Stone Money Rewrite—ohearnj8

Money or currency is a concept used all over the world, from 1st world countries to 3rd world countries. The idea behind one countries idea currency can be drastically different from one population to the next. For example there is an island off the coast of Australia named Yap where their form of currency is know as Fei. Fei is in the form of limestone which can range in size from a cd disc to a stone the size of a small house. The greater the size of the Fei the greater the amount of wealth the owner will have. Fei is found over 400 miles away from the island of Yep and many men expeditions using wooden rafts are needed to retrieve it. This is an extraordinarily different way to look at currency than in the United States. Some of the Fei are too big to move therefore when it changes hands in ownership, it might not change location. The people on the island will have a mental note of who owns which Fei.

Imagine if the United States were to use the same format for it’s currency, the result would be catastrophic. For example during the 1930’s before the great depression a minute change in detail of ownership for gold drove Americans into panic. For the French were nervous about the deflation of the dollar currency and requested that their dollars be changed into gold. No money or gold changed hands, just a simple note was put onto the vaults of gold to show whose it actually was. Nothing had moved it was only a simple piece of paper. This gave horror to many Americans and can be argued to have sparked the great depression.

The United States monetary system is only as good and the amount of gold our country has to back the value of the dollar. If the US were to have absolutely no money, the dollar bill would only be worth the paper its written on. The monetary system only works when the people believe that there is worth behind the system. Everything has value based on what the people are actually willing to let it be.

These systems are just a substitute for bartering are never a full proof idea. The Yap would be mind boggled about how our monetary system is small enough to fit in most pockets. They would not understand our credit card system and how abstract it is.

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

Phillips, John. “Bitcoin: What to Expect in 2015.” CNBC. N.p., 15 Dec. 2014. Web. 07 Sept. 2015.

Durden, Tyler.” The concept of money and the money illusion”. 5 Sept. 2015.

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2 Responses to Stone Money Rewrite—ohearnj8

  1. ohearnj8 says:

    Feedback was requested

    Feedback provided.
    –DSH

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  2. davidbdale says:

    Here we go, ohearnj. I comment as I read, instead of reading through all the way first, so you’ll know how an interested and engaged reader reacts to your arguments as you make them. I hope you find this sort of feedback helpful. It can be harsh, but I hope not cruel. If you need less blunt critique, just ask. I can be kind.

    P1. I get the sense early that you did not read this carefully while posting or after. If you had, you would have corrected phrases like “The idea behind one countries idea currency.” As a result, I don’t know how seriously to take your post. Your voice is your credibility and obvious errors reduce your persuasiveness. Here’s another: “many men expeditions using wooden rafts.”

    I should be critiquing your argument and evidence, but I’m going to offer some advice earlier than I usually do, ohearnj. This large collection of sentences:

    The idea behind one countries idea currency can be drastically different from one population to the next. For example there is an island off the coast of Australia named Yap where their form of currency is know as Fei. Fei is in the form of limestone which can range in size from a cd disc to a stone the size of a small house. The greater the size of the Fei the greater the amount of wealth the owner will have. Fei is found over 400 miles away from the island of Yep and many men expeditions using wooden rafts are needed to retrieve it. This is an extraordinarily different way to look at currency than in the United States.

    can easily and advantageously be reduced to:

    One currency radically different from the US dollars are the giant limestone fei used on the island of Yap, some as big as a house, transported from an island 400 miles away where they are mined and shaped into massive polished disks.

    In another short sentence you could clarify that small fei are physically traded like dollars for small purchases while the biggest fei don’t even have to move from the owner’s house for ownership to be transferred.

    Then of course, when you see the claims reduced to this small section, it’s easier to question what’s so different about the fei on Yap. The easy way to make my point, following Wednesday’s class, is that your summary here is not purposeful. The vague claim that “This is an extraordinarily different way to look at currency” doesn’t specify either “way of looking,” so there’s no clear comparison.

    P2. Hmmm . . . You haven’t identified the cause of the panic here, ohearnj. First, it’s unclear what you mean by “the same format.” But then you warn that that format would be catastrophic. The example you use is the catastrophe of the Great Depression. Are you saying the GD happened because we DID adopt the Yap format? Or because we DIDN’T?

    Now, imagine that instead or relabeling the gold in the US vaults, we had shipped all the French gold back to France. Is that the same as, or different than, the Yap format in your mind? That shipment, even MORE than the non-physical swap that occurred, would certainly have panicked the money markets, right?

    P3. What you say here has not been true for more than 100 years, ohearnj. The dollar is no longer backed by gold. The case is closer to your imagination: The money is only worth people’s faith in [the country and the economy that stand behind] the paper it’s printed on.

    P4. Interesting collection of unrelated observations. No substitute for an actual conclusion.

    ohearnj, in addition to responding to the notes above, you’ll also have to make reference to two sources besides the Yap broadcast. Not only did you not reference the articles you included in your Works Cited, there’s no evidence here that you listened to the Brazil segment or the Bernanke segment, or read about Bitcoin or the Japanese yen. Your rewrite needs at least to meet if not exceed the requirements of the original assignment.

    Is this feedback helpful, ohearnj? Too little? Too much? Too critical? I gladly provide detailed feedback for students who appreciate it and respond with substantive rewrites. For those who don’t respond to so much attention, I provide less. Reply, please.

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