What Would It Take To Get Rid of Money?

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Here lately, most of the posts that I have written have been pretty research, fact, and detail-heavy.

Today, I wanted to take a break from the research-type posts and possibly have some fun thinking out loud to answer the following question: “What would it possibly take to get rid of and/or make money obsolete in the world?

Now, I admit that this might seem like quite a strange thing to be talking about on a blog that discusses well, money, of all things! Personally, I don’t think the world is near to the point where getting rid of money would be smart, possible, and/or prudent. However, it is an intriguing thought experiment to work through nonetheless. So, let’s get started!

Side note: In this post, I’ll be trying to talk about getting rid of money in the sense that society or technology advances to a point where it is not needed. I’m not talking about forms of government like socialism, etc.

Unlimited Resources

The first thing I can think of that would probably be a requisite for getting rid of money is that technology evolves to such a point that everyone worldwide has access to everything they need/want at the touch of a button. This would include traveling to wherever they want, eating whatever food they fancy, and having any type of objects needed to perform tasks / play with. If you are a Star Trek fan, one possible invention that I could see making this possible is a “replicator.”

Of course, to make having unlimited resources a reality, the energy source that would power the technology would also need to recharge itself and/or be completely 100% renewable.

A Incentive for people to succeed, do their best, and/or contribute to society

No matter how advanced technology is, I don’t believe that money will be made completely obsolete unless there is some motivation/incentive for un-motivated people to contribute to society. Now sure, there would be a substantial amount of folks that would still work their hardest for recognition, the joy of doing their best, helping others, etc. However, that alone I do not believe would be enough to get rid of money altogether.

An Incentive for People to do Unwanted Jobs or the Technology to do them for us

One thing I find fascinating in our society is that depending on how we are raised / what we are genetically dis-positioned to enjoy, a certain job that one person finds terrible will be perfect for someone else.

However, if you’ve seen the show Dirty Jobs for example, I believe that there will always be some jobs out there that people probably just would not do without some incentive that makes the job more palatable. Take cleaning out porta-potties for example. It’s probably not the best job in the world, but hey, I read somewhere that it pays $80,000 a year and doesn’t require a college degree. At that kind of pay, it becomes do-able.

If money were to become obsolete, we’d need some sort of incentive to give to folks to do these unwanted jobs. Either that OR technology becomes so good that we can just get machines to do all of these jobs for us, which might be very possible in the future – who knows!

How about you all? Have you ever thought about what it would take to get rid of money / make it obsolete? If so, what would need to happen?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

***Photo courtesy of http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2257/3534516458_6be8f6ef9d_o.jpg


  1. John S @ Frugal Rules says:

    I think we will get closer to something like this, but I do not believe we'll ever really get rid of money. I know there are things like the mobile wallet that will work to replace actual currency, but I don't think it'll ever fully replace money.

  2. Money is a completely fungible stand-in for other “stuff.” It would go away if and only if, like you said, everyone had infinite resources. But even then, how could there be infinite Van Goghs? Really? Scarcity is built into the material world.
    My recent post Great “Day” Jobs For Writers, Pro Bloggers, And Other Home-Based Workers

  3. I don't think it would ever happen! Great question though but the world is built on people wanting more then others so some how something would make up for money or be that “money” that causes separation of classes. Even if there were unlimited resources you would still need people to get them and make them into usable goods. Take oil, you still need it convert and most people wont start their own business so they would be stuck paying for it and good luck with figuring out how much is left in the world.
    My recent post Personal Finances for Everyone – Even YOU!

  4. Jon @MrMilitaryMoney says:

    It seems like there would have to be some sort of commerce. It could be a barter system or one based on livestock or goods but their has to be something.
    My recent post Mr. Military Money: Weekly Roundup

  5. Nick @ AYoungPro.com says:

    A philosophically accurate communist state would have no need for money. But the minute you introduce people into any economical model everything falls apart. 🙂
    My recent post Blog Roundup #15

  6. I think about this all the time, but I think every person would have to be self-sufficient in order for this to work. If there is any transaction that needs to be done between people, you may not necessarily need money, but bartering would still require a currency standard. Every person would have to provide food, shelter, and goods for themselves to avoid the use of any currency. On the other hand, people would have to be non corrupt, for example if food was free, who is to say one person wont take more than they need. If that had to be regulated then you now have socialism, a society that gives based on needs. I wish it was possible, but it just seems so obscurely impossible. I love the post! Very interesting.
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    • Thanks so much for reading Rob! I agree about everyone having access to everything they need independently. That was sort of what I was getting at when I mentioned the Star Trek-like replicator! haha

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