FIAT CURRENCY: our Faith (Fiat) in currency, money, politics, government, economics, and security.
To start, what makes money…money?
Money or currency is faith in the government.
Pieces of paper have no inherent value. The value is created through TRUST in the state.
For example, the physical molecules and atoms of a $100 US Dollar Bill aren’t technically “worth” anything.
Rather, when you have American currency, you’re essentially saying,
I trust the US government, and that they will protect, provide for me, and I can exchange this green piece of paper to feed myself, house myself, and buy modern-day goods and conveniences.
Why have money?
To start off, I love money. To me, I see money as a TOOL OF EXCHANGE to get what I need and want.
I don’t really see money as a status symbol anymore. That’s silly to value your self-worth in terms of how many commas or 1s and 0s you have in your checking or saving account.
I’m not gonna care if I join the “three comma club” anytime soon (billionaires have three commas).
What I learned about foreign currency
For fun, I’ve been tracing and sketching different types of “Fiat” currency from different countries.
- A lot of the artwork on money is quite beautiful, and reflects the historical, and political value of a country.
- Many designs on money follow Fibonacci rules, and spirals, and curves.
- Money is all a socially-constructed value. For example, my heart races when I see American money. But when I see Chinese (Yuan) or British Pounds, I feel nothing. Obviously, the concept of a Green American dollar is something that has been socialized into me as a child.
Lately Bitcoin and Ethereum have been making the rounds in the currency and social political world.
I still trust US Dollars, and perhaps gold. Why? My theory:
As long as America has the strongest military power and cultural influence (social media, Apple devices, Facebook, American film and culture and music) — the world will “trust” American currency the most.
Gold is ancient and in limited supply on planet earth, and stores well. Therefore it will always be deemed “valuable.” Also, it is the longest valued currency in history. For thousands of years. And for thousands of years going forward, it will still be valuable.
America and our currency has been the primary currency of the world for perhaps the last hundred years. So in our lifetime, I think it will still be on top for at least another hundred years. But who knows, maybe 300 years from now the Chinese Yuan will take over. Just read “Super Sad Love Story” as a future dystopia vision of reality.
Essentially, Bitcoin might continue to raise in value. But I’m skeptical, because eventually someone can hack the whole system, and you’re kind of fucked.
Like they say in football,
The best offense is a perfect defense.
Perfect defense: NOT LOSING MONEY is more important than making money.
I cannot give any financial advice, but this is what I follow.
Live BELOW My means. I still live like a broke college student, even though Cindy and I currency have over $200,000 USD in combined income. Cindy and I still generally share 1 appetizer and 1 entree at restaurants, and I will eat 6-8 eggs in the evening as my “egg snack” to suffice my appetite. I also don’t eat breakfast or lunch anymore.
I avoid debt like the devil, and have no plans on putting a house mortgage anytime soon. I trust cash above everything else.
I still love gadgets, tools, and electronics. But now, I’m over the hype. Shit is all the same. I’m a bit jaded, but that is good. I’m making better use of old technology, like writing these words on an old iPad Air.
Electronics and digital cameras and cars all lose so much value. Anything brand new, 6 months later, will lose 30% value. A digital (anything) is the worst “investment” you can make. Even now, I refuse to buy a new digital Leica, even though I can technically “afford” it, because I will feel like a chump losing thousands of dollars a year on lost value.
A new digital Leica is roughly $7000 USD. In a year, it will be worth only $5000-6000. And 5 years from now, maybe $3000 USD. I’d rather use that money to buy books, travel, have nice espresso at coffee shops, and invest in my family, friends, and community.
At this point, it’s not even self-denial. It’s NOT being a sucker. I always hate over paying for food. So I always aim for good “value” food at restaurants (high protein to dollar ratio). This is why I generally prefer burgers, pork belly, rather than dumb filet mignon which actually tastes worse, because of the low-fat content.
A tip I learned from my butcher,
Most underrated meat is tongue, head, and cheek. The most overrated meat is chicken breast, filet mignon, or any food with a low-fat content.
Debt is the devil, because it restricts our freedom.
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