(noun, etymology Dutch from ‘boedel’: estate, possession, inheritance, stock.). 1. Crowd, pack, lot, as in ‘the whole boodle.’ 2. a. Counterfeit money b. Money acquired or spent illegally or improperly, particularly when used in bribery for political purposes. 3. Slang for money in general.

I, Me, Yours (Money 3.0)

Posted on: Mar. 15, 2011  |  By: Ronnie Kahn  |  Category: General

In order to make money work better for everyone, you have to be a selfish collaborator.  It may sound like an oxymoron but let’s start by digging deeper into money’s past.  In Money 1.0, meaning the original version of money’s introduction into the world, money’s use had to become widespread and those using it had to trust in the worth of the representation of gold, coin, paper, and now digital representations.  Money is symbolic and money became fungible in that the like-kind forms used as money had to be interchangeable.  In Money 2.0, the use of money became motivation to work, to buy and sell goods and services, as an exchange or negotiation of worth.  Money 2.0 is what economists call acting out of self-interest.  We do things to help better our own lot.  We see money as “my” money and not as some form of a larger holistic environment.

The problem with Money 2.0 is that by focusing on self-interest, there can be individual incentives to game the system, cheat the system, and use short term thinking to put your own interest over others such as when corporate motives become shareholder profits over longer term interests.  This type of thinking was part of the problem behind abuse of housing mortgages and the great financial meltdown of 2008.  These can also affect the long term viability of a company as well as the working environment for management and its employees.

In Money 3.0, a new way of dealing with and looking at money is forming and emerging, spurred on by the creation of the internet and globalization.  Money becomes a larger, integral, and more connected social interaction and is tied into a motivation for well-being, meaning, and purpose.   In order for this new version of money to blossom though, we have to have a monumental change from Money 2.0.

Change must come from a new story of money which means a new language to describe it and new values attached to it.  Monumental change, like the popular saying goes about the journey, begins with a first step.   These small steps are being taken because of the structural changes such as what the internet offers along with the new connections that globalization stimulates.  These types of changes are seeing their way into how millions of internet transactions direct attention and the ways products make their way to market.  These types of changes also affect where new jobs from, where the old jobs are going, and how work is being done in those jobs.  No one can direct a change of such magnitude.  Even if everyone agrees Money 2.0 does not work in the sense that it does not provide for well-being and a way for money to work better for everyone, that change cannot happen without, ironically, a “we versus they” attitude of selfish struggle.

Change does not naturally come about even when everyone does not like what is currently going on.  Many of us agree that we do not want a small minority of individuals to be able to take advantage of the economic system as was the case in the 2008 meltdown.  Many of us would also agree that it makes more sense for wealth to not be concentrated in so few of hands.  What is needed is a forum where a coalition of reformers can form new identities, new language, and new values around money.  In the existing language and story of money, meaning the concept of money in Money 2.0, money and market forces are viewed separately from social forces.  Money is seen as an external reward as if we are getting food from an animal trainer.  As it is now, if we want to encourage others to be altruistic, charitable, or just think about others, we have to put individuals in a situation where money is not involved but social forces predominate.  For example, we help a friend to pack up their belongings to move to a new home but we would be highly insulted if they offered to pay us to do so.  What is needed would be a change in the language and identity money offers so that we could see that we are all interconnected and that money can be used to help the social good.  Money could be synonymous with social forces rather than their opposite.

The internet is a great tool for altering social forces.  Information can and is spread about the reputation of companies, both positive and negative, and allows us to review and think about the purchases we make.  I suggested BoodleWiki, a website designed to give feedback on corporations and institutions.  The website could be checked to see such things as what products have a small ecological footprint, what companies put local concerns on a higher footing or what purposes that company has as its mission other than only shareholder profits.

What needs to happen with Money 3.0 is for there to be a break in the connection which exists in Money 2.0 between happiness and money in that it is understood that having more money does not make for happiness.  In Money 2.0, we do the little things out of love and the big things for money.  In Money 3.0, we reverse this to have the big things being done for love.  Money is an exterior reward that works well in the short run but not in longer term life satisfaction.  Money 3.0 understands that happiness comes from social connection and from interior rewards as well.  Interior rewards can be from jobs, volunteerism, and situations that provide creativity, improve skills, and offer meaning along with a higher purpose and transcendence.  Money, in Money 3.0, is an art and not just a science.

For Money 3.0 to flourish, the early reformers must cultivate a “we versus they” attitude that can help others to expose those are who are out there to game the system for their own advantage.  Those that cheat or are dishonest and those who think in the short-term, without concern for the effect on others would be avoided or perhaps deterred by having their reputation damaged.  Again, the internet can be utilized to share this type of information along with creating groups where trusted members can dig deeper.  These reformers can create pocket groups of trust that can become larger once public opinion and values start to put the cheaters and gamers in their place.  Once these cheaters and gamers see that the reformers foothold is pushing them out, they should be offered forgiveness and a way back in.  At first in the transition from 2.0 to 3.0, there is no team approach or “we’re all in this together mantra” until these reformers act as selfish collaborators in order to start to punish the old guard.  When Money 3.0 does take hold, it will mean that thinking about self-interest is also understanding that having a reputation for honesty and trust will be more productive, advance your own interest, and be the new way to “game” the system for everyone.   New values will promote higher purposes as we now also understand that money is part of an “ecosystem” in that mi dinero es su dinero.  The choice is either join the team that works toward well-being and seeing that self-interest is also communal interest or you’ll be left out of the mix or can even have your reputation punished for a “what’s in it for me only” attitude.  “I, me, mine” is now thought of as “I, me, yours.”

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