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Off topic: An interesting article: money is just an illusion
Thread poster: Lesley Clarke

Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:07
Spanish to English
Feb 20, 2010

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/u_s_economy_grinds_to_halt_as

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Cedomir Pusica  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 06:07
Member (2009)
English to Serbian
+ ...
A self-fulfilling prophecy... Feb 20, 2010

One day all of us will realize that this in fact is very true. We can't do without the concept entirely, but what concept would put an end to all the controversy surrounding "money"?

Thanks for sharing!


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 02:07
Spanish to English
+ ...
I ... Feb 21, 2010

... completely and utterly fail to see what was so interesting in Lesley's 'interesting article'.

Have I missed something?

MediaMatrix


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Michiel Leeuwenburgh  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:07
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
So true Feb 21, 2010

Who knows one day we might return to the good old days of barter trade...?
Thanks a lot for sharing, Lesley! Long live the Onion and long may they continue to put the finger on the sillinesses of society.


[Bijgewerkt op 2010-02-21 11:52 GMT]


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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:07
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Glad you liked it Feb 21, 2010

Glad you liked it Michiel and Cedomir.
Yes there is a very serious issue behind this humour that seems to be overlooked by the circles who should be looking this matter.
And Onion is brilliant

Here's another one, worth seeing if only for the first two minutes:

http://maxkeiser.com/2010/02/17/kr1-keiser-report-markets-finance-scandal/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:%20Maxkeisercom%20(maxkeiser.com)


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David Russi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:07
English to Spanish
+ ...
You enjoyed the fiction, here is some reality... Feb 21, 2010

There are people doing this, albeit very few.

http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13885261

http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/article6928744.ece


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:07
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
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Money is just an illusion Feb 21, 2010

I have been saying that for quite some time in my family and among my friends. And it is just a fact: today money is just a piece of beautifully printed paper with no face value. People give you goods and services because they also believe in the beautifully printed paper, but governments are free to print as much paper as they wish. In fact, central banks have been doing that for quite a while.

Lots of people have little faith in the beautifully printed paper, and that is why gold is so expensive nowadays.


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Michiel Leeuwenburgh  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:07
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
Speaking of reality vs. fiction: Feb 22, 2010

My wife, who is a personal coach, recently made a deal with a hairdresser: she now gets her (and our daughter's) hair done in exchange for a coaching session. I can only applaud these initiatives.
But how could we implement this scenario in our trade? "I'll translate your cell phone manual in exchange for one of your cell phones"? I don't think it would always be as straightforward as this. However, it would cut out the middle man, the translation agencies. Interesting... It's worth the thought experiment (at least).


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Krzysztof Kajetanowicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 06:07
English to Polish
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exactly Feb 22, 2010

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

I have been saying that for quite some time in my family and among my friends. And it is just a fact: today money is just a piece of beautifully printed paper with no face value. People give you goods and services because they also believe in the beautifully printed paper, but governments are free to print as much paper as they wish. In fact, central banks have been doing that for quite a while.

Lots of people have little faith in the beautifully printed paper, and that is why gold is so expensive nowadays.


Plus, the first time that paper money came along, it:

- did have real value (corresponded to gold stored at vaults, which could be claimed at any time),
- was issued by private businesses,
- there was no central bank.

Unfortunately the private businesses realized they could really print more gold receipts than they had gold to exchange for, so that they can lend out those receipts and charge interest. That's how fractional reserve banking came along. Pretty soon governments realized that this was too good a business to leave in private hands, so they seized and monopolized this, if you excuse the precious metaphor, golden goose.

[Edited at 2010-02-22 10:04 GMT]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:07
Member (2006)
French to English
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Illusory payments ... Feb 22, 2010

The concept of money is certainly illusory in the minds of certain tardy payers ...
Resigned to the struggle,
Jenny


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:07
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Gold standard, we want it back! Feb 22, 2010

Krzysztof Kajetanowicz wrote:
Plus, the first time that paper money came along, it:
- did have real value (corresponded to gold stored at vaults, which could be claimed at any time),
- was issued by private businesses,
- there was no central bank.

Personally I am all for the return of the gold standard. It would make it all much more reasonable and would protect us more against fake values in financial products.


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Michiel Leeuwenburgh  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:07
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
But isn't the value of gold equally illusory? Feb 22, 2010

To put it into Onion context: it is just a pretty shiny metal, you cannot eat it or use it for building houses (not practically anyway). In other words, its value is just as symbolic as paper money. Because it is almost exclusively used for making jewelry, the value of gold is almost completely dependent on mankind's desire for *bling*. The bottom line is: the value of all the world's gold reserves hinges upon the value of fancy jewelry! Doesn't anyone think that's weird?

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:07
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Why gold has more qualities than money Feb 22, 2010

Michiel Leeuwenburgh wrote:
To put it into Onion context: it is just a pretty shiny metal, you cannot eat it or use it for building houses (not practically anyway). In other words, its value is just as symbolic as paper money. Because it is almost exclusively used for making jewelry, the value of gold is almost completely dependent on mankind's desire for *bling*. The bottom line is: the value of all the world's gold reserves hinges upon the value of fancy jewelry! Doesn't anyone think that's weird?

I think gold does have a true value. Of course its price will depend on its demand, but it has qualities in it that make it far better a currency (or base of currency) as money:
- You cannot make gold in a factory.
- Reserves of gold are limited.
- Gold is a material known and recognized all over the world and in all cultures.
- Gold is practically eternal and does not decay or rust over time.
- Gold is easy to work with.
- Gold is involved in a high number of products and technologies and is an industrial commodity as well as a social commodity.
- Gold is beautiful, or you can make beautiful things with it, both to wear and as pieces of art.
- Gold is not harmful. You can wear it with no risk of allergy, and you can even swallow pieces of it if you have to escape to another country.

And the list goes on.


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Michiel Leeuwenburgh  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:07
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
Granted, gold has more qualities than paper money, but Feb 22, 2010

The symbolic value of gold greatly outweighs its practical value. My point is that banks all over the world are sitting on a symbol. And as you rightly pointed out, Tomás, its value is dependent on its demand. I am convinced that while the material itself is relatively stable, its value is not eternal. What if mankind would, over time, evolve into a less materialistic society (not anytime soon, but who knows), less devoted to jewelry and more to other values?

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Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:07
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Money should have intrinsic value Feb 22, 2010

Money needs to have an intrinsic value, be it gold, silver, salt or cocoa beans, the way things are they give us pieces of paper or electronic blips on a computer, morelike, and then from one day to the next, they are "worth" have what they were the day before.

Banks do amazing things with "money" and are responsible for more poverty and misery in this world than wars and famine.


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