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The Rotation of Money & Our World

Discussing the necessity of currency and its ability to make the world rotate

Dollar bills spread around a map of the world

Globally, there are 576 billion bank notes within circulation, with each note having an average lifespan of 12 months to a couple of years. Within the UK, a £20 note lasts about 113 months and changes hands 2,328 times in its lifetime. With all this money and the frequency of how often it is exchanged it is hard to deny that money makes the world go round. Money is most definitely a priority within every single humans life and without it, life is extremely harder to navigate.

'Money makes the world go round' is a common and popular idiom that suggests that money is so important that normal events can not happen without it. There is definitely truth to this statement, we can start with using money to buy food. We pay for food, which allows us to eat, grow and survive and continue our lives, whilst the money is paid to companies and corporations to further increase their wealth and ability to continue to stock their stores with goods we need. This becomes a continuous cycle, which intrinsically causes our world to hypothetically keep turning.

The world keeps spinning

So what is the answer? Does money make the world go round? Some may argue that indeed money does in fact make the world go round. This is because money is the general medium of exchange, we sell product and services for money to then use that money to purchase products and services. Additionally, money allows us to transfer resources between savers and investors essentially. With this people who wish to save their money can lend it out to those who wish to spend it. The process of money exchanging has become the basis for how entrepreneurs and businessmen are able to invest in new equipment and machinery which then improves/grants our high standard of living.

As mentioned earlier, if want buy something we must have money to do so. However, the only way we can have money is by earning it through producing something for other people in which they will be willing to pay for. This links with one out of the 5 'Principles of Justice' - Access. For money to continue to make the world go round we must always have access to it. However, many live in poverty within our country and outside in the rest of the world and are therefore excluded/less likely to be able to continuously partake within these cyclical transactions.

Whilst some may have a straightforward answer to the aforementioned question, some people both agree and disagree with the idiom. Some groups answer both yes and no to the idea that 'money makes the world go round.' due to their application of Maslow's theory, the 'Hierarchy of Needs'. The hierarchy of needs is a key concept from humanistic psychology made up of 5 levels. The first being physiological needs, second being our safety needs. Third is love and belonging, fourth, esteem and finally, self-actualisation.

By applying this theory, some may say yes due to the fact that to satisfy our physiological needs and safety needs (e.g. food, shelter, security, health and resources) money is completely essential and these are all needs that we all have no matter our position in society. Essentially it is through our human instinct to survive in which causes money to rotate the world. However, these same groups say no due to the idea that for the higher levels like love and belonging and esteem which lead to self-actualisation ( realising our full potential) it is the connections we form and our views of ourselves that are more important in making our life what we want it to be and therefore we ourselves realising our capabilities causes the world to go round

Money or love?

Although the popular idiom states that 'money makes the world go round'. other versions state that it is rather love that rotates our world. Love makes the world go round as the only way to be truly happy is to surround yourself with friends and family, money and power can not buy happiness, only temporary satisfaction. This approach links back to Maslow's 'Hierarchy of Needs' theory, love and belonging within ourselves and around us helps us all to keep our world turning. This approach is understandable as love is a very powerful emotion which impacts our lives heavily, however, despite its positives, love can also breed negativity.

For example, 'the love for money is the root of all evil.' and can be used as a weapon of control. "Governments have had a desire for consuming wealth since the beginning of recorded history, kings, princes, tyrants etc have always figured out ways to spend what others have produced and earned." (Fee Stories, 2016) . From this, a monopoly over the power to create currency has formed, this money is valuable to governments and with money being the general medium of exchange and accepted by all members of society, the control of money allows for governments to have access to that money without producing anything in exchange for that money.

To conclude, love may be able to also make the world go round but if the love is for money the original idiom still stands.

The true answer to this question is debatable and far from straightforward. I would like to hear your opinions in the comments, 'Does money make the world go round'?

Emmanuel Asiedu-Kwatchey


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