Invention of Money – Anthony Matias

Ever since I was little my opinion on money was shaped by childhood games such as Monopoly. The money in Monopoly works the same and they money in our current banking system and even the system that is on the island of Yap because the money is basically tangible objects that represent wealth.  And in order for us to obtain things we need or sell things we don’t we need to use these tangible objects that “worth” something. Like in monopoly there are pieces of paper that have anywhere from one to five hundred printed on it but what dictates what that money is worth? Nothing really, we just trust that what is written on that flimsy piece paper is what it is worth. Like on Yap in was the size of the rock that determined the wealth but in reality the rock doesn’t mean as much and the grass that it’s sitting on. Why are we tricked on a day-to-day basis about how much we have and how much it’s actually worth? Because it is simple, simplicity is what makes the world go round. The fact that I can press two buttons on my computer and send a certain amount of money or numbers in account half way around the world in a matter of seconds makes it easy for us as humans to trade, buy and sell much faster. I mean imagine if today instead of pulling out your credit card or a five dollar bill, you had to pay with dogs or chickens, how hard would that be? Extremely hard. It is easier for us to grasp the fact that a dollar is worth what it is, because for as long as we have known that’s how it has been.
The banking system is like a game of poker. You exchange the bills in your wallets for chips, which are just representations of how much money you really have. You play the game betting your money, whether you win or lose dictates how much money you have left. Just like you work a job you make money and then spend money but you never know how much you really have, it’s just numbers going back and forth between you and the dealer which in this case is the bank. So after reading and learning about the people on Yap I feel like I have a better understanding on why money is the way it is. It is all about making the once primitive bartering system simpler for us.

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7 Responses to Invention of Money – Anthony Matias

  1. anthonymatias97 says:

    Can I have feedback on my essay, please?

  2. davidbdale says:

    Hey, Tony!
    P1. Monopoly is a good place to start, but as I said to Kailee (please find and read my feedback to her), you’ll need to generalize these childhood reminiscences for your rewrite. Your assignment is to concentrate on the concepts themselves, not your personal reactions to them.

    You’ll also need to provide your readers with the necessary background to follow your arguments. You can’t assume they know about Yap.

    Um . . . stone money certainly is a tangible object that represents wealth; so are dollars and Monopoly money, but only in the games in which they’re recognized as representing wealth. They don’t spend well in other economies. And very soon in your essay, you’re likely to be saying that money isn’t tangible, so be careful what claims you make here about its physicality.

    You’re very wordy in your Monopoly money example, Tony, which is something you should start to recognize and resolve immediately. For example, instead of:

    Like in monopoly there are pieces of paper that have anywhere from one to five hundred printed on it but what dictates what that money is worth? Nothing really, we just trust that what is written on that flimsy piece paper is what it is worth.

    You could say:

    Nothing but the rules of the game make a $500 Monopoly bill worth more than a $5 Monopoly bill. The same is true of the flimsy paper we call dollars.

    You need to start a new paragraph for your analysis that simplicity explains our currency. The two really obvious typographical errors in your “Like on Yap in was” sentence are extremely discouraging, Tony. They send a signal (I hope an untrue signal) that you dashed off a quick draft and never looked at it twice. I know you’ll want me to read and consider your work carefully; I’m much more willing to do so when I sense that you’ve worked hard on it first.

    Your argument is wandering everywhere, Tony. We print money in different denominations. Not because the paper is worth more, but to track the amount of value they represent. You’d never say that we “trick ourselves” into thinking that our time sheets have value, would you, when they record how many hours we worked? That number that says we put in a full week isn’t a scam; it’s just a way to track the transactions between us and our employers, so we’ll both know what we’re owed, so we don’t have to be paid in cows at the end of each work day. That part you clearly understand, so your fretting about how much a rock is worth or how much we have and what it’s really worth sounds phony.

    I grant you willingly the claim that credit cards are more convenient than paying with cows (or dogs), but I’m annoyed as a reader that you ask me how hard it would be to pay with dogs. And then tell me. Your explanation that I have an easier time understanding what a dollar is worth doesn’t answer any question I had either; plus you haven’t told me what a dollar is worth. And finally, a dollar doesn’t always buy the same number of dogs (or hot dogs), so it doesn’t have a value we can agree on either.

    P2. I like very much that you want to illustrate an argument with poker chips, Tony. That’s a good plan. I cannot tell what it is you’re arguing though. I get that winning at poker means I have more chips, but why have I bought the chips and not just played with dollars? I could win just the same. And because I know the value of my chips in dollars, I do always know how much I have of both. Also, if I care to track it, I can know how much I’ve made at my job, and what I have in my account. They’re “just numbers” I’m tracking, but so are the bills in my wallet “just numbers.”

    By all means concentrate your rewrite on the very worthy thesis that every step in the evolution of money has had the sole purpose of simplifying financial transactions, Tony. But be more careful to align your illustrations with your arguments.

  3. anthonymatias97 says:

    You are right I haven’t really made my argument clear. Once I make my argument clear everything will fall into place. Now, I see that I shouldn’t assume that my reader knows everything I am talking about and that I should explain my examples in more detail.

  4. davidbdale says:

    You haven’t posted a Money Rewrite, Tony. You need to. You’ll carry a zero for the assignment until you do.

  5. anthonymatias97 says:

    I will have one submitted by Friday. When I was sick it must have slipped my mind becasue I thought I submitted one. I’ll do it as soon as possible.

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