How much money is there in the world all together? There are many different answers to this question. One is to simply state how much paper and coin money there is in the world. The answer is simple: $5 trillion. Considering the source of this number, i assume this means 5 million million, $5.000.000.000.000. With another definition you could take the world’s easily accessible money: $28.6 trillion, $28.600.000.000.000. This includes all the world’s paper and coin money and deposites available in banks. In the CIA Factobook it is stated the total value of the world’s money is $80.9 trillion, $80.900.000.000.000. This includes all the paper and coin money, saving, checking and time deposits. The global debt is $199 trillion. And then there are derivatives. A low-end estimate of the size and scope of global derivative markets is $630 trillion. What is a derivative? It is a contract between two or more parties that derives its value from the performance of an underlying asset, index or entity. No one really knows the exact size of this market.
What is money? I am copying this text from the Wikipedia entry about money.
Most modern textbooks now list only three functions, that of medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value, not considering a standard of deferred payment as it is a distinguished function, but rather subsuming it in the others.
The money itself is not as important as what you can do with it, in our current world. In most situations, money can buy you anything. Any house, any car, any food, anything you want you can buy with money. If, of course, someone else is willing to part with it and exchange it with you for money.
If it is something which you can exchange. Some things you can not. For me, a good example is this website. A blog. A simple theme. WordPress. All pretty basic stuff. But the content is different. Some days i walk and make photos. Some days i work in a garden and talk about that. Many times with photos. Some days i stay inside and meditate. Not so much i admit! Or i make something with animations. Or tell a story. Or sing a song. Sometimes i make a clip. Not so much. It is a lot of work. Inspiration doesn’t always hit me. I need music for a clip, which is not easy to find. I actually need a better camera. And a faster computer. That is money business. Something i don’t have right now.
Anyway, enough talking about this website.
I don’t think wealth is something negative. Wealth means your life is prosperous, your actions pay off. To me, wealth is a very positive way of being in your life. I can imagine all the things i could do once i receive enough money. Helping the people working in the gardens. Buying the land for the gardens as well. Plenty of temporary gardens need to stop once the property developers have the will to start building on their land. So buying the land seems to me a good thing. Getting school gardens ready, with people working on them, helping the kids to learn about plants and animals. Getting more local vegetable gardens in cities. All things which to me are important.
Paul Graham : A surprising number of people retain from childhood the idea that there is a fixed amount of wealth in the world. There is, in any normal family, a fixed amount of money at any moment. But that’s not the same thing.
When wealth is talked about in this context, it is often described as a pie. “You can’t make the pie larger,” say politicians…
What leads people astray here is the abstraction of money. Money is not wealth. It’s just something we use to move wealth around. So although there may be, in certain specific moments (like your family, this month) a fixed amount of money available to trade with other people for things you want, there is not a fixed amount of wealth in the world. You can make more wealth. Wealth has been getting created and destroyed (but on balance, created) for all of human history.
Source: How to make wealth – Paul Graham
I am reading this book now, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, written by Thomas Piketty. I’m only at the second part, the dynamics of the relation capital/income. I do enjoy reading it. I’m not an experienced economics reader, i’m struggling a bit through some parts. Still, it is not a technical and mathematically written book. I would like to finish it. In between all the young adult books i am reading now as well. 😉
We are driven creatures. While our lust for status, money, power and sex can be harnessed towards creative ends, it is more likely to block any spark we might have had. Our consumer culture is happy to cater to these drives. We lose decades of our lives chasing money to buy luxury goods and climbing through artificial hierarchies in the workplace. We struggle with the health problems caused by high-calorie, high-fat diets. We become caught in webs of addiction, trying to distract our minds from the emptiness left by our lost creativity.
Source: Sparks will fly
I know i am pushing things to a boundary. I am not going where it seems to me we are all drive towards. I am making a decision. Money, to me right now, is not the most important thing in the world. However much there is of it. It is not. It is my own creativity, my own thoughts, my own work in the garden, my work on this website which matter to me right now. I know it can not last the way it is going. It is hard. But i do have trust in myself. And also trust in the world. Trust in people. In a way. Not terribly much, no. But still, a bit.
I am still here. Talking to you. My listener. My reader.
Every single day, I get emails from aspiring writers asking my advice about how to become a writer, and here is the only advice I can give: Don’t make stuff because you want to make money — it will never make you enough money. And don’t make stuff because you want to get famous — because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people — and work hard on making those gifts in the hope that those people will notice and like the gifts.
Maybe they will notice how hard you worked, and maybe they won’t — and if they don’t notice, I know it’s frustrating. But, ultimately, that doesn’t change anything — because your responsibility is not to the people you’re making the gift for, but to the gift itself.
Money is a way of measuring wealth but is not wealth in itself. A chest of gold coins or a fat wallet of bills is of no use whatsoever to a wrecked sailor alone on a raft. He needs real wealth, in the form of a fishing rod, a compass, an outboard motor with gas, and a female companion. But this ingrained and archaic confusion of money with wealth is now the main reason we are not going ahead full tilt with the development of our technological genius for the production of more than adequate food, clothing, housing, and utilities for every person on earth.
Source: Alan Watts on Money vs. Wealth