So there is money, which denotes the price of something, its cost; and then there is what something is worth. The interesting thing about what something is worth, what it’s value is, is that it is subjective, different for everyone. And yet we put a single dollar value on it, across the board.
I think it’s time we really look at money, and value, as very separate ideas. Because they get lumped together all the time, but they are extremely different.
Let me propose something, which I call Global Income. Here’s how it works: if something is worth $20 to you, and $40 to someone else, you selling him that thing for $20, which is what it is actually worth to you, and yet he has gained something of $40 value. In this exchange there is a Global Income of $20. In other words, the system as a whole has become more wealthy, EVEN THOUGH THE ONLY THING THAT HAS HAPPENED IS A REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH.
$1000 is worth nothing to a billionaire, but it could mean everything to an impoverished family. We need to think about money and goods in terms of GLOBAL INCOME. Wealth could be distributed in such a way that the net wealth of the planet was MASSIVELY higher, without actually physically changing anything, just redistributing it.
Right now, we try to charge people $50 for something that is worth $40 to them and only $20 dollars to us. When we charge someone more than something is worth, the net wealth of the planet decreases, because it means people to whom money is worth less get more of it, and people to whom money is worth more, have less of it.
Think about it. The free market might actually work, if we were still just exchanging goods, but replacing the barter system with money has completely disconnected us from the actual value of goods and services. The price of something does not reflect it’s value in most cases. It instead reflects the success of marketing campaigns and monopolies.
The only thing money does, is it opens up the system, so you can trade anything for anything, indirectly, with anyone, and it works because we all agree on the system, so the structure itself is not bad, but the way we think about money and separate it from value and exploit that separation for our own ends results in net global poverty."