The Island of Yap and The Idea of Money
Paul Barach

What I find especially interesting is that, although we can sit in front of our computers and chuckle at the “naive people of Yap,” we’re actually no smarter or better off. Consider the fact that the U.S. dollar has nothing at all backing it up except the “full faith and credit of the United States.” Of all the nebulous concepts that support modern society, that’s right up there, isn’t it?

At least the Yapanese could take a walk down the road and go look at the big chunk of stone that they were basing their culture and economy on. Where exactly would one go to admire the “full faith and credit of the United States”? The Capitol Building? The National Cathedral?

It’s the kind of thing that could really make a person uneasy if they thought about it for too long.

(Related historical note:

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