Stone Money—romanhsantiago

What Is Money?

P1. Without money I believe that the world would stop turning. Money is what drives us to get up in the morning every single day and to many people it is the key to finding happiness. This is true I theory because the more money one has the less restricted they are with money and they have more freedom they have to do the things that make them happy. However, the question that people tend to overlook is, what really is money?

P2. The simplest example of what money is found in a small island in the Pacific Ocean. The Caroline islands found a very unique form of money. While reading Milton Friedman’s “The Island of Stone Money” I learned about the Yap islanders who used big lime stone rocks that they carved in to discs as currency. Basically its comparable to the gold standard which dictated that currency was worth a certain weight in gold. The yap islanders found that these stones were rare and saw value in them. So the islanders would travel on small rafts to find these huge stones for currency. However, these stones were not used for small purchases they were used mostly for big purchases such as land or in case of an emergency like a natural disaster destroying the islander’s crops. The Caroline islands had a population of six thousand people. I believe this was a great idea seeing as their population was that small an honor code can be utilized as well as a well-organized system of transaction. However, I believe that in a place with a bigger population such as the United States of America that would not work. This is because people are too spread out and with the amount of people in this country an honor code would not suffice, it calls for a more advanced and formal system which is our economy that is backed by the federal reserve bank.

P3. In the podcast “The Invention of the Economy” it spoke about how the US government essentially created the economy during the great depression when it was mostly needed. Fast forward 70 years to circa 2008 and we find that our nation’s economy is at risk to collapse. To prevent this collapse, the federal government had to rely on the federal reserve to solve the solution. In the podcast “Weekend at Bernakies” cleverly named after the Chairman of the Federal reserve, spoke about the federal reserve’s history. The federal reserve is a separate entity than the federal govermant and is not controlled by them. The Federal reserve essentially has the ability to create money out of nothing. In 2008 many companies were in dire need of bailout because they were struggling very much. If those companies went under our economy would take a very big hit. To avoid this the Federal reserve in partnership with JP Morgan Chase began to give money to different banks, hedge funds, and big corporations. This is essentially what saved our economy from complete turmoil. What the federal reserve did is essentially unexplainable since they literally just created money out of nothing. Many companies had to give collateral for the loan and they did this in the form of mortgages.

P4. This in my eyes was the economies get out of jail free card. I believe this because they had to ask for help or risk losing it all.

P5. Something very similar happened in Brazil. In the Podcast “the Lie that Saved Brazil” we learned how brazil had their own get out of jail free card. Brazil for about five decades had a very bad problem. Their problem was inflation every single day multiple times a day prices soared through the roof. So the value of the currency kept going down. To save the economy Brazil brought in four economists who single handedly saved the economy based off of one lie. They Began changing the underlying causes of inflation such as production of money and many other things. They took it one step further and wanted to change the peoples thoughts to be able to fully fix the economy. They chose to create a new virtual currency named URV. The URV was a stable currency which changed in value however the prices of the products being purchased did not. People started to think in URV’s rather than the previous Crusero. This meant they essentially eliminated the Crusero and stabilized the economy which later allowed brazil to begin their new economy and along came their new currency the Real.

P6. Money in the modern age is near impossible to put real value to it. We as a society have created a system that relies mostly on trust. We have to trust that the decisions being made by the head of the federal reserve are positive and the best decision for our country. A prime example of this is the bitcoin a virtual currency that is universal and can be used online. The value of the bitcoin has been very volatile and has gone up and down and has not been reliable. No one person or government can put a value on money because we all have different economies and values.

Work Cited

“The Invention Of ‘The Economy’.” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.

Renaut, Anne. “The Bubble Bursts on E-currency Bitcoin.” Yahoo! News. Yahoo!, 13 Apr. 2013. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.

“Weekend At Bernanke’s.” This American Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.

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6 Responses to Stone Money—romanhsantiago

  1. davidbdale says:

    Hey, Roman. Let’s start right at the top.

    P1. Without money I believe that the world would stop turning.

    This is fine. A traditional opening that puts your topic on the table. It will probably make most readers think of the cliche: Money makes the world go ’round.

    Money is what drives us to get up in the morning every single day and to many people it is the key to finding happiness.

    Got it. Money turns the world by getting us out of bed, so it’s a motivator. Why? Because it buys happiness. Fine.

    This is true I theory because the more money one has the less restricted they are with money and they have more freedom they have to do the things that make them happy.

    First, you mean “I theorize.” Then you need to choose between singulars (one has) or plurals (they are). But also your sentence is flabby. We know it’s your theory (it’s your essay), so you can eliminate that. Then your “less restricted” is the same as “have more freedom,” so one of those should go. Very repetitious is your “they have more freedom” “they have to do.” You’ve already said money buys happiness, so the freedom to do things that bring happiness . . . .? Decide what you really need from this sentence.

    However, the question that people tend to overlook is, what really is money?

    Here’s where you can really make your point, Santiago. You’ve spent three sentences identifying money as the planet’s prime motivator. Permit yourself a moment of astonishment that something so essential to everyone’s happiness is so little understood, so completely taken for granted. That is the point of the paragraph, right? Not that we don’t know WHAT IT IS, but that we DON’T THINK ABOUT IT at all.

    See if you can sharpen your focus a bit. Meanwhile, below, I’ll make just a comment or two about your other paragraphs.

  2. davidbdale says:

    P2. The simplest example of what money is found in a small island in the Pacific Ocean. The Caroline islands found a very unique form of money. While reading Milton Friedman’s “The Island of Stone Money” I learned about the Yap islanders who used big lime stone rocks that they carved in to discs as currency.

    I hope I don’t start to annoy you with very particular advice, much of it similarly suggesting that you reduce wordiness, Roman.
    1. Here you spend a sentence to say a Pacific Island has a simple currency.
    2. Then another sentence to say it’s unique, and name the island cluster.
    3. Then another to say the currency are large rocks, and cite your source (for the third time identifying the location).
    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that you could say:

    In Milton Friedman’s “The Island of Stone Money,” I learned that Pacific Islanders on Yap carved big limestone rocks as their unique if peculiar currency.

    The rest of your paragraph would benefit from similar cuts, but I admire your observation that the Yap could survive without a strict accounting system because of their small population.

    P3. Readers will have no idea what you mean by the claim that “the US government essentially created the economy during the great depression when it was mostly needed,” Roman. Any system of exchange IS an economy, so the “creation of the economy” by a country that already had money must be a metaphor.

    You shirk your responsibility when you say that “what the federal reserve did is essentially unexplainable since they literally just created money out of nothing.” Explain the best you can.

    P4. This in my eyes was the economies get out of jail free card. I believe this because they had to ask for help or risk losing it all.
    (How does an economy ask for help, Roman?)

    P5. I sympathize that the Brazil anecdote is almost impossible to explain. You do your best.

    P6. Your treatment of Bitcoin comes along at the point where most readers will expect to hear your conclusion, not a fresh example of another currency. Your explanation does not illustrate what you say it will.

    There are successes along the way, Roman, and you’re facing a stiff challenge trying to make sense of these abstract concepts. My best overall advice would be to have a friend read your draft and then explain TO YOU what she thinks your paragraphs say about the different currencies and value systems. That might make it clearer to you whether you’re communicating as you wish.

    For now, make the best changes you can and put your post back into the Feedback Please category if you want another round of Notes.

  3. romanhsantiago says:

    Even though it is a little late for me to finally be looking over this i do really appreciate the feedback you gave it was very constructive. Something that i will implicate in my work moving forward is trying to reword my sentences to say what i would say in three sentences in only one like you showed me in P2. I also will keep working toward handling the readers emotion much better for example in P1 i talked about the importance of money got everyone intrigued then i should drop something else that kind of shocks them to keep them interested. I might go back and revise this anyways even though my grade will not change because its good practice for my final.

    • davidbdale says:

      I encourage you to make the most of every opportunity to practice, Roman. As you say, though, it’s of negligible importance to your final grade compared to the bigger job of catching up with the Long and Short Arguments.

  4. romanhsantiago says:

    I realize I have fallen behinds especially on my arguments. I’ve had a rough semester however I’m not one for excuses which is why I haven’t mentioned it throughout these few weeks but I assure you I am good for it I will complete the assignments even if I receive no credit, because I understand I have to do extremely well on my final paper to attempt to make up for the lost points

  5. davidbdale says:

    Thanks, Roman. I’m not one for excuses either, so I appreciate not hearing yours. I do have to caution you, though, about one important grade consideration. I need to see your lead-up work. Even the best paper ever written, if it arrives on the eve of the course deadline without any preparatory work, would have to fail for lateness, if only to protect against students buying final results. Let’s concentrate first on posting the three short arguments that lead to the end-of-semester project. In any order: Definition Argument, Causal Argument, Rebuttal Argument. And soon.

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