Stone Money-Green Eggs and Ham

Faith in an Unreal System

P1. Mediums of exchange have been used to manipulate wealth since the earliest civilizations. Mediums of Exchange have influenced survival, dictated lifestyle, and determined the worth of everything. Mediums of exchange used relies solely on the belief that the users agree that the prices are fair. If the users don’t believe in the system, then the money becomes useless. From ancient islands to modern day America, monetary systems have always been backed by the belief of the people. The monetary system is a system of belief, and once that belief is eradicated, the system is useless.

P2. In the Caroline Islands lies a German Colony known as the Island of Yap. Like most civilizations, the island of Yap uses a monetary system. However the Yaps do not use the paper money system that Americans have come to known. The Yaps use large stone wheels known as Fei to exchange goods The Yap’s use Fei like Americans use currency, exchanging them for certain goods. However, much different from American money, the Yap’s would never actually physically exchange the stones. The stones were kept on a distant island, [not true; the stones were quarried on a distant island and brought to Yap on rafts] so often the owners would never see their stone wheels. [Only once did huge fei sink into the sea and become “unseeable.”] The Yap’s just agreed that the wheels were someones property. [Problems with possessives. The plural of Yap is Yap. “The Yap used fei.” But “someone’s” needs an apostrophe.]

P3. Due to the stone’s [when a noun is both plural and possessive, first make the noun plural: stones; then make it possessive: stones’.] immobility, the stones would very seldom actually change owners. When the stone was changed possession, the villagers simply made a mark on the stone indicating the new owner. All the mark did was dictate the transaction, and the new owner. Many times the stone wouldn’t even move an inch. The Yap’s would exchange goods, and dictate lifestyle with stones that many would not even see.

P4. One family on the island became wealthy without even obtaining a stone. According to a legend, while being transported, the family’s stone wheels were lost. Due to the weight of the stone, the transporters had to throw the stone overboard. This resulted in the stone falling to the bottom of the ocean. Nobody except the transporters ever saw the stones, but everyone agreed to the legend. The family got to live a lavish lifestyle because they everyone believe in something that was non-existent. This type of believing has been present in many countries, even America.

P5. The United States Federal Bank have had exchanges similar to the Yaps. In 1933 the Great Depression was in full swing, so the value of the American dollar was in question. The United States owed a debt to France, andconcerned about the value of the dollarthe French demanded Gold. To the French request, the United States gave the rights of gold in the Federal Reserve. However the gold stayed in the basement of the United States Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve just marked a certain amount of gold in their bank, property of the French. Using the style of monetary exchange the Yaps used. [This is a fragment, not a sentence. Attach it either to the sentence it follows or to the one that follows it.] They exchanged the monetary value, but not the actual physical medium of exchange. Showcasing the flaw, if the trust in the system is eradicated, the gold (or stone) is worthless because the owners do not have their possessions. [Huh?]

P6. NPR did a broadcast about how made-up money saved the Brazilian economy in 1992. In the broadcast “How Fake Money saved Brazil”, [Periods and commas ALWAYS go inside the quotation marks.] they discussed how due to inflation rising up to 90% a month, the Brazilian economy was crashing. To help bring down the inflation rates, and save the economy, a group of economists created a fake currency known as the Unit of Value. URV’s [Don’t use apostrophes to make plurals.] were made up by a select group, with nothing to back it up. They relied on the people’s faith that the currency had the said value. That year, the URV’s greatly reduced inflation in the Brazilian economy, and solved many of the economic problems. However it wasn’t the URVs themself, [The plural URVs requires the plural themselves.] it was the people’s belief in the system. They believed the money had the said value, so they were able to exchange the URVs with minimal issues.

P7. In the past decade Japan has also manipulated their form of currency, the Yen. In the New York Times article, “Japan Tries to Ease Fears That Its Policies Will Lead to Currency Wars,” it is discussed how the Japanese Government, in order to reduce inflation, manipulated the dollar. The article discussed that many European countries were afraid of what was deemed currency wars caused by other national banks manipulating their dollar values. As shown by the Yap’s however it can be done. Money can be manipulated in many different ways, due to the fact that because it doesn’t physically exist. Money is just a belief of the people. In order for money to work, people just have to believe, it doesn’t matter how much the dollar is said to be worth.

P8. Bitcoin, an online currency, has gone through recent value swings. The value of the currency, which does not rely on any federal bank or financial institution, was wavering through incredible highs and lows from day to day. There were many blames to this, but a prime cause was due to the pressure from investors. In other words, the people stopped believing in the system, causing its value to flux. When the users stop believing in their monetary system, the money becomes useless.

P9. Currency is an idea made created by governments that relies on the faith of the users. Money is solely backed by the belief, and not by the government. Some money systems use currency that the users don’t actually see. So people are basing their lives and how they live [pick one] over something that isn’t actually real and in some case they don’t see. People kill, die, and base their entire lives on the belief of this system that doesn’t actually exist. Sadly since the beginning of time, people have been doing horrendous things for unreal things.

P10. Be it the island of Yap, or the United States, mediums of exchanges have dictated people’s lives for a long time. Even though technically their [You need to use the contraction for they are.] different systems, both countries [both economies? both currencies?] are actually based on the same idea. Both monetary systems are backed by nothing but belief decides the fate of the people. If the people stop believing in the value of the system, the system becomes useless and the wealth eradicated. The whole idea of a good economy or bad economy is dictated simply by belief. So all this killing due to money has been caused by money could have easily altered by people simply changing their belief. So this love of the almighty dollar is really a love of a belief. [The two red sentences go off the rails.]

Works Cited

Friedman, Milton. “The Island of Stone Money.” The Island of Stone Money(1991): 3-7. Web. 10 Sept. 2016.

Reeves, Jeff. “Bitcoin Has No Place in Your – or Any – Portfolio.” MarketWatch. MarketWatch, 31 Jan. 2015. Web. 10 Sept. 2016.

Joffe-Walt, Chana. “How Fake Money Saved Brazil.” NPR. NPR, 4 Oct. 2010. Web. 13 Sept. 2016.

“Japan Tries to Ease Fears That Its Policies Will Lead to Currency Wars.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 25 Jan. 2013. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.

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8 Responses to Stone Money-Green Eggs and Ham

  1. davidbdale says:

    GreenEggs, you have a serious tone that serves you well. You appear to want to guide, instruct, and influence your readers to conclusions of importance. I’ll do my best to help you accomplish all of that. Thank you for taking the job seriously.

    First, some grammar and style notes on P1. Permit me to dig deeply into a small writing sample and to ask you to scour the rest of your paragraphs for opportunities to improve them before seeking more feedback.

    Medium of exchanges have been used to swap goods since beginning of time.

    —You have a deaf ear for singulars and plurals, GreenEggs. I wouldn’t say so automatically, but there are several examples in this essay. Money is a “medium of exchange.” Rent is a “cost of living.” The plural of “cost of living” is not “cost of livings” but “costs of living.” By the same convention, the plural of “medium of exchange” is “mediums of exchange.”
    —You also have trouble with articles (a, an, the) of the type that made me wonder earlier whether English might be your second or third language. Here you miss the obvious “THE beginning of time.” You may only need to do a final proofreading to eliminate these problems, but if you don’t hear them, we need to practice.

    Throughout history, different types of medium of exchange have been used in different economies.

    —We’ve Exercised this week on “sort of, type of, kind of” language. I hope it’s obvious that “types of medium of exchange” needs to go.

    Be it the dollar, gold or some other form, medium of exchanges have influenced survival and the lifestyle of people.

    —Singular/Plural problem 1: What will become your “mediums of exchange” are plural. You offer threes examples of mediums. Because they’re plural, those examples force “they” not “it.” (Be they dollars, gold coins, or some other units of value, mediums of exchange . . . .”) (Understand, please, that you could elect to stay singular: Be it a dollar, a gold coin, or another unit of value, a medium of exchange . . . .”)
    —Singular/Plural problem 2: A person has a lifestyle. People have lifestyles.

    The idea of money relies on the belief of the people that the price being used is correct.

    —No grammar problems.

    If people don’t believe in the system, money is useless.

    —No grammar problems, but this sentence repeats without amplification the sentence it follows.

    Money is a system built on belief, and if the belief is eradicated, the monetary system gets eradicated in any land.

    —No grammar problems, but this sentence repeats without amplification the sentence it follows. In other words, your last three sentences could be replaced by one sentence.

    Mediums of exchange have been used to swap goods since the beginning of time. Throughout history, whether they were paper dollars, gold coins, or giant limestone discs, physical tokens have represented tradable value. These mediums of exchange have influenced survival and the lifestyles of people. Money is faith. Without the confidence of their users that money can be spent and that prices will be reasonable, currencies fail.

    Granted, that’s radical condensing, but between that very terse version and your version that repeats the same claim three times, is a version of yours that reduces repetition and spends the surplus on more ideas.

    Is there something of value here for you, GreenEggs?

  2. greeneggsandham234 says:

    This is the revised copy

  3. davidbdale says:

    Your fourth paragraph is the first that achieves a clarity of language and argument, Eggs. You make a simple but important observation and communicate it clearly. If you can clearly express complex ideas everywhere, as you have in that paragraph, you’ll do fine. But it will take work. I’m ready to start whenever you are.

    Provisional Grade recorded at the Blackboard Grade Center.

  4. davidbdale says:

    Considerable improvements (and a regrade), but many problems could still be corrected. The language notes I’ve highlighted in red and blue. You can ask for yet another upgrade if you make the corrections.

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