I heard the below clip on This American Life yesterday while listening to the The Inauguration Show episode, I liked it and I wanted to share it with you.
I want to say before you listen that I think it's rare when people see exactly how money represents their time. Time spent working and thinking and doing away from what they would really like to be doing or who they'd like to spend their days with. For the minimum wage worker in Illinois to afford coffee for two at Starbucks they will trade one hour of work (worth $7.75) spent away from their home and family. For a college educated worker to afford a coffee for two at Starbucks they may trade less work time, perhaps 15 minutes of work but factor in the 35,064 hours they spent at college and it probably evens out.
My point is Time is what we have to barter. It's all we really have on this planet to spend and money is just a way to keep track of the idea that I will type this thing for you and you will make a widget and give it to him and he will fix my car. The beauty of it is this allows one person to specialize in doing one thing and facilitates a good deal; when I can buy a dress that would take me days to make with less money than I make in a day.
The abuse of money; stealing/devaluation/inflation is so very personal to each and every one of us but the process is so removed from what it symbolizes that sometimes we forget what the value of a dollar is. In Illinois the state says it can't be less than 8 minutes of work. What is worth 8 minutes of your time? A hamburger? A Candy Bar? A Charity? A cup of whipped creme?