Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Money and Prices

I've been mulling the grammar of "money". Is it on one or the other side of the pangrammatical divide? If so, probably on the "power" side, I'm thinking. But what is to knowledge as money is to power? Well, money is the power to buy, i.e., purchasing power. Power is to people as knowledge is to things. Money always belongs to someone, let's say. It has an owner.

So what is to a thing as money is to a person?

The answer is: price. A thing's price tells us how much it is worth, just as your money tells you how much you are worth. Obviously, this is a very particular kind of "value", but I think the analogy holds. We know what things are worth and this determines their price. Price is a form of knowledge. Money, by contrast, is a form of power, a kind of mastery over people.

If money is purchasing power, price is simply purchasing knowledge.

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