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Old 02-09-2004, 12:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
Location: Good Ol' Iowa.. Home of The Hawkeyes
How did money....

get to be such a big thing in the what was in the early days of mankind a trade issue? I have lots of stuff to trade! If possessions were as important and carried the same value that dollar was at the time it was bought. Shit I would be rich! Who made the first dollar and where did the idea originate? How come if I was to come out with my own homeade dollar it would be a crime? Why wasn't it considered a crime when the very first one was made or dupilacted even for all that matters after the very first dollar was made? Just cause it has a diffrent number onit .. isn't still considered a duplicate? Isn't that crime? Danggg .. if it were only all that simple... but then I guess it wouldn't be much of a law. Simplicity just does not seem to make much sence in the world of confusion. Shit if things were simple someone may understand their rights the attys wouldn't profit. How ever did the bible get to be such big thick written law book or should say books.
Can you imagine Moses asking Congress to pass the ten commandments?
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Old 02-09-2004, 12:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
Location: Rhode Island biatches!
Interesting post hehe, it is odd if you think about it, we value pieces of paper so much
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Old 02-09-2004, 12:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
Location: San Francisco
Very interesting! I suppose tho, I value little pieces of plastic and digits on a screen more than the actual paper anymore....everything is "virtually" worth something......

I got some stuff to trade too- anyone have anything I want?
Cute, but useless.
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Old 02-09-2004, 01:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
Location: uk
I always think that, the fact that there should be enough resources in the world to go around so we could share it equally instead of using currency.

I think it boils down to the fact its human nature to be greedy therefore sharing it aint gonna work so we earn our money relative to how hard we work, in theory.

No matter how different ways i think of it it's still a mind fuck
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Old 02-09-2004, 01:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Denver City Denver
*looks into his empty Louis Vuitton wallet*

I don't know how money became so important. It'd be nice if we could trade like we used to... I'd get rid of this fuckin' wallet.
heavy is the head that wears the crown
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Old 02-09-2004, 02:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Manhattan, NY
salt, fish, leaves, many other items were used as "money" at some point in history.

a quick google puts this convo to rest:


The History of Money

In the Beginning: Barter
Barter is the exchange of resources or services for mutual advantage, and may date back to the beginning of humankind. Some would even argue that it's not purely a human activity; plants and animals have been bartering -- in symbiotic relationships -- for millions of years. In any case, barter among humans certainly pre-dates the use of money. Today individuals, organizations, and governments still use, and often prefer, barter as a form of exchange of goods and services.

9,000 -- 6,000 BC: Cattle
Cattle, which include anything from cows, to sheep, to camels, are the first and oldest form of money. With the advent of agriculture came the use of grain and other vegetable or plant products as a standard form of barter in many cultures.

1,200 BC: Cowrie Shells
The first use of cowries, the shell of a mollusc that was widely available in the shallow waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, was in China. Historically, many societies have used cowries as money, and even as recently as the middle of this century, cowries have been used in some parts of Africa. The cowrie is the most widely and longest used currency in history.

1,000 BC: First Metal Money and Coins
Bronze and Copper cowrie imitations were manufactured by China at the end of the Stone Age and could be considered some of the earliest forms of metal coins. Metal tool money, such as knife and spade monies, was also first used in China. These early metal monies developed into primitive versions of round coins. Chinese coins were made out of base metals, often containing holes so they could be put together like a chain.

500 BC: Modern Coinage
Outside of China, the first coins developed out of lumps of silver. They soon took the familar round form of today, and were stamped with various gods and emperors to mark their authenticity. These early coins first appeared in Lydia, which is part of present-day Turkey, but the techniques were quickly copied and further refined by the Greek, Persian, Macedonian, and later the Roman empires. Unlike Chinese coins which depended on base metals, these new coins were made from precious metals such as silver, bronze, and gold, which had more inherent value.

118 BC: Leather Money
Leather money was used in China in the form of one-foot-square pieces of white deerskin with colorful borders. This could be considered the first documented type of banknote.

800 - 900 AD: The Nose
The phrase "To pay through the nose" comes from Danes in Ireland, who slit the noses of those who were remiss in paying the Danish poll tax.

806 AD: Paper Currency
The first paper banknotes appeared in China. In all, China experienced over 500 years of early paper money, spanning from the ninth through the fifteenth century. Over this period, paper notes grew in production to the point that their value rapidly depreciated and inflation soared. Then beginning in 1455, the use of paper money in China disappeared for several hundred years. This was still many years before paper currency would reappear in Europe, and three centuries before it was considered common.

1500s: Potlach
"Potlach" comes from a Chinook Indian custom that existed in many North American Indian cultures. It is a ceremony where not only were gifts exchanged, but dances, feasts, and other public rituals were performed. In some instances potlach was a form of initiation into secret tribal societies. Because the exchange of gifts was so important in establishing a leader's social rank, potlach often spiralled out of control as the gifts became progressively more lavish and tribes put on larger and grander feasts and celebrations in an attempt to out-do each other.

1535: Wampum
The earliest known use of wampum, which are strings of beads made from clam shells, was by North American Indians in 1535. Most likely, this monetary medium existed well before this date. The Indian word "wampum" means white, which was the color of the beads.

1816: The Gold Standard
Gold was officially made the standard of value in England in 1816. At this time, guidelines were made to allow for a non-inflationary production of standard banknotes which represented a certain amount of gold. Banknotes had been used in England and Europe for several hundred years before this time, but their worth had never been tied directly to gold. In the United States, the Gold Standard Act was officialy enacted in 1900, which helped lead to the establishment of a central bank.

1930: End of the Gold Standard
The massive Depression of the 1930's, felt worldwide, marked the beginning of the end of the gold standard. In the United States, the gold standard was revised and the price of gold was devalued. This was the first step in ending the relationship altogether. The British and international gold standards soon ended as well, and the complexities of international monetary regulation began.

The Present:
Today, currency continues to change and develop, as evidenced by the new $100 US Ben Franklin bill.

The Future: Electronic Money
Digital cash in the form of bits and bytes will most likely become an important new currency of the future.
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Old 02-09-2004, 02:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
Location: Florida
Alriight! Time to break out the Ayn Rand's money speech from "Atlas Shrugged", which couldn't possibly be put more perfectly.


So you think that money is the root of all evil? said Francisco díAnconia. Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which canít 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 as payment for our 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 ó 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 ó and youíll learn that manís 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 manís 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 ó before it can be looted or mooched ó made by the effort of every honest man, each to the extent of his ability. An honest man is one who knows that he canít consume more than he has produce.

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 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 ó the recognition that they are not beasts of burden, born to carry the weight of your misery ó that you must offer them values, not wounds ó 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 menís stupidity, but your talent to their reason; it demands that you buy, not the shoddiest they offer, but the best that your money can find. And when men live by trade ó with reason, not force, as their final arbiter ó it is the best product that wins, the best performance, the man of best judgment and highest ability ó and the degree of a manís 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 ó 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 heís evaded the knowledge of what to value, and it will not provide him with a purpose, if heís 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 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 ó 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 the mind that cannot match it. Is this the reason why you call it evil?

Money is your means of survival. The verdict 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 menís vices or menís 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 momentís or a pennyís 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 youíll 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 itís the love or money thatís 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. Itís the person who would sell his soul for a nickel, who is loudest in proclaiming his hatred of money ó 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 menís 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 leperís bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another ó 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 ó 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 ó and of his life, as he deserves.

Then you will see the rise of the men f the double standard ó the men who live by force, yet count on those who live by trade to create the value of their looted money ó the men who are the hitchhikers of virtue. In a moral society, these are the criminals, and the statues are written to protect you against them. But when a society establishes criminals-by-right and looters-by-law ó men who use force to seize the wealth of disarmed victims ó then money becomes its creatorsí avenger. Such looters believe it safe to rob defenseless men, once theyíve 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 societyís virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion ó when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing ó when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors ó when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws donít protect you against them, but protect them against you ó when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice ó 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 menís 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 bounces, marked: ĎAccount overdrawn.í

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, ĎWho is destroying the world?í You are.

You stand in the midst of the greatest achievements of the greatest productive civilization and you wonder why itís crumbling around you, while youíre damning its life-blood ó 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 menís history, money was always seized by looters of one brand or another, whose names changed, 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 ó slaves who repeated the motions once discovered by somebodyís 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 ó as industrialists.

To the glory of mankind, there was, for the first and only time in history, a country of money ó 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, manís mind and money were set free, and there were no fortunes-by-conqust, 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 ó the self-made man ó the American industrialist.

If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose ó because it contains all the others ó the fact that they were the people who created the phrase Ďto make money.í No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity ó 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 Ď to make moneyí hold the essence of human morality.

Yet these were the words for which Americans were denounced by the rotted cultures of the lootersí continents. Now the lootersí 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 lean the difference on his own hide ó 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 ó or dollars. Take your choice ó there is no other ó and your time is running out.

Francisco had not glanced at Rearden once while speaking; but the moment he finished, his eyes went straight to Reardenís face. Rearden stood motionless, seeing nothing but Francisco díAnconia across the moving figures and angry voices between them.

There were people who had listened, but now hurried away, and people who said, Itís horrible! ó Itís not true! ó How vicious and selfish! ó saying it loudly and guardedly at once, as if wishing that their neighbors would hear them, but hoping that Francisco would not.

Senor díAnconia, declared the woman with the earrings, I donít agree with you!

If you can refute a single sentence I uttered, madame, I shall hear it gratefully.

Oh, I canít answer you. I donít have any answers, my mind doesnít work that way, but I donít feel that youíre right, so I know that youíre wrong.

How do you know it?

I feel it. I donít go by my head, but by my heart. You might be good at logic, but youíre heartless.

Madame, when weíll see men dying of starvation around us, your heart won't be of any earthly use to save them. And Iím heartless enough to say that when youíll scream, ĎBut I didnít know it!í ó you will not be forgiven.

The woman turned away, a shudder running through the flesh of her cheeks and through the angry tremor of her voice: Well, itís certainly a funny way to talk at party!
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Old 02-09-2004, 02:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
powerclown's Avatar
Location: Detroit, MI
"Money", Pink Floyd

Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and youíre okay.
Money, itís a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think Iíll buy me a football team.

Money, get back.
Iím all right jack keep your hands off of my stack.
Money, itís a hit.
Donít give me that do goody good bullshit.
Iím in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a lear jet.

Money, itís a crime.
Share it fairly but donít take a slice of my pie.
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today.
But if you ask for a raise itís no surprise that theyíre
Giving none away.

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Old 02-09-2004, 07:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
Location: Denver, CO
For a good read on the history of money in the United States, see Greenback by Jason Goodwin
"We must have waffles. We must all have waffles, forthwith. Oh, we must think.
We must all have waffles and think, each and every one of us to the very best of his ability."
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Old 02-09-2004, 07:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
Barter system + large population = Fucked

Worthless, accessible, easily identifyable currency backed by "credit" = Market revolution and we can all stop farming corn to make a living
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Old 02-09-2004, 08:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
don't ignore this-->
bermuDa's Avatar
Location: CA
yep, the barter system works well within small groups and communities, but once you get a large society going, the economy cannot be sustained by trading goods. A form of currency must be produced and an abstract value must be assigned to it. Once we have money, our economy can diversify.

The real trouble with money started when we stopped backing it with something of real value. Every bit of currency used to be backed by an amount of a precious metal. When the Gold standard was rescinded in the mid-20th century, monetary policy went to hell. Now the federal reserve is free to print as much cash as they want, driving the value of money up (deflation) or down (inflation). The value of money has an inverse relation to the supply of money.

That's why movies used to cost a nickel, and now they're almost 10 dollars. There is no "real" value of money anymore. All the gold in fort knox has been loaned out to people who then sold it. We the people have put our faith in government's stability, and we show that by believing them when they tell us how much those bits of paper and metal in our pockets are worth.
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