John Steward of Jesus
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Paper Money

Discussions about the nature of money go round and round. I often wonder whether they lead anywhere. But because I have entered them for so many years, I often feel compelled to do so again.

In this case I am responding to your statements "I believe everything that those notes are made of came from God..." and "I give paper that can be used for trade".

You seem to imply that the paper, made from wood created by God, is what is valuable and what you give in trade.

If this were so, the value would depend on the size and quality of the paper, rather than on the configuration of the ink embedded on the notes.

What is valued is not the paper created by God, but the artificial units created by men which are represented by the wording on the paper. Today's money is really credit units, credit points, similar to "honor points" which I accumulated to graduate from high school, or points used to keep score in a game. When the officials give two or three points for putting a ball through a hoop, would you say these points were created by God? The paper is just a way of keeping track of or confirming the points, similar to the report cards I got in high school or the diploma given me at the end. Also similar to the paper called the title to a car or the deed to land. It's not the paper; it's what is conveyed by the words on the paper. It doesn't matter whether the material is cheap stuff from Kmart or expensive parchment.

As has often been said, when the value of a currency is destroyed, the paper stuff is good for only one thing, and not very good for that. If you offered it for free, it is likely that nobody would come for it, unless you had a truck full that could be recycled or used for fuel.