Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Imaginary Industry

As far as I can tell, the idea behind money is this: Since we can rarely trade our goods and services for the goods and services of others in a fair and equal trade that nets both parties something they need (think: sports teams trying to trade stars like Vince Carter for “equal value” in draft picks and players), we need a medium, something incredibly fungible that has equal value no matter the trade. We need money.

So it would seem to stand to reason that all the money existent in the world today should be representative of all the goods and services present. But I can’t shake the feeling that people’s concept of money has become so detached from the actual concept that money has become an entity entirely separate from what gives it value: what we have offered others in exchanges. Some of the wealthiest among us have become so by trading money for money and in doing so made money into an industry.