Stone Money—bj112295

During class the other day, we read and discussed about the currency on the island of Yap. The currency is called fei, they are stone coins mined from an Island 400 miles away from Yap, the bigger the stone the more wealth you have on the Island. My mind could not wrap around the idea of stone coins being used for money. You do not have to posses the stone to own the stone the islanders just knew who it belonged too. This made me think, is our currency any different? Now a days we don’t even physically touch our currency to pay for most things.

Listening to the NPR broadcast my whole concept on money changed, if you think about what money really is, and take the time to actually really develop an understanding of it, it’s fiction. We as citizens pay all this money for bills, cars, food, etc…, and our hands never even physically touch the cash. To my understand the Island of Yap and the US are no different from each other currency wise. The only difference is that we use a piece of paper and Yap use limestone coins.

Now there was a time Yap was owned bye the Spanish but, bought bye the Germans. The Germans kindly asked the people of Yap to build some roads on the Island because all there was were coral shell paths. The folk of Yap agreed, years and years past and still no roads, so what the Germans did was paint black crosses on the giant limestone coins , stating until you build roads we the Germans own your currency. The islanders did not like this they felt that their coin had decreased in value, so they built the roads and the Germans simply washed off the paint from the coins and the Yaps owned their currency gain. Reading Friedman’s essay, a similar event happened in 1933 when France and America were having some issues with gold exchange, so the French went into the American gold vault and painted crosses on the gold claiming the Americans gold. There is no difference in what the French did to the Americans than what the Germans did to the Yap.

Listening to more articles I discovered how the Brazilian citizens were invested in their money and how they used some sort of fake , made up money to save their country. Brazil was causing inflation day by day in their own country.The Brazilians could not wrap their mind around the concept that the price of the dollar or cruzeiros stayed the same, but the value of the cruzeiros were due to change and how much they could purchase would also change. This example shows you by the Brazilians using the fake currency which was called URV’s changed their country rapidly. This article proved that we depend on money so much that man chooses to just make money when we do not have it, showing that money is a fictional item.

The last article that I read was about how the Japanese approved a $10.3 million yen stimulus ($116 Billion dollars) to help their countries economic issues. Doing this Japan decreased the value of yen so much it made their currency weaker. From fabricating this fake money Japans public debt is twice the size of their economy. Reading this article definitely changed my opinion on how I look at money permanently.

My mind is blown because of the knowledge I just received.  I will, never can look at money the same again. Money is a fictional item in my mind now. I can now say I as a young adult have a better understanding about the US dollar and currency around the world period!

Works Cited

Friedman, Milton. “The Island of Stone Money.” Diss. Hoover Institution, Stanford University , 1991.

“The Invention of Stone Money.” 423: The Invention of Stone Money. This Is American Life, WBEZ. Chicago . 7 Jan. 2011.

Joffe-Walt, Chana . “How Fake Money Saved Brazil.” 4 Oct. 2010. 30 Jan. 2015. <>

Tibuchi, Hiroko. “Japan Approves $116 Billion for Urgent Economic Stimulus.” N.p., n.d. Web

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5 Responses to Stone Money—bj112295

  1. bj112295 says:

    feedback was requested

    Feedback provided.

    bj112295, you shouldn’t be using your human name on the blog. If you’re logged in, WordPress will automatically identify you by your username when you post a Reply. (I’ve changed the way your name appears in this one.)


  2. bj112295 says:

    My mind is dumbfound from the knowledge it has just absorbed from reading the Stone Money , Brazil, and Japan articles. Money in my eyes will never look or feel the same way again. From reading these articles money went from the most important thing in my life to ‘wow this thing, this figment of our imagination that we do not even physically touch now a days called by many names, fei, dollar, coin, etc.. Do we really need it? We do not physically possess money anymore most of the time so Is it an item of necessity or is it a figment of our imagination? No one really knows, but now as an acknowledged reader of the idea of money I can now say there is a better understanding floating around my head about the US dollar and currency around the world period!


  3. davidbdale says:

    Hey, BJ, I realize it’s late in the game to be giving you feedback, just a day before your rewrite is due. Feel free to take your time on the revisions if what I say here encourages you to considerable work; HOWEVER, please publish a new post by the deadline with your best revisions, THEN take your time to improve it in subsequent edits. I promise I’ll grade yours late to give you time to make it the best you can.

    P1. With your permission, I’d like to offer a radically different version of your first paragraph that, by example, will demonstrate more than I can begin to describe in the same number of words.

    As currency, the Micronesian people of Yap use stone coins mined from an Island 400 miles away. The bigger the stone, the wealthier its owner. Even more odd than stone money, the “owner” doesn’t need to physically possess a valuable stone; the islanders keep track of who owns what. All of which would seem very strange except that—between online payments and my debit card—I rarely have a dollar in my wallet.

    Notice I have removed almost all mention of the student bj112295. Money is the topic, bj, not you. Your attitudes are expressed in my version of P1, but reading my version, readers will concentrate on your arguments about the nature of money.

    P2. Here’s a faithful summary of your paragraph, BJ. Nothing of value is lost in this much shorter version.

    Money is fiction. Our bills and coins aren’t wealth: they only represent wealth. Lately, we don’t need the paper and metal at all. Like the Yap, we’re comfortable with non-physical representations of our buying power; a digital record of our bank balance is good enough for us and for our creditors.

    P3. What I hope you’ll accomplish with P3 is similar to what I’ve done with P1 and P2. De-emphasize your own place in the narrative. De-emphasize the actual stories as well. Emphasize instead your own explanation of the nature of money, using the source material for support only, not as the primary subject matter. At the moment, in P3, you’re for the most part re-telling Friedman’s stories.

    P4. You do the same thing in P4, BJ, except that here, there’s no way any reader not already familiar with the story of the Brazilian real would ever understand your explanation. You may not have to tell the story. Your subject matter is the faith that Brazilians developed in the real, which they had lost for the cruzeiro. The stroy demonstrates more than anything that, whether it’s backed by gold or by a government or by nothing at all, as long as the currency is stable and accepted by others, people will be happy to work for it.

    P5. Again as a demonstration, I will revise your paragraph faithfully.

    When Japan printed and spent $10.3 million yen ($116 Billion dollars) to stabilize its economy, it dramatically weakened the yen in the process. The national debt (now twice the size of the national economy) is unsustainable, from which I learned that . . . .

    I don’t know what you learned because all you say is that your opinion has changed. From what to what should be the nature of your paragraph, BJ.

    P6. My version:

    I now understand that money is fiction.

    I resist this technique whenever I can, BJ, but here it was the most economical way to explain what I hope you’ll accomplish with your writing. I apologize—after teasing you with it—that you’re not permitted to use my feedback as your rewrite, but I hope you’ll use it as a model. It’s brief but clear, uses the source material to good purpose, and makes the premises—instead of your reactions to them—the subject matter.

    Please reply with your reactions to this type of feedback.


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