Benjamin Franklin, a well known Founding Father of the United States among other avenues of pursuit once said, “Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.” This excerpt founds the question of whether or not money can buy happiness; and can it really? In no way can monetary value equate to true serenity. To closely examine the question in subject, the definition of money and its origin must be examined in coherence with what happiness really is. To compare the two contrary parties, the investigation of state facts of Swaziland, a “poor” country, and The United States, a “wealthy” country will be explored. A final analysis and comparison will close the article. A monetary value simply cannot purchase a state of being; that is money cannot buy happiness.
II. Money and Happiness
A. What is money?
1. Money is simply a unit of exchange in which the transfer of goods and services is exchanged for. Money is synonymous with currency and cash. (Wikipedia: Money) 2. Money allows for the creation of set values of goods and services, and facilitates those trades between producer and worker and consumer and recipient. 3. Money can be recognized as any form of currency, or a medium of exchange a. Shells
b. Bones and fossils
d. Special rocks and minerals
B. What is happiness?
1. Happiness is defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary as “a state of well-being and contentment or a pleasurable or satisfying experience. (Merriam Webster Dictionary) C. A Time Before Money
1. Generally, historians agree that money was created at approximately 100,000 B.C. (Wikipedia: History of Money) 2. Before that time, a system of bartering was the only way goods or services could be exchanged. a. “Barter is a type of trade that doesn't use any medium of exchange, in which goods or services are exchanged for other goods and/or services.” (Wikipedia: Barter) b. For example, if a farmer needed an iron plow for his field, he would have to find a blacksmith that needed apples who then in turn could fabricate a plow for the farmer. In other words, they had to have a coincidence of wants. 3. The transition period between mainstream bartering and a monetary system seems to have emerged from Swaziland at approximately 100,000 B.C. a. This emergence of money was in the simple form of red ochre i. Red ochre are pigments made from naturally tinted clay. Chemically, it is hydrated iron oxide. (Answers: Red Ochre) C. The Symbolic Meaning of Money
1. There are many variants of the true symbolism of money a. One theory directly refers to coin money
i. The shape of coin money is generally round. This shape represents the eternal continuation of currency. ii. This round shape also represents the world; again, in it’s ever continuing and developing cycle iii. Together, these ideals represent the ongoing continuation of money throughout the world. b. Another theory applies to paper money
i. The square shape that paper money ideally holds is representative of a solid foundation, trust, and solidness. ii. Often times, faces of strong leaders or portraits of influential people will be printed in the currency. These leaders often created the foundation (pioneering or renewed) of any given state, and thus are represented by and represent the country. 2. Money has always represented wealth and power, and often times, a status symbol (Wikipedia: History of Money) a. Even thousands of years ago, shells were strung from necklaces as a sign of high status. (Wikipedia: History of Money)
III. Swaziland: Chosen “Poor” Country (CIA World Fact Book) A. Comparative Statistical Evidence