with such righteous recklessness, comes from a time when wealth was produced by the labor of slaves – slaves who repeated the motions once discovered by somebody's mind and left unimproved for centuries. So long as production was ruled by force, and wealth was obtained by conquest, there was little to conquer. Yet through all the centuries of stagnation and starvation, men exalted the looters, as aristocrats of the sword, as aristocrats of birth, as aristocrats of the bureau, and despised the producers, as slaves, as traders, as shopkeepers – as industrialists.
"To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a country of money – and I have no higher, more reverent tribute to pay to America, for this means: a country of reason, justice, freedom, production, achievement. For the first time, man's mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conquest, but only fortunes-by-work, and instead of swordsmen and slaves, there appeared the real maker of wealth, the greatest worker, the highest type of human being – the self-made man – the American industrialist.
"If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose – because it contains all the others – the fact that they were the people who created the phrase 'to make money'. No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity – to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted, or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words 'to make money' hold the essence of human morality.
"Yet these were the words for which Americans were denounced by the rotted cultures of the looters' continents. Now the looters' credo has brought you to regard your proudest achievements as a hallmark of shame, your prosperity as guilt, your greatest men, the industrialists, as blackguards, and your magnificent factories as the product and property of muscular labor, the labor of whip-driven slaves, like the pyramids of Egypt. The rotter who simpers that he sees no difference between the power of the dollar and the power of the whip, ought to learn the difference on his own hide – as, I think, he will.
"Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of men. Blood, whips and guns – or dollars. Take your choice – there is no other – and your time is running out."
---Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
yeah right.....to be honest,people with HUGE sums of money,they got nothing to do with their lives with and they don't even give a single cent to the people suffering without money and children working in an early age.not even a RUPEE.and there is one more point, at times there are people making money by selling drug to children and killing people for money.people should do something great for humanity or do something for them which is useful with the help of money. well, AT LEAST donate money to a child.that's how you make money valuable.
Freedom to live life as you desire is the BIRTHRIGHT of every one of us without exception. But when we start valuing money, to buy even basic needs like food, clothing and shelter life becomes a struggle for survival. You were never supposed to be a victim of life.But we ourselves have created the rat race, all are competing to earn maximum profits. I tell you, money will never be able to fulfill all your desires. Fulfillment of one wlll lead to desire of fulfillment of next. We are spiritual beings and can't be satisfied with material happiness.
True happiness and satisfaction has always been within... But if you run like mad throughout your life, not taking time to find what's going on in your life, how will you become aware of this fact?
Why is it that someone is rich and someone poor? The rich have been collecting wealth for a long time.How? By increasing the margins of cost price and selling price. For example, cost price may be 10 but it may be sold for 100, to someone with limited knowledge. Do you realize how many people with little knowledge are fooled by such selfish frauds? The poor haven't been given the opportunity to do so. Inquality prevails, although everyone is equal.
All crimes such as stealing and murder are mostly done for money. Why? Because people are in this illusion that money is power and that money is required for survival. But it's not power. Money is nothing more than a number to which we put so much value. Nothing more than a system of exchange. And why do we need something in return? Oh yes, we are NOT so generous.
If you really want to experience more in life, do something that you love to do; that you have passion for. Think about how you are contributing to the development of society positively. Think about your part and how you are an integral part of this world. The same holds true for everyone else and so, respect EVERYONE equally...
All the goods that you are getting, can you modify it to suit your needs? For example, can you make a computer which can interact with you with voice? No, until you have the knowledge. You would depend on experts. Have you ever thought why they charge so much? If you have tried fixing issues yourself, you will know that the 'FIX" was not difficult, but because of lack of knowledge you can't do it. And where do these so-called experts get their knowledge from? It has been handed down from history.
I ask you, did Newton charge money for publishing his findings? No, instead he had to pay the publisher. Instead of preserving that knowledge and providing it to others who are interested in finding more, it has been put a value: 3.7m dollars! What if some person could well understand the stuff and contribute to our knowledge? Total waste of knowledge! Knowledge does nothing useful until it is shared with people.
People pay for knowledge. What if someone poor could in fact understand what Newton conveyed better and come up with a better idea? But he can't buy the book, what's the use?
There have been made so many copies of good knowledge. For example, how many books will you find that all talk about machines? Of electricity? Of Arts? So many! Yet, true knowledge was only from one source.
Everything that you have is in some way or the other provided by nature. Do you care about nature? If not, you will soon find that money cannot be eaten. Fruits are exchanged for money, but does that money go to nature?
"Only when the last tree has been cut,
Only when the last river has been poisoned,
Only when the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten!"
And yet in our pursuit of money, we have created competition. Why is there more that one company manufacturing steel? Competition. As long as we continue this competition, ignoring nature we will soon find out its effects.
What is life, really? (www.abundance-and-happiness.com)
The point about competition is worth mentioning. Some people jump quickly to the conclusion that money is good because it creates competition and the assumption is that companies strive against each other to build the best product in view to monopolizing the market. Far from the truth. Bill Gates knew that in the world of money marketing is more important than product quality and he made his fortune that way. Competition pales in comparison to collaboration. Consider two companies developing the ‘same’ product. Neither product ends up quite the same, some things are better with one whilst other things are better with the other. If the customer wants the best of both of those products he must buy both, but that often remains impractical if not expensive. If the companies had collaborated rather than competed they could have shared their knowledge and came up with a superior product. Instead they will guard their ‘intellectual property’ in the name of profit. Another flaw with the monetary system.
Everyone wants to have more money, because all of us have a lot of wishes which mostly can be acheived through money, but we know that money spoil people. However money which is got through hard and honest work is the clearest money, because people who get it will think a lot before spend it for some unnecessary things.
I think there are two sides of money and it is up to us if it is evil or not.
Without money, people would've been treated equally. Everyone would have a roof over their head and food. Money also ruins peoples' morals. Without money, there wouldn't be a lot of problems in the world right now: poverty, starvation, war, the great depression,and much much more.
Money is a major problem. Yes, there are benefits, but believe it or not it's killing us and our Earth. Millions of millions of people are homeless, and starving to death. People refuse to do things either because they are too scared to make a change or too lazy to do anything about it. What I mean by this, there is a ton of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere but people refuse to do anything about that or the fact that so many people are starving because some countries don't have enough resources to feed us all. There is billions of things that could be said about this issue. But if nobody is going to step and actually act on it then whats the point. Why not just stop working, stop everything and give up?
Because giving up is not the answer, letting it happen is not the answer!
Money is both bad and good, but it is more but bad than good. The monetary system comes with a wide range of problems and undesirable effects, some devastating. Money is the number one candidate for being replaced by an entirely new system than can perform better. Devising a new system that can replace money is a complex task but it is achievable. Adopting a new system that is better for everyone is desirable. It is part of evolution and progress.
Money is portable, divisible and can be stored easily. This is its practical aspects. However, it is those very attributes which are its demise.
A quick look at the intrinsic flaws of its attributes:
As a medium of exchange: When the flow of money is insufficient or stops, e.g. people become poor or companies go broke, transactions also stop regardless whether there is genuine demand for these transactions.
Any monetary based medium of exchange intrinsically suffers from this flaw because the total supply of money becomes the limit regardless of real resources.
As a unit of accounting: Everything is distilled down to the bottom line figure of the balance sheet and decisions are based solely on the profit factor. Financial profit is favoured over common sense.
As a store of value: Gigantic sums can be accumulated and for those who operate either a legal or an illegal business, the addiction of accumulating money easily become the driving force over integrity. Everything must be evaluated, to give it a price so that is can be sold or purchased (transacted) using the monetary unit of accounting. However, the price of something is purely artificial and clumsily reflects the real value of that thing. The value of each and every thing in the world is complex and multifaceted. Distilling such complexity into a single simplistic number is at best an awkward approximation. Money fails to reflect the real value of things which leads to corruption and instability.
A good system would promote the following (all which money fails to deliver):
• Supply of goods and services are commensurate to the demand of the entire population
• All living persons have sufficient access to the necessities of life such as food, shelter, transport, health care, education and entertainment
• There is fairness in luxury rewards
• Meaningful statistical data is available to regulate and optimise the work week vs overall quality of life
• All living persons are given the best conditions to be productive and have a meaningful position in society
• Environmental care is a focus
• Encourages production methods that are the most efficient and produce the least amount of pollution
• Encourages the production of quality items that last
• Advances in clean technology is unimpaired by profit making
• Advances in medicine is unimpaired by profit making
• Sustainability is a by-product of the above
Money is neutral, it is the idolization of money that is bad per-se. As this debate is only open to "good" and "bad", I would learn towards bad. My reasoning is that money consuming the hearts of men is apparent and an issue on many fronts. It is the same question as, "are guns good or bad?" It is the person pulling the trigger that is to be evaluated, not the object being utilized.