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What Is Money?

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The system runs on borrowed moneyThe cliché that “The system runs on borrowed money” is well known.  You might imagine that you are somehow removed from that “system.”  Whether you are aware or not, your country, state or province, your school, your job, your church, your city, and your household are all run on borrowed money.  Nonetheless, “borrowed money” is a funny/peculiar expression because it is redundant.  There is no other kind of money.
What is money?  Experts aren't sure.Reading Graeber’s Debt:  The First 5000 Years I was bemused to discover that there is no consensus among the experts on what exactly money is.  (See   When Should You Repay Your Student Loan? ) Of course, we all know what money is, but it is one of those obvious, everyday concepts that makes perfect common sense until you start to think about it.
IOU or Commodity?Historically, the debate has been between seeing money as a commodity like gold or silver (something that has a value) or viewing it as an IOU, a…