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Nam September 16th, 2012 7:54 PM

The Money System (and an idea)
"We can't go on pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change..."

So once again, my mind has started delving in the thoughts of somehow, someday changing the system so that nobody has to live on the streets and starve. Usually my mind gets restless and it becomes a nuisance, but after my current experiences I prefer my mind this way. xP For a long time I've felt emptiness, like my mind was numb or blocked, unable to think properly about anything and I just went through the whole day not caring about anything cause I wanted this block to be lifted. I think it might be stress symptoms? But anyway, I learned to love the way I think and I hope this trait of mine never goes away again. xD

Going back to the topic. I've thought that perhaps we just have to work with the system and lift up lives one by one or something. But while you could probably help one life up, how would you lift them all? What system am I talking about? Money. To give you some background on my thoughts about money, here's something I wrote about two -almost three years ago:



I've been thinking about this for a while, and I think it's about time I present you with those very thoughts.

Why do we need money? Why do we work for money? Why do we kill for money? Why did we invent money?


According to the answer of another person's question on Yahoo! the purpose of money is as follows:
"Before money there was bartering and every transaction required a buyer and seller that wanted each others' goods or services. Also, they had to decide and agree what the items being exchanged were worth RELATIVE to each other and there wasn't anyway to divide certain transactions. (For example, maybe two farmers could agree that 4 chickens were worth a pig, but if the farmer only wanted 2 chickens he couldn't very well trade it for 1/2 a pig)

Money provides a common scale for valuing everything. A means to enact a transaction even if only one party wants what the other has to offer, means for saving for future purchases and borrowing for large purchases. Money doesn't age, die, or grow stale as certain goods do."
It may have seen like a good idea back then, but look at what it's done to us:

We go to school to prepare for life, no, our human reality. Everyday we work, why? Cause we need money (which we created), which we need to survive in our own society.

Why do we complicate ourselves with that? Why do we work for money? Why not remove money and work simply for improvement. So that at the end of the day nobody has to sleep on the streets on an empty stomach. In the same society we have created. But no, we all need a piece of paper to tell us we're doing a good job...

"It's not just a piece of paper, it has gold; which has a lot of value."

WRONG! It has "a lot of value" because we gave it that value, we gave it that much importance, so much that life seems to lose value. Who even told you that gold is to be used as a way to buy or accessorize ourselves? Those are human needs; perhaps, "artificial" needs, when we could probably use it for something much more significant.
Is there even enough gold on this planet for a population that's constantly growing?

I'm not saying, "let's go back to exchanging four chickens for a pig."
In fact, stop right there; who said those animals belong to you? From every theory or religion that I've heard, all the other animals seem to have been here before the human race. They shared their habitat with us and look at what we do...
Also, not only do the animals not belong to us, but the food which they provide and our planet as-well; we are claiming ownership of our resources.
Black people or however you want to call them, they aren't the only victims of slavery. We've put the whole world under our dominion and made it our personal chef, our butler, our slave.

Why are we so selfish?
Why do we need to possess anything other than ourselves?
Why do we always think about getting something in return for our services?
I know we'd all love to live a luxurious life, where everyone does all the work and you barely lift a finger, but would you really live your life in such a way, knowing that right outside your door; there's probably another being, dying because he/she lacks green paper?

I could guess what'll happen if we relinquished money:

Nobody will want to work; or at-least, they'll work, but only enough for themselves. "Why should we give you something, which we worked so hard for?"
You didn't really do anything. The apple in your hands was produced by a tree; the flesh on your plate came from another animal. All you did was rip it off.

And did they ask for something in return? No. (Plus, the animal didn't have much of a choice, did it? xD)
Lets leave the egoism and work for each other. Lets stop pretending the world belongs to you, because it doesn't; it belongs to everyone. Yes, including plants and animals.

To be honest I am afraid of the thought; to remove money from our lives. Apparently we all fear change, because we have accustomed ourselves to this way of life. We've lived like this for centuries; therefore, we live like this cause it's the only reality we know of. But think of it this way; without change, we'd still be living in caves, no light, no means to travel across the world and experience different cultures. Time isn't waiting for us, so let's try and change with it.
This is unchanged, it's exactly what I wrote. That's why you see the 'donkey corn dare' thing at the top. xD

Anyway, as you can see, from what I understand about this system; for one person to have more money -another needs to have less, and frankly, this will never truly change. Someone will always have more than you and that's fine. Ying and Yang, Balance. But my goal is so nobody has to starve and live on streets. The problem is, I can't pursuit this ideal until I learn and confirm that the facts I think about the system are true and not just superstitions.

So my question. How does the system work? Do we have enough money for EVERYONE? Think about it. Imagine everyone was working, not a single jobless soul. Would money be able to cover EVERYONE's needs? I'm speaking about the entire planet here. I understand there's this thing called 'inflation' which is caused by producing more money for some invalid reason or something.

What is the government doing for the homeless? I assume they share SOME responsibility for their current situation? And please don't say "They're doing absolutely nothing/[insert **** here]" unless you KNOW this for a fact. I'm not looking for assumptions or opinions here. I've got plenty of those. I'm looking for facts that could turn my own opinions and beliefs into real fact.

Explain to me in simple plain words, how does this system work? Where does the money come from? How do they decide the value of every dollar, peso, euro, -money.

I THINK I made this pretty clear, so now I will propose my idea "Based on my knowledge of the system"

Two words: Life Points.

They are imaginary numbers. I don't know what's an effective way to implement this but I'll give you an idea for the heck of it; to help explain my views.

Every living being has the right to live and have access to the necessary things in life such as a warm place to sleep, food, water, etc. These "Life Points" are imaginary numbers which are managed by little round devices (just to give you a shape). These round devices are indiscriminately distributed to every person -we can start with a single country I guess.

With these Life Points, people can ONLY buy things that are NECESSARY. Such as a fixed amount of food, water, etc.

People would have to use these Life Points wisely since they would only reset after a fixed amount of time which could be as long as days, weeks, months, perhaps even years. Since these are limited points and only give you your daily needs, people will still have an incentive for work and gain money to improve their given basic life form or just as insurance in case something went bad with their points.

Wait, so you want to hand out meaningless imaginary points and buy with it?

Money is just as meaningless as Life Points. We're the ones who gave money a purpose and meaning and we can do the same for these "Life Points", which will save many lives and improve life for everyone.

I'm aware though that this needs work. There are many things this new system needs work on; like the fact that technology can be hacked and taken advantage of or some other complex political or commercial phenomenon I don't understand.

Anyway, I think this is all I have for now. Please don't waste my time with "It'll never work." Tell me WHY it'll never work, and don't forget my goal here is to learn the absolute truth about the money system we have and whether this idea is even necessary. I'm not looking for consent. I'm not looking for someone to tell me, "good idea!" (although appreciated xD), I want facts so I can separate my own ideas as fact and superstition.

Point out some conflicts you think the new system could have with other factors in life or ideas of your own to improve it. Again, I can't stress enough. Although I appreciate all your ideas, my priority and purpose of this thread are to gather facts.

Z_Z September 17th, 2012 1:31 AM

What you are describing is effectively just welfare in the form of 'food stamps' or sometimes called 'essentials cards' or whatever. It already exists in many communities. It is just a welfare payment that can only be used on rent/food/bills

You ask "is there enough money for everyone?". Well, as you said, money is a concept we invented we can easily print more, but of course this doesn't solve anything.

That is because money is only a way to measure and value materials and labor. You can change the supply of money but this won't change the amount of materials and labor available to be consumed by society.

The things you want for everybody (water, homes, power, food, etc) require materials and workers to produce them. To increase the welfare of a society you want to maximize the amount of labor and resources available. So you need incentives for people to be productive and efficient with their own time and resources. The major incentive is money. We can consume more if we produce more.

Khawill September 17th, 2012 5:35 PM

This sounds much like Communism. Not the bad kind but the actual true idea that works in theory. But there is no incentive to follow this, people don't want to work for the good of everyone as a matter of fact, most people want to be at the top.

Anyways who decides what is essential? Where would the line stop? Food and water is technically all we need, but then we want clothes to stay warm. Then we want houses for when it rains. Then we will want bigger houses so more people can live in them (and with less people dieing from poverty there are more people, meaning that we have less space and some people will get bigger houses/apartments.). Then from there we would want electricity to make our lives easier, and that means people have to work hard maintaining it.

I'm going to say something about the animal part. They would do the same for each other. It is pure nature that we would enslave what we want to eat to survive (I say want because we don't have to eat them) as for comparing African slaves to animal slaves it is a bit different. Lets say you had a little brother and he was picked on in school, you would likely care more than if it was your brother picking on someone else right?

Back to the topic, people don't want to live on the bare minimum anymore, I don't believe we as a whole has ever wanted it (individuals and groups maybe but not everyone) and lets be honest, do you think a doctor should be just as entitled as a person who sweeps hair in a barber shop?

Nick September 17th, 2012 6:36 PM

Oh my, there was a movie about the 'Life Points' thing you described.

The plot worked out with the rich still being the rich, the poor being poor, and such. I also think, Khawill, it's more akin to socialism (a far but not so far relative of communism), everything being equal and all.

And having countries like Vietnam and China as communist comparisons to capitalist countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia – Does either have less faults than the other? I think not. The upper class never fails to divide the middle and lower classes, so they can keep going to the bank—which brings us back to the root of all human evil: money. The mere fact that something exists that is interchangeable with anything else that could exist on this planet and beyond is no small matter.

Nam September 19th, 2012 6:41 PM

Dang... Shattered just like that. xD Expected as much. It's true, sadly, people wont work without incentive and to maintain a system like that, they'd have to be willing to produce more and ultimately, work more. A system like this could never work as long as there is just one person who says "no".

And I agree, there will always be the rich and poor, I just thought poverty might have been masked a bit to a point that not even they noticed because they could live without worrying where they were going to sleep and what they were going to eat. I used to think that poverty didn't exist before, when money wasn't even a thought. But it did, in the form of possession. Who had more land or chickens, those were the rich. xP

Still though, you've got to agree that there is indeed something wrong with the way we live, isn't there? Or is it just me. I feel there's something that needs to change and I can't figure out just what it is. The only thing that could possibly change is the way people think, but it's impossible.

What else do you guys know about the way money rotates the world? Any information is appreciated. xP

Edit: @AlexTheRose, what movie is that? I'd like to watch it.

Z_Z September 20th, 2012 1:50 AM

If your goal is ending poverty, then money is essential.

If we were to produce everything we consume ourselves, we would be much poorer. Think how hard it would be to build your own house, grow your own food, sew your own clothes and build your own things, you would have much less. Money lets you specialize in one job and consume from others who specialize in theirs. If you're interested read more

There is plenty of evidence that domestic and international trade has greatly reduced poverty. Money is the mechanism this takes place. You might think things are bad, but the people of Earth today have much better quality of life and life expectancies than ever in human history.

The bigger problem in reducing poverty is getting people to participate in the economy. This is either because they have limited access, or are unwilling.

Nam September 24th, 2012 4:04 PM

But do you think that poverty could truly end one day if everyone worked as you say? I'm not talking about poverty in one country, if not the world. I feel that another problem, somehow, is the fact that we're divided in countries. Sure, it organizes and labels things to help do things more effectively in one way, but it also divides us and makes people work for their country and their country only.

History divides them as it does Dom. Rep. and Haiti for example. Wars are born because you destroy a tower in our country and you kill our people so now we'll kill yours. We are possessive and if we could, everyone would probably just live within a bubble without giving anyone the time of day. As John Lennon said, "Imagine there's no heaven", "Imagine there's no countries", "Imagine no possessions", "And the world will live as one"

To be honest I wasn't thinking of that song as I wrote this, it just popped up and now I understand it even more. If people stopped thinking about our people or their people maybe they could think about people.

It seems that the only way for one country to rise, another must fall. Life expectancies have improved, but only for those who were lucky. How about the unlucky ones? The ones we forget about as we go on about our daily lives? And you don't want to stop because if you do, if you stop and think about it, everything loses meaning and then your motivation goes down the drain. So people ignore it because they don't have the answer and they will always ignore it because of it.


Khawill September 24th, 2012 6:19 PM

Who cares, after about 80 years we'll all be dead and maybe escape from the problem. The mentality of a person isn't for the people, it is for the person and maybe a few others. Some people think for the people, but not nearly enough. and the rise+Fall of countries comes from balance of nature.

Which by the way also prevents something that great from happening, it is just too good and will balanced out eventually (it will last a few years or decades but will certainly fail)

Z_Z September 25th, 2012 12:15 AM


Originally Posted by Nam (Post 7351514)
But do you think that poverty could truly end one day if everyone worked as you say?

I don't believe you can get everybody to work. Many are physically or mentally unable to do so, hence developed economies have welfare systems which is essential, but this also creates a free-rider effect


Originally Posted by Nam (Post 7351514)
It seems that the only way for one country to rise, another must fall. Life expectancies have improved, but only for those who were lucky. How about the unlucky ones?

This isn't even a little bit true. Trade is not a zero-sum game. It is beneficial to both sides.

Also, life expectancies have risen dramatically all over the world. Not only in western countries.

google is your friend

Jolene September 25th, 2012 4:38 AM

I had an idea like this a few months ago but it is a bit different.

My idea is similar to yours in that everybody has a special electronic device which records their wealth, except in my idea they are heart-shaped because hearts are more aesthetically pleasing. These devices record whenever you do a helpful deed and subsequently add to your sum of 'Goodness Points'. 'Goodness Points' are the basis of the economy - you spend them to buy things.

The helpfulness of your actions determines how many Goodness Points you earn. For example, doing small chores around the house would earn you a very small number of Goodness Points - perhaps just enough to buy some mints and a few buttons, the same as pocket money in our current economic system.

Doing actual work for a company would earn you a lot more Goodness Points because you are helping society in general rather than just your immediate family. People with extremely important jobs like managers and company owners would earn even more Goodness Points, because they are holding together the business structures which support society.

However, if a person does a bad deed they lose some of their Goodness Points. The severity of your bad deed determines how many points you lose - a cruel older brother who picks on his sister will lose just a few Goodness Points (though she will insist he should lose more), whereas a company manager who steals from the pension fund will lose most or perhaps all of his Goodness Points.

My idea of Goodness Points would prevent many of the problems which plague our current economic system. For example, people would no longer be able to steal wealth because stealing is bad and you would lose Goodness Points if you attempted it. Also countries would no longer fight wars for economic gain because you would lose all of your Goodness Points as soon as you start killing people.

This is my idea. If you do not understand it here is a helpful visual aid:

What do you think of my idea?

Oryx September 25th, 2012 4:47 AM

If there's no limit to how many Goodness Points exist in the world then it'll be subject to endless inflation and we'll have like the country where things cost millions of their currency because there's so much of it floating around.

If there is a limit it would be...just like money with a different name.

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