PhiloMadrid - Pub Philosophy Meetings in Madrid

Thursday, February 18, 2016

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: How powerful is money?

Dear friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: How powerful is money?

How powerful is money?

If by "powerful" we mean the ability to change the course of events
including our lives and that of others then surely money is very
powerful? But this affirmation does not solve many philosophical problems.

Two issues we can investigate about money is the immoral use of money,
and by immoral I also mean illegal, and secondly how best can we
understand money?

Money is no less a physical phenomenon than anything else in the
physical world. The two distinct features of money are that it depends
on all of us validating its value and secondly money is a form of saving
and measuring our efforts in obtaining the necessary resources to
survive. At least that is the theory.

Two good analogies, although I would argue they more than just an
analogy and more like a member of a set, to understand money are "dams"
and "electric batteries". Both engineering masterpieces, like, money,
have the ability to store energy over a good period of time. The energy
they store, in other words, the value they have is quite stable over the
period of time they are designed to function. Money, at least in theory,
should keep its value over a reasonable period of time in our life time.

Dams convert water and gravity into electricity and batteries convert
chemical and physical reactions into electricity; money converts our
labour into purchasing power of good and services.

An important feature of money is that it is very easy to exchange our
energy into money and then into goods and services. But its value is
independent of who "filled" the "container" that holds this monetary
value. If have a five euro note it does not matter whether I worked for
it or found it in the street; it is still a five euro note. This is very
similar to a battery; it does not matter whether a battery is found or
bought. Moreover, like money, it does not matter whether it is powering
a torch or a remote control; its energy is converted into work immediate.

But it is this feature of money that makes money very unstable for us.
Its very nature makes it easy to steal, lose and misused. On the other
hand, a dam is very difficult to steal, very difficult to miss use and
very difficult to lose.

Although money is very convenient to hold money it is also very risky
structure. It is this ease of transfer that makes money powerful; when
money is seen as a commodity, rather than a measurement and conversion
of our effort into value, it becomes a scarce resource like any other
commodity. Indeed the value of a scarce resource is that it is scarce
hence making a resource difficult to obtain means that we need more
energy (ie money) to obtain it.

Thus an immoral use of money is when money is made scarce for our
labour; being paid less than what we deserve, inflating the price of
goods and services and of course not paying any money at all for labour.

I would therefore, argue and conclude that money is as powerful as much
as we are prepared to devalue our labour.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813 <>
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: How powerful is money?

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