The Hoarder's Generosity

2019-01-28T19:04:50.000Z Honest Cash

Let's consider an economic enigma: how can it be that a selfish person actually makes a net contribution to society? Consider the logical argument in this 2-minute video (or read the transcript), then post your thoughts in a comment below.

Video link:



Welcome, welcome to One Minute Crypto! I'm your host Chronos, and today I want to get your thoughts on something. I'm going to give you a hypothetical situation, and I want to hear if you think this example person gave to, or took from, society. So here's the scenario: a person dies, and when their house is cleaned out, we find stacks and stacks of $100 bills. Let's say it's a million dollars. It turns out this person worked a steady job their entire life, lived frugally, and hoarded up all this money. Now this actually happens from time to time, and usually they have a bunch of guns in their house too, so maybe it's not exactly hypothetical. But here's the question: was this person generous to society during their life?

I'm sure your gut reaction is "no". They didn't give to charity, so the cash just piled up, and that doesn't sound very generous. But I'm going to make the opposite argument in this video, and I want to hear what you think of it, so post below the video after you hear me out.

In order to understand this scenario, we need to understand what money is. What is money? I like to think of it like a community credit. If I have money, I can trade it to someone else, and they will do something for me, or give me something I want, in exchange. It's a community credit, because it depends on the fact that other people in the community will trade for it. If you're the only person on the planet, it's useless: no community. And thanks to the internet and bitcoin, almost everyone is in your community, in a way.

So we heard this hypothetical guy worked a steady job his entire life. That's him doing something that benefits other people. After all, his boss hired him for a reason. He's creating value in some way. And they gave him these community credits in exchange for it. Fair trade. Now that he has the credits, he can spend them for something HE wants, like a car, or he could keep them for later. Holding the money is like saying that the community owes you something in the future, and spending it is like cashing in on that favor.

So, now the guy dies. He's spent his entire life serving his employer, and he never cashed in on the credits. By hoarding up cash, he's basically telling society, "It's ok, I don't need you to give me a nice car, or a nice house, or any of that stuff. I won't redeem these credits, so you don't have to serve me." Under this framework, spending money is selfish, and hoarding it is generous. Whaaat? Throw your comments below, and tell me what's wrong with this model.