Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

What do you think money means?

Asked by wundayatta (58321 points ) December 18th, 2009

There are many ideas about money. Some people think it is an evil thing that leads people into lives of sin. Or some such. Many people think it should be done away with (although they never seem to think about what money does, and what would do that function if money weren’t around).

I think that because most of the discussion about money is on a pretty emotional level, that people must have some serious ideas about what money means. Some people think money is a thing, all by itself—as if it were a table. I don’t know how many think it is only an idea.

Anyway, before I get carried away and tell you what I think, why don’t you tell me what you think?

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36 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Money is the closest thing to gawd we have lol. It actually can answer prayers and cure disease :) I’m kidding…kind of. But money is what allows us to live our lives and it can give us the most freedom one can ever experience. People who say money isn’t important: 1. Already have enough, and 2. Are just bold faced liars lol.

Sonnerr's avatar

The bill is an agreement that someone must oblige to. It is a way to make people think that it is of importance. Thus, making them feel important. All that I know about money is that it can change people. The other thing that I know about money is that it is what we got and apparently we can’t live without it.

jackm's avatar

It is a representation of a product or service and nothing more. When people call it evil, they are calling the man behind it evil, because money means nothing without man.

Money can not buy happiness, but work and self worth can, both of which produce money.

If you want to go to Ayn Rand (gasp) she would say: (which I agree with)

“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?

Read more here

azlotto's avatar

Food and beer.

Axemusica's avatar

I hate the idea of currency. The only reason I comply is because it’s taken over the world. I would like to have equal trades. I.E. a dozen eggs to trade for a gallon of milk? One persons work is another’s trade for something someone else needs. I hate the fact that money is the easiest and the hardest thing to obtain. Without money life would be horrible in a world where currency is everything. With money, well, you don’t really have to worry about much unless you don’t have tons of it, like most of the world does.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Money is stored energy. It represents energy expended to earn it and objects produced by energy one wishes to procure. It’s a simple tool in that way.

jackm's avatar

@Axemusica
You realize that is the way the world worked before? You can’t possible wish to go back to such a backwards system? What if I had eggs, you had milk, but neither of us needed the other product, we both needed clothes? The clothes person doesn’t need anything we have to offer, but needs apples? How do we orchestrate a trade? The answer is money, it solved this colossal problem and made everything much simpler.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Money means a system of exchange by which we barter for goods and service.

CMaz's avatar

It is what ever it is, that allows me to survive.

Axemusica's avatar

@jackm Yes, I’d like back to where earning something you needed was more of an accomplishment, than just getting by by paying your bills. There’s more self worth through that kind of a trial. Today people hate their jobs, commit suicide, are forced into poverty and for what? paper. The only people now’a’days that appreciate money are the people that are either super stars, in a related business or corporate ass’s that work their ass’s to the bone anyway all while destroying their children’s lives, because they’re too busy working to “give them the life they never had as a child” & mommy is all screwed up on pills and passed out in the bed most of the time.

geeez I really think I was born in the wrong era, lol.

DominicX's avatar

@Axemusica

Yeah, the only people who appreciate money are exactly like that. You hit the nail on the head.~

What do I think money means? I think money is the most efficient form of exchanging goods and services. Bartering doesn’t work because there is no way of measuring how much something is worth and once you start doing that, you’ve just created another system of money.

Do I think the system we have now is flawless? Of course not. If it were, there wouldn’t be so many people living in poverty. Do I think some people take money too far? Of course. If people are willing to kill someone else over money, they are taking it WAY too far.

As much of a raging liberal as I am, this is where I get conservative.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I want nothing more than to cut myself off from all society and this whole idea of money.

ucme's avatar

Business

jackm's avatar

@Axemusica
I fit into none of those categories and I really appreciate money. I appreciate working my way through college, I appreciate banks that loan me money to help me pay. I appreciate the job I will (hopefully) get that will allow me to pay those loans back.

@DominicX are you being sarcastic?

DominicX's avatar

@jackm The ”~” at the end of the post indicates sarcasm. :)

jackm's avatar

@DominicX
I figured, but i am not up on you young kids lingo these days

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

To me, money is a tool. It provides me with the means to create a barrier between myself and a world I do not understand, “Life is a shit sandwich, the more bread you have the less shit you have to eat”.

Axemusica's avatar

@DominicX Oh yes, everyone that appreciates money is exactly like that~
I know that some people are very successful at obtaining money, but not everyone is like that, a lot aren’t so fortunate and it disgusts me. Others are not so successful at making green paper airplanes that will let that currency flourish for them brilliantly. Like @stranger_in_a_strange_land said, “Life is a shit sandwich, the more bread you have the less shit you have to eat” god I love that quote, lol. The truth of the matter is that there are more people in the world that have to eat shit so to speak than not. Although, you (@DominicX ) & @jackm seem to be very opportunistic & more power to ya, but the rest of the shit eaters probably won’t ever have that cheese on their sandwich and I find that kind of sad.

john65pennington's avatar

Money is just paper. it burns, you can paper a wall with it, or you can use it as a personal status….........greed.

proXXi's avatar

Money means options.

trailsillustrated's avatar

anybody who says money is evil has never had to try to live without it. ‘its like a sixth sense, without which the you can’t truly make use of the other five’ i love money

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

@trailsillustrated
The saying is that “money is the root of all evil.” Not that money per se is evil.

PretentiousArtist's avatar

Things you use to pay your bills with

DominicX's avatar

@Kelly_Obrien

Actually the saying is “the love of money is the root of all evil”. As it is, that phrase is grossly exaggerated. People who kill for love aren’t doing it for money. I don’t think rapists have a monetary goal in mind. It’s just used to point out how quickly greed can lead to evil deeds.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Money is a tool. You use it to buy experiences and things you need but have no way of providing for yourself or acquiring by barter. Although if you’re smart enough, you can barter anything.

wundayatta's avatar

Wow! This is a very helpful conversation. It seems to me that the people who are opposed to money see it as a means of establishing hierarchies in the world. They seem to imagine that if money did not exist, all people would be equal because there would be no way to distinguish between the status of various people.

It’s interesting because people feel similarly about things. They complain that we worship things to much, and miss out on the value of people. People are prone to saying things like this especially at this time of year.

What they are really complaining about is inequity, I think. They tend to see the symbols of inequity as causing the inequity and imagine that if the symbols went away, the inequities would go away.

When I was young and poor, I felt similarly. I felt like society owed me a job and a living. I was ready to fight the established power order for my fair share. I could not, then, have imagined that by working every year, my money and things would grow and grow until I became one of those people I was jealous of as a youngster.

Now I think the market place is the best way for quality to be determined. I don’t care if it’s the arts or buildings or clothing, the market helps us understand the relative value of things. Of course the market doesn’t work without money. If we got rid of all the money, we’d just reinvent it, because without it, everyone would be dirt poor.

It’s about inequity and our perceptions of how we fit in the inequitable system and whether we think it is a fair system. Interesting. Thanks for your comments.

Axemusica's avatar

@trailsillustrated “anybody who says money is evil has never had to try to live without it.” I’ve been without a home a couple of times in my life and that’s because it boiled down money, but don’t take my word for it.

Snarp's avatar

There is a distinction that ought to be made between money and capital. Money is simply a system by which goods and services can be exchanged with greater flexibility than with barter. It enables people to provide a good or service that might not be valued by the individuals near them, or individuals who provide the goods and services they need. Any other system built to do that is still money.

Capital, on the other hand, can be anything of value, money, land, people, oil, etc. Capitalism essentially requires that everyone try to accumulate as much capital as they can. That imbues capital with an ethical value that the money, land, etc. did not have before they were labeled “capital”. And that value may well be evil. It is certainly associated with greed.

Probably not worded well, but I don’t have it in me to do any better right now.

Symbeline's avatar

Well, essentially money is pretty much the closest thing to a god that humans have, what with how important it is, and the consequences of not having any, even if it’s based on necessity.

I couldn’t really answer the question though…I don’t think money is evil per se, nor its concept, but rather, our nature that drives it all. If we went by some totally different system, we’d still be selfish, murderous fiends lulz.

Facade's avatar

Money means comfortability to me. Having it ensures that essential things like shelter, food, clothing, and transportation can be paid for.

lonelydragon's avatar

To me, money is security. I am not a materialistic person, and I don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. I just want enough to provide me with good food and a comfortable shelter.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

I really think it’s one of the worst roots of evil.

proXXi's avatar

Evil?

How am I supposed to pay for my tacos?

proXXi's avatar

All of you that have spawned (or plan to) had better say:

Money means one of the ways to provide the best possible life for my children.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

What do I think money means?

I didn’t hear what it said. Can it repeat itself, please?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Money means that someone who believes as you do ( that money can be used as a medium of exchange ) gave you some because you gave him or her goods or services. You in turn, can exchange your money for goods and services you need: food, clothing, shelter, luxury items. All of you can continue to do this until such time as people lose faith in the government ( which has the responsibility of controlling the supply of money ). Then money, even thought it’s printed by the government in a very complicated process, becomes worthless. Then it means absolutly nothing.

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