Money and Work

Posted 3 years, 2 months ago | Originally written on 9 Dec 2020

The ideas of money and work are intimately bound, particularly in an economy where the presence, nature and role of money is paramount. Here are some rough thoughts I'm processing about money.

  1. What money is very strongly influences the kind of work that gets done. This is because, by its nature, money facilitates economic interactions.
  2. Durable work must have durable value independent of currency. Currency is the current expression of what society considers money. There is such a thing as work done exclusively in the interest of money independent of valuable work. This is precisely the kind of work that is easily dissipated in financial crises. For example, financial speculation does not persist in financial crises except that which is advanced by the crises. One can easily see how such work does not advance society but rather preys upon it like a fetid leech. Durable work retains a value independent of currency and is able to transcend financial crises, though it may experience some turbulence as economic actors evaluate the situation.
  3. The most prevalent form of money is fiat money, which retains value only insofar as the fiat is integrous. Measuring the value of work in fiat money is not very bright. Fiat money is mainly good for only two things: paying taxes and settling debts in a legally enforceable way.
  4. States enforce fiat money through taxation. Hence, the colonial authorities were able to subdue indigenous peoples by requiring taxation in fiat money, which the colonists controlled. This was an devious means by which they introduced poverty to otherwise functioning societies. Without the prerogative to tax fiats have very little economic control.