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Money needs a new basis

  1. Dec 7, 2003 #1
    I know any economist would tell you that money is based on Gold... and to the best of my knowledge they're right. The PRICE of money for each country is an indicator of how much gold that country owns... this is why if a country prints millions of million dollar bills, it can be cheaper to burn your money then to buy wood with it

    However, i've noticed that the BASIS of money is non-material... it's a "favour". For example, you are paid by an employer to do a favour for them, so that they don't have to do it themselves. Patrons of a facility pay favours/money to use the facility.

    i believe however that money could have a better basis, i'm just unsure how it should be based... of course i have my ideas, but i can see holes in them, which means there are likely many i'm not aware of.

    one concept i had was basing money on energy. Any material can be based on recoverable/potential energy. This means that uranium 235 would be VERY expensive because it's used in nuclear power plants as fule... and food is priced according to it's nurishment value. i have not determined an effective method for pricing non-material items.. because every greedy person wants their profit margin and i don't know a way to make it fair for everyone and still give people the drive to achieve/be successful.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2003 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Money hasn't been based on gold for some time. There isn't enough gold in the world to back the US dollar alone. The US dollar is backed by confidence in the US economy. And the majority of currencies in the world are backed by or tied to the US dollar.

    In any case, thats not really a philosophical question.
  4. Dec 8, 2003 #3
    give me an example of a non material item. For everything I see in this room is material.
  5. Dec 8, 2003 #4
    It should be based on Watts, and the amount of energy expended per person in any nation against the amount of trade their work generates.
  6. Dec 8, 2003 #5
    hmm, i'm a bit absent minded, sorry. what i thought and what i typed didn't quite match up... Bascially i think it's a philsophical question because ppl on earth are starving because they don't have enough money to buy food from other countries. it's a moral issue, of how can money be changed to make it more fair/humane for everyone... but still to encourage progress through personal gain.

    i find that humans do little to change things unless it has a benificial impact on themselves (ie. charity make us feel good about ourselves, whether we investigate the actual usefulness of our donation or not... and working hard at our job may get us a promotion which leads to more money). my point is that we can't all give away our money to poor countries and fix the problem, because it simply won't work.. there aren't enough "good" people on this planet.

    philosophically, we aren't a very moral race by our own standards... we are nice to our friends and family members.. but beyond that we're pretty nasty, getting creeped out or annoyed if a stranger looks at us the wrong way. we bomb/start wars with countries when we have disagreements with them... it's all ludicrus!

    but i feel that the main reason that this happens is A) religion and B) money

    in my opinion some ppl NEED religion to keep them sane, so i can't fix that. money, on the other hand, i can contemplate about.

    what i'm trying to get at is how do we make money moral? should food be free for everyone? well then who would ever want to be a farmer??? are we going to have to have governments be the ones who grow food/control it? then what will national power be based on? also water has been referred to as "blue gold" because it is becomming more poluted in many areas and the drinking water on earth is in higher and higher demand.

    so yes, i guess my original question was not philisophical, but my intent was :smile:

    oh, i didn't know that... i'm not an economist.. oops

    i meant tasks... not non-material items. so, how do you determine the price of labour, for example. see, i guess it could be how much energy that person uses (how many joules they use up) and then you can charge them based on that... and you could have set prices for lots of labour activities. so minimum wage could be set as the minimum amount of energy you should consume per day. i think that sounds right...

    any opinions?
  7. Dec 8, 2003 #6
    It used to be that someone's word was as good as gold, which is probably the way it was with the currency in the U.S., when it was on the gold standard.
  8. Dec 13, 2003 #7

    So according to this, when various countries switched to the euro, they started owning different amounts of gold? Doesnt make much sense to me.
  9. Dec 13, 2003 #8


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    Funny this topic should come up while I was reading Marx's Capital. In chapter one he discusses the various kinds of value a commodity can have including the value of being of use to the purchaser and the sum value of all the human effort that went into producing it, and he shows that in exchanging commodities for each other, all of that gets abstracted and summarized (e.g. "man-hours"), and there becomes a need to express all the values of the various commodities in terms of one commodity, and that commodity is called money.

    So money could be anything that people use to evaluate what is bought and sold. For a long time it was gold, but in modern economies it is just an arbitrary exchange value whose only special feature is that the amount of it in circulation is partly controlled by the government. But not all of it. Banks gradually increase the supply of money by lending out a little more than they have in deposits. This is perfectly legal and proper (though there are cranks who go wild about it). Since the money supply gradually grows, the value of money in terms of other commodities tends to fall over time, leading to long term inflation.
  10. Dec 13, 2003 #9
    Hi Blissfulpain,

    Economists work to serve commercialism.

    Money does not need a new basis. It is already a basis. It is value for matter. All you have to do is to decide the value of the material items you want. When you can do that you will have cracked it :)
  11. Dec 14, 2003 #10
    /me notes i should check my facts on inconsequential parts of my statement before i post, to avoid getting reemed for something stupid...

    nevermind... i'll continue to think and ponder things in my head rather then converse with others... being a shut in is so much easier
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