The book looks at people’s relationship with money throughout history. The first part of the book deals with the emotional relationship between people and money, and tries to trace the origin of the feelings that money arouses.
There has never been as much money in circulation as now. We can enjoy an adventurous increase in our revenues and the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). And then everything would just be very good?
Importance of money for our soulful life
For eight years, the author has studied the importance of money for our soulful life. Economy and money are first and foremost about people – how we perceive each other and the world. They are expressions of culture, emotions and thoughts. This is a relationship that quantitative economics easily forgets. What does the money do with our identity and behavior? What is the relationship between money and happiness?
How does today’s money system work and what changes are possible? How has money and soul worked together throughout history? The book has an accessible, popular scientific form and provides new insights into a phenomenon we are all concerned about.
“… we live in a money-driven society. I, for my part, am glad that we live in such a society. The alternatives are usually worse. At the same time, I am convinced that we need a new understanding of money – and quickly.
… Many also lose themselves in the money. ”
The function of money in economic theory is:
1. Payment method
2. Value storage
3. Scale of values
In addition, economic theory should integrate three other functions, Cole writes (p. 52):
1. Money is attention
2. Money defines relationships between people
3. Money is a self-reinforcing desire generator
For the past 30 years, the level of happiness in Norway has remained unchanged. 25 percent are very happy. 20 are very unhappy. In the same period, GDP has more than doubled. Further GDP growth has no effect on happiness levels in rich countries. Since the 1970s, economic growth has not improved Norwegian quality of life. Countries that do not need it have strong growth, while many poor countries unfortunately have greater population growth than economic growth.
We talk about money and soul as opposites. Just as we talk about finance or emotions.
Good Finance draws future pictures where he wants to show that it is possible to organize our society so that money and soul can meet.
He proposes a transition to a new capitalism where our familiar Norwegian kroner (NOK) is the result of two new types of money, social crowns (SOK) and natural crowns (NAK) for valuation and turnover of social capital and natural capital.
The terrace case shows that it is difficult to understand what money is. Most people think that money is something concrete. Like a 200kr banknote. But only 4% of the money today is so. The rest of our money, 96%, only exists as numbers, such as 0 and 1, on banks’ hard drives, he says, while tearing a $ 200 banknote so it pains the soul.
Basis of narrow profitability
Today’s monetary system entails huge costs that are hidden from the financial perspective because it lures us to act on the basis of narrow profitability. But perhaps the biggest cost is the limitations the system puts on the heart and thoughts of what it is actually possible to do. In short, therefore, the book contributes to two things: 1) It provides economic ideas anchored in the Western cultural heritage. 2) It opens up new ways of seeing, thinking about and spending money.