Money Rewrite – Baker

Many of us are raised to believe in many things we can’t see. Whether it is God, the idea of freedom, or money in a bank. We are told it is there and we are told to believe that. How is it possible a piece of green paper can be worth anywhere from one dollar to a hundred dollars? They are both made from the same material, but we are told they are worth different amount. Money, like any item, is only as valuable as somebody makes it to be. There are very old coins that are worth more in antique value than their actual monetary value.

It is funny how we say we have a specific amount of money, but we never see that money in a physical form. At any one time, people carry anywhere from ten to forty dollars in their wallet, but they also carry around a piece of plastic that tells cashiers at various places that people do have the money needed to buy a specific product. Many people never see their paychecks as they can be directly deposited into their bank account, which is also another place people never actually see. There is a lot of trust involved on the peoples part. The French trusted America to put aside gold and label it with their name. While France could not see that act being done with their own eyes, they trusted America that they did it.

While every monetary system may have its issues, America’s certainly does, in the end it works. We have faith in our money and believe when our bank and government tell us we have this money. We may be blindly following a false concept, but at the end of the day, people trust numbers and words on a piece of paper. We need to trust the idea of money more than the actual money. If its there, its there.

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4 Responses to Money Rewrite – Baker

  1. davidbdale says:

    Thanks for asking for feedback, Baker. I don’t compare versions looking for improvement. I just read the new one as fresh material and comment on it as I did on the first. I hope that’s OK.

    P1. That’s a clever opening, Baker. Faith in things we can’t see is a good, strong theme. If you follow through with this plan, it’ll be even better. (We are told it is there and we are told to believe that is pretty redundant, don’t you think?) You’ve strayed already from your own theme of “things we can’t see” before you gave yourself a chance to develop it. “Money in the bank” is a good start. Dollars I hold in my hand immediately violates your plan. I get that there’s still faith involved in trusting in the different denominations, but as a reader, I feel jerked around. Now you force me to reconsider your opening remarks. You’re supposed to be making a parallel between money and God and freedom. So, do you mean to say God, like any item, is only as valuable as somebody makes it to be? Dangerous comparisons indeed. I do love the idea of coins worth more than their face value, but it doesn’t relate either.

    It turns out your real theme isn’t about faith in what’s unseen at all. Your theme is that things are worth what everybody agrees they’re worth. It’s the printing on the bills that distinguishes them. But it’s the other guy’s willingness to accept them in return for two bags of groceries that makes them worth something.

    P2. Aha. So now you’re returning to the “things unseen” theme that you abandoned in P1. The plastic represents money stored elsewhere, therefore unseen in my wallet. OK. We never see our paychecks. OK. All of this belongs in P1. where the “faith in the unseen” comment is introduced.

    Try not to talk about “many people,” as a general rule, Baker. You risk slipping into “those people” statements, which always sound offensive. Stick with “we.”

    • At any one time, we carry
    • we also carry plastic
    • Many of us never see our paychecks
    • which is another place we never see

    You cannot assume your readers are familiar with the story of the French and the gold in the US vault. You need to provide just enough background information to make your anecdote understood.

    P3. Your first sentence is a classic run-on (of the comma splice variety). “In the end it works” is a new sentence that can’t be tacked onto the first with a comma. A period or semicolon is required. Or a rewrite.

    This is also a good example of a sentence that doesn’t say anything. Monetary systems “have their issues”? That’s meaningless. “In the end it works” is also pretty meaningless. Suppose instead:

    Yap islanders used huge stone disks too big to move as currency until they adopted the dollar. Americans claim to trade in dollars although they rarely actually hand over the greenbacks in their everyday business. But faith in the value of the currency makes both systems work. Without it, the stones are just stones and the invisible paper might as well not exist.

    You say much the same thing in the sentences that follow, Baker, so I know we’re on the same track. But I want to urge you not to waste that “setup” sentence saying nothing. Fill it with specifics and conclude, if you want to, with a broad generalization like “if it’s there, it’s there.” (Please note the apostrophes.)

    And, by the way, you miss a good opportunity to nail the “unseen value” claim in your last sentence. It would be more effective as: If we believe it’s there, it’s as good as there.

    Most likely you’re right and this is a big improvement on your first draft, Baker. Stick closer to the beautiful details from the “research” if you want a more persuasive piece. Broad generalizations need hooks.

    Please advise me if any of this is helpful. I don’t want to frustrate you by always finding room for improvement. It’s my job.

  2. justinbaker2007 says:

    Thanks for the feedback. I found a lot of it very helpful and you made many good points. The points made will definitely help me in my future writing!

  3. davidbdale says:

    You’ve left a letter-grade worth of improvement on the table here, Baker. Let me know you need a re-grade if you decide to revise this one again.

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