What Would You Like Do If Money Was No Object? Essays
This is the question asked in a trending Youtube video narrated by the late philosopher Alan Watts. It encourages young people to live and dream as if money didn’t matter—as if money was no object.
Inspiring, to say the least. The notion of dreaming and living without regard for financial reality can open the imagination to entire worlds that money had rendered unrealistic.
But profound narrative, dizzying imagery and hypnotic music aside, this video reveals an attitude about money that is hostile to economic prosperity and, more importantly, living a moral life. For despite what Alan Watts, Hollywood and Occupy Wall Street might say, money is a vitally important feature of the social world that we simply cannot do without, and using it is a moral issue.
First, money is simply a medium of exchange, and recognizing its usefulness is a good practice.
Whereas some activists might cite money as the root of evil and social injustice, that is simply not true. As every student learns in Economics 101, money is purchasing power. It represents the ability to acquire material ends. Those who most efficiently supply the needs of their fellow human beings will earn the most money.
For example, consider money’s origins. In the ancient world, barter trade was man’s primary means of exchange. If John wanted apples but produced only oranges, he traded oranges for apples. If, however, no one with apples wanted his oranges, he was…