Hosts Scott Jones and Chris Kutarna explore the timeless question of money & value. In this episode, they dig into: “What does money mean now?” In the context of record-breaking federal budgets, crypto currency, meme stocks and more, Scott and Chris explore money and value from the 6th century Hebrew prophets to Chris’ childhood allowance.
Chris Kutarna is an author, speaker, facilitator and founder of basecamp (@onecampfire) and the Neue Geographical Society (@braveneueways). He challenges the world to brave new ways, breaking old maps and making new ones towards a shared horizon of a better world.
Scott Jones is a podcaster (Give & Take), speaker, theologian and consultant. He weaves his knowledge of religion, current events, and pop culture to bring listeners on a conversational journey to something entertaining, informative, and oftentimes enlightening.
[00:00] - Intro
[06:17] - The question: What does money mean now?
[08:45] - Scott’s spectrum of money - Monopoly money to Crypto currencies.
[10:35] - A brief history of money to cryptocurrencies [Europe]
[16:40] - A bit of modern monetary theory
[19:14] - Is balancing the budget responsible? Or fool hardy?
[24:30] - How does government money work? What are taxes for?
[26:32] - Purchasing power goes digital
[32:34] - Is money freedom-giving?
[36:48] - Star Trek and futurism, or The Walking Dead and post-apocalyptic economies
[41:22] - Barter economy in China
[43:35] - What do we value?
[50:10] - Money enables impersonal relationships
[55:30] - Scott brings in Jesus (our wants)
[59:28] - Does protestantism create capitalism?
[1:02:20] - Money can drive innovation
[1:05:49] - Money is a really good tool for asking good questions
[1:10:05] - Non monetary wealth does have value in society
[1:13:00] - Wrap up
The Timeless Outputs
Money is intrinsically worthless - it’s human’s willingness to accept it that gives it value. Asking people “what is money?” really is asking people what they value. Money can convert our wants and needs into freedom to attain those things. Money was created by cultures as this tool for exchange, but now the tool has become an animating principle of our culture.
We have to completely rethink the fundamental concepts of government money like debt and deficits and taxation to get a handle on what money really does and is in late modernity. The only thing you have to worry about with spending is inflation. Deficits are actually fine to “juice economic growth,” and some modern economists agree that if a country isn’t operating at a deficit they’re not doing their job. A country is not a household.
The roots of our trouble with economy is that we value the money put into production differently than the labour. Capital investments into production are rewarded accordingly with more monetary gain the better the product or service performs in the marketplace. Labour investments (workers) are not rewarded beyond the smallest amount workers are willing to take. We’ve decided investment means money. And labour is a like a material input rather than a human input - find its lowest price in the market and buy it there. This is where the class and geographical inequities are, and why the disparity keeps growing.
Chris reports back after the London Design Biennale. From EU eliminating single use plastic utensils to the microplastics coming from our tires everyday - it was dull, but some things were interesting.
What to do next?
Follow the Brave New Thinking Clubhouse: Scott loves Clubhouse. A lot. And, we’re hosting a debrief of this episode and workshop for the next one in Clubhouse on Monday, June 14 at 9:00pm GMT. Follow the Brave New Thinking Clubhouse to join.
Subscribe & don’t miss an episode: If you join June 14’s Brave New Thinking Clubhouse, you might get a mention.
And, consider the outputs: Ask yourself the questions Scott & Chris found in the conversation.
What does money mean to me?
What does that mean about what I value?
How do I want to think about money in my own life?
Start a conversation with your family, friends, or colleagues. Life is a team sport.
The Neue Geographical Society @braveneueways
- "Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus" by Doug Rushkoff
- Some basics of cryptocurrency from Forbes
- Read some Marcel Proust
- Interest rates from government borrowing
- "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
- Check out F.A. Hayek
- Read "Sacred Economics" by Charles Eisenstein
- A bit about Paul Tripp
- "The Great Transformation" by Karl Polanyi
- "Technopoly" by Neil Postman
- Matthew 6:21 from the Christian Bible
- The Weber Thesis