Money

Image from Alexas_Fotos

It’s no coincidence the money ‘box’ shown above has the form of a cow.

One form of wealth since ancient times has been live animals.

The words capital, chattel and cattle all have the same root: the Latin, caput, meaning head, as in “head of cattle.”

The Latin word, pecu, for cattle or flock, give us the term pecuniary.

In ancient Greece parents often gave their daughters names connected to cows, to highlight their value and attract partners.

The name Polyboia suggests a daughter is worth many cows. Euboia, that she’s rich in cows, and Phereboia that she brings in many cows.

Despite this connection to the use of other animals, money has evolved beyond the commodity money of the past.

While it hasn’t yet transcended that connection, money has been a great instrument of freedom, and may at some point break its long, deep tie to the use of other animals.

In his book, The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich von Hayek, says:

If we strive for money it is because it offers us the widest choice in enjoying the fruits of our efforts.

Because in modern society it is through the limitation of our money incomes that we are made to feel the restrictions which our relative poverty still imposes upon us, many have come to hate money as the symbol of these restrictions.

But this is to mistake for the cause the medium through which a force makes itself felt.

It would be much truer to say that money is one of the greatest instruments of freedom ever invented by man.

It is money which in existing society opens an astounding range of choice to the poor man, a range greater than that which not many generations ago was open to the wealthy.

Spacing and emphasis added.

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