by Ruth Ann Scanzillo, 4th Grade, Miss Wright, Lincoln School.
Why do we need money in our country?
We need money in our country because people stopped being willing to trade things they didn’t need for things they did. This stopped a long time ago, before most of us were even born and before our parents were born, too. It was so long ago that our country wasn’t even here, yet.
People from another country created money. They hammered the extra gold and silver they had into round flat pieces called coins. These coins stood for how much they decided things were worth. When people wanted something, instead of giving something they had in exchange, they gave the coins. Of course, they had to get coins, first. So, in order to get coins, they had to turn over things they owned in exchange for getting the coins. This was probably hard for some people, especially people who made things with their own hands, but it had to be done in order to get the coins. Once everybody had plenty of coins, then they could start getting things with them. This was called buying. Giving things in exchange for coins was called selling. Soon, buying and selling was happening everywhere you could look.
It wasn’t very long before some people figured out that the more coins they had the more they could get with them. And, some of these people decided that they could organize how all the coins could be stored. They built buildings where they put them, and called them banks. People would keep their coins there until they needed them, in exchange for letting the bank give some of their money to people who needed more for awhile. This was called loaning. The bank would also keep some of the coins in exchange for people being allowed to store them there. This was called a fee. And, just to keep the people who put their money there from taking it out too soon, the bank gave them a little more, too. This was called interest. And, when the people who were loaned the extra money took it from the bank, they would have to pay the bank a little more later when it was time to give it back. This was called interest, too.
When paper was invented, it was easier to make flat rectangular pieces out of it instead of hammering out all those gold and silver coins. Paper was called money, and so were coins, because it was easier to just call all of it by one name. People could keep the paper money and the coins together at home, or at banks, whichever they wanted. But, soon, most of them realized that their money might be stolen more often if they just kept it at home. Because thieves had figured out way before this that if they stole money they would have more than other people. This was called greed, and greedy thieves were already pretty good at stealing stuff, let alone money.
People who weren’t thieves soon got in the habit of seeing how much money they could get by working at making things. When people did jobs for other people, it was really easy to just get money for their work. Soon, some people started paying lots of people to do work for them all in one place. These were called businesses. And, people who worked at businesses to earn money were called employees. The ones who let them work there were called employers.
By this time, you couldn’t walk down the street past where the houses were without seeing business buildings popping up everywhere. People lived at home, and worked in businesses. Some of them grew their own vegetables, and raised animals for food. These people figured out that they could sell what they grew right out of the front of their houses. These were called stores. So, people worked in businesses and stores, and earned money.
It was important for everybody to work, because this was how they got money. Without doing work for somebody, there would be no money and with no money there wouldn’t even be food to eat or clothes to wear. Earning money became the main way everybody kept on living without dying of starvation or freezing outside when winter came. Everybody needed just enough money in order to live, and everybody wanted to live. Nobody ever wanted to die because they didn’t have money.
And, this is why we need money.
© 8/27/2020 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. Originally posted as a Note at Ruth Ann Scanzillo/Facebook.