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Issue 10

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What Would Happen If All the World's Money Disappeared?

When asked this question, international students were at no loss for words.

Everyone Might Feel Confused

Yongping Li from China

International students
Photo: Sandy Peters
Children love to play and have fun together. What if they ruled the world?

If the world's money disappeared, everybody might feel confused. The whole financial system around the world couldn't exist anymore. There would be no banks. Many people would find they were unemployed.

You wouldn't have to worry about whether or not you took enough money or your credit card with you when you went shopping.

You wouldn't worry that someone would steal your wallet on the street because there would be no money in your wallet.

People could not buy any merchandise in the supermarkets. Most of the rich people would feel very sad because they would no longer be rich, and poor people would say, "That's great." I would no longer feel upset about the little money in my pocket!"

Plenty of Unexpected and Terrible Things Would Occur

Ho-Geun Kim from Korea

Human beings have made and invented tons of convenient things. Maybe money is one of them. Money makes people very comfortable and is so useful, so if all the world's money disappeared, plenty of unexpected and terrible things would occur, and we could not survive in that situation.

First of all, we would experience a lot of things that are horrible even to think of, especially in food, clothes, or shelter. Money is a kind of standard that people make for a better life, so if it were not for money, people would lose the standard and feel confused. Sometimes, people say that money is the cause of all problems, all crime and inequality. Some poor people think that if there were no money, they could be happier than they are now, but I think this in not true.

Of course, some problems result from money, but everything that people make for a more convenient life could make some problems. We have to admit this point. If we discarded money because of these problems, what would happen to us. No one would dare say that we would live a more joyful and happier life.

It Would Be an Unfortunate Situation

Minjung Song from Korea

If children ruled the world, it would change and be absolutely different than it is now. In some ways, it would be better and, in other ways it would be worse.

First of all, it would be like a big trash pile because children don't put anything away. The world would be messier and full of lost things.

Second, the rate of development would be slower because children want something just for joy and are apt to ignore something related to world development.

Third, the world would experience more humorous trial and error because children don't think as carefully as adults do.

Fourth, children might ignore adults because adults don't have any power. Adults could feel lonely, and some of them might try to commit suicide due to their situation.

But on the other hand, the world would not be filled with trickery, cheating, war, drugs, and crime. Children's souls are much cleaner and purer than adults', so we could live more safely than we do now. This is a good point. If the adults would keep children's souls in their mind when they ruled the world, it would be a lot better than it is now and I wish our rulers were like this.

The World Would Be a Mess

Renata Pauperio from Brazil

If all the world's money disappeared, people would have to find another way to value things. Maybe they would have to exchange merchandise, like in the old, old times when money didn't exist.

If it happened, I think the world would be a mess. Nobody would have to work hard if employers had no way to pay the workers, and people would have to work for food, clothes and shelter instead of money. A lot of companies—like banks and insurance companies—which only work with money would have to close their doors.

Nowadays the world is not that safe; if all the money disappeared, it would be really dangerous to live here. Maybe we would have to move some place else where there would be money for sure! At least, I would be unhappy here

Maybe People Would Be Happier

Carmen Cafferena from Spain

I know it's never going to happen, but if all the world's money disappeared, we would start like in the past when money didn't exist. People would trade things for other things. If someone needed food and another person needed a cow, they would exchange these thing with each other.

If money disappeared, crime would still continue because those who hadn't anything would try to obtain their necessities by robbing, and assaulting.

Maybe people would be happier if they didn't have money because the wouldn't have all the material things that we have today. I wish money didn't exist.

There Would Be a Big Crisis

Manabu Ozawa from Japan

There would be two possibilities if all the money in the world disappeared. Everything would change or nothing would happen. Money is very important in the world; no country can exist without it. If it disappeared, there would be big consequences, and this would be a good opportunity to think about the consistencies of each country. There would be no exports and imports and no border between countries.

This would be a big crisis, but every country would have to think about the best way to exist from zero. There would be no poor countries or rich countries. Every system would be changed.

Another consequence would be that once all the money disappeared, big countries would never want big changes. They would soon print bills and try to go back to the ordinary world. If the world's money disappeared, governments would not allow us to go anywhere until money came back. Then the same life as now would start again.

Would people behave themselves if the world's money disappeared? That's a point to consider. But if we were ready for this and were able to control ourselves well, a new world would come to us.

It Would Be the Best Solution for All Problems

Lourdes Joza from Ecuador

Nowadays, money is one of the most important things for most people. That's happening because what we call money interferes in many, different ways in our lives. It seems that if you don't have money, you can hardly do anything. That's why people do different things as long as they get some money, so can you imagine what would happen if all the world's money disappeared?

I think that would be the best solution for all the problems that there are right now in this world. Money wouldn't be powerful anymore, and that means that everybody would be equal economically. One of the principle reasons for wars is money, so if it disappears, the number of wars in the world would decrease. All countries would become closer.

Crime also would disappear with the money, so we would live in a safer place where people wouldn't think about getting money to be the most powerful. People would work only for pleasure because there wouldn't be money to pay them. Food and clothes would be free for everybody. Nobody would die of hunger.

People would be healthier and happier. Why? Because people are worried most of the time about money and most of their problems are about money, so life without it would make their lives easier. People would live thinking just about enjoying and spending time with people they love.

I think that if money really disappeared, it would be like a great present from God because it would bring peace to us. It would be like we were living in heaven where there isn't anything bad.

In my opinion, all problems come from money; however, that's how we get everything we need to live. I don't like seeing how people fight each other just for money, or how people have died just because they didn't have enough money to buy food or to pay a doctor. I would feel happier living in a place without all of these problems.

I know it sounds like something impossible, but dreaming about a perfect life isn't bad either. Nobody knows, but maybe one day that dream could become reality, and then we would live happily forever.

Sometimes Shopping Would Be Funny

Turhan Ece from Turkey

If all the world's money disappeared, the world would be unorganized. Money is a very important thing for interaction between people, between companies, and also between countries. When people wanted to buy some clothes, food, or other things, they would have to use their belongings as money.

If people didn't use money for shopping, sometimes shopping would be very funny. If someone broke traffic laws, the police would have to take some of his/her belongings.

Actually, there are some alternatives to money. Today, we can use credit cards or debit cards. If all the world's money disappeared, we would use credit cards more than before. If money were not used in our daily life and in the banks, robbers would be unemployed and unhappy.

There Would Be a Lot of Changes

Sabrina Volante from Venezuela

I think that if all the money in the world disappeared, people wouldn't want to have so many things. If money had no importance to everybody's life, it would be easier not to be a greedy person.

If all the world's money disappeared, crime would be affected; there wouldn't be any more crime since there would be no money to steal.

However, if there were no money in the whole wide world, I would feel unhappy because I don't really know what could happen to everybody. Maybe nobody would go to work.

There Might Be a Problem

Oscar Ortiz from Venezuela

If all the money disappeared, the world could fall into a revolutionary situation because people could think that they were working for nothing. But not everything would be bad. People might think that this was one of the best things that could happen in the world because the situation could let us share and trade to get what we wanted.

But there would be a problem; the selfish and greedy people always want to be the best and always want to take control of everything, so they could begin to cheat in the trading and sharing. I think money is a bad necessity because people always have to be controlled by something; and in this case, money is that thing.

It Would Work Out Well in the End

Naomi Takahashi from Japan

What if all the world's money disappeared? A long time ago, people used to exchange things when they wanted to have something. For example, they exchanged food or an ax or salt for clothes. But then people found another way to get things--using money instead of trading.

If all the world's money disappeared, people would lose the way to get things, and they would start exchanging things again as people used to, or they would find another way instead of money.

The meaning of crime would change. The crime of robbing a shopping center market would increase, and the crime of robbing a bank would decrease.

People wouldn't be happy temporarily, but they would become happy. I would feel better because I basically don't have a lot of money.

It Might Bring Peace and Charm to the World

Edibe B. Ciftci from Turkey

If all the money in the world disappeared, I think that there would be another mechanism to merchandise. Remember the days before money was invented. There was no money, but there was a way to get the necessary stuff. It was a kind of exchange of things between one person and another.

As an example of this kind of commerce, let's say you were a farmer producing grain and wheat. I you needed, for example, clothes, you would go to a tailor who needed wheat and exchange your products with him.

If we look on the bright side, the disappearance of all money might bring peace and charm to the world. Maybe there would be less war and fighting over money and power. Most people would have to be producers of goods instead of just being consumers as has happened in the past. Life wouldn't be as complicated as it is today in terms of money.

I believe that most people would be happier than they are now because there would be less competition. Today's most widespread idea is that the more money we get the happier we are, and this has resulted in a more stressful life style.

More 'What if' situations:
What If Everyone Were Telepathic? | What If Children Ruled the World?

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