Some of the Realest Words I Ever Heard About Money

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Righteous, Oct 17, 2009.

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  1. Righteous

    Righteous Well-Known Member

    Yo I'm a very spiritual person and I happened to come across this book in Barnes and Noble the other night called Money, Sex, War, Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution. And this book has some real shit in it. What caught my attention was the section on money. The writer evaluates money and wants the reader to see money for what it is. The writer describes money as: "something that u can't eat and u can't live in. When people treat money as the most valuable thing in the world thats only because people have collectively agreed to make it so. People forget that money is a social construct-a kind of group fantasy. A guy named Weston LaBarre describes money as a psychosis that has become normal, "an institutionalized dream everyone is having at once"

    So basically, the writer is saying the obvious truth that money is just paper and coins. There is no natural force that determines the value of a dollar. The only thing that determines the value of a dollar is the agreement that society makes to give value to the dollar. If we wanted to, we could have it to where a house mortgage payment for a house in a good neighborhood could be $100 a month rather than $800 or $1,200 a month.

    And this shit is why America and other countries are facing the economic bullshit they are facing now. Because of the fact that a lot of societies are agreeing upon the sick idea that a very small percent of the population should control most of the money while a a good deal of the population struggle and starve. I'm not saying that money and economics should be banished from the world, but if we are going to base our survival and well being on money and economics, then it has to be fair for everyone. I'm not saying that everyone should be super rich, but I am saying that no one should be poor, unless they are lazy as fuck. But anyone who is willing to work should be able to afford a nice apartment and a nice car. And everyone who can't find work should be given some decent welfare. If societies can't agree upon a fair way to handle money, then a lot of people's souls will be in danger of a horrible afterlife Here's a link for a summary of the mental illness of money:
  2. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    That money talks, I'll not deny, I heard it once, it said goodbye! :)
  3. Robin

    Robin Guest

    Money talks, freedom walks or you could say money sleeps with silk, freedom with the stars :)
  4. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    You completely missed the point of what you read. The economic inequity is NOT due to money. In fact, money has nothing to do with anything. Economic inequity has nothing to do with anything.

    You need a house. You need food. You need some basic things, you do NOT need money. Once you get your basic things, which you can acquire with the tool that is currency, you need currency no more, and THAT is how economic inequity can be solved - by realising that the "group fantasy" simply doesn't matter. Live your life. Use money as the tool it is. Be happy with only the money you need to survive. The rich have no more of that than the single mother on welfare.

    That is the point of what you have read.

    Hmm, it's about time all that Buddhist meditation pays off. I get it!
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2009
  5. Clockwork Reality

    Clockwork Reality Well-Known Member

    I'm afraid that isn't quite how money or the economy works--because human nature fundamentally gets in the way of things.

    What you are suggesting is socialiam on a global scale, but socialist societies that completely escew capitalism have never been successful--mostly because people will still seek advantages at the lowest levels, so somebody has to step in with authority to keep them straight, and that power fundamentally becomes corruptive--it happened with Pol Pot, and Lenin, and Stalin, and Kim Jong Il, and Fidel Castro. Bueracracy becomes rotten from within as bribery becomes accepted through all eccelones of the administration.

    North Korea has at least a million dead from concentration, work, and agricultural camps, not to mention those who simply "disappeared." The "Aquariuams of Pyongyang" is an excellent book that describes the rotten bueracracy of North Korea and the camps.

    Cambodia saw two million massacred under Pol Pot.

    And over twenty million disappeared in the Soviet Union under Stalin.

    Fundamentally, economics are going to be here because it's what people want; it removes the necessity of a bartering system by offering a standaridzed substitute. After all, if I told you that I was going to simply come over to your house and take your computer, you'd probably say, "what the hell?" but if I were to offer you a trade for it, you'd probably be more inclined to consider it. And that's just human nature.

    I'm not saying that there aren't problems with the economic system; it's far from fair. It's not fair that I can go to bed with a full stomach and a finger of bourbon, fat and healthy and happy, while children in sub-Sarahan Africa die from AIDS at the rate of over one per minute. It's not fair that I have a house and a car and an education while a family of four in New Orleans is living out of their car. It's not fair that I can walk to my local library without concern for my safety while a woman who does the same in Saudi Arabia faces imprisonment and public lashing if she is caught with a young man who isn't a family member.

    Now, there are societies that have extremely robust socialized systems, such as Sweden. Sweden offers government medical care and housing and even child care, but that does come at a price--that being taxes. Fundamentally, something is going to have to pay for that, because even if, say, Sweden were to dissolve currency, other countries would expect Sweden to pay for its imports. And I'm sure that there's plenty of Swedes who would hate the idea of not having money any more.

    Anyway, to summarize everything: a total egalitarian economic system that recognizes people based on merit and desire isn't going to happen, based upon 1.) Human nature, 2.) Greed, 3.) Scarcity of resources, 4.) International relations, 5.) Human expectations. And even then, how would we say, employ the mentally retarded? They would have the desire to work, but not necessarily the skill. How do we gauge their capacity for output as opposed to say, a young father's with three mouths to feed? Who is more deserving?

    And this opens up another question: because there would be so much need for standarization, what do we sacrifice as a result? Do we say then that three children is equal to one mentally retarded man, and therefore the retarded man gets the job? Does that mean that we migrate to a "one child per family" rule like China to conserve resources for the collective good and also introduce standarization? How does this impact our freedom of speech and, if you're an American, your inaliable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

    Just some thoughts and observances.
  6. lonercarrot

    lonercarrot Well-Known Member

    You really lack a basic understanding of economics. I mean, I know I’m not an expert, but I’m smart enough to know the whole "money is the source of all evil" thing is complete b.s.

    All money is is a means to make trade simple and available for people.
    Ex: Let's say money did not exist.
    You're a baker who makes bread. Money does not exist and to trade you need to find people who, not only want bread, but have a product you are looking for. That alone would be a pain.
    Because bread is not worth a lot, if you want something expensive, like a car, you need to make A LOT of bread. But bread rots, so you not only need to find a person who has a car for sale, you need to find a person who has a car AND also wants 1,000's of loafs of bread. And you need to do that before all your bread goes bad and rots.

    But if the baker had money he could buy things from ANYONE, even people who do not want his bread. He can save up a lot of money to buy a car and he never has to worry about the money rotting.

    Money USED to actually be worth something; gold. But now it's "legal tender" which basically means there is nothing to back it up, it's just paper. But what makes $100 a little and $100,000 a lot isn't that society has given it that value. The value of currency depends on how much money is in a system. So if there were $100 in the entire United States, $1 would be worth a lot. If there were 10 trillion dollars in the United States, $1 is worth almost nothing.

    Why is it a sick idea to have property rights? If you have earned your money, why must you give it away? The rich are already taxes WAY more than the middle class.
  7. morfea

    morfea Antiquities Friend

    "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."
    What a beautiful utopia, but I'm such an idealist that I beleive there's a possibility for a mankind to progress mentally and socially so that this utopia may come true one day
  8. Mikeintx

    Mikeintx Well-Known Member

    I did not read the link so forgive me if I am missing the mark on what you are saying. In regards to the above quote: this is the beauty of a free market system. If I am healthy enough to work and the economy isnt in shambles due to an irresponsible federal reserve and incorrectly mark CDO's I can go work two or three jobs and have a nice car and apartment. I can pay cash for the majority of things if I am financially responsible and after I have an emergency fund set up I can start investing in the stock market for my retirement. Also people that cannot work(I am speaking in regards to america at least) can obtain welfare if they are truly disabled.

    One neighbor of mine(back when I lived in NH) was paralyzed from the waist down. He had a nice place to live(that was adapted for his wheelchair), helpers that came everyday to take care of him, food on the table, cable television, and an extra 600-800 a month for spending money. I know this is only one example and there are people that are disabled that can tell some horrible stories, but this is where those of us who can work can CHOOSE to give to charity or a local church that helps people in bad situations. If you want to become wealthy you can very easily you just have to be responsible and hard working. When you become wealthy you can then CHOOSE to give back to those less fortunate. If you do that my hat is off to you, but that does not give anyone the right to tell those who also worked hard to get where they are what to do with their money.

    Once again I did not read your link and am off on a rant here, so if it doesn't apply I apologize.
  9. Righteous

    Righteous Well-Known Member

    I'm afraid that the idea that if u be responsible and hard working then u can have money is not always true. A lot of people have been working hard all there life and have nothing to show for it. And its not always because of not being financially responsible, a lot of the time its because of the unfair price of living. Such as if u work full time at Wal-Mart these days and only make about $900 a month, then u can't have a decent lifestyle with the high cost of rent, mortgage , food and utilities. But if this was 1950 or 1960 and u made $900 a month, u can live a fairly good lifestyle because rent, mortgage, food, and utilities were a lot cheaper then
  10. Mikeintx

    Mikeintx Well-Known Member

    Then move if you can not afford to live in that area. If you are making minimum wage at walmart you will make $1160 a month before taxes. How many people do you know that make minimum wage? I have friends that work at walmart and they do not make minimum wage. If you make minimum wage for more than the first year or two of your adult life and cannot get a raise then I am sorry, it is not our economy's fault it is your own. Work hard, be nice to people and be a team player and you will get far.

    In fact if you were within the dallas area right now I could get you a job making 12 dollars an hour to start answering phones in a call center, with unlimited overtime. This is through a temp agency nonetheless, if you were hired on permanent you would be making 15 an hour with good health benefits and a company matched 401k. This is with a fortune 500 company which of course isnt possible since capitalism is evil and big corporations only hurt anyone that isn't the smartest out there. Oh I forgot, you do not even need a high school diploma for this job.

    Lets talk about cost of living. When I lived in the seacost of NH you could not touch a nice 3 bedroom house for much under 200k in the towns I was living in. Now outside the dallas area you can find a nice 3 bedroom house with a two car garage and a nice neighborhood for 80-90k. Cost of living is related to how badly someone wants to live in an area. The US has a much larger population than in 1950 and if you want to be in the places with the highest density of people, expect to pay a premium for land and housing. This is common sense really, if you expect other people to have to pay for those minimum wage workers to live in nicer areas because you do not think it is right for them to not live above their means, then you my friend as more American than you think. ;)
  11. Mikeintx

    Mikeintx Well-Known Member

    "The top 25 percent of wage earners, for example, accounted for 68.7 percent of the nation's income -- yet paid 86.6 percent of federal income taxes."

    ""We rely more heavily on the top 10 percent of taxpayers than does any nation, and our poor people have the lowest tax burden of those in any nation," the Tax Foundation states."
  12. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    You could also go to a technical school and be earning $30-40k consistently. Many companies will pay your tuition and living expenses in exchange for a post-graduation ~5 year contract... Win-win, they pay your way AND give you a job. It's a bit harder to get in bust times, but it's never bust times for long. You might have to move, though, but moving is a small price for a comfortable living.
  13. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    I understand where you are coming from Random, but if it wasn't money it'd be gold, precious stones, or even shells. For as long as humans have interacted one another's seperate communities, we've always had some means of exchange, whether by barter or through a valued medium such as paper money.

    The beauty of this system is that it provides room for innovation and creativity, thanks to the flow of ideas and money that is unprecedented in any other economic system thus far. Ironically, even Marx, the harbinger of Communism, was only able to do his work the funding and networking afforded to him by his capitalist friend Engels (and, on a side not, Marx was not as virulently anti-capitalist as presumed; he at least consented to there being merits in the system, even if he didn't agree with it).

    As for income and wealth inequality, consider that the most equal nations in the world - such as Japan and the Nordic countries - are also among the richest in per capita terms either. It's not money itself that is the problem, but rather how society and the political establishment operate.

    The highly equal countries I named have established a balance between free-market capitalism and generous welfare, the latter of which is often delivered through the former. In other words, if we learn to tame and use the market for good, as opposed to exploiting it for evil or antagonizing it, we can achieve great things. As with many things, balance is the key.

    A tangent concerning taxes: what Newmax failed to note is that, in the United States, the top 10% of the population is most wealthy accounts for around 70% of all income. In other words, the rich gain a disproportionate percentage of this country's income and wealth. So the top heavy taxing is only reflective of the top-heavy concentration of wealth and income. If ours were a more equal society with regards to this, we could tax equally across the board (aka the flat tax).
  14. Mikeintx

    Mikeintx Well-Known Member

    Zurk, I must be misreading something as this quote seems to go against what you are saying above:

    "The top 25 percent of wage earners, for example, accounted for 68.7 percent of the nation's income -- yet paid 86.6 percent of federal income taxes."
  15. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    I think it's case of reading into the quote a little more. I never trust any site or newspaper when it comes to statistics.

    "Top 25% of wage earners" in other words, discounting all investors, paid "86.6 percent of federal income taxes" so it doesn't count payroll taxes, sales taxes, capital gains taxes etc.
  16. lonercarrot

    lonercarrot Well-Known Member

    You call this a utopia?
    Having a government or 3rd party decide what you need and what is in your best interest to have, a misallocation of resources, no property rights, no hope in ever obtaining anything other than meagre rations enough to keep you living a drab, dull life...

    Some people are so naive, it’s shocking.
  17. Mikeintx

    Mikeintx Well-Known Member

    Good point John, it will be interesting to see what happens when the Bush tax cuts expire next year.
  18. Righteous

    Righteous Well-Known Member

    I completely understand economics. Its all a game not a natural process. And no, money is not necessarily the source of all evil but it does have a lot to do with evil. I mean, neighborhoods would be a lot safer if everyone had a fair amount of money.
  19. lonercarrot

    lonercarrot Well-Known Member

    It is a natural process. No one person is manipulating the value of the dollar or the rise and fall of stock prices. Trade and economics works on a global scale and is affected by many things.

    Money has nothing to do with evil. How would anyone be safer if they had a fair amount of money?
    also, these are still unanswered from my post
    Why is it a sick idea to have property rights? If you have earned your money, why must you give it away?
  20. Mikeintx

    Mikeintx Well-Known Member

    I disagree. The huge influx of money from government programs is hurting the dollar quite a bit...
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