0A monetary system is a necessity for any properly functioning society but the whole idea behind money is very odd and confusing. I have always been baffled by the way people would want to trade useful products with a purpose for an item that is essentially just a piece of paper or stone with a number on it. Today in a civilized first world country people fight daily and work hard to obtain these coins and dollars that control there life. What is also alarming is the way monetary systems have been going off an honesty system to an extent. People put all their savings into a bank and just assume that it is there and safe, they don’t need to physically hold it but their net worth is the same. It is a crazy system that we have all just grown to view as normal.
This phenomenon of paper and stones as money and leaving money out of sight is occurring in modern time but has been happening for decades all around the world. Decades ago, on the island of Yap the residents used large stones as money, the more expensive the stone the more worth it had. For these people the stones did not do anything for them besides show who was more wealthy than the other. Some of the stones were even too big to carry by one man and due to the lack of cars at the time period they would just sit in front of one’s house after being carried there by a team of men. This sounds ridiculous but is basically the same as today, people use coins that really have no essential use but show wealth. A problem for the people of Yap was transferring the stones so when trading often times the stone would be left on the original owner’s lawn and just be owned by someone else due to the inconvenience of moving it. When hearing this I was surprised that people would be okay with this but it is actually a relatable concept to today’s world. Instead of handing off money to one another people now just digitally transfer a number on a computer to tell them that they own money miles from their house. When putting the system into prospective this way it makes it seem silly the way it is. It is almost hard to believe.
The way we rely on these piece of paper and stones with numbers on them is truly shocking when one is to really think about it. I know it is impossible for me to not use the banking system but after breaking it down in class, the idea that we find it normal is alarming. The monetary system of the people of Yap although seemingly inferior is not so much different than to ours today.