For as long as I can remember, I’ve wondered about the value and utilization of money in modern society. It doesn’t take a genius to recognize that rectangles of paper with pictures of dead presidents printed on them are not divine in nature, and do not possess any true value in and of themselves (other than perhaps the marginal cost of the paper stock and ink used to create them). That’s because at its essence, money is nothing more than a human invention - a construct of the human mind. At a very fundamental level, money exists only because people tacitly agree to act as if these squares of paper have true intrinsic value. As an exercise in thought, consider the hypothetical opinion of a civilization from another planet visiting Earth. To these beings, a dollar would be no more than a museum piece, a curiosity to recognize and study, but nothing of true universal importance. Yet I find it extremely interesting to consider that although the dollar is a fiat currency (“fiat” meaning any state-issued money which is without inherent value and not convertible by law to any other thing), it largely continues to be idolized by the global population.
My goal, however, is not to reveal the illusory nature of money. Although abstract in concept, money is still an incredibly important symbolic device, with its value strongly tied to how well the world’s inhabitants can produce concrete things and services that other people want. Therefore, fiat currency or not, it serves a crucial role in modern civilization. Given the significance money holds to our society, I feel we should take greater advantage of this invention as a potential solution to many of the world’s problems. One of my favorite definitions of money is offered by Deepak Chopra who asserts that money is: “life energy that we exchange and use as a result of the service we provide to the universe." I find this to be a beautiful and deeply truthful analogy, as well as an excellent starting point for discussions on how to better use the concept of money to improve our planet, conceivably by harnessing the invaluable resources available to us in our solar system, such as asteroids.
About Richard Jurusz: | Richard Jurusz has worked in the financial industry for fourteen years, earning multiple industry certifications including his FINRA Series 4, 7, 24, 53 and 63 licenses. Richard is a forward thinker, an amateur astronomer, and an immense fan of Thom Yorke, Carl Sagan, and Peter Diamandis. When he isn’t glued to a computer screen, he enjoys looking at the night skies through his telescope, spending time with his wife and daughter, and writing about himself in the third person. You can reach him at rjj1208 (at) aol (dot) com.
Web site: http://www.asteroidstandard.org