What problems can money create?
Everyone needs something, whether it is a living necessity or not depends on the person. Money, as a physical product can cause many different problems. Social, political, personal, all of these can be affected by money. Almost every single modern civilized creation depends on money. Whether it is electricity to even water, you still going to have to pay.
In the Grapes of Wrath, families that live in the Dust Bowl are moving to California for search of jobs, and a place for their families. We see the exchange of a farmer selling his possessions to make some money to last his family during the trip, and in this instance he is selling his horses. “[She] likes to braid the manes… Feet fair and clean. How Much? Ten dollars? For both? I’d shoot’em for dog feed first.” (pg.87) The buyer knows that the price he is offering for the horses is so low that it is an insult to the farmer, but the farmer will give his horses away for that. Why? Because he needs as much money as he can get for his family, he must provide the salary. The farmer knows this when he sells too- he warns the customers, “You’re not buying only junk, you’re buying junked lives. And more—you’ll see— you’re buying bitterness.”(pg.87) Later, this ‘bitterness’ that they bought has been changed into anger. Money serves all, and turns people against each other.
The United States is such a large country and there are so many small cities in its nooks and crannies. From a blog post by Aaron Gilbreath, he interviewed people in San Joaquin Valley, CA, and asked them what did they think about the city. “I don’t even know what town I’m in.” Stating big name companies, such as Starbucks, Mcdonald’s, and Mobil, Gilbreath lays out the ideas of the industrialized break areas that most of us are familiar with. As someone who lives in SoCal, I never knew about this place and this is a first impression for me. But then we see through the fog, “Over 250 crops are grown in the San Joaquin Valley… agriculture grosses over $25 billion annually.” The local agricultural economy was probably still here before any big-name company came around. So why did they? I think because of the large farming areas, people would be willing to sell land for money. That’s my guess, that the industrial economy shadows the agricultural. The farms were there before, but the San Joaquin is only known as a pitstop. Even the neighboring city, San Francisco, toughens the name of the valley as well. “It was pollution from San Francisco. Coastal winds blow Bay Area smog east, where it gets trapped in the valley.”
Now we all know that economy is directly linked to the job market and all of that confusing stuff people pay in college for. After reading “What the Bagel Man Saw” by Stephen J. Dubner, and Steven D. Levitt, we get the viewpoint of a man. A very analytical, number crunching individual, who was fascinated by stats and numbers. However, just like us he was put into an office job “[He] was well paid and unfulfilled”(pg.443). When he retires, he creates a bagel delivery business and takes down all the statistics of his job. Seeing if the offices he delivers to are skimping out and when. We can see that the percentage of money spending changes during certain times “The week of Christmas produces a 2 percent drop in payment rates…however, a few good holidays: July 4th, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.”(pg 447) He knows that people are also taking the bagels without paying for it, “Unseasonably cold weather, meanwhile, makes people cheat prolifically; so does heavy rain and wind.”(pg 447) After reading the story, I think it correlates perfectly with the question. Money causes problems because not everyone is fair, and that includes paying for something honestly or not.
In our day & age, people will steal anything. They are saving money by using the five-finger discount, and for what reason? Obviously they lack the money for it, there are reports of people who even steal laundry detergent. I was surprised when I heard this, and I asked my mother what she thought of it. She was unfazed, “Oh yeah, laundry detergent is expensive these days.” Money causes problems, and I don’t think we could ever solve a problem as ever changing as a country’s currency.