The value of money | INFJ Forum

The value of money

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by TinyBubbles, May 25, 2010.

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  1. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    Most people spend a large amount of their lives working, to accumulate what can often be regarded as more money than they need, to survive. Why is this? Money is certainly important - without it your options are limited, your chances of doing things you enjoy greatly reduced, your stability threatened. However, I think money is less important than economic balance - without a steady influx of goods and services near a location where you can purpose them (and from a party who is willing to sell them to you!) money is pretty worthless. You could have a million dollars and it would mean nothing if you were starving and no food was around; all the farmers were on strike, or had been bought out by a third party, or something like that. On the flip side having too much produce and no one willing to buy it would mean it would go to waste - and money again would be meaningless. All that labor would go to waste.

    Ok, aside from that, let's think about the general meaning of money in terms of emotional fulfillment. Does money = happiness, in your opinion? I think a lack of money will certainly make you unhappy, for the reasons stated above, but I also think excessive amounts of money won't necessary bring you more and more happiness. There would be a limit somewhere.



    I remember talking to the boss of a successful company once, he was saying how he had more money than he knew what to do with; he traveled first class and bought expensive clothes, and ate at the best restaurants and stayed at the best hotels. But, he mentioned with a kind of sage look in his eyes, although maybe that was just what I interpreted as - an astute businessman such as he might have been playing on what I wanted to hear, rather than what he actually thought - that there was only so much food a man could eat in a single day, only so much enjoyment he could by. He seemed to imply that there was more to life than accumulating wealth, although he seemed to have no desire to stop doing it!

    Maybe it's true though, that money can only give us part of what we need to be fulfilled - maybe there is something more at stake here. What's your opinion? What's the actual value of wealth, as opposed to the general social consensus?
     
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  2. Skathac

    Skathac <font color=#27A601>Community Member</font>

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    Way way back in the day when we were utilizing stone tools and living in the first agrarian settlements wealth was how much food you were able to lay claim to. Head men would keep their power by throwing large parties or festivals when they had excess, this kept the other members of the tribe looking to them as men of worth.

    Money being only an intermediary concept to further trade can be thought of in this day an age in a similar fashion. For the most part it is hoarded as a safety blanket, the more one has the easier it is to precipitate change in ones life under our modern society.

    I considered learning the basics of human survival to be extremely important when I was growing up. This has no monetary value, only what value I place on being self sufficient in absence of civilization.

    Happiness I believe can only be gained from wealth of money or skills when it lends assistance in a situation where the effect will in turn make one happy. In this case it is not directly gained from wealth, only affected by its addition.
     
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  3. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    We all want what we don't have.

    All I want is solitude - in some remote place. Money cannot buy that opportunity for me, nor can it give me the skills necessary to survive in the Australian wilderness.
     
  4. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    The value of money is zero. Abstract symbolic representation of social power. This power is not sufficient for satisfaction. But it is required, to cover a lot of human needs. Including very basic needs. Why social power is required, in order to gain the right to live well? Now, this is beyond my ability to answer. I'll leave it for the other thread, about asking god stuff.
     
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  5. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    That's a good question - and I agree, money itself is useless, its value derives from its ability to influence others; it's a form of power. Why is social power required? I think because inherently people wouldn't just work for people they don't know or care about, nor would they share what they have with strangers - and since people still want the goods and services of others, and since it's impractical to make & do everything yourself when others could do it better, money has developed as a way to allow exchanges in the absence of social familiarity. You can get someone to cooperate with you without knowing them - money takes the need to get to know & trust people away before you trade with them.

    Perhaps another way of saying it is, money takes the politics out of trade, to some extent. But since even things like getting a job requires a certain amount of charisma & the ability to present a pleasing image, it's not totally gone. (I don't know if I totally believe this. but it's something to think about anyway).
     
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  6. Ergo Christobal

    Ergo Christobal Talking Lightbulb
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    Money gives more options. The more money you have, the more choices you have. You only need money insofar as the choices you make. If you're happy with the available choices you have, then more money will just give you more options and not necessarily more choices. In fact more money can lead you to make choices that you normally wouldn't, just for the sake of having money.

    For me, if I have enough money to exist and *eventually* help support a family, then I'm happy. Anything more than that would probably go into cheap vacation time, and after that savings. Money gives you those options, not happiness.
     
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  7. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    are there limits to what kinds of choices money can give?
     
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  8. Ergo Christobal

    Ergo Christobal Talking Lightbulb
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    Probably not.
    Eventually there's going to be a bigger yacht, a better car, a longer cruise... Always something someone has that you don't have, or some new thing that costs more than it's worth.

    Although, I would argue that while never approaching Zero choice generation, Money increases infinitely towards being less and less happiness-generating. This is why people with two million dollars and five million dollars are pretty equally happy, when people with one dollar are probably not happy.
     
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  9. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    Thanks, that makes a lot of sense. I think it's very relative to your community too; if everyone around you had a million dollars, then no one would be a millionaire (or rather, feel like one.)

    There's a song by Kelis called "millionaire", and in the lyrics it says "I ain't rich, till he is rich, till she is rich, till we is rich" implying the rich are only as rich as the poor, which is kind of an interesting way to look at it too. Unless everyone is given the same choices, and can enjoy the same lifestyles, then how can one truly be rich? Surrounded by such poverty.. (although maybe that is the very definition of the word).
     
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    #9 TinyBubbles, May 25, 2010
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  10. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    Yeah, often this P2P explanation for work is given, but actually for the most of human history, work was not done under a contract with specific person, with specific identity. This attitude also takes away the interest, from the work itself, towards whoever it is associated with.
     
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  11. Gaze

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    The value of money is in it's use - what it can be used to achieve. I mean, it also has "earning" power. For some reason, as humans we tend to feel more accomplished when we've "earned" what we have. We like the idea of working for something and receiving compensation for it. We like the idea that we can get something for more or less, or that we've negotiated our way into or out of a deal or contract. It gives us a way to judge our relative status with everyone, because like it or not, we are a hierarchical species and we like difference - we like the idea of levels because it distinguishes us from everyone else - from low to high, it tells us where were are socially and status wise. Even if we are all about being "equal", we like the idea that we think more equally than those who don't. And whether that means not earning as much as those who earn more materially or earning so much that we feel we can distribute to everyone so that, in our minds, everyone has a more equal chance or opportunity. And yes, some like to have things not entirely "earned" but in our minds, the fact that we can get something even if by questionable means, makes us feel we've done something to merit it even if it is not earned.
     
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    #11 Gaze, May 25, 2010
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  12. muir

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    Money and power are synonymous

    That is why some people are obsessed with money...they think power, and the status it brings, is the only game in town

    Most people want to live an honest life in peace and this leaves them vulnerable to the aggressive few who behave like wolves preying on sheep

    At some point humanity is going to have to wise upto this situation and realise that the wolves are not the best people to be managing affairs....they did not get rich and powerful by being compassionate

    The people need to manage their own affairs and they need to develop a system which protects them from the wolf-like people
     
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    #12 muir, May 25, 2010
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  13. Norton

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    Within the past week, I spent one night in a Red Roof Inn, and three nights at a Four Seasons Hotel (the first is "economy" and the second, luxury accommodations). Let me tell you, when you close your eyes at night, luxury is meaningless. Your dreams are the same.
     
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