Re-Write “Invention of Money” -Dan Primavera

When I use my debit card where is the money coming from? I never actually had the money in my hands. My paychecks go directly into my debit account making me never see the physical money I had worked for. But, after reading about the Yap, the Brazilian inflation crisis, the French/American gold exchange, and the new inflationary policy of the Japanese government, I question the intrinsic value of my hard earned money.

The Yap used beautiful stones money and believed in their value so strongly that they trusted a man’s wealth whose huge stone fei was laying at the bottom of the ocean. Americans, and most of the modern world, believe in fake currency as well. A little plastic card represents wealth we are not in possession of. The Brazilian change of currency to the real made me realize that our government could do the same thing because reals, like dollars,  are made up currency that citizens believe in because they were told to.

Also, when looking at a situation such as the French/American gold exchange, it makes me think of old Tony Hawk video game types where if you tagged a rail or jump with a good trick, you were suddenly in possession of it. In this specific game type, you could do a trick on something and your name or given color would be placed upon the spot of the trick signifying your ownership until someone else did a better trick in that same spot which would then change ownership and have their respective tag on it. When looking at this French and American gold exchange, it sort of makes me think of this situation as if it were just a temporary tag of ownership by putting the French gold in their own cabinet with a label just for their peace of mind. The American government showed the French that their gold was “tagged” like in the Tony Hawk game so that they would know it was just for them, but if you think about it, couldn’t another country that has more power or more of our debt to them just come in and say that the label on the French gold should be for them? Sort of like how you can take a spots’ tag in Tony Hawk just because you were better…

As for the new inflationary policy of the Japanese government, I still do not completely understand all the angles of the situation, but do understand that what they are trying to do could “set off competitive currency devaluations among other nations.” What I take this quote as to mean is that when Japan tries to do whatever it is that they are trying to do, many other nations national currency’s will be devalued. It is understood that Japan is trying to end a constant deflation crisis that has been ongoing on for almost twenty years but what they plan on doing may set off other nations to adopt a similar currency policy, which could be detrimental to many nations currency values.

We value our money and use it freely when we really don’t have the real value. Maybe if we owned gold, we would spend it more carefully.  I believe that we would have more careful spending habits if this were the case because we could see our wealth decreasing instead of seeing numbers change on a computer. But, even with this change of thought about money, who of us would actually not continue to pursue this unrealistic wealth?

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One Response to Re-Write “Invention of Money” -Dan Primavera

  1. davidbdale says:

    Dan, this is a significant improvement on your first draft. It packs more meaning into its sentences and makes some specific claims. It’s still far too much like a “report” about what you read than it is an essay for other readers. I will make detailed notes for you here, then you and I should get together Tuesday or Thursday of next week, before or after class, to conference about this and academic writing in general. Tony Hawk analogies are fine, for example, but I understand the game side better now than I do the French gold side, based on what you told me here. That’s an imbalance you need to address. I hope you’re willing to work on this again.

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