Do we need money?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Jez, Mar 25, 2002.

  1. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Remember, one of the main purposes of money is to serve as a quantitative measure of value. Do you really think that you could have any complex society without a quanitative measure of value? I think you will always need some kind of "value unit," even if most people don't devote their time to accumulating as much as possible.
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  3. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    Huuumm... interesting comment.

    Consider this. The actual value of a product is not defined by the price itself, but by a pool of characteristics possessed by the product and perceived by the public as valuable. The price is never a good measure of value For instance, profit is constantly added to the product. Do you consider that added price valuable? In a way, yes, but do you think that portion of the price is valued properly or is the value inflated (or deflated) by whoever is selling it? Also, consider the following. I have $50. Should I eat out with the money or should I buy a game? If I eat out, I spend the $50, eat and that's it. If I buy a game I can spend several months playing and having fun. So which one is more valuable- the dinner or the game? (Of course, if I don't like games, the dinner will be more valuable. Value is subjective and perceived by each separate individual).

    The price of a product is based more on the costs to produce the product then on the actual value of the product.

    Now... take away money, make production nearly 100% automatic and, voila, you have a product which is based purely on its real value, rather then on its nominal currency-based value.
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  5. RubiksMaster Real eyes realize real lies Registered Senior Member

    Value is defined by what someone is willing to pay for it (whether it be money, services, or whatever).

    But the money allows you to quantify this and make rough estimates between items (e.g. if I'm willing to pay $50 on a 2-person dinner, how much am I willing to pay for 3 people?).

    Obviously people still value the product more than they value that amount of money, or the producer would go out of business.

    The prices in a free market automatically adjust to the right level of the collective perceived value.
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  7. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    I agree.
  8. C~BEYOND Registered Member

    .Riomacleod said......

    Why do we have to have equality in a society? Shouldn't the more talented or more skilled get more than the less skilled? Should doctors, janitors, waiters and scientists all get the same comforts? Why be a doctor? Why innovate if there's no reward for it?


    Doctors would still be doctors because it is their passion it is what they love to do.
    In my chosen profession I get paid little but it is what I love to do and wouldn't decide to work less or more because I get paid more. My reward IS the work itself.

    The reward/money motivates a small percent of people and in the end they feel empty. Just because you can touch something does not make it real.

    Rewards/Money was never and will never be what motivates me. I am sure absolutely positive that I am not the only one.
  9. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Usually when people talk about "equality" what they mean is equality of opportunity - everyone getting an equal chance to try to become a doctor and the best qualified/most talented/hardest working achieving it, rather than having some people end up being a janitor by default because they have the wrong skin color or were born into a poor family. I don't know anyone who has ever seriously proposed that people of unequal skill, talent, or dedication should be compensated the same for their labor. Even under soviet-era communism people were paid more if they possessed important skills or simply worked harder and produced more.
  10. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

    Yes, "money" can be banished, but unfortunately, not very easily, anytime soon.

    In a hypothetical society of like-minded altruistic robots, not caring that they might often do more work than they benefit or get paid, decisions could be made via collective logic, and not by the persuation of trading "money." Perhaps we already see this a bit, in the way that computer servers work, generally just doing all reasonable requests that anybody makes, without their "hands out" for a "payment" for every little job.

    Since humans are inherently selfish, there are limits to how much work we can get out of them, without corresponding payments. Thus, we have to have a medium of trade, or "money" as we call it.

    Unfortunately, the more the government manipulates the money supply, the less credible it becomes, and the more prone to manufactured, on-purpose "inflation," perhaps leading the world to dump the dollar towards other mediums of exchange, perhaps even reverting to barter and other various "under the table," increasingly un-taxable deals.

    In Star Trek, they eliminated money, or so they claim mostly, via presumably I think, the invention of the "replicator." When a computer can "copy" most anything you want, including food, it kind of undermines the whole concept of money. Then, almost everything but design and ideas maybe, becomes "free." Or did they eliminate money, by storytelling "wishful thinking?" Would a Star Trek society even be possible? Not without religion, I would say.
  11. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

    Money simply represents a measure of human labor and also of human skilled labor scarcity.

    Since most humans usually don't want to "give away" very much labor for free, they demand something of value for it, and "money" often does tend to suffice, since they can use it to trade for the specialized benefits of other people's labor.

    Hopefully, this helps explain why most any scheme of governments "printing money" to get more money, simply doesn't work for very long. Printing money, simply can not magically enlarge the supply of goods and services to buy, to correspond. So even more dollars chasing a slower-growing supply of goods and services, simply debases or devalues the dollars already in circulation, making everything seem to cost more, when in actuality, it's the dollar that is losing value.
  12. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    Getting rid of money is irrelevant. What is replaced by money in the other hand....

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