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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What is money?

Everyone knows what money is... right? "It's just money" - but what does that mean? How about "Time is money" - well that's a little better. But, have you really thought what that means? Is money just a greenback? Is money some coins made of nickel and copper which have little value except by the promise of our government? What about gold and silver coins - does money need to be a precious metal? If gold is money, then why do governments coin it? More importantly, what does money really mean to us?

Money really is time - it is the simplest and most accurate of the common definitions, but it is so simple it is little understood despite its common usage. So, what truths does that simple equation hold for us? Money = Time. Money is most simply, the most convenient way for men to trade their time and labor. If we had no money, time and labor could only be traded in a most cumbersome way. A doctor could trade his time easily with another doctor, "work an hour for me and I will work an hour for you." A day laborer could trade his time easily with another day laborer in the same way, but how would a day laborer trade his time fairly with a doctor? The hour is the same, but the years of study and poverty that the doctor endured to become a doctor would not be compensated for, and thus the trade would be hopelessly unfair. Money allows us to effectively trade time and labor in cases like this. All of this knowledge is contained in our little common equation Time = Money.

So, with this in mind, ask yourself if it is moral for government to take our time, by force. By force you ask? Yes, by force. Does government ask you to pay taxes or do they force you? They force you under threat of imprisonment (another way to steal your time). So, every April 15th, you are faced with the choice of having to willingly give 20 - 56% of your time to the government in the form of a check to the IRS, or to give up even more time by imprisonment. If it were a criminal that gave you this choice, you might have the police to defend you, but when it's the government that gives you this choice, what can you do? Is this choice moral? Isn't it immoral to make a man act against his nature of survival?

To read more about these ideas, read Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations", and read the writings of Ayn Rand.

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This is a common sense blog. I welcome comments, but keep them coherent, intelligent and polite. If you can't say it without a belligerent personal attack, nobody's going to care what you say anyways, and neither will I. Profanities etc. only detract from what you say so why do it?