Which of the following bullet-point statements do you agree with?
• Money is good.
• Money is bad.
• I enjoy spending time managing my money.
• I would rather not think about money at all.
• I use my money to take care of others.
• I want a rich spouse so I don’t have to worry about money.
• Money is not that important.
• Money is actually all-important.
Now take your ideas about money to extremes. Look at all you believe about money and then “push it.” For example, if you believe that money is good, write or say, “Money is great. It is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It is fantastic…” Now write the opposite of what you think about money, for example, “Money is horrible. I hate money…” How does it feel to state these things as if they are true?
Now go with me to a different place altogether (all together, now!). Guess what? Money has no value. It’s just a social construction that needs reconstruction. Even the Almighty dollar issued by the United States Treasury has no intrinsic value. Once tied to the gold standard, which means it was redeemable in an actual substance we could stick on each other’s ring fingers and into the holes in our teeth, money is no longer tethered to anything real beyond social agreement and government backing. It means what we agree it means, and what our government declares it means. Money’s raison d’etre? The promise to pay.
While to date in the United States, the government’s promise that the money it issues is good has been pretty reliable, we need only imagine ourselves in Yugoslavia in the early nineties (ever seen a dinar?) or Bolivia in 1985 to grasp that governments can only do so much to create the value of money. The rest is up to us!