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(Eighteen-minute read)

How does money shape the world?

A daunting question.  Where does one start?

Perhaps it is possible to understand the significance of a medium of exchange like money by considering its absence.

If we want to create and live in a more fair, just, democratic, and morally advanced society with the least amount of poverty, crime, pollution, disease, and so on, we must learn the importance and value of voting with our money.

Before Money, we had Barter the exchange of goods, exchanged directly for other goods.14 Myths About Money: Are You Being Fooled?

 

What is money?

There are many myths surrounding money like Money doesn’t matter or it’s the root of all evil. People tend to make money mean what they believe it to be, not what it actually is. Time is not money. Tasks are money.

Money has little value to its possessor unless it also has value to others.

Teeth currency used to be common in the South Pacific and among native Americans.

To qualify as “money,” something must be widely accepted as a medium of exchange that is not backed by anything physical.  It relies on trust, it serves as a unit of account, which is a consistent means of measuring the value of things. However, it does not holds value over time and it is not the only thing that stores value.

Money is not a risk-free store of value, however. In periods of rapid inflation, people may not want to rely on money as a store of value, and they may turn to commodities such as land or gold instead. Because money acts as a store of value, it can be used as a standard for future payments.

But something need not have intrinsic value to serve as money.

Gold and silver are the most widely used forms of commodity money. One disadvantage of commodity money is that its quantity can fluctuate erratically.

The currency —paper money and coins—used in the world today is fiat money; it has no value other than its use as money.

What makes something money is really found in its acceptability, not in whether or not it has intrinsic value or whether or not a government has declared it as such.

Credit cards are not money. Gold is not money because it is not used as a medium of exchange. In addition, it does not serve as a unit of account. A Van Gogh painting is not money. It serves as a store of value. It is highly illiquid but could eventually be converted to money. It is neither a medium of exchange nor a unit of account.

Money is the medium of exchange for goods and services. It doesn’t literally make the world go around, but the economies of countries rely on the exchange of money for products and services.

Money, ultimately, is defined by people and what they do.

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There are really only two types of money: money that has intrinsic value and money that does not have intrinsic value.

To days society rewards you by giving you fiat money the most highly addictive substance on the planet: What’s most frightening about it is that you can’t ever physically overdose. Make no mistake about this. Like all addiction stories, wealth addiction is tragic with no boundaries. Like any addict in the throes of their addiction, there’s no limit to how far this can go.

The addicts will hijack human spirituality, exploit hatred, brainwash the masses, derail democratic politics, and tinker with fascism in their desire to have more.

Well, as strange as this is going to sound, there might be a pill for all this.

Imagine a world where every consumer, you and I, and everyone we know only supported transparent and ethical companies, and only bought products that were made by companies that stood by the same ethical standards we believed in, a world where businesses made sure they were “doing the right thing in the eyes of the majority”

But, if enough people were to unionize and demand ethical jobs paired with enough customers organized and demanding ethical products and services it could ignite a domino effect as companies struggle to supply what’s being demanded.

Trying to make it in this dog-eat-dog world we live in now needs more than just money.

Without money how can one afford to live?

Which measure of money is most closely related to real GDP and the price level?

As that changes, so must the definition of money.

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It would take a huge sacrifice on everyone’s part. 

Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, industry, and the means of production are controlled by private owners with the primary goal of making profits.

Just because the ideology of capitalism is only concerned with profits this does not mean it does not shape the world we live in.

In a globalized and dynamic economic system, there is a powerful and controversial organization that has the economic firepower to bail out entire countries:

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

During the 1980s, the IMF took on an expanded role of lending money to “bailout” countries during a financial crisis. This gave the IMF leverage to begin designing economic policies for over 60 countries. Countries have to follow these policies to get the IMF’s “seal of approval” to get loans, international assistance, and even debt relief.

Thus, the IMF has enormous influence not only in structuring the global economy but also on real-life issues such as poverty, environmental sustainability, and development.

The IMF has created a system of modern-day colonialism that SAPs the poor to fatten the rich. (SAPs were developed in the early 1980s as a means of gaining stronger influence over the economies of debt-strapped governments in the South. To ensure a continued inflow of funds, countries already devastated by debt obligations have little choice but to adhere to conditions mandated by the IMF and World Bank.)

(SAPs) ensure debt repayment by requiring countries to cut spending on education and health; eliminate basic foods and transportation subsidies; devalue national currencies to make exports cheaper; privatize national assets, and freeze wages.

Why because they represent a rich country’s dominance in decision-making.

Nearly 80% of all malnourished children in the developing world live in countries where farmers have been forced to shift from food production for local consumption to the production of crops for export to industrialized countries.

The IMF also requires countries to eliminate tariffs and provide incentives for multinational corporations – such as reduced labor and environmental protections. Small businesses and farmers can’t compete with large multinational corporations, resulting in sweatshop conditions where workers are paid starvation wages, live in inhumane conditions, and are unable to provide for their families. The cycle of poverty is perpetuated, not eliminated.

The IMF is funded with taxpayer money, yet it operates behind a veil of secrecy.

The IMF works with a select group of central bankers and finance ministry staff to decide policies without input from other government agencies such as health, education, and environment departments.

Furthermore, the IMF has resisted attempts to open up to public scrutiny and independent evaluation.

The IMF has made elites from the Global South more accountable to First World elites than their own people. Assets such as forestland and government utilities (phone, water, and electricity companies) are sold off to foreign investors at rock bottom prices.

IMF loans and bailout packages are paving the way for natural resource exploitation on a staggering scale.

The IMF, along with the WTO and the World Bank, is directing the global economy on a path of greater inequality and environmental destruction.

So this justifies that IMF is bad for the world. Whoever started these institutions had a vision of a Devil. It is no coincidence that the official ideology of the sponsors of the IMF and the World bank is called “Capitalism*

These two institutions can’t do anything without Washington’s ok, as the US is by far the largest contributor to their budgets.

The problem is, that a lack of IMF could be even more harmful. When a country calls the IMF, it means it can no longer pay its economic commitments. That is, it is about to go bankrupt, and fall into social chaos.

So, as bad as the IMF recipe is, it beats the alternative, of financial default.

The intention of capitalism and the free market is to reduce any normally operating, anarchic society full of diversity and opportunity to a power pyramid where everyone is able to find their place according to how much money they have and entrepreneurship is the only goal.

Banks create money by issuing loans to borrowers.  

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There are other factors to consider beyond just profits, individual wealth, and cheap products?

What about protecting the land, air, and water,

The steady growth of the cryptocurrency industry over the years has drawn more attention to its carbon footprint. Bitcoin mining is currently estimated to account for about 0.5% of global electricity consumption, using up more power than Sweden does in a year,.

Have you ever considered what went into creating the product you are purchasing?

Imagine how much is thrown away because it’s cheap and easily replaceable. But why is it so cheap, how often do we ask ourselves these questions?

Imagine not just jobs that provide a paycheck but jobs that are benefiting society in positive ways it will motivate us to realize how dependent we have become on unethical and unfair practices and businesses in the name of profit. I hope we will begin to educate ourselves and make more ethical decisions as they relate to all aspects of business and not wait for our government to do it for us.

We can talk about changing the system in many ways through government change and through legislation change, but until then what can we do as individuals?

Well, I have some bad news because things are about to go pear-shaped. 

Money is disappearing being replaced by Data and digital payment platforms.

because of this current economic models will come off the rails at some point. 

Before this point, I think that we have to see that the corporations of the world have abandoned people long ago. That we will have to build our own economies and democracy as a living democracy in a world driven by technology. Corporations belong to no land no country no people. They have no loyalty to anything apart from profit and if we don’t start regulating profit algorithms and make them transparent profits will become on an unimaginable scale, becoming illegitimate, criminal at the cost of life as climate change takes a whole.

Changing the world for the better is not just a one-time grand heroic act, maybe it’s best described as the small but consistent decisions we all make every single day.

As the old saying goes…

“We blame society, but we are society”

Becoming financially fit has a cost and there aren’t any shortcuts from becoming a slave to it a master of if. 

All human moments are appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin.