Money Rewrite – Billy Kluge

Money is a necessity in and long lasting functioning society.  It would be impossible to do without; nonetheless the thought of trading a cow for a few pieces of paper with numbers and old men on it seems ridiculous.

Today in a civilized first world country people fight daily, working to obtain as many of these numbered papers and metal circles as possible. This money has no applicable use yet it is acceptable to use to trade for anything else with purpose. After struggling through hard labor most people don’t even physically see or hold their money; instead a number is transferred to a bank virtually where the workers are told they have so much net value. Shockingly this system of having as much money as shown on a monitor or piece of paper is nothing new and accepted around the globe. It is a way that people are accustomed to.

Decades ago, on the island of Yap the residents used large limestone cutouts as money. The larger the stone, the more worth it had.  Aside from showing wealth these hard stone circles had no practical use for the residents and were inconvenient to transport due to the weight. The owner of the gigantic piece of rock could change when used as payment but on most occasions the rock would stay in it’s place. Purchasing goods in such a manor may seem outdated but it is very similar to the modern norm. Our coins although smaller, have the same use as the huge stones. In addition most large sums of money are kept in one spot rarely to be moved, the exact same way as the people of Yap would do.

There is nothing new with the way our monetary system functions and it will not be changing. It may all seem ridiculous but it has become the norm. Just as the residents of Yap, people of today without question say that the money has value and therefore it does.

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One Response to Money Rewrite – Billy Kluge

  1. davidbdale says:

    Hey, Billy, that’s a strong and careful start.

    P1. The ludicrousness of using paper to trade for cows is exactly where you place it: at the heart of the matter.

    P2. Just a word about language: “Fight hard daily, working to obtain” slows down a strong sentence needlessly. People work to obtain, or People fight to obtain, are both sufficient. When you say “these numbered papers,” you’re solid because you’ve mentioned the papers. But when you say “these . . . metal circles,” you’re not, since you haven’t named coins yet. One more thing: rings are metal circles; coins are not.

    Now to content: You haven’t drawn a clear distinction between money’s inherent uselessness and its utility. You’re just wrong when you say “This money has no applicable use.” You admit as much when you immediately claim that it is used to trade. It’s a hard distinction to draw, but you’re not there yet.

    Back to language: As before, “struggling through hard labor” is needlessly slow. “After struggling to earn it,” or “After laboring to earn it,” both work better. Then, you probably mean not “physically see or hold their money” but instead “see or physically hold their money.” Yes?

    Back to content: While your sentences drive with the brakes applied, your argument keeps driving through traffic lights, Billy. You don’t even slow down to indicate the additional level of abstraction of virtual representations of bills and coins. Maybe you’re too familiar with the topic now to recognize readers might want to savor this revelation a bit. Here’s what I mean: He works hard to buy a cow. But first he accepts that he will be paid in dollar bills. Then he discovers his pay will come in the form of a check that merely names the number of dollars. Finally he accepts that he won’t even be handed the check; it will be transferred to his account in a bank he’s never visited. To complete the bizarre scenario, you need to remind us that his hands are empty: not that he has “so much net value” but that he has X number of dollars he will never actually hold in his hands.

    Back to language: “nothing new and accepted around the globe” uncomfortably pairs a positive and a negative. Is the system both global and as old as man (two positives)? Is it not just local and nothing new(two negatives)?

    P3. I flat-out admire the transition to P3, Billy. Abstract money is nothing new. Cut to new paragraph. Decades ago on the island of Yap. Beautiful work.

    • What’s a cutout?
    • “piece of rock” or “gigantic rock”?
    • The sentence “The owner . . . its place” is very awkward. Also please note the its.
    • It says the owner was used as payment, among other problems.
    • such a manner

    It’s hardly fair to say our coins are the same as huge stones exactly because of the extreme difference of their denomination. It’s also peculiar to say “most large sums of money are kept in one spot.” I just don’t follow that at all, but I’d be happy to hear your explanation.

    P4. I heartily disagree there’s nothing new in our monetary system. It’s grand to find the wonderful similarities, but . . . mortgages? Layaways? Credit of all kinds? Absolutely we all give money its value by agreeing to accept it as a form of payment, but beyond that you go too far to call the systems identical, Billy.

    You have a nice, easy style that I’d like to help you polish. If you have time to conference, I’d like to show you many places your sentences could be improved in small but useful ways.

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