What is Money?

Sometimes the whole concept of ‘money’ just floors me. First, it used to be based on precious metals which arguably had value. Then somebody had the bright idea to issue ‘receipts’ for the precious metals so people wouldn’t have to carry all that weight around. The receipts (or paper money) had no real value in and of themselves. People got used to the idea, then one day the people who issued the receipts decided to secretly sell off all the precious metals they were based on. This made the receipts technically worthless. The amazing thing is, no one seemed to mind. People had mistakenly begun to think of the worthless paper as the thing of value. Today, people have decided that even the paper receipts for nothing are too bulky to carry around so they most often use ‘electronic’ receipts for the worthless paper receipts based on nothing. Nothing physical ever changes hands.There does not even exist enough paper receipts to cover all the electronic receipts. All that exists is a bunch of virtual numbers floating around in the aether, less real than a video game. And yet, most of us act as if it were the most real thing in the world. Mind-boggling. Please nobody tell the emperor he has no clothes!

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