A World Without Money?
That’s… no money – whatsoever. How on earth would we be able to exist, to buy things, to earn a living??
Well, it used to be like that about 9,000 years ago last Thursday. Stone Age man, and woman, had just started farming and as a result began to trade (or swap) the things they grew with things they needed. This way of buying and selling things is called BARTERING (no, not the stuff you fry fish in!)
But “barter-ing” would be a bit difficult nowadays. We wouldn’t fancy popping into the local supermarket, doing the weekly and asking the check-out assistant to hold on a sec. ‘Just gotta pop out and bring you one cow, two pigs, a lettuce and a two-foot banana to pay for this lot!’ Only to be confronted by the manager of the supermarket arguing that he wanted two DVD’s, six CD’s and a second hand Playstation in payment!
That’s where MONEY comes in, you see. Good stuff, money is. Notes and coins: much easier to keep in your pocket than a cow. And each note and coin has an amount clearly printed or stamped on it, so you know where you are and how much you have to spend, or save!
But you can’t have any old note. It’s no use making your own. Because no-one would know the real value of your note and wouldn’t trust it. No shop would give you anything in exchange for it.
That’s why, over the time money has evolved, it was agreed by everyone that the safest note to have was one backed by a central bank, a sort of banker’s bank. In the UK, that’s the BANK OF ENGLAND.
Why? Because everyone trusts the Bank of England’s notes... which bear the words, I PROMISE TO PAY THE BEARER... and are signed by the Chief Cashier. We all agree that the Bank of England’s £5 notes are worth five pounds. So everyone knows that the £5 note in your pocket buys you five pounds worth of stuff!