MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

We all know about money being the great equalizer, the most coveted item in this materialistic world of ours because it supposedly brings about prosperity and to those who have an oversupply of it, tremendous wealth and a delusion of god-like power and dominance over those who have lack of it. But what does money really buy you? The book Rules of Wealth has this short but very introspective insight on the notion of money being the fixer of people’s problems.

RULE 11 : If You See Money As The Solution, You’ll Find It Becomes The Problem

Quote

Having money doesn’t make all your relationships flow smoothly – not by a long shot . It doesn’t protect you from disease – it may buy you better medical care after the event but it doesn’t protect you. It might buy a better diet but the rich half of the world has a pretty poor health record despite having all the money to feed itself extremely well so that doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand.

The more you see money as the solution, the greater the chance that you are missing the point entirely. Money doesn’t do anything.

I know, I know. You’ll be thinking, “If only I had X amount, I could fix this problem in my life”. I think you’ll find money would throw up a lot more problems in its wake. Money will not make you happier, thinner or more popular with decent people. Money does not deliver lasting, meaningful peace of mind.There are plenty of rich, fat, unhappy people with no real friends. I think we need to find the cure to our problems first before funding that cure. Money isn’t and never will be the cure. It is the oil that smoothes the wheels. It isn’t the engine.

Unquote

When Sadam Hussein was executed, Iraq was supposedly freed from a tyrannical dictatorship and Iraqis would celebrate their new found freedom and live happily ever after but they didn’t. In fact the situation deteriorated with the major ethnic groups cutting each other’s throats in their quest for dominance and supremacy. So what did Bush do? He shipped $12 Billion in $100 dollar bills, mostly funds sequestered from Sadam Hussein’s assets, to be distributed to the Iraqi ministers and warlords so they can go about their business of bringing normalcy to the country. Money as the stop gap solution to a very frail and volatile situation – did it work? We all know the answer – it didn’t.

Money does provide relief to man’s needs of food, clothing and shelter including satiating his self-indulgence – no question about that. The author says however that if we become reliant on money to be able to fix everything that goes haywire, or put a price tag on everything then were out to lunch with this kind of thinking. If we think that giving P1.0million to every family in Pinas will bring a permanent fix to the economic problems of the country we could be in effect implementing a Band-Aid solution and not a cure.

If you think that money is evil I think you’re spot on. In this day and age of the rat race and the passion for acquisitiveness, people’s decisions are influenced by money, be it in matters of business, relationship or work. Subconsciously, our decisions are likely to be motivated by the money factor and I’m not alluding malice or anomaly but simple and honest greed where you take it and feel like you deserve it without doing anything wrong to anyone. I may not totally agree with the author but I do agree with his comparison of money not being the engine but oil that smoothes the wheels. Many people fail to realize that it is actually possible to live richly without being rich.

MORE ON MONEY

Since this is a post about money, we might as well cover the whole 9 yards 🙂

The Most Valuable Currencies in the World

Here’s the currencies you must own if you have lots of moolah. They would likely make you even richer.

The Most Beautiful Money in the World

This has nothing to do with the value or stability of the currency . Its all about aesthetics and art – the design of the currency itself.

HYPERINFLATION

Many people take inflation rather lightly, totally ignorant of its dire consequences. When a country’s inflation goes through the roof, its currency becomes almost worthless, with little or no value. Take the case of Zimbabwe’s economic collapse which reduced its currency to almost nothing with the impossible exchange rate of $Z 1.0 billion ( Zimbabwe dollar) to 1US dollar ! If this happens in Pinas, God forbid, how would you like to buy a siopao for say, 800 million pesos? Utterly ridiculous isn’t it? And if you want to have Pepsi with it, the fast-food attendant will say – ” that’s another 400 million pesos , sir “. I mean were simply playing with numbers here but hyperinflation can be atrocious rendering people’s live savings worthless. I hope Zimbabwe recovers from this just like Argentina and Mexico when they were hit with hyperinflation in the 80’s.

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51 Responses

  1. Crispin Beltran is the man I envy. Despite the chances given him to get rich, he chose to be poor till his death.

    I could only presume that there was something that made him happy in his decision to be poor. He saw something that most of us failed to see.

    “today all the currencies are fiat money, because none is based on specie redeemable on demand (generally gold).” – wikipedia.org

  2. It’s a nice feeling to have some money in the bank 🙂

    OMG, 1 billion to 1 US dollar? I will go into instant depression if i live there 😦

  3. Money does not deliver lasting, meaningful peace of mind.>>> definitely yes. it offers temporary happiness.

    I may not totally agree with the author but I do agree with his comparison of money not being the engine but oil that smoothes the wheels.>>> i totally agree you on this.
    nice article. many people are really setting their plans to earn more to be happier. but they end up frustrated because they want more and more.

  4. with all the evils associated with it, it is better to have problems and have money than to have problems and no money at all 🙂 that’s why we all bust our chops every single day, for a little of taste of this. it depends on us what to use it for.

  5. I like your entry about having too many choices… it’s so true…

    This one, I don’t agree much. I kind of think most of my problems right now can be solved by tons of money. =)

  6. Myepinoy – never knew Crispin Beltran that much but heard he’s a commoner who became a politician but never encriched himself. He’s a rare breed indeed.

    Very true. Every currency reportedly has a gold deposit equivalent but one cannot redeem it 😯

  7. Irrealis – Does money make you sleep well ? 😉

    It is outrageous. I’d look for another country if that were to happen here but wait, how can I buy a plane ticket when my money is almost worthless ?

  8. Dong – true that money makes one happy but it isn’t everything and I agree with you that man never gets satisfied with what he has, more so if he’s filled with envy of what his neighbors have 😯

  9. Ewok – hahaha… you could have not said it better ! 🙂

  10. Jeff – yep, lots of problems can be solved by money but I think what the author means is not to bet on money to be the fixer of things. to give a very simple example, sometimes instead of giving company and attention to our children we simply give them money to go away and buy themselves something.

  11. You know, this post reminds me of an article I read somewhere (I think it might be at Nature.com), where a scientific study concluded that money does bring you happiness, but only when you give it away. Interesting idea, eh? Buying things for yourself will never make you happy, primarily because it is just a short-term gratification that does not lead to lasting satisfaction. But if you use your money on other people, like helping them out of their financial troubles, that’s another matter. I guess that’s the reason why we have philantrophists like the Gates couple. 🙂

  12. Correction, money in itself is not evil. The LOVE of money however, is the root and cause of all evil.

    I remember a story told by a friend about a very rich Chinese businessman who passed away leaving behind tons of money. Nothing peculiar there except that the children started fighting over it during his wake! LOL 😀

    Hay, what money can do to the minds of men…

    But still, I’d rather have them than have nothing, hehe. :-

    Have a great weekend bro.

  13. Kathy – that’s not a surprise because giving and feeling that you have helped is the most satisfying and rewarding feeling a human being expriences 🙂

    About the Gates couple, $40B is waaay too much to consume in a lifetime. I read somewhere that Bill Gates willed only $100M to his family and the rest goes to university research.

  14. Sngl – in this day and age, not only love of money but money is evil na rin hehe 🙂

    Man, the heirs wrangling with each other in the wake of their wealthy father is an omen for a serious conflict to come !

    I agree with you bro. I think the author’s point assumes that his readers have satisfied their basic needs – food, shelter and clothing. Tell that to someone who can barely put food on the table 3 times a day and he’d say …whoa???

  15. money gives us temporary happiness….if only we can win millions of dollars, we think it will solve all our problems nd lead a happy life. I will let you know how it really feels when i win the Super 7 jackpot…lol

    A little bit wont hurt though, but I agree too much of anything does not do any good.

  16. A billion zimbabwe dollars to one US dollar? Man, Mugabe sure f*cked up his country.

  17. ah, you go to Indonesia and you can have dinner between 50k to 90k rupiah. 🙂

    of course nothing beats Zimbabwe’s thousand[s] percentage inflation rate. 😦

  18. hindi ka naman economist diba?

    money doesn’t solve all problems, sometimes it creates problems pa

  19. Paul McCartney was once quoted as saying, “I don’t care much for money. I just want it to be there in case I need it.” Sums up my attitude towards money too. People miss the point when they fail to consider the effects of money-related decisions on the ones they love.

    As for Mugabe, he needs to go. The guy’s a tyrant and has mismanaged his country to the ground. I pity the poor inhabitants of his country for it will take them generations to recover, if at all, from his misrule.

  20. Happy Fathers’ Day! 🙂

  21. money gives us more options. less money, less options.

    happy father’s day! i wonder what your girls would give you this time. 😀 if i remember it right, your wife gave you a gorilla stuff toy for christmas.

  22. Happy Father’s Day bro!

  23. i would just like to greet you a happy fathers’ day 🙂

  24. money changes everything…billions of dollars spent by bush’s war machine just because of the false intelligence of WMD…iraq’s better in saddam’s time, IMHO. bush should’ve let the iraqis overthrow him rather than waste american lives and money

  25. I am one of those who believe that money is God in action — and this is why I always leave a tip because the waitress or taxi driver may have a dire need for it.

    Law of circulation — keep it flowing instead of hoarding it.

    Point is, there is so much money in this planet than realized and they never go anywhere. They stay here.

  26. I never thought that that would be possible (about the Zimbabwe curency). Grabe.

  27. well said bw, i keep nodding as i read this post.

    by the way, belated happy father’s day to you.

  28. just wanted to put in my two cents’ worth (money, 2 cents, teehee). money is not the root of all evil. it’s people’s infatuation with money that makes it bad.

  29. Leah – you bet, it’s temporary happiness coz when you have it, you become dissatisfied and crave for more. Must I say, addiction ?

    Let me know how it feels to have $20M in your bank account hahaha 🙂 Balato naman dyan 😉

  30. Wil- big time screw up bro 😦 When Zimbabwe
    ( formerly white controlled Rhodesia) became independent in 1980, inflation was 7% and in May 2008, it is 1,694,000% ! Totally mindboggling 😯

  31. Ipanema – same as in Italy too, when cars were costing millions of Italian Liras but then they converted to Euro so it is not as shocking as before hehe 😉

    Unfortunately, Zimbabwe’s inflation skyrocketed to billions percentage which is definitely abnormal 😦

  32. Tin – nope, I’m not an economist but I work for a gobal financial institution so I get a bit of informal education on the subject 😉

    Thanks for the greeting. I had a great Father’s day celebration 🙂

  33. Panaderos – what would it feel like when you have billions and practically don’t need to do anything and have the ability to buy anything you want? That would be a a rather odd feeling, when you’re no longer doing your routine daily grind 😯 I like Paul McCartney’s attitude.

    Indeed. Mugabe ripped of the once flourishing Rhodesia, when the white rulers were thrown out and the locals renamed the country to Zimbabwe and ruled the country as they pleased.

  34. Rhodora – many thanks ! Hope you had a great Fathers day celebration with the big daddy 🙂

  35. money must not be more than a necessity. if we all learn that by heart then maybe the poor will never be poor and the rich will never be rich. the two situation brings evil in many ways.

  36. Mari – More options are always better, isn’t it ? 😉

    Know what. I heard on the radio that the greatest gift to Dad on Father’s Day would be to give him his freedom that day and let him do anything he wants ( not the bad ones though) hehe 🙂 I did precisely that and just met with the family for a late afternoon lunch and yes, I got great gifts from the girls 🙂

  37. Tutubi – well, the latest news says that the CIA did give the US government an accurate assesment of Iraq’s WMD capabilities but the Bush administration bended the truth and embellished the report to justify the invasion. Powell was one senior official who got bothered by his conscience so he resigned after a few years. The invasion as you said is a total failure and I agree 😯

  38. Senor Enrique – agree with you – keep it flowing coz you’ll never take them when you croak 🙂 They say a person who keeps the money in the bank and lives an extremely frugal life is as worse as one who spends every penny he gets hold of. Both have the extremes of a psychological disorder stemming from love of money 😯

  39. Richmond – super grabe talaga. Imagine, when Rhodesia got its independence from its white rulers and was named Zimbabwe, in 1980 the exchange rate was .68 to 1 US dollar . It was HIGHER than the dollar ! Now, it is 1 Billion to 1 US dollar. If we think Pinas is a tragedy, this case is tantamount to death 😦

  40. Lawstude – hey, thanks and likewise for the greeting. I had a great Father’s Day celebration 🙂

  41. Glenville – very true, even the bible says that love of money is the root of all evil and not money itself. I’m making a slight twist in this post because I think money is like and addictive drug, that whether you like it or not you HAVE to have it to survive. Therefore we can safely say that money is both good and evil ! 😉

    Thanks for dropping by 🙂

  42. Bing – absolutely, if we think of money as a solution to necessity and not to keep up with the Joneses or gain fame and adulation as a habit of most Pinoys, then our contentment level will make us live richly without being filthy rich ! 🙂

  43. In my humble opinion, I don’t think money is the root of all evil. But the love of money is (it’s even biblical). I agree with Single Guy on this one.

    This doesn’t mean that one should not desire to have money (I’m not into the so-called ‘poverty mentality’ prevalent in many churches). We need money, after all, to buy necessities. And yes, money can be used to fund noble projects (e.g. charity work, establishment of a foundation or school, humanitarian aid, etc.)

    What we should watch for is the tendency to be greedy and covetous.

    *****

    So, the Swiss franc is included on the list. How about the Philippine peso? 🙂

    Belated Happy Father’s Day, BW!

  44. Capitalism that is mainly created for profit may be seen in this context as doomed. Eventually this means of exchange when currencies have collapsed completely as a result of hyperinflation will see its own demise or stagnation. Money ain’t gonna make anymore money. Personally I don’t think this will happen as the state and may be the people will obviously intervene in whatever – socialist, or maybe even revolutionary form. The few rich people is not gonna allow such thing to happen – so would leak/share a few of the monies say through charities, monetary aid, to maintain status quo. Otherwise, it’s the post apocolayptic state where we all have to work and barter goods. Heaven. Just some silly totally random theory. LOL!

  45. Hope it makes sense. 🙂

  46. money makes the world go round. i still believe this is true. no matter how much we ‘devalue’ money with describing it for what it cannot give, it is still as precious as the water we drink.

    the only problem is human greed.

  47. Jayred – it is biblical true but our problem is, we aren’t able to know if our love of money has exceeded the threshold level hehe 🙂

    Nope, Pinas peso isn’t in the list. If you notice, the currencies are all higher than the USD 😯

  48. Howling – hey bro, welcome back. Glad to her from you again. Man, that was a rather long hiatus 🙂 !

    The powers that be in a capitalist country have watchdogs to ensure that the economy remains stable and inflationary pressures are checked promptly. Again, there are factors that can affect the economy inspite of rigorous checks – the subprime mortgage debacle is one. The US govt for is talking of more stringent regulations on securities trading practices so that the subprime debacle doesn’t happen again. Yes, your post made sense 🙂

    Zimbabwe is a totally different story though – government corruption to the max. Hope Pinas learns from it 😯

  49. Barry – yep, money does make the world go round and is a precious commodity though sometimes
    people think that money can fix everything when it can’t. I can surely appreciate the importance of money in a country like Pinas when the economic disparity between the haves and have nots is quite distant. The bad part is, it easy for govt officials in Pinas to bend over to the requests of the ultra rich. Money does seem to talk better in Pinas, ugh 😦

  50. That “money is the root of all evil” is not what the bible says. What Apostle Paul actually said was; ” For the love of money is the root of all evil.” There is a difference.

  51. Ysrael – I know and your point is well taken – it is biblical . I’m trying to put a little twist to the idea that in reality we don’t seem to know our limits and the grasp difference between using and loving money. Money is like a drug and you will get addicted to it. The problem is, unlike drugs, you need to have it whether you like it or not. In this regard, money is both good and evil.

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