Except in the most conservative milieus, almost every sort of sexual preference and practice is discussed today, as are issues such as sexual violence, incest, rape, battery, and childhood abuse.
Money remains a much more veiled and difficult subject, a sort of last frontier. Some of us are barely able to say the word… —Margaret Randall
The word money derives from the Roman goddess, Moneta. Juno was the mother goddess of Rome, representing fertility and abundance. Moneta was the name she embodied in her role as money’s mother.
The Latin moneta itself derives from the Indo-European root, men- which means “to use one’s mind or to think.” Thus, Moneta is also linked to Mnemosyne, the Greek goddess of memory.—Tad Crawford
Freud points out that money matters are treated by civilized people in the same way as sexual matters – with the same inconsistency, prudishness and hypocrisy.—Jamie Buchan
What We Don’t Say:
Kristine Jacobs, a Twin Cities job market analyst, cites what she calls the “money taboo” as a major factor preventing workers from optimizing their earnings. “There’s a code of silence surrounding issues related to individual’s earnings,” she told me. “We confess everything else in our society – sex, crime, illness. But no one wants to reveal what they earn or how they got it. The money taboo is one thing that employers can always count on.”—Barbara Ehrenreich
31% of Americans who have combined their finances with their spouses, say they have lied to their partners about money. 58% admitted they hid cash. 15% hid a secret bank account, 11% lied about their debts, and 11% lied about how much money they earn. ForbesWoman/Harris Interactive, The Week, 28th January 2011
Jo March, “I hate money.”—Louisa May Alcott
How It Grows:
“Papa! What’s money?”—Charles Dickens
It pays to be a boy. Even though the top ten allowance-earning chores are the same for both, boys are paid more on average than girls for the same jobs. See www.allowance.net Time, 24th July 2000.
“When I was young, I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old, I know that it is.”—Oscar Wilde
“The world’s four richest citizens – Carlos Slim, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mukesh Ambani – control more wealth than the world’s poorest 57 countries.” www.foreignpolicy.com, quoted in The Week, 21st January 2011.
As Buffett says, “It’s class warfare. My class is winning, but they shouldn’t be.”—Warren Buffet
The Measure of Our Worth:
“Lack of money is the root of all evil.”—George Bernard Shaw
“We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining or worrying about what we don’t have enough of. We don’t have enough time. We don’t have enough rest. We don’t have enough exercise. We don’t have enough work. We don’t have enough profits. We don’t have enough power. We don’t have enough wilderness. We don’t have enough weekends. Of course we don’t have enough money – ever. We’re not thin enough, we’re not smart enough, we’re not pretty enough or fit enough or educated or successful enough, or rich enough – ever. Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something.”—Lynne Twist
I Always Wanted —
If wishes were horses,
Beggars would ride.
If turnips were watches,
I would wear one by my side.
“If you’re bourgeois, money is it. It’s all the questions and all the answers. Ain’t no E-flat or color blue, only $12.98 or $1,000. If it isn’t money, it isn’t nothing.”—John Coltrane
“Money is not metal. It is trust inscribed. And it does not seem to matter much where it is inscribed: on silver, on clay, on paper, on a liquid crystal display…”—Niall Ferguson
The Origins of Money:
“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”—Oscar Wilde
The Dazzle of It:
“The earliest known coins date back to 600 BC, and were found by archeologists at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (near Izmir in modern Turkey). These ovular Lydian coins were made of a gold-silver alloy called electrum, and bore a lion’s head — they were forerunners of the Athenian tetradrachm, a silver coin with Athena on one side and an owl on the other…”—Niall Ferguson
The Language of Money: Old & New:
The king was in the counting house
counting out his money.
The queen was in the parlor,
Eating bread and honey.
Martha, Martha, tell me sweet Martha,
Tell me where you get your money from …— American folksong
“I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better.”—Sophie Tucker
“Rosalba Carriera, Pellegrini’s sister-in-law, was the first woman to support a family by painting pictures.”—Jamie Buchan
Go Figure: Notes on Financial Literacy:
“Fourteenth of March, I think it was,” he said.
“Fifteenth,” said the March Hare.
“Sixteenth,” added the Dormouse.
“Write all that down,” the King said to the jury, and the jury eagerly wrote down all three dates on their slates, and then added them up, and reduced the answer to shillings and pence.”
—Lewis Carroll: Alice in Wonderland
“One trillion dollars is the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s one million million dollars. If you laid dollar bills end to end till they measured 98 million miles, they’d go 4,000 times around the earth, or 205 times to the moon and back, and that would be a trillion dollars. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq cost $1 million every four minutes. The annual defense budget is 57 billion dollars.”—National Priorities Project, 2009
Where’s the Money Going to Come From?:
“Money comes to a woman by three main channels, all of great interest… The first is inheritance. The second is her labor, where her medieval serfdom, the toiling up of stairs with water and coal, the whole existence summed up under the motto, “a woman’s work is never done,” is taken outdoors, measured, limited and rewarded by money, which then becomes hers to spend: even, if she wishes, on other women as domestic servants. The third may merely be a form of labor, though it has generally been considered a rather special form: it is her sex, which she can convert into money as a male laborer does his strength…”—Jamie Buchan
Marrying for Money:
“Perhaps you will say a man is not young; I answer, he is rich; he is not gentle, handsome, witty, brave, good-humoured, but he is rich, rich, rich, rich, rich – that one worlds contradicts everything you can say against him.”—Henry Fielding
“It’s been a business doing pleasure with you.”:
“30% of American women don’t intend to stay with their husbands 5 years from now.”—Michael Silverstein
“Brooke Astor was forced to drop out of school, not for financial reasons, but because her mother feared that a good education might hurt her financial prospects… “She thought I would become a bluestocking – a bore and not attractive, someone who wouldn’t flirt at all.”—Meryl Gordon
Husbands & Wives:
“On average, a husband is three times more likely than a wife to take primary responsibility for managing the family’s money. But as a couple sinks into financial turmoil, this tends to shift. It is wives who deal with foreclosure notices, wives who plead with creditors for more time to pay, wives who insist on seeking credit counseling or legal help.”
—Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi
“It costs, on average, $222,000 to raise a child from birth to adulthood in the United States, and that does not include the cost of college.”
— NPR, 17th January 2011
The Diamond Ring
I don’t want your green-back dollar,
I don’t want your diamond ring…
“Money is one of those human creations that make concrete a sensation, in this case the sensation of wanting, as a clock does the sensation of passing time.”—Jamie Buchan
“In 2010 the number of Americans filing for bankruptcy increased 9%, to more than 1.5 million. This is expected to increase again in 2011.” www.marketwatch.com, quoted in The Week, 14th January 2011.
“The number of Americans living in poverty in 2009 grew to levels unseen in 15 years, the Census Bureau reported in October 2010. One in seven Americans – 43.6 million people, or 14.3% of the population – fell below the poverty line, defined as a pre-tax income of $10,830 for individuals and $22,050 for a family of four.”—The Week, 1 October 2010
“The number of Americans without health insurance also rose in 2009, from 46.3 million to 50.7 million.”—The Week, 1 October 2010
“One in five American children now live in poverty (15 million) and millions more are teetering on the edge.”—The Week, 1 October 2010
“More than half the population of the globe lives on less than $2.50 a day. Even in the US, in 2004, 30% of households had less than $12,000 in net worth. The bottom 90% owned only 29% in total net worth, with 34% going to the top 1%.”—Juliet B. Schor
“Somewhere, on the edge of consciousness there is what I call a mythical norm, which each one of us within our hearts knows “that is not me.” In America, this norm is usually defined as white, thin, male, young, heterosexual, Christian, and financially secure. It is with this mythical norm that the trappings of power reside.”—Audre Lorde
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”—Virginia Woolf
Secrets & Lies:
“As money enters the system of values, and then displaces all other values like a cuckoo the eggs in the nest, reality … must be completely revised…”—Jamie Buchan
“I’m thinking about poker all the time, and the rest of my life — work, family, friends – seems like filler.”—Martha Frankel
The Bottom Line:
“She has counted on this life continuing. She has counted on continuing. Every day she has counted, every day she has done what she must, done what she must to go on.”—Susan Griffin
“Currency is called “currency” because it must flow.”—Margaret Atwood
“The richest CEOs in the United States make 649 times the amount that a regular person makes.”—Michael Moore
“More than half the people in the world earn less than $1,000 a year. 1.4 billion people live in $1-a-day poverty. A sixth of the world (a billion people) go to bed hungry.”—Juliet B. Schor
The Adventures of a Penny:
“I reflected that there is nothing less material than money, since any coin whatsoever (let us say a coin worth twenty centavos) is, strictly speaking, a repertory of possible futures. Money is abstract, I repeated, money is the future tense. It can be an evening in the suburbs, or music by Brahms; it can be maps or chess or coffee; it can be the words of Epictetus teaching us to despise gold… It is unforeseeable time…”—Jorge Luis Borges
Habits & Rituals:
“My mother had four envelopes, into which she put the money from my father’s paycheck every month. These envelopes were labeled Rent, Groceries, Other Necessities and Recreation. The first three envelopes had priority, and if there was nothing left for the fourth envelope, there were no movies, and my parents went for a walk instead.”—Margaret Atwood
“Muriel Siebert, known as “Mickie,” was the first woman to purchase a seat on New York Stock Exchange, the lone woman among more than 1,300 men. Her seat cost her $445,000 – “the most expensive piece of jewelry I own.”
In 1977, Seibert became the first female Superintendent of Banks for New York State, overseeing assets of some 500 billion dollars. No banks failed during her five year tenure. She is still president of Siebert & Co., and an active philanthropist, with a strong interest in financial literacy, most especially for women and minorities.” —The Museum of American Finance
“Jane Austen and her sister lived on twenty pounds a year.”—Jamie Buchan
The Dalai Lama:
“As far as I can tell, the universe has no visible means of support.”—Charles Simic
“Tulipomania — and the sailor, who, coming on a bulb of Semper Augustus, worth as much as an Amsterdam house and garden, thought it was an onion and ate it with bread.”—Jamie Buchan
Stories & Sayings:
Money is no object.
A woman’s work is never done. —Proverbs
“We dealt with hunger. We dealt with cold. We were the ones who held things together. Knit one, purl one. We were the ones who, after working all day, made the meals… We were the ones who, if the cupboard was bare, faced the open mouths of our children. And the way we thought grew from what we did… We knew the limits…We knew the length of caring.”—Susan Griffin
Starting from Scratch:
“We did not have much income. We had love and work and play instead.”— Mary Oliver
“Women do two-thirds of the world’s work. They produce 60 to 80 per cent of Africa and Asia’s food, 40 per cent of Latin America’s. Yet they earn only one-tenth of the world’s income and own less than one per cent of the world’s property. They are among the poorest of the world’s poor.
Raising a rural woman’s income will usually increase the household income, but raising her husband’s earnings generally will not. Women tend to spend all their wages on their families, while men buy liquor, cigarettes and other treats for themselves. Increasingly, women are seen by development specialists as the real agents for change in rural India.”—Elisabeth Bumiller
How Much Is Enough?:
“There is no “peak oil” in relation to community, autonomy, satisfaction from work, intergenerational friendship, competition, leisure, happiness, ingenuity, ambition, beauty… These things do not peak!”—Sharon Astyk
Giving It Away:
“For Eckhart we are not really alive until we have borne the gift back into the Godhead…we come alive when we give away what has been received.”—Lewis Hyde
“We need to stop thinking about money as lubrication for a machine that is everywhere and nowhere and at no given moment, and to start thinking about money as irrigation for the field of our intentions, which are expressed right here, right now, where we live and where we work.”—Woody Tasch
“More and more I find I want to be living in a Big Here and a Long Now.”—Brian Eno
“Everyone has to make up their mind if money is money or money isn’t money and sooner or later they always do decide that money is money.”—Gertrude Stein
“20% of the population struggle badly with math.”—The Week, 26th November 2010, Time magazine, July 24th, 2000:
A study of almost 9,000 kids, aged 12-16 found boys were paid more for chores than girls were, according to allowancenet.com. For example, girls: to clean their rooms, got $1.93, boys got $2.61, to make their beds got $1.30, boys got $1.64
Portion of new jobs since 2009 that have gone to men: 4/5.—Harpers magazine, August, 2012
Percentage change in the gap between the wages of US men and US women since 1998: +9.—Harper’s magazine, September 2011.