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Money Problems

Why do so many people have money problems? I think some better questions would be; “Why do people use money to begin with?” or “Why do we value money at all?” A lot of people have money problems because we as people have created a society in which money is the most valuable commodity. In societies without money there are no money problems.

The concept of money and all of the problems related to it are entirely man-made. There was a time when people traded things that had actual value, farmers would trade their crops, hunters would trade meat and pelts, and a seamstress would trade her works. I imagine it was an untalented or lazy person who came up with the concept of money; “what if I could trade with something that has no inherent value at all?” they probably thought. It’s true that not everyone is a farmer, hunter or chef and there was probably a need for a more complex trading system that allowed any person the opportunity to trade for goods.

Now that we do have money and our society depends heavily on it, it is no mystery why so many people have problems with money, whether it’s not having enough, having too much or letting the pursuit of money blind them of their greater purpose. As society continues to evolve, the need for money only increases. Rampant capitalism will only be a greater problem in the future; we’ve given money value and pushed the idea that it’s never too much, that there’s no harm in having a lot of money, no matter what it costs. Meanwhile the Amazons and Apples of the world continue to grow unchecked, earning more and more money year after year and finding the best ways to pay their employees as little as possible.

In modern society as prices continue to rise and wages remain stagnant it’s really no surprise that so many people find it hard to save or even earn enough money. There are those people who maybe have bad spending habits or possibly have an expensive hobby but I think these people are in the minority. Society tends to shame those people who maybe have a cup of coffee every day, they might ask “How can you complain about having money problems if you buy a two dollar cup of coffee everyday?” but in response to that I would have to ask “Why do we live in a society where people can’t afford two dollars for coffee?”

I don’t believe it’s greed or malintent. I think those people with all of the money were taught to value money so much because we as a society allowed money to have so much value; they’re victims of the same system as the poor. I would never suggest that our society would be better without money; it is definitely a convenient and civilized solution to a huge problem. Money in concept allows every person the opportunity to purchase and sell things, regardless of if they have talents or skills that others deem useful. The concept of money is genius, but the pursuit of wealth and luxury is an unfortunate side effect.

Spenser




Vocabulary

rampant (adj.) – flourishing or spreading in an uncontrolled way
stagnant (adj.) – not growing, changing or developing
malintent (noun) – a compound word derived from ‘malicious intent’ which means to do something cruel or wrong on purpose

 

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