Does Money Have Value?
I always believed that the money I had in either my bank account had value. My belief was true to me until I was introduced to the story about a Carolina island named “Yap” where their form of currency was a giant stone whereas today in America, we used slips of green paper or colorful plastic credit cards. Money doesn’t have much value until a seller decides it’s worth.
The Carolina island of Yap had a unique way of currency. Their currency was large circular stones named “fei”. These stones sat on a person’s lawn representing wealth. The islanders believed in this system to pay, giving the stone’s value. Although the idea seems a bit silly, the stones were a physical way to pay purchases and the sellers accepted the fei’s value.
Money is an extremely hard concept to understand all around the world.During the economic downfall in Brazil, a person could pick up a can of soup with twenty or more prices tags, each tag representing a the price of the soup at different days.Every day the prices would change changing the value of the cruzeros.The Brazilian government tried to fix the issue and the price of goods until the idea of virtual money was proposed. Once the economy was able to be stable, some money went from a flimsy green paper to a small plastic card.The seller’s willingness to accept transactions through a plastic card, changed Brazil’s way of purchasing goods. The virtual way of representing money changed from week to week making 1 URV equivalent to a certain amount of cruzeros. The person that sells the good or service determines what the buyer’s money is worth.
Hundreds of years ago in America, the people used gold to pay for goods. According to Milton Friedman in “The Island of Stone Money”, this way of keeping track of money was called the gold standard. Paper money was in use but could be exchanged for gold on demand. It was decided that gold was $20.67 per ounce of gold. Banks put forth the requirement of bills to get one ounce of gold just as the shop owners over in Brazil did with their food prices. Now in America, gold is a thing of the past, our currency revolves around flimsy paper bills and online transactions.
Around the world, money value is variable. The change of the value of money affects different countries economies. After learning about different countries and how they value paper and virtual money, my idea of money has changed. Money only has value because at one point in a person’s life they give it value by giving something in exchange for money. Believing in money is a silly concept to me that I have to accept and live by during my lifetime as the economy and forms of money change.
Friedman, Milton. “The Island of Stone Money.” (1991): 1-5. Feb. 1991. Web.
Phillips, John. “Bitcoin: What to Expect in 2015.” CNBC. N.p., 15 Dec. 2014. Web. 07 Sept. 2015. <http://www.cnbc.com/2014/12/15/bitcoin-what-to-expect-in-2015.html>.